Vines of Deceit

BY : Manifest Destiny
Category: Pokemon > General
Dragon prints: 11235
Disclaimer: Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon. Pokémon is copy write by GameFreak, INC. and Nintendo. I make no money from this story, nor do I seek any. All elements from Equilibrium belong to Skyler. All unique characters and plot lines belong to me.

—————

Chapter 2: A Reason to Run

—————

The King waited, and has been waiting, for a long time. Sitting on his throne, he idly reflected on the events to come.

The white flame that scorches the sky. The black lightning bolt that scars the land… The Hero of Truth and the Hero of Ideals that join them in the never-ending cycle of history…

The King stood, having grown tired of waiting. Somewhere out in the world, he knew, his fate awaited him.

“The white Dragon of Truth… It’s time we became friends.”

—————

[To: Cheren; Bianca]

[Wait up, you two. I’m on my way.]

[-Tristan]

He set his arm back down on the table, shifting some of his weight on it as he leaned forward over his meal. Tristan sat at the kitchen table idly picking at the second set of leftovers he had heated up. His hunger had just about diminished from the three day span of ignoring his appetite. He found it amusing that his distraught mood had been completely turned around with just one chance encounter. He couldn’t keep himself from smiling at the thought that he wouldn’t be held up or left behind anymore.

Judging by how late it was, Tristan didn’t expect the two to reply immediately. He half expected them to call—if they were awake. He contemplated calling them himself; imagining Bianca's excited voice and Cheren's condescending tone questioning why he was able to set out so early. The other half urged him to keep the specifics a surprise, if only for a little bit. He chuckled to himself at the thought of him catching up to them by surprise.

Tap. Tap.

The taps came from his left, where Draya was currently lying beside his left arm. She had watched intently as her new human friend tapped the square, gray device on his arm. Its screen illuminated and responded to her new trainer’s touch, which fascinated the Snivy; she had never seen one of the devices up close before.

“What’s up, Draya?” Tristan asked.

In a few simple motions, Draya mimicked the actions Tristan had just done, pointing to his wrist.

“This?” he wrapped his arm around her, making sure the screen of his XTransceiver was in clear view. “This is a ‘Cross Transceiver’. They’re devices that we can use to communicate to other people over long distances. Just then, I sent a message to my friends, telling them I’ll be coming to meet them.”

Draya turned around and looked at him, pointing at herself twice.

“Right, ‘we’re coming’ to meet them. But I made sure to keep it vague; I want to see their faces when they see you. You’re my little miracle, you know that?”

She gave him a confused look.

“Well,” he said. “If you hadn’t shown up, I would’ve had to settle for one of the Snivy the Professor hands out, and that would’ve taken longer. I would’ve been stuck here waiting for a whole month while my friends went on ahead of me. Now, I don’t—” Tristan was cut off by the sound of his front door opening.

“Tristan, we’re home!”

“I’m in the kitchen, dad! You two should come in here for a sec.” Tristan stood up, but as he went to pick up Draya she fearfully leapt up to his shoulder, wrapping her tail around his neck for support as she hid behind his head. He could feel her shaking in a sudden expression of fear.

“Hey, it’s alright.” Tristan placed a hand behind her head, trying to calm her down. “It’s alright Draya.” He looked over to the doorway in time to see his mother and father walk in.

“Good, you’re eating,” his mother said, pointing to his dishes on the table. “Are you feeling… better?” Tristan could see his mother’s eyes widen once they came across the cowering grass snake around his neck staring right back at her. “Tristan! You—!” She stopped her excited approach when her son held out a hand and backed up a few steps. His father simply held a surprised expression matching his wife’s.

“Hold on Mom, I think she’s scared.” He shifted his attention to Draya and turned his back to his parents. “Hey, what’s the matter, Draya?”

The scared Snivy shook her head. Draya glanced over Tristan's shoulder at the sound of footsteps.

“Tristan?” his mother asked again, this time concern outweighing excitement. “Where did you—?”

Draya let out a tiny, scared squeak as she pulled herself down into Tristan's arms, hiding again from these strange new humans.

