Alright! It’s been quite a long while since I’ve written anything, much less actually saw anything through to the end (^^’). Well I think I’ve finally got something. Please read, comment, criticize, advise, you know, feedback and stuff. I think I’ll need a bit of encouragement if I’m going to try and see this one all the way through! I came up with the idea of ‘As the Birds Keep Singing’ while lying in bed watching the latest Hetalia episode. The setting wasn’t too inspirational, but whatever, right? Package contains: one kindhearted Quilava, one odd Mienfoo, one laid back Spheal, one cunning Meowth, one loyal Growlithe, one quiet Ralts, one feisty Zangoose, one kindhearted human boy, and a lot of friends and foes. Enjoy! -Lifestream
Chapter One - A Strange New Companion
Chapter Two - Enter Soujiro
People and Pokemon alike can go through many things in such short amounts of time. I believe I fit into this category. So many crazy things have happened to me in these last few months, and though I know it’s probably been quite a while, I feel as though everything passed in less than a week.
I think it all started the day Soujiro came to us from far away. My friend Hayate, however, argues that it started long before that, when our home region was struck by a terrorist organization known as Cipher, which occurred before I was born. If that was the case, then wouldn’t our series of conflicts begun many, many decades ago when the humans happened upon our lonely little continent and imported thousands of Pokemon from other regions there? After all, Pokemon were the main problem in our region as far as I’m concerned.
We debated over this for a while, then, when unable to reach a proper conclusion, consulted to Songha, who said we were both right. Her reply to our questions didn’t satisfy us very much, but we settled our argument and continued on with our lives. Or at least Hayate did.
Hayate had only met Soujiro soon after he was taken from us, so he doesn’t understand too much about my feelings for my long lost friend. How can I continue living when the greatest piece of my life is missing, and just out of reach, too?
Kairi always tells me that if Soujiro and I are tied so closely, then any path I take will eventually lead me to him. She always ends with the idea that I shouldn’t sweat over it too much, as she’s sure he’s not in terrible danger at the moment and it’s also unhealthy for me. That’s easy for her to say. How can she suggest that my dearest friend is safe in the hands of a criminal group who’s been wreaking havoc all over the place? I don’t think I’ll ever stop worrying until he’s back with us, with me again.
Arashi says that if a think about him every day, all the time, with all my heart, then he’ll have to come back to me. It didn’t require a whole lot of effort, and I was, well, I still am quite desperate to get Soujiro back, so I spend my hours reviewing the times when we were together, and thinking about scenarios that could possibly occur once he returns, and dreaming of a joyous reunion between us.
Kana never offered much, but that was common behavior for her. She was, after all, a self-motivated feline. If she ever gave me advice, I don’t remember it, so I just listen to everyone else. But so far, Soujiro is lost to me, and no clues or signs have showed up foreshadowing his return. For now, it seems, all I can do is wait.
* * *
I remember the day I met him. I think about it almost every day, for it marked the beginning of our eternal friendship. Me and my human trainer, Gilbert, had just arrived in an oasis city far out in the desert.
I was perched steadily on Gilbert’s shoulder, leaning fondly against his neck. Gil reached up and stroked my head affectionately, his palm resting between my sharp ears. I smiled, content, and let my gaze wander around the strange new city.
This place –Phenac City, it was called—was by far the prettiest place Gil and I had visited. The city was made almost entirely of sand-colored stone. Crystal blue water ran through canals dug out of the ground and flowed throughout the entire city, running endlessly despite the forbidding desert surrounding it.
A child laughed as it chased a small grey Castform around Phenac’s center piece, a large white-washed fountain spraying icy water into the dry air. I admired the city, despite my distaste for water. Its beauty was far greater than the seaport I’d come from with Gilbert. I liked the peaceful air of the city, an atmosphere that was much different than the hustle and bustle of Gateon Port. Phenac wasn’t home, but it was certainly a nice place to visit and explore.
Gil had taken a seat on the edge of the fountain, watching the Phenac residents talk and laugh amongst themselves. I had slid off his shoulder and hopped off the fountain onto the stone road to avoid the soft mist of stray fountain water. Safe from the water’s spray, I let my gaze wander, following the minuscule grey-and-white Castform hovering swiftly around the road, grinning broadly as he swerved just out of reach of the child that playfully chased him. The Castform fled around the bend, the young boy following in pursuit, and I let my attention linger to a conversation between an old man and a young lady who carried a pale green umbrella and wore a wide brimmed hat displaying felt flowers.
