Here for You
"What's in it?" Howard asked as his eyes traced the pokéball in his hand. The pokéball was painted a shiny silver and it looked like it was brand new even the copper crank on the top was shiny. Howard's mother gave a soft laugh while his father chuckled.
"Open it and see Howie." Howard grinned and twisted the crank until there was a soft click and the pokéball popped open.
There was a soft flash of light as the pokėmon inside was released. The pokėmon was small and brown with big brown eyes and six curly red tails. It was a Vulpix, a male Vulpix to be precise. Howard smiled. While Vulpix weren't the rarest of pokėmon most trainers (other than girls) wouldn't catch them because they needed a Fire Stone to evolve and evolution stones of any kind were expensive.
Not that that really mattered to him because when he turned eighteen he'd be given a Fire Stone so he could evolve his pokėmon into its next form. He still had to train hard of course because if he didn't he wouldn't get the needed stone and if his eighteenth birthday rolled around and his Vulpix was too week he'd have to find a way to get a Fire Stone himself. An evolution stone was only given if both trainer and pokėmon had earned it. It was a Stark family tradition after all.
His father had trained his Eevee until it was ready to evolve and when the time had come he'd chosen a Thunder Stone to evolve it into a Jolteon and his grandfather had raised a Shellder and evolved it into a Cloyster and now he would raise his Vulpix and evolve it into a Ninetales when it was ready. And when he had a child they'd do the same. Howard's father scratched his Jolteon, Nicolas, behind one of his long yellow ears and leaned forward in his chair as if to get a better look at his son and his new pokėmon.
"What are you going to name him Howie?" his father asked. Howard chewed on his lip for a moment before he pulled his new pokėmon in his arms and sat him down on his lap.
"Felix. His name is Felix." From his place in Howard's arms Felix turned and licked his trainer's cheek.
Howard fought back a wave of giddy laughter as Felix slammed into his opponents little Oddish with a Quick Attack. The grass type had never stood a chance against his pokėmon especially considering it had been badly burned at the beginning of the battle. The girl on the other side of the battle field sniffled and began to cry as she called her pokėmon back into its pokéball.
Howard 'whooped' and jumped into the air before he swung Felix up into his arms and hugged him. The little fox barked and wigged in Howard's arms before the pair made their way off of the battlefield so that the next battle could begin. They'd been battling together for almost three years at this point and they had the ribbons and trophy's to prove how good the two of them worked together.
His father had smiled the last time he'd bought home a ribbon for winning the almost weekly tournaments that the higher class families and various boarding schools held. Between the two there was almost always a way to battle and get stronger. It didn't hurt that his father had promised him a Fire Stone when Felix learned his final move.
A Fire Stone to evolve Felix was the ultimate form of acceptance. A Fire Stone meant that he was ready to take on more of the responsibilities that came with being a Stark. That he wasn't a child anymore and didn't need to be treated like one. A large grin split Howard's face at the mere thought of it.
"We'll be the best Felix. No one will be able to beat us if we train hard enough and when the time comes the whole world will know our names." Felix barked and wagged his tails in agreement. There was nothing that the two of them wouldn't be able to do if they tried hard and worked for it. Howard was a genius after all. Turning his eyes back towards the battlefield Howard could hold back his snort of amusement. Howard scowled as he watched a pale blonde haired boy release a Meowth onto the battlefield
"Look Felix there goes Hammer and his snooty little Meowth. I'll bet they think they can win this time." Felix snorted a wisp of flame before he growled at the person and pokėmon preparing to battle. If the two of them thought they were going to win then they were sadly mistaken.
Felix yawned as he watched the human dance and talk to each other. He understood Gala's to an extent. He understood why they were so important and why his trainer needed to be at them. What he didn't understand was why he needed to be at them too. Sure it looked good if a trainer had their pokėmon with them but it annoyed Felix to no end.
There wasn't really anything to do other than eat and talk to the other pokėmon at the party. It might have helped if he could stand any of the other pokėmon that were there. The pokėmon that belonged to his human's parents were nice to talk to but they were walking around the room and talking to the pokėmon that belonged to their guests. Felix knew that he was expected to make an appearance with Howard eventually but his trainer was too busy dancing with pretty girls to do any talking at the moment.
Felix sighed and fought the urge to scratch at a sudden itch behind one of his ears. Abigail, Howard's mother's Furret, had told him it was rude to scratch in public and when he hadn't listened she's struck him over the head with her tail. He'd learned all the rules to being a high society pokėmon that way. Nicolas had only laughed and told him to lean fast when he'd gone to the Jolteon to complain.
"I think our trainers are dancing." The sudden sound of a soft voice caused Felix to jump. Grinding his teeth Felix turned to shout at the pokėmon that had snuck up on him only to be struck dumb by what he saw. It was another Vulpix but unlike him this one had fur that shone like spun gold. She was the prettiest thing that he had ever seen. Felix blinked and it took a moment for him to remember his manners and reply.
"Are they? I wasn't really paying attention." Felix admitted with a wince. The female Vulpix simply giggled and held out a single dainty paw for him to shake.
"I'm Sophia." Even her name was pretty.
"F-felix. My human named me Felix." Sophia giggled again and Felix found that it was pleasing too. Everything about the Vulpix in front of him was pleasing and he couldn't help but wonder if she had a mate because if she didn't he would very much like the chance to try and win her affections.