“Whoa, it’s alright Draya…” Tristan stroked her back, giving her various words of comfort. “They’re not going to hurt you, I promise. They’re my parents.” He slowly turned around, facing the open room again. Draya gripped his arm tightly as he did, her eyes darting back and forth between the two strangers.

Tristan tried extending the arm his Snivy was currently clinging to toward his mother, but she retook her position behind his head, wrapping her tail around his neck again. This time however, she allowed herself to be seen a bit more clearly, and her shaking had died down.

“Tristan? Care to explain?” his father asked.

“Alright, I think she’s fine now. Dad, mom, this is Draya.” He gently coaxed the Snivy off his neck and onto his arm, holding her close to his chest. “She’s a wild—or was a wild Snivy until about an hour ago. She was alone, and I guess saw how miserable I was and came to me. I still don’t know how she came to find me, but she’s agreed to be my Pokémon.”

“This all happened while we were out?” his spoke with disbelief. “How’d you find her?”

“I had my window open, and she just came up to me,” Tristan explained.

“She’s so cute!” Tristan’s mother moved in to get a closer look, but stopped when she noticed her son’s Pokémon clearly preferred to keep her distance. “What’s wrong, sweetheart? We’re not going to hurt you.” She held out a hand towards the apprehensive Pokémon. “Come say hello.”

“Yeah, Draya. Go on.”

She looked up at the young man holding her and shook her head.

“What’s wrong?” Tristan asked. “You trust me, don’t you?”

She paused for a moment, but nodded.

“Then you can trust my family,” he said. Before she could object—or cling to his arm in protest—he quickly held her out in his hands towards his mother. Initially, she tried to escape his grasp, but the way he held her made that impossible. She eventually stopped resisting, and allowed herself to be handed off to the woman who had the same eyes as Tristan.

“There you are, sweetheart…” she said. Tristan’s mother cradled the Snivy in her arms, gently rocking her back and forth. “See, all better.”

Draya nervously looked back to Tristan for anything reassuring, but he only smiled and nodded. Soon, she managed to calm herself down from her ordeal. She looked up at the woman, noticing the soft expression in her gray eyes. Draya noticed her scent was very much like Tristan’s, yet unique in its own way. Draya found herself being soothed by her touch, slowly warming up to another human she allowed herself to know.

In the minutes following, she soon gave in to a third after a few quick words of encouragement. Draya took to meeting Tristan’s father a little bit easier. She could see a lot of Tristan in how this man acted; very sure in his movements, and held a confident air about him. As she made the leap from his shoulder back into Tristan's arms, she found herself starting to think differently of humans.

Maybe there are a few good ones, Draya thought.

“She’s a quiet one, isn’t she?” Tristan’s father remarked.

“Actually, I don’t think she can talk.” Tristan rubbed Draya’s head comfortingly, anticipating the downtrodden look she gave him. “But I don’t care. She’s really smart. She uses a pretty crude system of sign language that I’ve—”

“Diane! Jeff! Open up!” A deep, booming voice erupted from the direction of the front door, followed by several heavy knocks. “Jefferson Blake, I know you’re home! I need your help!”

The family all gravitated to the front of the house, walking quickly to the room adjacent to the kitchen. Tristan hung back behind his parents, holding Draya close to his chest. Much more at ease with the situation, Draya moved onto his shoulder to guarantee a good view of what was going on.

Tristan knew the voice well. Recognizing the angered tones of that man is precisely why he stayed behind his parents, staying just inside the dining room.

It was the voice of Bianca’s father.

The large, balding, heavyset man nearly fell through the door as Tristan’s father opened it. “Oh, thank the Alpha. I need your help. My little girl’s missing! My Bianca! I think she must’ve—” he looked past Jeff and Diane and locked eyes Tristan, then to Draya sitting on his shoulder. “You!”

He barged past the two adults and took Tristan by arm, pulling him into the room. Bianca’s father ignored the shocked and angry words from the boy’s parents and pushed Tristan against the wall forcefully, Draya quickly jumping down to the floor. She backed into a corner, but held an angry glare at the large and loud man.

