• 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 8

“Kiss him!” Chii exclaimed as she was jumping around Zoey. The two of them were waiting in Mary’s kitchen after Ethan had sent them out to have the talk with Officer Jenny.

“It’s not that simple!” Zoey retorted as she threw her arms in the air. Chii had apparently picked up on her affection for Ethan and was now incredibly insistent that she should confess her love to Ethan.

“But it is! You just go up to him, say that you like him and then you kiss him, it’s perfect.” And in Chii's mind it was, she was still young and did not understand why Zoey had to make it so complicated. She loved Ethan, and Ethan cared for her; she did not see what the big problem was. That and she really wanted to see the two of them together, as the idea of the two of them kissing was so cute that it made her squee in joy.

“I… you are hopeless,” Zoey sighed out defeated. “I… I do love him, yes. But he is my trainer… and a former human!” She told Chii, to her that explained things. It was not unheard of that a human and a Pokémon could have a romantic relationship, but it was still rare and not everyone accepted those kind of things. The fact that she did not know what view Ethan had on that, made her even more nervous. He had never talked about that kind of things, and even if he was a Pokémon now, he still had the mind of a human. She needed to figure out his thoughts on those kind of things before she could do anything else.

“…I’ll tell him for you!” Chii cheered with a big grin and ran towards the room where Ethan and Jenny was, much to Zoey's terror.

“No Chii, get back here this instant!” Zoey yelled as she set after the little Chii. It would ruin everything if she just blurted it out like she was planning to do. Though a small part of her wanted Chii to tell him, while at the same time hoping that Ethan felt the same about her. It would have made everything so much simpler. But she could not risk it. “I swear…” Her words died as Chii had stopped in the room where Ethan was supposed to be in, only that it was now completely empty.

“Is he gone?” Chii asked as she turned around to look up at Zoey with her adorable eyes. Neither of them had heard that Ethan or Jenny had left. They had been too occupied with their argument.

“I think so… he just needed to take care of some business, I'm sure.” Zoey reassured Chii with a smile. The little Skitty was still extremely dependent on the two of them. “Why don’t we go outside while we wait for him?” she asked.

“Okay! I hope he is okay… he was sad earlier, and he looked a little nervous.” Chii said, to Zoey's surprise. She knew that what Chii said was true of course, but she thought that Ethan had done a good job hiding his nervous feelings from Chii. He never wanted to worry her, but Chii was an extremely observant girl, even if she did not always show it.

“That’s the spirit… And if you want, you can help me, plan my confession for Ethan?” Zoey said in an attempt to cheer Chii up. Maybe the little, furry ball of joy could help her after all.

“Yes!” Chii yelled in joy. But then she remembered something. “Did he not already say that he loved you?” She questioned with a tilt of her head, she remembered that Ethan had said that earlier the same day.

“Yes he did,” Zoey said as she picked up her friend and walked outside. “But there is a difference between love… and love.” She said, much to Chii's confusion.

“Oh… but since he really cares about you, I’m sure it will turn out alright.” She smiled and nuzzled Zoey. “He would never do anything to hurt you.” Zoey knew that she was right, Ethan would never do anything to hurt her. Not on purpose anyway. “What do you think about Ethan being a Lopunny?” Chii caught Zoey slightly off guard with the sudden question.

“I…” He cheeks turned a slight red color as she blushed. She had a crush on Ethan even before he was turned into a Lopunny, but she had to admit, that he was really something to look at with his new appearance. “I think he looks good.” She said as she looked away.

Chii just smiled innocently from her answer. The streets around them was teeming with ponies. A lot of them were out taking care of the shopping for that day, and the weather patrol was finishing up their work. They had been having some slight troubles caused by some Swablus who had been confused with clouds, but the matter had been handled well, and was taken care of quickly. Zoey overheard some ponies talking about exactly that as Chii and her were walking past them. It was not a strange mishap, but what was interesting to hear, that the the Swablus was able to walk and rest on the clouds of this world as well. She had not seen any bird pokemon in the sky since that morning though, she simply guessed that they had been decided to leave the town for the moment, persuaded or otherwise.

“How was Sax though?” Chii asked, she was sitting on Zoey's shoulder and was constantly observing their surroundings. “You said that he wanted to see Lord Arceus, but… does that mean that he did not want to find us?” She asked, her ears dropping slightly along with her cheerful mood.

“No, of course not, Chii!” Zoey reassured her. Zoey had woken up alongside Sax and had traveled with him for the first day. He had been the one to send her in the direction of the town, saying that she would find Ethan if she traveled that way. She had no idea how he knew, but she was thankful to him for that, and she respected his wishes of wanting to see Lord Arceus. Zoey did not think that one needed a reason to see a god, but she could not help but wonder what exactly Sax had planned. He promised to meet up with them at a later date anyhow. “He just needed to as Lord Arceus about something important, I’m sure that we will see him again soon enough.” She said with a smile.

