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Old 02-22-2016, 12:47 PM   #5
Missingno. Master
Poison-type Trainer
 
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Virbank City
Posts: 3,431
Swoobat An Unfezant Departure

"But ain't youse worried?" Meowth asked Keith as they sat on the latter's couch in the latter's Secret Base. "Hedwig's been gone fer days now."

"She'll come back," Keith replied, although not without a good measure of worry in his voice. "She always does. Just needs time to clear her head, is all." Aiming to take his mind off of his Crobat's extended absence, Keith turned on the TV, which quickly proved counterproductive to that specific purpose.

"We bring you this breaking news bulletin live from Grandio City," the news reporter was saying. "A rogue Crobat is running amok, causing all sorts of destruction!"

"...It couldn't be," Keith and Meowth said simultaneously.

"According to eyewitnesses, the Crobat seems intent on attacking humans and, for some reason, Pokémon able to learn Fly. The reason behind the Crobat's oddly specific targets are as yet unknown-"

"...Oh, no," Keith groaned, jumping to his feet. "Meowth, we gotta get moving!"

"Is we flyin' on Batrach?" the Normal-type asked as he climbed on Keith's shoulder.

"Hell, no," was Keith's reply.

~~~

Before long, Salazar, Keith's Scolipede, was at full gallop, conveying his Trainer and Meowth teammate to Grandio City as fast as he could, with Batrach the Unfezant flying above them, intent on setting things right. Keith said nothing the entire way, instead reflecting on the events of the past week what that led up to this.

It had all started when Batrach, Keith's Unfezant, seemed almost ill. Keith, out of natural concern for his Pokémon, sought to find out what the problem was, but the Unfezant herself couldn't even pinpoint the problem, so Meowth's translation skills didn't come in handy there. More maddening still was the fact that Luna, Keith's Swoobat, did seem to know the Unfezant's troubles, but she, for the first time in Keith's memory, refused to disclose them. Something about how she could foresee a number of different outcomes to the situation, and that the most ideal outcome for all involved would mean the Swoobat keeps her silence.

Some ideal outcome, Keith thought bitterly to himself. Over the next couple of days, he did everything he could to help Batrach feel better. He logged more training time with her than ever before, he and Hermione came up with all manner of curative berry concoctions for her to consume, all of which was deemed reason for jealousy by a certain other Flying-type under Keith's ownership.

Hedwig, Keith's Crobat, was one of his oldest and most loyal Pokémon. She was also one of the most jealousy-prone Pokémon Keith had ever met in his life. She was the reason why, for the longest time, Keith could never have another Pokémon on the team capable of learning Fly, lest the Crobat think she was on the verge of being replaced. It never seemed to matter how much reassurance Keith gave her, it never seemed to be enough. Not that Keith blamed her- she had quite the history of being abandoned by Trainers, and in fact hated humans when she first came to be on Keith's team. It took him a lot of doing to earn her trust and loyalty, and even then, it didn't stop her from wanting to be the only user of Fly on the team.

Keith supposed having Batrach Fly him around was the straw that broke the Numel's back. All that special attention to his Unfezant hadn't helped matters, certainly, but the look in the Crobat's eyes when she saw Keith riding on the female Unfezant was nothing short of horrifying. Keith had tried to explain the situation to her (again), but Hedwig took no notice. She shouted at Keith and Batrach, called them names Meowth had no desire to translate, spat a Water Pulse in Keith's face, and flew away. Keith hadn't gone after her, because he knew Hedwig well. He knew she needed time to clear her head, time to get over herself, and then she'd return. Except, not so much this time.

Grandio City came into view- one of three major shopping cities in the Fizzytopia region. Or at least, that's what the government made it out to be. In truth, Grandio City was a stone's throw from being a ghost town. Many of its shops were boarded up, and the few that weren't saw precious little business. And yet, the TV commercials, the promotion, the attempts at hyping it up, they never slowed down. Even the city's name came from an effort to make it sound all big, exciting, and totally worth one's while to go to. All sorts of unique places had opened up there- Fizzytopia's Casino, for one. There was also the Contest Halls, all relocated to Grandio City despite still not being actually open, and then there was the fact that the only ferry to the Cascadia Archipelago would only make port in Grandio.