“You… You tell me where my little girl is now, or so help me, I’ll—”

Richard!” Jeff moved in, wrenching his son from the large man’s grip. “Don’t you ever threaten my son!”

“Well my daughter is missing, and your little brat knows something, I know it!” He shook off the hold Tristan's father had on him, and turned back to Tristan. “Go on, spill it! You’ve got your little Pokémon finally, but where’s my daughter?”

“What are you talking about?!” Tristan matched his loud voice. “You already know, don’t you? She and Cheren left three days ago—”

Where?! Where did she go?!”

“I don’t know exactly, alright? Didn’t you let her go?” As soon as the words left his mouth, Tristan already knew the answer. Oh no… Bianca you didn’t…

“What do you mean, ‘let her’? You mean she left on that asinine ‘training’ journey of hers?!”

“Of course!” Tristan bent down and picked up Draya, wanting to calm her down. “Three days ago, we went to Professor Juniper’s lab to pick up our starting Pokémon. They didn’t have mine, so—”

“So what’s that then?” he said, pointing at the bipedal snake in hiding in the corner of the room. Draya stuck out her small forked tongue in defiance.

She’s my Snivy, and she didn’t come from the Professor’s lab—if you’d let me finish.” Tristan picked Draya back up off the floor and held her in his arms. “I would have had to wait a whole month before I got one of theirs. But Cheren and Bianca got their Pokémon, and left town ahead of me three days ago. She told us you gave her permission so we didn’t think anything of it.”

“I told her that she was not allowed to leave my house on some fairytale little adventure! She’s a delicate little girl, too naive to face the world.”

“Ha!” Tristan laughed in the man’s face. “You don’t know your own daughter. Bianca’s a dreamer, always has been. The only person who’s naive here is you! What did she tell you to get out of the house, huh? Where’d you think she was these past three days after she had come home with her own Pokémon? And what kind of father are you to wait three days before starting to ask questions?”

“Tristan, that’s enough—” his mother tried stopping him from continuing.

“No, it isn’t! He’s always held Bianca back from what she’s wanted to do with her life. You’ve both seen it, I know you have!”

“That aside, she’s still Richard’s daughter,” his mother said.

“I don’t care!” turned back to Bianca's father, whose face was now purple with rage. “You’re not getting any hints from me. She’s off living her life, not the life you want her to live!”

“Fine, you little punk!” Richard turned around and walked toward the door. “I’ll find her myself!” Everyone flinched as Bianca’s father slammed the door shut behind him.

Without thinking Tristan ran into his room, carrying Draya in tow. He set his Snivy down on his bed and quickly set out to gathering the things he had begun to pack three days prior. Luckily, he never had the courage to unpack his gear after the crushing disappointment, so it largely went untouched. As he was looking for something under his bed, his parents came into the room.

“Tristan! What was wrong with you? Saying those kinds of things to Bianca’s father like that.” Tristan never did like hearing his father yell at him, but he would have to power through it.

“No offense to you dad, I know he’s been your friend for years, but the man’s an asshole and a bad father.”

“Tristan!” his mother exclaimed.

“I’m sorry mom, but he is. You saw him, and I’ve heard nothing nice about him from Bianca.” He stood up, throwing his large travel backpack onto his bed, stuffing a few things in the pockets. He walked over to his desk, grabbing his Pokédex, and putting on his trainer’s belt for the first time. Five empty spheres—and one already set to be occupied by Draya, when he had the chance—were set into the various holsters.

“And what do you think you’re doing? You’re not leaving now!” his father said. “It’s almost midnight!”

“I’m going, and I’m catching up to Bianca before he does. If I don’t, he’ll just end up dragging her back home with all the ‘worried parent’ guilt trips in the world. She doesn’t deserve that.” He held out his arm, and Draya scampered up it, taking her spot on his shoulder and wrapping her tail around his neck. She tapped the side of his face, trying to get his attention.

“We’re headed out now, Draya. I want to make sure he doesn’t get to Bianca before we do. I don’t want him ruining her chance at becoming a trainer this early.”

