||Post 2[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]Acuity Lakefront/Snowpoint Outskirts||Night
Dante hadn't expected the little Jolteon to come trotting up; he hadn't even realized his words had been loud enough for the others to hear. Oops. "Well, I think that's pretty admirable. Regardless of who you were you are trying to do good with who you are now."
His pace slowed a little as he was genuinely touched by her words. With all the accusing and anger being thrown around the air like ragdolls, he hadn't thought that anyone actually still thought well of him. Hell, it even gave him a little hope that maybe he was still a decent person, even with the Manectric wanting his blood, and maybe there was a civil way out of this. "Thanks..."
he murmured, his voice little more than a quiet token of gratitude."Well,"
Dante turned back to the Manectric as he began again. "I could tell you of our brief time together if you'd like. At least from my perspective, and maybe that could help trigger some clarity for you. Completely up to you of course. I would never pressure the mentally ill to subject themselves to what they potentially would rather not know. After all, how many people want to be told that they are a murderer?"
Dante's expression soured into a soft frown at the "mentally ill" comment, but he stumbled at the word "murderer". Wide-eyed and almost terrified, Dante eyed the other hound a moment. "...What... what did you--""Look, now I know you don't care for me much, but you gotta listen."
The Sneasel's sudden appearance caused Dante to jump a little. "I don't exactly know where this here shelter is, but hell, we heading right towards death if it's 'round that hellhole of a place."
He watched as her anger and frustration melted into desperation and fear. "I was there! I saw Reavers! Ain't you heard of them?? Humans!- rapin' and eatin' and mutilatin' on each other and anythin' else they were able to get their grimy hands on!"
Dante blinked; Reavers... were people
? He had only dismissed the term as another name for the Undead. He flinched at her sudden bout of terror-- she was shaking, despite being an Ice-type in the snow. Concern filled him, but he wasn't entirely sure what he could do in the face of her pure fear. "I was with the others that you knew, and they prolly dead now- eaten! Ain't no way this is alright, Dante!"
As she continued to rant, her voice rose higher in pitch and volume, causing the giant hound to shrink slightly in the face of her fear. He didn't know what to do with her, how to assuage her or even what to say. But the large Nidoking, her handler, soon took it upon himself to handle it.
He stood behind her, gesturing for her to retreat with him. "Rune, you said your piece. Come on."
Guilt struck Dante as he quickly noticed that the worn Nidoking was avoiding eye contact; something stirred in his chest. What the hell was it? Regret? Fear? It was unnamed and intangible and wholly too frustrating and difficult to figure out. Not with this... shit storm whirling around his head."No! Strix!"
she snapped at her compatriot. "You might be a-scared of all of 'em, but I sure as hell ain't! You be their doxy."
What the hell was a "doxy"? Dante wanted to sympathize, but goddamn, he could barely understand the tiny Dark-Type. "At least I ain't lettin' everyone walk into a gorram trap!!"
A heavy snort preluded Strix's fury. "You goin' against me again!? Last time you did this, it turned into a gorram witch hunt! You really wanna do that to someone else?!"
With a savage snarl, he snatched the little mouthy Sneasel up from the snow, tromping back to the rear of the group. "You're going to quiet down or so help me, reavers will be the least of your worries."
Dante found himself panting lightly from all the emotional drama that had just occurred in the last few minutes and he shut his eyes to try and find his bearings again. The Manectric had more or less accused him of murder, the Sneasel had a little breakdown and Strix was on the verge of one himself from the looks of it. He hung his ornate skeletal head a moment as he pushed all of that aside. All of that could wait. All of that could be sorted once they were inside and out of the cold. Shelter was what was actually important. Shelter.Shelter.
He took in a slow, deep breath, lifted his head and opened his eyes. There was the trail, provided by Candice's pokemon. They were getting close and everyone was tired. Just a little longer and then he could focus on another problem. "I..."
He turned to the Manectric, taking in another steadying breath. "Murderer"... "We... need to get inside. Once everyone's safe and warm, you can... we can talk more."
He nodded a little to himself.
Thankfully, they weren't much further out from the shelter. Dante sighed in relief as he paused by the door, letting everyone else enter first. A small gesture of his head to the Manectric meant for the other hound to hang back and, once everyone else was inside and getting acquainted, he stepped away a little from the entrance to speak privately with his fellow canine. "It just occurred to me that I don't know your name,"
he began sullenly, as the thought of him having turned into a cold-blooded killer had dampened his spirits considerably. "And... I guess... we didn't get along?"
His false humor cracked a little as he swallowed against the lump in his throat, and his face turned desperate with fear. "What happened...? What did I do...?"
Ellie felt a warmth against her cheek, accented by the very cold nose at the end of it. "Come on now, chin up. You've been more helpful to me since I've met you than I'm sure even you realize. And it's not your fault you couldn't find much in a blizzard, I'm just happy you found your way back."
At the gentle praise, Ellie couldn't help but let out a small whimper of gratitude as Ms. Ardere padded over to the Bag of Uselessness. "Just look at this, an Aspear Berry. This could be very helpful since we are trapped in snow. Oh and this blanket could help repair the sash I carry the egg in, and frozen water is still water dear. I'm a fire type, I can warm it simply by laying beside it. You did well dearie, truly. Do try to cheer up for me, alright?"
Though she still lay prostrate on the wood, the young Sylveon did look up and give her Houndoom companion a sheepish smile. She'd been lucky to find the expecting mother, that was sure. Especially since they were stuck in a blizzard. She pushed herself to her frozen feet and padded back to Ms. Ardere. It was way too cold to remain alone anyway. "Thanks, Ms. Ardere."
She snuggled closer into the Houndoom's warmth, careful of the egg, and settled on the ground. "Do you think there's anything else we could find? Where even are we?"
She had some idea about their whereabouts, but she had never been truly astute in navigation.