Ryan sat on the ground, clutching the intense burn on his chest as the Wolf Pack left the marketplace. As Fenrir had promised, Miles' surviving of his Z-Move had caused the Wolf Pack to end the fight and retreat, however Ryan had taken a nasty Flamethrower from the Houndoom before the battle ended and it hurt immensely, though Ryan tried to hide that particular fact by gritting his teeth.
"Hey, take it easy." Miles said holding the Quilava up. "Let's start with something small and work from there. What's your name?" Miles said in his calmest, most soothing voice. He helped the Quilava walk towards the rest of the group and heard Ryan shout at Aneirin. He couldn't make out the words, but there was a definite note of anger in the voice. "Aneirin, if it isn't too much, can you come help this Quilava out. She's not breathing well." Miles said.
Aneirin turned at the sound of Miles's voice. His eyes widened. "Help her out? Have you seen yourself?" Miles looked like, well, like he'd just had a huge boulder smashed on top of him. Aneirin was surprised that Miles was even standing still. "Also, I know about the poisons. I don't know how to fix it." Useless excuse for a healer. Can't even cure a burn, he thought to himself.
Miles nodded. "You need water chilled by a NeverMeltIce. Just -" He broke off as a sudden wave of dizziness passed over him. He staggered, but managed to stay upright. "Guess I was running off of Torrent again. Make sure that this Quilava is fine..." Miles managed to say before he collapsed.
Aneirin was petrified for a second or two. He remembered Ryan's angry words, and silently berated himself again. "All right. Everyone needs at least one Oran Berry. Miles needs a Reviver Seed, and you," Anieirin indicated the Quilava. "need to rest right here. Not another step." He handed the Oran Berries out, placed a Reviver Seed in Miles' mouth for him to suck on, and activated his Gift on the Quilava, sending a little wave of healing towards her
Ryan just quietly sat on the bench, trying to ignore the intense pain in his chest as he looked at the other three, unsure of what to make of them. All he knew is that he wasn't in any real shape to take off like he sorely wanted to and even then, he kind of wanted to know who sent Miles after him. 'Just don't look like you're lookin' to make small talk. At least I made it out alive. Would like it if my chest didn't feel like shit.' he thought to himself, lifting his paw to look down at the charred and singed fur, which only added to his discomfort.
Claire moaned, still laying on the ground after she was thrown, gasping and panting as the battle atmosphere faded away and the dust began to settle.
She glanced around at all the people, rolling over into her back and panting rather heavily as she stared up into the sky, forcing air down into her lungs, since they seemed to have suddenly un-shriveled.
“Huff... Huff.. Wurmple is fine... by the way.” She stated, lifting a paw into the sky in a very “matter of fact” sort of gesture before letting it fall back to the side again.
Aneirin sighed in relief as he saw the Quilava's breathing begin to ease, digging around in his bag for an Oran berry. Blast, I'm starting to run low on supplies... he thought to himself as he pulled one out and handed it to the Quilava. "Here, This should help you get back on your feet..." He said, walking over to Miles, who's breathing was labored. He was forcing himself to not look at Ryan, after hearing that there was nothing he could do, but he couldn't stop himself from casting worried glances over to him. Was there anything he could do to make Ryan feel less pain....? He'd tried all he could... That line of thinking stayed with him as he pulled his second-to-last reviver seed out of his pouch, sliding it into Miles's mouth, trying to think of something he could do.
'Who the heck even were those guys? They obviously got beef with Gifted seeing as they were targeting us pretty viciously. I need to be more careful, though...honestly...I don't see my future looking very bright with this burn. That Houndoom got me good.' Ryan thought to himself, spacing out on it as he tried to ponder about this new threat and maybe get his mind off the intense pain, though to no luck. It just hurt too badly to ignore. But he also didn't have a solution to that problem. Overall, he could safely say that this whole mess sucked.
