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 Solitary Setbacks

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PostSubject: Solitary Setbacks   Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:16 am

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Cattail Marsh was not a pretty scene. It was hardly a tourist attraction and it was most assuredly not a popular hotspot. The air was muggy, humid and uncomfortable, the flatlands were mushy and heavy, and the waters that flooded the flatlands were rife with muck and grime, to say nothing of the many bug, poison, and water Pokemon that made their homes there. The dungeon itself was merely a passageway to the infinitely more deadly Misty Mire, harsher swamplands that were home to much more dangerous Pokemon. Cattail Marsh was the sort of dungeon you went to only if you had to go there for something.

Goro the Croagunk called it home. Croagunk themselves were not an uncommon sight in the swamplands, but ones that weren't feral certainly were. Goro himself made his home in the Marsh not because the conditions were particularly favorable, but because how little traffick the area saw. If anything could be said about Goro the Croagunk, then it would be that he valued his privacy. A mercenary by occupation and a hermit by nature, the Marsh was a natural sanctuary for him. After setting off on his own, he'd stumbled into the Marsh on his way to Rainfront Town, and had instantly fell in love with the desolate population and unpleasant environment.

Only one or two ferals been pokin' 'round here today. Good 'ta see they're learnin' their place. Goro liked to spend his time in the Marsh patrolling his territory, a stretch of swamp deep within the dungeon that he claimed for himself. There wasn't anything particularly special about his flatlands, other than an abandoned run-down shack perched up on a gloomy embankment of water. It was dour and damaged, with heavy cracks in the aged wood, empty windows and a missing door-- he loved it. Goro counted himself very fortunate to have found it, and immediately set about beating back any and all feral Pokemon in the area, establishing the area very firmly as his.

Which is what he was doing now. The Croagunk prowled through the swamplands back to his hovel with a satisfied air about him, having discovered only a few Pokemon still lingering in the area. They were learning quickly not to come anywhere near his residence, lest they find themselves on the wrong end of a harsh beating.

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PostSubject: Re: Solitary Setbacks   Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:20 pm

Darcy gave her sister a confused and anxious glance, hoping that she could explain what was going on, or at least hoping that she could provide some sympathy.  The Croagunk's breakneck change in mood and his sudden compliment still left her heart reeling, butterflies fluttering about in her stomach as she tried to process it all.  Was his behavior a side effect of her kiss from earlier?  Surely it must be, and it would wear off soon, and everything would be back to normal, right..?

But Alki's laughter and the words that followed just made Darcy's cheeks burn brighter and all of her shyness and uncertainty even stronger.  "A-Alki!" she shouted, stumbling a little and wearing a tiny frown as her heart started beating a little bit faster.  Compliment him back?  That was...  That was ridiculous!  He wasn't being serious!  This was all just because of his confusion.  It had to be.  Right?  "C-c'mon, I still don't think he's feeling quite right.  ...H-he's not, isn't he?"

She squeaked and fell silent as Goro's arm wrapped around her and held her close, firmly but gently, as he assured her that no, he had never felt better.  Her heart skipped a beat and she froze in place.  She found herself staring up at him, her eyes wide and sparkling in the morning sunlight.  He...  No, he couldn't be lying, could he.  Confusion wouldn't make something like this happen.  And...  And as if she couldn't already believe it, there was that big, dopey, kind of adorable smile on his face as he leaned on her and affectionately ran one of his hands through her fur.

She stared at that captivatingly sweet expression of his for longer than she meant to before blushing even harder and looking away, resuming her slow walk towards the house, her heart beating faster as she felt the Croagunk's presence against her side, a hurricane of mixed emotions swirling through her.  "I-I...  Well, I don't do anything special..." she murmured more timidly than ever after his compliment, letting herself lean into him as well.  ...Somehow, he...  Really did seem to like her.  Moving on from complimenting her to making small talk about her interests...  She still didn't understand his sudden change in attitude, and she didn't understand what she was feeling, either, but...  She wished Goro had been this way from the start...  "Well...  I clean myself twice every day.  I-I know you probably can't tell from looking at me right now, but, umm...  I-I don't like being dirty.  I wish Alki could have decided to go for a walk somewhere else..." she said with a tiny laugh.

