Actions

Work Header

The Healing of a Whelp

Chapter Text

Gleam yawned drowsily, several voices around him are giggling and awwing, but right now he isn’t caring about that.  He’s got a stomach stuffed full of food, he’s tired from the little impromptu dance routine, and the bit of playtime afterwards with a few various mon.  It doesn’t help all the whelps want to play with him again, but he can barely keep up with eevee physically. So he’s pretty tired, someone licks along his muzzle, removing a sticky feeling from it, then he finds himself lifted and held on someone’s back carried off and away, his eyes are half open and he’s really too tired to care what exactly is going on.


 

Ezelle looked back at Gleam curiously as he carried him off.  Eevee scruffed in his maw, for the moment not wanting to risk scruffing Gleam.  He didn’t realize how much Gleam had been pushing himself. He actually fell asleep in the middle of eating a gummi.  Admittedly he had quite a bit that evening. It was no secret among the others that he loved gummies, given how often he ran the dungeons, he just seemed too shy to eat them around mon.  Pretty much everyone wanted to watch him enjoy the gummies and let him know it was ok. What was a surprise to him was how the taste of the gummi affected Gleam, even Rattata agreed, he ate them like he’d almost never had them.  It was pretty easy to see Gleam had to fight to control himself around those gummies. Then again he was human, who knows how often humans get gummies.

But now he’s got a tired whelp on his back, another scruffed.  And he’s needing to remind himself, that cute whelp who so loves gummies is also the one meant to train him, teach him how to tend to others and keep them sane.  Even how to heal sick or wounded mon, which Gleam seems happy to help explain, he was quick to explain what happened to him at least. Apparently he thinks it’s a sprained wrist, one he probably aggravated as he had hurt it the day before.

It is suggested to cool down the area, which Sherry was kind enough to produce an ice shard.  Don’t touch it too long, keep the shard wrapped up in something, and otherwise he wanted his paw wrapped tightly.  Ezelle complained it would make it impossible to move his wrist with the way he was being instructed, but apparently that was the point.  It would also help keep his wrist from swelling up. And finally it was the hard part for him, he had to keep it up in the air decently. Which he mostly did by sitting down and keeping that paw up in a begging position.

He said he’d look at it more later, the tight bandage might not be needed but for now it’ll help keep it from being hurt more.

Ezelle sighed moving into his house gently moving with the two whelps over to the sleeping area.  Rearranging the straw a bit to make it more suitable for himself and two whelps. He lifts the two carefully and layed them down in the bed, nestling himself up against his brother, but for now letting Gleam have a bit of space, making sure that old scarf is around the kit warmly.  And he settles down to drowse.

He felt a bit bad for Gleam earlier, he didn’t mean to upset the little guy when he scruffed him and spoke to him like that.  In fact he wasn’t thinking beyond just handling another whelp. He didn’t realize how badly it’d affect Gleam, he and Rattata talked a bit later, and Rattata was having issues soothing him.  He’s got so many triggers, once he’s ignoring his own whelpdom, for the most part, he seemed to enjoy being around the other whelps, setting up playing and games. Though he often got in over his head, so used to being stronger and bigger.  Even the other whelps seem to feel there is something wrong with him, they’ve started going a lot easier on him and he swears he felt each of them worrying about Gleam, even while wanting to play and have fun.

He perks broken out of his drowsing and thought by some whimpering and feeling movement in the hay.  He looks around shortly and sees Gleam kicking in his sleep, legs pedaling, and wriggling about. He reaches over with a feeler, lightly petting along the fennekin shhhing softly.  Though the movement does not really stop. If this keeps up he’ll hurt himself, he channels some fairy energy through the feeler on Gleam, the kit slowly settling down. This isn’t a good permanent solution, he can’t just use his powers whenever Gleam gets like this.  He considers, and carefully starts to wrap gleam up in the scarf, carefully restricting his paws so they can’t move around as much, hopefully that’ll stop the worse of it.

He starts to drowse again but feels his badge vibrating, what now?  He sighs a little bit, wrapping Eevee in a bit of hay as he gets up and moves off so as not to wake the two whelps, moving just outside the room.


 

Gleam blinks a little bit drowsily, not sure what’s woke him up, but he feels a relieved, he can’t remember it but that dream felt unpleasant.  He perks looking around, this isn’t the party where is, he sees Eevee. Oh right sleepover with Ezelle while mom checks out the house, he wriggles his legs and finds himself wrapped up rather tightly.  Then earperks, he hears Ezelle whispering, ah he must have moved out to answer someone, prob woke him up by accident didn’t even realize it. He slowly works on his blanket, freeing himself, and perks seeing the bandage on his paw, right he hurt it, it feels ok for now, but he should see if he needs that bandage as tight as it is, does not want to cause that joint to be stiff accidentally.

He sighed softly, what is he even doing here really.  Rebuild the town, help raise it up. Instead he’s a whelp who needs to be coddled, he’s afraid of dungeons.  He can’t do anything. And he’s the guildmaster? He needs to find someone to turn that title over to, someone much more deserving, than his fake Savior of the Cosmos self.  Flint prob never told how they actually won, he doesn’t blame him to be honest, he doesn’t even like to think on that too much himself. He perked as he heard some soft whimpering, and slowly padded over to Eevee on three paws, the lack of Ezelle and the whispering probably isn’t helping.

He lays down near Eevee and starts to lick and groom him soothingly.  Come to think of it Eevee is a close quarters sleeper, well he can stay near till Ezelle comes back.  He rests up against gently, sharing warmth with Eevee, gently grooming a touch more to help the whelp drift off.  He starts to think poor little guy, but earfolds realizing he’s around the same size. He looks up noticing Ezelle looking in, then starting to walk in.  Gleam slowly shifts backwards, his ears plastering against his head in worry, Ezelle first looks over and makes sure Eevee is sleeping well, then Gleam gulps as Ezelle comes over to him, pausing for a moment then sighs sadly and scruffs him.  Carrying him off from Eevee, Gleam tried to stop himself from whining, and held out decently but eventually he started having a high pitched one in the back of his throat.

Ezelle finally put him down in the main room, Gleam looking up quietly ears folded.  He started to speak, to say sorry but Ezelle beat him to it, “Did I wake you up when I was speaking?  Thank you for helping Eevee calm back down.” Ezelle sighed a moment, nosing Gleam softly, “You doing ok?  Just sleepy or what you’re kinna quiet. Well other than that lil whine.”

Gleam earfolded, sniffling softly, “S-s-sorry S sir.”

Ezelle frowned, shhing him softly, rubbing Gleam’s back with a paw, he actually feels himself develop a tear, he really really does not like Gleam seeming afraid of him, “None of that right now Gleam, please.”  He takes in a breath, why is he getting worked up, “It’s just you and me, this is just a simple sleepover, and I’m here just to keep you healthy, not to command you.” he leaned down to go nose to nose with the whelp, “What has you so worked up?  You can tell me. Wait, I scruffed you again, I, I’m sorry are you ok?”

Gleam just closed his eyes, keeping his head down, trying to think of what to say, or anything at all.  But he can’t really. What is there to say really, how even can he answer any of those questions. Despite himself he finds his eyes tearing up, he isn’t even sad he doesn’t think but he can’t even stop it.  He winces a bit as Ezelle reacts.

“Whoa whoa whoa, I’m sorry Gleam.”  Soon a pair of feelers reach out, circling around Gleam gently, pulling him in close.  The sylveon looking over his small charge. Nosing over curiously here and there, he doesn’t even know what he’s looking for, but the sylveon needs to find something.  Something is wrong with Gleam and it’s worrying Ezelle greatly. He finally stops, nothing got a reaction from the fennekin. Then he perked, bringing his other feelers down, gently holding them on the fennekin, pretending he’s rubbing the kit but he noticed a new sensation from his feelers.  It’s very dull but, helplessness, he’s detecting a feeling of helplessness in Gleam, and something else..something he doesn’t have a word for but it’s dulling Gleam’s feelings, it isn’t that he’s having problems feeling them, something is dulling those feelings.

Ezelle pulls Gleam close, holding and cuddling him for now, that promise to Kencil will need to wait, He stood up with him and went back to the sleeping area, he held Gleam warmly in his feelers, wrapping his forelegs around both Eevee and Gleam, keeping both of them close and resting.

Gleam for his part just went along with it, he wasn’t going to say anything, but he knew his sylveon’s well enough, Ezelle discovered he can detect feelings in those held by his feelers.  He now knows how Gleam is feeling at the moment, Ezelle will probably get more grabby with them as well. He still wants to say something, anything, but nothing useful comes to mind, so he says the only thing that makes sense, “night.”  He manages to squeak out in a quiet but dulled voice.

Ezelle looks down at the fennekin, and softly licks over him, “Goodnight.”  he considers a moment, “kiddo.” He feels the slightest tinge of curiosity, apprehension, and now a tiny bit of longing too.  He isn’t sure it’s the right thing to do, but Gleam feeling everything dully or worse...nothing at all can’t be healthy. He wanted to wait for Pele before trying to set up any sort of closer bond with Gleam, but he’s worried for the kit.  And he’s seeming to react to this.


 

Gleam awakens to being softly rubbed, his back being pet and rubbed up and down.  His stomach also growls lightly and he slowly starts to get up, finding himself not wrapped up in his scarf for once, he looks up blinking his eyes, Ezelle smiling down to him lightly, soon those feelers wrap around him once more, lifting him up, and he’s placed on Ezelle’s back for a ride, “come on kiddo.”  Gleam squirms lightly, wondering why hearing that makes him react, but it definitely gets his attention.

Ezelle stops with Gleam in the main room and tries prancing around a moment, bouncing gleam in the process.  For his efforts the sylveon is rewarded with a soft giggle, he continues for the moment, just wanting to stimulate anything in the kit, and Gleam is definitely enjoying some of it.  If it’s from him acting silly, or the bumpy ride he doesn’t know and doesn’t care either. But finally Ezelle stops by at the chest in his house, picking out a few fire gummies, making Gleam blush, and Ezelle feels embarrassment, heavy set embarrassment from the kit.  Why is he still so shy about gummies? He got to stuff himself silly a few hours ago, and yet this still makes Gleam a bit shy. He finally sets Gleam down on a pillow, setting the gummies nearby, Gleam could easily nose over to them if he wanted, Ezelle is curious about his reactions anyway.

Gleam shifts on the pillow, settling to get comfortable, watching the feelers about him.  Sylveon is definitely taking advantage of his newfound ability, which Ralts does the same, he should have the two talk.  Or train Sylveon the same way he did Ralts, she does a good job of it still, using her skills to get relative health in battle.  He might as well mention it.

Sylveon perks watching the kit, slight amusement, curiosity then a bit of resolve and finally the kit speaks, “Enjoying your ability to read my feelings?”

Ezelle blinkblinks a moment more, quite surprised at being directly asked, he started to ask then sighs at a realizing, “Of course you know, sorry if it’s a bit pushy I just…”

Gleam noses a bit, shhing lightly himself, “It’s what you do...reminds me greatly of Centai she’d always wrap her feelers around, around my…”  Gleam shudders a moment, sniffling as a few tears come out.

Ezelle wipes the tears away and considers, “Would you go on I’d like to hear about her.”

Gleam lowered his ears a bit, “But..but I...look it.’   Ezelle this time shhhed Gleam.

Ezelle, “Look I’ll be honest with you, Kencil told me of the promise you made to her.  That’s who buzzed me earlier tonight, she asked me to go ahead and get that from you if I could.”  he stared at Gleam a bit, “And while I am curious what exactly Pele did and said to hurt you. I can also see you’ve bottled up feelings about the sylveon you used to train.  And the entire point of this is to let you let those feelings out. So come on you’re already on the subject of her, I’ll follow what Kencil wants in spirit, for you to actually let your feelings about something out.  We’ll talk about her, and whatever comes will come, ok? And if it gets too bad I’ll soothe you a bit, but I’d rather you calm down naturally, and not rely on me.”

Gleam gulped as Ezelle mentioned Kencil and the promise, Ezelle felt that sudden whining worry deep in the kit, this is something he does not want to do.  And Ezelle wonders, has Gleam ever felt safe letting it out around, anyone? How did human Gleam, or non whelp Fennekin Gleam handle his emotions? Has the only time he’s ever let it out been when he was forced to?

Ezelle nosed Gleam softly, “Go on kiddo, let’s talk more about Centai for now.  I fed Eevee first, and got him back to sleep before waking you up.” Ezelle felt that odd longing pang again, he’s trying to purposefully use words he knows Gleam has heard adult pokemon call their whelps.  And this seems to trigger something in Gleam.

Gleam finally lets his ears down, “I..I was just going to say sh she’d keep her feelers around my arm, h holding on to me like that.  While I wasn’t a very tall human, I was bigger than Pele at the time. So its h how she’d keep a hold on me.” Tears started to softly flow from the kit, and while he sniffled, this at least seemed to be something that wouldn’t make Gleam too upset all at once.

Ezelle nodded, smiling a bit, gently holding Gleam close, petting down his sides.  He could feel sadness, longing, curiosity, a set of feelings all say he missed that Sylveon. “There we go little twig, see just tears, nothing more, it’s just me.  Let’s keep going, she sounded like she really liked you,was she like that as an eevee?” Little twig seemed to have pulled out more of those longing for feelings. He’s playing a bit of a dangerous game here he thinks, he’s trying to draw a fatherly sense out, so Gleam might act differently, which seems to be working.  He’s still seeing the sylveon as a superior, but the kit seems more open to him, like family, instead of something harsher..

Gleam sniffed a bit, closing his eyes, “She, she loved me a lot.  Always wanting to be near me, as, as an eevee she didn’t start off that attached.  Found her wandering alone in a human town, had a small a area with trees set up.” Gleam hiccuped softly.

Ezelle considered, he stood up and gave Gleam a soft pat on the head, “hold still a moment little twig, let me get you something to drink.”  He moved over to his water storage and scooped out some water into a bowl, moving back over and set the bowl down in front of Gleam, he considered a moment.  He’d only seen Gleam eat Gummies and seem satisfied from the juice of them as a whelp, does he need help drinking? “Go ahead and lap some up it’ll help you ok?”

Gleam perked and looked up as he was asked to drink, his ears twitched gently, is this a test, then he thought.  The only other time he actually had a drink was, he blushed a bit getting Ezelle’s curiosity. He looked up blushing, “B be honest, s seeing how well I do?”

Ezelle sighed a bit then smiled, “I’m willing to help if you like, I don’t mind either way.  I just.” he pauses closing his eyes in thought, he wants to say this carefully, “Is there even a tactful way to say this?”  Gleam perked his ears softly, “You’re weaker Gleam, physically weaker. You’re a bit bumbly, I assume getting used to how strong your muscles are?  It takes more than a bit of control to easily lap at a bowl, which maybe you can manage. Or maybe you’ll just dunk your whole muzzle in and just get all wet but slurp it up.”  He grins a bit, “I think you remember Eevee doing that hmm?”

Gleam blushes a bit, but it draws out a giggle, Ezelle is a bit surprised as Gleam’s feelings indicate curiosity and consideration.

Ezelle chuckles, “If you want to go ahead, I’ll just hafta groom your muzzle after.”  he considers, “The other possibility is that you might want help on getting a drink. Maybe you already genuinely know how capable you are.  Maybe you just want the comfort from being helped like the adorable lil whelp you seem to be sometimes.” he leans down, nosing at Gleam softly.

Gleam earfolded, blushing, “Want help and comforted by it?  But I..” He coughs lightly and mrfs, leaning down and carefully lapping at the water..or trying at least, he isn’t sure if he doesn’t have control or if his tongue needs to be bigger, but he’s having issues properly scooping up water, for the most part what he gets is what sticks to his tongue, it works but it’s slow.

Ezelle rubs Gleam softly, “You’re still coming to terms with being a whelp, but I’m sure you remember how many times when you were helping and, well, the actual adults were around.  That they’d ask for help they didn’t need, just because they wanted the attention of one, or wanted to enjoy something being done for them or who knows what else.”

Gleam looked away a bit, “I I’m not like that though, I’m not just a needy lil whelp who wants everything done for him, or wants to hog all the attention.”  He coughs slightly more.

Ezelle sighs, “Well that settles that.”  he gently rubbed Gleam and carefully held him still so he couldn’t try to move away, lifting up the bowl, “You’ve already had others feeding you, let’s get you used to getting help with a drink, and actually having an adult tend to you.  Come on M--” He paused a moment, realize he almost claimed more than he wanted to, “Little Twig I know you need more than you’ve drank already.”

Gleam’s eyes watered up a bit, but opened his muzzle enough, and let Ezelle carefully pour the water into his maw, drinking it down, it was refreshing but..

Ezelle perked as the feelers not holding the bowl, but instead on Gleam felt a bit of embarrassment and humiliation.  Ezelle sighed watching the Kit curiously, worried he was wrong, but he also caught Gleam’s body untensing a bit..

Gleam squeaked shyly, “Wh, wh, why go ahead and do that wh when i said I didn’t need it d----”  He squeaked, eyed wide, “Ezelle!”

Ezelle gave a slight blush, feeling a bit of fondness for just a moment, the kind a whelp feels for a parent, then it’s pushed down very quickly, Gleam feeling worry and quite a bit of embarrassment.  Ezelle closed his eyes, not sure if he’s pushing too hard, just enough, or what. Gleam seems to react best to being, well, helped when he’s spoken to him more like a parent to a child. But he doesn’t want to make Gleam feel like he’s being pushed into such a relationship.  He looks at the kit a moment and noses and decides to just tell the truth.

“Hey Gleam.”  That gets his attention soon enough, the whelp feeling some worry.  It seems using his name, when he’s feeling like this triggers worry.  Why would a whelp worry about his name being said like that. What happened to him, well never mind, “I know what you almost said, don’t worry about it and don’t feel bad.  In truth I’ve been doing what I can to seem more, well, fatherly I suppose. Not because I’m trying to make you be my whelp, I don’t want to push you to that, not on purpose.  But you seem to react better, and be more open to me when, well, when I do so. You’ve been willing to talk more about Centai and let it out, openly crying in front of me, and it started when I went from saying your name to well.”  He sighs, “referring to you more like I would my own kit, and using twig seems to speed it up, which I know a lot associate with grass types but, well, it’s what Ena called her daughter, probably because of the twig wand thing.”

Gleam blinks a few times then looks away for a moment before wiggling in the feelers, once Ezelle let him move a bit more he nudged up closely, right under Ezelle and sighed, “Y..You already told me you cared f for all the whelps.  Felt like each were your own brother or sister. You’ve evolved, already had thoughts of a mate on your mind. Have you considered those feelings also evolved, to now you think of all of em as your own whelps?”

Ezelle blink blinks a moment, closing his eyes, then chuckles and shakes his head. “I do feel for all of them..but it isn’t that bad yet.  On the other hand, I do hate to admit the feelings I have for the one I evolved for.” He blushes, looking aside, “You did start to slip up, I barely caught myself earlier.  But I uh.” he coughs.

“You asked why I helped you with the bowl anyway.  Because while it did embarrass you a bit...afterwards you suddenly felt much more fond for me.  It’s part of what made you slip. You focused so much on how embarrassing it was to have it done for you, you ignored yourself slowly settling down and starting to relax.”

Gleam blushed more, Ezelle getting a mix of feelings, “I I’ll let you change the subject for now sure.”  He nosed right up upon Ezelle then earfolded, “So, so you’re s say j j just like those w whelps I’d trick to sleep or similar I, I’m not even no--” he gulps and whines a little bit, tilting his head down shyly.

Ezelle holds him closely, patting his back, looking down as Gleam has begun snuggling closer, he’s worried, did he push too far?  He didn’t want to take Gleam as a child, not right now. But he also knew he was playing with fire the moment he started talking like that.  And he thought back, Gleam stayed for a bit with Bella and Cray, Shii sees him similar to a big brother, part of why she missed him, did he get attached to---, he gulped a moment as he realized something even worse, he’d been warned it was the death of the Guardian’s specifically that affected him most.

Gleam looked up curiously, “D..Ezelle what’s wrong?”

Ezelle sighed, the whole point was to let him get his feelings out anyway, “Gleam, this one might hurt, a lot, but I feel it’s important I know this.”  He heard Gleam gulp now, “When you were here before, well I’ve come to realize you’re entire Team, the entirety of TerraFlare. Nobody was lost, you didn’t have a single adult or evolved on your team.”

Gleam earperks, gulping softly but nods a little bit, “G go on.”

Ezelle closed his eyes and sighed, “You told me before you had issues with the evolved, so I figure that’s why.  None of them really helped you, I know that’s a lie, you were probably exaggerating for effect which I understand but.  Bella and Cray, doted on you heavily, heck most of us felt they had adopted you already. I know Shii thinks of you like a big brother..”  He looked at Gleam, the kit already starting to tear up, he didn’t want to do this to Gleam, but he had to know, “You sort of saw them that way didn’t you?  Even as a non-whelp. You had no memories of who you were, except the fact you were born human, if the pattern holds true.” He saw Gleam nod, tears just flowing freely, Ezelle just pet and rub over and along Gleam. “And they took you in, healed you up, you met their little child, got used to walking in their house.  They pretty much were something parental to you huh?” Gleam’s ears folded, that feeling of guilt was massive, of having betrayed someone, and he heard the whelp sob, then cry openly, he couldn’t remain quiet anymore. Ezelle considered, “I’m sorry Gleam but I need to keep going, I need to know this, just trust me.”

Gleam nodded through his sobs, “My dad, I know I told you what he told me.  To watch over you, and help you if I could and it made sense. But he was a main whelp minder, he was also a counselor, in fact the whole training I want from you, it’s to help me take over the position he used to have.  You didn’t need him often, but you got along with him didn’t you? I know he wanted your trust.” Ezelle sighs, “I, ugh you’ve still not been explained this whole guardian thing in full if I had to guess right.” Gleam shakes his head, he tries to speak but it’s unintelligible, Ezelle shhhs, “Forget Guardian stuff for now, we’ll talk about it later.  But I know Dad was softer on you. You helped him mind the whelps, and he found it a bit adorable once you started wanting to figure out your attacks, secretly. But you had no idea how to access your reserves. So you questioned him about how to properly train that in whelps.” Gleam blushed heavily, “He said you looked so proud when you first got it, when you first understood it, he held that as a special moment..”

Gleam for his part was still sobbing, Ezelle patting and rubbing him, bringing up the bowl to help him drink, patting down his back gently, “He held a similar place didn’t he?  Another trusted adult, someone you kind of looked up to.” Gleam shivered, nodding again.

Calad and Fulger both pressured Bisharp to let you have your team.  I know Calad tended to be stricter, and Fulger could be erratic. But both aided you with dungeons.  Gave you some starting supplies, a basic rundown. They at least treated you fairly, but they did more.  I know you somehow managed to sneak into a dungeon by yourself, just so you could make sure more Grass and Fairy gummies would be there for Shii to eat.  At least one of them helped you I bet.” Gleam nodded, hiccuping, he tried to talk again but failed, Ezelle shhhed gently again, just wanting to sooth him, “It’s ok it’s ok.  But you trusted them too I bet, again you looked up to them..heck they might have started to feel more special once Cray and Bella died.” Ezelle felt another round of strong guilt and...hatred.  Self hatred? From the whelp..as Gleam wailed out. What on earth happened.

“But they did didn’t they, you saw more in them, someone, once again, parental?  Stable? I know Fulger had you train Shinx for dungeoning.” Gleam nodded, hiccuping more.  And Ezelle sighed, “Then there’s Kalmin, gruff, but big and loveable, though sometimes he could hug a bit too hard.  Dad had to help me sometimes when that Bewear forgot to ease it up. He was the towns co-ordinator to be honest. During the festivals, the parties, he helped make sure you somehow got involved.  He also made sure you and Sherry hung out some. I often wonder when he told her the truth about you.” He looked at Gleam, “but you trusted him didn’t you? I know we all joke about you and Sherry, but there is something there isn’t there?  And given human customs, you started to consider him something of an in law?” Gleam whined shyly, squeezing his eyes shut, nodding, gulping and shuddering.

“For the sake of it, besides Lapras.  Not counting Cray, those are the 5 adults who knew you were human.”  Gleam went wide eyed, hiccuping and looking up at Ezelle, he at this point had quieted down, tears drying up, starting to look tired, Ezelle helped him with a bit more water, the waterworks starting anew.  The kit looked like such a mess.

Ezelle sighed, “But all of them, you got sort of attached didn’t you?  It isn’t just that you were there for their deaths. They were what you had in the way of parents, uncles, aunts.  However you want to put it, they were the adults you got attached to, and saw as family.” Ezelle ear folded at Gleam nodded again, looking down, “And you were the only one to see all of them die. Each and everyone died in your presence, or ordered you to leave them to die.”  Gleam went wide eyed, then his ears folding, and he started to wail anew.

Ezelle perked as he suddenly realized something, Pele was wrong, sooo wrong. “Pele breaking your heart, whatever she did on that floor.  It didn’t do anything at all to really make you want to be her kit, it sped it up didn’t it? You were starting down that path well before any of that happened.  Part of you already saw her as your mother. Your worry, you’re worry when she broke you, it wasn’t for that bond.” He sighed closing his eyes then looked back to Gleam, “You were worried mommy didn’t love you anymore, or was going to leave you?”

Gleam blink blinks, eyes wide, gulping heavily, then he pretty much screamed as loud as he could at that moment, Ezelle looked on partially in shock.  He figured he might be hitting the nail on the head, but he didn’t realize it was this strong. That..that dread, that dread of loss, that miss, that heartache, the fear..

Ezelle looks down, he hates to see any whelp this hurt, this sad, this, just this much pain.  And he can feel it, this goes deep, it isn’t just recent. What happened to this whelp as a human to make him hang on to any parent like figure?  No wonder the guardians dieing hurt him. And now this whelphood thing, leaving him feeling vulnerable, young, weak. He’d probably cling to, Ezelle gulped, any parental figure in his life, he just admitted to the kit he was purposefully low key setting himself up to be something of a parental figure.  He’s done it, now he’s done it. He wanted Pele’s permission, the permission of his first parental figure before he tried to do that. The permission of, of that Delphox that tried to hurt his little kit by rej----.

He paused a moment, looking down to Gleam, hugging him close, ears twitching, and he sighed, it was too late, not just for Gleam.  No wonder he found it so easy and so glad to watch the Fennekin, when did he do this to himself? Is that why Gleam made him evolve?  Wanting a son? Did the kit’s need for a parental figure affect him? Frack he messed up badly, but no he has a little boy now, Gleam seems to have quieted down a bit, then he perked up, looking down to him, Gleam was looking back up, his feelers had been channeling again.  He didn’t mean to, he wasn’t trying to. He meant to let Gleam work it out of his system

Gleam squeaked softly, trying to talk, then gestured to the bowl, Ezelle helped him get a bit more to drink, then nosed him softly, a few teardrops clouding his own vision.  When did he start? He wipped away his own tears, was that sympathetic from feeling the kit or genuine? Then perked as Gleam started to speak, “D- p-” he grrfed, ears folding, “You otay? Th..thought l let m me w wind up c cry sl slee..”  Ezelle shhh’d him softly, the truth or hedge around it, he looked at the gummies, hedge around for now then the truth, he looked to Gleam, “You at least know what really got you upset that day. And you’ve had a good chance to get over it so..”  he perked looking down, sighing, there was Eevee looking out at both of them, he slowly padded over.

“Is, is, is Gleam o otay?  Th..that was loud cwy.”

Gleam blushed heavily, Ezelle picked up Eevee and brought him close, considering, “Gleam has, a lot to be upset over.  More than, any of us knew. And he...he’s not been allowed to properly cry over it. So if you get him started...a lot comes out at once. I...I found something he is..very worried about.”

Eevee perked up an awwed, reaching a paw out, then nosing at Gleam, licking him a few times, “whaa?”

Ezelle sighs, considering the closing his eyes, he didn’t want to start Eevee but..it’s the truth, “That he’ll lose his mommy too.  Him being all small again has caused some issues, and some things have been said that..well...it makes him worry” Eevee’s ears fold, and he whimpers but nods, pushing up close against Gleam, licking at him and trying to cuddle best he can. “I undastand, I undastand it all.”

Ezelle gently held the two of them close, then sighed “Anyway little Twig, there honestly is more to say but.” he motions his head to Eevee, “it’ll need to wait.  How about I instead make sure you get fed? I’m honestly impressed you never once went for any of the gummies.” He picked one up, bringing it over, making the lil guy blush, but his maw was already opening.  Ezelle smiled as his little boy devoured that gummi greedily, he does not think he’ll ever get tired of that sight, lil cutie really loves his gummies.

Gleam blushed a bit more, “let down?”  Ezelle perked but, gently let Gleam on the floor, who was giving off a feel of embarrassment, “How bout I teach you sometin now?”

Ezelle perked more but nodded.

Gleam sighed, “how strong my hind legs?”

Ezelle blinked but considered, he sighed and just told the truth, “You’ve got..no real stamina, and Eevee can easily knock you over.  You’re pounces are sloppy. I...ok I suppose rather weak, I think just young why?”

Gleam nodded, “please don’t do this for long right now..too, too tired and stuff to stand it too much buh.”  He earflicked, ”Hold gummi above me where gotta stand to get it if I seem tired or, or frustrated then bring to where I can eat.”

Ezelle tilted his head, but nodded, starting to do as asked.  Gleam licked his lips as it came near, and soon he was trying to reach for it.  Softly trying to rear up, and Ezelle ohed as it dawned on him just what was going on.  He watched the fennekin’s hind legs shake and shudder, yeah he barely had the strength to really rear up like that, he watched as those legs got shakier and Gleam started trying to stretch for the gummi.  Ezelle considered for a moment, then brought it to where Gleam could get his forepaws on it, he soon leaned on it to help him stand then his maw made it and he gobbled down his prize. Gleam perked looking to Ezelle in surprise a moment.

Ezelle smiled, “You’ve been a good boy for me, talked about stuff that upset you, and showing me something about one way to strength train a whelps hind legs.  Plus you’re tired, I figured a victory would be good for you, and honestly your hind legs were about to give way. My little twig, and you still earned it in the end.”

He watches Gleam’s expressions as he talked, nodding softly the whole time.  Understanding the gesture...but when he said my little twig, those ears went straight up, and Gleam could not hide that bit of a blushing smile that came over his face quickly enough.  Gleam perked curiously then ohed, “gummi’s put over here for, for me to just eat, no need wait be fed?” The lil guy looked kind of excited and his tail was wagging. He definitely couldn’t help showing his enjoyment.

Ezelle smiled, “I was more curious to see what you’d do, just having the food nearby.  Out in the open. So you weren’t being patient, you were waiting to be fed?” Gleam blushed hotly, then nodded, Ezelle shhhed, “Used to it huh?”  he picked up another gummi and brought it near, then grinned as Gleam happily ate it down. Ezelle went ahead and fed him the rest of the gummies then lifted both whelps up and brought them back to the sleeping area, laying back down with his brother, and his adopted son.  “Goodnight you two.” He snuggled up with the two and soon the three drifted back to sleep.

Chapter Text

Sylveon stretched as he woke up, looking down at the two whelps sleeping with him.  He smiled lightly, he figures they can go without being woken up for now, though he should probably ask his son, Gleam rather, for grooming tips for sylveons.  But he quietly pushes the two together, grinning as he watches both cling to each other reflexively. He grabs a snack for the two for once he does awaken them and sets the two gummies near the two whelps, in case they wake up.  Then pads on outside to look around, see how the day looks and to see how the town is waking up, a few un-evolved are already up and about, he perks as skitty and hoppip are sitting outside near his house waiting.

“Hey what brings you two here so early?”

Skitty smiles a bit, “For one we wanted our chance to have some time with an adult, at least you look the part.”

Hoppip bounces up and flutters down, “But skitty mention, skitty mentioned a pre guild meeting your father used to hold.  With a leader again. We figured should meet too, should meet too.”

Sylveon perked and gave them a slightly embarrassed smile, “Ok you two come here.”  He reached out with his feelers pulling the two close, holding them to his side warmly a moment, he definitely felt both of them ease down, and since they were letting him, he rubbed the two with his feelers.  And felt what he could get of their feelings. Both seemed a bit, apprehensive, he probably understands that. Skitty feels pretty on edge, he wonders how close the two were to turning, Hoppip is slowly easing into the cuddles and feels rather satisfied.  Then he remembered, Hoppip has a provisional badge because he recently left whelphood, he wanted to be on team elemental but there was no way to add him officially. He also had a lot of fun with Gleam, Gleam helped him get some control over the way wind would blow him about.  He hasn’t had to deal as much with the day to day issues, Skitty though however...

He looks to Skitty, rubbing him more with those feelers soothing him gently, then noses the skitty then sighs, “You’re on edge skitty, how long have you been this worried and and, well, I’ll just say it, you seem close to being wild?”  

Skitty perks his ears, gulping then blushing, “You, You, you know?”  

Ezelle nods, “Somewhat, I’m still learning this evolution, but Gleam gave me something of a crash course on a few things. And I also figured out some other things on my own.  So I know how to read feelings, just a bit.”

Skitty looks down, “It-It-It’s been looking kind of glum, I’ve been wondering if, if maybe it’d be easier to just go wild hunt for food, supplies.  A place to hide, my, my house is falling apart it’s hard to hold up by myself and and..” His eyes watered up, Sylveon nodded, pulling him closer, while transferring the more stable Hoppip to his back, all feelers hugging around the Skitty, “Shh it’s ok, we’ll make it work out, somehow.  We have a good glut of food from yesterday. And while he’s a mess Gleam is here to help out, and trust me even like he is, he still knows how to help.”