“What about Vernus though…?” The small cat pokemon asked. “I miss uncle Vernus.” Zoey agreed with her, she missed everyone else too. Vernus always been there, just like Ethan had. He was Ethan’s oldest friend after all. That was also why she thought that Chii had taken to calling him “uncle”. Vernus never made a big deal out of it, but it obviously meant a lot to Chii. Zoey knew that Ethan wanted Chii to get well enough to be adopted by a good family, or by a good trainer, but she did not want her little ball of joy to leave. As far as Zoey considered, Chii was already a part of the family.

“We will find everyone, you know that Ethan will make it happen, he always comes through for us.” Zoey reassured Chii again and patted her back softly, since her mood had dropped. Chii had been slightly prone to sudden mood changes, and Zoey knew the signs well enough to pick up on it, Ethan had teached her thoroughly on the matter after all. “Everything will be alright.”

Chii did not say anything, she just buried her little face into Zoey’s fur, as she struggled to keep her tears back. Zoey continued to stroke her back, trying to soothe her little friend. “P-please don’t leave me again,” Chii choked out as she held tightly onto Zoey. “Please…” Her whole body was shivering.

“No one is going to leave you, Chii… I promise.” Zoey spoke softly as she held Chii tight, she really had to convince Ethan to let her stay for good. She did not care if he thought it would be for the best if she found a new family, he was wrong.

Zoey continued walking as she comforted her small friend. She was a little surprised that more Pokémon had not found their way into the town by now. There were the occasional bird Pokémon, and a few bug Pokémon that had taken residence in the park. Perhaps they were just being a little more cautious than she had been; she could not blame them. Zoey was brought out of her thought as a pegasus came down from the sky and landed a small distance from her. He did not look familiar to her, but he smiled as soon as he laid eyes on them and trotted towards the two of them.

“Hello there,” The Pegasus said with a cheery smile, catching Chii's attention. “I thought you looked familiar, I think I saw you at Mary's house this morning. I’m sorry I did not introduce myself then, name’s Zephyr.” He gave them a nod.

“I… I remember you.” Chii said, she had wiped her tears and managed to calm down again.

“Well I sure hope so, I would be offended if you had forgotten about poor me in such a short time.” Zephyr brought his hoof to his forehead and faked a swoon, making both Zoey and Chii giggle.

“He seems okay!” Zoey commented as she whispered to Chii. “It’s nice to meet you as well.” She told Zephyr, she had not gotten the translation spell yet though, so what Zephyr heard was “Zang, zang Zangoose!”

“She said that it’s nice to meet you!” Chii cheered as she translated for her friend.

“Oh, haven’t gotten a translation spell yet eh? Well I was supposed to have lunch… I don’t suppose the two of you want to join me?” He asked the two of them.

“Well… I don’t know. I think we should find out where Ethan has disappeared off to first…” Zoey began, both Ethan and Jenny had disappeared after all. Considering what they were discussing she just hoped that nothing bad had happened.

“We would love to!” Chii cheered to Zoey's surprise and annoyance.

“I really don’t know if now is the best time…” She halted as she saw how Chii was looking at her. She could not for the life of her fathom how Ethan managed to say no to a face that cute.

“It doesn't sound like your friend agrees with you…” Zephyr commented. He could not understand her words, but Zoey's facial expression and tone of voice spoke for itself.

“Fine…” Zoey gave in with a sigh. She rarely managed to tell Chii no, and Ethan had said that she should give the locals a chance anyway, maybe it would be a good chance to do so.

“She changed her mind!” Chii said as she turned back to Zephyr. She was wearing a smile because of her minor victory.

“Well I’m glad that you decided to do so! Come along, I know just the place.” Zephyr smiled as he took the lead, Zoey and Chii following just behind him.

“We are so talking about this later,” Zoey whispered to Chii, who only gave an innocent grin in response.

“Okaay!” She responded in a singsong voice.

Zephyr led the two of them into a park that they had already made themselves familiar with. There were quite a few ponies out and either playing or simply relaxing on the benches. There was a gentle breeze blowing through the trees, shaking their leaves and creating some calming background noise. Zephyr stopped and sat down under a large willow tree, its branches and leaves mostly blocked out the sun, only allowing a few streaks of light to pass through.

“It’s beautifull!” Chii cheered as she started jumping around the tree happily.