“Oh... oh, thanks...” Claire said, taking the Oran berry and taking a bite out of it, chewing slowly. For a moment she just sat there, chewing on the berry, before she rolled back over onto her paws and sat back on hind legs, giving a huff.
“Hooo buddy... that was interesting.” She commented, looking around at the settling dust as fight ended. “I was not expecting that to happen today... or any day, to be honest... what the heck did they want with us, again? I think they told us at some point...” the shiny ran her paw over her face and sighed, racking her brain over the whole encounter.
“...oh yeah.. they said... they were after us because we’re Gifted...” She mumbled, her brows pinching as a sad expression crossed her face.
"You're Gifted? Don't look it." Ryan couldn't help but comment rather bluntly. Indeed she just looked like your typical shiny Pokemon in his opinion. He wouldn't have figured her for a Servant or Follower at all if she hadn't mentioned it herself. He just assumed she'd been targeted as a victim of circumstance or had intentionally gotten in the way like Miles had and gotten attacked for it. Things had begun to stop surprising Ryan in the two months he'd been here, but this certainly caught him off-guard.
"... I wonder who else feels that way about gifted." Aneirin said softly. "Angry enough to attack them on sight... even if the gifted hadn't done anything to provoke it." His tone was dismayed as his mind thought over all of the pain and suffering that the war must have caused to the original inhabitants of the world. He looked down at the unconscious Miles and sighed. Another poor soul... caught up in something that shouldn't involve him. He watched Miles stir and sit up, looking around, spitting out the Plain Seed.
"Well... That hurt." He said, standing up a little shakily. "Everyone else alright?" He asked, seemingly oblivious to the fact that he'd just been knocked out on the ground, and not knowing what the discussion had been about previously.
“Yeah, I tend to hide it.” She pulled her bangs back and flashed the little Cresselia moon that was stamped on her forehead. “It’s pretty easily hidden, honestly. So I tend to hide it when I’m wandering around anyway.”
She looked over at Miles, who had woken with a start, and she tipped her head to the side curiously as he spat out a seed. “Well, glad you’re feeling better.” She then looked at Ryan and knit her brows together before waddling over to him.
“Are you okay? Cause it looks like you’ve got something going on,” She gestured at his chest, “All over this general region. Is that a burn? Did you try like, squeezing a Rawst berry over that? Sometimes just eating it won’t work.”
Ryan recoiled slightly from her. It wasn't like he had a touch phobia and he even doubted she'd reach out and touch the burn to begin with. But he hadn't thought she was a Follower of fucking Cresselia. To his credit, he calmed quickly, and would play it off as a concern over his burn if asked about it. "It's a Houndoom Burn. We tried a berry. Didn't work. Neither did Aneirin's healing."
"Yes. Based on what Miles said, we'd need to locate some nevermeltice. The Toxins in a houndoom's flame make the burns much harder to heal." Aneirin said, a little surprised himself at the revelation that the Quilava was a follower of Cresselia. "Nothing I tried worked. Heal Ribbon, Rawst Berry, anything. We need the ice." He watched Ryan a little interestedly, noting his reaction to the Quilava getting close and wondering if there was something more behind it than a desire not to be touched on the burned area.
Miles stood up and stretched, nodding. "He said the closest place to get some was in a Compound run by the followers of Cresselia, a couple miles north of here." He said, his body completely energized from the reviver seed. He had noticed the little Cresselia stamp, but that didn't make a difference to him. In fact, it made him like the Quilava a little more, his sister having been saved from death by a follower of Cresselia.
She flinched herself when Ryan twitched at her close proximity, her ears pulling back in surprise. She blinked, then retracted her paw away from him, picking up that he was uncomfortable. Why? She couldn’t quite tell.
Whatever it was, it didn’t really matter to Claire. “Oh, is that it? Well, that’s easy!” She barked cheerfully, “I’ll get us in there, no problem! It’ll be a piece of cake! I just gotta make a stop at the police station first, and then I’ll happily tag along to get your friend that ice. I couldn’t possibly leave someone suffering in good conscience.”