Howard let out a tired sigh and picked up the small wooden box that was sitting on the table in front of him. He knew what was in the box, had known what his first present was going to be since he was ten and had received his first pokėmon. It was with shaking fingers that Howard picked the box up off of the table and pushed the lid back. Sitting on a soft cushion was a Fire Stone. A Fire Stone to evolve Felix into a Ninetales with. Felix whined low in his throat from his place on the couch next to his trainer. The little fox's ears were drooping and his tails lay still against the soft fabric beneath his feet.
"Mom and dad should be here for this." Howards said as he ran a finger over the smooth surface of the stone he had just pulled from the box. "They should have been here to see you evolve and too tell us how proud they are." That was the problem of course. Neither of Howard's parents was there to see their son become a true Stark and they would never be there. Howard lurched to his feet and with a frustrated scream threw the Fire Stone across the room.
He didn't pay any attention to where the stone landed he simply buried his face in his hands, sat back down on the couch, and began to cry. His parents were gone. They'd been taken by some thugs who'd wanted their money and his mother's jewelry. Not even their pokėmon had been spared. Shoulders shaking Howard cried for the loss of his family. Felix whined from his place on the couch his gaze shifting from his trainer to the stone that lay glittering in the room's soft light. When nudging Howard in the side didn't get the man's attention Felix jumped down from the couch and made his way towards the stone.
The Vulpix knew what the stone was and he knew what it would do to him if he chose to go too near it. Pokémon that evolved were stronger and more capable of taking care of their trainers. They were better protectors and his human needed his protection now more than ever. Felix felt no regret as he walked over to the Fire Stone and picked it up in his mouth. A soft yellow glow overtook his body as he walked back across the room.
He paused only long enough to place a clear and now useless stone on the table before making his way over to his trainer. Placing his front paws on Howards knee's Felix pressed his head between Howard's arms and licked his face. Howard didn't say a word as he wrapped his arms around his companion and cried into the now cream colored fur.
Felix made sure to keep his footsteps in time with Howards as they made their way towards the stage. It wasn't an easy task to accomplish however. There was far too much going on around them for him to be able to concentrate fully on the show they were about to give. He had a responsibly to his trainer however and Felix was going to do the best he could to make Howard look good. It was after all their last performance until the war ended. After tonight they'd be working with the Scientific Strategic Reserve on a project to make the perfect soldier. They'd met the man running the project the week before The World's Fair at an engineering conference for the SSR.
Dr. Erskine was a kind hearted older man with a mind to rival that of his Alakazam Simon. It would be interesting working with the pair of them. Now all they had to do was get through the events taking place tonight and they'd be free to go and help in the war. Well to be fair Howard would be helping more than he would but Felix supposed that it was the thought and support given that really counted in things like this.
The two of them would do whatever they could to help the humans and pokėmon that were fighting in the war. If this meant that they spent most of their time building better weapons and tearing apart whatever machines that were brought to them then so be it. Howard's hand in the ruff of fur on the top of his head stopped Felix's movements the second it was there. Felix looked towards his trainer as the man bent down to his level.
"Are you ready for this Felix?" Howard asked his voice smooth and well trained. Felix nodded and received a smile in return. "Okay then. Let's go show the starving masses the wonders of the future." With that said the pair climbed up onto the stage.
The room around him was noisy and full of people rushing from one thing to another. It was to be expected of course because today they would make history. Today they would be making the perfect soldier. Felix shifted slightly from where he sat watching the other occupants of the room. He and Simon were to only pokėmon out of their pokéballs at the moment. Simon because he was helping and Felix because he'd promised Howard he'd stay out of the way.
That was fine. There was nothing he could do to help his trainer at the moment. It might have been different if he'd had hands but he didn't. So for now he was going to sit by the wall and watch the goings on around him. Several minutes later when most of the humans were starting to get antsy Peggy Carter walked into the room with her Taillow Maeve perched on her shoulder. They were followed closely by a small and skinny blond boy with a Growlithe trotting at his heals.
Felix was too far away and the machines around him to noisy to make out all of what they were saying but he managed to catch enough to know that the skinny little blonde was going to be their first try. There was a moment of commotion as the blonde's Growlithe was pointed his way and it took the threat of his pokéball to get the tiger striped dog to move out of the way. The Growlithe slunk his way with his tail puffed up and harsh growls tearing from his throat.
"He's going to get himself killed." The dog growled as he sat down. Felix couldn't help but laugh at the smaller fire type.
"Don't worry so much. They won't let anything happen to your human." Felix reassured. The Growlithe snorted and turned his attention from his human to Felix himself.
"Who are you?" the puppy asked.
"Felix. I belong to Howard Stark. And you are?" Felix asked after he'd introduced himself.
"Sunny. The little fool on the table is my trainer Steve Rogers." Sunny's voice was full of affection and worry when he spoke so Felix doubted that the insult about his trainer was truly meant. Felix nodded his head in greeting however and offered Sunny one of his paws. The Growlithe blinked at it for a moment for he sat his own paw on top of Felix's and the pair shook.
"It's wonderful to meet you Sunny. If all goes well today I hope we can become friends." Sunny nodded but didn't reply. The room had just gone very quiet and all the people from earlier were off of the main floor. They were about to begin.