Skitty perked, blushing, “but how can a whelp l like him help?”

Sylveon smiled, “Because he still remembers everything, no amnesia.  You saw the show last night right?”

Skitty nodded, “it was adorable!”

Hoppip giggled, “Yuh huh, I had one of the speaker badges, was glad help Gleam out.”

Sylveon smirked, “Pele had been stressed, as he announced, Gleam was the one who caught it, he organized that entire little show, taught the whelps right quick a few how to follow commands, then taught myself and Rattata how to use the body signals to command the whelps around one way or another.  All of that to make sure Pele didn’t get overwhelmed because she was starting to get overwhelmed.”

Skitty blinked, “But, but I mean, that whole fight thing, he, he hurt his paw, y-you had to carry him around and every, everything.”

Sylveon nodded, “We planned for me to pick him out of the pile, but the fight was for a couple of reasons.  Well beyond being adorable. He needed everyone to see how weak he was, and while his hurt paw wasn’t part of the plan.  Part of the plan was to push him near overwhelmed, with the whelp pile. But they all reacted to his pain and soothed him instead.  But the fact he was barely holding it together after doing that helped show his other issue..that he’s a bit volatile emotionally.”

Skitty looked down, “Like so many of us.”

Ezelle nodded softly, “I I hadn’t thought of that, but yeah, emotions are high aren't they?  Flint can barely hold it together, the leadership of TerraFlare has really pulled through but it’s been tough.”

Skitty nodded, “I, I wish he hadn’t hurt himself…”

Ezelle nods, hugging the cat a bit closer, “We should introduce you to Pele sometime.  But you know I need to check on the whelps, how about we head into my house, we can talk a bit.”

Skitty nodded the perked, “Whelps?  Plural?”

Hoppip bounced excitedly, “Who else are you watching, who else are you watching?”

Ezelle chuckled, helping lead the two inside, “You’ll see.”  As the three went in they heard whining and saw Eevee looking tired but worried, “Big bro big bro!  Something wrong Gleam, d-dunno what do, help!”

Ezelle perked, and rushed towards the sleeping area, walking in on quite a sight, Gleam flailing in the hay, kicking it about, talking in his sleep, “Over here.”  Ezelle looked to Eevee, “What is going on Eevee can you tell me?”

Eevee whimpered, “w-w-woke up, h-he was kicking, f-fighting...scratching at and stuff.  L-Like actual tryin to scratch. H-He’s been mumbling too. T-t-tried wake him but couldn’t.”

Ezelle lightly shook Gleam’s body just trying to wake him up, Gleam suddenly gasped, trying to push his body to the side but thankfully was already laying down, “Mardav…”

Ezelle perked his ears at that, gulping deepily, his two team mates looking at him in surprise, then back to Gleam, “He’s, he’s, crap.  He’s dreaming about when..when dad..”

Eevee perked up, then ear folded, pushed up close to Ezelle, “big bro I scared, h he be ok?”

Ezelle frowned, “we need to stop him from trying to use attacks, his inner flame isn’t strong enough for it.  He could weaken it or worse.”

Gleam kicked, “No..NO d d don’t make me I..I can I.I can...NO!!!”  At that point his legs seemed to take over, he began to kick as if running, a moment later shooting awake, wide eyed.  He was panting heavily looking around the room, he saw Ezelle a moment, starting to pant a bit more heavily, trying to resist as he slowly worked up a small fit, especially as he saw Skitty and Hoppip.

Ezelle sighed, looking to his team mates, “Do not repeat any of what you are about to see and hear until both of us are ready please.”  The two looked at Ezelle but nodded.

Ezelle moved over to Gleam, gently pulling him close, licking along Gleam softly, “Go on little twig, go on.  Let it out, let it all out. Daddy’s here, daddy has you, don’t hold it in you know better.”

With the slight comfort, and being asked to by daddy, in front of others, he can’t hold it back anymore and starts to cry messily, hiding up against Ezelle.  Hoppip perked a moment, then gently nudged his way over, lightly rubbing against Gleam, providing a bit more body comfort, Ezelle looking over to him curiously, the hoppip just shrugging a bit.

Ezelle shhed more, licking Gleam a bit more, lightly taking him out of hiding, “It’s ok little twig it’s ok.  The bad dream’s over, daddy has you, it’s safe now. Just let it out and quiet down once you’re ready ok?” He softly started grooming the kit, Gleam starting to quiet down, then blushing, “daddy…”  he whines out, hiding against Ezelle, hiccuping softly. But had gone quiet, even if breathing heavily still. Ezelle looked to Skitty, “get some water.” Skitty nodded and scampered off, Hoppip move over, using a leaf to lightly pet along Gleam, Ezelle sighing a bit, rubbing Gleam gently still, shhing softly.  As the whelp quieted down he started to groom him some, to make him more presentable.

Skitty returned soon enough with a bowl of water, Ezelle helping Gleam drink it down, “So I think you two can see why Gleam is going to be leaving his own badge suspended for the most part.”  he looked down to Gleam and sighed, “Don’t talk, I can tell how you feel and you know that. Just nod or shake your head. That...that.” he sighed, “that was when” he sighed, “My dad was lost?” Gleam nodded, his tears welling up again, “Shhh shhh shhh it’s ok, papa has you.  Papa isn’t mad ok? Papa loves his kit.” Gleam hiccuped pushing close.

Gleam earfolded, “C c commanded r run..but..but I.”

Ezelle shhhed him softly, “You don’t need to explain yourself.  We can talk later when you arn’t a ball of emotions and feelings ok?  Just try to calm down, while daddy talks to his teammates, ok little twig?”  Gleam nodded more, blushing.

His two teammates looked to Ezelle, mouths wide open, “Papa? Daddy?  Ezelle what is--”

Ezelle cut them off, “Quiet, now, he’s humiliated about it enough as it is.  It’s a lot to explain everything but, last night I made a mistake. Didn’t realize I was making it, and didn’t realize why I was making that mistake.”  He sighed softly looking to Gleam, “I’m sorry to be talking about you while you are here my son but, I need to explain what’s going on. Don’t worry these two will keep quiet about what’s gone on, you can trust them.  I know Hoppip was wanting a chance to play and train with you again anyway.”

Gleam for his part nodded, but perked listening, “M-M-mistake?”

Ezelle sighed, “Don’t take it badly Gleam, you’re my boy, and I won’t take it back.  I just didn’t mean for you to imprint on me but, it’s already happened, I’ll deal with the fallout from Pele myself ok?”

Gleam nodded, hiding close, actually ducking under Ezelle, making the sylveon chuckle softly, “Cute.”

Ezelle looked back to his teammates, “As I said it’s a lot to explain.  And I don’t quite know everything, because Gleam tends to be a bit secretive about his past.  But this is what I know, Gleam has, pretty much, a rather deep need for an adult he can trust.  Even when he was here as a non-whelp, he wound up bonding with the few evolved adults who treated him kindly enough and got along with them.  And my dad was one of them.” Ezelle nosed down at Gleam softly, then brought a feeler down to the whelp, rubbing it over him, “As we know all of them are now gone, and now he’s stuck in a very helpless body, and it has needs he hasn’t felt in many, many years.”

Ezelle closed his eyes, “I figured out the whole bonding to adults thing far too late.  Something not mentioned is, he has issues, a lot of issues. That I, his core team, and his mother all wish to help him work on and work through.”  Ezelle sighed, “Which is where my mistake comes in. Treating him is a crapshoot at the moment. Scruffing him can wind up with him being all shy and following you, or he might start acting all cute, his speech degrading to sound like an adorable whelp, or as I had happen last night, him to almost shut down, be quiet, apologetic and generally non-talkative.”  He lightly tickled Gleam who squirmed and giggled from that, then grabbed the fire gummi from earlier and fed Gleam while he talked

“So I wanted some way to get through to him, decided to try treating him a bit more, well, like adults treat their kits, I just went easy on him, saying kiddo and similar.  He, well, he started opening up a bit more.” he looked down to Gleam, “isn’t that right?”

Gleam blushed heavily, ears folding, giving a soft lil gulp but nods, “Y-yeah I, I didn’t r-realize wh-what you were d-doin or why...b-but I, I kinna noticed wh-when ya said kiddo, felt different, papa.” his ears folded more.

He nods, rubbing gently, “Yeah, well I kept it up, he opened up more and more, I got some decent information out of him, and he never once stopped or shied away, no matter how much it upset him.  He was just willing to talk with me, so I figured I was ok.” he sighed, “I didn’t realize the entire reason was that he felt safe was because he pretty much already saw me as daddy soon after I started doing that, I knew there was a chance it might happen, I just didn’t realize the chance is pretty much one hundred percent.”  He gives gleam a gentle squeeze and sighed, “I think when I started using twig is when it solidified but, I said there is a reason I made the mistake.”

Hoppip perked curiously, “Oh? A reason?” he smiles, “I think it’s cute, and you did manage to get him to quiet down, to quiet down.  I, I mean, I guess I’m a bit jealous he gets a daddy but,” The hoppip jumps off of Ezelle and lands next to the Fennekin looking down at the lil guy as he hides back under Ezelle more, “from how he’s acting I can kinna see how he might need a daddy and mommy, daddy and mommy.”  Hoppip smiles, “It’s safe Gleam, just hoppip, just hoppip. I grew up.” The plant type bounces his body lightly then smiles, “When your feeling braver I’d like to play, like to play ok?”

Ezelle sighs, “Well I started thinking about how to explain things to Pele...that yaknow..I got her kit seeing me as a dad.  And I started thinking of some things she said...how she had hurt him. Next thing I know I’m getting mad and angry at the idea she might hurt my kit again.”

Skitty perks, “You’re Kit?”

Gleam looked up, perking.

Ezelle blushed, “Gleam explained to me something, I evolved early because i had been working with the kits, loving them, caring for them, and apparently an eevee react more to stimulus than age to evolve.  I needed to be more suitable to take care of all the whelps. Yesterday before the party Gleam was put with me..as the initial idea was he would stay with the whelps in the whelp tent the whole party. He figured out what was going on, found signs of evolution on my body, and told me I was ready to evolve.  I just needed my evolution triggered. He didn’t tell me what the trigger was, because it really is something that can’t be forced.”

Skitty tilts his head, “Ok sure, but what does this have to do?  With all the rest of this?”

Ezelle sighs, “Gleam soon after started having one of his small fits, making him cry, tiny lil eevee me encouraged him to go ahead and let it out.  That I’d soothe him however I could.” he sighed, “So Gleam did, but I started to feel bad helpless. I couldn’t do much to sooth him, I was barely bigger than he was.  I just started wanting to do more to help him. You need to understand, Gleam wasn’t required to return, and when he returned he thought he’d just be as he left. He didn’t know he’d, he’d, he’d be betrayed and put in this weak, apparently very sensitive body.  And his return was for two reasons, to see his friends, and to help us rebuild our society.”

Ezelle closed his eyes, “I wanted to do anything I could to help him, just help him feel better, then when the two other whelps I was watching.  My brother and Shii came out to see why Gleam was crying I felt even worse..that I couldn’t at least hide the fact he was crying, and left it out in the open.”

“Next thing I know I’m glowing, I’m evolving.  And well, I have soothing power as I hope you two noticed earlier.  I can feed fairy power through my feelers, and soothe others down calming them a bit.”

“Turns out evolving into a Sylveon specifically requires me to want to go above and beyond my current capabilities, to help someone I love.”  He blushes, “The lil kit had already gotten to me before anything else. I don’t know when it happened to be honest, but somewhere along the way my love for him went from my friend, and someone I respected and wanted to actually teach me to well my son.”

Skitty nodded, Hoppip giggling a bit, “I think it’s cute.”

Skitty earperked, “You want him to teach you?  Teach you what? Ezelle you sound like you’re holding out on something.”

Ezelle blushed a bit, “Well I um I ah.  Oh, remember Shinx, when we were paired up with him?  Gleam here was the one to train him to do what he did in dungeons.”

Skitty perked, “I, he did?  I I see, however Ezelle you’re still..”

Gleam sighed and popped in, “Ya know, dad, stuttering like that doesn't help you’re case of not holding out.  Honestly I’m tired of secrets, it’s part of what keeps me messed up. But I don’t even know everything about it myself.  But beyond that, papa wants to spend more time counselling other mon and keeping them from going over wild. He wants to spend more time healing injuries and keeping mon from getting sick.  I know how to do a lot of that when,” he sighs, “when I’m not behaving erratically. And I’ve agreed to help him with that. As well as some other general health and life benefits.”

Skitty definately perked at that, looking at Gleam, “Fennekin..fennek..when did I..” he blinked, “you sound..I..wha.”  hoppip giggled a bit, “hee that’s the Gleam I know!”

Gleam sighed, “I have my moments of clarity Skitty.  Thankfully over the nightmare,” He blushes a touch, “father just fumbled pretty badly there.  And well...” he looks up, “Dad why are you channeling your feelers again?”

Ezelle blinked, “I didn’t realize I was doing it sorry that’s also what happened last night it seems by reflex.”

Gleam nodded, “Soothing me helps a lot to keep me stable and to talk about things that would otherwise upset me more.  Which while were are here, can you undo the bandage on my paw, I’ll need you to use your feelers on the wrist and we’ll see how bad this is.”

Ezelle did as asked, and Gleam instructed him shortly on properly wrapping his feelers around his wrist, asking how different parts felt..noted the pain he felt was minimal and was mostly soreness.  Nothing seemed to move that shouldn’t move then nodded, “Definitely just a sprain and either a minor one or I’m healing fast. Rewrap it but not so tight, I wasn’t sure how bad it was before but now that I know, it doesn't need to be tight and having it too tight can make my wrist stiff.  I’ll need to do some exercises with it for the most part to make it better. The bandage will now mostly serve to keep swelling down and just keep support on my paw.”

Gleam winced slightly, but let it be re-bandaged.

Skitty blinked a bit, “I ah I ok fine you can still be a teacher even to your dad.”

Gleam blushes, “Please be nice, this isn’t just ah, to keep this kind of secret but, but it’s as hoppip said...some might be jealous.”  He ear folded, looking up at Ezelle, then snuggled up close, “It’s going to be hard enough on me to resist saying papa or similar in public.  And using Sylveon or Ezelle just sounds...well...bad.” he ear folds, “Like...disrespectful.”

Skitty grinned, “You really do think of him as your father huh?  Wow, he isn’t kidding you can bond fast, I almost want to evolve just to see what I can do.”  he grinned mischievously.

Gleam looked to the side meekly, “Not nice.”

Skitty prrred and licked Gleam softly, “You’re fine, ok I’ll do what I can to keep this quiet.”

Gleam considers, “There are a few who know my tendencies, I’ll prob be letting them know kind of quickly, I’ll let them know you two know and ask they don’t keep themselves secret from you or anything.  I’m, growing to hate secrets and honestly there’s a few I still have I want to share but.” He shakes his head, “For later”

Skitty perked, nosing a bit, “nothing bad right?”  Hoppip perked, “no bad right no bad?”

Gleam earfolds, “Daddy knows the main one, is it bad?”

Ezelle shook his head, “Not at all.  Though you have kept secret how most of the evolved were, well.”

Gleam whines, ears folding, “I, I, It’s bad memories, very bad memories.  A-a-and now I-I, I-I don’t l-like breaking down.”

Ezelle sighs, ‘You already admitted Dad took an attack for you, but the nightmare we found you having says there is a bit more to it.”

Gleam whimpered, tearing up, looking down, trying his best not to cry, “I, I-I c-could have s-s-saved him, j-j-j” he hiccups

Ezelle frowns, pulling the little fennekin close, “Ok, just calm down, we’ll talk about it later son, why don’t you try to get a bit more sleep, I want to talk with my team mates a bit.”

Gleam earperked, sniffing a bit, “Notice Hoppip provisionary, gonna make him full memba now?”

Ezelle chuckled, “I hadn’t considered, but that is right I do lead the team, I can add you as a member now Hoppip, how does that sound?”

Hoppip nods, “I’d love that, I’d love that.  Thank you for reminding him Gleam! Oh oh Ezelle maybe next time you have whelp duty, whelp duty I can help you?  I could play games with Gleam again, again.”

Gleam yawned, “Wanna go ahead and do it now papa?”

Ezelle headtilted, “I’d like to but it requires someone higher up in the guild to witness this officially, you know that.”

Gleam sighed and tapped his badge, “Temporarily remove suspension on Fennekin, Gleam badge.”  He waits for a few tones then sets another mode, “Guildmaster Gleam standing as witness to provisionary member Hoppip being inducted to team Elemental, and fully into the guild.”

Ezelle double blinked while Skitty snickered and hoppip bounced, giggling a few times, “Go on, go on we can do it now.”

Ezelle sighed, “I...I can’t believe I forgot, my son, the guild master.”  Skitty snrrkkss and giggles at that, while Ezelle officially inducted Hoppip to the team.

Gleam eartwitches a bit, “For other reasons I think I need to suggest you get a higher rank in the guild proper Papa.  Especially if you go through with this whole counselor option. It would also allow you to use your badge to counter me temporarily undoing my suspension, in case you think I’m not acting with my head all together.”  He taps his badge, “Resume suspension for Fennekin, Gleam badge.” and sighs as it tones again.

“I’d just do it myself but two things, one, it feels like such decisions should be a group one among the leadership, even if I’m guildmaster.  And two the whole suspended badge thing, that is one of the functions I can’t do at all until the suspension is actually removed.”

Ezelle tilts his head but nods, “Not just playing favorites with papa now are you?”

Skitty giggles a bit more while Gleam blushes, “I understand the worry but trust me it isn’t just that papa.  Also that’s another reason for the group decision.”

Ezelle sighs, “Anyway I suggested someone get themselves a bit more sleep didn’t I?”

Gleam earfolds and blushes, “I can try th though not tired and and” he blinks a moment and shivers, “n-never mind will try sleep.”  He slowly nudges over to the hay to lay back down, then squeaks as he’s lifted up by Ezelle.

“Ok son what was that?  You were about to say something.”  Skitty and Hoppip just looked on curiously, while Gleam wiggled more.

The fennekin shook his head and squirmed, “I-It’s nothing important really.”  he whined.

Ezelle sighed, “I can feel worry, and embarrassment, you’re worried, scared about something, now tell papa.”

He whined, “It’s nothing really!” He looks down, “I-I’ll just lay down o ok.”

Ezelle closed his eyes, “Sweety, we all want you better.  But we can’t help if you don’t tell us.” he sighs a bit more, looking to Skitty and Hoppip, “If you’re ever on whelp sitting duty and have him, do take note.  I know neither of you can feel his feelings like I can but, this is the sort of stuff we’ve got to deal with, with him. And why he’s as messed up as he can, he keeps a lot of things to himself and tries to pretend there is no issue when there is one.  It’s why he’s pretty easy to start crying, because he has so many issues, any errant word can bring them up.”

He looks back to Gleam, “Now let me guess, as I said something scares you a bit.  You feel it’s silly, not something you should need help on, you’ve gotten past it long ago or whatever.”  He pulls Gleam up to his muzzle, nose to nose, staring into his eyes, “No matter how smart you are, no matter how intelligent you are, no matter how much you can still teach others.  You are still a whelp, that means you also need help like a whelp, even if what scares you seems silly to your adult mind.”

Gleam’s ears fall as he’s talked at and talked about, then suddenly eye to eye, whinin and gulping, he nods, whimpering a bit, blushing hotly and looking down, “Scared another bad dream daddy.”

Skitty perks, “Is that it?  Even I wouldn’t want another bad dream.” He looks up to Ezelle, “Can we just.all hang out with him while doing our little pre-meeting?  Maybe with us around he’d feel better? Just laying close. He can at least drowse comfortably that way.”

Ezelle sighs, “No I get why he feels weird about bad dreams.  Hey Gleam wanna see a shocked Skitty and Hoppip? But otherwise he is right, most here understand not wanting another bad dream.”

Skitty and Hoppip look on curiously, “huh?”

Ezelle chuckles lightly, “There are a few things I know about Gleam.  It’s a long story why, but you know how where Gleam comes from is a bit different than where we are from?  I know a few things about where Gleam is from, as well as about Gleam himself. Haven’t you ever wondered why a little fennekin like him knows as much as he does?  Seriously he knows how to teach mon new moves, he knows a good amount of social and societal things about mon, he can tell just from actions of a mon how well their mental state is, he knows much more about healing, he probably knows how to tell when all of us is about to evolve, and what it would take to evolve.”

Ezelle pauses then tailswishes, “I could go on, but I figure you guys get the idea.  So why? Why does he know this much.” He looks to Gleam, “Care to take it from here?”

Gleam sighs, “I keep telling people, it was Celebi who brought me here, one of the pokemon who is known for being able to mess with time.  The first time I was here I woke up with amnesia but knew it was wrong for me to be a fennekin. I should be standing on two legs and have hands.”

Skitty perked up curiously, “Oh really?  So even the first time you were here you were made younger?  Wait you should already be evolved?”

Gleam nodded blushing, Ezelle rubbing his head, “This little whelp you see?  He’s the oldest one here. Which I never did ask, how old Gleam?”

He earfolded, “17, close to 18, I had evolved a bit early, so I was a Delphox.  Which given what happened..and the evolved were targeted I..I..I can see why I was made that little but...but why a whelp now?”

Skitty blinks, “S-s-seventeen, by Arceus.  Ok yeah you win and oh, at that age you’ve learned to deal with bad dreams but now..”  he noses the fennekin gently, “Come on let’s all lay down ok?” he looks to Ezelle

Ezelle gently sets Gleam back on the hay, bringing Eevee over who had mostly been listening, but gladly snuggles with gleam..then the 3 circle around Gleam and Eevee leaving them in the middle while they discuss some team information.  Gleam being gently pet and rubbed, encouraged to at least drowse. For his part he mostly soaked up the attention and listened in on the little impromptu meeting, which consisted of getting everyone on the same page of what the meetings were for, and Sylveon mentioning he wanted to do less dungeoning but realizing being evolved he’s now stronger and might be needed for more dungeoning.

Chapter Text

He was not ready for this, he was not ready for this, he was not ready for this, he was not ready for this.

He’s trying his best to not whine, to just remain placid and take it easy.  But he can already tell this is getting to him, he’s scruffed again, he actually asked for it, because he knows so many who might need to carry him around have no better way to lift him up.  But his legs are back to feeling immobile, his whole body is completely limp. And he’s just doing his best to not freak out. They are about halfway to the guild as it is from Eevee’s house, he’s done it as a way for skitty to have some fun since he’s so mischievous, and is getting close to turning wild.  And Gleam wants to get used to being scruffed and not react as strongly as he has.

But no he wasn’t ready, he’s already feeling very, small, and somewhat scared.  And he already knows what he’ll be doing the moment he’s released. Ducking under daddy and trying to not whine.  He feels a tendril on him, wrapped around him, and a moment later.

Ezelle perks and looks to skitty, “Put him down, but hold your paws around him, he’s going to try to bolt the moment you let him down.  Immediately start grooming him head to tail ok?”

Skitty looks up, proudly scruffing his GuildMaster but perks as he’s told to let him down, hold him in place, and groom?  Ezelle talks like this is something big and important. And Gleam will try to bolt? But he does as asked, placing Gleam right down on the ground, gently pinning the whelp.  Boy he felt that resistance right away, Gleam is definately trying to get up but he does as Ezelle told him to do, starting to lick and groom the whelp, just working from head to tail, he looks up, “I can feel him panting heavily.”

Ezelle nods, “Just keep up the grooming motions, I should have kept better track of him, sorry Gleam this is a learning process for me too, and I didn’t know you could get this worked up.”

Skitty perks curiously, but continues, purring softly, pushing against Gleam warmly, listening to the whelp, eventually he can feel Gleam stop fighting against his paws, and he starts to loosen up the hold, allowing a bit more freedom.  Eventually he can hear Gleam whining softly, he also notices Ezelle’s paws tensing, reminding him of when he would be getting ready to pounce at something as an eevee.

He noses down at Gleam whispering in his ears, “I think your daddy wants you, never saw him this antsy to jump in and help with any other whelp..except maybe his brother.”

Gleam for his part quiets down the whining, speaking softly, “Daddy?”

The skitty nods, continuing to groom, “Mmm hmm, he very much wants to push me away and come soothe you.  But I think he’s trying to see how well I do in helping you calm.” Skitty looks up a moment, “Ezelle, you might want to head on to the guild hall, explain Gleam will be a little late, that there was a slight hiccup in transporting him over.”

Ezelle frowns, “Are you sure?  Look I can--”

Skitty mews, “I can do it, now go, you’ve got your brother on you to worry about, I’ll keep Gleam safe and warm I promise.”  He watches Ezelle go, then smiles, wagging his tail, nosing down and over the whelp, “Got you to myself.” He giggles, then resumes licking along Gleam, “You gonna stop whining for Skitty now, are ya?”

He noses down and over gently, giving a few soft little licks to the whelp, Gleam blushes but nods softly the skitty smiling, “He did mention scruffing affects you in ways, since you asked for it but..I guess got overwhelmed, hopefully you won’t be too bad.  You seem good and calm now at least, you in a mood to speak?”

Gleam blushes, ears folding, he noses up against skitty a bit shyly, ”c cold.”

Skitty nods, rubbing himself against Gleam gently, “Do you want to try being scruffed again?  If we do I figure we’d go a small distance, I put you down and make sure you’re calm then we go again.  Otherwise.” The skitty gently and playfully bats at Gleam, making the kit perk and softly bat back.

Gleam earfolds a bit, slowly getting up then squeaks as he’s lightly pinned, but then the skitty grooms him more, “Umm S..Skitty”  He shudders,”Why d did you send Daddy on?” He tries to remain calm, as he realizes something is up with Skitty, he’s been slightly erratic, oddly friendly and excited to him.  He was really interested in that whole easy bonding thing daddy mentioned. Gleam blinks and sighs, ears folding. Yeah papa definately has him already, even in his mind it’s daddy.  On the plus side daddy seems to understand what it means to him. Still he’s now a bit worried, is Skitty wanting to do similar.

Skitty noses down down at the fennekin, shhhing a bit and smiling, “Yer cute and, and, and small and and.”  He wiggles his tail, batting the fennekin from side to side lightly, making the kit roll around a little bit. “And and I just I..” he blushes, nosing at the kit, “There are very few four footers among the whelps, and I just, I just, yer body shape and, yer cute and pretty and shiney and...”

Gleam got a bit dizzy but the batting around was more playful than anything, and he tried to roll and play with it, realizing Skitty was trying to play, he rolled himself onto all fours, and tried to bat back, though Skitty kept batting him directly.  Nothing hard, but he had to brace himself to stay up. Listening to him talk, he must be just barely holding together to be civilized, and something about being with him, scruffing him, carrying him around is tickling those more wild senses. Skitty’s tend to enjoy chasing things, running after, however you want to put it, they can even get caught running in circles after their own tail, so it isn’t normal instinct driving him.

He perks, “I’m pretty and shiney?”  He considers the skitty’s words, very few four footers among whelps, his body shape.  He mrrfs realizing, Skitty is wanting more of a family, he wants a little brother, he might need to talk to Mommy and Daddy both about adopting another, but why would scruffing and carrying himself around make Skitty go more wild.

Skitty nods quickly, “Uh huh, had seen you so many times before, before..before.”  He mews, “Before everything went bad.” He lightly bats the Fennekin onto his side, making Gleam oof, “Used to be strong, strong Fennekin.  But..but, not strong now.” The skitty swishes his tail, looking back at it on occasion, twitching lightly, then looks back down to Gleam, “Need safe place, safe place.  Food.” He mews, “But town, falling apart, maybe, maybe protect, safe outside town.” He purrs softly.

Gleam earfolds, he’s very erratic and, wanting to protect the fennekin.  So scruffing, maybe realizing he could just take Gleam away with him? Too much to guess on, and at this point not the issue at hand.  He needs to figure a way to calm down the cat, he seems almost fully wild already, but he’s a friend. And how should he play this up himself, would Skitty more follow the innocent kit asking question, or his more mature self.  Considering, this cat might scruff him again, and who knows how that’ll set himself off, play it up from the young side for now.”

Gleam tailswishes looking up, “But if not in town, what about Papa and Mama?  If gone I’d be away from them. And others in town, want to know where I’m at, and, and don’t you help papa in dungeons?”

The skitty mews, ears folding, “But too much do, too much do, plants no grow, buildings fall, too much dungeon, too much plant, too much..too much..easier just find food, eat, make nest, sleep.”

Gleam nods, listening.  He thought the town looked in bad shape.  How badly have the others here gone, he didn’t get a chance to interact with everyone.  He still isn’t up to, too big of a crowd himself, but how far has the town fallen. Flint seems off even, but he didn’t see a lot of Flint at all yesterday, he needs more time with his partner.  He needs more time in the town. He shivers a bit, and Skitty clambers right over him, settling down. At least this is warmer. He wonders, how often does Skitty get to visit the whelps and whelp sit, how are they deciding jobs?  Ugh he needs to be at the pre-meeting find out how things are done, but Skitty needs help right now.

Gleam hmms, “But what about friends skitty?  Not miss Hoppip, not miss papa? What about whelps?  They still be in town.”

Skitty mews, looking back and forth a moment, “I I miss, but, but need nest, safe.”

Gleam sighs, but gets an idea.  Bit extreme but might work in the long run.

“You agree I smart?  Got idea might work ok?”

Skitty perks, “Tell idea, tell idea.”

Gleam smiles, “I help you find nest near town.  Then I return town, papa can come see nest later, maybe help find stuff for nest?  Might need stuff from dungeon for nest, right? And food? Papa maybe help.”

Skitty nods, “Ok, let’s find nest.”  And with that he scruffs Gleam, who yelps then whines lightly as he’s carried right off and the two head to out of town.  The little fennekin going limp, gulping softly and watching as scenery goes by, trying for the time to keep calm. While a nearly wild skitty carries him off, and now out of town.  Even his whine goes down, he can’t squirm, only watch helplessly, why does this always leave him so helpless?

Skitty finally puts him down once they’ve walked out of town a good bit, and into a slightly more forested area, though the trees here even look sickly. Meanwhile the kit is left shaking rather badly after he’s put down.  And he immediately gets licked, groomed and soothed by Skitty. He does not care and just let’s it happen till he’s calmed down enough.

Skitty smiles, “I I been walking out here lately, like area.  Quiet, lot of trees, lot of pretty stuff.” Gleam nods, even with the trees looking in poor shape, he has to admit this area is rather pretty.  Not as dead as town. He’s being asked to rebuild town, it used to have plants around it, maybe some trees would be nice too. Actually if it was more forested it could be pretty, but they’d need living plants first.

Gleam squeaks and tries to keep from being too submissive, “v-v-very pretty here uh huh.  But remember they want me in town soon, how about we find you pretty home?” Skitty nods, tailswishing, Gleam smiling and watching him a bit.  Gleam considers.

“How about a nice tree?  Some of these probably have a small hole near the base, just need an empty one ok?”  Skitty nods and looks excited at the prospect, Gleam smiles then giggles, despite how he feels a bit scared, Skitty seems so happy and more active.  Skitty rubs up against him, and Gleam returns the rubbing lightly, then he gets to business, he wants to find somewhere that Skitty will need to work on.  He knows normally in the wild skitties enjoy trees. He just wants one Skitty will need to dig around and enlarge. He looks back at skitty, chasing his own tail.  Kind of stupidly adorable. He wonders if Skitty ever got his own name, still he goes from tree to tree, trying to make this fast, he’s starting to shiver again already from the cold, and finds one with a weak spot, pushing at it, “Skitty over here, skitty!”

He perks as Skitty stops chasing it’s own tail and pads over, ”Uh huh, uh huh?” Gleam paws at the tree, “Try to dig and scratch right here, it feels soft, I think you’ll be able to get in.”  Skitty goes right at it, digging excitedly and nods, “uh uh good tree, good tree!” Meanwhile Gleam wonders, there must be something else he can do but what. Gleam hmms, “While you dig that I need to get back to town, starting get cold.  You be ok?”

Skitty looks back, mewing sadly but nods.  Gleam rubs up against, “You know people waiting on me.  I’ll come back ok? Also I’ll send daddy and hoppip over, see if they can help you get stuff ok?”

Skitty nods and Gleam considers.  “Skitty do you have your own name?”

He looks down, mewing sadly, “Were, were, were waiting to give me one so, so never got name.”

Gleam smiles, “Well since I’m the Guild Master, I suppose that duty falls upon me for now.  How about I give you a name?”

Skitty earperks, “Give name?”  Gleam nods, Skitty blushing and tailwagging, “Name name name.”

Gleam giggles, then smiles why not try and make this official sounding.  He wants to try to keep Skitty from going too wild. The hope is that this will satisfy some of his wild side, he’ll stay here and hopefully they can get him back fully.  Getting a name, in some sort of official ceremony might help keep the feeling of not being totally wild.

Gleam pads up, tapping his badge, and removes his own suspension temporarily.  He thinks, what sounds decently official and right, he looks for an open mode on the badge, something he can go with naming then sighs, just leaving it on the open command.  If anything it’ll just flash to signify an improper command.