She looked over at Ryan curiously, then turned back down the street towards the police station, her original goal when all of this began. “I’ll go do my thing over there, and be right back.” The shiny chattered happily as she started to trot in that direction, before turning and looking back at the three other mons, “I mean, if you don’t want to join me, that is?”
"Well gee that sounds just fine and dandy, but why the hell would they help me? Actually why do any of you want to help me? Miles owes me one for ambushing me earlier so I get him, but in case it hasn't clicked for you two, I'm not exactly a Follower of either of your factions or at all. I'm an ex-Servant of Yveltal. A Renegade." Ryan commented, folding his arms. He figured saying he was a Servant of Yveltal put him on immediate bad terms with Aneirin, but at least Xerneas' Followers weren't obligated to attack Servants of Darkrai.
She stopped and turned to look at Ryan, her expression blank. She seemed to be considering him briefly before turning and trotting back towards him.
When she found herself in front of him, she stood up on her hind legs and stuck her nose in his face, eyes narrowed as she examined his face. An awkward silence fell over the two as she did, till she suddenly gave a big, cheerful smile and said, “Well of course they’ll help! I’ll be the one asking after all.” She then stuck her tongue out playfully and bopped him on the nose before wheeling back around and walking away again.
“Well? Are you coming or not?” She called over her shoulder.
Aneirin bristled a little bit as he heard what Ryan had said. He was not happy with this information. He was going to challenge Ryan, but then he looked at Ryan's chest, still burned and raw, and sighed. There could be time for that later.... He had his work to do. He followed Claire, avoiding looking at Ryan, but not taking any aggressive action..... for now.
Miles seemed more confused by what Claire had done than upset. What.... where did she get her energy from? A minute ago she was on the floor barely breathing, and now she was.... uhh.... doing whatever she was doing. He looked over at Ryan and shrugged. "I don't get her." He said. "You gonna come?" He asked, looking a little concerned at the still wounded chest. "I do still owe you one, so I'm following you on this."
"Hold that thought, Miles. Hey! Aneirin! Miles you go on ahead. Aneirin I want to to talk to you real quick!" Ryan called over to the Absol, waving the hand that wasn't still clutching his chest as he tried to get the Absol's attention. He may not want Claire to know the truth, but he didn't need the "group's" healer hating them on what was apparently going to be a trip into what was the most dangerous place for him to be. 'No way in Distortion am I putting myself on the bad side of the one that can patch me up when this all goes south over the cheery girl. I do NOT need another person out for my blood over a misunderstanding. Not that I couldn't drag his face across the pavement if I weren't in better condition...but I'm not' He thought to himself. Overall, he was less than thrilled about this whole situation.
Apparently oblivious to the turmoil of everyone around her, Claire continued on her way, intent on the job she had originally come here for.
She padded along, chin up and humming happily as she approached the police station, pushing the door open with her paw as she walked in, she was soon greeted by a wiggling Wurmple and his mother the Dustox.
“Miss Cwaire! Miss Cwaire!!” The Wurmple cried, pressing his little suction cup like feet against her belly as he did, seemingly like h was trying to hug her. “Awe you otaaay?”
“You? You’re the one who brought my baby here safe and sound?” The Dustox asked, fluttering over to the Quilava with a relieved expression. “Hehe, yup, that’s me!” Claire said, scratching the back of her head and patting Wurmple on the back, taking particular care to not touch any of his poisonous spines. “I’m Claire, nice to meet you!” She stuck out a paw, and soon found the Dustox wrapping her four legs around the Quilava, tearfully mumbling “thank you”s to the young fire type.
“Oh, really, it was no trouble. I’m just sorry that I got him all mixed up with that whole horrible business outside...” her words trailed off, looking guilty about the whole exchange, before shaking her head and rubbing her forepaws together. “Besides, I was coming here anyway. I suspect you know why.” She said, causing the Dustox’s eyes to widen, and actual tears welled up in the moth’s eyes.