Felix yawned and stretched himself out on along the floor of Howard's workspace. His human was working on something small and had no real need of him for anything other than company. It was raining outside again so Felix was more than happy to hide himself away for the day and keep his human company. Things had been going well for them so far while they were in the field with Phillips. There was a small part of Felix that was still sad for the loss of Dr. Erskine however but there was nothing that he could do about that anymore. The assassin had done his job and Simon had been given back to the good doctor's wife.
The supersoldier project had been a complete success with Sunny's human and while there would be no others some instinctive part of Felix knew that it was for the best. Steve and Sunny were off touring the US selling war bonds with Liberty, the nation's symbol. Felix had heard that the Braviary was actually very badly tempered and he hoped that Sunny got the chance to scorch a few of the bird's tail feathers.
Felix yawned again and began to move about the room. They'd be going to Italy soon and if the weather there wasn't more pleasant he was going to follow Valor, Phillips' Stoutland, around and complain to the old dog. It'd be worth the chewing out that he'd get if it meant he wasn't the only one suffering for a while.
Felix growled low in his throat from his place besides the table Howard was using. His human had gone on an adventure and left him behind and in his pokéball so nothing would happen to him. While he was touched that Howard had been worried about his safety he was also mad enough to spit flames. They were supposed to do things like that together! He couldn't protect his trainer if he wasn't there! So, yes he was sulking and with good reason. As if sensing his mood Howard turned from his work and looked down at him.
"Look Felix I won't apologize for leaving you but how about I make it up to you?" Felix narrowed his eyes at his trainer. He knew the man wouldn't apologize and he understood why but that didn't stop him from being mad.
"Look I'm going to need to use the forge for something and I'd love your help." Felix's ears perked at that. He loved it when Howard worked in the forge because he always got to help with whatever his human was making. It also helped that Howard didn't do things like this very often.
The last time they'd been in a forge of any sort had been almost a year before when they hadn't been able to use any of the machines that were supposed to make or help make the item that they had needed. Felix barked in joy and Howard grinned as he began walking out of his workshop.
"I knew that'd fix things between us." Howard said with a smile. "Carter tells me that Rogers is very fond of his shield and the one he took with him on his little rescue mission won't hold up too much abuse. And while I've drawn up plenty of designs there's one that I want to make myself. It's not very often that we get to play with something as rare as Vibranium after all." Felix barked again and spat a wisp of flame as he ran ahead of his trainer. If they were going to do this then he wanted to get started right away.
Felix watched from his place by the table as one by one the figures representing the Hydra bases were taken away. Slowly but surely the Howling Commandos were making sure that Hydra wouldn't succeed in whatever it was that they were trying to achieve. The shield that he'd helped Howard forge that night months ago was holding up beautifully and had taken down many a foe on the battlefield. Now however wasn't the time to focus on the shield or its owner but on other things that were just as (if not more) important.
Now was the chance to spend a few moments with Sunny and the others before they were sent off on their next mission. Turning away from the table and the various people and pokėmon that surrounded it Felix made his way out of one room and into another. The room he entered was full of pokėmon. The pokėmon belonging to the Howling Commandos themselves to be more specific.
"Join us, Felix." Sunny barked from where he was sitting next to Scrapper, Bucky's Houndoom. Felix bared his shot fangs in a smile as he moved further into the room.
"I planned on it. I want to hear about your last adventure because Howard's a cruel human and never lets me go out with him." There was laughter at Felix's complaining. It was all well-meant of course.
Felix never saw any action because Howard never saw any action. Always eager to tell a tale Elizabeth, Falsworth's Nidoqueen, launched into the story of how they'd taken the last Hydra base. Despite having been there all the other pokėmon quieted down to listen to Elizabeth tell her story only interrupting to correct a fact to share a different view. Felix let out a soft sigh as he sat with his friends a soft smile making its way across his features. While a part of him wanted to be out on the front lines with them he wouldn't miss moments like this for the world.
Bucky was gone and he'd taken Scrapper and Jenny with him. The room around Felix was quite where the last time he'd been there it had been full of noise. Now there was sorrow instead of joy. Sunny and all the others were curled around one another in a pile. The misery filling the room was so thick that Felix could have chocked on it if it had had any other form. The others glanced up at him as he made his way into the room and moved enough for him to join their group.
"I'm so very sorry." Felix said as he lay next to the whimpering Growlithe. Domitian, Peggy's Rapidash, lay on the puppy's other side offering him what comfort he could just like her trainer was trying to do for Steve.
"One minute they were there and the next they were gone Felix. How could we let that happen?" Sunny whined and buried his muzzle under his front paws. Shifting slightly Felix turned so the he could see where Liberty was perched next to Maeve and Noriko, Jim's Altaria. The prideful bird's head was hung low and he was refusing to look in Sunny's direction as if shamed. He'd heard that Liberty had tried to catch the soldier but had been stopped and held until there was nothing he could do.
It might have made a difference if Jenny had been able to help but the Fearow had been badly injured in their last battle and had been confined to her pokéball when they were out in the field. Felix sighed. He hadn't known Scrapper, Jenny, or Bucky as well as any of the others had but they'd still been friends. They'd still joked and bickered like their trainers had.