“I’m glad you think so,” Zephyr smiled. “Its a nice and quiet spot, I usually take my breaks here.” He sat back with his head leaning against the tree. “I meant to talk to some of you earlier… I have just been so busy.” Zephyr let out a sigh.”You Pokémon are the biggest news that’s happened around here in a while after all.” He used his wing to bring a small box up from inside his saddlebags, opening it up he revealed that it was filled with grapes and other kinds of fruits. “You want some?” He offered it to Zoey who shook her head, she was still full from earlier. Chii on the other hand, accepted his offer, taking a single grape before sitting down eating it happily.

He seemed nice enough, at least he was polite to them. And she was happy since it seemed that Chii had gotten a taste for some of the local food. A single grape was not much, but she was eating voluntary, that alone was a good sign.

“So what do you do?” Chii asked curiously as she had finished her grape. .

“I'm a part of the weather team here,” Zephyr used a hoof to point to the sky above them. “Im one of the ones you see pushing clouds around.”

“So you are the one that makes the weather pretty?”

“Indeed I am,” Zephyr answered with a laugh.

“Did you have to scare the Swablus away though?” Chii asked him as she nudged his leg, she had not seen any of the bird Pokémon in the sky for a while after all.

“Swablus?” Zephyr asked as he scratched his head, he was not familiar with the names of the Pokémon after all.

Zoey nodded and used one of her claws to draw him an outline of what a Swablu looked like. Once she was done, Zephyr nodded in confirmation.

“Those cloud birds, yeah… They were resting on the clouds that we needed to move and sort of… got in the way for our work.” He smiled sheepishly as he saw the glare Chii was sending him. “Hey, we did not do anything to them… we just had two of our weather team lead them away until we could finish our work. Personally I did not mind them, but their wings looked exactly like the clouds so it made for some… misunderstandings.” He winced as he thought back to when he had bucked one of them by accident, mistaking it for a cloud. The poor thing was angry with him, but it not look hurt. “They should have been back by now though…” Zephyr mused, the two pegasi they had sent to keep the Swablus away had been gone for quite a while by that point. But he just assumed that they had gotten lost or were taking their sweet time.

“Oh…” Chii sighed sadly, she really liked playing with Swablus. Ethan had been taking care of a few of them in the past and they were always a lot of fun to her.

“Chii, ask him if he has seen Ethan anywhere,” Chii did as Zoey asked and translated for her. Zoey thought that since Zephyr was flying around that there was a chance that me might have spotted their trainer.

“Ethan… oh you mean that bunny right? Yeah I think I spotted her walking with the red fox towards Mary’s clinic.” Chii furrowed her brows as she huffed at Zephyr.

“Ethan is a boy… not a girl,” she was supposed to be slightly mad and annoyed at him, but she only managed to come off as cute.

“Are you sure?” Zephyr asked as he thought back. “He looked so feminine though…” Chii huffed again and hit him with her tail. “Okay, okay I’m sorry,” Zephyr said jokingly with a large grin.

Zoey had picked up Chii before she could continue with her adorable assault. She had to agree that Ethan could act pretty feminine at times. But he had seen Ethan, that was good news. Zoey stood up, still holding Chii in her arms and smiled at Zephyr. “Thank you,” she told him. “We are going to go find Ethan now,” She told Chii who nodded in response.

“Bye, Zephyr!” Chii waved back as Zoey began walking away, from the surprised Pegasus.

“Leaving already… well I’ll talk to the two of you later,” he used his wing to wave back as they left him behind. It had turned out well, but Zoey could not help but wonder why Chii had wanted to spend time with that pegasus in the first place. In the end, she decided that she did not care, Chii`s mood had improved and that was the important thing.

The two of them made their way out of the park and back through the town towards Mary`s clinic. Ethan had promised to talk to Officer Jenny so Zoey wondered what had happened. Ethan was a man of his word, after all, and he would not leave the two of them without a good reason…

“There, I can see it!” Chii brought Zoey out of her thoughts as she was pointing to the clinic. Just as Chii said it, the door opened and Officer Jenny walked out. She was alone, and she was looking a little tense, more so than usual at least.

“Why don't you run in and, say, meet up with Ethan?” Zoey suggested. “I just have to talk to Jenny about a thing or two.” Chii nodded happily before she jumped down and ran towards the entrance, only giving Officer Jenny a brief “hello” as she passed. Zoey wanted to have a personal talk with Jenny, despite what Ethan had told her. “Hey!” She shouted as she walked towards Jenny, who turned to look at her with a raised eyebrow.

“Yeah?” She was slightly on guard because of Zoey`s tone of voice, that and the fact that she was still unsure about what to do after hearing Ethan`s story did not help.

“What were you doing in there?” Zoey asked as she continued her advance.

“...” Officer Jenny bit her lip as she thought about what she should say. It could possible be a problem with how aggressive Zoey was being, but she was no liar. She had always faced the truth head on. “I think you already know why I was there… Ethan told us his story and tried to convince me.” She put emphasis on “tried” since she was still unsure about what to do. Ethan was still a criminal in the end, no matter his reason.