Gleam sits up, putting a paw on Skitty’s badge, and hopes this will sound good enough, it’s short notice, and part of how he’d give his old team names, “As the one who leads you, guides you, teaches you, commands you, but above else cares for you.  I deem you have worked enough and grown enough in your training that you have not earned a name, but instead shown which one fits you best. Skitty, member of team Elemental, because of your willingness to work with me, I GuildMaster Gleam officially claim you as one of my own for the guild and name you Pepper.”

He hides his disappointment in himself, that still felt clunky, but Skitty...Pepper now at least liked it.  He used to give out official team names that way, he never liked naming anyone the moment he caught them. Instead train them, get to know them, and once they show a willingness to be with him, he’d give them a fitting name.  Still he needs to get out of his trainer mindset...he claimed Papper really?

Pepper perks his ears smiling and wagging his tail quickly.  And Gleam’s eyes shoot open in surprise as the skitty’s badge glows, and his own intones. “Skitty: Pepper, registered to Trainer: Gleam.  PC: unavailable, Transfer: unavailable, Pepper status: Fully Wild, Capture Beam: unavailable, Domestication process: damaged, Bonding process: damaged.  Attempting partial domestication and bonding.” Pepper’s badge glows a moment more, what looks like part of a capture beam comes out of Pepper’s badge making him glow momentarily, as if from being captured, and then it is gone.

Pepper shakes off a bit, and perks, nosing at Gleam, “What, what just happened?”

Gleam shook his head,”I, I, I.”  He earflicks, ‘I don’t know, not fully. I…” he looks at Skitty, “I need to go, will you be ok Pepper?”

Pepper perks and nods, ears flicking, “I ah, still want to make my home here...but...but I ah.” he blushes, “I’m sorry Gleam I...I don’t know what came over me but...but I feel a bit clearer now.”

Gleam blinks then smiles, “Ok whatever it did seems to have helped you come back from the edge of being wild huh?”  Skitty blushed, nodding with mew, “I need to figure out what I just did, and what else is hidden on this badge system.  But go ahead, make your little wild home in the tree, I’ll still let papa know where you are ok? You two can discuss going forward, but as long as you can keep your head about you, having a home outside of town isn’t bad.”

Pepper blushes, “I...I went bad didn’t I?”

Gleam sighs and nods,”Yeah, which is why I suggest you make something comfortable here.  Wild skitties tend to enjoy living in holes in trees. If there is one you feel comfortable at, if you go more wild, we’ll know where to find you hmm?”

Pepper nods, blushing then perks,”Th-thank you for the name, I-I-I really like it.  And that all makes sense about having a wild home.”

Gleam nods, “Now I wish I knew why I felt better out here myself.  Even if cold I feel more...comfortable.” He squeaks as Skitty is suddenly over him, warming him up, the Fennekn blushing, “So how often do you watch the whelps?”

Pepper perks, blushing, “I don’t do it a lot.”

Gleam hmms, “You seem to like whelps, or at least want to be taking care of one.  Is it just me or?”

Pepper looks aside blushing, “I, I.  Ugh, I just. I always wanted a little brother or sister.” he looks aside, “I kept asking mom and dad if maybe I just..I don’t know.”  He noses down over Gleam, mewing then perks, “But being out here also makes you feel better? I ah, should we be worried? I mean look what happened with me.”

Gleam earfolds, ”That is my worry, how close am I?  But I’ve warmed up, you’ve got a tree to work on, and I need to get back to town.  But I’ll definitely be visiting this grove more. Just, be careful of other wilds ok?”

Pepper nods, earfolding, “You really don’t think it’s bad for me to make a home here?”

Gleam sighs, ”I don’t know what the badge just did to you, I don’t know how long it’ll last.  This will let me know where you’ll go if you go wild again. Also you’ll know what kind of home you’ll have out here.  And you seem to trust me so I bet I can easily visit wild you.” He noses up at Pepper, “So be careful ok?”

Pepper nods, stepping off of Gleam, nuzzling at him softly, Gleam squeaks and returns the nuzzle, then starts to pad off back to town, at a brisk pace.

Once he’s far enough away he pants, he’s glad Pepper did not catch most of what his badge said.  Trainer Gleam? It mentioned the possiblity of finding a PC, of transfering, it tried to force domestication and bonding even though both were broken.  It even mentioned a broken capture beam. What is this thing? Could he always do it or is it a GuildMaster thing? Does it take a certain rank? Ok first things first, he taps his badge and has it buzz daddy, he sighs and thinks about how messed up that is, then shakes his head.

“Sylveon here.”

“Hey it’s Gleam, there have been, major complications.  I request a pickup, one that won’t scruff me, northern town entrance, I am en-route at the moment.”

“Where’s Skitty.”

“That, that’s part of the complication, I’ll explain to you when I’ve got a chance.  But I also discovered something else I need to check on. My badge communication will be mostly quiet while I travel back.  Buzz me if you need me.”

“Ok k-Gleam someone will be there.”

Gleam smiled a moment in amusement, looks like he hasn’t told anyone yet, someone was there, and he almost slipped up.  Both of them have it. Well beyond that he taps his badge, “List Trainer Menu Options.”


 

Ezelle looked up to Pele with some trepidation for the coming events, why is Skitty not here, why is Gleam not here, now, crap he messed up bad with the kit.  But Skitty is usually so trustworthy, what has gotten into him even? Did, did he go wild on Gleam? He perks seeing Gleam padding along finally, his body shivering, Pele looks at him with worry and she calls out.  Gleam perks up, seeing both of them and he starts to run over, “mama!” He calls out, then looks over at Ezelle, starts to open his mouth then shuts it quickly, Ezelle can guess why pretty quickly. Pele squats down as Gleam comes over and picks him up into her warm embrace, Gleam’s tail wagging, he gives her a few licks then looks down to Ezelle, waving with a paw, his muzzle having a slight blush on it.

Pele looked at Gleam, “Poor thing you’re shivering all over, aren’t you going to say hi to Mr. Ezelle though, or are you mad at him for leaving you behind?”

Gleam earfolded, “W-w-weird circumstance, Skitty partially tricked him, b-b-but also partially wasn’t thinking straight., not-not-not his full fault.  Th-though shouldn’t leave me with a half wild critter.”

Pele perks, “Half wild?  Did he hurt you?” Ezelle looks up worriedly, feelers reaching up, just to lightly rest on Gleam, he doesn’t feel worried, panicked or hurt, something has him a bit anxious, and some lingering embarrassment, which he caught that blush, wonder what made that.

Gleam shook his head, “Something more happened, I want a chance to talk to those of you uh...who are safe?  The guardian thingies who know who I am? But right now freezing Mama..” he pushed up against her chest and sighed, “and uh I-you haven’t been told yet?”

Pele tilts his head, “Told? Told what?”

Ezelle just gulps, and Gleam looks down,”You said you’d handle it, I’d slip too easily, so handle it afore I do.  P-p-please d-”

He goes quiet and pushed up against Pele for her warmth, doing what he can to burrow under her chest fur..

Ezelle sighed ears folding while Pele looked to him, “What is he talking about Pinky?”

“It, it’s a long story.  I was wanting to wait on it, but the fact he isn’t even saying my name tells me how worried he is.  Was wondering why he didn’t feel any fear just anxious. Let’s walk to the meeting I’ll explain along the way.”

Ezelle for his part explained to Pele from the start.  How Gleam became attached to the adult Guardians, they were the only evolved who were happily nice and kind to him.  Pele added in he even seemed to see Professor Elder as someone important and tended to look up to him and ask permission.  Explaining Gleam craved adult figures in his life, and became attached to them or bonded to them pretty quickly.

Pele at that point stopped him and sighed, looking down at Gleam,who for his part is snuggling into her fur still, half awake but listening to the conversation, “Go on Gleam, even without him explaining the rest, I think I have the idea.  Who is Pinky go on.” She moves him out of her fur a bit, holding him carefully so he can see the Sylveon, “In fact go ahead and say hi.”

Gleam looked up, earfolding and blushing, then whined shyly, waving with a little whimper, “Hi daddy.”

Ezelle for his part reached a feeler up and rubbed over Gleam’s head, “Hey there little twig.”

Pele sighs, “So how then?”

Ezelle closed his eyes, “Was trying to find some way to get him to calm down around me.  I hadn’t realized the full thing yet with his attachment tendency. I decided to try to act a bit more fatherly, and refer to him in ways I knew he’d heard some parents here refer to their kits.  It helped, he eased up, we talked quite a bit, and even though I wasn’t aiming for that, I got Kencil’s promise out of him too. Because Pele you were wrong, and Gleam you might want to cover your ears, you know what I plan to tell her, unless you feel it won’t hurt you too bad.  Actually better thought, Pele mental contact?”

Gleam sighed, he did tear up anyway, hiding his muzzle in her fur.

Ezelle looked upto the two, “ Whatever happened in that dungeon, I didn’t get the full story, I didn’t need to.  I got to the crux of the problem darling..”

Pele looked down at him, “ Take it easy there Pinky, I’m trying to be nice and not upset Gleam, I can’t believe you even tried something like this.  I trusted you with him, and beyond this bonding you leave him with a half wild unevolved. Even as it is Gleam is crying lightly now get it over with.”

Ezelle grrfs, ” You want to play that way?  Then I will. You know he is why I evolved, you know what that means to me.  I slip around him as well, it’s why i use Little Twig and just Twig to talk to him, otherwise son comes out.  Even then I slip and call him My Little Twig. But how about we talk about what you’ve done to him. I did what Kencil asked, the screaming cry that came from what I figured out made me wonder if he’d learned some new sound based move.”

“You broke him, oh yes you did, but not in the way you thought.  You gained him as your kit, but not in the way you thought. From the very moment you set foot here with him, he’d been bonding with you.  I haven’t asked what all happened but I confirmed what I suspected. Long before he got down on that floor with you, whatever happened. He was already your kit, he probably was fighting the urge successfully because he had no worries.  But whatever happened happened, and you scared him, you made him worry. Not that the bond was broken, not that he didn’t have his partner pokemon.”

“You convinced him in that moment that his mommy did not want him, that his mommy was going to leave him, that his mommy was going to go away.  His greatest fear right now is you not wanting him anymore. Probably now me too, to be honest. I want you to understand this, and understand this now.  If I EVER catch word of you worrying my son again with talk of you don’t need to be his mommy, that he has an out.  I will personally do all I can to go through with that for you and have him stop being your son, I will find a way to ease him out of the bond, and take him all to myself.  Do you understand me young lady?”

Pele perked a moment, as much as the threat itself did worry her, she couldn’t help it, she snnrrked then laughed, ”My word, which one of you two fell first?  I mean seriously.”

Ezelle sighed, “I’m not sure, probably me to be honest, though when I originally said I wanted him to be my boy, I wanted to get your permission to make him that way first.”  He sighed, “But apparently my feelings for him morphed to a father for their child pretty quickly.” he earfolded, “To be honest I originally wanted him to call me daddy for only one reason.”  She looked down at Ezelle.

“And what would that be Pinky?”

Ezelle looked down, “For you to call me mate.  No matter the threat I don’t want to take him, I want to share him as family.”

Pele sighs, “We are the only two adults arn’t we?  Though the whole thing with me making eggs and, well, you guys having live birth might cause issues in the long run that way.  But for right now I’d like to just settle in without making that sort of long term commitment like that Pinky. On the other side”

Pele looks to Gleam, “You good and warm sweety?”  Gleam nod’s in response then perks in surprise as she sets him down on top of Ezelle, Ezelle looking genuinely surprised, but curls his ribbons around Gleam to hold him still, while the lil kit moves to get into a comfortable riding position, and rubs his muzzle against his father a few times fondly, before he squeaks and settles down, Ezelle getting a burst of embarrassment again from the kit..

Pele sighs, “I promise I won’t ever talk about not being his mother.  But, I think I might be a touch too clingy myself to him, and it might not always be the best for my little boy.  So yes we’ll share parental duties, I can even watch Eevee with him, Eevee seems to like Gleam as well. I’ll talk more about why I say this once we can get a good guardian meeting going. Otherwise you made a mistake with him and Skitty, but I have a feeling it’s not a mistake you’ll make again.  Which, where is Skitty, Gleam?”

Ezelle perks, “Yeah where is my team member at, I was surprised to see you coming from outside of town, alone.”

Gleam earfolds, “Skitty is out at a grove that is easy for me to find, working on making a home for his more wild side.  He’s a bit more together now, through some very odd circumstances, but I told him to make a comfortable home for himself.  And that you’ll be along later papa, to talk with him.

“My main hope is that if he goes wild again, as he did once already, he’ll return to the same spot since he’ll think of it as home.  So it’ll be easy to help him.”

Ezelle sighs, “He was seeming better before your, dangerous nightmare issue.  He even was happy to help you calm down.”

Pele perks, “Nightmare?”

Gleam whines, “Back to subject for now.  Jealousy, and allowing him to scruff me seem to be, ah, what happened.”

Ezelle looks back to him, “Jealous you had a mama and papa?  I know we were discussing that a bit.”

Gleam shook his head, “Remember he wondered what would happen if he evolved, what could he do?”  Ezelle nodded, then Gleam sighed, “As he was losing his fight to stay more rational he started complimenting me more, I finally managed to get it out of him after I-I did something to make him less wild.  He always wanted a little brother or sister, he’s rarely around the whelps, and very few are close enough to him in species.”

Pele and Ezelle look to each other then sigh, Pele closes her eyes, “And then we come along, and here’s this cute little whelp who he can carry around.  Ok let’s handle up the pre-meeting, we have most of it done, but when you called, well, it was insisted things got paused.”

Gleam nodded, “Has Flint taking a vacation been floated?  Like not do nothing with the guild, but take him away from leadership for a bit.  Just advise? Pretty much what I’d like to do once settled in, just give my suggestions and go from there?”

Pele shakes her head, “We’ve brought it up, Flint does not like the idea, though the rest of the others kind of agree that it might be a good idea.”

Gleam sighs, “He’s stubborn..I hope we don’t need to resort to plan B for that.”  He looks around right quick, “Also I want the idea of papa having his rank in the guild raised, to be floated about.  The job he wishes to do is important enough, whatever this whole guardian thing is, sounds like they need to all be in more leadership like positions.  It’d also give us another mon capable of countering me while I’m suspended.”

Ezelle blushes at the mention of his rank being raised but nods, “Plan B for Flint?”

Gleam sighs, “It seems mentioning something in front of Flint can make him lose it..the same way I do at times.  Covering my ears and saying whatever it is, because it apparently involves an experience we both had. Which I’m studiously trying to not think on, because I’d rather not lose it right now.  But doing that in a more public setting, the same way we showed off how weak and easy to upset I am, I’m loath to do that to Flint but, he’s doing pretty bad.”

Gleam closes his eyes, “Not as bad as I am apparently but Flint is having, issues.”

Pele shakes her head, “You aren’t that bad Gleam.”

Gleam shakes his head, “Again I want to talk with those in charge in peace. I’ve found some heavily interesting information about our badges.”

Ezelle nods, “Fine fine, but a quick question Gleam?”

Gleam looks down to Ezelle, “Yes...erm..” he sighs an blushes, “Papa?”

Ezelle chuckles, “I’ve got that just as bad as you do, you’ve just got to deal with also being young, with that said son.  I’m just curious, the moment Pele picked you up, and the moment you were put on my back you got a bit of embarrassment, I’d rather not be embarrassing you too much so, what’s up son?”

Gleam squeaks, blushing more and shifting in place, “It’s nothing, h honestly, t tryin to d deal with it myself a and get over it.”

Pele sighs, “Gleam please, we both want to help you, in many ways.”  She pauses, “Come on little twig tell mama and papa?”

Gleam whines, giving more of a blush, Ezelle feels embarrassment now that he knows that trick consciously, but also some kind of longing, “O Ok Mama.” he mrfs, “Bad form using that on purpose, learning from Papa.”

Ezelle chuckles, “Given what I told her it was only a short while before she started doing that, you know it.  Now go on why embarrassed.”

Gleam earfolds, “Again i it’s nothing bad, nothing I should be too ashamed of.  Jus tryin to get used to it.” he settles down a bit, “The moment I saw Mama I..I came running yelling out Mama, a and almost yelled Papa if I didn’t catch myself.  The moment Mama picked me up I gave affectionate lil licks. The moment you got me Papa, I rubbed my muzzle over and along you with affection.” He sighs, “That was all reflex, I didn’t do it consciously.  And H-”

Ezelle shhhhs, “And humans don’t show affection in that way, you’re acting a bit like a whelp and not even thinking of it, you’re acting properly how a fennekin should show affection but it feels weird.”

Pele pauses then sighs, “I hadn’t even considered, we do show affection among each other differently than humans do.  And you’re capable of doing it as just a standard reflex?”

Gleam tries to turn his head away nodding softly, “Yeah I know I-I still get embarrassed over acting that way.  B-but I plan to live as a fennekin so I need to get over the embarrassment.”

Ezelle pauses and sighs, “No wonder you were so known for being standoffish”  He moves Gleam more in front of himself, “Do you promise to do your best to be properly more like a mon?”

Gleam earfolds squirming a bit, “I..I, y yes father.”

Ezelle nods, carefully cradling Gleam in just his feelers, moving the kit under his muzzle, then gives his face a few quickly licks, smiling and waiting.  Gleam looking up, blushing, but a moment after he’s giving tiny lil licks back, his tail wagging.

Pele sighs and smiles, playfully tugging on Ezelle’s scruff to bring them into the guild hall, “Alright come on you two.”

Chapter Text

Nervous, so nervous.  But he’s holding up. He isn’t used to being in charge like this, of his own small group?  Sure. Deciding who would go to the dungeon day by day, sure he could handle that. But now he’s being asked to help with deciding what every left over group should do.  A bit odd watching how he works, even with just being there to suggest, when looking at who should go where, he’s deferring to the rest of the guild for information. Asking Rattata, Flint, or Vulpix for how they acted when they reported the day before.

Then again it’s been an odd day, after big sis gave her quite a scare at mom’s place.  She proceeded to be rocked to sleep, and sung a variation of the old tune mom sung. And she hadn’t realized, but big sis sounds so much like Mom.  The vision of Mom that sis summoned helped cement how alike the two were. But her other surprise was waking up in one of those bed things, tucked in expertly, and Big Sis was in the larger bed, seemingly having gotten into it on her own.  Sis seemed, oddly composed and happy that morning. She helped Kencil out of bed, then told her to go ahead and relax in the dining area while she handled the beds.

Kencil still wants to know why Big Sis detached that basket thing from it’s stand and took it with her, but the two went on to the guilds pre-meeting, for all the higher ups in the guild.

Ezelle had shown up without Gleam but explained Skitty was bringing him in a bit, they had underestimated how certain things might stimulate Gleam.  Ezelle seemed oddly glowing, but also had a worry about something, whenever he was near Pele it really showed, but she can only tell emotions she’d need to read his mind to see what it was about.  They went on without Gleam for a bit, since they were used to it, and Pele showed herself decently competent at advising and suggesting.

Then the call from Gleam came in, Ezelle and Pele both showed heavy worry in equal amounts.  Ezelle asked the meeting be halted and went off to get Gleam from one of the town exits, Pele went right after telling everyone to pause things for now.

The talk devolved into what could be going on, why did Gleam specifically ask not to be scruffed.  Vulpix seemed a bit unhappy at that request, Rattata actually added in that Gleam seemed to react oddly to being scruffed, he was helping watch the whelps last night before their little show.  Gleam got oddly quiet, talked a bit more like a whelp, sounded frustrated when he mentioned he didn’t mean to talk that way but couldn’t stop it. Even the other whelps could tell something was up and they tried to be extra nice to him.  He was so down he didn’t even try to go after the gummi he was offered until it was put right up to his muzzle.

Some of that info surprised Ralts, some didn’t.  Sounds like scruffing affects a basic instinct of his perhaps.  The gummi stuff is probably the fact he thinks of it as whelp food, and thinks he shouldn’t be so excited by it.  Or perhaps it was some other reason, she wasn’t there and can’t really tell. Still she did mention there is something more about gummi’s to Rattata, and most of the others chuckled softly and agreed, since it was the other guardians and Flint.

Rattata had actually questioned the addition of Pele and Ezelle, but it was mentioned they were technically adults now, and most felt they could be trusted.  And Ezelle was wanting to help with keeping others from going wild, so if he could stand in and know who seemed most troubled, he’d know who he needed to talk with.  And Pele, well, she was wanting to in general aid Gleam in making this place better. Though Ralts felt more and more like she was having an ulterior motive.

Once Pele and Ezelle came back, Kencil was quite surprised to find Gleam riding on Sylveon’s back.  Pele and Ezelle both had some lower tier worried feelings, but there was something else going on, love, caring, both of them, directed towards Gleam.  Sylveon was holding Gleam in his feelers and soon the meeting was resumed, Gleam said he would mention the delay when it mattered, but for right now he thinks Skitty needs a vacation from dungeoning, and it might do well to let him tend the whelps more often.

From there the meeting resumed pretty well, as different groups came up he asked one question or another and went on.  Sometimes he seemed to home right in on a specific mon, asking for certain signs, and said it sounded like they were getting weary when he was confirmed right.  When it came to planting he asked about those who knew grass type moves, quizzed Sylveon about hoppip a bit. And asked about some specific pokemon. He also asked about some who might know various ground moves.

More than a few had to know exactly he was on about.  He sighed a bit fussily, a slight whine coming out, though Ezelle seemed to do something to perk him up, and she could see the fennekin pat the sylveon in thanks. Gleam mentioned the different elements we can control, can allow us certain tricks.  Pointing out Pele showed off last night what are some rather simple fire tricks. He also pointed out all of them are used to some tricks those with strong psychic reserves use, such as mental talking, the fortune tellers, those who move items with their mind.  And to put it simple grass control should allow some bearing on plants, while ground should be able to figure how healthy the land is for plants, and perhaps enrich the ground a bit.

He wants those who are capable of using such moves, put more often on plant duty, anyone who seems to love it should be allowed that over dungeoning.  He also said Hoppip might do well training on such things since Sylveon and Skitty might more often be in town. The other pokemon he named, he knows can learn some grass moves from other sources, and he could teach them so they’d have some reserves, though perhaps later as he is starting to feel tired.

Ralts saw Pele’s ears perk in surprise at the mention that control may be able to do such things, and mentioned she wouldn’t mind aiding in that. Turns out she found a few things and replaced one of her learnable moves with Grass Knot.  She was planning on working out how to do that herself. Gleam perked, looking at her oddly but nodded, mentioning it looked like he wasn’t the only one with some interesting news to share later.

In general he never directly said what to do though, just what signs he saw and knew, suggestions he had to improve.  And he actually did drift off to sleep a few times, she was beginning to understand why he wanted to be an advisor and not the actual leader.  He next broached the subject of Flint needing a vacation, just to relax. That’s where some of the fireworks happened.


 

Flint shook his head lightly, “Look I’ve already told the rest when they mentioned this earlier.  I’m fine, there is far too much to do right now, and not enough to get it done.”

Gleam sighed, “Flint, you’ve just run through a dungeon, slept out, came back through it, and yes it was easier but you can’t tell me it wasn’t tense, especially at the end.  Beyond that I heard you hadn’t been in a dungeon before that for ages, so like me, it was your first experience in a dungeon in quite awhile.”

Flint earfolded with a sigh, “Which is why I can just sit around in here.  There isn’t a lot to do dungeon wise when I’m heading the guild.”

“And when was the last time you had a vacation from that?  The whelps were asking me when you’d play with them again, they apparently hadn’t seen you in awhile, which I know how they exaggerate.  But I know you used to enjoy spending time with them, and the others here are free to tell me how much the whelps exaggerate haven’t seen you, beyond when you brought mom to them.”

Flint growled a little bit, “I can’t spend time playing when more important work needs to be done.”

Gleam perked, looking at Flint warily.  Ralts felt a bit of worry in Gleam, not fear just worry, “That’s why you delegate, that’s why you make sure others can do the work, so that you can rest when you need to.  Nothing but work tends to drive mon wild.”

Flint barked back to Gleam, making the kit shrink back a bit, “We don’t have enough mon to do everything as it is.  I can’t take others away from their own duties, from supply runs that we need badly. Food comes only from dungeons right now, building supplies, everything, only comes from dungeons right now.  We just..we just, we can’t get a lot to grow right now or anything. And you’re wanting to take away more, just so I can flaff around and do nothing?”

Gleam earfolded then mrfs, “And what happens when you tire out, and you wind up going fully wild, instead of the minor cracks I’m seeing already?  Rockruffs are thankfully a very social species so I’m sure you’d stay in town, but they start to get very aggressive as they get older and older. How will that affect your decision making, how has it already?”

Flint growls more at Gleam, a bit threateningly, who for his part continues to stay pretty well still, though Ralts continues to detect worry from the kit, in fact she’s starting to get it more and more from the room, while Flint continues, “What are you even trying to insinuate, nothing is wrong.  I have been leading the pack pretty well. The best I can, then you swoop in, think you can change the pack? I am not going wild.”

Gleam earfolds and sighs, closing his eyes, “Then why are you threatening your partner?  The one who when you saw for the first time in months you immediately curled around and slept with?  Why are you leading a pack, and not a guild? Why are you worried about me changing the pack, when I just want to help the town rebuild?  Being able to be with you, my partner. And all of you, my friends. And to help rebuild this town is the entire reason why Celebi let me come back.”

Flint perks a moment then flinches, tail lowering as he backs off a little bit, closing his eyes.

Gleam sighs, “Don’t feel too bad, you arn’t the only one driven near wild.  You just happen to be one of the more important. But this is why you need a vacation.  Before you wind up like I am.”

That got a few peoples attention, with vulpix starting to speak up, “Gleam, while I see what you mean about Rockruff, you arn’t anywhere near wild.”

At that point Gleam laughed, and laughed hard, most started wondering what was wrong, then he sat up, “Forgive me I’m tired, I should nap soon, but first, a few things.  I think I’ve made my point with you right Flint? I hope my partner understands?” The rockruff nodded softly, laying down with a sigh.

Gleam looked to Rattata, “Something I hadn’t noticed much because well, it was hectic.  One moment.” The kit whispers in Sylveon’s ears a moment, who nodded, then Gleam looked back to Rattata, “Look, bygones be bygones, you’ve shown yourself loyal to those around, and I know you wish to stay around my mom more for, reasons I won’t go into.  But when I was first here you were, kind of more than a bit antagonistic towards me. It eventually stopped and you made amends, but.” Gleam took a big breath, “I am going to be short here, because I’m not sure how much of this Sylveon’s powers can keep me together for.”  he closes his eyes, “Only myself and Flint know how the evolved died.” At that point Vulpix, Shinx, Ralts, and Pele ahemed, Gleam perking, “Ok so a few of you think you know? I won’t ask. I want this brief.”

He looks to Rattata, “Each of them were being controlled and forced to fight.”  Flint could be heard starting to whimper in the background. “However, Rattata, you’re father was able to control himself, just enough, many of the evolved did, to make sure we got away.  He told me, he was sorry for the trouble he caused, that he was wrong about me.” he sighed, “If you’re curious I can say this much, he died embracing his wife. I will say no more for now. On that.”  The kit at this point was visibly shivering, and made a very slight hurk sound. Then sighed and calmed.

“But something I found recently made me think back on that and wonder, your father wasn’t big in the guild, he didn’t have much influence.  What kind of trouble could he cause me, then I thought about you. Did he encourage it Rattata? If so, did he tell you why?”

Most of the group quieted a moment, then looked to Rattata, whose ears wilted a moment, he nodded softly, “He, he eventually told me to stop, y yeah but.” he whined a bit, “This is going to sound silly but, you need to understand, he was originally one of those who came here from getting lost, and somehow came here via a changing dungeon.  He had, heard strange rumors and stories from the land he was in. And he heard odd whispers among the guild, about why the guildmaster seemed, well, against you.”

Gleam nodded, “Please, even if it sounds silly, go on.”

Rattata frowns, “There are rumors, stories, and tales of these odd species of creatures called humans.  Something about an old war, how they were driven away, how they mistreated and hated pokemon. How they would take pokemon and train them for war, make them fight one another.  H..He somehow heard from guild that you might be a human. He also mentioned he somehow activated a mode on his badge mentioning trainers, which is what he said humans were called.  It, it sounds silly to me but dad wanted me to fight you so, so I did. Eventually he told me he was wrong about you, so wrong, told me to make amends, and to instead listen to you. That at worse you were maybe trained by a human.”

Gleam sighed and closed his eyes, “Others?  Should we?”

Rattata earperked, the others nodding slowly, while Gleam laughed, “We still need to talk about other things later, I’ll probably just pick a day where mom and..” he pats down at Sylveon, “Well, where most of my usual minders are busy, and just let you watch me for the day, it’d be a good chance.  For the sake of it, yes where I come from humans still exist, Mom was trained by one.” Rattata definitely earperked, while Gleam sighed, “Apparently on this island humans are not allowed, they cannot enter at all. But a human, taken from his body, and turned into a pokemon? They, they may enter.”

Rattata paused for a moment, jaw dropping, gulping a moment, “There are many bad humans, and they do take pokemon and train them to do evil.  Or do evil to those pokemon they take. You can ask mom, we fought our fair share of them. But there are also those who care for, love, and just want what is best for their pokemon, there are even old stories of humans so loving pokemon they tried to produce children with them.”

Rattata’s ears wilted, “Everyone...everyone else here kn, knows already?  Th, they’ve known this a-about you the whole time?” He shivered then nodded, “I-I understand, but, but so many questions.”

Gleam sighed and nodded, “For later, you can ask them, I’m barely staying awake but I want to go over two other things.  The reason I asked you is that one of them relates to my past as a human. And being this high up in the guild, I had been fighting with wanting to tell you already.”  Rattata nodded slowly, gulping gently.

“First, mom.  You showed great interest when I mentioned energy control allowing certain tricks.  I know apparently a few things were left in that house for you. You even said you had already trained yourself to use Grass Knot.” The kit lightly rubbed his eyes.

Pele nodded, “Ena...ena.  She knew I would be here, being the fortune teller she was.  When she sealed her home, she used a seal that, well, honestly Gleam, you and I both know how to use, all I needed to know was the password.  Which she left a hint for, and the wand you made for me so helpfully provided an answer for. Everything in there she had prepared for when I arrived, the household stash was even set to allow me to gain control of it.”

That got multiple mon’s attention, Sylveon just listening curiously, “She knew the trouble this land would be in when I..I.”  She closed her eyes, “When I came here. She also knew about how powerful I could be, she left me a book that I’m still needing to read.  But it includes how I could use my, well, I’ll just say what the journal said. My superior reserve control, to help with some of this places problems.  There are also a few TMs, and a few other items I honestly want you to look over Gleam, just to determine how useful they are.”

Gleam nodded, “That, that is, ok yeah I had already heard she knew you’d be here, but to the point she wrote a book for you?”

Pele nodded, “She also had a few items special made for me and..you.”

Gleam perked and blinks, looking surprised.

Pele shrugs, “Anyway, you had one more thing before I put you to bed?”

Gleam blushed softly at that but nodded, “For the sake of it, I was late this morning due to, issues with Skitty.  I got him to calm down, and he’s currently working on a project in case it happens again. But he nearly went fully wild, I discovered he hadn’t had a name yet, and decided I could maybe help him settle down if I ‘officially’ gave him a name, perhaps pull him back some.  So to make it sound official I went ahead and removed my suspension and went into the open command mode. I knew it’d just give me an error. What I didn’t expect was, well.”

Gleam tapped his badge, removing his suspension for the time being, then opened up command mode, “Activate full menu, authorization Gleam, List roles for Fennekin.”

“Roles for Fennekin: Gleam:  GuildMaster, Team Leader for Team Terraflare, Team Founder for Team TerraFlare.  Trainer.”

Pele earperked looking at Gleam, “Wait what?”

Gleam continued, “I found that secret mode Rattata just mentioned.  Add Rockruff Flint to Team.”

That really got Pele’s attention, everybody perked though, and Rockruff stood up his badge glowing in acknowledgement, then Gleams badge spoke out again, “Rockruff Flint registered to Trainer Gleam, added to current team. Pepper, and Flint.”

Pele started, Gleam shhhed a moment, “Just a bit more.  Trainer Command Status Flint.”

“Rockruff Flint, Status…”  At that point it read off his nature, and his approximate stats, the current moves he had reserves for, but it got to the fun part soon, “Wilding status, 80% wild.”

Flint earperked at that and whined, gulping and folding his ears. A few others looking at the rockruff worriedly.

Pele perked, “Gleam this, this sounds like…”

Gleam nodded, “Trainer command, connection status.”

“PC unavailable, Transfer Unavailable, Trade unavailable, central connection unavailalbe.”

“Some of that was for Pele’s benefit, this, this is using technology of where I’m from.  Specifically technology that is used in capturing and training pokemon. Given the presence of what seems to be human ruins on the island I can guess part of it, but not all of what’s going on.  With that said, I was able to pull a list of those who were closest to going feral, such as Flint off of this. Every single pokemon with a badge can be accessed from here. For the sake of it I think being registered to me does nothing directly.  But it seems I can have any pokemon with a badge registered to me. This is why I asked about the actions of a few certain pokemon, it indicated they were, close to going wild. Every single one I asked about was verified to show signs of acting more like a wild pokemon, so this system seems to be working correctly, even if it glitches on a few pokemon.  Which has a few other troubling implications.”

Kencil perked up softly, “What would those be?”

Gleam sighed and Kencil felt some kind of worry, apprehensive he seemed, and Kencil noticed Sylveon looked up at him worriedly too, “You ok?”  Ralts perked, how good at reading people has he gotten.