A smile crept onto her face, and in spite of herself, she found herself purring a little as she nuzzled against Goro and led him inside.  ...Maybe he just put on a tough exterior, but was sweet when you got to know him?  Perhaps his lingering confusion just made him feel more open.  That was how it seemed, and, well...  She definitely wasn't complaining...  "...I think it's a common feeling for all Skitty.  Like wanting to chase your own tail whenever you see it.  I-I know it's even more of a big deal for Delcatty, though, which is what I'll be if I evolve.  My mom and dad have the softest fur ever, but they're really finnicky about staying clean..."

She blinked and she felt her face and ears grow hot as she realized what she had just said.  "O-oh, and!  Don't get the wrong idea!!" she said, her eyes growing wide as she stared up at Goro with a trace of panic in her voice.  "I've been really good about not chasing my tail lately!  I-I haven't done it at all since joining the guild!  I-I...  I, umm..."

She stared at the ground, giving up on words and instead just pressing against Goro again and hoping he wouldn't judge her too harshly.  ...It wasn't often that she admitted these things, let alone to someone like him.  "I-I'm strong like you are.  O-or I'm trying really, really hard to be..." she mumbled as the two of them stepped through the doorway and she led him to his bed, settling prone on the ground and helping him sit down.  "U-uhh, right, Alki?  I'm cool like Goro, aren't I..?" she said while lowering one ear and giving her sister a glance.  She wasn't quite sure why she suddenly cared so much about Goro's opinion of her, but...  Well, she did...  And while she had messed up plenty of times while together with Alki...  There had been a couple of moments she was proud of, right?

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PostSubject: Re: Solitary Setbacks   Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:31 pm

Alki held the door open, more as a gesture of politeness than for any practical purpose. The door was practically falling off. If she tugged hard enough, could she pull it off? That might be a possibility, but not one she cared to test out. It wasn’t her house, after all, and why would she want to ruin such a silly moment with something like that? Goro was complimenting Darcy’s fur now, and everything he was doing seemed so out of place, yet she didn’t want to question it too much. What if it stopped? He had been friendly enough last night, but this was just so entertaining! Was it her fault? If it was, it’d wear off soon enough, but the child most certainly didn’t want it to.

The Igglybuff tried to pay attention to the conversation, but it took all her effort to keep her laughter stifled. She closed her eyes and tilted her head down, her whole body heaving with the force of suppressed laughter. It was all so adorable! She didn’t know what it was, exactly, that was going on, but she knew that it made her feel happy for her sister, and perhaps a tad bit jealous as well. It was something so strange, this jealousy, she knew Darcy praised her quite a bit, and perhaps there would be more to praise her like that in the future, but this was something different entirely, and it was something she wanted, even if she didn’t quite know what it was.

Alki burst into a half-laugh, half-cry as she heard her name from Darcy. “W-Wha...?” She wheezed, the playful grin still on her face even as Darcy gazed at her, seemingly worried. Worried… about what? Alki’s eyes widened, she hadn’t expected such a sudden question! What was she supposed to say? “I-I… I mean, yeah! Y-You are, you… you came to find me, r-right? Alone, And… this is a mystery dungeon, so… y-yeah… I’d say so...” She said, quickly finding her words to be rather inadequate. She should’ve thought the sentence through a bit more… she tilted her head away, beginning to feel a tad red in the face. No need to linger on that though. Goro’s smile was so silly! She giggled as he passed by her, and then she bounced, following the two inside. She sat down a couple feet away, gazing at the two with round, intrigued eyes. It was all so strange, what they were doing. Goro was acting so funny, in more ways than one. She rotated her feet, back and forth, as her hands were held flat against the floor. She wanted to see what would happen next. What would Goro say? She giggled a bit at the thought. Something funny, no doubt.
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PostSubject: Re: Solitary Setbacks   Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:20 am

It seemed she was as self-conscious as she was cute. The Skitty let loose the most adorable little squeak when Goro curled his arm around her, leaning into her bodily and soaking in her presence. She seemed even unable to look at him for long, staring up at him for just an instant before her gaze found the ground again and she led him steadily to the shack. Her words were soft and timid, her tone not exactly confident, but she leaned into him just as he did her, so perhaps she was just nervous, rather than off-put by him. Goro's smile grew wider at the thought, and he felt his heart lighten a little when the kitten actually took his hint and started talking about her grooming tendencies.