"Loss is simply a part of life Sunny. It comes and goes as it pleases and doesn't care who it leaves behind to suffer after." Domitian lifted his head and looked in his direction. When he spoke his voice was both sad and understanding.
"You've lost someone too haven't you?"
Felix nodded even though he doubted many of the others saw him. If telling his tale of loss would help then he would tell it. "I was still a Vulpix when I met my Sophie. She was a Vulpix like me but unlike me she had the most beautiful golden fur I had ever seen…"
Felix sat as still as if he'd been turned to stone. The news he'd just received had shaken both him and his trainer down to the core. Steve was gone. The soldier had been swallowed up by the cold waters of the Artic. Gone like Bucky and Scrapper and so many others were gone and they were never going to come back. The only good news about his death was that he hadn't taken Sunny and Liberty with him. It was a selfish though but Felix wasn't sure what he'd have done if Steve's pokėmon had been taken with him. Felix shuddered at the mere thought.
The last thing he wanted was to lose more friends to Hydra and now he wouldn't. All they'd had to pay for that freedom was one of the best men that Felix had ever known. Turning Felix shoved his head into Howard's lap and whined low in his throat. It took a moment for his human to respond but when he did he let go of his own dark hair and buried his fingers into Felix's fur. There were tears in his brown eyes that threatened to fall at any given moment.
Leaning forward Felix ran his tongue over his trainers face licking the salty drops away before they had a chance to fall. They had survived the loss of Howard's parents and their pokėmon and as painful as it was they would survive this too. All of them would. They just had to keep moving forward for as long as they were able. That didn't however mean that they didn't have time to grieve for their lost friend.
With a soft sigh Felix pulled his head back so that he was tugging Howard out of his seat. The man came willingly enough though he seemed to be in shock. That was fine because they'd just received bad news. They needed to be ready however because their friends would need them more than ever when they got back to headquarters and Felix intended for both of them to be there waiting for their return.
The Arctic air was cold on Felix's tongue as he took a deep breath. It was also fairly refreshing in its own way. Not that the cold bothered either him or Sunny where they sat looking out over the water. They were the only one out on the deck if you ignored the occasional human and the water types that had been let loose in the sea below. They'd only just started looking for the plane that Steve had gone down in and all of them hoped that they would find it.
Some were hoping that the supersoldier had survived in some way. Others, like him and Sunny, were just hoping for a body to burry and for the closure that the action would bring. It was only right after all that Steve get to rest in the country he'd given everything for.
"What are the chances of us finding Steve, Felix?" Sunny asked as he looked down at the cold waters. The Growlithe's voice was low and somber. Sunny hadn't sounded happy once since his trainer had disappeared into the ocean and Felix found that he couldn't blame him. Sunny would take his time in mourning and when he was finished things would get better. Felix pawed at the deck below his paws and thought on Sunny's question for a moment.
"Howard seems to think that we'll find him. He said that it may take a few years but he seemed confident when he told the others his plans." At least his human had no illusions on how hard it would be to find their friend. The ocean was a big place and there was a chance that they'd never be able to find Steve even with the hundred or so water and ice types they had helping them.
"What if we never find him?" Sunny asked as he pulled away from the edge he'd been looking over and turned so that he was looking Felix in the eye.
"We'll look as long as we're able Sunny and even if we never find him then at least we can say we tried."
Howard was yelling again. Then again Howard spent a lot of time yelling now that the SSR was forcing him to limit the time that they spent looking for Steve. In the five years that they'd been looking they'd found nothing but the Tesseract.
People were starting to claim that they were on a wild goose chase and some small part of Felix was starting to agree. He wasn't going to give up hope when it came to finding Steve, he'd promised Sunny that he'd keep looking when the Growlithe had no longer been able to stand looking, and he intended to keep looking for as long as they were able.
The search however had come to a standstill and Howard was becoming more and more obsessed with looking as time went by. His human was forgetting to live his life and that wasn't good. So if cutting down the time they looked for Steve meant that Howard lived his life then he was all for it. His human seemed to be forgetting that he had other responsibilities. He had a company to run and it was time that he did his job.
Howard needed the push being given so that he'd move forward with his life and not linger. Lingering in the past never did anyone any good. He'd made a promise to himself when Howard's parents had died and he was going to keep it. Felix refused to let Howard become a ghost living in the past. Howard needed to move forward and Felix was going to make sure that his human did it no matter what it took.
Maria Carbonell was a quiet dark haired woman who had worked as a secretary at one of the many companies that Felix and Howard had visited after they'd stopped spending so much time in the Arctic. It didn't hurt that she was almost fifteen years younger than his trainer. The lovely little Italian woman had caught his trainer's eye and managed to keep it with an ease that was almost scary.
Maria was smart, enjoyed fine wine, charities, and was more than willing to put up with his trainer when he was being a fool and not listening to common sense or to anyone else whom he deemed unimportant whenever he was busy. The fact that she had a Cinccino that was very well trained didn't hurt either. Maria didn't battle often, neither did Howard to tell the truth, but she was more than willing to let Ernesto beat an opponent into the dirt if the two of them were underestimated. Both he and Ernesto had to agree that their humans were good for each other in more ways than one.
It helped that Maria was able to help him keep Howard's mind away from the Arctic ice and what lay hidden there somewhere. Felix would take what he could get when it came to keeping his trainer in the here and now and away from his never ending search for Steve. The more help he had in doing so the merrier. Grinning to himself as he watched his trainer ramble one to Maria Felix turned his attention to Ernesto.