Gleam sighed and shook his head, “Not really, again the implications, I was afraid it was correct in part.  I’m tired, and honestly I’d be cranky if I wasn’t given some help.” he nuzzles Sylveon between the ears and gave an affectionate lick, “Leggo please?”

Sylveon let him go and Gleam made his way over to Pele, “Going to add Flint to a group I set up, then I’m going to give it one last command for all of you to hear it sound out, and then I’m going to pass out.”  He nudged Pele and she picked him up, helping him lay out comfortably, “Move Flint to Box Guild Leaders.” The badge indicated the move was successful, “Trainer Command, Wilding Status, Box Guild Leaders. Broadcast from…”  he scanned the room a moment, paused and looked at who sat furthest away from him, “Shinx.” He layed down fully in Pele’s arms afterward, eyes closing.

Shinx’s badge began, “Group status requested, now working, now working.  Wilding status Shinx: Taran, Error. Status Ralts: Kencil, Error. Status Sylveon: Ezelle, 20%. Status Vulpix: Sherry, 31%. Status RockRuff: Flint 80%. Status Rattata: Tacen 27%, Status Delphox: Pele 5%, Status Fennekin: Gleam 100%.

And that, that got everyone’s attention at once, it began to grow loud pretty quickly until a fennekin already half asleep whined rather fussily.


 

Pele moves back over to the group, “Ok that has our two wild boys sleeping.  Honestly I think Gleam wanted to spend more time with Flint anyway, I figure we can have a keeper for both of them perhaps, but Gleam seems to trust Flint will stay in town.  So maybe just letting Flint watch over Gleam might be safe, no idea.”

Kencil shook her head, “Wild, fully wild, our Guild Leader is fully wild and.”  She quieted down, “No I’m more curious, most mon when they go wild, they, they.” She sighed, “They tend to leave town, so many have already.   But then he said he trusts Rockruff would have stayed in town. And he can keep it together so much, is it due to the whole human thing? Is it reading him wrong due to what he is?”  She looked up at Pele, “Do you, do you have any idea? Anyone here?”

Pele sighed, looking up after the group after a moment, ‘I don’t know, I.” She sighs, “After some figuring, I.” She thinks, “The best I can give is an early memory for myself.  There is, apparently, time before I was with humans, but I don’t remember any of it. However I do have a short memory of when the human I call father found me as my earliest memory.  I was alone, scared, I’ll assume wild. I wanted to find my mother or father. I wanted to be near and with someone. He spotted me, called for me, held out food, I came running, after eating he tried to lift me up, I didn’t run, I instead jumped into his arms.”

She closed her eyes, “I’ve never seen another wild of my line at all over in the human world.  They are either exceedingly rare, or don’t exist in the wild. It’s possible my line just naturally gravitates to communities.  It’s also possible since he’s bonded to, well, two of us now. He does not wish to leave behind his family his friends his…” She pauses to think for a bit then sighs, “I think it’s been staring us in the face this whole time.  He outright admitted the only reason he was holding his composure was because Pinky was soothing him and keeping him sane the whole time.”

Rattata perks, “Bonded to two of you?  Being soothed the whole time whaaa?”

Pele perks, “Seriously you had Mardav here for how long, Gleam even right out said a few times that Pinky here was soothing him.  How do you not know that fact about sylveons? I know Centai would used it a lot. These ribbon feelers, most sylveons hate combat, and they have a trick to help slow down fights, feed fairy energy through the feelers and into the target, they can calm down.”

Ezelle blushes, “As for bonded to two of us I may, have, accidentally, ah.”  he looks down a bit, Pele smirking.

“The two adopted each other, which I honestly should have paid more attention to, given me and another sylveon used to butt heads over Gleam as it was.  The fact he made yet another sylveon should have clued me in that sylveon might want to play daddy.” Ezelle looked to the side, ears folding, “Calm down Pinky, I’ve already said my peace on it, and it does mean I have someone who I know will keep Gleam’s safety as a top priority.”

“But yeah, I’m sure a few of you caught he was finding ways to communicate with Ezelle without saying his name and.”  she giggles, “Ok I think I also figured out how his wildness has been showing without any of us thinking about it.”

Many of them perk up, then Pele sighs, “Which means his going wild may have been my fault, as it started after the dungeon incident.”  She looks to the group, “His whole thing with more and more acting like a whelp and, well, a pokemon in general. I think part of it is just him tryin to fit in, but.  We’ve all seen him say or do one thing or another that makes sense for a whelp, then blush right after, or act ashamed.”

Ralts hmms, “Or how scruffing him really sets off something strongly?”

Vulpix sighs, “His automatic tendency to follow behind others?”

Ezelle, “The fact if he pretty much has called Pele mommy and mama exclusively.  And why I’m papa to him now, which yeah, that’s why he finds other ways to get my attention.  I think we’re going to need to let everyone know so he can get over that.” The Sylveon earfolds, “Especially since even with my nickname for him I can still slip pretty easily myself.  And honestly we can probably use the wild thing on both Flint and Gleam to explain things to most of the others.”

Pele nods, “We won’t tell them how close, but let them know both of them have been under heavy stress, much more stress than any of us realize.  And both are pretty close to being wild. We’ll let them know they are social wilds, so less likely to run, but maybe not always the best at being civilized.  And we can even tell them in Gleam’s case he winds up acting more like a whelp, and like all of the whelps have, he started looking up to others and much to his embarrassment has accidentally adopted himself a daddy.  Much like some of them are big brothers and sister to one whelp or another.”

Rattata nods, “As much as it does make sense, it’s going to start causing jealousy issues.  I mean most of them do look up to Gleam but, him being adopted is going to, cause a few issues.”

Ezelle lowers his head again, eyes closed.  Pele speaks up, “And how many of you olders have a thing for Ms. Ena?  Seriously I know several of you have mistaken me for her, or generally cuddled in close because I know I resemble her.”  She lightly lifts up Rattata, setting him on her shoulder, he blushes and digs into the fur, settling down, “I can’t be a mother to everyone, and I know Pinky can’t be a father to everyone but.”  She closes her eyes, “I think in a way we can be as well. Not directly but, Pinky wants to counsel everyone anyway, you want to be available so everyone can bring their problems to you, and you can hopefully help them calm down.  I can settle in and start to do similar, I can disguise it as just getting to know everyone. Send those close to edge to me, I can have a talk with them as well.

Pele considers, “Also, it might help if they felt adults led them a bit more.  If I set up a psychic link I think myself and Ezelle could host the meeting, with those of you who know what is going on stepping us through in the background?” Pele sighs softly, “I don’t really want to take over the guild, but everyone's reaction to Gleam’s return, and to adults in general indicate that might be a good way to ease some feelings.  Never mind the actual age of the ‘adults’”. She coughts slightly.

Rattata, “I ah, I’m way out of the loop here.  I kind of understand...I guess, you’ve kinda adopted Gleam, same way Ezelle has.”

Pele frowns, kissing Rattata on the cheek, scritching him behind an ear, making him give a happy lil chrr, “Right, you did just have it confirmed.  Something about the human world is, different from here. While Gleam and myself have been able to figure out some of the ways differences translate, it’s still a bit odd.  But as an example, while situation based evolutions, such as an eevee’s love for their trainer, and having a fairy move in their reserve can result in an eevee becoming a sylveon, seem to still be the same, evolutions based on age are, very different.”

Rattata perks curiously, “how so?”

Pele sighs, “Training, fighting with other pokemon, getting stronger.  Watching battles, learning. In general pushing yourself harder and harder, to be a better and stronger fighter.  Triggers similar results.” She looks at Rattata curiously, “I’m not as old, in years, as I look. As said I was human trained, specifically I was trained by Gleam.  I came here with him because I missed my trainer, and partner, who befriended me when I lived with just the human I refer to as father. And when he decided to go on a journey that kids in his area do, one meant to allow them to discover themselves, and figure out who they are in the world.  Well I was too attached to him to not be the choice for a pokemon friend to grow with him on the journey, and protect him from the wild pokemon. And I do mean there was no choice, I made sure of that.”

Rattata blinks, “Protect him?  I mean I understand now but.”

Pele shakes her head, “A Human’s power isn’t in their body.  Right now Gleam, as a whelp, can barely scratch, he apparently has wish, and he can do a very adorable tail wag to make pokemon not want to attack him as much.  That’s more powerful than any human.”

Rattata blinks, “I what?  But, but they supposedly rule so much and I-’

Pele smiled, “Their power is in the way they think.  I think I’ve picked up some of that myself, learning how to think more like a human.  But they create items, they create healing items more powerful than berries. They know how to make TMs, which apparently you guys have here.  They can make an item that restores you to fighting fitness if you pass out from overexertion. They made a tiny tiny item that..well. Come to think of it.”

Pele reaches into her fur, near where she keeps her twig, and pulls out the pokeball she had stashed in there when they first arrived, “Forgot I had this thing.  I should have Gleam see if anything is odd about it, given the bond breakage, to a degree I knew this thing made a bond between me and him. But anyway, the badges we wear, he mentioned they were similar to human capture technology.  This is the mentioned capture technology, when working it serves as a home for one pokemon, no matter the size, it does something to them, and the pokemon can fit inside, comfortably and safely. They can be prisons, but Gleam prefered to keep the locks disables so we could leave if we felt like it.”

Rattata blinks, looking at it, “This, this tiny thing?  Could hold even you?”

Pele laughs, “Yes, again I’m wary to use it, no idea if coming here did anything to it.  But originally if I was too badly hurt to move, and he couldn’t carry me. He could put me inside, they even have a machine that full heals and restores any mon inside of one of these balls.”

Rattata blinks more, “That..that..that..’

Pele nods, putting the ball away, “I figure if I ever feel like I can trust Gleam as a trainer again, I’ll give him back this ball.  Until then I’ll raise him as my child, with the goal of healing him of all the hurt done to him.”

Pele sighs, “But this was more about age.”  She looks at Rattata, “Of all the mon here, Gleam is actually the oldest one here.  Probably part of why he can be so down in the dumps about being a whelp.”

Rattata perks, “Gl gleam is the oldest?”

Pele nods, “Given how pokemon in this world work, if he was actually in a body that was his actual age, he’d be about to evolve into a Delphox, or perhaps one already.”  Pele smirks a bit, “As for me? I’d still be a Fennekin. But in one year’s time, a single year, he did enough training with me that I evolved twice.”

Rattata earfolds, “I, I….so.  So Gleam is the only ac..actual adult here?  And, and. H he’s stuck as a wild whelp?” And you..you’re..anywhere from 4 to 8?”  

Pele nods quietly closing her eyes, “I try to play the part, and I’ve been given certain cheats.  Something has caused me to be able to fit in here. If important knowledge is missing, I gain it suddenly.”  She considers, “Last night I saw footprint runes for the first time in my life, a moment later I knew what they were and I can now read and write with them.  I seem to naturally know how to handle and take care of whelps. It was a bit, disconcerting but, I’ve stopped letting it bother me, it lets me better take care of Gleam and this town he loves.  And admittedly it’s grown on me for more than a few reasons.”

Sherry nods, “We have the meeting soon, lets try the idea of letting the adults lead, see if that helps a bit.  One of you can figure out how to mention Flint and Gleam.”

Pele nods, and looks to Ezelle, “Hey Pinky get Skitty right quick will you?”

Ezelle headtilts but nods, beeping his badge.

“Mew?  Skitty here, yes?”

Ezelle shrugs, “Pele wanted to talk, with you a bit.”

“Um, u, uhoh, yes Ms. Pele?”

Pele sighs, “I heard somebody kidnapped my whelp earlier.  With that said, I know you plan to have others meet you there, but I plan to keep Gleam asleep so he won’t be able to lead anyone to where you are.  Would you come to the meeting, that way you can lead Ezelle back to your home. Plus we kind of agreed we’d like to have you help around town today, ok?”

“Um I..s sorry I I went bad, Gl, gleam somehow helped, m my badge did something because of him, but, but I don’t know what.”

Pele nods, “It’s ok, more than a few are close to wild, Gleam and Flint are pretty bad too, very heavy stress and none of us caught it because both of them seem to stay social when wild.  So they want to stick around town, or with mommy.”

Chapter Text

Quiet, comfortable warmth, Gleam is not used to this at all.  But he can feel most of his body covered by warmth, only his head isn’t covered and still the air around him is warm.  He’s awake now but he does not really want to get up at all. So he instead wiggles his body to settle into the nice warmth even more, then sighs and needs to stretch, might as well enjoy it, he stretches and lets himself give of a rather squeaky yawn.  A moment later he finds his face being licked repeatedly by someone, quickly and excitedly, he squeaks and raises his paws up to try to stop it, only to find them licked and whoever is licking him all excitedly like this start at a different angle. Though he’s getting a suspicion who the ‘attacker’ is, and figure fine if they want to play, then let’s play.  He starts to flail his paws about to get back at, though his paws feel a bit constricted, he’s still under something, that nice warmth he was enjoying earlier still covers most of his body, he tries to turn and squirm more, then acks realizing whatever he’s under, his attacker is atop of, and has him effectively pinned.

“Ack Flint, I’m pinned I’m pinned stop!”  he squeaks and whines lightly, “Can’t attack back.”

Flint finally slows down, but not before giving a few long licks over Gleam’s face and barks happily, “I noticed, figured I could get you good, but, I ‘spose if I did it too much might make a whelp cry huh?  On the other side I’m kinna trapped in your, well whatever this bed thing is myself.”

Gleam earperked, mrrfing and opening his eyes slowly, “I spose you’re ready for me to get up with an attack like that though.”  he blink blinks a moment, at the scene before him, “What the…” He gulps lightly, seeing straight walls, not the curved one’s he’s used to in most pokemon construction.  The windows, are actual rectangular windows with glass in them, and covered by shades. Is that a dresser over there? He starts to whine a little bit, Flint looking down at him worriedly.

“Gleam, Gleam what’s wrong?  What’s wrong Gleam.”

Gleam for his part whimpers a bit more, looking up at Flint worriedly, he squirms more, “Wh, where are we?  I...th-this looks human, did we get captured by someone? What happened I--”

Flint perks, laying down atop him, shhhing and licking all over Gleam’s muzzle, getting him to quiet down, then noses up close, shaking his head, “This is a human home?  Like these lights that give off no heat, those chests not connected to the network that actually hold items inside of them, the pen on the ground with fake pokemon inside of it, as well as some colorful things and all?”

Gleam blinks, “Pen with Fake pokemon?  Plushies?” He squirms more then nods, “Y yes this this is very human in it’s design, what happened, who took us, Flint I wanna go back ho--”  he’s cut off again by Flint licking him repeatedly, shhhing. “Calm down, calm down. Oh wow I’m glad I was here, I hate to think what kind of fit you would have worked up if you didn’t wake up in here with me.  Then again I think you would have been put closer to someone else if I wasn’t in this thing with you.” Rockruff turns and calls out rather loudly into nothing, “Pele he’s awake, and I think this is a bit of a bad surprise for him.”

Gleam ear folded at the final wording. It’s shorthand he and Flint had developed when they were watching over whelps.  Simplified so a whelp could understand it partially, it usually meant the whelp didn’t enjoy something new happening, probably needed soothing, but no real harm had come to them.  “Fliiiiiiinnntt, I know what that meeannnss!”

Flint shhhed, “This’ll let me out too at least, and come on how else do I let Pele know you’re freaking out but safe?”

Gleam frowned, “Ok ok I-I-I’ll try to calm down b-but how are you trapped?”

Flint giggles, “You’re bed thing rocks a little bit, I think if you got fussy and squirmy it would actually start moving and rocking you gently.  The problem is if I go to jump out, it starts to rock from me moving around, and I don’t have the hang of it yet, so I’d kinda fall off the side if I actually jumped, we are kinda high up so yeah, I need to be picked out myself.”

Gleam blinked, his bed?  His bed rocks? He starts to pay more attention to what he’s inside.  The warm things pinning him are soft sheets and blankets, he’s actually tucked into a bed, of some sort.  It has raised walls, and is honestly barely big enough to hold himself and flint. He’s laying on a mattress with sheets on it, he thinks from the feel of it.  There’s a rather flat but soft pillow under his head, looking straight up his head is covered by part of the bed, the ‘headboard’ curves over top him some, blocking out some of the light in the room.”

He takes a few minutes to piece together what he’s looking at, add in the fact he’s as small as he is, then he gulps with a whine, “I’m I’m in a bassinet wh-what?”

Flint tailwags, “Your momma told me this was a bed for human whelps, but they tend to be a bit bigger than we are, so figured I’d be ok sleeping with you and not hurt the thing.  No wonder you found sleeping on a hay mat so odd at first if this kind of arrangement is what you’re used to. I think it’s kind of neat.”

Gleam blushed, earfolding, “But but it’s a bed just for whelps and--”

Flint noses Gleam, “And what are you right now, Mr. Fully wild?  Which by the way, you sure it’s right on you? You seem pretty well together.”

Gleam frowned, looking aside but nodded meekly, “F-fine fine, I suppose g-goodpoint.”

Gleam whimpered, “It-it’s why I made sure on everyone else, even pushing you to see if you’d react.  Either it’s wrong only on me, or I have some thoughts, but I’d rather say it only once instead of repeating it to everyone.  The short is I think it’s the fact I’m a fennekin.”

He squirms with a whine, “Can you help me get up?  The covers have me a bit trapped.”

Flint nodded looking over the covers, then grabs the edge with his maw and the two working on getting Gleam free.

A door to the room opens, knob turned, pushed in to open and all, Gleam perked at the familiar and yet foreign sounds, gulping.  He saw as Pele walked in, and heard a few giggling voices scamper in, he guesses at Mom’s feet, but couldn’t see who. And right now he’s too surprised/freaking out to really be able to guess who it is.

“Mama what’s going on, where are we?  D d d did we get captured or something, why why are we.” he whines, starting to let it out at once.  

Pele frowned, reaching into the bassinet, and get’s Gleam out, helping Rockruff out and to the floor, she lightly cradles Gleam and holds him close, “You’re safe honey you’re safe.  I suppose waking up in a human-like house, and still being a fennekin might make you think that.” She shakes her head, “Welcome to the home Ms. Ena left us, welcome to the Delphox, and Spirit Talker home.”

Gleam blinks, ears perking more, “That, that rectangular building I was always told to stay away from and stuff?”

Pele nods, “It’s odder than you think, the walls are an addition.  As well as most of the furniture, as we go around try to imagine what the place might look like if it didn’t have the walls..and the household stuff.”

Gleam squirms, hiding up against Pele, while she sighs and holds him close, “My little wild boy.”  He whines a little bit, pushing up closer, “It’s true, did we all drive you wild? I’m sorry honey.”  She squeezes him gently, “Though most of us are surprised at how well you hold things together.” She looks down and smiles, “By the way we have some company over who wants to say hi to you, feel up to meeting some of your little friends?”

Gleam wiggled a bit, “I-I spose but, k-kinna hungry.”

Pele nods, “I can get all of you a bit of food, I’ve been told it might be best to let you walk around more anyway, and I’m doing what I can with the house temperature.  Here you go.”

Pele softly brings Gleam down towards the ground, carefuly setting him on all fours, and he finds himself nosed up against by Flint, Eevee, the rattata whelp, and Skitty.  Gleam squeaked in surprise, and blushed, “Wh what are you all doing here?”

Pele smiled, “Let me answer.  I made an agreement with Ezelle, in essence you and Eevee will be raised together as much as possible, and whoever has the most time to watch you two gets you two.  So you’ll always have a playmate. I have younger rattata just to be nice to Tacen, allowing younger rattata a bit more focused attention since he and Vulpix are sharing whelp sitting duties today.  And Pepper, well, you did suggest he should watch whelps more often and….”

The skitty blushes, “I, well I did kinda...you know.” he lowers his head, “So might be best if I was with someone who could keep better eye on me too.”  He noses Gleam softly.

Flint earfolds, “Both myself and Skitty are under watch to be honest.  For the sake of it, they apparently told everyone we were rather far along during the meeting.  And that in your case it is causes certain, interesting, issues.”

Gleam perks and gulps, “Oh, oh really?”

Flint nods, “Everyone knows now about you and Ezelle.  And everybody has been told it happened the same way other whelps have seen one or another unevolved as a big brother figure.”

Gleam earfolded, whining fussily and squirming ”Mmff-b but I, buht, everyone but now--”

Flint shhs, nosing over Gleam, giving a few more soft licks, the other whelps pushing up against Gleam softly, Flint perking, “But come on let’s go find food, your home is...kinda cool by the way.  I got a short look around it when I woke up earlier and we were being carried around, that sleeping part of your bed can be moved.”

Gleam looks down, testing the floor carefully, slowly padding along it, “R-riight, th-think getting too hungry, d-d-didn’t mean to react like that.”  He frowns as he slows down a bit, “Tile flooring? Sl-slippery? Guess that’s why there are rugs on the floor too, to to make it easier walk on.”

Pele nods, “Yeah be careful we’ve seen more than a few four footers slip on floors like this huh?”  She grins and winks to him. Gleam just nods and steadies himself, Eevee giggling and running circles around the fennekin for the moment.

Eevee giggles, “Slip slide slip sliiiiddee.” he suddenly jumps, landing sitting down and slides out the door.

Pele sighs shaking her head with a grin, “That boy has a lot of energy, come on we’ll go to the dining area.  That door over there leads to the bedroom proper, your bed setup just happens to be very mobile. So don’t be too surprised upon waking in bed if it’s in different rooms ok my little flame?”

Gleam looks aside a moment, feeling more than a bit patronized, at the same time, he can’t stop his tail from wagging around.  Skitty, Flint, and Rattata head on out of the current room, which Gleam takes a look around a moment, at about the middle of the room is a walled in side, with a door with no knob and..a keypad?  A sliding door? Odd. it seems to cover one small area. However a wall then covers further south, does not look like the wall to outside though. Otherwise the room has tile all over it, with rugs helping to break it up, he starts to blush as he recognizes a childs playpen, plushies inside of it, a few simple manipulation toys, after a bit of time he can probably jump in and out of it himself, he’s seen whelps do similar, so at least he can’t actually be trapped in there.  A rocking chair, and a couple of sitting cushions, or in his case, cushions to lay on.

Heading out, it looks like this is the end of a hall, the door to the room a small side door.  The sleeping room must be on the other end of the hall wall, huh only entrance is from the, he supposes, play room?  Following the hall down back towards the entrance, he sees a small sitting area, looks like a place to meet mon and talk with them, must be where Ena did fortune telling at one time?  Maybe? This seems to also be the other side of the playroom wall.

From that main room there is a door that opens to the dining room and kitchen.  The kitchen reaches all the way back, sitting next to where the bedroom is, and no entrance from this side either.  There’s a chest for the stash, he also sees cupboards, a sink, plates, bowls, utensils. An actual dining room table, chairs.  A mat to the side of the table, for those four footed to eat at he supposes?

Gleam looks up, “Mom what’s with..” he then quiets down, remembering Pepper, Eevee, and Rattata are here.  Flint he doesn’t mind hearing, and wouldn’t mind talking with about this stuff to be honest.

Pele smiles warmly, “Most considered Ena a bit weird, even Kencil thinks her home is odd.  Probably eccentric, so she did things differently. However as I mentioned during the meeting, she was a fortune teller, she knew I would arrive with you, and purposefully left the way in sealed in such a way that I would know how to get in here.  And otherwise you met Mr. Kalmin, he was apparently quite a builder, and she commissioned some supplies that she thought would make you feel more comfortable. She just wanted to help out a fellow Delphox with child I suppose, since she lost hers.

Pele sighs, closing her eyes for a moment, she turns to the chest, “Anyway I promised I’d get all of you some food, lessee.”  She popped it open and fiddled with it for a bit, “By the way some time when you can I’d like you to look through the Delphox stash, she left a few things for us.  Including what I think are dungeon supplies. And I’m still not used to that.” She pops out a few Fire gummies, “Oh, Flint, Pepper. What do you usually eat? By the way I’m pulling what I can from, well, the family stash first, then TerraFlare, then the guild stash.”

She pops out a few normal gummies, and perks to Flint as he names the berries he’s been eating lately, and Pepper mentioned he’d been eating the same.  She gets a few of those into a pair of bowls and sets them on the mat, then brings over the gummies, setting herself down beside the mat, making 3 gummi piles, “Not sure how much you three might eat, but I figured less than I saw you gobble at the party little flame, seeing as how you didn’t even finish them, and it was a party.”  She smiles, lifting up the gummi’s and starts to feed the whelps.

Flint nudges Pepper a bit, the two padding over, “We are here to help remember?  I mean yeah our own issues but..” and soon the three are feeding the whelps. Eevee and Rattata quite used to the treatment, just happily ate as they were fed, Flint instructing Pepper on the little hind leg strengthening game.  Gleam left blushing a bit while he was fed, spending most of his time trying to stop from getting overly excited at the food, then gulped noticing Flint teaching that game to Pepper, and perked as he felt his psychic organs buzz lightly, “ Aww someone worried I was going to play fun games with them too in front of his friends.”

Gleam tried to not show a reaction to that lil tease, but he squirmed, even as his tail wagged, “ It’s more I know my own tricks are starting to get taught to others and used against me.  Though honestly I already taught daddy this one. Otherwise I still react too strongly to gummies, can’t help it.”

Pele reaches over, gently fuzzling Gleam’s headfur and starts bring over the gummi just out of reach, so he needs to start standing a bit more to get at it, the lil guy whining meekly.  Rattata and Eevee look on curiously.

Gleam for his part found himself getting into what he considered an uncomfortable mindset he can’t stop happening.  His focus is soon fully on that gummi, a nice tasty treat, it’s so far away, he can’t reach it, needs to get closer, working on lifting his front up and stretching out, paws reaching a bit, trying to balance his tail to make sure he can stay standing.  He sniffs after it a bit, feeling himself wobbling, then whines as he drops down on all fours. Though he stops whining as the gummi is brought closer, opening his maw and nomming on it, tailwagging quickly, then he starts to sniff around for a new one, then he feels some buzzing in his body. “ So this is for training your legs is it darling?  I’ll be honest with you, comparing how well you do with this to Eevee, I’m a touch worried about you.  Either way is, kind of well, either you’re pretty weak, or you’re very very young.”

A new gummi is brought down just out of reach, Gleam grunting a moment, blushing as he reaches for the new one, “ Yeah leg training.”  Pele perks, as apparently her kit is quite focused on the gummi.

Flint perking a bit as well. “ That all Gleam, just leg training?”

Gleam perks as the gummi is brought down and he’s allowed to eat it, “ All is for.”

Pele sighs and shakes her head but doesn’t press it any more.  Smiling and watching the rest, to her surprise, and the surprise of Flint and Skitty, Eevee and Rattata both nose their way over at one point, ignoring their own food, and start helping Gleam stand and stretch to get at a gummi, mostly helping prop him up and hold him up, taking some of his weight on them, Gleam noms down the gummi and looks to his two helpers, blinking and looking on a bit surprised, “um th thanks?”  The little fox not quite sure exactly what’s going on there. But he sits back down, as they stop propping him up, and he gets a few cuddles from them, which he gently returns, “Um guys?” he perks curiously, nosing with them.

Rattata tailswishes, “Game gone on too long.  You start whine.”

Gleam earfolds a moment, looking up at Pele with a little shrug.  Eevee just nodded along with, “Game stop leg tired.”

Pele looks to Pepper and Flint, “Ok you two, now go ahead and eat, you’ve got the whelps fed.”  She smiles, pulling the whelps all close gently, “Ok you three, how about you stay with me while they eat hmm?  And you two watching out for my little boy, is that what’s going on?” The two snuggle up against Gleam, the little fox folding his ears shyly, moving to snuggle back with them.

Pele sighs softly, “No wonder it’s you, little flame.  How well did you train them? That even they know when the game ends?  Did you even realize how much you’ve trained them, that after you were gone so long, these little ones remember you so well, and the lessons you taught them?” Rattata and Eevee both look up curiously and Pele smiles softly, rubbing both on the head gently, “Just complimenting my boy, he apparently taught you two a lot huh?”

Eevee giggles, “Teach all, teach share.”  Rattata tailswishes, “Uh huh, we share what he teach, Shii real good at sharing teaching.”

Pele earperks at that, more than a little surprised, “So, you’ve all told each other what Gleam has taught you?”  Rattata nodded quickly.

Eevee tailswished, “All miss Gleam, talk lots.  Eventually say what he say, want remember.”

Gleam looks at the other two whelps, for the moment just thinking.  He knew Shii had missed him, that Eevee missed him so much caught him off guard.  But even Rattata, and apparently some of the other whelps too? He perks and works on wiping away a tear, then squeaks with a blush as Eevee licks it off and presses up closer to him, then Rattata pushes into the other side.  He sighs after a moment and just snuggles in closing his eyes. “So alla you been kinna teaching each other everything huh? And Shii even shared how to work some of the games didn’t she? Since I was teaching her how to do some of them.”  Rattata nods quickly

Pele smiles warmly, “So you’ve really started to teach the next generation of whelps it looks like huh little flame?”  She sighs, “Ok you three, looks like Skitty and Flint finished their meal. I sadly having something left for me to read up on, and its important I do so.  So all of you back to the play room now.” Pele stood up, leading the little group back to the playroom, “I’ll check in on all of you in a bit, let me know if you need me though.  I just also need to practice a few things.”

Gleam perks as he’s left in the playroom with the other 4, the doors closed, he looks around quickly, earfolding softly.  Doors are all closed, no way he can get out, very much trapped in here, since they are the knob kind doors not sliding. He gulps a moment and softly pushes down the fear, he shouldn’t freak out.  This is his home now, him and mama, and this is a simple playroom, somewhere for him to have fun while mama is busy. He perks a moment looking up at Flint asks if he’s ok.

Gleam smiles, giggling a touch nervously, “Yeah I’m fine just, just looking round the room again.  Just just barely woke up in here so didn’t get as good a look as I’d like?” He slowly pads on around, most of the actual toys are in the playpen.  And he doesn’t feel like going in there, what is he thinking, toys? Ignore the walls, ignore being trapped, whelps around right now. He nudges against Eevee and Rattata lightly, tests his leg then taps Eevee on the nose, “tag, catch me or Rattata if you can.”  And then he bolts, in order to work out some of the want to run and escape this way.

Eevee perks a moment, then giggles, Rattata uh ohs and grins, then bolts.  Soon enough Eevee running after the two, Flint looking on in surprise and Skitty giggling, “There, Gleam play now good.”  he noses against Flint, “kinna want to join but...too fast for whelps..but…” He taps Flint, “tag!” Then he runs, Flint acks and blinks, running after Skitty.  Skitty grinning and jumping in and about the room, giving Flint a more hopping about chase, where as the whelps are relying more on speed with each other.

Gleam isn’t sure how long that game went on, it seemed to end way too soon to him.  But Eevee and Rattata, again, decided to end the game on him. He also noticed the two going a bit easy on him, he got his share of being it a few times.  But sometimes he outran when he shouldn’t have, he got away when he shouldn’t have, he caught them when he shouldn’t have. But at the end he was it then suddenly he almost tagged rattata, who instead grabbed him in a hug, and the two flopped down to rest.  Eevee padding over to join them.

The fact the two seem to be taking it easy on him like that, he’d already been feeling odd with his friends using his own whelp caretaking tactics on him.  But now it seems even the whelps are getting in on it, taking it easy on him, understanding when a game needs to end. They seem to have grasped he even needs to succeed and win sometimes or else he’d get frustrated.  Though honestly his initial thought on the game was just wanting an excuse to exercise and run around, and work on the fact he wanted to flee.

He yawns widely and sighs, prob near naptime for him now, does not want to nap but..prob needs it.  He noses the other two whelps and tailswishes, “So Shii also teach you two, is good let less strong whelps win sometimes?”

Eevee giggles and nods, Rattata speaking up, “Makes feel better, helps make game more fun.  Encourages more play.”

Gleam blushes more, “An, an you two did it with me.”  he wiggles shyly. Then perked as he got a few licks from Rattata and Eevee gave a few, he considered, then returned it to both of em.  Out of curiosity he turned to look for Flint and Pepper, seeing Pepper looking behind the dresser, he guesses the smaller Rockruff is hiding behind it.  He looks to the whelps again, “You two sleepy too?” They nod a lil bit, “I kinna don’t want to go there but, how about somewhere with soft stuff to sleep against?”’  They perk and nod excitedly at the idea. So he chrfs, “Hey Pepper, can you help get us somewhere?” He blushes a bit, “I ah, dunno bout these two but I can’t climb in yet.”

Skitty perks then blushes and skips his way over, “Oop, we, uh, we got so caught up in playing, when you three stop?”

Gleam earfolds, “Just recently.  Anyway we need to get into that little mesh walled off area..Rattata can prob do it on his own, maybe eevee, but I have doubts about myself.”

Skitty nods, and Flint slowly pads over, “What’s going on?”

Gleam noses the other whelps and pads over towards the playpen, does he really need something like this?  Apparently Ms. Ena thought he would feel better with it or something, or did she know he’d be so wild, and is hoping human stuff will help him calm down?

He squirms as the three stop in front of the pen, “Can you two get in?”  He watches Rattata literally just scale the mesh wall then jump down the other side, eevee tries to jump but no luck.  Then he winces at what is to come and looks up to Skitty and Flint, “Can you two give some help?”

Flint frowns and he pads over, lightly separating Gleam and Eevee, showing he’s laying claim to the fennekin, and letting Skitty handle Eevee, “You sure partner?  I mean I’ve been warned it isn’t always best to well...”

