Outside the Battle Tower | Evening
The warm sun was starting to dip, sending orange light glittering across all surfaces in the remains of the Battle Frontier. Many of the buildings still stood tall, their defiance against the elements clear as they soared for the heavens and reflected the evening light off their man-made surfaces. Below them, a Quilava sprawled peacefully in the unkempt grass outside the Battle Tower, enjoying her rest after the days patrolling. I love quiet days.
She muses to herself, squishing herself a bit flatter into the long grass. While the humans had long since maintained it to a 'neat and tidy' length the long sprigs and clumps still made for a soft place to rest her paws.
Wind rustled gently in the nearby trees, the hushed sound harmonizing with the soft crackle of her flames as Cinder's mind started to wander. How long had it been since the group set up camp here? For that matter, how much time had passed since they took out all the major undead here and made new friends with those hiding in the dark? The Quilava lets out a small sigh along with a tiny puff of fire that dissipates quickly into the cool breeze. Long enough.
She concludes. Long enough.
The fights had been hard, risky, and not without causalities. Fortifying their defenses, snuffing out the lingering undead, rescuing and inviting other survivors into their sanctuary... the work never ended. A soft chuckle sneaks out from her maw as Cinder's golden-green eyes reaches for the clouds above. I'm starting to sound like Faux, that old bat.
But the thought was welcome, and the work definitely rewarding as they now had a sanctuary in a dangerous world.
All too soon the Volcano Pokemon knew she would have to return to the shelter. Downtime was little and she had overstayed her welcome on the plush stretch of grass. "Just a few more minutes~"
Humming softly to herself, the fire type rolls onto her side and stretches, her noodle-like form appearing even longer as she works her muscles. It had been quiet today and the short respite was only a bonus for the lack of commo-
The Quilava's muscles instantly tense up as a cold wash comes over her body. She was being watched. She could feel
the sickening eyes burrowing into her body before she even heard the footsteps. An undead?
She mentally readies herself to attack but anything that preceded the most terrifying of sounds is lost in that very moment. "Cinder, girl is that you?"
That was no undead. Unable to move or even draw in a breath, Cinder is utterly frozen as her thoughts race in panic. That voice.. Impossible..
Is the only word to roar in her mind. It was just impossible, that voice couldn't
exist anymore. "Its me.. remember?"
She remembered. She fucking remembered that voice as her internal flame flared with fury. The sound of stones shifting underfoot as the boy moved closer sparked her muscles alive once more, allowing the Quilava to quickly flip onto her paws and take a defensive stance. With her blazing eyes locked on the human Cinder feels the horrid nausea of her stomach dropping upon the sight of him. Her ears did not lie; it was her trainer.. completely unchanged from that faithful day aside from looking a bit older, sadder, and roughed up. It was the same asshole
. A growl rumbles deep in her throat as she spits, "Oh, I remember."
Why was she responding? Why was she humoring this delusion? This had to be a dream, a nightmare; there was no fucking way this was real. She had to have fallen asleep in the grass after her shift and this was her retribution for shirking work, to stare at a literal ghost from her past. He was dead, dead
, and humans did not come back from the virus. Hell, he didn't even look
like he had it or any illness for that matter. It's just not fucking possible..
Yet as she looks his scrawny figure up and down there was no doubt it was her ex-trainer before her. A sickening shudder runs down her body. He couldn't have survived. There was no way, no fucking way
he could have survived this hell like that. He was weak, foolish, spineless, and meek. He was a fool, a lowlife, a coward with no balls who lost any respect or ability to survive long ago when he got fucking whipped by some bitch. After years, years
of this hell, he should have been no more then a pile of striped clean bones. She knew the exact spot where they would be....
This couldn't be real. No. No it had to be a dream, a nightmare, a delusion, a lie-"Hey, you evolved."
The boy mutters in a less then congratulatory way, snapping her back to reality with a hard flinch. You bitch..
The Quilava's flames roared even hotter; even after all these years, these years alone
in an apocalyptic
world he had the balls, the nerve, the insolence to want her to still be a Cyndaquil because of her goddamn name? To hinder her evolution, her strength, her size, her ability to fucking survive
in the place he abandoned
her to!? Her wide paws curl into balls, ripping up tufts of grass in their wake. "No thanks to you."
Cinder spits venomously, new and improved fangs clearly gleaming at the edges of her mouth. He flinches at her hostility, grumbling, "Good to know you didn't lose that damn attitude after all this time."
