• 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 3

Author's Note:

This chapter contains a warning for sensitive readers.
Trigger Warning: Suicide

Officer Jenny came running after Ethan. She couldn’t believe he had just taken off like that. She thought he was trying to escape her. At least she did, until she came to the alleyway where he was standing, holding a crying Skitty to his chest, comforting it.

She was about to walk over to them but stopped when she looked at him. He had a dark expression on his face as he shook his head and nodded down at the Skitty. Whatever was going on she was not to interrupt, she understood that much. So she sat down and waited. She did not feel that hungry anymore anyway.

After an hour, Ethan walked out of the alley, Chii having cried herself to sleep in his arms.

“There is a park over there. Care to join us?” He did not wait for Officer Jenny to give her answer; he figured she would follow him anyway.

“…Who is that? Is she one of your Pokémon?” She asked once she caught up with him.

“This is Chii. And I suppose she is.” The park was almost completely empty, only a few ponies near the edge who were observing a few Wurmples who were making their way up a tree.

“Chii… I know that name,” Jenny thought out loud. Ethan had already taken a spot on a bench, and Jenny jumped up and sat down next to him. “Who is she? Why do I know that name?” she asked.

“It doesn’t surprise me that you remember her name. For a few weeks, I think everybody in Hoenn knew about both her and her trainer’s name. Mary Costatilla, that name mean anything to you?” Ethan could see her realization almost immediately.

“She… she was the daughter of that famous coordinator right? She got into Pokémon Contests herself but she…” She faltered a bit. Being a cop meant that she had to deal with a lot of bad things, but that did not mean that she liked talking about it.

“Yes, she killed herself.” Ethan let out a sad sigh as he glanced down at Chii. She was sleeping on his lap, curled up into a small bundle with one of Ethan’s ears as a blanket. “But there is a lot more to the story than that. I thought you were hungry.” He gave Jenny a small smile.

“It can wait, besides, I’m curious.” She really was. She was used to working with criminals, and most of them had their own way they acted. The mask they used to hide their real self when they were in the public, so to say. That’s why she was a little surprised as she sat there besides Ethan. She could tell that he was not lying, that his concern for that Skitty, for Chii, was real. That was not the way a Pokénapping murderer was supposed to act.

“… I guess I can tell you the story. Just promise me one thing. Don’t mention anything I tell you to Chii, that or Mary.”

“I promise.”

“The beginning is a good a time to start as any I suppose. You see, I had heard rumors about Mary Costatilla but I had not had the opportunity to check it out myself yet. Maybe if I had, things would not have gone so wrong. I don’t know everything about what happened either. Only what Chii told me and what I could manage to gather up after it had already happened. But I’ll tell you what I know.” Ethan said as he began the story…

Mary could only barely contain her excitement. It was her seventh birthday and she was waiting for her parents to come out with her gift. They had given her no hints about what it could be, as they used to. But she did not mind, that only made it more exciting as she made guesses to herself.

She really wanted a new dress, the one she had was only a month old but the new one was even better. It had a beautiful white lining across the top part, with a wonderful purple ribbon lining and a silk scarf that made her love it even more.

She was too caught up in her own fantasies, that she did not notice it when her parents walked in the door. They were carrying a large box that had holes in it, and some sound could be heard from it. Like something was moving on the inside.

“Mary dear.” The mother caught her attention. “Your father and I discussed this for a long time, and we think that you are finally ready for this. Just remember that this is a big responsibility and we will be helping you with taking care of her. Happy birthday!” The mother leaned down and gave the box to her daughter.

Being as excited as most children are when they get presents, Mary tore the lid off and froze.

Hello! Skitty!”

“A Skitty!” Mary exclaimed as she picked up the small Pokémon and hugged it tightly to her chest. “I love it, thank you. Thank you. Thank you, so much!” She almost had tears in her eyes at that point; every child wanted a Pokémon of their own.

“I promise, I will love her, take good care of her. She will be my bestest friend ever.” She looked down to the Skitty, who reached up and nuzzled her cheek. “I will always love my Chii.”

