pokemod: (by koyuki @ DW. [pikachu cake])
pokémod team ([personal profile] pokemod) wrote2016-01-13 01:05 pm

"Dragon Trouble" for fabflyingfox

Recipient: [personal profile] fabflyingfox
Title: Dragon Trouble
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] Icie
Rating: T
Verse: Games (Generation IV)
Characters/Pairings: OC Water Trainer, Buizel, Dratini
Summary: Catching a dragon is the hard part for most people, but in this case, catching a dragon was only the start of his problems.

The river flows faster than you'd like as you scrub your clothes clean. When you picked water as your specialty you were expecting crystal, gleaming, pure water. What you have found is mud. Lots of mud. They barely let you into the pokemon centre in the last town, one of the hikers booming in a laughing bark as you entered, "Boy! We keep the grimers outside!" that you're fairly certain would have become the truth if you hadn't given him a mareep-ish smile and healed your pokemon as fast as you could before retreating to this stream to try and get the mud off... everything.

You sigh at the cloth, scraping at a large patch of caked on mud. You'd considered leaving your clothes to dry so you could then crack the mud off later and shake it all out, but you have to get going or the next gym leader will be on her way to who knows where doing who knows what again and if you miss her for a third time you're going to scream. Loudly. And your pokemon would rather you didn't, so you won't.

Buizel hoses down your shirt with her water gun (again) and you add more soap (again), shivering as a breeze hits your exposed skin. You would rather not be doing this in your underwear. But at least the fabric does seem to be returning to its usual shades of blue and light grey, if slowly.

"Thanks, buddy," you say and give Buizel a scratch behind her ears. She leans into the touch and chitters, rubbing her (unfortunately cold) nose against your hand.

You laugh and wipe the dampness off against her fur, though really you shouldn't bother, you're sure you'll manage to get wet again soon enough and you have a layer of dampness all over you from spray from her water gun, though somehow it's different when it's her nose.

A ripple from the water catches your eye and you freeze as Buizel tenses up, her cheeks filling with water, ready to fire. You hold her back with a hand, keeping your movements slow and smooth so as not to startle what has to be a pokemon in the water.

"Please be something good," you whisper, partly to yourself, partly to Buizel, and partly to the pokemon in the water.

You take a chance, tossing out a Fast Ball before you even look at the pokemon directly. Perhaps you shouldn't waste it when you could have mistaken yet another magikarp for something worthwhile, but you haven't had good luck lately so surely you have some due. The pokemon vanishes into the ball but you catch a glimpse of silver and blue before it does.

You hold your breath as you listen to the Fast Ball zwoop twice. Your brain helpfully provides you with an image of your best friend raising his eyebrows at the sound effect, but he would know what you mean, so can shut it, even if he is only in your head. It zwoops a third time, and then, with what must be a quiet sound but rings in your ears like it's the loudest thing you've ever heard, the Fast Ball seals with a click.

Buizel slips into the water and scoops it out onto the riverbank, offering it up to you as she waddles to close the distance. You pretend that your hand isn't shaking as you take it.

You shouldn't be nervous, you know there's nothing to be scared of, but your breath is still coming faster as you ready yourself to see what you actually caught.

The breeze is still cold against you, though it seems less important now, and you can't tell whether the bumps on your arms are caused by the chill or excitement.

"Here goes nothing," you say and press your finger down on the button.

Light flows out of the Poke Ball, then settles into the shape of your new pokemon, down in the water of the river, remaining steady with you even with the strong current. Buizel chitters and you shush her, ducking down to hold your hand out.

Your new pokemon is a dratini, glossy and beautiful like you'd hoped the water you would be swimming in day in and out would be. "Hey," you say to him, keeping your voice low and soothing and smiling gently - close mouthed, keeping your teeth out of sight like your old professor used to tell you to do when a pokemon might get scared. "I'm your new trainer. I hope we can be friends."

Dratini blinks, slowly, like he knows something you don't, then dashes out of the water and up the slope of the riverbank in an instant to wrap around you.

You laugh, because the wrap isn't half ticklish, and try and extract yourself from his coils, hands sliding on his damp rubbery skin. "Hey, pal, that's not really-"

He tightens and drives the air out of your lungs. You try and gasp but that only serves to lessen your range of movement as Dratini winds tighter again.

Buizel doesn't seem to know what to do, her eyes are wide and she's chittering as loudly as she can. You don't have any air to give her a command but she was your first pokemon and you will her with all your might to use her ice beam.

She doesn't. Instead, she blasts him with water, saturating the both of you but not making him budge an inch. You will her to use ice, try to get through with just your eyes and gasping breath that water won't work on a dragon type. Either you get through or she picks up on your desperation, because Buizel shoots ice directly into his face, knocking him out cold.