That fucking prick
. Letting her jaws fall further open, the fire type displays a ball of fire burning in the back of her throat and takes one dangerous step forward. Upon seeing her threat, the boy scurries backward a couple of steps, his arms grabbing the strap of his backpack defensively. "Whoa, whoa, easy now."
The human sputters, shifting his backpack slightly more in front of his breast. "You wouldn't attack me-" "Like HELL I would."
Jumping closer, the Quilava spits the flames at the stone pathway mere inches in front of his shoes. With a girly yelp, the human jumped back, his shoes flailing wildly to snuff out any embers that may be on them. "H-hey! What did you do that for? I'm only trying-" "Why are you here?"
Cinder cuts off his sniveling whine, "Or hell, how in the fuck are you alive!? You died, I know you died!"
She huffs, her fiery crest blazing white hot. "I don't know what your talking about but-"
The Quilava charges with no warning and throws herself straight into the boys chest. He had just moved his backpack there to diminish the impact but the tackle is still enough to knock him over. "Argh!"
He squeals, but the Volcano Pokemon is deaf to his cries as her claws dig into the fabric of his shirt and pack. "What the hell Cinder, why are you attacking me!"
The boy writhes beneath her, fear clear in his hazel eyes, but makes no effort to throw the starter off. "You left me for dead you fucking bitch! You ditched me for some blonde ass bimbo and gave up my dream, our dream of a glory!"
Digging her claws deeper into his skin she can feel the warmth of his body, and the life blood pulsing through it as blood begins to well around her paws. "You forgot about me, the plans you made for us, and fucking abandoned me in the middle of nowhere for some bitch who turned you into no more then a yellow-bellied snake!"
Breathing heavy, she keeps her maw close to his throat, sizzling hot smoky breath puffing against the vulnerable flesh. "You didn't even let me get goddamn fresh air or stretch my fucking legs unless to absolutely had to."
The human remained petrified into silence through the feeling of his body shaking was noticeable. "And for what!?"
Cinder's voice was starting to shake but she could not stop the rant that was to ensue "Where the fuck did that get you, huh? You don't look like an fucking master trainer, or any fucking trainer with your girl on you arm. Hell, I don't fucking see her here. She wasn't there when you left me for dead either! Is she dead, did she leave you?? Did you get rid of me because you were trying to get her back!?"
A glossy coating comes to both their eyes, but when the boy tries to speak the Pokemon just cuts him off once more. "What did I ever do? What did I do that was so horrendous that you would release your starter?"
It was her body now that was shaking. Hot embers fell from her flames like snow and seared the cloth below, making the Quilava's perch twinge with pain. "I fought your battles, I pushed myself to the damn brink for you, I did everything you told me to without protest and you still just threw me out like useless garbage! Like everything meant nothing! I was just doing what you raised me to do and you punished me for it!"
With her breath growing ragged and paws shaking heavily Cinder backed off of the human, letting him move away as she found herself huddling into a ball. "I did everything you asked.. took every lesson to heart.. and you cast me aside for a fling.."
Tears start to blot the stone pathway with dark circles.
The boy had gotten himself into a defensive squat, but he no longer looked terrified of her. "Was I really that meaningless to you? Did I, your starter Pokemon, mean so little that you would release me for a girl that made you make flower crowns instead of train for your gym battles? Was I that replaceable..?"
Jerking her head to knock the tears away the Quilava finally notices droplets falling down his cheeks as well. "You were the closest thing I had to family and you just forgot about me like I was nothing..."
Blinded by her own salty production Cinder is forced to look away and wipe her eyes clear with one paw. She mutters into her paws, sniffling, "Its like you never cared.. I was just a tool to you."
That's all she was. A tool, a puppet, an object to do someone else's bidding. Even now she had been doing work on Faux's command without so much as a second thought. It had been four goddamn years and she was still no more then a following sack of shit. "Cinder.."
His voice spooks her, unexpected amidst her rant as she flicks her golden-green gaze judgingly in his direction. "I.. I've been searching for you for so long.." "That's not true..." "You, you don't know how fucking much I regret that. ALL of that."
His voice is soft, spineless, and flaccid. There is no strength to it, no remnants of the boy she had once known in it. The human rose to feet but remained hunched and submissive. Though not usually one to be intimidated and his display wasn't threatening in the slightest Cinder flinched at the now taller-than-her figure and took a step back. "Stay back!"
She whimpers, flames crackling defiantly. "Y-you, you're lying!" "I'm not!"
His voice cracks with a high squeak. "I fucked up, I fucked up bad and I know it. I went right back to look for you but you were gone. I.. I searched all over but I just.."