Gleam frowns, “Only way you two can get us in, just do it fast please?”  He shudders, closing his eyes and waits, hanging his head down so Flint has best access.

A moment later he feels that loose skin on his neck grabbed in Flints maw and he’s lifted up, he tries to not focus on the fact this is leaving him immobile once again.  Keeping his eyes closed he feels Flint jump over the pen wall, and he’s soon placed down, the rockruff’s forepaws circle around him warmly, and he gets a few soft soothing grooming licks.  Enough to open his eyes and seeing Skitty do the same to Eevee, while he slowly calms down his panting. And starts to stand, then he hears Flint shhhh and lightly feels the pup hold him down, the rockruff rubbing his neck against Gleam, specifically the rocks.  Gleam perks, and settles down, blushing, eyes tearing up at this expression of the rockruffs love for him. And given he has fur to work through, the sharp rocks don’t hurt like it would for a human. Gleam softly noses back up against, “Love you too partner.”

Flint backs off a little bit, rubbing over the kit’s head with a paw and smiles, “Ok now you seem better, so what’s going on in here?”

Gleam looks aside a bit meekly, since this pen is here for his benefit, “It’s supposed to be a safe area for young whelps to play, soft floor, toys, walls to keep them in.  But bigger or older can easily pick them up and out. My main thought was to use it for a nap, soft mat, and a few other soft things in here.”

Flint smiles a little bit, “Acting shy because of the thought you might need a safe space in your own home?  If the whelps hadn’t gotten used to each other as much I could see a use for it actually, separate out the real young from the older whelps. But they’ve become a decently little tight knit group.”

Eevee and Rattata meanwhile have giggled and found what seem to be pokemon shaped plushies.  Eevee giggling, “Gleam gleam, come over, soooft!”

Gleam tailwags a little bit as the whelps beckon him over, padding his way over softly then settles down near the two, grinning as they are curled up against the plushes.  Gleam shrugs and curls up near, yawning lightly, then he squeaks as Flint and Pepper come over, nosing him in closer so he’s actually snuggled up with the other whelps, “uuh?”

Flint sighs, “Gleam, Eevee isn’t the only close quarters sleeper here and you know that.”

Gleam blinks, “Wait come on what are you tryin to say, I mean I usually slept near you because you said you wanted company.”

Flint looks down at Gleam, “Come on don’t tell me, you never figured out that trick?”

Gleam earwilted looking up, “T Trick?”

Flint frowns, “Oh no, you hadn’t, you’ve never realized it really?”  he sighs a bit, “Too late I suppose, and I honestly thought you had maybe figured it out.  I exaggerated how much I need others near me to sleep well to you. Because you’re nightmares were giving you so much trouble.”  He finally lays down next to Gleam and the other whelps, pushing up close, “I just didn’t want you to feel bad for, well, needing others close to you to be comfortable. Come on we’ll just all nap together ok?  It’ll give me a chance to rest after the bit of chase Pepper gave me.”

Pepper giggled sitting down near, “Might as well join, all a good catnap.  Hopefully no repeat of this morning? Please?” he nosed at Gleam softly.

Gleam blushed, ducking his head down, and hides it close to the other whelps, “ok ok” he kept down the urge to whine, do they all really consider him a close quarters sleeper too?  Really? He just tried to keep how humiliating that feels down. Trying to be nice..trying to be nice, he needs to remind himself. Is he a close quarters sleeper? Does he genuinely need someone next to him to sleep well?  He never made fun of others who were close quarts sleepers, and never minded resting with whelps, or sleeping with Flint when he said he was. But, does he really need someone’s presence near him just to sleep well, to make others cater to him so he’ll have a good night's sleep?  His thoughts don’t continue too long as he starts to drowse off, resting in the little pile.

Chapter Text

He’s in a forest, just walking along.  But everything around him seems odd. A caterpie comes out from the tall grass.  Perfect for catching, he reaches to his side or tries..his hands are on the ground.  He actually falls over from the movement. He blinks, then remembers oh right, he’s a fenneken.  The caterpie looks like it isn’t an illusion, maybe a wild or someone lost he can help. He goes up to greet the caterpie, but they look so big.  Why is it so much bigger than him.

The caterpie starts to giggle looking at him, right out laughing, he starts to back away.

The caterpie comes after giggling more, “Ohh, look at the cute wittwe fennekin, awe you wost baby awe you woooooost?”

He folds his ears, what is going on, “You, you don’t need to talk to me like that…”

The caterpie giggles more, “Baby fennekin, baby fennekin, you sound cute when you babble…”

He frowned shaking his head, “I’m not a dumb baby!  Don’t patronize me!”

The caterpie crawled on over to him, while he kept backing up, “So cuute, widdwe fennekin, you hungwy baby?  Hungwy baby fenfen? Can you say papa? How about mama?”

Gleam just backed away more, shaking his head quickly.  “Leave me alone, stop making fun of me!” Then he turned and started to just walk away.

Suddenly he found a hindfoot webbed, the thing must have used string shot, normally it’d just slow him down but he’s, right he’s a whelp.  He’s too weak to overcome the resistance it gives, it hasn’t just slowed him down, he’s actually stuck.

The caterpie giggles and crawled over, webbing him up more, while the fennekin struggled, “don’t worry baby, I’ll take you home aawww safe, you’ll be my wittwe crybaby.”

“Let me go, let me go, let me---mmpphhh!!”  He found his muzzle webbed shut as he struggled, he starts to push with all his might to escape.

Gleam suddenly sat up from amid the little sleep pile made by the whelps, Skitty and Flint.  Gasping a moment, then realized where he was, ears folding. He’s glad nobody was awake at least and he looks the small sleeping pile over and slowly nudges his way out of it.  He was hoping to have less bad dreams, that one wasn’t as horrible as some he had but, it was worse in it’s own way. He perks and starts to yelp as paws are suddenly around him and picking him up, but his psychic organs buzz softly as he hears Pele in his mind, “ Shhhhhhhhhhh.

He looks up at Pele, blushing a moment, “ Hi, hi, m... m...”   His ears softly fold, trying to get his own thoughts under control, “ Mom.”

Pele perks softly, gently pulling Gleam close into a hug, then softly pads back over to the rocking chair.   “Hey sweetheart.  Please be honest, did you have a bad dream dear?”

Gleam whined very softly, closing his eyes, ducking his head down and partially curling up to hide his face, “ Yes mother.

Pele sighed gently, then stood up carrying him outside of the playroom, giving him a soft squeeze, and moved back over to the front room, “ Come on dear, just you and me right now.  No-one else is in here, so if something happens I'll be the only one to see it.  Can you please talk a bit more? I just want to help you feel better and get your rest dear.  I'm pretty sure you don't like the idea of being cranky.”

Gleam whined a little more, “ I just, I don't like others havin’ to do everything for me.  I'm supposed to be here to help others, not have them cater to me.”

Pele frowned, petting along Gleam gently, “ Now I wonder what triggered that thought. My little twig but, I'm sorry to say it can't be helped.  But surely your bad dream was not about others helping you.

Gleam frowned, “ No, it, honestly was a lot gentler than most of the ones I wake up to though.  But, worse in it's own way.”

Pele waited patiently, scritching her kit's head gently.  Trying to let him continue on his own. Then finally sighed, “ Come on sweety tell Mama what the bad dream was all about.  I want to know what worries my little boy.”

Gleam squirmed and whined heavily at that, “ Mom please, please don't talk like that right now.

Pele sighs, squeezing warmly, “ Ok sweetie, but I still want to know about the bad dream.”

Gleam earfolded, and sighed, “ Sorry I know I've reacted better to that in the past I just.  Fine.”

He took the time to explain the dream, looking down glumly, “ And I suppose part of the worst thing was I just felt so belittled and made fun of.  I don't like baby talk, I don't babble, I, I’m not just some dumb baby.  And it just..just I felt like I knew what it planned to do next.  See it’s mother, who would babytalk at me more, drag me around just show me off and--”

Pele squeezed Gleam closely against her, which makes him stop, though she hadn’t asked him to do so.  She perks and gently wipes a few tears beading up in Gleam’s eyes then sighs. “ All this time I’ve been fighting with how strongly this whole, being a mother thing, hit me.  I know more than a few of us try to explain how you feel with your age, but I..”  She closed her eyes thinking, holding him gently, then brings him up to her shoulder, helping him settle in there. “ The problem is I don’t know how much I can do to help you feel better, you have genuine needs.  I can’t just ignore those to make you feel better.”

Gleam frowned, “ It, it isn’t just you, it’s just, everything crashing together.  This is my 3’rd day as a whelp, the 2’nd full day I actually recognized I was one.”   He puts his head down, whimpering meekly, “ And I just, everybody has reacted as they should it just, it hurts.  That I need to be put down for naps, that I need to be carried through a dungeon, that I need caretakers because eating and drinking can even be a problem for me.”  He looked up, whimpering, “ That I now eat nothing but whelp food.  That I enjoy an uncomfortable amount, to where I focus on it and nothing else really.  That other whelps are stepping in to take care of me. ”  He whines more, ears folding, “ That the little eevee, whose birth I saw, the youngest of all the whelps here.  He, he takes it easy on me, he and rattata are both catching on to when I’m tired and need a nap before I even know.”

Gleam just closed his eyes, “ Even the whelps find need to coddle me, to take it easy on me.  Even the whelps. And now I’ve discovered I’m apparently a close quarters sleeper.  And have been for quite awhile, and Flint was tricking me so I wouldn’t feel bad about it.  Though at least if I’m with Eevee that’s two of us who are and we can just sleep together. But yet another burden I put on other mon, that I need to be near someone when I’m asleep.  Maybe the plushies can help that at least.”

Gleam whined, “ But yes I just feel like the laughing stock of everything now.  Even the whelps need to take it easy on me, and some big spectacle was made of me eating gummies.  Showing everyone how little self control I have around them. And now you, you who I thought I’d be showing the ropes, helping get used to everything.  You instead have been learning everything with ease, you know so much now, even this telepathy thing. You had already started on the plant idea I had, you are apparently important to this island with this whole Guardian thing.  Everyone is crazy over having an adult and, I’m, I’m, I’m just some little wild whelp for everyone to giggle over.”

Pele looked to Gleam, her ears twitching, while tears freely flowed from Gleam.  At this point she isn’t even sure what the right thing to do for him would be. Though he’s definitely going to need a bit to drink after all the tears he’s shedding.  She sighs and gets up, “Since it’s just us sweety, I’d like to try something. I talked a bit with Sylveon about last night, he mentioned you had issues lapping from a bowl.”  She nosed him softly, “Ena left multiple human supplies for that kind of issue, I’d like to see if one is perhaps suitable for you? Cause I bet you need a drink by now.”

Gleam earfolded but nodded while Pele walked with him over to the small kitchen portion of the room.  Opened a cupboard and let Gleam look over the supplies. His eyes went rather wide, seeing the array of drinking containers meant for those younger.  Followed by a firm blush, hoping some of them he’d never see again, he mentally helped Pele find a cup that, while still too bright for his liking, had a straw built into it, and the spout didn’t seem to require any tricks.  Pele gathered a bit of water from a water barrel and was soon filling the cup. And she looked to him curiously, “So why this one honey? All the pretty colors or?”

Gleam earwilted blushing, shaking his head, checking to see if she was still listening mentally, found she wasn’t and sighed, “Straw built into it, d-don’t need to tip it or anything, ju, just gotta suck on it a bit and liquid comes out.  So don’t need someone to hold it for me.”

Pele sighs, patting him on the head, “Ok sweety I’ll let you get by with that this time, given you were willing to tell me your bad dream, and all your problems with it.  But you’ll need help from time to time, getting used to others aiding you is important. But next time we pick something I need to hold ok?” She noses her little boy gently, “The fact you feel bad about others happily helping you isn’t a good thing dear, imagine if Shinx felt bad because he had to have you train him for dungeoning.  All because he thought he was putting you out, or it was humiliating to be trained.”

Gleam frowned, looking down but nodded then sighed, “I think the part that makes it useable without being tilted can be removed.”  Pele nodded while Gleam sighed, “I just, makes me feel helpless, and and bad everyone doing stuff for me. I came here to help alla them…”

Pele rubs on him a bit more, “Honestly I think at this point if I saw Celebi I’ll be thanking her overall.”  She looks down at Gleam, “Yes, I miss my trainer. But you had already changed from the man I knew. I feel like I pushed you wild, but I wonder if you had gone wild before coming home, and if that changed you too.”  She sighed quietly, “But overall you’ve developed some unhealthy habits regarding taking care of yourself. I didn’t know how deep they had gone, but now everybody can see how much you hurt yourself, and let yourself be hurt for their sake.”  She kisses him on the forehead, “You’ve needed help all this time, you’ve needed to lean on others and let them help you. You’ve needed to let out your own hurt and pain, that you’ve kept buried deep for so long.” She moved the cup so he could drink from it, smiling a bit while watching him work it into his maw, before he started to drink.

“But I would like to say one things honey about what you said earlier.  You’re wrong about everybody making fun of you for liking gummies. I thought Sherry had made that point last night for you but I suppose not.  Do you know what everybody thought you were doing when you ran those dungeons, collecting food for Shii?”

Gleam looked up curiously, shaking his head a little bit while he drank.

Pele sighs, “The same thing all of them do when running gummi dungeons.  Eating the extra ones that aren’t needed, all of them already thought they knew you liked gummies.  They just figured you were ashamed of it for some reason. I told Ezelle the truth on that this morning, he was quite shocked let me tell you, I think he stuttered for a good solid minute or so.  Because you apparently went through those dungeons religiously. So no, nobody was laughing over it, they wanted you to know it was ok and safe to enjoy the gummies you seemed to love.”

Gleam just goes wide eyed, hiccuping, blushing heavily as he listened, then hides his muzzle, and eyes with his paws.

Pele earperked at that rather cute display, contacting him mentally, “ Gleam?  What was that sweety?”

Gleam whiiined, “Reflex!  Embarrassed wanted to hide, and, and I, it just happened.”

Pele sightly, kissing Gleam on the forehead, “Well on the plus side you do a good job of being cute.  Also it’s good to know you feel a bit odd about, how, well obsessed with gummies you seem to be. Though I suppose it means you really do love them as much as others thought, you just didn’t know it.  Anyway how about I move you into my arms, let me hold my little boy for a bit, it’ll let you hide in my fur if you like, and maybe you can get back to your nap.” She sighs, “When talking about urges, well, I hope you remember some of the stuff I told Ezelle while I was bringing the whelps over.”

Gleam squirmed and nodded, “Y, you.” he earfolded, “Really, really feel like a mother, it’s hit strong and all at once for you.”  He looks up, nosing against, closing his eyes, “O, ok go ahead.”

Pele smiles, moving Gleam into her arms, softly humming down to him, holding him close to her chest, while setting down his cup on the table in the dining area.  She noses down to him warmly, “Just to warn you, no idea how you might wake up. I figure you didn’t hear, but Ezelle and myself plan to both try to handle some of those you pegged as close to going wild.  We kinda realized that well, we are dealing with a bunch of youngsters. Raltz is 8 at the oldest, besides you, and let’s not get into that too much.” She continues to gently rock Gleam, smiling down to him warmly as he seems to settle in slowly.  “So I will have a few visitors later, perhaps even while you’re napping. I do remember a bit of the way you’d train the others, and I think I know how to handle at least calming them down. But mostly we are hoping that having, well, I don’t plan to adopt anyone, but having myself and Ezelle be something of the island’s parental figures, it might help them settle down.  Though Ezelle on the other side has said he’s thinking of taking in both Pepper and Hoppip.”

Gleam for his part is half listening.  He’s trying to not fuss about being held like he is, or worry about it at least.  As much as this is comforting to him in an odd way, he also knows this makes mother feel better, to have a chance to hold him.  On the other side he is cradled, which just reminds him of the dreams calling him a baby. In the end he gives Pele a few light nods, acknowledging what she is saying, but winds up too preoccupied with his own thoughts to really listen until her actions lull him to sleep..


 

Again he feels a part of his body softly buzzing, reacting to telepathy, he opens his eyes a little bit, and they burn softly, he still hasn’t slept enough yet, he can’t help but whine softly, and more than a little fussily.  He soon feels a hand on his back, softly rubbing along it, even though the soft buzzing in his body continues. So the rubbing while feeling nice, isn’t doing much to help him sleep. He squirms a touch more fussily, then felt a pair of larger hands move to lightly hold around his body, while the smaller hands continued to try to rub him.

He tried to let the nice feeling help calm him down, but was still feeling slightly irritable from being woken up from his sleep.  He stopped his light flaily squirming to trying to sit up, he needs to get the buzzing to stop. Sitting up was a touch tough, he heard a soft voice going ‘whoa whoa whoa’, and he found what he was sitting on would move around slightly.  He felt those large hands help steady him, and he tried opening his eyes again, they still burned slightly, but he was able to look down at what he was sitting on, a pair of small grey legs and brown feet is what he saw. Mama talked about meeting some near wilds right?  Oh one here now an he all fussy….

At that point he couldn’t stop from whining a little bit, his half awake mind just realizing he’s being bad by being fussy when mama trying help people.  He perks as he’s hugged around, finally catching that those larger hands that were helping him, aren’t hands. They’re ears. He hears a soft aww as Bunnelby finally speaks a little bit, “Sorry I didn’t mean to wake you.”

Gleam whined a bit more, not Bunnelby’s fault, she didn’t do anything wrong.  Is buzzing in body. He turns a bit blindly, his eyes half open, nosing into Bunnelby softly, trying to make her not feel as bad, its when he gives her a few licks around her muzzle and she giggles that he knows what to do, and he softly applies a few more licks, nosing up closer to her.

He hears Pele speak softly, “Here he might be thirsty, he seems only half awake, just put the soft part near his muzzle, he knows how to use it.”  Soon enough he finds the spout from the cup he picked out earlier brought to his muzzle, he isn’t sure thirsty is right, but on the other side if he’s drinking something maybe he won’t be so noisy, he pushes his muzzle over the spout, before he finally gets it positioned, opening his maw and finally starts to drink from it.

Bunnelby speaks a bit quietly, timidly, “I um I.  Should I really be doing this to my guild master? It just, it feels kinna weird to, you know.”

Pele shhs gently, “Well right now he needs a lot of help.  I found that special little drinking cup because he has issues lapping from a bowl.  Besides you did want to hold him for a bit didn’t you? It’s ok, he also has his own things he needs to learn, such as accepting help from others.”

Bunnelby nods and smiles a little bit. Then blushes a moment, “It feels kinda neat watching him drink like this. So this should help him get back to sleep?”

“That's the hope little one.  If not we'll need to try other things.  We could try asking him, if he's awake enough, but the whole wildling thing can make him act rather little.  I do know he can be cradled and rocked to sleep.”

At that point Gleam blushed and pulled off the spout of his cup. Giving a little hiccup, which made one of his ears flop, causing Bunnelby to giggle softly, “Oh my!  You ok Gleam?” She then started to rub his back, Gleam nosing shyly and nods.

He raises up a paw to rub at his eyes with a soft whine and mrfs, yawning widely.  Finally just talking, “ 'Splain later mama, jus talk soft, no mental ringing, easier sleep.”

He noses against Bunnelby a moment more, giving a few soft licks then laying down in her lap, and snuggles against her, “eyes burn gonna try sleep more.”

Pele sighed softly, “Well if he wants us to talk instead of mental communication I suppose we can try it. But I will definitely be asking him what this is about later.”

Bunnelby nodded softly, “Poor thing sound like woke up too early, no wonder he didn't really open his eyes.”. She blushed softly, “Just to be honest I find it kinda cute how he calls you mama sometimes.”

Gleam mumbles softly, “Can't help, reflex.”

Pele smirks then sighs, “We think it might be one of the effects of him being more than a little bit wild.  It's easier for him to fall into more whelpish habits. Anyway how about we make it easier to speak softly, mind sitting in my lap?”

Gleam felt Bunnelby squirm lightly, but then felt her head bob, “O o ok that might be nice.” Those large ears circled around him, holding him securely, then soon both of them were picked up, and resettled into Pele's lap.  Then he felt his Mama's arms hold around him and Bunnelby.

“So where were we before a fussy little kit interrupted us?”

Bunnelby giggled softly as Gleam gave a shy lil whine, then she slowly settled in against Pele blushing a bit, “I think we were, well, I kinna made the old Azumarill house a bit more unstable cause I dug under it.”  She squeezed Gleam softly.

Gleam listened in, while he wanted to sleep, in all honesty his sleep had already been ruined twice, at this point he wasn’t sure he’d be able to rejoin his nap.  He more wanted some soft talking to help keep him half awake, but even still he was slowly waking up fully. Felt a bit sorry for Bunnelby though, she was shaking, nervous, and worried.  Unfortunately for her, part of her wild tendencies could be quite destructive, she’s been apparently digging up quite a storm. In her mind making tunnels to help people get around, is how she’s slowly rationalized it, but a lot of the houses that are having issues, have been due to her digging.

As much as that is troublesome, it isn’t her fault in full.  Like other’s she’s slowly going wild, he wonders how to handle that.  He really should be trying to rest though but, here is another friend going wild, forget rest he'll just have to deal with being cranky.  She's probably heavily useful in the dungeons and is overworked there. Best thing to do is to probably find a good outlet for her urge to dig.  He feels her shaking again, she's scared she's in big trouble or something, he hasn't been paying enough attention to the talk to know exactly why.

Well he needs to yawn anyway, see if he can give her something cute, if he's some cute whelp he might as well use it.  With that thought he just lets some of his instincts take over, rolling onto his back, giving off a high pitched squeaky tongue curling yawn, stretching out his legs, his forelegs winding up shaking from the long stretch, and he ends with rapidly swating at the air a few times, just really from reflex.

He's satisfied when he heard Bunnelby go oh my then giggle a little bit.  He's surprised when one of his swats catches the end of an ear. Hearing Bunnelby giggle a moment, he gets the idea and begins to paw and grab at the ear which she giggles and starts to bob up and down, in and out of his reach. Right now he's just being silly and playing along with it but considers and begins to more actively try to grab at the ear.  He could use some exercise anyway, after a bit he finds she lets him grab the ear, next thing he knows he's popped it into his muzzle and is lightly gnawing on it.

She gasps in surprise, and he starts to blush a little bit but doesn't let go of the ear.  To his surprise he finds it feels nice to have something in his maw to chew on. What luck he apparently has an oral fixation.  She's starting to squirm a little bit, he can imagine it feels odd having a kit chew on your ear. Feels odd to him to be doing it in all honesty.  Soon enough he feels Mama's paw come down and lightly force his maw open to release the ear, he does his best to not whine too much, but that sadly felt so good he does whine at least a little bit.  Soon after he finds that cup he picked out brought to his maw, and soon he's chewing on its soft spout, making soft little mmph noises.

Bunnelby softly speaks, “That, that felt odd, is he ok?”

Pele sighs a little bit, “I'm honestly not sure, never seen him react like that before.  I think he was trying to play a bit, but never seen him chew on an ear before, then again don't think anyone has offered him their ear before you.  I'll see if he's awake enough to answer what is going on.”

Gleam for his part started trying to open his eyes again, but they still burned uncomfortably so he closed them and tried to rub his eyes with his paws.  Then waited till he felt his mom contacting him, “ Hi Mama .”

Well I see someone is a bit active, now what was all of that?

Gleam sighed, and decided to drink a bit of water for now, “ Lot of things, was hoping to mostly drowse after sleep ruined twice.  Noticed Bunnelby was feeling nervous, and needed to yawn anyway, which turned into stretching, then she started playing with me so went with it.”. He squirmed meekly, “ The ear thing was reflex after I caught it.  I think I could use something safe to chew on.

Pele sighed, “If you don't get more sleep dear, you'll wind up cranky.  But looks like he did start to play with you, and when he caught your ear the chewing thing was an accident, probably his wildness kicking in.”

Bunnelby giggled lightly then nodded, “Oh I wonder if he needs a chew stick or something like that. Or he could be hungry.”

Pele smiles, “You caught on to that pretty fast, he mentioned he could use something safe to chew.  Wonder if any of the stuff I was left is good for that. Though feel his stomach dear, see how soft it is, It has been a small while since I gave them some food.  And I’m honestly worried about him being cranky already.” She considers then looks to Gleam, “Then again at least you aren’t being too whiney at how we are talking over you, are you Gleam?”

It helps I know you’re still connected to me in case I wanted to say anything.  And otherwise my muzzle is full, and I’m half afraid to take this out, whining over the ear being taken away was embarrassing.  So how are you really going to have a spoke conversation with me?”

Pele blinks, “Huh.”  She looks to Bunnelby, “Apparently he’s able to tell when someone is connected to him mentally.  But now that’s cute, apparently he thinks removing that cup might make him whiney. But how empty does he feel dear?”

Bunnelby giggles, “He’s got a pretty soft tummy.”  She perks then blushed, “May I feed him? I um I um I mean I.”

Gleam for his part blushed a bit, others are asking to feed him, wha?  But he brings a paw up, patting her stomach a bit. He tried to open his eyes again, the eyes irritation having calmed down enough, he looks into her eyes shyly, but gives a little nod.

Bunnelby perked and smiled widely then looked up at Pele, “He said I can feed him, that’s ok right?  That’s ok?”

Pele sighed softly but smiled, moving Bunnelby and Gleam out of her lap, then went off to grab some food, Gleam for his part pushed up close against Bunnelby, he considered, then reached a paw up, lightly feeling along her muzzle, which got her attention, she looked down to him, then he looked back up into her eyes, just staring for a moment, lightly rubbing over her muzzle.  He just more wanted to give her some friendly attention over anything else, though soon enough Pele came over with a gummi, Bunnelby grabbing it with her ears.

Pele considers, “I know we sometimes have a small game we play with these, but just let him eat it.  Even if he’s got decent control right now, I’d rather not aggravate him. So just help him eat ok dear?”

Bunnelby nodded her head softly, bringing the gummi close while taking away the cup.  Gleam blushed a bit, softly starting to sit up a little bit, meeting the gummi as it’s brought close and eats it down, pushing close to Bunnelby.  Who seemed in decent moods right now, Gleam giving her a few soft licks after all is said and done. He still needs to get used to doing that, bleh, but it seems to make her giggle, which he’s happy for.

Pele watches the two interact curiously, sitting down next to the two, rubbing Bunnelby’s back softly while Gleam starts to paw up at playfully, lightly tapping at her paws.  Soon enough the two are just playing at catching each other’s paws, and it’s hard to tell who is actually more amused the whelp or the rabbit. But eventually he ends the game with a yawn, then working his maw a moment, before nosing closely.

Gleam sighs, “Gonna be annoying being this tired.” he blushes, “Can understand why most whelps all cranky over it.” He earfolds, and yawns a moment, “So heard you been diggin’ tunnels lately?”

Bunnelby looks down meekly, the whelp nosing up at her, “If I sound mad it’s ‘cause I’m cranky not you.”  He tailswishes a bit, “But really, two things we’ll need. Myself and Mom both know some basics when it comes to keeping buildings up, one of us needs to go with you and see what you’ve dug and where.”

Gleam chrfs, “Second, when I’m more awake and can plan stuff, I kinna want a lot of digging done.  But I still need to decide exactly how and where I want it. But it’d be nice if you could help with that once the time comes.”  Gleam rubs his eyes a bit more then whines and nudges up close to Bunnelby, and soon he feels her ears circle around him, holding him softly.

Pele rubbed Bunnelby softly, gently hugging around the two and hummss, “ Ok my little boy, you really shouldn’t be messing with your sleep like this.  I’d say you’re interfering with my talking with her, but you’ve reacted to her feeling nervous, and I think you’ve been helping her calm down with me.  Someone is trying to help mama do her job, but little flame you’ve said it yourself, it does not feel good to be so sleepy, get some sleep already dear, and stop pushing yourself to help others, you need your own help first.”

Gleam whined softly, nosing against Bunnelby more, letting her rub and sooth him while just pushed close ,”Hard to sleep, trying to some, but hard to drift off now.  Otherwise I didn’t do too much help her, jus, did what you said I had to do, get used to others helping me.  Let her feed me, let her give me cup and hold it, letting her do what she can to soothe me while I’m feeling rather whiney.”

Bunnelby looks up to Pele curiously, “Ms. Ms. Pele, thank you for letting me hold him.  Is, is there anything else you wanted to ask me?”

Pele smiles warmly, kissing Bunnelby on the forehead, “I’ve noticed you’ve been, well, rather nervous, has anything been getting to you?”  And in Gleam’s head, “ Don’t give me any of that trickery young man.”  She paused for a second, unsure how strict to be, “ Yaknow, let me soften that.  I know fully well what you were doing.  We’ll talk about it later, when I don’t have one of your little friends to worry about.” She paused again as she realized, “ Which I suppose is part of why you want to help, you’re worried about one of your little friends.  How many friends did you make here really? I mean I’ve heard this whole savior of the cosmos thing, but people seem to see you as more than that..”

Gleam yawned softly, then rubbed his muzzle along Bunnelby’s and relaxed, resting close, “ Can you find something she can hold for me to chew on?  Getting annoying but I badly want to gnaw on something, and don’t want to fill up on water.  Otherwise I, well, I need to kind of explain exactly what TerraFlare was, and why it has so many members still.  But the short of it, I got on pretty friendly terms with almost all of the unevolved, while most of the evolved saw me as something of a bad influence, troublemaker, or a teller of tall tales.  A few were neutral but I can explain it all later. Bunnelby for now?

Pele noses Bunnelby softly, “Hey honey, can you tell me what usually gets used to be chewed on by whelps around here?  Seems Gleam is wanting something to chew on to soothe him a bit.” She looks to Gleam, “ Ok, we will talk later, hopefully after you’ve had some sleep and it’s just you and me.  I suppose for now you can help me with her, but promise you won’t fight going to sleep if you feel yourself drifting off.”

Gleam nods, “ Fine, I promise.”

Bunnelby smiles, “I, I personally just use a big piece of wood for my teeth, a tough vine helps sometimes too.” She blushes looking down, “As for anything making me overly nervous lately I, I suppose---”

Chapter Text

He was barely poking his head out from the warmth his mother provided.  And was just starting to wake up. That, that was a bad time, and he felt so weak as momma was apparently carrying him over to Sylveon’s house.  After his little stunt with helping Bunnelby, Pele put him back into the playroom, explaining he hadn’t had enough sleep, and he spent the next bit in there trying to play and not be overly fussy.  In the end they convinced him not necessarily to have a nap, but to at least drowse and rest on one of the plushies.

Once he had rested enough, and Mom had dealt with a few more wilder folk.  The group of them left the house, and visited Sherry and Rattata with the whelps.  Gleam wasn’t sure for the exact reason, all he knew is that he was immediately put in with the whelps, which they all loved.  Especially when combined with Flint and Skitty helping out on caretaking. They were quite glad to see Flint, and Flint seemed happy to see them and start playing with them, Skitty was a treat to them as well, and seemed to enjoy playing big brother, going to quite a few lengths to make the whelps giggle.

For his main part Gleam looked for the little sandshrew, just asking if he wanted to play around with batting a ball back and forth.  Something he’d do to amuse the sandshrew time to time. It was also an ok way to work on aiming with scratch, which is why he had originally taught it to sandshrew, and why he was asking to play it now.  The two shared that move as the easiest attack move to do. A few others joined in, and left as they pleased, but Gleam found himself being asked to do a few other things with the whelps. He honestly was more happy to just play around with the ball, but too many whelps were excited to have him play, even the minders were encouraging him to do more.

Did he really seem that unhappy or something?  Though he supposes the other whelps missed him, still he didn’t exactly like the idea of being passed around as entertainment.  But soon enough he was playing a few various games with limited success. The ball game was something easy he could handle. Some other games were, honestly, too advanced for him.  He still tried what he could as asked, especially as Sherry began encouraging him to run one of his courses.


 

For the moment he was sitting there panting, he just had a small fall, nothing big.  But this was starting to be a bit much for him. They had pulled out some of the stuff the more advanced whelps could do.  Like Rattata and Shii and such could do. Those whose body strength was already well trained, and needed to work on stringing together movements.  This challenge wasn’t the worst of them though, hop across some small raised stands, tag a target at one point. He’d made it simple, just touch it with any part of your body, while hopping between the raised stands.  Once they had proper moves they could work more on what this is for, dodging attacks while landing attacks in return. It was very conceptualized to where it didn’t resemble the final goal, but it still trained some of the same basics.

He looked up from where he fell off a stand, feeling a bit out of it, panting more.  Who was here right now? He looked around, realizing he was feeling slightly dizzy. He saw the various whelps watch him run this course.  Most of them looked worried, Flint and Skitty look confused, Sherry was also watching, he couldn’t read her face too well, probably conflicting thoughts, if she wasn’t trying to just hide how she felt.  Where did momma go? And elder Rattata?

He perked as Sherry spoked up, “Come on little fluff, I know you can do it.  Give it another go, go on, go on it’s ok.” She is doing her best to give a warm smile to him, holding up a fire gummi, “Come on it’s ok, remember you get a treat, just make it all the way through, I know you can do it.”  He shakily stood up, panting and started padding back to the beginning of the course, Sherry wants him to do this, he can do this.

His legs felt rather wobbly, how many times had he made this walk?  But back to the beginning he was going, a few muscles burned uncomfortably, and he was coughing a little bit, but the slightly juiciness of the gummi should help that.  Sherry wanted him to do this, he’d do it. He was surprised when Sandshrew just walked over, grabbed him, and tugged him aside. He whined lightly at the sudden grabbing, but soon after Sandshrew was just cuddling against him.

