• Published 9th Dec 2014
  • 3,722 Views, 676 Comments

Old Scars, New Chances - Arcticbrony

Ethan Summers is a Pokémon caretaker that has been hiding from the law for several years. But when Arceus sent them to a new world, he finds himself teamed up with an unusual and unwanted partner. And running away from his problems is not an option

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Chapter 1

Ethan woke up with the sun’s rays burning into his eyes. He had not felt this bad in quite a while; he did not drink very often, not at all really. But he knew what a hangover felt like, and by the splitting headache and the dizziness he now had when he tried to stand up, it seemed like he had tried to drink an entire bar by himself.

“Please do me a favor and shut off, sun.” he grumbled to himself as he managed to pull himself up into a sitting position.

“I couldn’t have gone out drinking last night. I remember chasing after the Officer Jennys we got lucky and managed to put most of them to sleep and… did they catch me?” He entertained the possibility that it had been one more Jenny waiting for the moment to strike when he had his guard down with the rest. But if he had been caught, then he would surely have been taken to a cell of some sort.

“And this does not look like a cell. And I don’t recognize this forest either; it’s not the Forbidden Forest, that’s for sure.” This was too much for Ethan to deal with considering the current headache he was having. He brought his arms up to his face and groaned into two incredibly fluffy paws.

“You are going to remove your hands from your face now, and when you open your eyes, everything is going to make sense.” Ethan slowly opened his eyes and stared at the pair of paws that he held out in front of himself. They were covered in creamy white fluffy fur, with small brown fingers emerging at the end. After starting at his own fingers for a few minutes while moving them, he could no longer deny that these paws did in fact belong to him.

“I’m a Lopunny? Oh, I’m having this dream again. Any second now, an incredibly handsome man will come out of that forest to swoop me off my feet.” Ethan sat there patiently, staring out into the forest.

“Any second now, I’m sure he is very close. Oh, who am I kidding? I know this is not a dream; it feels too real. Vernus would have the time of his life if he could see me right now…” Ethan stood up, ignoring the headache he was having. He had no time for a mental breakdown when his Pokémon were missing.

`Could they have been moved here with me? Were they transformed as well?` He thought to himself as he began frantically walking around looking for any of his friends.

“Vernus! Zoey! Sax… anyone? Is anyone there?” Just as he finished shouting, he heard something nearby.

“Did you hear that?”

“Impossible not to, that was loud. Let’s go see what it was.” Rushing towards the two voices, Ethan thanked Arceus that he was not alone wherever it was he ended up. Maybe they could help him figure out where he had ended up and why he had been transformed into a Pokémon, he thought to himself.

He came out onto a small trail as he spotted the owners of the two voices he had heard. They looked like Ponyta, but not at the same time. Firstly, it was the colors: it did not match that of a Ponyta at all, and neither of them had the signature flaming mane it was known for either. Not to mention that the proportions were wrong too. And did that one have wings? But he couldn't deny that they were the first Pokémon he had met since he woke up. He hoped they could help him find his friends, or at the very least they should know where he was.

“Excuse me. My name is Ethan Summers. I’m not normally a Pokémon; I was a human just yesterday. That changed when I woke up here in this forest, could you tell me where I am?” Ethan was feeling rather lucky, all things considered. He may have woken up as a Pokémon in an unknown place, but at least he found someone that would hopefully be able to help him. And being a Pokémon himself now, he would be able to talk with them normally, he had just heard them speak and understood all of it.

“What is that thing? Some sort of rabbit?”

“It’s not like any rabbit I have seen before; it sounded like it was trying to talk with us. Did you catch any of what it was saying?”

“All it said was ‘Lopunny’, though it did seem like it was trying to tell us something.” And with that, all the luck Ethan had thought that he had came crashing back down upon him. Whatever these things were, they were clearly not Pokémon.

“Just my luck, I find someone and they can’t understand what I am saying. Vernus was always good at using his body language when talking to me or other humans to carry over what he meant, maybe I can do that.” Ethan began trying to gesture at the two ponies, hoping they would understand him this time.

“… It’s doing some sort of weird dance.”

So much for that idea Ethan thought as he planted his face in his paws.

“I think we should take it back to the village. Maybe it’s somepony’s pet, or, at the very least, somepony got to know what it is.” Ethan was really not a fan of this idea. While it could solve the mystery of where he ended up, he was not just about to go with two creatures he had no idea as to what they were.

“If not, hey, maybe it’s worth something to someone, it had an exotic look to it after all,” and that was the last drop. Ethan turned back to the forest, and started sprinting.

He heard a “Hey” behind him as he ran faster than he could ever remember having run before. At this moment, he was grateful that he had been transformed into a form that had the same basic motor functions as he was used to. If he hadn’t been transformed into something that wasn’t bipedal in nature, he wasn’t sure he would have been able to get used to a new body this quickly. With an exception of his new ears, it seemed like it was their job to get stuck on every branch and bush he ran past.