She nodded her head, standing upright on his shoulder in a ‘let’s get going’ pose, pointing out his door.

He laughed, “That’s the spirit!” Tristan made a few more passes around his room, making sure he had everything he needed for the trip.

“Tristan!”

His attention snapped back to his father.

“You can’t go running after your friends this late at night! At least wait until morning.”

“Dad, you saw how violently he acted towards me. Imagine what he’ll do if he catches up with her? You think he’s going to wait until morning to go after her? No! If I can’t stop him from trying to drag her back, I can at least help Bianca when he comes around.”

“Tristan I’m telling you as your father to let them handle this!” Jefferson blocked the doorway as his son tried to walk out on him. “I know Bianca is your friend, but she’s Richard’s daughter first and she disobeyed him!”

“Then I’m going to have to disobey my father too then!” Tristan yelled. He turned to his open window, ready to vault over the windowsill and out into the night.

“Tristan, wait!”

The voice of his mother stopped him in his tracks.

“Dear,” she said to her husband, “he’s got every right to leave if he wants to protect his friend. Richard means well, but he’s suffocating that poor girl. You know that we wouldn’t have met if we both listened to our parents when we were younger.”

He sighed, “I know that, but this is a family matter.”

“And I consider my friends as part of my family! We grew up together! ” Tristan stood up tall, letting his gear fall onto the floor. Draya held an impressed expression as she watched on the bed behind him. “Even though he’s an ass, Bianca’s father does what he does because he thinks he’s protecting her. I’m doing the same thing! I’ve loved Bianca like a sister for a long time, and I’m tired of just staying behind while the people I care about move on. I’m going to make sure she lives her life, not the one her father thinks she should.”

“But Tristan,” Diane said. “You’ve got to look at it from our perspective for a moment. We see our only son, leaving town to head out into the wild in the dead of night, foolhardy and unprepared. Did you even remember to pack food for yourself, or even your Pokémon?”

“I… Dammit…” he looked down, defeated.

“See?” she moved closer, placing her hands on his shoulders. “Please, have this one last night to prepare. If you won’t wait to help yourself, do it for your father and I. We want you to be safe, just like you want Bianca to be.”

“But what about—?”

“Don’t worry about Richard,” his father interjected. “I’ve known him for over twenty years, and if there’s one word to describe him, it isn’t ‘fast’.” He ended with a laugh, Tristan getting what he meant a second later and joining in.

“If you want to help Bianca now,” Diane joined back in, “send her a message explaining the situation, and you can set out first thing tomorrow. I’ll get up early with you and make sure you’re ready, okay?”

Tristan dropped his shoulders and sighed. “Alright… I get it…” He leaned forward and hugged his mother. “Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.”

Tristan apologized to the two of them for his behavior and hasty actions and bade his parents a good night. Realizing that they weren’t about to leave anytime soon, Draya made herself comfortable and laid down on the bed. Tristan spent the last few minutes before getting ready to sleep by thoroughly checking his travel backpack, adding things he had carelessly overlooked. It took only a few more minutes until he was satisfied with the thought that—unless he had forgotten anything this time—he was sure to be ready in the morning.

As he changed into some lighter clothes for the night, he remembered the entirely empty stash of Poké Balls on his belt. “Hey, Draya. There’s something— Oh, of course…” Draya was already fast asleep. “Well, one more thing to do in the morning.” He gently picked up Draya’s sleeping form and carefully got into bed, setting her back down without waking her up. Before falling asleep, he took off his XTransceiver, turned it on, and started composing his message to his friends.

—————

[“Wait– What?! Why?”] The voice of Aurea Juniper filled the room from the tiny speaker in Tristan’s XTransceiver. He had called her just minutes after taking the last shower he’d take in his home for a long time.

[“Tristan what happened? Why do you need us to cancel the order for your Snivy?”] Her expression exuded worry. In the background of tiny video feed, Tristan could see her father turn mid-stride and come within range of the microphone to his daughter’s confusion as he joined the conversation.