Honestly, he didn't much care about them in specific, but hearing Darcy talking so much was more important. She seemed so protective and maternal when it came to Alki, and when she was around the younger Pokémon she tended to hang back and watch her, rather than come forward and present herself like the young, cute, confident Pokémon she should be. Even last night, when she'd braved his territory and gotten in his face, the first thing on her mind was her younger sister and doing what she needed to do to protect her. Despite the fog clouding his mind and the strong, sudden infatuation he held for Darcy, he really did admire that about her. That sense of family was something precious, and Alki needed someone like that to look after her.

The Croagunk was dutifully silent while Darcy walked him back to his shack. Apparently, getting her to talk about herself a little was a good idea - Goro nearly paused when he felt the tell-tale feeling of a cat's purr vibrate against his side. Absentmindedly, his hands curled in on the fur he had clutched, running his fingers along the Skitty's coat gently, without thought. He wasn't sure why he was allowing the girl to lead him back to his shack since he felt totally fine. The bout of confusion certainly did throw him for a loop, but as soon as he really took a look at the Skitty in front of him, it seemed to have faded completely. How was he going to show them anything about battling if he was laying in bed? What were the two of them going to do instead?

"You seem so responsible, kitty," The mental image of Darcy spinning in circles, chasing her own tail was probably the most innocent and pleasant thought he'd had in weeks. And the way she fell all over herself trying to convince him that she hadn't done such a thing in so long heartened him - it wouldn't do for her to forget she was a kid, too, while she was busy looking after the one at her feet. During the lull of silence that fell when she trailed off, giving up on words in her apparent embarrassment, he felt the ridiculous need to pacify her. "I couldn't ever imagine you chasin' yer own tail like that.

"An' I reckon yer plenty cool. Ya made it all the way out here to get the lil' idjit, didn't ya?" The look on Alki's face when the two Pokémon passed by the doorway made him want to cuff the little shit. It was the same smug, coy, playful little smile she plastered on her mug when she thought she knew something you didn't, and damn him if it wasn't the most adorable thing. If only she weren't so devious when showing that particular expression, he might not grow nervous when he saw it. Stil, Goro did as he was bid when Darcy led him into the shack and settled down next to him. The Croagunk let himself be sit down on the straw bed, his back chafing against the rotting wood that served as his walls. Still, his hand gently clung to Darcy's fur, still making the slight scratching motions with his fingers, delighted by the texture of the Skitty's still dirty fur. "I don't know how I'm gonna show ya girls how to battle if yer layin' me in bed, though."

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PostSubject: Re: Solitary Setbacks   Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:42 am

Darcy gave Alki an appreciative glance as she helped Goro settle down.  That was right!  This was a mystery dungeon, and she had scoured it from top to bottom, all by herself, in the dark of night.  ...Alki hadn't mentioned just how scared she had been the whole time, but, well...  That didn't cheapen her accomplishment too much, did it?  The Skitty couldn't help but feel proud of herself, at any rate...

She gazed up at Goro expectantly, hoping he would feel the same.  A tiny smile blossomed on her face as he called her responsible.  She really did try her best...  Being away from home for the first time hadn't always been easy.  It was nice to know that Goro thought she was doing a good job, even if all he knew was that she had been trying to quit that embarrassing habit of hers.

...And his following words made her smile turn into a broad, happy grin that took up most of her face.  He couldn't even imagine her doing that kind of thing?  Really?  And...  He agreed with Alki!  He honestly thought that she was cool...  Or at least that she wasn't just a kid.