The Cinccino was sitting on a nearby bench and running his paws through the fur on one of his tails trying to work out a small knot without pulling the hair out. Felix knew what that felt like and more often than not it was easier to just pull out the fur than try and get it untangled. It'd grow back eventually and no one would notice but for the sake of their trainers he was more than willing to try and help the other pokėmon.
Felix went slightly cross-eyed while trying to look at the flower petal that had landed on his snout. The day was warm and bright and the humans were off to one side of the venue making fools of themselves while drinking fine wine and expensive beer. Weddings were always a cause to celebrate and while he was overjoyed that Howard had in fact married Maria he was tired of walking around and playing host. Ernesto could take care of it for a bit while he took a break.
The Cinccino loved to talk and would talk to anything that was still for more than a few seconds. No all Felix wanted to do was go and join Sunny and the others where they were gathered on the other side of the lawn being rowdy and having fun. It was great that Maria had been thoughtful enough to invite as many of Howards friends as possible.
That meant that Peggy and most of the members of the Howling Commando's and several people from the SSR had been invited. They'd also brought their pokėmon and it was so good to see all of his friends again that Felix had almost forgotten his duties as one of the host's pokėmon. It didn't take long for one of the other pokėmon to see him and wave him over. At the movement Sunny turned in his direction.
"Felix, get over here." Sunny called as his tail wagged. Throwing a look over his shoulder to be sure that no one was looking his way Felix darted across the open space that separated him from the others and hit Lizzie with a halfhearted tackle before leaning over to tug at one of Sunny's ears. Felix would take whatever time Arceus would give him with his friends.
He didn't get to see them often enough as it was and rolling around in the grass with them was much more fun than playing host to a bunch of stuck up pokėmon that only cared about how well off his trainer was and his breeding. Felix would take the rough and tumble band of vagabonds any day over the well breeds he had to put up with for Howard.
Felix sat as still as possible while one of the makeup artists ran a brush through his fur. The fox was certain that by the time she was finished he'd glow under the stage lights as he opened The Stark Expo with Howard. They'd spent the last six months getting the expo ready and it was quite a feat if Felix cared to admit it. People from all over the world gathered into one place to show off their inventions and talk about their various areas of science.
And they were all of them trying to make the world a better place for both people and pokėmon. It was a wonder to see and Felix was more than happy to be a part of it. Howard had been so active the past months that Felix found himself worrying less.
The Expo had given his human something to focus his intellect and time on. It was the type of busy that was good for Howard. Plus all the work made his human happy and that was all that really mattered. A sharp rap on the door caused the woman's hands to still and the brush was taken away. There was a split second of quiet before the door opened and one of Howard's assistants poked her head into the room.
"It's just about time Mr. Stark. We need you and Felix backstage." Howard nodded as he stud.
"Of course we'll be there in just a moment." Howard said as he straightened his suit and made his way towards the door. Felix fell into step with his trainer as the exited the room and began making their way towards the stage.
"We're one step closer to the future Felix and if this doesn't help give the world a big push forward then nothing will." Felix barked in agreement. It was time to help the world move forward and he and Howard would be the ones to do it. There wasn't anything that they couldn't do so long as they stuck together.
Obadiah Stane was a big man with dark hair and sharp eyes. He was also a ruthless businessman who let nothing get in the way of making a deal and that made him the ideal partner to help Howard run Stark Industries. Even the man's pokėmon were big and intimidating at first glance. Get them all outside of the office and relaxed however and they were actually quite pleasant to be around. Obadiah had a morbid sense of humor but he was always ready to reply to a joke with something even funnier and he knew his alcohol.
His pokėmon for all their size weren't as mean as they'd seemed when Felix had first met them. Felix's wariness might have had something to do with the fact that he didn't have a type advantage over any of the other man's pokėmon. Liborio, a Blastoise, seemed to spend most of his time off in another world but had a bit of a temper if startled out of his deep thoughts.
The giant turtle was a deep thinker if there ever was one. Capone the Magmar was a fast thinker and loved a good gamble more than anything. He was quite fun to fight with whenever the chance was there and he and Felix found he quite liked the challenge Capone presented. Angelo on the other hand was quite the brute.
To be fair to the other pokėmon however Machoke were known for their brawn and not their brains. Angelo was a perfect example of this because he was all brawn and very little brain. If it wasn't a battle then he was extremely slow to understand anything. All in all there was nothing wrong with Obadiah and his team though they weren't as close as most people and pokėmon tended to be after years of being together.
That however wasn't something that Felix had any right to judge them for because he and Howard had drifted some when his human had been so obsessed with finding Steve Rogers. He would save his final judgment for when he knew the human and his pokėmon better. It was only fair after all.
Felix's ears twitched as he listened to Howard speak with a Russian man by the name of Anton Vanko. The dark haired man had defected from Russia months before and Howard had been quick to contact the man upon hearing of his defection. Now they were sitting in Howard's workshop talking about a source of energy that they called an Arc Reactor. While Felix didn't know what it truly was he did know that it was inspired by the energy given off by the Tesseract.