As the Scolipede wandered the streets, Keith kept a sharp eye out. And then, as they rounded a corner, they saw the four-winged bat, firing a Hyper Beam at a young Trainer and his Pidgeotto. They dove out of the way just in time, but Keith had seen enough.

The Poison-type Trainer jumped off of Salazar's back. "Hedwig!" he exclaimed. "What are you doing!?"

The Crobat turned, giving Keith the most frightening look she'd ever given him in her life. She scowled at the Unfezant hovering above him. He still had that thing. She probably flew him here, too, she thought (in her fury, she hadn't yet noticed Salazar).

Hedwig dove at Keith, her body glowing fiercely, almost as though it was on fire- she was using Brave Bird, one of her strongest attacks. The people who had been cowering in fear of the Crobat gasped as one, and indeed, even Meowth jumped off of Keith's shoulder. But Keith stood his ground. He caught the Crobat in his arms, though the force of the Brave Bird propelled him backwards, and he landed on his backside rather hard.

Hedwig thrashed around, flailing her four wings, snapping her teeth and shouting angrily, but Keith didn't relinquish his grip. "Hedwig," he said firmly. "I know you're upset, and considering what's happened in your past, I can't say as I blame you, but you can't just go around attacking people and Pokémon like that! Yes, Batrach was carrying me around with Fly. And what of it? Do you think Hebenon gets jealous when I don't use him to cross water? Not only do I have a buttload of other Pokémon with Surf, I have a boat! I have options, none of which get jealous when I go for a different one, because they know they're on the team to stay! And the same should apply to you. Hedwig, come on, you're smarter than this," he said, adopting a more gentle tone of voice as Hedwig's thrashing started to subside. "Your previous Trainers, they abandoned you because you were still in an often-overlooked stage. Many Trainers look at Zubat and they just see something that annoys the hell out of them with every step they take in a cave, they don't see something worth their while to train. But I did see something worth my while! You, the way you are now, you yourself are the proof that I saw in you what none of your previous Trainers did!"

Hedwig said nothing. She had stopped thrashing, stopped trying to kill Keith, but dared not look up at him, her eyes slammed shut, tears leaking from them. There was truth to his words, truth that even in her most jealous state she couldn't deny.

In response, Keith's hold on Hedwig became less restrictive and more of a comforting hug. "Over the years, Hedwig, you've exceeded any expectations I've had for you and then some," he said. "You've grown strong, stronger than any Zubat would dare to dream. I have proven to you, time and time again, that you have a permanent place on this team... in this family... in my heart. And in return, you've proven your loyalty. I defy anyone to argue that the bond between us isn't a strong one. But Hedwig... the thing is, I put so much trust in you... I need you to do the same with me. I need you to stop being jealous just because I catch a Pokémon other than you that can use Fly. That is literally all I ask of you. Hedwig," Keith said, gently adjusting his grip to get the Crobat to look up at him. "...can you do that?"

"Cro..." Hedwig murmured, her eyes still moist. Now that she'd calmed down, she was thinking more rationally. True enough, Keith always put his complete trust in her. Whenever she flew him around, it was only the grip her tiny feet had on his shoulders that prevented Keith from plummeting to his death, and yet, not once did that seem to unnerve Keith. And he'd put up with her jealousy, her fits of rage- hell, he'd managed to change her opinion on humanity. Even now, when she'd provided Keith a perfect opportunity to cut his losses and just replace her with Batrach, Keith hadn't done that. He chased after her, and he put himself in danger to calm her down and bring her home.

Hedwig wrapped her four wings around Keith in an attempt to hug him back. They stayed like this for a few minutes before Keith allowed the Crobat back into the air. "We cool now?" he asked the Crobat.

"Crobat bat!" Hedwig nodded, a small smile on her face. Then, she turned to the Unfezant and bowed her head in what almost seemed an apologetic manner, and started speaking.

"Hedwig's sayin' sorry ta Batrach," Meowth translated for Keith. "She's sayin' dat she may not have shown it all dat well before, but she's sayin' it now- she's glad ta have Batrach on da team.

Keith smiled. "That's wonderful, you two," he said. "Hedwig, I'm proud of you. So, we're all gonna get along now, no matter who wants to Fly on whom?" he asked.

"Cro," nodded Hedwig. Batrach, however, still didn't seem her usual cheerful self.

And Keith picked up on this. "Batrach?" he asked. "Are you OK?"