The elderly man, who wore a tidy blue plaid shirt buttoned to his neck and long black slacks, fingered at the collar of his shirt, his voice inaudible as he spoke to the woman. The girl laughed softly and shook her head, expressing an apology. The old man laughed as well, then bowed slightly, and the girl waved and turned on her heel, quickly disappearing behind a building.
The old man’s smile faded into a more serious expression as he glanced around, as if searching for something. I tilted my head to the side curiously as I saw the man’s gaze come to a stop when he spotted Gilbert and began to approach.
Upon seeing him come closer, I took the bottom of Gil’s pant leg in a small paw and tugged at it softly. Gil looked down at me.
“What is it, Shinta?”
I pointed at the old man, who was only a few strides away. Gil turned to look at the man, then rose to his feet. Just like before, the man gave a small bow, and his smile returned.
“Hello there, young lad.”
“Hello, Mister.” Gil replied politely.
“What’s your name boy?” the man asked kindly.
“It’s Gilbert, sir.”
“Ah, fine name. I’m Jarod Albion, and I have a request to ask of you, if that’s alright.”
Gil glanced down at me, and we both shrugged. “Alright, Mr. Albion, what is it?”
Mr. Albion chuckled. “Very good, then! I notice you’ve only got one Pokemon on you.” he observed, examining me. “And it seems rather happy with you.”
I can’t say I really approved of being referred to as an it, but Mr. Albion had already continued before I could protest.
“I have a favor I’d like to ask of you. I have a young Pokemon here. He comes from a land across the seas, far, far away from here.” Gil, interested, said nothing, and Mr. Albion continued speaking. “No Pokemon from its region populate Orre, but I want to change that. I’d like to make Unova’s Pokemon an option here, as well. I would like for you to take this young Pokemon and raise it as your own. Perhaps it will strike interest to those it meets.” Mr. Albion laughed heartily. “This Pokemon could be the beginning of a great new generation! If it becomes a big hit, I can probably get permission to import more Unova-native Pokemon here.” Mr. Albion leaned forward. “Do we have an agreement?”
Gil crossed his arms, thinking carefully. After a few moments, he turned to look down at me. “Well, what do you think?” he questioned.
I stared hard at the ground. If this new Pokemon joins us, it would mean there wouldn’t be times where it was just Gil and me together anymore, I recall thinking to myself. But then again, it would be a bit less lonely, so… I mulled over it for a bit, then looked back up at Gil and shrugged.
Gil sighed and turned his attention back to Mr. Albion. “Well,” he said at last, “I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot.”
Mr. Albion burst into joyous laughter and took Gil’s hand, which was still crossed over his chest, and shook it enthusiastically. “Good choice, lad, splendid! You won’t regret it at all, I assure you!” Mr. Albion reached into his pocket and withdrew a small round pokeball. He held it out to Gil. “Here you are, lad. I ask for no payment in return. If you wish to return it, I’m always around.”
I watched as Gil hesitantly took the pokeball from Mr. Albion’s outstretched hand. “Erm, thank you sir.” Gil said slowly.
“Of course, lad. I’ll be taking me leave now.”
And then, just as soon as he’d come, he turned away, rounded a corner, and was gone. I haven’t seen him since.
* * *
Within the pokeball was the young fellow who changed my life forever, though I didn’t know it at the time. I still can’t decide if it was for better or worse, but I suppose I’ll find out sooner or later.
Gil let the Pokemon out of the red and white ball soon after Mr. Albion made his leave. The flash of red light took the shape of a short, stout creature I couldn’t identify. His face was round, curving near the bottom to form a sharp muzzle with a small red nose on the tip. He grew two short whiskers, one on either cheek. His ears were small and rounded and two dull grey spots were located just above his eyes. His arms grew bulky at his elbow, seeming to resemble loose sleeves, and his hands were small and flat. His fur was colored cream and burgundy.