Wiping his face along his dirty sleeve the human pauses, taking in a deep breath and unzipping his backpack. "What are you doing!?"
She snaps, fire pouring defensively from the sides of her maw. From the pack he grabbed a small purple pouch. Pulling the drawstrings he poured its contents out into his free hand.
Her jaws fall open with a loud gasp, all fire within them dissipating instantly.
The trainer held his hand out for her to see and she recognized the fragments in a heartbeat. The heat stained silver color, the jagged claws marks, the fact it was broken into pieces.. there was no way in hell she could forget the damage she had done to her own Pokeball. "H-h-how did you get th-hat?"
Cinder manages to whisper but any further words she tries to utter fail to come. "I went back for you. Really, I did, but this was all I could find and I just.. oh god I knew I fucked up so bad Cinder." "Clair said she wouldn't talk to me until I got rid of you and I.. I don't know why the fuck I listened. She was happy after but I felt so fucking guilty I went back the next day and every day after. I looked all over.."
The human made a guttural sound as he chocked on his own saliva. "She kept making these hints about getting rid of my other Pokemon that weren't 'cuddly' enough and when she found out I was looking for you.."
His voice trails off, the memories too strong to finish. "We got in a fight and I realized what a dumb fuck I was."
His tears overwhelm his voice.
The Quilava couldn't breathe. Each breath was its own battle and shook her long body to its core. Was this all a bunch of bullshit or was it the truth..? The Pokeball fragments stare blaringly at her, unable to be ignored. Such strong evidence.. Forcing her gaze to tilt upward and look at his face she can see that he still wishes to speak but has stopped for a moment to catch his breath. What else could he possibly want to say.. "So why after four long, long years were you still trying to find me?"
She asks before probing. "And you never told me how in the hell you are even ALIVE. I saw your goddamn corpse Nate, your dead fucking body but here you are condemning me like the apocalypse never fucking happened!"
Daring to utter his name the humans eyes open wide as though she had said the worst thing in existence. "You remember my name.."
He gasps as no more then a whisper. Cinder does not reply, staring boldly at her ex-trainer as she awaited his answer. "I don't know what you mean Cinder. If I was dead how could I be here? How could I being talking to you right now?"
His voice is distressed but he swiftly dismisses the topic again, moving on to her previous question, "But I had to find you because.. because.." "I needed to tell you I'm sorry." ....What?
The Quilava's flames puff out in disbelief. For the first time in weeks she had no fire burning along her body. He was.. apologizing? "You.. you what?"
Was that even possible? The hatred she had for this man kept her alive all these years. The anger had fueled her for so long along with the image of him being nothing but pure evil and he was apologizing
to her? "Cinder I've searched for you for years cause I needed to say how fucking sorry I am. For everything. I shouldn't of left you, I should of neglected you or expected you to change when I was the one who taught you to be that way. I sure as hell shouldn't of released you for some bitch when you were always by my side. I.. I..."
The human falls to his knees, one hand a fist in his face as he sobs like a baby, "When the epidemic started and I still couldn't find you, I was so scared that you had died.. that I would never find you again.. I shouldn't have left you, my starter, my starter! That's no fucking way to treat your starter. How could I be such a fucking MORON to pick some girl over my goddamn partner!?"
The Quilava could not believe what she was witnessing. "I don't know if you could ever forgive me... but I need you to know how fucking sorry I am Cinder, for everything."
He looked straight into her gold eyes with his hazel ones- she saw nothing but honesty in them. The fire types body was shaking uncontrollably. This had to be some dream.. it had to.. "I'm sorry.. I'm sorry.. I'm so fucking sorry.."
He repeated again, rubbing his face along his sleeve once more. He's.. sorry..
Was this the same person? Was this really the same battle driven, impulsive, whipped moron that was her ex-trainer? If this was a delusion it sure as hell didn't match her memories of him. Even the blood on her paws felt real as fuck.. "Nate-"
The Human lunges forward, scooping the flameless Quilava up in his arms and holding her close to his body in an unexpected or welcomed hug. Panic pulses through the Volcano Pokemons body and squirms for a few moments before falling completely limp. "N-n-n.." "I'm sorry.. I'm sorry.. I'm just so sorry Cinder please..."
He continued to sob, his tars falling into her blue-green flameproof fur. "I've missed you so much you have no idea....
Tears continue to pour down her own cheeks as Cinder's short arms shift upward and she embraces the hug. "...I forgive you.."