“Are you excited, Chii? I know I am.”

Of course! Skitty!” Chii answered. Both of them were excited, as one should be for their first Pokémon contest. Mary had decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps: she was going to be a Coordinator.

The two of them had grown extremely close over the past years. They practically did everything together. Mary loved Chii like nothing else, and Chii loved her back. Chii saw her almost as a mother figure, since she had been taken only moments after hatching. She would do anything for her Mary.

So they stepped into the Contest hall without a single doubt in their hearts.

“But all good things come to an end… and that was no exception…” Ethan said sadly as he continued.

Mary ran crying through the house, ignoring her mother’s calls as she threw open the door to her room and threw herself onto the bed, crying heavily into the pillow. She did not even notice it when her mother walked into her room.

“Mary…” She began.

“I can’t believe we lost. We trained so hard for this and still…” She sniffed a bit, before the tears started again.

“It’s only a loss; it’s up to you to grow stronger because of that loss. Train harder, and prove to them that they were wrong, the next time you try…” Her mother walked over to her and put a familiar weight down beside her. “You are both in this together, Mary dear. Imagine how she is feeling.”

Mary heard her mother walking out of the room as she turned her head to see Chii sitting there with teary eyes besides her.

I’m sorry Mary. I promise that I will do better the next time. Next time we will win, I’m sure of it. Skitty, Skitty Skiski Skitty Ski.” Chii said as she nuzzled her trainer, comforting her as best as she could.

“…Thank you, Chii. You’re the best; I don’t know what I would do without you.” Her wiped her tears and hugged her best friend back.

The two of them were confident that they would learn from their first loss and come back stronger. But once one loss turns into two, two into three, four, five, and six… Eventually things become that much harder to bounce back from.

“I can’t believe that good for nothing judge. That fucking BASTARD!” Mary threw her backpack against the wall.

Chii hopped out of the way as it landed right where she had been standing. She had tears in her eyes and was on the verge of crying again. Things had been so hard on her trainer over the years. It was alright in the beginning but the constant losses starting getting to her. That and the other Coordinators made fun of her, most of them. There had been a nice girl, but eventually she left too. She only wanted her Mary to be happy.

P-please don’t be mad. I know that we- Skitty, skitty ski-“She was cut off as Mary threw another book into the wall, just next to Chii.

“Just shut up. This is your fault too. If only you could do better…” She took a few deep breaths and sat down as she tried to calm herself down. “No… I’m sorry, Chii. I’m the one that needs to do better. I’m so sorry, my little Chii. Can you forgive me?” She did not even have time to look up, before a small ball of fluffy fur jumped into her arms.

Of course, I forgive you. I love you. I know this is hard on you, but we can get through it together. Skitty, Skitty Skitty Ski” Mary smiled down at Chii.

“We will do better. Everything will be just… perfect.”

“I did not realize that the Contest world could be so harsh.” Jenny had been listening silently up until that point.

“Nothing in life is easy, especially if you take it for granted. She came from a rich family and her mother was a famous Coordinator. Rumors were that she was more than a little spoiled, so I think she was badly equipped to handle what the real world had to throw at her. But when she moved out of her parents’ home, things really took a turn for the worse. Her self-esteem was already in shambles, but it was then that she started becoming self-destructive. She would do anything to be as beautiful as she could be, whatever skewed view of beauty she had. She started starving herself, starving Chii too, in the hope that if they were just a little prettier things would work out. And Chii followed her blindly. Mary was her best friend, her mother figure. She never questioned what she did, no matter how mad it got. But one night…”

Chii woke up late during the day. Her whole body was in pain after what had happened last night. Mary had come home late, that in itself was not unusual but she smelled funny. Chii winced as she tried to put weight on her right foreleg. Mary had started beating her, smashing a bottle of some kind against her head before she had thrown her against the wall. “It’s all your fault.” That is what she kept repeating as she punched and kicked her. Chii did not know how long she had kept beating her; she must have passed out before she was done.