“And?” Zoey asked while she narrowed her eyes. She did not like the tone Officer Jenny was using.

“And I still remain unconvinced,” Jenny huffed. She knew that saying it would most likely bring her trouble, Zoey practically oozed of aggression towards her. But she would deal with the truth.

Zoey’s eyes flared with anger and she had to restrain herself from unsheathing her claws. She had promised Ethan not to do anything to her, she kept silently repeating to herself. But since she refused to see reason, she had to do something.

She grabbed Jenny by the neck ignoring her protests and quickly brought her with into the bushes and trees behind Mary’s clinic. The small Vulpix being easy to carry for a larger Zangoose such as her, no matter how much she tried to struggle.

“What are you doing!? Let me go!” Jenny continued to protest as she felt the leaves and twigs from the nearby bushes pull her fur when they passed too close to them. She felt herself charge up like the did when she first met Ethan, she felt her inner fire burn and was about to unleash an Ember on Zoey. But Zoey saw it coming and stopped her by slamming her into a tree, making the fire die in her throat.

“You and I are going to have a little girl on girl talk!” Zoey growled, leaning in close as she held Jenny against the tree. “Ethan is a kind soul… he told me not to do anything to you no matter what happened, no matter what you would do to him. But I can't just stand by and let someone like you send the one that saved my life to jail!” Zoey yelled at Jenny with conflicted feelings. She was going against Ethan’s wishes, but sometimes he could be too kind for his own good.

“He is a murderer…” Jenny managed to spit out, it felt like she was going to be crushed and no matter how much she tried to struggle it mattered little. “Besides… how am I supposed to trust his word? He is a criminal, it would not be too far fetched for him to make it up to try to convince me,” Jenny said as Zoey relaxed her grip slightly, allowing her to breathe more easily. She was honestly a little frightened. She knew how some Pokémon could act when their trainer were threatened.

“Make it up…” Zoey was shaking in anger from Jenny’s statement. She had been there, she had lived that story. She dropped Jenny to the ground, she knew that she was not thinking clearly at that point, but she was just so angry. “That was my life that you are accusing him of lying about!” She roared at Jenny, her claws fully extended. She was so close, one quick swipe and their problems would be over.

But she halted when she looked into Officer Jenny's eyes. If she was scared then she was hiding it well behind her mask of stone. But she recognized those eyes, she had seen them so many times before in that ring. She was better than that, she was not that Zangoose anymore. Instead she sheathed her claws and reached down to the bottom of her sweater. She hesitated for a moment, it was a part of her past that she would rather forget.

“Does this look like a lie?” She asked her voice calm again, as she pulled the sweater off revealing the scars and discolored skin underneath.

Officer Jenny had to resist gaping once she saw what had been hiding underneath Zoey’s sweater. She had seen a lot of things in her days as a cop… but that was some of the worst scarring she had seen. On several places it seemed like the skin was overlapping and the color itself… a civilian might have been sick from the sight alone.

“I…” Jenny had no words. Not only the scarring, but also the look on Zoey’s face. She was trembling slightly as she stood there, it was obvious that she was more than a little uncomfortable. “Put your sweater back on,” She finally said as she looked away.

“Ethan was telling the truth! He saved my life. He did not mean to kill that guy, but he deserved to die! He was going to kill me, and he had already killed others… the world was a better place without him.” Zoey told her, and from what Jenny could see she had a hard time denying that what Zoey said was true. She opened her mouth and was about to speak as a something cut her off.

“H-help….” Both of them turned their head towards the voice, it was high pitched and sounded weak. But more importantly it came from the other side of the tree near them. Jenny quickly ran to the other side of the tree to investigate while Zoey put her sweater back on.

There on the ground behind the tree, Jenny discovered a Swablu. It looked a little beat up, but more importantly, its normal white cloud like wings were missing, shaven off by the look of it. Zoey gasped as she too came around to see what had made the noise.

“...” The little Swablu tried to speak again, as Jenny and Zoey rushed over to it, but it had used up all its strength and collapsed instead.

“Poor little thing... we should get her to Ethan,” Zoey said.

“...Right,” Jenny knew that she was right. Having investigated Ethan, she knew his background and his education made him the one best qualified to deal with something like this. “You pick him up,” from the marks on the ground, it seemed like the little thing had dragged itself to where it was.

“Right,” Zoey gently brought the injured Swablu into her grasp. “Just so you know, we are not done talking!” She huffed as she sent Jenny a look.

“I know… but we have something else that takes priority now!” Jenny retorted, she was pretty sure that she had her answer at that point anyhow.

With the injured Swablu in Zoey’s arms, she and Jenny made haste back to Mary's clinic.

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