That however wasn't something that interested Felix at the moment. What interested Felix was the fact that Vanko had a man-made pokėmon. Felix had herd of Magnemite and its evolution Magneton but he'd never actually managed to see one until now. Said pokėmon was floating around the room looking at anything that crossed its gaze.
"He's still very simple." A deep voice said as Felix was joined by Vanko's other pokėmon. Felix turned to look at Mikhail giving the Electabuzz his attention.
"He may be simple but I've never seen anything like him. Howard doesn't seem very interested in man-made pokėmon."
Mikhail snorted. "He had good reason to ignore them. They are little more than machines for now. They answer to the name given to them and they can attack and defend and evolve but they are still very far away from being true beings." Felix nodded in understanding.
"Maybe in time as things progress they'll become something more. One must have a goal in life after all." Felix replied. A sharp buzz followed by the sound of breaking glass caused both Felix and Mikhail to wince. Alferov, the Magneton, had knocked a set of beakers off of the table and onto the floor. The glass glittered in the light and for half a second it was more beautiful than dangerous.
"But yes he is simple." Mikhail snorted before reaching over to slap Felix on the back.
"I like you friend. We shall get along very well I think. Now what do you say we go and stop Alferov before he breaks something more important than glass jars?" Felix simply nodded as he climbed to his feet.
Felix watched as Howard's eyes flicked over the pieces of paper in his hand. Every fifteen seconds or so his eyes would go from the paper to the man standing in front of his desk.
"You were in the army?" Howard asked as he flipped through the information in front of him.
"Yes, Sir, I served as an RAF pilot during the second world war." The man that answered wasn't the tallest of men but he had a good build and intelligent eyes. He also spoke with an accent that pointed to a life growing up on the streets of Britain.
"If you were a pilot then why on earth are you trying for a position on my household staff?" The man blinked once and his fingers twitched as if to reach out for something. Whatever that something was however Felix never found out.
"I suffered a wound to my leg a year or so ago and was honorably discharged. This seemed like as good a job as any other."
Howard tilted his head back and laughed. "A job is a job I suppose. It says here that you have two pokėmon."
"Yes, there's Melissa my Manectric and Lexington my Breloom." The man said as he tapped each of the pokéballs containing said pokėmon once. Felix watched as Howard read through a few more pages of the man's resume before he stood from his seat and held out his hand out over his desk.
"Just so you're aware you'll report more to my wife than to me. She's the one that oversees the house and it's best not to make her mad." Howard paused for a second his eyes glancing down at the paper before he looked back up and asked: "Is there anything you prefer to be called?" The man offered Howard a small smile in return as they shook hands.
"Jarvis will do just fine thank you."
Felix growled and launched a Flamethrower at the sharply buzzing form above his head. The magnets that attached to all three of Alferov's body spheres shook and sparked as he readied his attack. There was a split second of silence before a loud crack filled the air. Felix squealed as his right hind leg went numb. Some small part of Felix felt he deserved the attack from the other pokėmon. He'd made friends with Alferov and Mikhail over the years that they had been working with him and Howard and now they were helping to deport them back to the Soviet Union. It couldn't be helped however because Anton had been spying on them all for years and that was something that couldn't be easily forgiven.
So now he was fighting against Alferov while others fought against Mikhail. Alferov buzzed and launched another attack in Felix's direction. Felix cringed as he lunged out of the way. Taking a deep breath Felix belted out a roar that caused the other pokėmon to flinch and pull back. Taking that time that had been given to him Felix closed his eyes and stood as straight as his numb leg would allow.
When he opened his eyes again they were glowing a deep red and every single one of his tails was standing straight. There was a moment of silence before the roar of flames filled the air. The five pronged fire blast slammed into his opponent before Alferov had the chance to doge. The man-made pokėmon hit the ground with a sharp clang. Felix stood still for a moment before he limped his way towards the other pokėmon. His back leg was still numb and it was awkward moving on it.
"I would not do that friend." Felix jerked to a stop and spun around his right leg going out from under him for a moment before he was able to get it back underneath him. Mikhail stood tall and bloody in the doorway that led into the room where he had been battling the pokėmon that belonged to the agents that were there to deport Anton. Mikhail's tail swished back and forth behind him and electricity jumped back and forth between the conductors on top of his head.
"Mikhail please stop this. There's no need for us to fight. Come peacefully and maybe they'll let you and Alferov stay with Anton when they send him back." Mikhail snorted and growled low.
"They will not let us stay with him any more than you could stay with your trainer if he committed a crime against his country. There is nothing more to do here than to make the ones separating us suffer and more than any of them you deserve to suffer Felix." Mikhail spark, a spark of electricity arced into the air causing the lights to flicker for several seconds.
"You and your trainer betrayed us and now you will suffer as I will." Felix tensed. He didn't want to do this but he didn't have a choice. Felix wasn't going to let the Electabuzz hurt anyone else and there was no doubt in Felix's mind that Mikhail would start going after humans once all of the pokėmon were out of the way. Felix snarled and a jet of flame licked the air in front of him. He wasn't going to let Mikhail anywhere near Howard.
The cold bit into Felix's nose as he watched the grey skies above his head. They were back in the Arctic again. It was the first time that Howard had planned a trip that was more than two months long since his trainer married Maria. This trip was going to last four months if everything went well.
