Following Caine had been no easy task.
Watching him go through a complete meltdown was in some ways worse and other ways not.
He sat there as Caine through the majority of his fit, watching through eyes dulled by mindfuck overload. He had never pegged Caine for a calm, stoic type, and yet watching him freak out this badly somehow still seemed surreal.
I guess it's because you never think the older kids can hurt like this...
It was a stupid concept; the number of years one has doesn't have anything to do with their ability to suffer or to resist emotional pain. But for some reason, Oliver could never imagine his elders in a state anywhere near this.
Maybe it's because I needed to believe someone else could save me.
Anne had done the saving and she was younger than he, but she was human, so she wasn't the same...
Or maybe not? Humans and Pokemon weren't that different...
He flinched slightly as Caine injured himself, opening his mouth to speak; the words died in his brain before they could even reach his throat.
Why would he bite into a tree like that? What was the point? He'd never seen anyone throw a fit like this.
But then, those had been angry fits. There was anger in Caine's, yes, but a different anger. A frustrated, despairing anger.
An anger that Oliver had felt himself, even if it were kept quiet and private.
I want Anne... I want to go home...
Home didn't exist anymore, and even if it did, it would be forever empty without the little human to inhabit it. What now? What now...
He became aware that the fox was speaking to him, and he backed up a step or two, warily watching him approach and accessing within the first few seconds that Caine had run himself dry of energy and it was safe to be closer.
When Caine began to cry, he darted forward, and went to hug him, though he hesitated. Oliver liked hugs; Caine may not.
So he settled for resting his hand on Caine's head instead, and began to pet him behind the hears, mimicking an action Anne had oftentimes done on him.
The gentle strokes and scratches had always made him sleepy and happy. Repeating the gesture made him feel tired. So very tired. But not a tired that rest could ever fix.