Sherry perked, “Sandshrew let little fluff go, he’s supposed to be running the course right now.”

Gleam perks as he sees Rattata hopping across the stands, tagging the target with his tail along the way.  Decently smart kid, the rule is any body part, tail does count. Gleam for his part isn’t even fighting against Sandshrew or trying to get away, he’s still panting heavily.  Sherry looks up seeing Rattata make it across, “Rattata what are you doing it was Gleam’s turn.”

Rattata looks at Sherry, “Get across, get that gummi, right?”

Sherry sighs, “It isn’t even your type though I me-”

“Get across, get that gummi, right?”

Sherry looks at him, “Look this is set out for Gleam, his reward for--”

“Get across, get that gummi, right?”  A few other whelps have joined in repeating it.  Sherry seeing the whelps might get upset if rattata does not get his rightly earned gummi, finally starts to try and feed it to rattata, who instead grabs it and waddles off with it, a few other whelps coming over to help him with it.  Sherry is left looking rather surprised.

Gleam looks up as Rattata draws near with the gummi, looking rather surprised, “Uh??” he coughs a little bit, starting to speak, but was caught by more coughing then, he squeaked as it’s brought to his maw Rattata guiding it the other whelps aiding in holding it, and soon his instincts take over and he noms it down, sighing in slight delight and looking up in surprise, “Guys---” coughing fit.

He gulps as Rattata shhs to him, petting him, copying how Elder Rattata and mama pets.  The minders, all 3 of them, are looking on in surprise. Gleam for his part starts to tear up, what is going on.  Why are even the whelps feeding him now, why did Rattata give up his prize. Sherry starts to pad over, and soon there is a wall of whelps in front of her, “Get Mama!”

Sherry pauses, she’s never seen the whelps act quite this way, “Look I just want to see Gleam what are all of you doing, why are--”

“Get Mama!”

Flint already having the idea begins contacting Pele and Rattata.  While Sherry frowns, “I just want to see little fluff, you shouldn’t interrupt his training.”  The whelps frowns, “Get Mama! Gleam hurt get Mama! Stop being mean to Gleam, get Mama!”

Sherry perked, definitely caught off guard by that.

Gleam for his part is barely listening, panting heavily, Sandshrew cuddled up with him, he’s hurt?  What do they mean? He’s-he’s ok. Just, tired, so very tired. He gulps, continuing to pant, looking up between Sandshrew and, Rattata seems to have walked off, Eevee is snuggling with him instead now.  He cuddles with Eevee, slowly trying to ease down, he starts to whine a bit, why are all of the whelps coddling him, all of them are keeping Sherry away from him, and are stopping him from doing a lot. And asking for mama?  He starts to tear up, what is going on. He’s supposed to be going through that course and he coughs a bit again. Why is he still panting, he puts a paw over his chest, and finally realizes his heart is beating way too fast.  He whimpers more finally flopping against Eevee and Sandshrew.

Pele and elder Rattata finally come in, Shii riding on Pele’s head, Rattata staring at Sherry and the whelps keeping her back, his brother speaking, “Game is over, no more, stop.  Gone on too long. Too long, stop now. Gleam hurt.” he perks upon seeing Pele, “Mama! Gleam hurt, Gleam hurt lots!” he skitters over to Pele, then leads her to the other whelps, who part for Pele to walk through.  Pele is looking worried and bewildered, as is Rattata as they see the scene before them. All of the whelps shielding Gleam, the minders would need to hurt them to get to him, and they part for Pele and himself immediately.

Pele perks upon seeing Gleam, panting heavily, held by Sandshrew, Eevee up next to, but Gleam leaning more on him.  Her little kit crying softly, but looking very tired..a bit too tired. All of the whelps at this point calling her Mama, but she doesn’t care about that too much right now, she’s more worried about her kit, about Gleam, picking him up.  While younger Rattata starts climbing her fur, she lets him, moving back with Gleam.

She can feel his heart pounding away, she notices he seems out of it, and looks like he might be a touch dizzy.  He’s definately overdone it, and could use some healing now. She looks to Sherry, Flint, and Pepper, “Watch the other whelps for now.  You three put away all game supplies, we’ll talk later. I need to make sure Gleam has no permanent harm.” She growls lightly as she walks away, letting Tacen, Rattata, and Shii stay along for the ride, moving to a side room where it’s quiet and she can lay Gleam out.

“Does anyone know who has heal pulse, or any healing moves here?”

Tacen frowns, “They are all in dungeons, I know Ralts has it.”

Pele frowns, “No time to make this a secret.  Well Gleam was already considering telling you everything anyway.  You three, don’t say a word of what you are about to see. This is another island secret I’m supposed to keep.   Same as where Gleam came from.” She closes her eyes, “I need someone who knows heal pulse, and preferably Gleam was training to be a team hea--.  Of course she sacrificed herself by doing Healing Wish when she shouldn’t have, to keep me up for Gleam. I think she can help him in other ways too.”

Pele took out her wand, twirling it, then concentrated on another old ally.  Pushing her refreshed reserves into it, as a blissey faded into partial existence, she could be seen through, Pele smiling to her, “Althea good to see you again, sadly I don’t have a lot of time for pleasantries.  This is Gleam, I should have been keeping a better eye on him, but I was trusting those watching others like him, some real young pokemon. Use any move you need to, to help him. But I think he’s been pushed to exhaustion maybe more.”

The Blissey nodded, frowning and moving over to Gleam, speaking her voice very airy, “A whelp?  He’s a whelp? Looks like he’s pushed himself too hard, I can really only do two things.”

Pele nodded, “Just be quick, just keeping you around drains reserves, and mine are not very big. Use moves as you need to, I just want him better.”  Blissy looked to the elder rattata, who seemed surprised and taken back, “Can you get him water? And help him sit up, he’s going to need to drink.” The rattata nodded, he went to grab some water, while Blissy first used heal pulse.

Rattata gulped at what he saw, what in blazes is going on.  He’s doing as the, ghost? Asked him to. Gathering water. The scene he saw earlier weirded him out already.  He’d been watching the whelps enough, sometimes they would rally together around one thing or another. But at this point they were eerily one minded.  All of them seemed to have been fending off the other minders. As if protecting Gleam, and the way they parted in unison for Pele to walk through. What in blazes was going on, even his brother was in on it.  And now Pele said she was doing an island secret and brought a, that wasn’t a ghost. That was a dead pokemon she brought back, who was helping Gleam, worried for Gleam?

He soon was returning with a bowl of water in his paws, pausing as he saw quite a sight, his younger brother helping Gleam sit up, as well as Shii, Pele seeming to be concentrating, while the Blissey held half of an egg shell to Gleam’s muzzle, letting him feed on it’s contents.  She looked over to him and smiled, “Ah good you returned. Just in time, he’s somewhat stable now, but very tired, and needs a lot to drink.”

Rattata nodded, “Y yes ma’am, so just feed him some water, I’m not exactly an expert I just.”

The Blissey smiled to him, it seemed a reassuring smile, while he walked over, “Please you probably won’t see me often but its Althea, anyone who cares for Gleam is on my team for all I care.  I just wish I could be around more. But I don’t regret dying. Here come over I’ll show you how to properly feed him from a bowl like this. Especially with him this tired and needing to be laid down.  Go on little whelps lets him lay down, and thank you for being so helpful.”

Rattata felt his ears fold, she did die, and now she’s going to teach him?  He is so confused but he moves over, and she, she steps into his body? Over his body?  He’s inside of her. Her arms go around his, and he feels her grip him. He still has control but she’s softly pulling his arms and hands along, he can easily resist it, but he lets her, and soon he’s feeding Gleam from the bowl, “What, what happened wh why are you here now?  I, I. You trust me to care for Gleam?”

Althea shh’s, “I can’t stay much longer, I think Pele is running low.  She can explain how she got me here but. Gleam was being attacked, multiple sides by some humans doing rather bad things.  He had pulled out his core team at the time and was giving multiple instructions. But it’s hard to keep track of so many separate fights.  Pele had been badly wounded, and most of the teams reserves were low. I made a choice, Pele had the most reserves left but was in no condition to fight.  If I lived I could only provide myself as a wall for awhile, then go down and we’d lose Gleam anyway. But if Pele was back into fighting shape, she could hide behind Mac and possibly win the fight.  I used a move I was too weak to use properly, to completely heal Pele. It cost me my life, but, obviously Gleam survived the fight. The rest of the team survived the fight. So it was worth it.”

She smiled as she finished helping the Rattata, “As for me trusting you to care for Gleam.  I can see your worry for him in your eyes. I can also see my presence scares you, to be around a dead pokemon.  But instead of freaking out, instead of running. You’ve gotten the water unquestioningly, you’ve also let me partially posses you, just to help Gleam.  Yes we are on the same team.” She hmms, and gently controls Rattata a bit more, feeling over and checking up on Gleam, “Feel that, his heart rate is slowing down.  But feel his muscles, some of them are surely sore, he’s overdone it, especially dangerous for a whelp. He should have never pushed himself that hard. For a few days he needs light exertion.  Keep down on any sort of training, in fact don’t do any at all, let him rest as much as you can, get him more water. Keep him well fed with nutritious food.” She looks up to Pele, “For the next few days I’d suggest summoning me in for a short time when he’s hungry, so that I can give him more eggs.  Especially for a whelp these are good, I know of very little food better for a whelp.”

Pele perks, ‘You know about whelps, seriously I never heard of them until I came here.  I thought they were a pokemon world thing only how do you--”

Althea sighs, “I’m sorry Pele, but you’re reserves are running low, we can talk next time you can summon me.  But we should keep it short, I should feed him eggs several times a day. Finally Gleam, next time I’m here you are getting a stern talking to, you know better than to do this to yourself!”

Pele nods, closing her eyes, as Althea slowly fades away.  Rattata panting as she leaves, he runs off to get more water.  Trying to not freak out, but is soon helping Gleam have a bit more to drink.  The poor whelp by now looking more than a bit miserable. He finally considers, lifting Gleam up into a hug, just holding him close and shhing.  The whelp just crying more, he looks up to Pele worried, who picks up both of them, holding both in her arms, then looks to the younger Rattata, “What happened in there?  You seemed to have been the ringleader in getting me to come in.”

The young Rattata frowned, “Gleam playing with whelps, mostly sandshrew, batting around ball, easy game.  Other whelps want play, minders want Gleam play more than ball. Flint and Skitty act odd, not overly in control, Sherry leading.  She set up more and more advance games, have Gleam run through them.” he considers, “We knew he being pushed, but figured we just let her deal with Gleam cry once pushed too far.  But he never cry, he just keep trying and trying, even as get more tired. He finally can’t even jump.” His ears folded, “But he kept trying, we end game but, but, end game too late.  I, I’m sorry, other whelps trusting my judgement on if Gleam ok or not, I misjudge.” He teared up softly, Pele and Tacen both looking on a bit stunned.

Tacen frowns, “Bro, you shouldn’t have to keep track of how Gleam is feeling, or if he’s even well.  That’s, that’s the minders job. You should just be playing, having fun. Not worrying about Gleam.”

Shii moves down, “No, Gleam need help.  Need lot of help.” She looks to the younger mouse and he nods back to her, “Something wrong Gleam, none of us know what, but something wrong.  Push himself hard, not always play have fun, sad real easy. We all notice before he leave, after, after.” she shudders a moment, “After my mama and dada die he, he get real sick.  He help more than ever, he play with more than ever, he sneak out all times of night, come back, my food stores bigger. But it hard he be happy. Only seem happiest when do for others, when he make whelp giggle and smile, he happy.  When he play and we have fun, he happy. When he on expedition and do job for others he happy. But never happy himself.” She closes her eyes, then looks to Gleam, who seems asleep, “He always say he so sorry to me, like, like. Mama and Dada gone his fault.  Like he caused it. Be around him in secret, he sometimes sleep in my house still, I watch him in secret. He cry, small tears, then try to hide it. Always seem very sick, he have bad dream, cry lots in bad dream, call out Mama and Papa name, and cry, cry lots till wake up.  Then hide tears. That when saddest, that when tell me sorry most when see me.”

Younger Rattata nods, “Now he back, he whelp too.  We hope, maybe play, he have fun and play, he be happy.  Since playing whelp make him happy. But not that way. Still sick, still push self, not happy if he have fun, only when others have fun with him.”  he frowns, tearing up, “Gleam very sick, we not know what to do. So try do what can protect and make sure he well. He, he not stopping when tired, when sick, when cranky.”  He looks down, “He coulda stop running course at any time, but he not, he kept running when Vulpix encourage him run more.”

Pele shhhss, rubbing her head on the lil mouse, “You’ve said enough dear, you’ve said enough.  I think I get the idea.” She sighed closing her eyes, then re-opened them to look to Tacen, “I’ll need to talk with Sherry, but I think she was pushing to train him, thinking he should be stronger.  Flint and Pepper both so wild felt they had little say in what was going on.

Tacen closes his eyes, shuddering, “I suppose but, I’m trying to understand the whole sick thing.”  He calls his brother down, hugging him close softly, “We need to teach you more and better words. Do the other whelps really look to you as a sort of leader?”  The younger rattata nods, “Me and Shii, Shii leader, if she not there I lead. Shii very wise, think lots, understand unusual things. Understand Pele adopt lots, even adopt Gleam.  Understand Pele not used to whelps, but suddenly want take care of. She also figure out Gleam very sad if bring up Pele ever not mama, so we keep secret.”

Pele and Tacen both perked their ears at that, Pele petting softly then sighs looking to Shii, “Ok he is right, you are pretty far along Shii, it seems you are as well lil Rattata.  You know we should probably get you a name. But yes that’s correct, I’ve adopted Gleam, and while I’m trying to not make it official, like actually be everyone’s mother, I was planning to sort of be there for anyone who needed one, just to act like one, hold, hug, comfort.”  She noses the two, then noses Tacen as well, “Though I think I’d feel better calling you two lil mice my brothers considering.”

Tacen perks curiously at that, Pele sighing, “It’s a long story, and I want more time to, to get it all together.  Besides the current guild leaders, is there anyone else who normally whelpsits? I was planning to ask you to whelp sit alone later tonight, but I want you along now.  At this point most have accepted I’m one of two adults on this island, and are giving me more leeway in decision making, and given you just saw me summon a spirit, I’m deciding you’re going to know another secret.”

Pele looks to Younger Rattata and Shii, “Please keep quiet about Althea, and don’t ask too much.  Shii you will be told in full what that was about later. Little mouse, we’ll need to discuss what more to tell you.  But it’s a big secret that few should know, ok? I have shown both of you abilities that I’m supposed to keep secret, because I had to make sure Gleam was well fast.”

They both nod quickly, smiling at having a big secret.

Pele sighs softly, “Ok so we have our orders from the teams old nurse.  My little boy is to be taking it easy, resting, and not overly playing. Kept well fed and with enough water.  I now know a bit more about before when he was here.” She sighs, “I was already told it was Bella and Cray that hurt him the most..but.”  She eartwitches.

“Ok you two, would you like to know what this sickness is Gleam has?”

They both perk nodding, to Pele, “Ok Sweeties, this is another thing to keep quiet.  I don’t know exactly how it affects him but, he’s wild. The same thing that has made others leave the town to live on their own, scavenging food.  The same thing that made Skitty kidnap Gleam and try to take him to a home outside of town, because he wanted to protect Gleam in his own way. He also has that issue.  We, we don’t know exactly how it affects him, as each pokemon is affected differently, Flint is also pretty wild, but Gleam is sure he’d stay around town. Just become more aggressive.”

Shii and the little mouse look to each other and nod slowly, then back to Pele, Shii speaking up, “Wild sick, very sick, we lose lot of friends from that.  Nice mon, who all worried, leave, go wild. But Gleam all wild? And Flint very wild? But neither leave?”

Pele nods, “I think, in part, it’s why Gleam can act a lot like a whelp.  That’s part of how he acts wild, but the fact he’s...he’s.” She sighs, “The fact he’s rather selfless might be another indicator?  I don’t know, I’ve never heard much on how my kind acts when wild.”

Tacen sighs, “He’s, he’s going to be a hard one to figure out isn’t he?  I mean, near constant supervision from those of us who know proper caretaking.”  He looks to Rattata and Shii, “And really, you two are watching as well? I swear it’s just, things feel backwards to me but, I suppose it’s good the whelps watch out for each other.”

Shii smiles, “I’m gonna stop being whelp soon, figure least can do is figure out how help and watch other whelps.  Be eyes for whelps, and help in dungeons.” She giggles, “Was thinking of making team with rattata when we both able to.”

Tacen perks, “You two want to form a team?”

Rattata blushes, “We were both thinking be TerraFlame and work together, but Gleam said better new teams made, so we think, form team together, like Gleam and Flint did.  Got time before ready for dungeon, so good time think up name.”

Pele nods, “Ok I think I’ve heard enough.  I want to give Sherry a stern talking to, but I think I’m going to do it where it hurts most.  So for right now I’m letting her off, Tacen I know you and Sherry are handling those who return, look for someone who would be good for watching whelps after dinner.  Also tell Kencil and Taren that we’ll be having a meeting after dinner. I’m going to let Ezelle know, I was planning on dropping the whelps off with him momentarily anyway, Gleam pointed out I need to find out where Bunnelby has been digging.  Which today would be ok for.” She sighs softly, looking at the lil rattata and shii, then looks to Taren, “Would you mind if, like Eevee, we raised Rattata the rest of the way to whelphood as a companion with Gleam? I figure Shii too?”

Taren perks, “Like Eevee what?”

Pele smiles, “Right we didn’t tell a lot.  Since Gleam sees Ezelle as his father, and both of us kind of, well, we’ve both fallen hard for him.  We agreed to let whoever had the most free time be the one to watch him, and beyond that, to have him grow up with Eevee.  Kind of to always have a friend around. I will want some days of just me and Gleam, as I know Ezelle would like it to be just his brother and him, and I figure the same for you right?  But given what just happened, and the fact he already watches over Gleam like something of a big brother….”

Taren nods softly, “It’d let him have an adult who isn’t watching a big group of whelps at once.  You also have it so RockRuff is helping you with Gleam lately and Skitty is sort of, he needs to be under watch while tending, same as RockRuff.  Yeah I think that’ll be ok But they need time with other whelps too.”

Pele nods, “Yeah I know, it’s why I brought them over today.  I just didn’t know, well, there needs to be a talk about proper training.  That’s part of tonight's meeting.” She sighs a little bit, “Anyway we should get on with today, honestly since it seems Shii and your brother are both so close to leaving whelphood, how about I let them help me take care of Gleam for today?”  She looks to them, “You two can play together and with Eevee, but also help take care of Gleam. Just don’t spend all your time on him, I think part of what is making Gleam so sick is he is not spending time to have fun himself..” She looks back to Tacen, “If that is ok.”

The elder mouse sighs a moment, “He’s already doing it on his own, I think just hanging around Gleam he’ll do it.  I might as well admit to myself he’ll be doing it and just give permission, ok bro?”

The smaller mouse giggles and smiles, “Hee, uh huh that good, I be Gleam caretaker.”  he rubs against his older brother happily, then nestles down with him and Gleam.

Pele sighs, “Ok let’s go back to the other whelps, I’m going to leave Flint and Pepper with you for right now.  Ezelle has had enough of dealing with wilds today I bet, I had my own fair share. Though those two are decently obedient, and seem prone to play more than anything, perhaps the whelps can tucker those two out ok?”

Tacen nods, “I think you also figure Sherry might, be a bit off?”

Pele nods, then giggles, “Hey now, I’m the psychic type it’s my job to read minds.”

Tacen snrrrks then nods and laughs, “I’ll make good use of them, and just, how mad at Sherry are you?”

Pele sighs, “I’d guess appropriately mad at something I think hurt my kit, in a misguided attempt to actually help him instead.  I’ve seen the two interact, I don’t think she would hurt him on purpose, but I bet she rarely sees heavy exhaustion leading to fatigue.  And she has not seen him in a dungeon, or beyond just now seen how strong he really is, besides the little tag team battle with your brother.  Plus it looked like that was a simple agility setup, with a tag target.”

Tacen perks, “A what?”

Pele earfolds, “So many of you don’t know how to train I, ok seriously how did any of you learn dungeons?”

Tacen sighs, “Bisharp kind of had a whole idea of survival of the fittest, mostly learn from parents or on your own.  Gallade and Luxray sometimes did suggest, and sometimes tried to organize something, but usually it was ignored, or Bisharp would try to work around those...usurping his power.”

Pele blinks, “No wonder everybody was uncomfortable this morning with the way my little boy handled things.”

Tacen perks, “I, yeah, that was quite..unusual.”

Pele nods, “But besides the wilds that he cheated on, has there been any reports today?”

Tacen thinks, “Even though there is not a lot of progress yet, there is more eagerness at the planting area, from what I’ve heard.  And a few who have found grass knot TMs have had minor success at focusing that energy. Hoppip seems to be doing ok, mostly he is ferrying around water, but plants seem a bit healthier after he’s done with it.  Like they’ve taken in more nutrients somehow. It’s a bit too early those out in dungeons have not returned yet.”

Pele nods slowly, “He’s more of a shared leader, you heard some of it when he was trying to convince Flint to rest.  Spread out, gather info, find out who is best for a job, don’t just guess, all that sort of stuff. He asks those questions because he is not in contact with everyone that all of you are, and has not been for awhile. And he’s using all of your answers for feedback.”

Tacen nods, “So he sort of..tries to use others to gather options.”

Pele hmms, ‘Sort of..consider all of you his scouts, sending you out on a hunt for information of everyone’s well being and capabilities.  When you report to him he uses that information to inform his choices.”

Tacen earflicks, “I suppose that makes some sense.  Anyway you were going to see Sylveon I believe?”

Pele nods, “Let me just get Eevee.”


 

Gleam blinked a bit as they finally came up to daddy’s house, coughing softly.  Pele shhing softly, and soon he felt the younger Rattata petting over him, where did he come from?  Then he looked around more, Eevee was snuggled in next to him, the lil guy looking worried then licking him softly, followed by Shii gently nudging him.  Where did Flint and Pepper go?

The door opened after Pele knocked and there was daddy, he started trying to move, but felt so sore, and the younger Rattata gently pet him and shhed, whimpering, “Stay still.”

Sylveon looked up with worry, “Um, hey Pele, didn’t quite expect you but, oh dear what’s up with the little twig?”

Pele closes her eyes, sighing, “Went to visit the whelps, pulled Tacen aside to talk for a bit and well.  Sherry needs a lesson on how to properly treat a whelp with training games.” She frowns, “I, I’m honestly trying to not be too mad, I think she just made an honest mistake but, but.  I’m honestly worried about how close to losing our little boy we might have just come.” She finally lets a few tears show as she rubs her head against Gleam.

Sylveon goes wide eyed, while Pele walks on in, she looks to the little ones, “Don’t worry I’ll make sure to watch over him closely.  I want to talk with Ezelle, just myself, him, and Gleam ok? Go on and play for a bit, I promise I’ll keep an extra close eye on him.”

The whelps look on worriedly but nod, gently climbing down and heading to the whelp room.”

Pele looks to Sylveon, “Please be careful he’s, quite fragile right now.  Thankfully I hadn’t used any of my spirit keeper reserves today, I got ahold of one of the teams old nurses and she pulled him to safely.”  She lightly helps transfer Gleam over to Sylveon’s feelers, Ezelle going wide eyed soon after, looking up at Pele, then holding the kit closely, shhing and nosing over and along him.

Pele sighs, “He’s overexerted himself, pushed his body further than he should have.  Extreme exhaustion and fatigue. Althea said to have him resting and laying still as much as possible.  I also need to be around for feedings once my reserves are back. She wishes to share eggs with him over his next few feedings, though no idea how a blissey’s egg and gummi’s compare to be honest.”

Ezelle perked, “A Blissey?  I don’t know my other pokemon well but, if you say she’s capable of being a nurse.  But gotcha, little guy shouldn’t be moving too much.” he noses Gleam, “Looks like you get to ride on daddy’s back for now huh?”  he carefully sets the kit onto his back.

Gleam for his part whined a bit.  He’s got everyone worried about him, causing trouble yet again apparently.  Why can’t he just make it easy for everyone? And what was that with all of the whelps, what is going on, what kind of trouble did he start? Now mom and dad are both worried about him, apparently Althea, wait how did Althea get there, mom did something and-and, she-she, what did she do, how did she do that.  It was somehow momma who did it, even Althea said as much, and she shared the egg with him, and she talked about how she died. Leaving out all of the mistakes he made, he should have been able to keep track of all of them. And should have stopped the one that put Pele out. Was his fault she died, and now somehow Pele can get her back an--

Ezelle perks, shhhing, starting to wipe away from tears from Gleam.  Looking back to the kit, “Calm down, calm down. Daddy’s here, Mommy’s here.  We love you, you’re ok, we’ll just need to take extra special care of our little kit now is all.  No reason to work up a fit dear.” he sighs looking up at Pele, “Poor lil guy, from what I can tell he’s taking blame for what happened, feeling like he’s at fault.”

Pele nods and sighs, rubbing Gleam’s head gently, “So some other things, I think it might be best if we include Shii and Young Rattata in the group of those who is raised with Gleam.  Maybe just one of them at a time. They seem to be something of the leaders of the whelps, and I’ve caught Rattata alone coming to aid Gleam at least 3 times, watching when he was too tired, or was going to get fussy, or in this last case stopping the game that was literally too much for our little kit.  Sherry was offering a fire gummi as the prize for Gleam apparently, and when Gleam wouldn’t stop, Rattata ran the course, claimed the prize, and brought it over and fed Gleam. And the whelps when i got in there were acting very much together as one, I think the little mouse have been secretly, or unknowingly, leading the other whelps and giving them commands.”

Ezelle perks, blinking a moment, “Acting together over Gleam? I’m, I’m going to need to need to ask them exactly what is going on.  The minders that is. But you think they’d be good for Gleam, to hang around with him?”

Pele nods, “I hate to say it this way my little twig, at least to be talking over you but, someone mentioned to me that the whelps have really bonded together since Gleam and their parents had been gone.  From what I can tell they now count Gleam as one of them, as another whelp to rally behind. He actually might be safer with the whelps, and perhaps hoppip, than with most unevolved, as odd as that sounds.  I think they have all caught on that he is very young, and from how Rattata and Shii talked, they think about and worry for his health.”

Gleam whined softly, safer with the whelps?  They all worry about him? Rattata and Shii raised with him too?  Well he does like them but from how momma talking as protectors and extra caretakers.  He, he shouldn't have whelps taking care of him. He's supposed to be taking care of the whelps.  He shakes his head and starts to talk, or attempts to anyway. As he starts to let out a light yip to get their attention he breaks down into a fit of coughs.

Sylveon frowns and goes to get some water, Pele earperks, “Oh dear he's been coughing quite a bit since all of that.  I should find his cup for you, makes it a bit less awkward to have him drink, and I doubt he'll be lapping water up anytime soon.  You ok little twig?”

Gleam earfolded, then laid his head down, he shook it slowly, he considered then tried to raise a paw, but it ached and hurt, making him wince as his leg just barely shook.  Pele frowned, “Now I’m wondering why you arn’t talking and why you winced, here let me try a mental connection.

What gleam did not expect was that slight buzzing he always felt was right near some sore spots on his body. In an instant he was in more pain than he bargained for, his eyes shooting open as he whined involuntarily, he made it quick, “ TALK COUGH, DISCONNECT, MENTAL HURT.”

Pele gasped, immediately stopping, then frowned, looking down to Gleam.  “I..I..” She gently rubbing over Gleam more, “This is, going to be troublesome.”  She looks to Ezelle, “I, I..” She whimpers, looking down at Gleam, then blinks, closing her eyes tightly, taking in a deep breath as a few more tears break.

“Ezelle something is bad wrong with him, I.  I’m going to need time to myself, I I never thought I’d be this worried for him again.  But, that cough he keeps having is him trying to talk. And apparently it right now hurts to have telepathy going on.  Why would that even hurt?”

She sighs and looks to Gleam, then to Ezelle, “May I have him again for a moment?  You can keep your ribbons on him I just, I wish.” She reached out, gently taking Gleam close, cradling and holding him against her chest, pressed warmly, “I’m sorry Gleam I, I didn’t mean to hurt you there I..I”  She let out a shuddery sigh of a breath, tears softly falling “N not with psychic ability I I’m sorry my son I I’m sorry.”

Ezelle perked, Gleam seemed, a bit confused, but also worry for his mother.  But what is up with Pele, he lightly lets a feeler slip to her, softly winding around her arm.  Heavy guilt, worry, fear, dread, phantom pains. This has triggered something deep in her, very very deep.  He taps his badge a moment, waiting for a few appropriate responses, “I’m taking Pele off duty for a bit of time, actually consider us both off duty for the moment.”

Pele looks to him, perking a moment..then after a time of consideration closes her eyes and sighs, nodding to him.  Ezelle didn’t need his feelers for that, instead he pulled her closer, “Come on my darling, this is a deep wound, what’s going on?  I know in part you are worried about Gleam but I want to know what is wrong with my lovely flower.”

Pele shudders and sighs, “I, I suppose I should c come clean.  But first loverboy, just how much did you care for Ena’s daughter, and how well did you know her?”  She levels a half glare at him.

Gleam perks weakly and looks up, blink blinking.

Ezelle perks at the question, then smiles a little bit, “Whelphood sweethearts.  Made the sort of foolish promises one would expect. Broke my heart deeply when she disappeared.  Not a day went by I didn’t miss her, it’s why I broke into so much exploration. I had heard she might have gotten lost in a dungeon, kept looking, hoping one day I’d find either..even though I knew...”

He closed his eyes, “The secret Gleam asked of me, you know it now I take it?”

Pele sighs, “Then I trust you will continue to keep it secret, and speak no more of it.  Nor any more cute references to it, seriously calling me you’re flower is far far too revealing of the name mom gave me.  Beyond that, yes, I didn’t realize mom also left some of my memories in--.” she sighs, “In my old home, but she did by accident.  However I speak the truth when I say I don’t remember most of my whelphood. Mom blocked out a good part of it, thankfully I can recover that.  But something else much more powerful blocked out the rest of my youth. I have only broken and shattered memories of here. Plus beyond that I did grow up in Gleam’s world.”

She looks to him, “If you really think we are meant to be, you don’t need to push it so hard.  So cut it back a bit Pinky. Otherwise if it’s just us three, feel free to use the name Mom gave me if you must.  Though I honestly am more used to Pele.”

Ezelle looks to her softening up a bit, smiling softly, “Fine I understand, but please understand me, it isn’t the few memories and shared times I loved, it’s the one I formed them with, and the mon I spent the time with.  You’ve lost a bit of that fireball you used to be, but you are still you and I’ve no issue with you not remembering the couple of years we had together. Just means more room to make more memories. Celosia, However I assume you have a reason for mentioning this, especially since you seem to still want to keep it secret.”

Pele nods, “First the reason to keep it secret.  I don’t want to give others false hope to the return of an old friend.  No matter how you look at it, I’m a stranger in a familiar body. I have almost no memories of my big sister, of Sherry, or of anyone I used to hang out with, I just get ghosts of memories, or remember things like Tacen’s name.  I know Kencil especially has a strong love for her old family. And as strong as she is, those memories hit her hard when tried. I don’t want to hurt her more than me reminding her of Mom already has. And I’m satisfied with being her big sister and forming new memories with her.”

She sighs, “As for the reason I brought it up.  These pre-learned abilities, did Mom ever tell you why I have them?  I know I’ve been blaming Celebi, but I was wrong on that. More and more the only blame I can give her is, bringing me back home.”  As Ezelle shook his head Pele continued, “I mentioned mom blocked some of my memories. She was blocking out the most painful memories that existed for me, trying to be kind to me.  The memories are when she gave me that pre-learned knowledge. She apparently knew I’d disappear for quite awhile and made sure I could continue on as a Spirit Talker once I returned, probably hoped she could stop me from, from being shunted to the human world, but she still prepared me for it”

She closed her eyes, “The process is painful, extremely painful, to the one being taught.  I’ve gotten a couple of them remembered, each time, even just the memory of the pain brings me agony now, when I release the memory I re-live the pain.”

There is a spot, in the Spirit Guardian work area of our home, where she did this.  I think seeing Gleam anywhere near that spot would give me nightmares, to think of him there but. But.”  She earfolded, “I just hurt him using psychic powers, it just, it brings back those thoughts. I never want my little boy to experience what I did.”  She looks down to Gleam kissing him on the forehead, “And I know it’s different, but it’s still how I feel.”

She closes her eyes a moment, “I suppose beyond that I should be honest.  I think I’ve been handling it well but, it’s like you said yesterday. I’ve suddenly got some very strong emotions I just am not used to having.  And I just, I’m trying to not let them overpower me but, more than ever now, I don’t want to let Gleam out of my sight. I want to figure out how to properly care for him which..” She frowns, “Let’s get him that water shall we?”

Ezelle perks then blushes and chuckles then looks to Gleam, “Seriously Son, whine more often, we should have given you something to drink already.”  He sighs, “But yeah, especially now, so he’s having issues talking, and you can’t safely read his thoughts?” Ezelle frowns, “He’s overexerted himself, he can’t move a lot, and he has no real way to directly talk.  We need to watch him doubly so.” he looks to Gleam, “And you.” he shakes his head, “No we shouldn’t expect anything from you.” he closes his eyes, “There is enough put on you already, enough we all want from you.”