Something told Felix that they'd be here longer than four months. Howard was slipping into the past again and Vanko's recent betrayal hadn't helped to keep his human in the present where he belonged.
Maybe it was the fact that a spy had gotten so close to him that had driven his human back to his search for Steve. Felix's leg twinged in pain at the thought of the man and his pokėmon. Mikhail had broken the bone in the leg that Alferov had paralyzed and even now that it had healed completely it still hurt. The cold probably wasn't helping but Felix found that he didn't want to go back inside quite yet.
The sailors had been asking questions about Captain America and Howard was telling them stories and drinking more with each one. A bitter feeling swelled in Felix's chest at the thought of his human's tales. When Howard talked about Steve Rogers the man could do no wrong.
All of Steve's faults (as few as they had been) vanished as if they had never been and he went from being a human with a good heart to the panicle of human perfection in every single way. Some part of Felix thought that Sunny would have hated the way Howard told stories about his trainer. Felix knew that he hated it.
A baby. Maria had had her baby and now there was nothing for them to do but wait for a nurse to bring Howard's kit into Maria's so that they could see him. They'd been away on business when Jarvis had called with the news. Howard hadn't been back to the Artic since Maria had told him she was pregnant five months before. The man they'd been meeting with (whose name Felix couldn't remember) had been more than willing to reschedule their meeting so that they could leave and now hours later they were sitting in the hospital and waiting a nurse to bring the baby.
"Give them a minute dear," Maria said from her bed, "They have to get everything filed away and Tony clean before they bring him in." Howard grumbled slightly in agreement but didn't stop tapping his foot against the floor.
Ernesto sat at the end of Maria's bed with his tails wrapped around Maria's feet even though they were covered by a blanket. It was a habit that had started when they'd began getting cold even though she had them covered and was wearing socks. A soft knock heralded the nurse's arrival with the baby. The woman gave the rooms occupants a smile as she made her way over to Howard. She was carrying a bundle wrapped in a blue blanket.
"Would you like to hold your son Mr. Stark?" The nurse asked. Howard didn't say a word to the nurse is response. He simply held out his arms and waited as the woman gave him his child and fixed his hold. After the baby had been transferred from one person to the next the nurse moved to check on Maria and left Howard alone with the baby and Felix. Felix shifted his attention from the nurse back to Howard and his son. He watched as his trainer took in the reality of the child in his arms before bracing a paw on Howard's chair so that he could look as well.
The sight of the dark haired little human had him giving his trainer a smile before he leaned down to touch his nose against one of the baby's cheeks. If this wasn't a good reason for Howard to stay where he was then Felix didn't know what was.
A gentle tugging caused Felix to raise his head from his paws and glance backwards. Tony was pulling on two of his tails. The ten month old had his little fists wrapped tight around his creamy fur and was tugging with everything he had. Ernesto had growled and nipped the boy the first time he'd pulled the Cinccino's tail. It was a gross overreaction as far as Felix was concerned.
He didn't mind when Tony tugged on his tails and he had six more than the little chinchilla. He though it was cute that Tony loved playing with his tails so much. He could entertain the pup for hours by simply letting Tony crawl after his tails. Tony could pull on his tails as much as he wanted too. It didn't bother Felix at all. Tony was far too small to hurt him and when the child was old enough to pull hard enough to hurt he'd fix it then. For now he was content to let Tony tug on his tails to his heart's content.
Felix gave the child a foxy grin before placing his head back on his front paws. Felix's ears swiveled to the doorway as light footsteps echoed down the hall. A few seconds later a Plusle that belonged to a maid darted in front of the door carrying a bottle of cleaning solution. The Plusle was followed soon after by Lexington. The Breloom looked highly annoyed.
"Having trouble with him again Lex?" Felix asked as the other pokėmon stepped into the room (likely to ask if he or Tony needed anything). Lexington snorted and crossed his arms over his chest.
"That little ruffian and his sister broke a vase yesterday and I refuse to let them cause any more trouble. I've been ordered to follow him around while Melissa follows his sister. Hopefully between the two of us we can get the point across." Felix chuckled.
"I think having the two of you following them around should do the job well. I'm fine here with Tony Lex. Get back to work before you get in trouble." Lexington nodded his head before he turned and ran down the hall.
Felix could hear the other pokėmon muttering about "ruffians" and their "shenanigans" as he went. Felix chuckled and turned to look at Tony again when a tug one that was much sharper than the last and got one of the biggest surprises ever. Tony had used the tails he'd been pulling on to pull himself to his feet and was just barely managing to take small shuffling steps forward. It wasn't much at all but Tony was walking and something in Felix was felt more honored at seeing the child take his first steps than anything else he'd ever seen.
Howard was babbling to himself while he looked over the base of what was to be the layout for that years Stark Expo. The theme was City of the Future and Howard was obsessing over it in a way that he'd only ever obsessed over finding Steve. Felix gave a soft sigh as he watched Howard take a drink of Whiskey straight from the bottle. Howard was drinking more and more and spending less time at home.
Not that his human had spent much time at home to begin with but now he was almost never there. If he wasn't working then he was off looking for Steve and there was nothing Felix could do that would make it change. He'd tried to keep Howard home the last time he'd planned on leaving and his human had simply locked him inside of him ball and left him. Jarvis had let him out the next day.