"Y-yeah...  I did come all the way out here..." she said, purring louder and nuzzling up against Goro's side as her expression took on an air of shyness again.  "...But to be honest, I was really scared.  ...I'm really glad that Alki and I found you.  We would have had to leave on our own otherwise, and I...  Well, ummm...  I feel safer with you around..."

Goro sat down in his bed, and Darcy rested her head against him.  She had half-expected him to let go of her now that he was inside, but he kept his arm curled around her body...  And to her shock and delight, she felt his hand work its way into her fur, giving the back of her neck some gentle, much-needed scratches as his hand slowly began roaming across the rest of her body...  The sensation sent shivers down her spine and she all but melted into Goro.  It only took a few moments before she dreamily hoisted her head and forepaws up into his lap, purring deeply and loudly while hoping that he wouldn't stop.  She'd been much too busy to take care of her fur herself lately, and after spending so long trecking through the muddy swamp water of Cattail Marsh, it was in desperate need of some attention...  Being scratched like this after such a long period of neglect felt wonderful...

...But she blinked her eyes open and glanced at him once he mentioned their training session again, embarrassed about having lost herself like that but not embarrassed enough to climb out of his lap.  "U-uhh, right!" she said, her ears perking up while she stared up at his face.  "Are you sure that you're feeling better?  N-nothing left from Alki's confusion at all?"

She stood up using her front paws and nuzzled her head beneath his chin, her body still vibrating with purrs.  "Because...  You can rest for a while longer if you  need to.  This is nice.  You're good at petting people.  And, you're, ummm...  I think that you're cool...  Maybe...  You can tell us a little about yourself, if you want to?  Where you're from, or what you like to do..."

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PostSubject: Re: Solitary Setbacks   Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:36 am

Alki looked up at the Croagunk as they passed, still giggling with laughter. It was all such a funny situation, almost unreal. It was so fantastically sweet, and as he passed by with that look of helpless frustration with her, she couldn’t help but laugh a bit more. It seemed as if her laughter was getting at them, and after all of the stuff that had happened regarding the new member of their team, laughing like this felt so rich! She followed the two older Pokemon into the house, observing this strange proceeding. The way she purred and nuzzled with the Croagunk reminded her so much of how the Skitty usually treated her, but it was different in a way.

The child’s laughter subsided as she began to focus on the pair in front of her, the way Darcy placed her head in the frog Pokemon’s lap, the way she just wouldn’t stop purring and how the purring was so loud that it seemed to fill the room, bouncing off of the walls of the shack and into Darcy’s mind. She seemed so happy! Yet Goro hadn’t done much of anything… Hell, he’d just punched her! Despite all of that, the Skitty seemed content, and Alki wasn’t going to interrupt it.

Although the Skitty, perhaps unintentionally, interrupted her imagination. She wasn’t wrong, but it was a rather surprising blow to suddenly be blamed for something she’d already apologized for, quite a bit as well. “Well, uh, I… I said I was sorry!” She piped up, her voice sounding a tad desperate and very apologetic. Had they not caught that? Both of them had been… pre-occupied because of her, at the time. “I… I am, I didn’t know it’d be that bad, trust me! I didn’t mean to hurt either of you two…” She mumbled, resting her hands on top of her feet as she looked up at them both with shining, guilty eyes. It hadn’t been her intention, certainly not. The sudden blame wasn’t something to cry over, but she certainly felt the suddenness of the blow. She thought they’d gotten past that… Her eyes jumped from one Pokemon to the other, hoping they’d accept her apology.
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PostSubject: Re: Solitary Setbacks   Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:20 am

In the presence of the two joyous Pokémon, Goro wasn't sure how to act. Darcy had all but melted into him after he started working his fingers into her fur, purring like the big cat she was and nuzzling into her lap, and Alki seemed to find the entire thing just too hilarious for words, cackling like a madwoman. He felt more than a little intimidated by their good cheer, to say nothing of how easy they blended in and carried themselves. There were no lingering traces of awkwardness or shyness from the two, and the kitten, in particular, was particularly bold, but it was hard to mind. Looking at her now, purring up a storm, he assumed that it was mostly instinctual on her part. Likely similar to the bit about chasing her tail, but either way, having a Skitty laying in his lap didn't sit right with him.