"...No," the Unfezant cawed, landing on the ground. As she started speaking, Meowth took the cue and translated the Unfezant's speech for Keith. "I've been giving the matter a lot of thought over the past week, and I think I know what the problem is now. It's... I don't think this kind of life is right for me anymore. I... I want to fly all over, see the world. I... I want to be free to go wherever I want, whenever I want, for but the flimsiest of reasons, y'know? And... and I can't do that tied down to a Trainer. Don't get me wrong- I can't imagine a better Trainer to be tied down to, but... even with the kind of freedom I'm given here, I just can't be tied down to one place anymore. And I can't ask you to uproot everything so you can come with me every time, either," she added, looking up at Keith. "You have a Secret Base here, you have friends... I can't and won't ask you to leave all of that behind. I... I think it's best that... that this is where we part ways."

"Batrach..." Keith murmured, tears in his eyes after hearing Meowth translate her speech. "I... I had no idea you felt this way."

"Neither did I," the Unfezant responded. "Not until we were on our way here, and I had time to really think. It seems sudden, and not without reason, but... but even just the idea, it feels like the right thing to do, y'know what I mean?"

Keith nodded, as Meowth continued to translate. "If... if you're sure about this," he said, his voice breaking somewhat, "then... then who am I to stand in your way? I... I just... it's just... when Ethan was trading you to me, he... well, he was going to release you if I wasn't interested-"

"I know," Batrach interrupted, which surprised Meowth and Hedwig. Up until now, none of them knew that Batrach actually knew of her previous Trainer's initial intention to release her. "But this is different. Ethan was going to release me because he didn't see any potential in me. You, however, you not only saw my potential, you helped bring it out. You'll be releasing me because it's actually what's right for me, because what I aspire to do is something I cannot, in good conscience, ask of you. But you made me strong enough that I can do this on my own. Had Ethan released me as a Pidove, I probably would've been eaten by a Glameow within a week. But now, I got the strength to fend off many predators, and the smarts to know when to flee from the ones I can't fend off, and I have you, Keith, as well as Hedwig to thank for that."

By now, Keith, Hedwig, and Meowth were all holding back tears. Unable to say anything, Keith crouched down and hugged the Unfezant. Memories flashed before his eyes... first receiving the lovable yet forgetful Pidove in a trade... helping Hedwig overcome her initial jealousy of the Normal/Flying-type... having her battle Stewie in the park, which led to her evolving into Tranquill... all the times she'd been counted on to deliver the mail to and from Keith's Secret Base... participating in the Breeze Town Pokéringer competition, and Batrach evolving into Unfezant in order to overcome Morris's Unfezant and win the competition for Keith...

Keith sighed as he took Batrach's Poké Ball off his belt. "If you're sure about this..." he murmured as he fiddled with the device until it split in half. Then, on a sudden inspiration, he dug an old shoelace out of his backpack and fashioned a crude necklace with it and the Poké Ball's white half. "Here," he said, offering it to Batrach. "I'll keep the other half, so we'll always remember each other, hmm?"

"Un, unfez," Batrach cawed, nodding her approval of this idea. She bowed her head, allowing Keith to place it around her neck.

"Well... this is good-bye, then, isn't it?" Keith said, with a brave attempt at a smile. "I... we'll miss you, Batrach. And if you're ever in the area, you know you're more than welcome to visit."

"Unfez, unfez, nodded Batrach. She and Keith maintained eye contact for just a moment longer, before the Unfezant took off. With one last look at her Trainer and old teammates, the Unfezant flew away. Keith waved to her, tears in his eyes, until long after Batrach was out of sight.

After this, Keith looked around, but none of the townspeople seemed scared of Hedwig anymore. "Well, Hedwig," Keith said to the Crobat, "let's go home. What say we give Salazar a rest and you Fly us back? If you want?"

"Cro," Hedwig replied, shaking her head. This confused Keith, until Hedwig flew down and tapped the Timer Ball on Keith's belt, which caused a Swoobat to materialize in midair.

"...You want Luna to Fly us home?" Keith asked Hedwig, astonished.

"Cro. Crobat," Hedwig nodded with a small smile.

"Hedwig's sayin' yer right- it's time she got ova herself and stopped gettin' jealous," Meowth translated.

Keith gave Hedwig a smile. "Hedwig, you've really come a long way," he said. "I couldn't be more proud of you. That said, Luna might not know the way home from here especially well, so why don't you stay out of your ball, fly alongside us, hmm?" he asked.