Pele looks to Ezelle curiously, she pretty much knows what he wants to say, but Ezelle’s paused for the moment.

Ezelle sighs, releasing his ribbons from Gleam and Pele, then turns, grabbing a bowl and some water, he looks to Gleam, “Son, do you want something to drink?  I don’t care about if you feel like we shouldn't get it for you, do you want something to drink?”

Gleam turned his eyes to the side but nodded a little bit.

Ezelle closed his eyes, “Can you whine, whimper, anything like that?  Make some kind of noise, not talking, just a simple noise showing something is not right.”

Gleam earfolds.

Pele closes her eyes in eyes at a sudden realizing thought, “I, I.”  She looks to Gleam, “Ugh I need to learn to actually listen to that cat, not just pay attention to the end point, but actually listen to that cat.”  She looks to Ezelle, “We might want Taran to help with Gleam.”

Gleam listened, gulping softly he did not like where this was going.  She’s talking about when Taran pointed out he was a whelp, forcing him to be upset and to act like whelp.  When he first actually called Pele mama.

Then she looks to Gleam, “Go on, lets continue the training Taran started a couple of days ago.  You managed to ask mama for a bowl, acting like a proper whelp then, but you talked too properly.  This is more of that same training. You want something, whelps don’t just wait passively, they grab attention.  You have no other way to communicate right now. You can’t even politely ask mama for a bowl. I’m sure you’re holding back a whine.  Let it out, whine honey, show mama you want something. Not that you are thirsty, that something is wrong and you need mama or papa to fix it, whine and whimper, do it loudly.”

Gleam earfolded more, looking up with big eyes, he’d been trying his best to be quiet, to be good.  To properly ask for what he wants, to be patient. He doesn’t want to be a fussy kit.

Pele frowns, “Gleam I don’t want to threaten you, but there is someone everyone has done to make you cry when you were holding back.  And right now you have a lot to be upset about. Please Gleam don’t make it so I need to resort to that.” Pele holds Gleam up, looking him face to face, tears starting to flow, “I’m not even asking you to cry, just whine to show you are physically in discomfort, just willingly let us know something is wrong before it’s too late.  That’s all I want to hear, just that you actually need something, that something is wrong and you want it fixed, please Gleam can you do that for mommy, just let her know you need her help?”

Gleam shivered, he frowned as Pele started crying, he doesn’t like seeing her hurt, and he, he has rarely ever seen her cry, why, why is it the tears come just because he’s trying to be good, to not cause any trouble.  He doesn’t want to be a bad fussy whelp. His ears folded, trying to fight back the urge to whine over Pele crying. His own eyes tearing up, he isn’t just some little crybaby. He doesn’t need extra attention. Why is that hurting momma?  He then perked realizing something was pushing on his back lightly, realizing he had one of papa’s feelers on him.

Ezelle closes his eyes, “My word Gleam.  What, what kind of life did you live as a human?  Where being told that just letting others know you need something, makes you this worried?  Please Gleam, I don’t want to say for mommy, I don’t want to say for daddy. For your own sake son, willingly show discomfort, not just when it takes so long you can’t stand it anymore and it’s forced out.  Pele is right, you have all the reasons in the world to be crying upset, you can’t talk or you can’t have your mind read, so you can’t communicate effectively at all. You’re body feels pretty weak, I bet you can’t even walk right now.  And who knows what else you’re hiding? Are you sore? Does anything hurt? How thirsty are you? Are you hungry? Cranky from lack of sleep? From sleeping too long? Upset that we keep pushing for this? Unhappy that we are asking you to ‘be bad’?  We’ve been accidentally holding back on getting you water for so long, and we haven’t heard a peep from you. Is there seriously nothing at all wrong, nothing at all that you want changed? I even see you fighting back tears, but you’re still silent, as if nothing is wrong.”

Gleam shivered more, looking between Mommy and Daddy, he isn’t some whiney lil whelp, he doesn’t cry just to get his way.  But, what else can he do right now? But he doesn’t want to be bad but, Mommy’s sad, daddy’s pleading with him, just to be whiny.

Pele sighs softly, looking to Ezelle, “Let’s not make our own mistakes, Gleam needs to drink even if he won’t ask for it, and only agree to it.  Go on and bring the bowl up.” She looks Gleam in the eyes, “Little Flame, I worry about you, you don’t think of your own needs enough.” She shifts him so Ezelle can properly help him drink water, letting the Sylveon do so, watching her kit drink.

She perks curiously as she notices a bit of movement now that she isn’t as focused on Gleam, and watches as Rattata makes his way back into the whelp room, she hmms softly and thinks she needs to talk with Hoppip sometime, perhaps more with Rattata and Shii too.

Chapter Text

Eevee, Rattata, and Shii all looked up as Pele entered the room, Eevee looking confused as it’s just Pele, not Ezelle.  But they curiously come over as she sits down on a pillow patting her lap, smiling warmly, “Come here little ones.”

Eevee climbs into her lap, she all comfy and friendly, remind him of mommy, she Gleam mommy, he want mommy, he miss mommy.  Want mommy back but, Pele is nice at least, she good Gleam mommy.

Pele smiles, “Ok little ones, we need to talk.”  She looked to Rattata, who earfolded. Eevee saw him leave whelp room, spy on adults and come back.  He say they try teach Gleam whelp well. But Gleam trouble learning. Gleam mama sad, very sad. Eevee hope Rattata no trouble for spy.

Pele sighs, “I would honestly not try to burden you with this, but all of you started on your own.  And I would like us to work together, and for all of you whelps to be able to calm down about trying to take care of Gleam.  That is our job as adults, as minders. I do appreciate that each of you love Gleam enough to help watch out for him.” She looks to Rattata again, “But when you cry, and say sorry for not watching Gleam close enough, well something is off yaknow?  You say sorry for when you accidentally do something and mess up, not when you don’t correctly do someone else's job. I appreciate you watching out for Gleam, but what happened is not your fault, it’s Sherry for misunderstanding how training works.”

Pele gently lifts Rattata up, onto her shoulder, helping Shii onto her head, then lifts up Eevee cradling him into her arms, he snuggles into those arms happily enjoying the warmth.  “With that said, I caught you watching us Rattata. You almost got away with it, but once I stopped focusing solely on Gleam and let myself relax, well, part of my own training is to watch out for other mon in the area.  You’ve been learning to watch for signs of need, and you’ve stopped us from games with Gleam a few times because he was getting upset. How do you feel about what myself and Ezelle did?”

Rattata lowers his head considering, “You right, Gleam no whine, Gleam no call attention self.  Gleam.” He earfolds, “Gotta watch Gleam closely know needs. Gleam no whine until ready cry, Gleam.”  He looks down, “It, it hard know if stop right time. Want Gleam whine. But, need stop before cry whine.”

Pele nods, “As long as it isn’t getting dangerous, from now on, can you let us upset him with games?  At least myself and Ezelle? I don’t want to upset him with those on purpose but, from how Ezelle talks he feels like whining makes him a bad boy.  And we need to let him know it isn’t bad.”

Shii looks up, “What about trick?  Like trick to eat gummi?”

Pele smiles, “I’ve no idea how exactly such a trick might work.  He does not want you to copy his bad habbits, but it can be harder to introduce that.  I suppose if you’re around he might alter how he acts though, we just need it to be clear that you’re studying him for the right way to act.  And that you’re actually planning to copy something he does not want you doing.”

Shii nods then thinks, “Shii has question.  Shii think about yesterday.”

Pele earperks, “If I can answer it, go ahead honey.  Ask away.”

Shii nods, “Yesterday Shii learn, lie help people.  I want eat gummi, never plan not eat gummy. But lie Gleam, make him think I not, if he not.  Wonder about other ways mon lie. Gleam? Gleam lie, say ok, but not ok? Gleam not want know not ok?  Gleam--” she tries to think.

Pele sighs and nods, “It’s ok, you don’t need to keep going.  Yes you have the right idea. He does not exactly lie, all the time.  But he keeps the fact he’s hurt hidden, a lot. He hides his hurt, he hides his pain.  You said before he’d cry in secret, then make it stop as soon as he could. He was hiding it.  He does not like letting others know he’s sad, or hurt, or anything.” Pele sighs, “That’s a very very bad habit for a whelp to have.  For an adult, in certain cases, it’s useful, but you also need to know when to stop hiding it.”

Shii nods, thinking on that Rattata speaking up, “So learn hide pain?”

Pele ruffles Rattata’s headfur, “Don’t.  Please don’t. It’s an adult thing, trust me.  All of you agree Gleam is sick, he acts sick, something is heavily wrong and it’s making him a very unhappy whelp.  It’s the fact he hides his pain. As you grow up we’ll teach you how to hide pain, and when it’s right to do so.” She sighs, “Gleam apparently never learned to stop hiding his pain.  I wonder if he even hides it from himself.”

Eevee noses into Pele’s fur, most of this talk going over his head, but Shii and Rattata smart whelps, he know. This sound important.  He still confused by this talk, hide pain? Hide hurt? Gleam hiding? Maybe game? But not sound like game.

Shii nods, “Curious, example, please?”...


 

Pele closes her eyes, hoping she did right having given them a short talk on proper battle etiquette.  But she also tried to push they shouldn’t learn how to hide pain right now. That they’ll be taught it later.  In the end she also made an agreement, Shii, and only Shii is to come out if they genuinely need an adult. Or are ready for adults to come in.  Otherwise they want to see if they can encourage whining in their own way.

She looks to Ezelle and Gleam.  She tries turning the idea of Ezelle in her head.  Her mate? Her possible mate? It is what Ezelle wants, and he seems to trust she wants it too.  Then again that fiery promise thing, that must be a promise she shared with him.

She doesn’t really know him though, or anyone.  Though he seems like he can be sweet when he isn’t dropping a lot of pet names.  On the other side unless she’s willing to wait for quite awhile, Ezelle is the only proper mate material around right now.  Still she needs to settle into here, into her overall role. Still odd she’s thinking on mate material in general, never did that before, didn't with the smeargle, didn't even learn his name.  Well she can talk with Ezelle over it.

She smiles and rubs Ezelle’s head gently, then picks up Gleam gently, “Ok sweetie, I let the other whelps know how fragile you are right now.  And that you can't play at all, and to just let you rest a bit ok. So I’m going to put you in the whelp room, hopefully all comfy. I did let them know they can cuddle with you if careful.”

With that said Gleam finds himself carried off to the whelp room by momma.  Set down on a pillow all wrapped up in his scarf. He tries to settle in a little bit, but can't move much at all.  Which in part is the scarf but also papa was right, he doubts his legs want to work enough to walk. Or allow much movement at all.

Momma makes sure he's all nicely comfy and settled in, and Eevee comes over to rest next to him, lightly pushing up against, providing a bit of shared warmth, and really Gleam hates to admit it but, he prefers to be next to someone, rather than all wrapped up, so Eevee is causing no real issues.  He perks as he heard Eevee softly whimper while nosing at him, Pele softly patting him.

“It's ok dear, Gleam will get better, he just needs to rest a lot.”  Eevee continues to softly whimper, rubbing his muzzle against Gleam, just softly nosing along checking him out.  Gleam winces slightly, but stays mostly settled, and finally Eevee seems done and settles against him. Momma smiles softly then gently rubs his back, he is surprised by how nice that feels, closing his eyes while she kneads his back a moment.  She then kisses his cheek, “Ok little flame, I'm going to go have a talk with Ezelle over some personal things between us. If you need us, well just get the other whelps attention, I'm sure they'll come to us of you whine or whimper a bit. We'll come in here in a little while later ourselves.”

Gleam's ears folded softly, he's being left in the care of the whelps?  At least Shii is here, then again Rattata fed him earlier. But he shouldn't be watched by whelps, he's supposed to be the one to watch them!  Not that he can do anything right now really. He perks as Rattata and Shii both come over, and he starts to get his head rubbed gently by Rattata.  Shii moving up next to him, settling near him. Shii giggles a little bit, “Gleam watch, I learn new trick!” And soon she's dimming her light, then brightens it again, then dim.  Repeating it a few times, like a strobe light, Gleam gives a light little smile as he watched her show off. She's so proud of her ability to control her light, he wonders when she is going to leave whelphood.

He perks as Rattata rubs down his back softly.  He tilts his head to watch the whelp curiously, but soon finds the rubs a bit nice.  He blushes, realizing he's being petted by a whelp, and he's trying purposely to makes it feel nice.  He tries to move a paw, but yeah he definitely can't do much at all. He can move his head some though, and tried to push it against Rattata, maybe push him away like that.  Rattata just giggles like it's a game and rubs over his head and muzzle gently.

Gleam perks as Eevee whines a little bit looking up at Rattata, moving his nose towards him.  Soon Rattata is petting and rubbing over Eevee instead, the whelp smiling and enjoying the pets.  Gleam earfolds, blushing, he was kind of enjoying that but, at the same time he shouldn’t be tended to by a whelp anyway.  So why does he feel jealous Eevee is getting pets and not him? Why even ask that of himself, he knows why. It did feel good, now the good feeling is gone but, it was still done by a whelp.  He tries to just nose Eevee gently, the whelp wants some attention so why not, even if he can’t do much it’s still a little.

However he moves his head back to laying down after a bit, he probably should sleep.  Even if he just woke up, wouldn’t call that a restful nap. He perks as Rattata and Shii move away a bit, and start playfighting some, always odd to watch her.  Her first actual move is going to be absorb, which is ranged, with a move like absorb it’s pretty hard to do it right for training. As what she aims is something hard to detect.  Mostly he’s found absorb best works by training them with string, teaching them to lash the string out and hit a target with it. It works with aiming at least.

So right now the two are running round, Rattata trying to pounce onto Shii, while Shii tries to scurry back and lash the string at him.  On occasion she’ll try to bump him by surprise, training for astonish. She actually has one more attack, but he’s encouraged her to train it in secret, away from other whelps, because it’s an actual attack.  Like him, she has a bred move. Which is why he figured wish might still work for him, he learned she had Stun Spore from her parasect father. Like him it also tires her out to use it like an actual move. But she can still practice it, so he showed her a good way to target with it.

Eevee noses against him more, and buries his head underneath Gleam’s.  And then right when Gleam is about to drift off to a nap, he picks up a soft whining, the fennekin blink blinks and earfolds, looking down at Eevee.  He frowns, rubbing his muzzle upon Eevee gently, wondering what he wants, or is he just worried? He closes his eyes softly, gently nosing over, finding soon enough Rattata comes over as Eevee whines, lightly petting along him again.  Gleam watches the nice pets for a moment, head tilting curiously. Eevee giving Rattata a few gentle licks. He remembers hearing something about them treating him like a fellow whelp, which feels embarrassing, but now that he thinks about it he hasn’t seen this behavior before.  This how they normally act when no minders are around, the older ones kind of take over being minders?

He lets out a soft little sigh, so Eevee is wanting attention, but is also wanting to be near him.  At this point he wishes he could talk, Eevee should go play and have fun, not just stay next to him.  He notices Rattata looking to him, and looks back towards curiously, lightly perking his ears a moment.  Rattata noses him softly, “You sigh, you ok?” Gleam earfolds, he’s worried Rattata, he does his best to nod, then tries nudging his head towards Eevee, hoping Rattata gets the idea.

Rattata smiles, “He want play with you, but you no can play.”  Rattata thinks, “Maybe we think of game, we all play together? If no sleepy?”

Shii looks over curiously, nodding, “Good idea, find game Gleam can play, but what can play?  Gleam no move. Gleam no talk. No able do much, can move ears, head, open mouth?”

Gleam follows along a bit at her guessing, moving those parts as she asks.

Shii nods, “Gleam make any sound?  Or all sound make cough? Mama said you cough if talk, is only talk you cough?”

Gleam considers, opening his maw then Shii perks, “Before try, you not sure right? You pause, you think, so not sure?.”  Gleam earfolds, and shakes his head.

Shii nods, “Wait before try, gonna get water, in case you cough.”  And with that said Shii leaves the room.

Rattata returns to softly petting Eevee, then the Rattata considers watching as Eevee moves to give him a few licks in return.  He looks to Gleam and perks, “Gleam like lick others? Know hard Gleam move, Gleam lick?” With that said Gleam blushes quite a bit, well he did always put whelps to sleep and such using that licking method.  But he knows what Rattata means, more social licking, something he still needs to get used to, if he’s to actually live as a mon anyway, he earfolds a moment but gives a soft little nod.

Rattata perks and frowns, “You nod yes.” he tilts his head, “Look like no.”  He looks at Gleam curiously, frowning, “What truth?”

Gleam blinkblinks, he’s caught on to such things, his ears fold instinctively at being caught out, the fact he feels so vulnerable does not help at all with things.  He needs to re-learn to control his tail and ears, especialy now that he feels his tail has tucked between his legs. Even worse, it’s all due to a whelp. Gleam tries nodding again, looking up at Rattata with slightly pleading eyes.  This is not helping him feel mature at all.

Rattata sighs, considering, but gives Gleam a hug, holding up close then brings his nose down to Gleam’s, and starts to lick along his face, going slow enough, the fennekin blushes but starts to return the licks, just gentle little social grooming and getting used to each other.  He tries to not be disgusted with the idea, he has done it to Rattata before, and Eevee, he’d lick them both to send them to sleep. But doing it socially just, it feels odd to him still. And now he’s realized he’s got plenty of time to do it as a whelp, his ears fold a touch, how much growing does he actually have to do?  They figure he’s under one year, so at least 2 years as a whelp, stuck in a helpless worthless body. Just taking resources from others and…

He perks as Rattata noses him, whimpering softly, Gleam looking to curiously, then realizing he’s got tears in his eyes, and he sniffles a moment.  He shudders, trying to hold back the urge to whine, realizing too late that his thoughts have worked him into a short fit. He needs to ignore that for now, can’t, can’t be upset in front of others.  Not in front of the whelps, he, he can’t force them to hafta deal with that. But it’s true, he’s so weak, he just takes up space, he ca- Stop it, think about it later. Don’t make others need to cater to you.

He hears Rattata whimper more, the little mouse obviously worried, then Eevee starts to whimper as well.  Great he’s upset both whelps. He tries softly licking at them a few times, trying to calm them down, but he can’t move or reach much, both are trying to nuzzle and rub him, Rattata’s ears fallin, “Is tay, we here for you, we help, promise.”  And he gets a hug from the whelp, why do whelps insist on helping him, why. They shouldn’t need to, he can’t believe he got them started crying, how pathetic can he be that he jus--- stop it that’s just bringing more tears. And now he’s starting to whimper softly, trying his best to stop it but he’s just upset now, and the other whelps match him in whimpering, he’s started something, he isn’t sure what but something.  And he doesn’t like hearing them cry, especially because of him.

He sniffles more, seeing Shii peek in, the three of them still going, and Shii calls for Papa.  Soon enough Ezelle’s in the room, looking at the scene his ears fall and he comes over, then lays down near the three.  He goes to grab Rattata and Eevee but they both dodge and try to nudge Gleam over, he winces a bit. Then earfolds, the whelps don’t need to push him for help, they need to feel better first!  And now here’s daddy in here with him whimpering, he gets the idea and pulls Gleam close first thing, rolling to his side, letting the other whelps cuddle against his chest and stomach. Nosing over Gleam softly a few times, looking to the whelps.

“Can any of you tell me what happened?”  And then he starts licking and grooming Gleam gently, he considers, “I know Pele likes you to have this scarf but, it kinna gets in my way for grooming you, I’ll just put it aside for now, it is warm in here anyway and you can sleep with me.  Momma will be here later, she’s out getting you some supplies.”

Rattata and Eevee, instead of cuddling up with Ezelle all wind up huddling near Gleam, Ezelle earperking, “I guess you two where whimpering because you worried about Gleam?  If so can you tell me what’s up?”

Rattata earfolded, “While Shii gone I petting Eevee.  Eevee give lick, I think. Gleam want lick? Gleam say yes, body say no.  I ask again, body say no, Gleam say yes. Again. Decide try lick, share little bit, but he start get upset and cry, try comfort, just cry more.  Worried.” His ears fold.

Ezelle sighs, “Unfortunately we can’t ask him what’s up but, I really hope being licked does not trigger anything.” He considers, “As for what happened with your questions I might have an idea why he reacted that way.”

Rattata earperks, “why both yes and no?”

Ezelle nods, “Before I kinda took over for Dad, I was the only one both found more standoffish than Gleam.  Gleam wasn’t very, normal social.” He looks down to Gleam, “Little Twig, do you feel like doing the whole nodding and shaking head thing?”

Gleam sighs, he’s got them worried so much, everybody is soo worried,and they shouldn’t be.  He looks up and nods softly.

Ezelle smiles, “I know well enough about your past.  Ena was kind enough to pass over information about where you come from.  Oddly enough your mother being a Spirit Talker makes sense, it involves knowing about your world, though she didn’t explain why.  She even knew how to speak like someone from your world. Taught me a few simple worlds, apparently it’s a trick a few evolved pokemon can do.  Mostly Psychic based ones. Anyway just agree or disagree for the sake of the other whelps.”

Gleam earfolds as he uses the phrase other whelps, he does not like being reminded of that really, then sighs seeing daddy’s feelers and looks up to watch his expression.

Ezelle closes his eyes a moment, “Sorry for the pause, anyway Gleam.  Yes or no, where you come from, you never licked socially, other pokemon may have licked you, but not only did you not lick socially, but it was expected you would not, yes or no?”

Gleam slowly nods his head yes, the other whelps blinkblinking then whining softly as they watch.

Ezelle shhhs, petting them gently.  Then looks to Gleam, “You find social licking not exactly agreeable, not going to say you hate it, but, it’s something very unusual to you.”

Gleam sighs nodding again, listening to a bit more whining.

“You know how important Social Licking is around here, that it’s a normal part of life here, all of the whelps do it.  Etc. This is mostly just for them, given if they think they know you watched over them and learned a good bit from adult minders on how to grow you guys up.  You watched their behaviors and encouraged correct ones when you could.”

Rattata and Shii think a little bit, looking to each other, then to Ezelle and Gleam, Eevee tilting his head but watching, Gleam again nods.

Ezelle looks to Rattata, “That explains why you always saw his body, his instinctual reaction, was to say no.  It’s something he finds very unusual, for him to do, but apparently he thought it through and said yes anyway, yes to licking you, even though it isn’t something he likes to do.  So right now you’re thinking, hiding correct? I have my own thought.”

“Gleam, and remember I can use my feelers to tell if you’re reacting as if you are lieing.  The reason you agreed is because you feel like you should, at the least, get used to doing it?”

Gleam nods again.

Ezelle smiles softly, “It’s simple little ones, he agreed because he wants it to feel normal to him.”  He then thinks a bit, moving his muzzle close to Gleam, “Go on son, give daddy a few too ok?”

Gleam blushes and begins to licks Ezelle’s muzzle a few times here and there, where he can reach at least.

Ezelle smiles, pulling away, then returns to grooming Gleam, “You know I wonder who has the better method.  Mother and Ena thinks you need to be reminded of your world to stop being as wild, I personally think it’d help to integrate you into our world more, especially as you plan to live here.”

Gleam mmphs, and soon realizes Ezelle is giving him a bath, starting to blush, he can’t even move away or try to.  He idly listens to daddy, methods of getting him to stop being wild? At this point he doesn’t even know if he can be helped or not.  He then perks looking at Ezelle thinking, he looks at Eevee and Rattata, “Ok you two, how about I teach you something us minders do hmm?”

They perked up curiously and the two nodded, Shii looking on curiously, as Ezelle begins to instruct them on how to properly lick fur down, get dirt out of it, and straighten it.  And has them use Gleam as their learning target. The two giggle and soon he’s being given a bath by all three, the little fox blushing hotly.

Ezelle chuckles, “I’d worry about teaching Gleam too, but I know he already knows how to do this.” he noses Shii, “You on the other hand need to learn how to use a rag which..I only recently became capable of using myself...I’ll help you once I get used to that.”  Shii nods and smiles, watching Gleam get his bath for now.

After a bit of time and the bath almost over ears perk as someone else enters the house, and she softly calls out, “Hello?  Back in the whelp room?”

Gleam perks up hearing Mama, and Ezelle calls back, “Correct, had a small thing...figure it’s bath time now.”

Gleam could hear Mama giggle as she came on back, then perked seeing his bassinet being carried by her, the cup he picked out, and a couple more drinking containers.  As well as the plushy they had him resting with. And she seemed to be carrying a bag with a few more supplies. He blushes hotly, realizing she’s pretty much carrying the mon equivalent of a diaper bag.  Then he wonders more, when did she get this maternal, he raised a fighter, and she fought pretty hard. He’s never seen this side of her, ever, until she got here. Sure she’d be clingy but, this is just plain unusually new to see in her.

Pele pads on over, looking over the scene, smiling warmly, “I suppose that’s one way to have the whelps play along.”  She looks to Gleam, “Does it feel nice little flame?”

Gleam blushes but nods meekly, he hates to admit it, but the attention alone makes it feel nice.  He keeps trying to tell himself he isn’t an attention hog but, but, he’s got all of daddy's attention, all of the whelps attention, and now momma is here giving him more attention.  And dangit if his tail isn’t wagging, he tries to make it stop consciously, but he needs to retrain to do that, again.

Ezelle chuckles, looking at all she carried in, “Ok I swear, like mother like daughter.  You mentioned she left a book, did it include how she took care of whelps or something? I know you’re using the items she left behind, but goodness, she always had a ‘bag of goodies’ and such, from what I remember of her and young whelps.”

Pele blushes a bit then smiles, “Honestly it’s just how things are done where we are from.  Mothers usually had a bag they carried supplies for their whelps in. I brought along the bed just because I figure it’ll make things easier, and I bet the other whelps might like to see it, maybe try it out with Gleam.  It’s made for much bigger whelps, and everyone here is comparatively so tiny, I figure we can have a multiple in it’s warmth and comfort.”

Ezelle sighs, “Ok I suppose that’s well enough.  Honestly I was telling Gleam earlier, you are pretty much the perfect start to learning as a spirit talker.”

Pele tilted her head softly, “How do you mean?  And should we in front of…”

Ezelle chuckled, “One should know, one can produce future guardians.  The final…” He noses rattata, “Is very good at keeping quiet, I’d say we go mental but, would that affect Gleam’s, whatever it is?”

Pele sighed, “Ok i suppose that can be true, and no idea, do you know Gleam?”  She looks to him.

Gleam nods his head slowly.

Pele huhs, “Oh I think I’m starting to get it, Kencil mentioned you wanted to talk about the telepathy later.  You seem to know when someone is connected to you or...hm.” She eartwitches, “You acted like me using the ability with bunnelby was what woke you up.”

Pele sighs, “Ok I will need to ask you later but, you’ve got some way you can tell when others are using telepathy.  Not just to you, but around you. And whatever it is, is attention grabbing enough to wake you from sleep.” And she sighs, “And now due to you’re condition it’s reaction is painful.  Is that at least right enough?”

Gleam nods slowly, ears folding.

Ezelle blinks, “Huh I never knew he could do something like that.”

Pele hmms, “Kencil hasn’t mentioned it, and I think we’ve woken him up before, and she was involved.  She may have forgotten it, or he kept it secret because I imagine it’s a great way to tell when psychics are keeping a secret from you, if they don’t know you can tell they are doing it.”

Gleam nods.

Pele smirks, “Ok you, well enough, but we are all friendly here, and I suppose the fact you wanted to talk about it later.  Yeah I see, when I tried talking telepathically with bunnelby that’s what woke you up and made you all fussy.” she sighs, “I know I know I didn’t know better, but I’m sorry Gleam.  I’ll let Kencil know as well, so we don’t wake you up like that.”

Ezelle chuckles, “Well at least that’s cleared up.  Honestly I’d like to get him talking, I suppose it’s something to do with his thro---”  Ezelle pauses a moment and sighs then laughs.

Pele perks, “What is it?”

Ezelle smirks, “How do you feel about going through a dungeon with me tomorrow?  I know you wanted to settle in, but a simple supply run..with perhaps one other goal?”

Pele hmms, “Ulterior mot---”  She looks at Gleam then at Ezelle then ahas..

“Right, you’re one of the healers, but you have none of your powers.  However your dad can teach you, perhaps some basic healing at least. Though that might only speed up the process.”

Ezelle eartwitches, “I’d also be able to ask him to help me diagnose problems, and help with talking with wildlings.  As well as things like, well, this bandage here Gleam has on his paw, Gleam showed me that but dad might know it as well.  Which come to think of it, hey Gle---”

Ezelle earfolds looking towards his son who has teared up, then frowns, gently nosing the kit, and softly starts cleaning him up, “It’s ok son it’s ok, I know we all miss him.  It’s ok, if you need to go ahead and whimper and whine it’s fine.” Ezelle closes his eyes, “Apparently you helped me get over him but you never got over him huh? I suppose it doesn’t help you blame yourself.”  He noses gently.

Pele sighs, rubbing Gleam and Ezelle softly, “Yeah I’d at least like to get his throat feeling better, and Gleam don’t blame yourself, not everything is completely in your control.  But here let me look at the bandage, I hadn’t even considered the thing. Using it as support right?” She lifts Gleam up, holding him close in her arms, “Gives me an excuse to hold my little boy.”  She softly rocks him in her arms, while undoing the bandage on his paw, feeling along it and hmms, “He hasn’t been stretching it as he should...but right now he really can’t. Here hon.” She starts to gently move his paw around, lightly stretching it this way and that, looking down to her whelps face then hmms, “Ezelle let me know if he’s hiding feeling any pain, I’ll try to watch for it.”

After a short session she sighs, looking down to Gleam, by now he’s stopped crying so she helps clean him up, but he just looks so, down.  She closes her eyes a moment and thinks, lifting him up for now to her chest, holding him closely. “Wish I could make you feel better dear.  I know it’s no fun when you can’t move around, but don’t worry mama and papa will be here to make sure you get well.” She sighs and gently sets him down, “I hadn’t considered but, again Ezelle watch his pain for me?  If I do this right it..” She considers, “It’s complicated, it hurts but it also feels good. So if I do it right he’ll be reacting to a mixture of pleasure and pain, if I do it wrong it’ll be just pleasure, if I do it real wrong it’s just pain.”  And with that she starts to carefully massage through his muscles, warming up her paws with her inner fire at the same time.

“Basically I half realized what is prob causing him the most pain is his sore muscles.  This can usually help them feel better, in the end. Actually you know what, I’m not sure of doing the full technique on a whelp, how about we just go for the nice one where it only feels good.”  Pele smiles softly, gently rubbing and massaging down along Gleams back and legs. The whelp at first blushing softly, but soon he’s resting a bit, eyes closed, his tail very lazily wagging, ears gently against his head as he winds up just slowly relaxing till he falls asleep.

She smiles a bit, hmming and softly tucks Gleam into his bassinet, then perks, the three other whelps sniffing at her, Rattata speaking up, “Rub feel nice?  Make him sleep? Cause that nice?”

Pele smiles warmly and gives a very soft laugh, “Ok you three, lets see if I can get you all to sleep the same way hmm?”  The two quadrupedal whelps wag their tails while Shii bobs softly, all 3 giggling softly.

Chapter Text

Most of the rest of the day was a blur to him.  Not because he was busy, but because they managed to keep him pretty sedated and sleeping.  He got food at some point, was moved into his bed at some point, got water for his cough at some point, but he was only half awake for most of the time he was awake.  At one point he actually woke up drinking water, but his cup felt different, given what he saw in that cabinet he decided to not think on that part exactly. From the best he can tell he was kept in Ezelle’s house, got the occasional visitor.  They even found something for his oral fixation, but they somehow slipped it in when he was sleeping and he was always too drowsy to see what it was when he barely woke up outside of feeding.

He finally started to actually wake up to some soft talking and discussion.  Blinking his eyes drearily, something in bed with him, he tried to stretch out his paws but find out two things.  They won’t move much, and it does not feel good to make his paws move too much. He noticed Shii smiling down to him, then finally realized he’s awake enough to see what they found him to chew on.  Taking a few soft test sucks and chews on the object, though the part to chew on is small and fits in his maw, attached to some outer part hanging out of his maw, he can’t quite see it, then catches a hint as he crosses his eyes.  Then goes stock still realizing what mama must have found and stuck in his maw, starting to blush.

Moments later during a lull in the conversation he isn’t even listening to he hears Kencil, “Gleam’s awake.”

Pele answers after a few seconds, “How can you tell?  I don’t even have a good angle to look in on him.”

Kencil speaks half giggling, but trying to suppress it, “Because I just suddenly felt a very very large amount of embarrassment.  And from what you’ve said about the stuff you’ve been using, I think he just figured out what you’ve been keeping him quiet with.”

Pele sighs, “Well we’ve been taking the meeting softly for a bit, with him awake we can get to the official Guardian business, finally get Flint, Gleam, and Tacen up to speed.  As well as get those of you who have very little knowledge of your roles up to speed as well. But we should probably break the news to Gleam as well. Let me move him so he’s in a better spot to listen.”

Gleam soon finds Pele in his line of vision, his bed picked up and he’s moved onto the table everyone is sitting at, giving Gleam decent vision of the room, and everyone able to see him as well.  Flint is also on the table and he pads over, sitting next to Gleam, he peers in and noses the whelp, then lets Shii use him to climb out.