The man had been horrified that Howard would leave him behind when he was going to be gone for months. Felix, himself, had been more heartbroken than he cared to admit when he'd realized that Howard had left him behind. Instead of moping however he'd gone and spent time with Tony and the three year old had been more than happy to have him to play with in addition to Lexington and Marissa. Now however Howard was home and Felix was more than determined to try and spend some time with his trainer. Sadly it wasn't working out quite like he had hoped it would. Howard had been spending entire days in his workshop agonizing over the model sitting on his table.
"This needs to go here and this here." Felix listened to Howard talk to himself and shook his head. It was almost like he wasn't even there anymore. In the past Howard had always talked to him when he needed to figure something out but now there was nothing. Now Howard didn't even acknowledge him anymore. Felix watched as his human paced back and forth making agitated noises. When he finally stopped Felix stood and moved over to his side touching the man's hand with his nose. Howard jumped and his head jerked as he looked down. His mouth was drawn into a hard line and there was rage in the set of his shoulders.
"Get out!" Howard yelled. "Out now Felix! Can't you see that I'm busy?" Felix cringed at the harsh edge in Howard's voice before following the man's command. It didn't matter that he didn't want to. Didn't matter that every part of his being was screaming at him to fix whatever was making his trainer so mad. So, Felix went because he knew that if he stayed and Howard noticed then the man would pick him up and carry him out of his workshop. It was better for him to just leave now and save himself the trouble.
Besides if he left now and went back when Howard had calmed down he could try again. That option was denied to him however because the moment he was out of the room Howard slammed the door shut behind him and drew the lock closed. It was hard to be there for someone who locked you out completely.
Felix blinked as he watched Tony work on his circuit board. It was almost scary how smart Tony was when he was only four. From what Felix knew most adults ten times as old as Tony wouldn't be able to do what Tony was doing now.
Howard had had to learn how to make things like this and as smart as Howard was it had taken him a couple of months to do something like Tony was doing now. Felix watched as small fingers worked their magic and built something that in time could be used. It was nice watching Tony work and listening to the pup babble at him. And Felix knew that Tony was talking to him because whenever the child though Felix wasn't listening he'd turn and give Felix a sharp poke on the side.
"Need a screwdriver." Felix blinked and for half a second he wasn't sure what Tony was talking about. Then of course he saw where the screwdriver way laying and understood. Jumping to his feet Felix walked over to the tool and picked it up from its place on the floor and took it back to where it belonged.
"Thank you." Tony said as he scratched behind one of Felix's ears.
Felix barked and leaned forward so that he could lick Tony's cheek. The child giggled in delight before wrapping his arms around Felix's neck. Felix made a low purring sound at the open display of affection. It was nice to be thanked and appreciated and to know that he was loved by Tony even if he wasn't loved by Howard anymore.
The sharp sound of pounding feet drew Felix's attention from where he had been nosing underneath Howard and Maria's bed. He looked up just in time to see Tony run in front of the door. Several seconds later there was the sharp bang of a slamming door. Fighting back the need to run after Tiny Felix forced himself to continue what he'd been doing before. He had a mission and he wasn't leaving the room before it was done. Glancing over the various items that had made their way under the bed over the years Felix spotted what he wanted and crawled forward enough to reach it.
The fit was tight and for a moment Felix was certain he was stuck (that would have been fun to explain to the other pokėmon) but he managed to pull himself loose with a bit of wiggling. Item received and held firmly in his mouth Felix made his way out of the room and began moving down the hall.
The closer he got to Tony's room the louder the child's cries became in his ears. The sound hurt and Felix fought back the urge to let out a loud whine. He didn't however because whining would give him away and the last thing he wanted was for Tony to know he was there. Felix trotted into the room the soft carpet making his footsteps almost completely silent. Tony was sitting in one corner of his room back turned towards the door.
The corner of the room was one of the few places Tony would hide in when he felt the need to do so and it was a wonderful hiding place when the person seeking him didn't know about it. Pausing only to deposit his item on the end of Tony's bed Felix moved towards the crying child. When he did work his way over to Tony he had to work his work his way between the child and the wall. Tony's reaction was almost immediate. Small fingers buried themselves into Felix's creamy fur seconds before Tony buried his face into Felix's chest. Leaning down Felix ran his tongue over what Tony's hair in what he hoped was a soothing manner. By the time he was finished dark hair was sticking up in every direction but Tony's crying had died down to sniffles and hiccups and he was breathing easier.
When Tony was calm enough Felix wrapped his front legs around the child's back and dropped his head down to one of his shoulders offering all the warmth and love that he could. It didn't matter if Howard didn't want him anymore. He had Tony now and that was enough for him. All he needed was someone to protect and love and be there for. And Felix intended to always be there.
Omg Shoot me now please. This was not supposed to be this long. I intended for this to be a few thousand words of background and development for Felix and it mutated. I kept thinking "I need to at least touch on this and then there's this" and the story just kept growing. I'm sorry if it got a little repetitive at times. I know the constant mention of Howards search for Steve probably got annoying but that was the point. I tried to make Howard's downwards spiral into something that made a little sense. Also I'm aware there are holes. Some of them are there on purpose and will be touched upon in Progress. Ok so my next thing should either be another Drabble story or the story for I'm So Sorry.
Ok so let me know what you think. I'll try and have the next one up soon though that may not quite happen.