~~~

So Batrach's gone now? came Luna's voice in Keith's head as she flew across the sky, holding onto Keith with her tail claws. Keith barely reacted to this- telepathic communication with his Swoobat was practically second nature to him by now.

Yes, Keith thought back. You foresaw this happening, he added- it was not a question, it was a statement.

This was the most ideal outcome, Luna responded. By not telling you Batrach's problems and leaving you to figure them out for yourself, it led to you and Hedwig becoming closer than ever before, and Hedwig finally learning to trust you with other users of Fly. Had I told you Batrach's problems outright, she would have been gone even sooner, but without Hedwig having learned something. And she's like a big sister to me, I knew she needed this.

It seemed a little underhanded to Keith, maybe even manipulative, but at the same time, he couldn't help but agree with Luna- Hedwig did need this to happen, and as much as they were all gonna miss Batrach, Keith had the feeling he and his Crobat were gonna be closer than ever before as a result.



OOC: After much consideration, I've come to the decision to release my Unfezant. Stats, if needed for this (this being my first time actually releasing a Pokémon in FB), are as follows:

Spoiler: show
Batrach
Species: Unfezant ()
Gender: Female
Level: 32
Type: Normal/Flying
Attacks: Fly, Gust, Growl, Leer, Quick Attack, Air Cutter, Roost, Detect, Toxic, Steel Wing, Work Up, Night Slash, Sky Attack, Hidden Power (Electric), Taunt, Heat Wave, Pluck, Air Slash, Shadow Claw, Double Team, Giga Impact, Hyper Beam.
Next attack learned: Razor Wind (lv. 38)
Evolution: >Lv. 21>>Lv. 32>
Nature: Jolly
Ability: Super Luck
Happiness Points: 10
Cute stat: 20
Beauty stat: 20
Tough stat: 20
Smart stat: 20
Cool stat: 20
IQ: 3
Obtained: Cable Club
Birthday: April 28th
Bio:
Batrach has shed the poor memory problems of the Pidove stage, and is in fact smarter than average. She also remembers things way better than she used to, and will rarely, if ever, get details wrong. She is the self-appointed mail carrier to and from Keith's Secret Base, and was surprisingly adept at this task even as a Pidove, even moreso now that she's an Unfezant (and a female at that- female Unfezant are notoriously superior when it comes to flight). She has become even stronger after Hedwig took her under her wing and started teaching her, and secretly longs to prove to her previous Trainer that he made a grievous mistake in trading her away, even thinking about releasing her if nobody had shown interest.
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