Diving into a bush that was large enough to hide him, Ethan hoped to Arceus that he had managed to lose the two of them. Only a few seconds later, he got his answer as he heard their voices again.

“How did you lose it, you featherbrain? How does a Pegasus loose anything that escapes on ground?”

“Hey, it’s not my fault. It was weaving back and forth between the trees; I can’t pick up any decent speed in a thick forest like this.” Ethan let out a happy sigh, they were close but he had managed to shake them.

“Whatever. This day is just too weird: first, somepony back at the village shows up with a weird red fox with multiple tails and we run into that bunny like creature. I say we head back, it’s been a long day.” Ethan poked his head out of the bush as he heard the two of them leave.

“A Vulpix? If it’s another Pokémon, then it’s worth checking out. Anything normal would be a breath of fresh air at this point.” All he had to do was follow them back to their village. Staying out of sight should be doable. Ethan stepped out of his bush and fell flat on his back as his head was tugged backwards, his ears stuck in said brush. “Dammit,” He cursed under his breath; maybe this wouldn’t be so easy after all.

Ethan stood in awe at the sight before him. He had managed to follow the two back to their village, but when he came to the edge of the forest, an amazing sight greeted him. In the distance, beyond the village was a humongous waterfall. Even this far away, he could hear the rumble it made. He knew that the Hoenn region had some majestic waterfalls as well, but he had never gotten the chance to see them for himself. He would have loved to just stand there and enjoy the sight a bit longer, but there were two problems with that. One, he had a Vulpix to find. Maybe if he followed the two weird looking Ponytas, they would lead him to her. It felt weird for him to call them that, as they were clearly not Ponytas, but that was the closest thing to what they resembled. The second reason was his fur, mainly the one on his ears. It had been beautiful, when he woke up. Now it was ragged, and was full of leaves and broken twigs. He did not know why, but it infuriated him to no end.

“Find the Vulpix now. Fix fur later,” he mumbled to himself, getting his priorities straight.

He noticed several things about the village and its inhabitants as he kept his eyes on the two. First was that they did not seem to follow any certain color code. They came in all possible color combinations from what he saw. Second was that he did could not see a single human. He also noticed that there were three types of them, if you looked away from the color. One of the two he had met in the forest had wings, the other did not. But here he also saw a third one; it had a tiny horn sticking out of its forehead.

Eventually, the two stopped at a house; they knocked and waited, so they obviously did not live there. One of the ones with a horn opened the door to greet them. Ethan cursed himself for not being close enough to hear what they were talking about. But maybe he did not need to; he spotted something red behind the horned one, red and curly. Those were definitely Vulpix tails.

“Jackpot,” he grinned to himself as he started to move around to the other side of the village. It would be easier to access the back of the house from there than to try sneaking through the whole town. He did not trust these creatures yet, better to be safe than sorry.

Sneaking up on the house from the other side was significantly easier that he had hoped. It was pretty much a clear shot from the forest to the backdoor. Not taking any chances, Ethan waited a moment before checking if the door is locked or not. He lost sight of the house and the creatures when he had to make his way around to the back, so he was not sure if any of them were currently home or not.

“Don’t hear anyone. Well, here goes nothing,” he reached to open the door, which to his relief was unlocked.

“Just because you did not hear anyone does not mean that they are not home. Just try not to make too much noise and you will be fine,” He mumbled under his breath, trying to convince himself that this was a good idea.

There she was, lying right in the middle of the living room with a rope attached to her, going from her neck to the stairs. A feeble attempt at keeping a Vulpix in place is he had ever seen one. It would have no trouble either biting through it or burning it off. But it hadn’t. It was still just lying there.

“Hello?” Ethan whispered as he moved closer. She was definitely female, that much was clear. Giving her a few pokes and shaking her a little, his fears were confirmed. She was unconscious.

“Let’s see, please be okay,” he began slowly inspecting her head, checking for any damage. It could be dangerous to move her if she had taken any blunt force to the head, so Ethan was extremely happy when he did not find anything. There was still the chance that she had been forced unconscious by a psychic type, but there wasn’t any way from him to check for that. In any case, she would be safe to move; hopefully she could tell him herself what had happened to her.

Untying the rope around her neck, Ethan picked her up, being careful while carrying her. “Alright, let’s get out of here,” but just as he was about to leave, he spotted the most beautiful object he could have ever imagined. It was difficult for him to comprehend the sheer magnificence of the object before him. He simply had to have it.

“No, that would be stealing,” he argued with himself. “Then again, I’m sure they wouldn’t miss it too much. And they would probably be able to get another easily.” The need for he felt for it was currently winning.

“But that doesn’t excuse stealing; have you really fallen so low that you are considering stealing Ethan?” Apparently he had, it would be so easy to just reach out and take it. He tried to, but he could not tear his eyes away from it, no matter how much he tried. He did not simply want it, he needed it. Fighting it was useless; it would be like telling a Zangoose not to fight a Seviper. It was a primal urge: he felt it deep within his soul. Not being able to withstand the torture of waiting any longer, Ethan reached out and grabbed the hairbrush, holding the Vulpix and his treasure safely in his hands as he ran into the forest.