Claire turned to look at Miles and opened her mouth to address him when she realized that she didn’t actually know his name. “.... huh. I never did get any of your names, did I? Well, darn, that’s just rude of me. Here I am dragging you to my job and I didn’t even introduce myself. I’m Claire. What’s your name?”
"What do you need Ryan?" Aneirin asked, carefully measuring his voice. While he didn't like Servants of Yveltal, still having an enormous respect for Xerneas and her teachings, one of her teachings was that all living creatures deserved life. Internally he was struggling, knowing that he should heal Ryan, knowing that he was only an ex-servant of Yveltal, but he also had his entire remembered lifetime of bias against the Servants. His voice betrayed none of this internal struggle, and he walked over to Ryan so they could talk in private.
"My name is Miles, It's nice to meet you Claire!" Miles said, having followed her once Ryan had told him to go on ahead. He had an idea of what would be going on back there, an ex-servant of Yveltal and a Follower of Xerneas. He watched Claire interact with the pokemon in the police station and smiled. She seemed to be a good Pokemon. He did wonder what she meant about the real reason she was coming here, and decided to ask as much. "So, what did you mean when you said you'd be coming here anyway?" He asked her.
"I wanted to make one thing crystal clear with you so this doesn't turn into a problem later. I lied about being an ex-Servant of Yveltal. I'm an ex-Servant of Darkrai. I only said I used to be part of Yveltal's faction because it's a commonly known fact that Xerneas and Yveltal's factions don't seek to actively kill each other on sight. Partially because A) Xerneas' followers tend to heal wounds, not make 'em and B) not all of Yveltal's servants are axe-crazy. However, Cresselia's Followers tend to have a far more violent disposition towards Darkrai's Servants. Even former ones." Ryan explained, his voice firm, but non-hostile. As he'd told himself before, he didn't need the group 'doctor' to be holding a grudge against him. He also sincerely hoped that Aneirin here knew how to keep his mouth shut about sensitive information. The last thing he needed was Claire finding out and basically dooming any chance of a quick recovery on his part.
“Well, you know what followers of Cresselia do, right?” She shrugged, then booped Miles on the nose and plodded over to the front desk, standing up on her hind legs and peeking over the desk to introduce herself. After a moment, a couple officers wheeled in a Beautifly on a cart. He was shifting around in his tortured sleep. Miles should recognize it- This Beautifly was afflicted by Darkrai’s curse.
Claire plodded over to the cart, looking up at it. She wondered how it was that would get up there, and prepared to jump up at first, but one of the Magnemite nearby seemed to catch on and lifted her up themself, grabbing her between his magnets and placing next to the Beautifly.
She nodded in thanks before leaning over the Beautifly and examining him briefly before rubbing her paws together and starting to work her magic. A faint glow came off her forehead as she gently pulled what looked to be a string of purple-black smoke from the Beautifly’s forehead. The Dustox flew closer nervously, trying to get a look at the process, before being moved back by the other officers in the station.
Once all the smoke was pulled out, Claire bunched it up in her paws and pressed them together, making the smoke cloud dissipate and fade away into the air. After a few moments, Beautifly’s eyes opened and the Dustox shrieked in relief, diving past the officers and picking up Beautifly as she rushed over, hugging him and sobbing.
The two parents seemed so happy. Wurmple immediately started to cry and wiggle over towards the two, at which point Claire leaned over the side of the cart, picked him up and handed him off to his parents before hopping off the cart herself and looking at the three of them. She took the reunion in briefly before turning and walking back over to Miles.
“Ahhh... I love this part.” She sighed, clasping her paws as she watched the family. “It’s always really rewarding to watch these little reunions... Don’t you think?” She turned and asked Miles, a little smile on her face.