Gil appeared to be equally as mystified by the bizarre Pokemon, who stared uncertainly at both of us. We later learned that this foreign creature was called Mienfoo, a species from a distant land across the sea just as Mr. Albion had mentioned.
Gil recovered from his surprise quicker than I did. He squatted down so he was almost the same height as the Pokemon. “Hello there, little guy.” he greeted warmly, and the Pokemon’s tiny ears perked up a bit. “You’ll be living with us from now on. I’m Gilbert, and this,” he nodded to me, “is Shinta. Do you have a name?”
The strange Pokemon touched the tip of his muzzle with a small cream-colored paw thoughtfully. A few moments passed, then he shook his head.
Gil smiled softly. “I suppose I should give you one, then.” He stood up again and walked slowly around in a small circle. “Let’s see, now…hm…aaah…” Gil suddenly stopped, and his green eyes lit up. “Got it!” He bent back down and faced the small Pokemon again. “How about Soujiro? Does that sound alright?”
The Pokemon nodded almost immediately, and his mouth curved slightly. That was the first time I ever saw Soujiro smile.
* * *
I remember finding this Soujiro character very strange. I continued to think this, and I still do. He was quite the odd fellow from the view-point of an Orre-native Quilava.
My odd relationship with Soujiro began at the Pokemon Center in Phenac City later that evening. The sun had dropped behind the Coliseum, illuminating the city a soft, burning red color. Gilbert, Soujiro, and I all sat on the edge of the fountain, watching the shadows stretched as the sun disappeared, slowly engulfing the city in its darkness.
Naturally, I sat in Gil’s lap, guarded from the water’s spray by his jacket, which he had laid protectively of my shoulders. His gaze had shifted as he’d gently positioned the jacket on my shoulders. I followed his gaze and found my eyes resting on Soujiro, who had positioned himself comfortably on the edge of the fountain, his red furred feet hanging over the edge.
I watched as he craned his neck to star at the dying sky. I’m not really sure why, but I turned away to stare at the ground, feeling ashamed for some reason. When the sun had dropped below the sandy horizon, we headed to the Pokemon Center to stay for the night.
Gil was busy getting us a room, and had left Soujiro and me alone in the lobby. There was a long, awkward pause. “Eh…it’s, um, nice here, isn’t it?”
Soujiro turned to look at me as I spoke, his dark blue eyes displaying curiosity. “No.”
I was a bit surprised by his reaction. “You don’t think so?”
Soujiro smiled a bit. “No, I don’t. Water doesn’t belong in a desert.”
I flattened my ears, puzzled. “That’s it? Well, I think water is awful convenient to have water in such a dry terrain, don’t you think?”
“Sure, but it’s just not right.”
“Eh, alright, if you insist. I like it here, though.”
“Well, for one, this is where I grew up.”
“Everyone likes the place they grew up in.” he returned in a kind voice.
I was struck by that last comment. There wasn’t much I could do to comfort him if Soujiro missed his homeland, but thinking back I wish I could’ve said something, anything, responded differently than I did.
I struggled to continue, searching for something that the small Pokemon couldn’t counter. “And…And my friend Gil lives here too. I’ve known him since birth.”
Soujiro’s eyes softened. “Well, there isn’t much I can say about that. I didn’t have a good friend.”
I mentally beat my head on the ground. Making Soujiro feel a little more at home was much more difficult than I had first suspected. If only I could say something that didn’t relate to home… I observed the red-and-cream Pokemon, who had turned his attention away from me again. I saw something gleam at his neck as he repositioned himself. I hadn’t noticed the small stone strung around his neck by a black string before. It was a shard of deep violet amethyst, reflecting purple spots on Soujiro’s cream colored chest.
“Soujiro, what is that around your neck?”
“What, this?” he said, fingering the small shard. I nodded. “A gift.”
I decided that I should just stop talking. I obviously wasn’t doing much for him. I sighed and looked away, though I couldn’t help but sneaking a few sideways glances at Soujiro. Soujiro, however, seemed to have a short attention span, for he’d already lost all interest in my presence.
Gil came back and took us both to our room. My first meeting with Soujiro lingered in my mind through the night as I watched the small Pokemon touch the smooth surface of the amethyst stone. Not a very promising friendship.