“Vernus would never let me live this down. But it feels so good, I just can’t help myself.” Ethan had to hold back a shudder of pleasure when he first ran the hairbrush through the fur on his ears. He had been spending almost an hour into getting them back into perfect condition; at first, he thought it would be a tedious task, but he truly enjoyed every single second he spent either picking out the leaves and twigs of it, or running the brush through his fur, untangling every snarl along the way. But no matter how much he brushed it, he never got it just the way he wanted it, so he kept on going. He was so engrossed in his task that the world around him almost faded away around him, making him fail to notice as the sun began to set in the distance. He kept going until he could hardly see the brush anymore at all.

Ethan had made it safely out of the village with the Vulpix. He had stopped after they were a good distance into the forest, and he hoped that they would be safe there. Now he just had to wait for her to wake up on her own. Sadly, it did not look like she would wake up until tomorrow. Maybe she knew where they both were. Hell, maybe she was even a human herself. It was a longshot and Ethan knew it, but he was allowed to hope.

A sleepy yawn escaped his lips as he looked over to the Vulpix. “Goodnight, I hope to see you awake and well in the morning.” He leaned back and draped his ears over himself, effectively using them as blankets. Perhaps he would get some answers tomorrow.

Ethan berated himself for having slept as long as he had. He probably had slept in even longer had he not been awoken by cry of a few passing Tailows.

Sitting up, he glanced over to the Vulpix. She was still out of it, sadly. He did not have any sort of equipment to treat her, and the longer she remained out of it, the more dangerous it could be for her. But for now, he had no choice but to wait. His own stomach, however, did not share his way of thinking and wanted some nourishment immediately.

“... You can manage for a little while, right?” He glanced over to the Vulpix. She would also need food when she woke up, food and water. But the only place he knew for sure had both of those was the village, and he was not about to go back there.

“You have gone hungry before. You can manage a few more hours,” he convinced himself to stay with her until she woke up. They could handle everything together after that. So he picked up his brush again and started fixing his fur, as it had gotten a few knots and such during the night. Besides, it helped him pass the time.

The hours passed as he kept guard over the unconscious Vulpix, Ethan was nothing if not patient. Strangely enough, he never got tired of brushing his fur, it was as if it could never be perfect enough. He took breaks, of course, but he could never keep it away from himself for too long.

The evening of the day was approaching fast before anything happened.

“Urghh… what happened?” Ethan almost let an incredibly girly scream escape his lips as he scrambled to his feet.

“You knew that she was here, you should not be this surprised,” he looked to his hand that still held the hairbrush. “Your powers are almost scary,” he whispered, ignoring the fact that he had just spoken to said hairbrush. “Don’t move too much, you just woke up. Are you feeling alright?” He asked, kneeling down besides the Vulpix, who seemed a little disoriented at best.

“W-where am I?” She spoke as she finally opened her eyes.

“Here I was hoping you could answer that, but I guess we are in the same boat,” Ethan let out a disappointed sigh. “Are you hurt anywhere?”

“No… no I don’t think I am. I remember…” The words died in her throat as she moved her head to look at the person that was speaking to her. “Y-you are a Pokémon. I’m talking to a Lopunny, I can understand you.”

“Well of course you can. All Pokémon can understand each other.” Perhaps his hope about her being a human was not too farfetched after all. She seemed genuinely surprised that she was able to understand him.

“What are you talking about? I’m not a Pokémon, I’m a…” She was looking down at her small furry paws. “I’m a Vulpix?” And she finally noticed.

“Don’t freak out, please don’t freak out. You see, I used to be a human. My name is Ethan Summers; when I woke up here I was like this too.” He really hoped she would be able to keep calm. While it seemed normal to freak out over something like this, he needed her help. She was the only other person or Pokémon he had found after all.

“Ethan Summers?” She muttered the name under her breath as she tried to stand up, her legs shaking slightly.

“Here, let me help you,” Ethan said as he held his arms out, to try to steady her.

“DON’T TOUCH ME!” He had no time to react as he felt something slam into his chest, throwing him backwards. He looked up to the Vulpix to see smoke seeping out of her mouth, a mouth that shifted into a smile as she began to laugh.

“The first thing I see when I wake up is some weird Ponyta creature, but before I could so something its horn began glowing and I passed out again. And now, as if things weren’t weird enough I run into you of all people. It has not been long since last time we met but it seems a lot has changed, and this time you don’t have any backup either.” She spoke as she began walking towards him on unsteady legs.

“I, Officer Jenny, hereby place you, Ethan Summers, under arrest for multiple cases of Pokénapping, assaulting an officer of the law, multiple cases of resisting arrest, and murder.”

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