As the sun rose over Viridian Forest, the Pidgey began crowing one-by-one until the forest rang with the chirping of Pidgey and Spearow. The cacophony slowly brought Vulpix out of his slumber, albeit none the cheerier as per his usual waking routine. He had never been much of a diurnal creature to start with.

Vulpix yawned. The moist air of his breath found its way into Eevee's ear, making her shiver, which in turn led Vulpix to jump in surprise. He'd practically all but forgotten about the events of yesterday. Eevee yipped and recoiled in response to all the sudden commotion Vulpix was causing as he scrambled out of the den and into the open.

As Vulpix paced nervously around the bonfire's remains, the events of the previous day gradually came back to him. He finally calmed down just in time for Eevee to come out as well.

"Vulpix… are you okay?" she asked timidly.

"I'm fine," he replied stiffly, "just… a little… hungry…"

Eevee raised an eyebrow in suspicion. "I'm hungry, too… Let's go get some berries?"

"Alright, let's go," he replied. "We'll get a branch or two of berries and bring them back here to eat."

Vulpix and Eevee descended the steep hill down into the berry tree grove. Poor Eevee tripped just before reaching the flatter land and rolled into Vulpix, and the two tumbled head-on into a tree. Plump red berries rained down onto and around them from the treetops above as they tried to untangle themselves from each other.

"Watch where you're going!" Vulpix barked harshly after the clamor had died. Eevee withdrew into as tight a ball as she could, cringing and awaiting some kind of attack punishment. However, when she opened her eyes she saw Vulpix staring perplexedly at her.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"Aren't you going to attack me?"

"No… why would you think I would?"

Eevee looked away, seemingly in a sullen mood. "…no reason…"

Vulpix continued to stare, silently getting across the fact that they weren't going any further until she explained herself.

Eevee hung her head in defeat. "Alright, Vulpix, I'll tell you… but please, keep it a secret?"

Vulpix nodded, curious, but held a feeling of dread in his stomach.

The smaller fox-kitten sighed. "Back at my home, my brothers… My mother died saving me from a swarm of Beedrill. My brothers – Flareon, Umbreon, and Vaporeon – all hated me for causing her death.

"From that day on they hurt me, attacked me, a lot of the time for no reason at all. But sometimes when I did something bad, on accident or purpose, they'd burn me, or bite me, or claw me. I was always in pain…"

Vulpix looked off into the distance. "What they did wasn't right. Seems to me like something's mentally wrong with them. You didn't deserve any of that."

Eevee sobbed – a noise that initially startled Vulpix as he wasn't aware she was crying. "I tried to run away, but they'd always catch me. I thought I'd never get away."

Vulpix put a paw on Eevee's forehead, trying to comfort her in some way. She continued crying, though. "I was trying to get away when those humans caught me," she whimpered. "I tried so hard to get away… I thought they were helping my brothers."

"Something tells me they weren't," Vulpix said. "Humans tend to hunt us only to keep us as pets."

Eevee cuddled her face in Vulpix's shoulder, sobbing a little less than before and not speaking. Vulpix tried to wrap an arm around her neck but only really succeeded in wedging his paw between her shoulder blades. After a few minutes she was calm once again.

"Are you ready?" Vulpix asked. "We still need to get some berries. I'm starving, now."

Eevee giggled. "Me, too. Let's go!"

As they went from tree-to-tree examining the fallen branches for any good berries, Eevee quietly hummed songs. Vulpix found himself purring under his breath. For once, he felt… somewhat pleasant, instead of angrily violent. 'I wonder if this is what it feels like to have a friend…' he pondered, a small half-smile tugging at his lips. Apparently, though, his expression still appeared somber as it prompted Eevee to ask him if he was okay. "I'm fine," he replied quietly. "I'm just… thinking."

"About what?"

"My past… kinda…"

"What about it?" she asked again. Vulpix looked into her eyes. They were so bright, so vibrant, so… innocent.

'After all she's gone through, she still retains her childish innocence,' he remarked. 'I can't take that away from her. Though, she did witness her own mother's death… no. She will know only once she is ready.'

"I can't tell you. It's something… that I want only to forget."

Eevee's ears drooped in disappointment. "Ohhhhh… fine…"

Vulpix chuckled quietly. "Sorry. You really wanted to know something more about me, huh?"