You inhale. Air floods your lungs and though it hurts to breathe, you savour every piece of oxygen, greedily pulling in more than you need and pushing it back out just so you can draw more in again. Even that small time in Dratini's constrictive binds was enough that you never want to experience anything like that again. Massaging your arms where he put the most pressure, you note that you can actually see where each loop pressed against your skin, with pinches of red and bands of white.

"Well, it's only day one, right?" you say to Buizel.

You hope with all your heart, which is still thumping loudly in your chest from adrenaline, that her blink-chitter combo means she thinks it will go better from here. But you're pretty sure that hope is false.


"I just had to catch a dragon!" you say to Buizel trotting at your side. Her strength has grown immeasurably since you caught Dratini. Getting knock out after knock out will do that.

Buizel chitters. You choose to translate this as I know, with a sad face.

"I'm a water trainer. What do I need with a dragon?"

She chirps. At least he's cute?

"Pft, you would think so," you reply with a glare. "There's no way I'm putting you in the day care together, so you can forget it." Another chitter, you don't bother to assign words to this one and just continue. "Like hell I'm letting him level up, you can barely take him as it is."

She spouts a small frost into the air so it falls as snowflakes onto the two of you. You laugh despite yourself and she chirps, a happier one than before.

You get the message, leaning down to rub her between her ears. "Fine. I'll try to stay positive. But you know the only reason I haven't released him is he would kill me as soon as I let him out, right?"

You're not sure whether to blame your awkward bend as you walk, or your terrible luck, but either way, you put your foot down wrong just as you reach the edge of the path to the sea cliffs. Your shoe slips. The fragile edge gives way beneath you and Buizel screeches at a pitch you didn't know she could.

You fall.

You react without knowing how, your arms flailing and twisting to try and find purchase on one of the more prominent lumps of clay and rock that makes up the cliff or the roots that lace through it and out into the air. Even with your mind focused entirely on stopping your fall, it finds a corner to note that the broken roots slipping through your fingers are wreaking havoc on your skin, sticking in splinters and chipping your nails. If you get through this you're going to need a lot of plasters.

One root, just the one, in a loop dangling long, holds under your grip. You lock your hands like steel around it and shout as its small amount of give stops and your own weight pulls at your joints from the momentum.

You hang, still too far up from the ocean to be bothered looking down, if you drop you'll only crash to the rocks and drown, but the top of the cliff that you fell from feels an awfully long way up.

Still, it's only a matter of time before something gives. Whether it will be the root that you're hanging from, your hands around it or the cliff face itself, you don't know, but you're not going to let the roaring in your ears distract you. You blink tears from your eyes and test pulling yourself up so that you have your shoulders both in the loop and it pressing like a support band across your chest. There aren't many options here - you cut yourself off before you dare think that there aren't any. Buizel is still chittering up above, scattered on the wind whipping by, but there, and you owe her your best.

Your hand strays to your belt. It's been two days since you last let Dratini out, and you know it's a gamble but you did manage to teach him Surf the week before.

You whisper to the pokeball, feeling like a fool but then you fell off a cliff, so you probably are one, "Please don't attack me, or wrap me, or just watch me drown. I'll give you anything you want if you get me out of this. I know you don't like me and I can't say I'm fond of you, but we can do this, yeah?"

A rock, no larger than a thimble hits the back of your head. It's not much but it's still too much movement for comfort, so you kiss the pokeball and press the button.

What happens then is unclear, you think that releasing Dratini may have disturbed the delicate balance that you maintained, causing the root to stretch and then break, leaving you suspended in the air with nothing to support you before gravity begins its work on you again. What you don't know is how you go from falling, your hands curling over your head, to being towed towards the shore with something like a tire wrapped around you keeping you afloat and your head above the water.

Your thoughts are muddled and you think you have sea water in your lungs, head above the water or not, but you keep yourself steady enough to spot an orange blob drawing rapidly closer.

"Buizel?" you rasp, though there's no one to hear it.

A minute later you hear screeching chattering, not as shrill as when you slipped but still pushing the upper register of your hearing.

You make it to shore with your tire and Buizel helping you, by the time you're nearly there you manage to get in a kick or two of your own, though Buizel's constant stream of chatter reaches a higher pitch when she notices.

You bubble a laugh which finishes with a cough through an apology.

With sand under your feet, you finally get a good look at your mystery tire.

You blink. You blink again. What you're seeing doesn't change.

Dratini slides off from around you, not even giving you a parting squeeze. He presses his head against your chest and you raise your hand, hesitating with it an inch away before telling yourself to get to it and pressing it against the top of Dratini's head and stroking down in a silent thank you.

"Much better than day one, I think," you say. You're surprised you get the words out without a cough.

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