In the haze of infatuation, of course, he felt overjoyed by the contact, but there were still hints of annoyance and disgust lingering in the back of his mind, and despite himself, he couldn't help but notice them.  Why on earth would he ever feel that way about Darcy, the adorable Skitty she was? Absently, he shook his head, doing his best to clear such thoughts from his mind and kept working his fingers into the Kitten Pokémon's fur, now bringing the other hand up to work on the other side of her. The vibration of her purring against him felt alien in the sense that he'd never experienced such a thing, but also intimate and close, and he wanted more of it. Did she trust him enough to show him this side of her after just a night at his home and a morning in his company? Goro didn't know why the two girls were being so open with him, but he was equal parts humbled and quietly gratified. Darcy's words, in specific, about feeling safe in his presence sent a strong thrum of pride through him.

"Yer fine, ace. I'm fine, too. I just... didn't expect anythin' like that out of ya. Caught me on flat feet," Despite the cheerful atmosphere, it seemed Alki still harbored some guilt, despite all of her apologies earlier while Goro was confused. To be fair, he hadn't been able to say anything or vocally forgive her, considering that he was literally confused and wasn't in much of a state to speak. Thinking on it, the state of mind seemed to have fled him almost as soon as he laid a hand on Darcy. It seemed only fitting that she had something to do with curing his ailment that way, and Goro absentmindedly redoubled his efforts in petting her. "Between that and the flamethrower, ya got some real firepower. I don't know what you were on about with all that talk about bein' useless."

He had meant to elaborate, perhaps give the Balloon Pokémon a vote of confidence somehow, but Darcy's head butting against the bottom of his chin shut him up immediately. The concern they were showing him left him feeling dazed and uncomfortable, and he wasn't sure it had anything to do with his suddenly strong feelings for the kitten in his lap. Some more rest didn't honestly sound like a bad idea, either. Sleeping out in the open like that left him feeling restless in the morning, and the idea of spending a lazy morning with the two of them swapping stories wasn't unappealing at all. Thinking on it, he felt he much preferred it to somehow trying to teach them how to battle. Considering they were both Explorers and had much more between them than he anticipated, it was probably a good thing for him.

"About me, huh...Where do I start?" Tearing his gaze from the cat in his lap, he let his head rock backward against the wall behind him, staring at the ceiling of his shack while he contemplated the question. His words slowed as he trailed off in thought, unsure of how much he wanted to reveal. There wasn't much to him as an individual, he felt, and the last thing he wanted to do was give the two girls the right idea about him. The right idea, of course, being that he was the son of two professional thugs who made careers out of being ugly muscle. And the worst part about that being was that he didn't mind following in their footsteps - as long as he did it better than them, that is. Maybe there was something to say about him leaving that life, and coming to Cattail Marsh, but really he was only here out of a lack of direction in life. Taking away the "work", Goro wasn't sure there was much to him. He'd never opened up to someone else like this, before, but once the words started coming out of him Goro found it hard to stop. "I guess... I don't remember where I was born, exactly. My folks n' me moved around a lot, but we tended to stick around the Rainfront area since it was best fer work. I like livin' here, though. It's quiet durin' the day, and the view at night is somethin' to die for."

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PostSubject: Re: Solitary Setbacks   Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:50 pm

Goro surprised Darcy a second time by bringing his other hand up to work through her matted, dirty fur, straightening it out and gently scratching or massaging her body underneath...  She grinned and purred with delight, pulling her hind legs into his lap and curling up against him while she enjoyed the sensation.  Was this paradise?  This felt like paradise, having a strong, kind Pokemon lavish attention on her like this.  At the very least, it was a sensation she was certainly not used to, one that she didn't mind at all...

But her purring stopped and her eyes snapped open as Alki's desperate voice pierced through her reverie.  "I-I didn't mean it like that!  I know you'd never hurt anyone on purpose," she added to Goro's words, her ears perked up and a tiny frown on her face.  "We aren't upset, Alki.  I just...  Well, I don't think fighting is very pretty.  It's important to know how to stay safe, but when you are practicing...  Y-you're still practicing how to stop people from hurting you.  I don't think it's always fun."