Chii slowly limped across the kitchen floor, towards Mary’s bedroom. She knew that Mary was right, and that she deserved it. It was her fault that they never had won anything, and that things had turned out as bad as they did. It had to be her own fault; Chii only hoped that she could make it up to her trainer somehow.

She paused when she came up to the door leading to Mary’s bedroom. She was nervous and afraid. Not because of last night’s beating. She knew she deserved far worse. No, she was afraid that Mary would throw her out, that her trainer would have decided that she was fed up with her since could never do anything right.

After thinking about it, Chii decided on what to do. She would go in there and apologize. Apologize for not being good enough for her, and beg her to let her stay. Yes, that was what she was going to do. Mary was her everything, Chii loved her more than anything else. As long as she could stay with her, Mary, she would be happy.

With her plan in mind she used her tail to knock on the door.

Mary? C-can I come in? Ski, Skitty?” But no answer came.

Chii was sure that she was in her room, she could smell her. But there was also another smell coming from the room. It smelled like she might have had an accident. Mary would always stay in late when she came home late during the night. But never this late, Mary always came out to drink, or to talk to her.

Mary? Skitty?” She tried again, but still no answer.

Worried that something could have happened to her trainer; Chii reached up and used her tail to open the door.

The room was a mess. There was broken glass on the floor, the desk Mary usually used was tipped over and so was her chair. There, in the middle of the messy room was her trainer, except she wasn’t standing there like Chii had hoped. At first glance it would seem like she was floating a few feet above the ground.

…No …Skitty” Chii could not believe what she was seeing. There was her trainer, her best friend Mary, hanging from the ceiling fan. Mary’s eyes were staring straight at her, but not at the same time, they weren’t moving anymore. Chii began crying silently as she looked upon the lifeless corpse of her Trainer. A yellow puddle had formed underneath her; it was what she had smelled earlier. Her mouth was open; a small trail of blood ran out of it and down her neck. It looked like she was about to speak, but she would never talk to her again.

Chii’s legs gave out under her as she collapsed. Her trainer was dead, her Mary had left her. She wanted to get up and run over to her where she hung, to make sure that it was all a mistake. That she was still alive after all.

But her legs refused to move.

Why… why would you do something like this? Skitty… Skitty Skitty ski?” She cried. She had never been alone before, not really. She always knew that Mary would come home soon, or where she was. She always had her to rely on. As she laid there and thought about what could have drove her trainer to do this, something Mary had said yesterday, echoed inside her head.

It’s your fault.

Had she driven Mary to this? She forced herself to stand up, and began searching the room for anything that could tell her why her trainer had done what she did. She ignored the pain that came as she walked across the broken glass that littered the floor. But no matter how much she looked she found nothing. Not even a note, she had done this and she had not even left a note saying goodbye. It had to be her fault.

As she laid there, a pool of her own tears and blood forming beneath her, a small smile came to her lips. She knew how to make everything alright; she knew how she could fix everything. All it would take was one final act, and she would be with her Mary again…

“… so did she?” Officer Jenny stared down at Ethan’s lap where Chii was sleeping.

“She tried…yes. Luckily she failed.” Ethan scratched Chii’s head, who unconsciously nuzzled back against his paw. “When I found her, she was almost entirely skin and bones. It was a miracle that she was still alive. I remember the feeling when I carried her home back then, she was so frail, and it felt like she would break by the slightest touch.” Ethan only hoped that the shock of being taken from their home and waking up in an unfamiliar place had not been too hard on her. Chii’s greatest fear was being abandoned again; he hoped that this situation had not affected her progress too much.

“That’s quite a lot for such a tiny Skitty to go through… I don’t think there was ever issued a search for her, if it was then it did not go on for long. At least someone found her.” The more she got to know Ethan, the more questions appeared in her mind. But she could let them rest for now; she wasn’t going anywhere after all.

“You ready to get something to eat now?” He certainly was, and he wanted to get up and do something else after telling that story.

Officer Jenny jumped down from the bench. “I think some food could do everyone some good right about now, yeah.” She started walking ahead, only glancing back to see what Ethan was actually following.