Eevee nodded. "What about that mark on your paw?"

"This?" he asked, holding up his front-left paw to reveal a white star-shaped mark. "It's a scar I got when I was born. I was actually just thinking about how this scar came to be."

Eevee looked away, downcast. "I'm sorry…"

"Why?"

"You said you wanted to forget, and all I did was make you remember…"

He perked up a little, trying to make her absorb some happiness. "It's not your fault. I'll be fine, I promise."

She smiled a little. "Okay. Um, Vulpix?"

"Yes? What now?"

"Mother used to tell me that when I evolved, she'd have to give me a new nickname, because I wouldn't be her little Eevee anymore."

"So you want me to give you a nickname when you evolve, right?"

She blushed and looked away. "If you don't mind…"

"And am I to call you my little Eevee as well?" he teased.

She blushed even harder. Her heart was a thunderous drum in her throat and her mind screamed "YES! CALL ME YOUR LITTE EEVEE! I BEG OF YOU!"

"I-If you'd like…" She stuttered so nervously her teeth chattered.

"Very well then… my little Eevee," he said with a wink. "Let's go get some berries before everyone else does."

When he turned around she nearly died from happiness. Vulpix had gotten far enough from Eevee when he heard a whistling sound, as though something were falling from high in the sky. He turned his head upwards, trying to find the source, but saw nothing.

"VUUULLLL-PIIIIX!" Eevee suddenly shrieked. He quickly turned to see her cowering with her paws on her head. A Pidgeotto was bearing down on her from the rear, where Vulpix could not initially see.

Snarling furiously he sprinted to Eevee knowing that whoever reached her first would quickly have the decisive advantage. As he ran, the friction-heat in his fur grew so exponentially that his whole body was engulfed in flames. This was Flare Blitz, one of his fury-induced Fire-type moves. Most Trainers knew and feared the devastation typically associated with the move. However, these Pokemon did not belong to any Trainers. Vulpix was not indigent to the Forest, and for that matter, no Fire-type Pokemon lived in the Viridian Forest at all.

The Pidgeotto had no idea just how royally screwed it was.

Vulpix had built up enough momentum that he couldn't stop running at a moment's notice. "Eevee, MOVE!" he shrieked. The way he was running, he'd collide with her and she would take his raging flames, instead of the attacking Bird Pokemon.

At the very last second she jumped out of the way, leaving the two Pokemon to viciously collide head-on. Pidgeotto tried to raze Vulpix with its talons but the moment it came into the slightest contact with the fur it was instantly engulfed in fire and came to a rolling crash-landing, with Vulpix immediately continuing the assault mid-roll. Feathers flew as he bit and clawed into the Bird Pokemon. After moments, the match was claimed by the tiny fox – however, in his blind rage he couldn't stop attacking. Soon, small flecks of red started to appear all over the immediate area, and they were gradually increasing in size.

Eevee sat by, crying in horror at Vulpix's ferocity. She'd been continuously crying out to him to stop, that it had gone too far, but her soft, tiny voice just wasn't getting through to him. In a last-ditch attempt to stop him she drew in as much air as her lungs could hold and forced it all back out with all her seemingly limited might.

The resounding screech (STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!) was so high-pitched and surprisingly loud it shook trees and rumbled in the ground all the way to Pewter City. When the sound blast his Vulpix it knocked him off of his feet and had enough force left over to slam him into a tree, knocking him out. Eevee started to run towards him and noticed a couple of Pidgeotto circling overhead. They swooped down and began to pick up their compatriot.

"Sorry about Edwin, here," one said. "Sometimes he makes himself believe he's the very best fighter ever, and goes on a bit of a rampage. But now, looking like this, I doubt he'll go after you two again."

Eevee said nothing, and only cautiously watched them carry away the critically injured bird. After they had disappointed from sight she rushed to his side.

"Vulpix? Vulpix?!" she sobbed, poking, licking, or nipping his ears, face, or paws. He still had a heartbeat, though, so she knew he must've just been fainted. She decided to do something productive while he was out, and gathered a heaping pile of berries onto some branches and left them within their sight. She returned to his side and started to lay down beside him when she cringed at the sight of all the blood on his muzzle and claws. Delicately, she licked her paw and wiped at the stained areas until the blood was as gone as she could get it. After that, he still had not awoken, so she curled up behind him and went to sleep.