Her ears flattened and her eyes took on an air of guilt.  "I'm sorry.  I shouldn't have told you to show us your move without asking about it first.  I-I just didn't expect anything so dramatic."  She nuzzled up against Goro's chin one more time, but didn't tear her eyes away from Alki.  "We're all okay though.  No one really got hurt, and you know more about what you can do now.  Please don't feel bad, alright?"

Her purring stopped, and she still couldn't look away from Alki, the little Igglybuff's eyes glistening like she might be about to cry.  The Skitty listened to Goro as he answered her question, but she couldn't shake the feeling of guilt for ruining Alki's gleeful mood.  ...Still, hearing a little about her new friend's family did pique her interest.  "What kind've work did they do?" she asked, eyes gleaming with a hint of curiosity as she rolled over onto her back and glanced up at him.  Maybe some conversation would cheer Alki up again.  "Um...  It must have been something exciting if they moved around so much, right?  Did you ever help them?"

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PostSubject: Re: Solitary Setbacks   Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:12 pm

The Igglybuff nodded, relieved to have been forgiven by both of the larger Pokemon. The two of them were seated on the bed, and between the way they seemed to be enjoying themselves, and the fact that neither had really said anything to her since Goro had hit Darcy, Alki suspected one of them, if not both, would be angry at her. That didn’t seem to be the case. The girl let out a deep exhalation, watching them with newfound, nervous positivity. The Igglybuff rested her hands on top of her feet, observing the two Pokemon with a small smile on her face, although she didn’t find it in herself to keep giggling like a little kid. She could’ve hurt someone… indirectly, she had. Even if Darcy had forgiven her, Alki couldn’t quite forgive herself for hurting her sister.

But that didn’t have anything to do with what she was capable of. She gobbled up the small bit of praise Goro tossed her way like a starved feral. She didn’t know what “Ace” meant, although the word sounded awfully nice, and she felt a glow in her eyes as the pride of being called something special like that washed over her. Especially when it was from someone who wasn’t Darcy. What followed was even better, the Croagunk complimenting her as being more than he expected was just about the best praise she could've imagined herself receiving from the fighter. She felt the rosy color returning to her cheeks as he questioned what she'd been talking about yesterday. She briefly wondered if she should voice her answer. She might know some decent moves, maybe, but what did it matter if she didn't know how to actually fight? A feral or an outlaw wouldn't stand still and let her get the first hit in. And she was fragile, too, it'd probably hurt to fight. Actually fight. But she didn't want to speak up with this truth. She'd screwed up enough already, and the two were enjoying themselves. Alki simply gave the two a small nod, and listened to the story Goro was telling.

It was rather interesting, listening to what the Croagunk had to say. Perhaps he would shed some light on where he came from. The stranger part, though, was why he'd decided to live all the way out here. Alki nodded again, wanting to listen more, and not willing to speak. She knew her voice would probably be more wavery and sad than she wanted it to be.
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PostSubject: Re: Solitary Setbacks   Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:22 pm

Talking about himself in such an open matter left Goro feeling... not quite embarrassed, but definitely high-strung and nervous. It was the first time that he was opening up to someone else about his past, and despite himself, he couldn't help but feel uneasy about it all. There wasn't much to him or his story, but just speaking the words out loud had him feeling a strange type of way. It wasn't as if he had much to be embarrassed or ashamed of; rather the opposite, in fact. There were no tragic turns to his childhood, and he was cared for and trained more than adequately enough. But the lack of substance was what had him feeling like there wasn't enough to him - just from the little that she had said the other night, Goro knew that Alki had been dealt a bad hand in the way of her origins. Next to that, he felt almost inadequate. She was a member of the Guild and had friends around her, despite everything. On the other hand, he ran away from what little problems he had and buried his head in a mudhole in a Mystery Dungeon.