“I hope Mignon will let us take some food to go, too. I don’t want to wake her up now, since I’m not sure how much sleep she has gotten since waking up here.” That also brought up another problem they would have to deal with. He was no stranger to sleeping outside, and his new coat made it more tolerable. But he wanted someplace warm for Chii at least.

It did not take long for the three of them to find their way to Mignon’s restaurant. It was rather quiet, only a few other ponies filled the tables that was lined up outside, but they could spot more inside. As soon as they got up to the entrance, a familiar pony came out to greet them.

“Greetings, greetings, I am so glad that you decided to take me up on my offer. Come, let me get a table for you… oh, is that a new one? Let me get a table for three ready for you, this way.” He ushered them in so quickly that Ethan did not have time to say a word.

The inside of the restaurant had a warm and welcoming feel to it. There were wax candles set up at every table, though only the ones with customers at them were lit.

“I have to ask,” Mignon began after they had gotten their table and sat down. “Did Cursed Vision have anything to help you with your…” He seemed to be looking for the right word, and was instead gesturing to his mouth and throat with his hooves.

“Indeed it did, sadly he could only do it for one of us. Mary Care is learning the spell he used, and will hopefully have it ready by tomorrow” Ethan explained. “But it’s a pleasure to finally be able to talk with you properly, Mignon. My name is Ethan, this is Jenny.”

Officer Jenny!”

“She is pleased to meet you too. And this is Chii. She is sleeping and I don’t want to wake her…” Mignon nodded in understanding.

“Say no more. It’s a pleasure to finally be able to greet you properly. But I’m sure you came here for a reason, so here are your menus. And you just call me when you are ready to order.” He gave them a small wink before he turned around.

“… I like him.”

“You seem to like almost everyone we have met here so far.”

“Well they are likable people… ponies, whatever.” Ethan glanced down at the menu. “So do you have a plan?”

“I always have a plan, but you’re going to have to be more specific… The pasta looks nice.” Jenny waved over to where Mignon was to catch his attention.

“Well, our Pokémon is the first priority. I have Chii but there are still several I need to find. What about you, anyone other than your Growlithe?” She shook her head.

“No… just him. And I think our best bet is to simply stay put for a few days, as much as I hate it. We need to know more, and just blindly searching will do us no good.” They were interrupted as Mignon came back to take their orders.

“So have you decided?”

“Yes, I will have the Butternut-Kale Lasagna, and Jenny wanted the Linguine with Spinach-Herb Pesto, right?” He glanced back at Jenny who nodded in return. “Can you make it two of that last order? I would like to have some food for Chii here when she wakes up.”

“One to go, yes, I think I can do that.” He have them both a short bow. “I will be back with your orders shortly.” He gathered up the menus and trotted back into the kitchen.

“So just stay in the village?” Ethan picked up where they had left off. He agreed with her, just running out into the wilds hoping that they would stumble over their Pokémon would have been a foolish plan at best. It annoyed him slightly that he probably would have done exactly that.

“Yes… we need to know more about this world. We don’t know if they woke up close to us or at the other side of the globe; we are completely in the blind. So we sit tight, and get our bearings first. Then we decide what to do.” She knew her Growlithe would be fine; he was not a pup anymore.

“I have to say though…” Ethan leaned forward and spoke in a hushed tone. “I’m surprised that you haven’t tried to take me down yet.”

“I’m surprised that you have not tried to escape.” She retorted.

“I guess we are stuck with each other for the moment. You don’t want me to leave, and if I did escape it would be easier for you to convince these ponies that I’m a criminal.” They were stuck in a stalemate, one that Ethan did not like his odds. All it would take was one more Officer Jenny or Pokémon Ranger that knew his name.

“Better make the best out of it then.” And she knew it. He had to do something to tip the variables in his favor somehow…

What little light had remained from the sun had been replaced by the moon by the time they left the restaurant, and they said their goodbyes to Mignon. He had let them stay a little longer than the normal closing time so that they would not have to hurry themselves.

They had both decided that they should find someplace they could stay for the night. Jenny had refused to ask Mignon, since he had already been so generous to them. Because they had no money, a hotel was out of the question, so they were headed back to Mary Care, hoping that she would be willing to let three strangers stay for the night.