“Because,” he turned the camera to focus on Draya eating her breakfast, “I got my own Snivy, Professor. ‘Draya’ sorta found me last night, and you know how things tend to lead to other things…”

[“Now hold on,”] Cedric forced himself on-camera. [“You say a wild Snivy just showed up, in this town? Snivy aren’t even remotely a native species for the area!”]

He shifted the camera back to himself, “I know, right? I really appreciate the favor, Professor, but I really don’t need it now.”

Aurea came back into frame, [“Tristan, if you don’t mind, could you stop by my lab today? I’d really like to take a look—”]

“Sorry,” Tristan cut her off. “I’m in a rush to leave town. I really need to catch up with Cheren and Bianca. I promise I’ll let you have a look at her when I get the chance though.”

[“I really think you should come down, Tristan. Just a few minutes on your way out of town?”]

“Well,” he looked over to his Snivy, who had been listening during these past few exchanges. Draya just nodded, pointing to the device strapped to his wrist. “Alright. Meet me by the road to Route 1 in an hour, if that’s alright.”

[“Sounds good. Thank you, Tristan. And I’m happy that you’ve stumbled upon such an unlikely way of beating your stroke of bad luck.”] She waved to Tristan as she ended the call on her end.

“Yeah…” said Tristan. His mind drifted off to thoughts of the three days of misery he had to endure before his solution found its way to him. He was snapped out of his daze as Draya made her way up onto his shoulder. She gave him a cherry smile and patted his cheek.

“Thanks, Draya.” Tristan remembered the reason he was in a hurry. “Let’s see; What are we forgetting…?”

Tristan was relieved of much of the packing work early on that morning. His mother had insisted on making sure he was extra prepared for such a journey—Diane had the firsthand experience necessary after all. The remainder of the time was spent by Tristan trying to coax Draya to let her Poké Ball capture her. Time after time, she would reject the sphere’s capture mechanism, breaking free from its hold.

The two took a short break, and Tristan talked her through the process, hoping that it would help her be more at ease. She eventually calmed down, and on the umpteenth attempt, the capture was complete. Draya didn’t stay in her capsule long, however. She quickly learned how to release herself at will—even showing off to Tristan how quickly she could, repeating the feat in rapid succession in a blinding display of light.

“Okay, so keeping you in your ball isn’t going to happen then?”

Draya just scooped the ball into her large, leafy tail and tossed it into the air. As it fell down, she smacked the Poké Ball toward Tristan, laughing as he caught the device before it nearly hit his face.

“Oh, so you can laugh, but can’t talk, huh?”

Draya snickered once more before hopping down off the bed, and ran out of his room.

“Whatever.”

—————

Tristan Blake had envisioned the day he would leave home many times, but nothing could prepare him for the actual thing. He stood, pressed against his front door, holding his crying mother in a loving embrace. It looked like he was just about to make it through the departure without any heartfelt goodbyes, but somehow he couldn’t imagine it any other way. He returned the love his mother gave him, squeezing her tight once more before separating. Draya looked on while sitting on his luggage.

His father came up to shake his hand, and wished him luck. “Son, you’ve always been ambitious, but you also get ahead of yourself. Don’t overestimate your limits, but don’t underestimate your will to achieve. Never let your dream falter, no matter what it is.” He pulled his son into a hug as well. “And have some fun too.”

“I will, I promise,” he said. “Thanks mom, thanks dad. Thanks for all of your help.” He bent down to his gear, shouldered his backpack, donned his gray cap, and let Draya sit upon his shoulder. “I’m off, and just four days late!”

“Take care, Tristan.”

“And make sure Bianca gets through this situation okay,” his mother said.

“Don’t worry,” Tristan said as he opened the door. “Even if I get there late, Cheren is with her. He’ll definitely protect her if I can’t.”

Tristan walked out of his front door, ready to start his journey at last, but not before his mother followed after him as he was halfway down the path that lead to his house, “Tell Aurea I said—”

“Yeah, ‘Hi’, like always.”

“No,” she said. “Tell her ‘Thanks’, from me. ‘Thank you for helping my son get a start on his dream.’ Tell her that for me.”