After further soothing Alki, Darcy inquired more into his parents, and he felt himself tense up. How was he supposed to tell them that his parents were shady thugs employed by whatever scumbag had a pouch of Poké to wave at them? That they were more likely than not outlaws, and probably couldn't leave that life even if they wanted to? The two of them were both goody-two-shoes Guild members, and they'd probably turn their noses up at the revelation. In an effort to take the feline Pokémon's mind off of his next words, Goro redoubled his efforts on the Skitty's fur, working his fingers into her coat with renewed vigor. He combed his hand down her coat in long, gradual movements, silently fascinated by the feeling of fuzziness between his hands. Half of it was to distract her, but in all honesty, he was a little disheartened when she stopped purring atop him.

"They, ah... Security, I guess." To put it lightly. In reality, they were enforcers for whoever had the means to employ them, which never was a lot. Part of why he struck off on his own was because he couldn't understand why they sold themselves for so little - a pair of Toxicroak certainly merited more than a few square meals a day and a handful of coin. "They were muscle for whoever needed it, I 'spose. We moved around a lot, so I got to see a few different towns, and they trained me up in between jobs. I helped out a little, where I could, but it wasn't a lot.

"I've been meaning to put myself out there, kinda like they did, but I don't know if I wanna do the same thing as them." Truth be told, it was all he knew how to do. But he wanted to be more than that. Fight for someone who cared for him, who provided for him and made him proud to serve. He knew he wouldn't find such a person in the flatlands, of all places, but it was like there was something invisible holding him back from seeking it out. Whether it was his own insecurities or concerns about pursuing that same lifestyle, he couldn't know, but he didn't mind where he was right now. Life in the Marsh was easy, and a welcome change from how he used to live.

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PostSubject: Re: Solitary Setbacks   Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:50 am

Darcy fell silent and hoped Goro would help her change the subject.  The Skitty still felt stiff with guilt for making Alki test out her new move so thoughtlessly.  Of course the Igglybuff felt bad.  Darcy would have felt bad too if she had been in Alki's position...  She should have known that Alki's move might have been dangerous, shouldn't have underestimated it like that.  Alki seemed to have a lot of aptitude for powerful moves.  After seeing her use Flamethrower, the Skitty really should have thought twice about telling Alki to show off her other new technique so thoughtlessly...

...But then Goro began working both hands into the Skitty's fur again. In spite of herself, his firm, careful strokes melted away her pent up tension like lava pouring onto a block of ice.  A grin returned to her face and she nestled deeper into the Croagunk's lap, purrs revving up in her belly as he resumed talking.  She leaned into him with her whole body, still wonderstruck by his willingness to treat her this way, paying such delightfully close attention to her fur right when it needed it so badly...  

Her purring grew just as loud as before, the Skitty's voice falling silent as she let herself enjoy the Croagunk's work.  She could scarcely even keep up with his story now.  Being petted by a friend made it hard to worry about anything.  "Security, huh..." she purred, nuzzling her head against his chest.  "Like...  Guarding merchant Pokemon from bandits, and stuff?  I think I've heard of Pokemon who do that before.  That sounds...  Really nice..."


She sat there quietly for a moment or two longer, savoring Goro's treatment and purring more deeply than ever.  ...But...  While she hadn't realized it until now, she had grown awfully thirsty.  She hadn't had anything to drink since leaving town last night.  The canteen in her bag outside was starting to sound tempting...  "Well...  I'm sure you'll do fine no matter what you pick," she said while standing up and rubbing her head against the bottom of his chin.  "...But I think you should start a business giving massages.  I'd come visit you all the time.  We could talk like this more, and it'd be really great, don't you think?"

She threw her paws around his shoulders, giving him a long hug before finally pulling away.  "I'll be right back.  I'm going to go get a drink of water.  I'll bring our stuff inside so you can have some too, Alki."  She hummed to herself as she pranced outside and out of sight, feeling renewed not only because her fur looked so much more neat, but because of the feeling of having a new friend.  She'd never expected Goro to show such a soft side, but...  There was no mistaking how well he had treated her.  ...She had meant it mostly as a joke, but while she looked through her bag outside, she couldn't help but hope that perhaps he really would start giving massages.  Any more excuses to spend time with him like this sounded nice...

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