The lights were on at the clinic. Hoping that she was still there, Ethan knocked on the door.

“I still don’t like this...” If it had been up to Jenny, they would have spent the night outside. She hated asking people for help.

“I know, but I’m not having Chii sleep outside if I can help it.” The door opened to reveal a familiar face.

“Oh… you’re back sooner than I expected. I’m afraid that I haven’t had a chance to look at the spell properly yet.” She was wearing a white cloak that covered most of her body.

“That’s not why we are here… See, I was hoping that you might have a place where we could sleep for the night.”

“Oh…. Um… just one second.” She stepped back inside and closed the door behind her.

“That went well.” Officer Jenny scoffed. Ethan was about to respond, but the door opened again, and Mary stepped out, locking the door behind her.

“S-sorry, I was just closing up for the night. My house is over this way.”

“So you’re willing to let us stay the night?”

“You are new in town; it would be rude for me not to help you out.” She gave them a heartwarming smile.

“That’s really kind of you, thank you.” Back on Earth, Ethan could not think of anyone he knew that would willingly open their home to some strangers they had just met the same day. The ponies in that place were extremely accepting. At least, those they had met so far, perhaps they had just been lucky. He still remembered the first two he had met.

“Well… I also really wanted to ask you some questions about Pokémon. I know that you were going to come by tomorrow, but if you don’t mind, I would love to ask some tonight.” It looked like she was ashamed for having an ulterior motive, even if it was an extremely small one.

“I would be happy to. It’s the least I can do.”

They soon arrived at Mary's house, and were let inside. “So can I get you anything?” Mary asked, as she levitated the spell book over to the kitchen table. Officer Jenny had grabbed a spot on the couch and laid down immediately. It was a little weird to be back at the house where he had technically broken in. Mary did not seem to be holding a grudge about it, though.

“Can you show me the guestroom?” Ethan asked. “I want to put Chii to bed before we get started.”

“I meant to ask about her, who is she?” Mary came out, with three glasses of water. One for each of them it seemed, she put them all down at the table in front of Jenny.

“She is a Pokémon that I'm taking care off. Sadly, it seemed like most of us got separated when we got sent here. Luckily, I found her quickly. I’ll tell you more, but I want to put her to bed first, if you don’t mind.”

“Of course, it’s the first room on the right.” She looked back to Jenny and smiled. “Would you like something to drink?”

Ethan could hear Mary offer Jenny something to drink as he walked into the guestroom. It held two beds, each at their own side of the room and a window in-between them. He kneeled down besides one of the beds and pulled the sheet back, gently putting Chii down on the pillow.

“You have slept like a rock. Did you even get any sleep before I found you?” It would not surprise him if Chii had worried too much to be able to sleep at all. He would know when she woke up. “Goodnight Chii.” He scratched her head, before standing back up. What worried him most was what she had called him when he first found her.

Ethan heard some commotion in the living room as he walked back out. “Is everything alrig…pfff,” he had to hold both his paws in front of his mouth to keep him from laughing at the sight that met him. Officer Jenny had a glass of water stuck around her muzzle. Mary Care had the glass in her magic field, and was trying to pull it off. It gave a loud pop and the glass was finally off, leaving a wet officer Jenny sitting there as Mary scrambled up to get a towel.

“One… word.” She glared at him, water still dripping off her fur. “And I will end you.” He had no doubt that he would regret it if he opened his mouth.

“I’m so sorry, I should have realized.” Mary came back in with a towel and a water bowl floating besides her. She put the bowl down and gave the towel to Jenny who took it in her mouth and retreated to the guest room, closing the door behind her.

“Oh dear, I hope she isn’t mad at me.”

“Don’t worry about her. She only has a little wounded pride is all. Now, I believe you had some questions right?” Ethan sat down in a chair, opposite from her.

“Oh, yes. Umm… can you explain what a Pokémon is, if you don’t mind? You said that both of you were Pokémon, but you are so different.”

“We are both Pokémon, yes. But each of us is a different species of Pokémon. You see…”

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