“I will, but you know,” he looked at the Grass Snake Pokémon sitting on his shoulder, “It’s because Draya showed up that I’m even leaving right now.”

“Well,” his mother walked up and pet Draya’s head, “thank you too, Draya. You really saved him from a lot of misery. Now he can go be with his friends. Take care of my son, will you?”

Draya smiled back at Tristan’s mother and nodded. She rubbed her hand affectionately, making a low, cooing noise.

“Oh! She can make a little noise.”

“You’re right!” Tristan laughed. “That was cute, Draya.”

Draya shot him an annoyed look and smacked the opposite side of his face with her tail.

“What’d I say?”

—————

On the outskirts of Nuvema Town, Tristan was recovering from the light jog he had kept up since he had left his house. The sun was just clearing the tree line in the east, the temperature starting to rise as the minutes ticked away into the early morning. Tristan was glad for the cool breeze that blew down from the north, unimpeded so far away from the city. Professor Juniper was waiting for him as he reached the edge of town. Currently, she was in the middle of a few tests to determine the health of the Pokémon that Tristan had come across.

“Simply impeccable! Peak condition, scale color, reflexes… and you’re sure she’s wild?” The younger Juniper was kneeling on the ground, not caring about dirtying her white lab coat as she inspected Tristan’s rare find.

Draya was more amused than put off by the strange lady asking her to do these small, menial tricks and poses. The woman reminded her of Tristan’s mother.

“I mean, she wasn’t registered by another Poké Ball, I know that,” Tristan explained. “I caught her just this morning after some persuading, right Draya?”

His Snivy stuck her tongue out at him, punctuating it with a tiny laugh.

“And you say she’s a mute?”

“As far as I know, yeah. She’s only made tiny little noises, like her laugh. She’s been using a kind of sign language. What do you think?”

“She might’ve been one of our Snivy, but I don’t recognize her.” She stood up, dusting off her coat. “So, I think she could be a wild one, but the sign language suggests she’s at least been around humans before.”

“I don’t know about that,” Tristan said. “She was pretty skittish around me when we first met, and she panicked when my parents met her.”

“Hmm… It’s a mystery. Maybe if you pick up a Psychic type later on, you’ll learn some more about her,” she bent down and picked up Draya. “Well Tristan, she’s perfectly healthy as far as I can tell. You’re set to go. We expect good things from you, Draya. You’ve really surprised us all by showing up, you know that?”

Draya righted herself in the woman’s arms, and tilted her head upwards in an ‘of course’ sort of way. Then she hopped down to the ground, walking over to Tristan's side.

“Thanks Professor, from me, and my mom.” Tristan relayed his mother’s thanks to the professor, and restated his own.

 “No problem, Tristan.” She extended her hand, he took it. “Call me if you need anything, and I’ll be in touch from time to time.”

“Sure, I’ll do that.”

A series of beeps and a vibration from his wrist alerted Tristan to the call coming to his XTransceiver. The face that showed up on the screen was his father’s, [“Hey Tristan, where are you right now?”]

“Just at the start of Route 1. Why? Did I forget anything?”

[“Actually, it looks like my prediction was spot on; Richard’s still behind you, but only just. He stopped by here a few minutes ago. I think he figured he would try you again to get some help, but when we told him you were gone, he stormed off. I’d get a move on.”]

“Gotcha. Thanks dad,” Tristan quickly ended the call. “Sorry Professor, but I gotta run!”

“Wait, ‘Richard’, as in Bianca’s Father? Why is he— Oh… Did she really?”

Tristan nodded.

“Well you get to her before that man does. I’ll call ahead to them if you like,” she offered.

“No need; they know I’m coming, and I sent Bianca a message last night, going over the gist of things.”

“Alright, dear. Good luck.”

“Thanks again, Professor.” Tristan looked down to Draya. “Well Draya, let’s run!”

At her trainer’s word, Draya darted forward into the tall grass, easily out-speeding the heavy footsteps of her trainer pounding the ground behind her.

—————

To be continued…

—————



You need to be logged in to leave a review for this story.
Report Story