“First things first Gleam, Shii is mostly here to help keep an eye on you, she is young for this,  But she has every right to be here, given that Tacen saw how I got you healed, and you seemed to not want to keep him out of the loop he’s also here to be given a heads up.  Actually Tacen come on over sit next to Gleam too.”

Tacen soon makes his way over, sitting on the other side of the bassinet, peeking in and waving to him a touch meekly.  Then settles down to listen, “So this Guardian thing involves Gleam?”

Pele sighs, “Sadly, given his condition, he’s actually at the center of it all.  This is part of why we all waited for him to be fully awake. And why we all tried so hard to make sure he actually stayed asleep until this meeting.  I was hoping he’d heal enough to talk during this but given what Kencil said, I have my doubts about that. And as I’ve mentioned we can’t safely do mental communication with him as it causes him pain.”

Tacen perks, “At the center?”

Pele nods, “I plan to go into it much more a bit later, but notes from Ena, plus getting together with those who were better trained, leads to a lot of, unfortunate information.  First let me get started with making sure everyone here is caught up with Gleam and his condition. Including Gleam himself.”

Gleam is already not liking the sound of this, from how mama is talking it sounds like something major is up with him.  He tries to move a forepaw to move the cover he is under back a bit, and finds it feeling sadly a bit weaker. He can barely slide it out from under his bed covers, and as it is it hurts to move it.  How many times did he try that course?

“So everyone knows, I had taken those I was caretaking over to visit with the whelps.  Just to give a little social interaction, and I figured the whelps would love to see Flint and Pepper, both of whom really need to take some time to just have fun, which playing with whelps seems a decent activity.  And Gleam was given a chance to play with the other whelps.”

“Gleam had apparently already picked out a training exercise he was happy to do.  Yes Sherry for someone as young as Gleam, and with his starting moveset, that was a training exercise.  Playing around with a ball like that, swatting it back and forth, is one of the first things he did with me.  It’s also decently fun to do and you can advance the game easily to make it more complicated later on. Regardless he was happy with an exercise.”

“I had pulled Tacen out with me to talk a bit, just some simple questions I wanted to ask him.  So Sherry was left in charge with Pepper and Flint backing her up, though both are so wild they tend to look for direction.  That’s when it was decided by Ms. Sherry that Gleam was not advancing fast enough, was doing things that are too simple and easy for him, and he needed more challenge.  So she took it upon herself to help put him through some more, advanced, training.”

Pele sighs, “This is when I should mention Kencil’s findings.  How old is Gleam physically. How old is the body Celebi gave him.  I’ve now figured out what she meant by she could save resources if I was there to help.”  Pele sighs and closes her eyes, “It’s my fault he’s a whelp. Because I’m here Celebi felt safe, when making his pokemon body, to make him young, and needing a caretaker.  It apparently was easier to bring me here, than it is to age Gleam up enough to be back to where he was.”

She looks in on Gleam, “I’m sorry dear, it looks like my stubbornness did cost you something, it cost you your strength.  If I hadn’t come here Celebi would have had to make sure you could have been ok on your own. With that said, Gleam’s age is not measured in months.  It’s measured in days. Celebi made him old enough that he can get around on his own and be semi-independent, and nothing more. Gleam, feel lucky fennekin can move on their own pretty quickly, and that this town is safe.  In all honesty I should be keeping you confined to the house for a good month or so. And after the stunt Sherry pulled it’s tempting to do so. More for your own health and safety Gleam than anything else.”

Gleam at that point gulped, eyes wide, ears fallen as he looks down, he’s he’s.  He’s practically a newborn?

“But as I said, Sherry decided to take a nearly newborn whelp and start putting him through his paces.  Apparently several advanced games were played, with it ending on an agility building tag course. For a non-whelp fennekin quite easy, for a very young whelp?  The definition of impossible. But Gleam being the eager pleaser he is tried to do the impossible. At some point Flint contacted me because even though Sherry didn’t quite catch onto it, all of the whelps could easily see that Gleam was not just overdoing it, but that he was driving himself to exhaustion and fatigue.  And has wound up overexerting his muscles.”

“For someone as young as Gleam, as fragile as Gleam.  Well I needed to summon up one of the parties old healers in order to save Gleam.  And Sherry, yes I do mean save. You nearly killed him, yes Sherry I mean that literally.  If the whelps had not interfered, if I had not been called in, if I didn’t happen to be a spirit talker who knew a now dead healer, Gleam would likely have died himself.”  Pele wipes away a tear, taking in a very deep breath.

“I have tried to keep in mind you didn’t know better, you don’t know proper training and everything, but I think you’ll understand if I’m not the warmest mon to you for a bit.  I nearly lost my son.”

Sherry for her part isn’t really heard talking, but at that point she can be heard whimpering rather loudly, Gleam not having a good view on her.

Pele sighs, closing her eyes, “With that said, Gleam’s current state is stable but, definitely not well.  His muscles will take some time to recover, and too much movement of them seems to cause him pain. Talking starts a coughing fit, which is why he has that in his muzzle, beyond a slight oral fixation he found himself having, that helps keep him from trying to talk, and stops him from coughing harshly, which yes is bad for him to do.”

“Finally I don’t know the source of it because he only partially hinted at it with myself and Kencil, but Gleam is somehow able to detect when telepathy is used near him.  I don’t know how powerful this is, what the extent of it is, or anything. But whatever mechanism does that, now causes pain. Gleam kept telling us he would tell us more later, but we never figured out why.  I was able to suss it out after contacting him mentally and causing him pain. It seems this ability to detect, when not painful, is disrupting enough to wake him from sleep. Myself and Kencil will be altering how we use telepathy in the future, as we’ve both woken him up a few times from a decent sleep. But for right now this renders Gleam unable to communicate at all.”

“As for his muscles they are damaged from the overexertion.  He can’t really move right now, and once he can he will not only be weaker than before, but he’ll need to re-learn his movement.  Which, yes, he’s going to need to learn how to walk again. And no idea how his voice is affected, depends on why he has that cough.”

At that point Gleam can’t hold back a whine at all.  Can’t walk, will need to re-learn it? Can’t speak, has this thing in his muzzle, with everybody seeing it.  He just can’t hold back the urge to whine anymore, his body sets him as the youngest among the whelps, not just youngest but near newborn, he’s going to have 3 years as a helpless useless little thing, this is just too much at once for him.

As he whines the room quiets down a bit.  Pele pauses for a moment, reaching into his bassinet and helps him out, she looks to the group then sits down next to Ezelle, “Please give us a moment, if you want to come over feel free.  But I think it’s best we tend to him for right now, before we continue this meeting.” She gently noses Gleam, rubbing over him softly, “Finding out all of that at once is a bit much isn’t it?”  She softly kisses Gleam on the cheek then considers, grabbing one of the pillows and setting it on the table, carefully laying Gleam on it, “Sherry, please come on over. Actually if you can stand on the table come on over please.”

At that point everyone else in the room does come over, and Pele helps each of the guardians onto the table, while Rattata, Shii, and Flint walk over as well.  Gleam whining softly still, turning his head to watch what is going on. Pele whispers something in Sherry’s ear, and otherwise everyone starts coming over to Gleam.  Sherry softly licks along his muzzle, then rubs up against, finally settling against him, Flint settles in from the other side, lightly resting against him. Taran and Tacen join to the side of those two, setting their heads close against Gleam.  Shii climbs her way up top. Ralts sits in front, lightly rubbing along Gleam’s back

Pele smiles apologetically, “Gleam, I want to do what I can to reassure you, but I can’t.  What you are worried the most about must happen.” She closes her eyes softly, “Every time you wake up from nightmares you try to dodge being helped.  You complain about not needing anyone’s help. Your father mentioned you saying you aren’t just a needy whelp, when he was trying to see if you might enjoy being helped to drink just for the sake of it.  When you’re running yourself ragged, you refuse to say something is wrong and that you need rest.” Pele sighs, “You’ve kept so quiet on everything that hurts you, nobody knows what is wrong when you start crying.  You have a nightmare about being called a baby, being made fun of for it.” She pauses, “Which I’m betting is more you are worried about how much you actually need the help of others.”

She rubs her forehead, “I tried to let you sleep near when I’m dealing with one of our wilders, I didn’t realize I’d wake you up but we did with telepathy.  Instead of genuinely trying to get back to sleep, you instead take it upon yourself to ruin your sleep, and become part of the therapy with Bunnelby. You’ve run yourself ragged with how much you help others, and try to make them happy son.  And now. You’ve hurt yourself as much as you can. You can’t move, you can’t talk, for the next few days anyone with you is going to need to keep their eyes on you, constantly catering to your needs, because the only thing you can safely do is whimper and whine.  Not that it will be much different, we were starting to get to that point anyway weren’t we?”

“So for the next few days Gleam, because you refused to take care of yourself, one of your nightmares is going to be true.  You’re going to be our groups little baby, I promise we won’t babytalk, or make fun of you. But you are genuinely helpless, and come tomorrow morning the guild is going to be told about it as well.”

Gleam at that point goes from whining to whimpering, at which point all of those around him react, he gets licks and pets trying to help calm him down.  While mother continues, “Take your time to get used to it, because I’m going to start insisting anyone watching you be more attentive to your needs. Even when you’re with whelps you will have someone assigned to you to specifically watch for your needs.  More than likely to keep resources from stretching too much that will be Shii or younger Rattata, both of them already monitor you anyway.” Gleam whimpers, closing his eyes tightly, even when better they are going to put someone there to solely mind him? And very likely it’ll be Shii or Rattata?  They are going to actually put whelps out to watch and mind him? He starts to tear up.

“I know you don’t like it Gleam, but at this point you’ve left us with no choice.  I cannot let this happen to you again. I’m going to need to be more strict about how much you can help others, and I’m going to need to be more strict about others watching out for your health and well being.  We got lucky when Pepper took you, we got lucky here, I don’t want to need to get lucky for a 3’rd time with you son. If you don’t like it, then start being more open about what you’re body needs, and what you want.  The less guesswork we need to do on taking care of you, then more freedom you can be afforded.”

Pele sighs, “And I called all of them over for one reason.  You know I and Pinky here love you Gleam, you are our child.  But everyone here? They did this of their own, settled up against you, trying to comfort you, trying to help you feel better on their own.  I only told Sherry to not apologize for now. Gleam you have a lot of genuine friends here, I’ll be honest, it’s scary the amount of friends you have.  You were here less than a year, and everyone here, even the whelps, want to be around you, want to help you, want you to feel better. Nobody here wants to make fun of you.  We actually have a surprise waiting outside for you, something interesting happened during dinner.”

Pele closes her eyes, “You’ve affected this island greatly son, it honestly feels unnatural but maybe that is why you were chosen for this island.  You’re ability to actually genuinely befriend and encourage pokemon. Arceus knows this island needs it. We all need it. Which brings me to part of this meeting, and why I wanted all the Guardians here.”

“First, most of you know Gleam’s role, but let me go ahead and reiterate it.  Trainer. This morning Gleam found and used a trainer menu hidden within our badge system, most of it seems disabled, but it’s based on the technology he used as a human to train me and the rest of his core team.  That is his main job, I’ve already got full training from him, which we should all feel thankful for, because this town needed it’s Spirit Guardian ready to go, given that the rest of you are too young or untrained to properly do your jobs.  He is supposed to train each and every one of you guardians to your full potential, this is apparently required for our guardian abilities to actually work. It’s why most of you can’t touch your abilities, even if you know them. Except for Taran, he actually has discovered he has just enough training to use an ability to know where a specific item could be hidden in a dungeon.  He should eventually learn more about scouting dungeons, but right now he needs more training to help him gain more active Guardian reserve.”

“So this starts off, our abilities cannot work unless Gleam trains us.  So for you other 5 guardians, we need Gleam to get better for all 5 of you to properly do your job.  Next up this town, we found out Bunnelby has been doing some digging and that is why a large part of the town buildings have been causing issues.  I know some about buildings, but as part of growing up and the way humans are trained, Gleam knows much more, not an expert but he knows enough for our town.  He needs to survey the damage and get it fixed, or decide if buildings need to go. Next up, resource acquisition and use, nobody here is really trained for it.  You’ve done an ok job so far Flint, but would I be incorrect in guessing you’ve been going off some ideas you got from Gleam during your talks of the human world?”

Flint blushes looking down, “Y y yeah, even though I did complain about Gleam comming in, taking over I, I, I.”  he looks down, “All the time I’d been using some stuff he told me about the human world, and otherwise trying to maintain guild stocks the same way Gleam did team stocks and resources.  I guess I..” he earfolds, “We know the wild side caused the anger and me, me being possessive but. I, I was wanting to show I could do as well as he can. That I didn’t need help that, that.  I was already fully in control.” Flint closes his eyes, “And I..I’m not sure exactly the base feelings b but, so he wouldn’t need to do it, he wouldn’t need to take over, and could just, do other stuff.”

Pele nods, “It’s ok Flint, if it helps a lot of my internal thoughts at the start were ‘how would Gleam do it’.  How would Gleam handle someone being sad right before a big dungeon, but I also want to know more on what they talk about.  How would Gleam raise people’s spirits, how would Gleam run a meeting, how would Gleam for a lot of stuff.” She smiles sadly, “I suppose I still miss my trainer, but I love my kit too.  And right now for his own health, we all need Gleam the kit not Gleam the trainer.”

“But Gleam knows more about resources than any of us.  He has knowledge on several pokemon species, he knows how to gauge general reserve abilities on pokemon he does not know.  Yeah that’s a trick it took me awhile to figure out he knew, the whole thing where he has every learnable move memorised, and knows who can learn them.  There are ways to measure our move reserves, to tell what they are like, and what they are capable of reserving. He didn’t memorize who all can learn what, he instead knows what the proper reserve for a set number of moves are like.”

“Then there are our resources.  The addition of Hoppip alone as one of the plant tenders has done wonders.  He was encouraged to do what he could to focus his grass abilities while tending to plants.  End of the day, all of the plants he tended to look healthier, they arn’t growing faster, but befitting his move set, they look like they have taken in more of what they need.  Hopefully he will help them produce more seed.”

Pele closes her eyes, “There is more, but all of it hinges on us helping Gleam get better.”

She looks to Gleam again, “So I need you to understand this Gleam, yes we all want you to train us.  But you can’t help us if you keep doing this to yourself. I am still working on a plan, but there will definately be some very strict control over your actions.  Mostly it will be to make sure you have time to be a whelp, to relax, to have fun, to play, and to have others tend to your needs. If we can have you help others and have downtime we will, you did at least let Bunnelby take care of you with no fuss, when you figured it would help her calm down.  Honestly if you’ll properly be a whelp, ask for what you need and want, stop hiding and bottling things up, all to help those going wild calm down I’ll happily let you help wilds in that way. If that is what it takes to heal yourself.”

“As for your little toy there, yes I know what it is, I honestly just chose it because it was designed to be convenient.  Right now it’s the only thing I’ll do to you while you’re awake. We all agree you look rather cute, for the sake of it, but I know it embarrasses you.  The bassinet is just handy, and otherwise you’d be held by someone. But if something like this happens again, or I find you’re not allowing yourself to properly be taken care of.  Well there are plenty of things for human whelps that Ms. Ena left behind, you’ve seen some of em but not all of them. I’ll just start using those with you, and more and more blatantly.  Until you either let yourself be properly taken care of, or you get used to the new stuff and you either like it or need it, if I need to treat you like an actual whelp, and not like someone older stuck in a weak body, then I will, but I’ve tried to treat you at least somewhat more maturely.”

Gleam gulps, whining more, eyes all teared up, but nods softly.

Pele smiles warmly, “At least you’ve started whining when something makes you uncomfortable.”  She sighs softly, “But before you get too tired, you feel ok going on to the Guardian part of the meeting?”

Gleam nods slowly.

Pele nods, “Ok for a bit more on Guardians, let me pull out Ena’s journal she left for me, and read some quick notes.”


 

The rest of the meeting took a small while, the group working together on keeping Gleam from being too unhappy.  On the other side he was genuinely curious about this Guardian stuff, so he paid decent attention to all that was going on.  Shii was able to point out when he needed food again, in part because she had gotten hungry herself.

Near the end of the meeting it changed focus away from the Guardians.


 

“So that is all I wished to say on guardians.  We kind of understand where we are at. And I hope my son understands why he needs to quit fooling around with hurting himself”

Tacen looks up, his eyes having grown rather wide over the course of the talk, he gulps, “I I offer to h help him in whatever way I can, just let me know what I can do.”

Pele smiles, “I know dear, I figure hearing most of that anyone would be willing to help.  But I’d like to go to another subject. Shii darling, I think all of us need to talk.”

Shii looks up gulping, “Shii in trouble?”

Pele hmms, “I don’t think so, but we’ve noticed something odd with the whelps lately.  I’ve also spoken with Hoppip some.”

Pele summarized the actions of the whelps earlier today in protecting Gleam.

“Tacen mentioned that a few other times they worked together a bit one minded, but this is the first time he’s ever seen it this large scale.  Now Shii you were with me, and not with them, but from what I understand you and Rattata are kind of seen as the two leaders of the whelps, they follow what you two say and ask to a degree.  Even Hoppip admitted he did it to some degree, despite being older when he was a whelp. I also got out of Rattata earlier that all of you have talked to each other about the various games Gleam taught the lot of you.  And information on how to properly run them, which seems to include when to end them and how to properly take it easy on a whelp so they win enough to stay happy.”

Shii looks aside lightly but nods a little bit, “Y yes ma’am.  We, we miss Gleam, talk lots, share what he tell us, want remember Gleam.  He share games with me, I share games with other whelps.”

Pele smiles warmly and nods, “Don’t look away, what you’ve done so far isn’t bad, however there is another thing that everyone has found odd.  Everyone acting together as one unit, I have a thought on what’s going on. But first I want to confirm something else, they think you and Rattata developed a secret code to tell the whelps what to do.  I doubt that is exactly it, but please tell us how you and Rattata make them act as a cohesive group.

Shii thinks, shake head, “Nuh, we just, we just.”  She looks to Gleam a moment, then lets out a breath, “Copy Gleam, whelp trust us, we copy, they obey.”

Gleam blink blinks, perking up and looking more than a little surprised.

Tacen and Ezelle perk then, Ezelle moving up and putting his forepaws on the desk to look up on it, “But he only showed some simple group movement techniques last night.  And only taught a tiny bit of seperated movement, only enough to do that routine, that shouldn’t be enough to really do anything. Not some of the stuff I know I and Rattata have seen.  Especially since you’ve done a lot of stuff before Gleam come back.”

Shii nods, “Copy before leave, and teach games first place.  Eevee best at following, young whelp better they at follow.”

Ezelle perks, “Wait before he left but?”  he looks to Gleam, “You were teaching the whelps to follow a trainer back then?  Why would you?”

Gleam’s eyes grow wide, he whines, shaking his head quickly, well as quickly as he can, whining more and whimpering, then stops, shaking his head making him dizzy..

Pele smiles warmly, “Before you two continue, please wait a moment. Taran, you trust me right?  Enough to follow a few commands for me? Actually Shii you too?”

They both look up curiously but nod, moving away from the pile.  Pele hmms and thinks back, then brings her paws up, sweeping them left, watching as the two immediately follow moving.  Then starts a short routine, pulling them forward, back, for now just using her hands. Shii ducking just in time for Taran to hop over her, Pele hmming, and once she’s sure of something, she puts her paws down, shifting her stance, beginning to move her head, specifically pointing with her muzzle and shifting her tail about, occasionally doing small shifts to her stance.  And yet the two continued to follow her instructions perfectly, her keeping it easy on Shii, letting Taran do the harder work.

Gleam watched her curiously, and what he could of the small routine they performed, but finally Pele brought it to an end, and Pele giggled, “I thought so.”

Ezelle perks, “Wait, the last bit I didn’t even see anything happen?  How? How did you control that routine you stopped doing the hand signals?”

Pele nods, “There is more to commanding other pokemon than just talking or hand signals.  There is also body language, being able to tell when the trainer is giving a fake command, being able to tell how much they trust their own commands, if it’s one they want to give.  More than a few times Gleam has given me commands that he didn’t want to, but that needed to happen. If I saw his demeanor a certain way, I usually knew following those orders would likely cause me to get hurt but, they were aimed to cause a favorable outcome.  Basically he doesn’t need just his paws to command.”

“With that said, Gleam, most of your time with the whelps, you were under Mardav or Bella’s eyes.  They were standing back, watching you work, and letting you take lead. They let you come up with games for the whelps, they let you show them how to play the games.  Whenever teaching something you’ve always used body language, even as a Fennekin you have decent body language, the way your ears move, as well as your tail, where and how you point your muzzle, how you’re standing.  I’m sure you know that, you learned pretty fast to understand what I wanted when I was a fennekin.”

Gleam blinks a moment, but nods, a little bit.

Shii perks, “Umm Shii have question, please?”

Pele smiles warmly, “Go on dear.”

Shii blushes, “Gleam knew you as Fennekin?”

The rest of the guardians gulp a bit, Gleam looking up with a shy whine.

Pele just smiles, “Yes dear, it’s part of why I love him so.  A little Rattata already told me you know I adopted him. Now there is some trickery involved, and I’d like to wait awhile to explain that.  But Gleam raised me, though he’d never claim it, he could say he was my daddy and it’d be true. But he saw me more as an equal.” Pele considers, “Sometime I wish to say more to you on that.  How many whelps know I’ve adopted him?”

Shii pauses, “A all of them…”

Pele sighs, “Ok I’ll want to talk to all of the whelps sometime then.  But just know even the first time Gleam came here, we was made younger than he already was.  Trust me I have a bit to say to all of you later so we’ll pick that back up ok?” Shii nods softly.

“Now where was I.  Ahh yes had just talked about him knowing my body language.”

Pele continues, “To put it simple, the games Gleam has the whelps playing.  I know some of you think of them as just fun games, lots of things to do, and the whelps like them.   They are not just that, each and every one of the games I’ve heard of, that I asked Hoppip about, are training games.  Very simple, for young pokemon with no attacks, but still training games. Gleam just has a policy that when done right training is the same thing as playing and having fun, so he tries to make sure training is fun.  I actually wonder how much of that was you remembering fun games, and not realizing they were for training until later. The one you were running him through, Sherry, is a heavily modified one for teaching how to dodge while attacking.  Stringing together movement, in this case jumps, with attacking, touching the target.”

Pele sighs, “I’ll need to explain proper tra--”  She pauses, “Hold that thought.” She looks to Shii.  “Shii honey, with a mon like Gleam. We’ll pretend he’s going to be with the other whelps for the first time.  His physical age, how little Celebi made him would make it fit. You know he likes to play with the ball and swat it around.  What games would you introduce him to next?”

Shii perks, “Chase..”  She looks at Gleam then pauses, “Hide ‘n’ Pounce, definately hide ‘n’ pounce.  Need get him used wrestle too.” She pauses again in thought then seems to see something and perks up, “Suggest he play with your tail Ms. Pele.”

Pele perks, swishing it a bit, then looks to Shii, “I might have the idea but, explain why those games, and what you mean by playing with my tail, I honestly hadn’t considered that.”

Shii nods, “Chase, help run faster, get more active, work legs.  Get rid of clumsiness. Hide ‘n’ Pounce, his hind legs weak, pouncing when it good for that.  Hide allows him rest between. Tail is train for wrestle, he gon be weak, very weak. Need something can grab, move after, that no fight back.”

Pele hmms, “Shii, who taught you that, that a tail would be a good play target?  Gleam?”

Shii shakes her head, “Just thought of, trying to think easy target but move enough.  Watch your tail moving now, realized it perfect target.”

Pele smiles, “So he needs something to help him mimic wrestling then?  Once he’s better yeah I think we’ll do the tail thing, I’ll also show you another easy target, if the adult knows what they are doing.  And of course there is always someone taking it easy on Gleam when it comes to wrestling.”

Pele looks to Gleam a moment, “Be honest Gleam, consider if you met a whelp just like you, who just got past learning to walk.  Would you say Shii’s plan of action is correct?”

Gleam’s ears fold looking down with a whimper, closing his eyes a moment then finally nods slowly, and flops his head onto the table.

Pele sighs, “Sorry for the tangent.  With that said, I think most of you now know what is up with the whelps.  Bella and Mardav probably encouraged him, I’m not sure, but he was doing early training runs with them.  Being that he is active with his body language, while showing them how to play the games, he accidentally taught them how to follow those kind of commands.”

“With that said, it looks like he was already training Shii on her role as well.  Being the other healer, the whelps would naturally fall to her shared duty with Ezelle.”  She looks to Shii, “Congrats, before you’ve even left whelphood, you’ve learned how to do a very adult job, and you’ve already been doing it.”

Shii looks up all excited but nods. “I I have?”

Pele nods, “You should still have a minder to back you up, as you’re still learning.  But honestly I think you know more about proper games than most minders do. Sometime I’ll need to do whelp minding, and I’ll teach you more about proper training games.”

Rattata earflicks, “This, this does answer some of the questions but, but you act like you knew a lot of this.  Like this sort of behavior is normal or you’ve seen it before? Pele whats going on?”

Pele nods, “What you see is a result of them not just being trained, but also loving their trainer, trusting him greatly.  And learning how to work together as a group. When I said he was doing training games I meant it. What you see in the whelps is what you hope he does to all of you as guardians, as well as anyone else he trains.  Being aware of each other, knowing what each other is capable of, and when given a general order, not needing to fuss over who does what, but instead naturally falling into roles that compliment each other.” She perks, “Consider you’ve been trying to do that with dungeons figuring out who should go where, when to let them rest.  What role to take in them, who should do what around the town. Shii, and I think, Rattata already do that with the whelps, the whelps have been trained enough to do that amongst each other.”

“As for where I’ve seen it before.  Gleams old core team he trained me in.  As well as seeing other trained pokemon.  The core team was very specialized due to what we were training for, but we didn’t just trust Gleam, we trusted each other, and we knew what each other was capable of.”  She shed a soft tear, “Well I’m remembering already, might as well give the examples. They all knew I should not be targeted by attacks, I know I showed no pain in that dungeon.  It isn’t because I was built to take damage. It’s because my training has me far beyond what that dungeon offers. My actual place in my group is similar to Ralts, Gleam, or perhaps Sherry, I heard you were ranged.”

“Macqorye, Mac for short, was the one designed to take hits, he’d try to just be in the enemies face, he wasn’t very fast moving, but he could be counted on to move through anything at a steady pace.  You couldn’t push him away, you couldn’t stop him. If he actually took heavy damage, the foe was far too powerful. Dorje was a speedster, a scout, he could fly in and deliver a quick hit, then fly out.  Or just see what is going on a long distance away. Otherwise he had high stamina and lasting for his attacks. While not the most powerful of us, his attacks would still be going long after the rest of us were out of it.”

“Adal was small, zippy, I think Raltz’s actual role in battle is based on her.  She could heal, she knew a lot of our basic anatomy, she could tell when we needed her aid to get rid of a bad effect, or needed her to just cure some of our wounds.  She could stop the enemy from running while badly damaging them if the enemy was normally resistant to damage, and she had the ability to raise our reaction time decently, Snift was simple but effective, something in the way that needed to be physically knocked down quickly?  Let Snift handle it, trees, walls, rocks, whatever, it’ll be gone, otherwise he tried to crack through heavy defense enemies. And Kess, you need something off the wall and odd to happen? Count on Kess. I don’t know em too well, newest member of the team and was still getting to know em.  But could stop items from working, could stop the entire team from taking status effects, could make my attacks more effective on the enemy, and I think Gleam was still trying to find a good final strategy, he was actually swapping the last two moves pretty often, last time I saw he could drop damaging spikes on the floor.”

Most of them pause in silent thought, while Pele hmms, “So basically, from now on, until I can teach you what Shii and Rattata knows.  I’d suggest as minders, that you be there to comfort, to feed, and to handle what the whelps can’t. But let Shii and Rattata, and perhaps Gleam once he’s feeling better, be the ones to handle games, while setting them up you might ask why they chose that game at least.  With that said, I have another thought.”

She looks to Taran, “I noticed all the whelps giggled when you first came into the room, when I was waiting to meet all of them.  You’re also in dungeons pretty often from what I can tell, I know your expertise is useful but, did Gleam train you fully on his body language?  Can you, like the wheps, tell his ne-

Taran interrupts with a nod and starts speaking, “Gleam ashamed discover accidental training, not even realizing did it, proud remember core team, proud understand team roles.”  He considers a bit more, “Thirsty Now, tired of water. Surprised by..” The cat perks and giggles, “Surprised by me, that could tell preference.”

Pele nods, “I was wondering about that yeah, so you got the same body language training that they did, going to be fun figuring that out on my own.”  She looks to Shii, “Is there anyone else besides you and Rattata the whelps would follow?” Shii goes a bit quiet, then slowly looks to Gleam. Pele laughs, “Of course.  Look I’m going to let Rattata and Eevee be with Gleam in the morning, putting you with the other whelps for the first part of the day again tomorrow. Can you make sure to remind the whelps that Gleam is sick, and it might not always be a good idea to obey Gleam?  As the sickness sometimes makes it so he can’t think correctly?”

Shii nods slowly.

Pele grins a bit, “But on the other hand if he seems to be saying he wants something, feel free to tell a minder, especially if he isn’t mentioning it ok?”

Shii nods more, tilting her head, especially as Gleam whines lightly at that.

Shii perks, “Um, Gleam not want us doing that.”

Pele nods, “I figured he wouldn’t.”  She looks to Gleam, “Then get the minders attention first dear.”  Gleam earfolds a bit more, looking aside but nodding.

Pele smiles back to Shii, “He needs to learn to ask for help properly, not just needing others to see when he needs it.”  She sighs, “If you want to give him some time to ask himself, or remind him beforehand he needs to ask, go ahead dear. But we want to make sure he doesn’t get fussy from needs not being met.”

Pele considers for a moment, “And sweety, I know you see him as your big brother, and looked up to him.  And perhaps some day you can again, but right now he needs a lot of help, and someone to teach him how to properly handle himself.  Plus he is younger than you now, so how about you be his big sister now, and he’s your little brother?”

Shii perks up, she actually lights up and nods, giggling.  Gleam for his part looks mortified, whining heavily and slumps his head down again.  Shii awwing and moving to rub against him gently, “It’s ok little brother, Shii happy be good big sister, like you good big brother.  Shii help lots!”

“But I think this finishes things up for now, the Guardian information has been nicely spread around now, we now know a degree of why it’s important, though I feel like there is still something we don’t know.”  She sighs softly, “Actually I know there is something I just don’t know what. I haven't seen any of your 5 guardian areas, but I know what mine looks like. And, until I know what is safe to share I guess I’ll need to be quiet, but trust me there is a lot more to this island and I really want to know what.”

Kencil looks up, “That, I guess it must be interesting in your Guardian area.  I’ve no idea where dad put mine..” She looks to Taran, “Has Fulger revealed the location of yours?  And perhaps how safe it is to share guardian workplaces?”

Taran earfolds, “Was afraid be asked.  Know where is, Haven’t asked why, said should only allow Gleam there.  So only Gleam allowed in guardian work area?” He sighs, “When next able will ask.”  Taran swishes his tail in thought, then suddenly his ears perk up excitedly, “Workplace outside town.  But close. Ms. Pele permission take there tonight? Know how read needs, think something work with Gleam there.”

Pele closes her eyes, “I, I, I really hate letting him out of my sight but, you don’t need him to do anything active, just be there?”

Taran thinks, “Believe so, yes.  Its, its hunch, have nothing more.  Believe work. Need Gleam there find out.”

Pele nods, “It’d be handy if you were to evolve early so you could carry Gleam easier.  But..” Pele takes in a deep breath, then lets it out, “If this will help the island, after Gleams little surprise outside you may take him.”

Taran nods, “Then give cup now?  So not get thirstier?”

Pele blinks a moment, then sighs, “Ok that’s it, I’m going to make sure I have two containers of water just to pop in his maw the moment i hear he’s thirsty…”  She sighs, grabbing his cup, returning soon enough with it full and lets Taran pick it up, just seeing if he could manage it, soon enough he brings it in reach of Gleam, lays it down, moves up to Gleam and removes his little oral fixation fix, and rubs the spout against the kits muzzle till he finally takes it with a sigh and drinks.”

Pele closes her eyes, “Ok just, take a bag with a few things for Gleam, you aren’t likely to be anywhere dangerous right?”

The Shinx shakes his head, “Safe spot, only wilds near town right now are” he mews sadly, “Lost town members, and, and know how that can go.”

Pele nods, “We’ll see how that goes then.  If anyone can escort part of the way with you, I would feel better about it but.”  She sighs, “We know how important your job is though so ok.” She softly folds her ears.

Taran nods, “Guard him, guard him real good, make sure eat as needed.  But first see surprise right?” The shinx grins most happily.

Pele smiles, picking Gleam out, “Yes, sure, this meeting is over, come on let’s have Gleam see his little surprise.”  And they exit the leaders meeting room heading to the main hall, most of the town is off relaxing, but in the main hall are found 4 pokemon.  Pepper currenty watching 3 pokemon at play, and halfway joining in. Gleam recognizes Eevee and Rattata right away, but who is that little yellow one there.  He hadn’t seen him in town yet, wait is that..”

The 4 turn to look up, Skitty perking, “Meeting over?  He’s been eager to see Gleam. I, I, I surprised he came back but, but it’s good see.”  he smiles motioning over to the small yellow rodent, who at the moment is slowly moving over in a high pitched voice, “Gleam?! Is, is Gleam?  Gleam back? Really?” he moves over. Pele shhing and squatting down, “yes dear, but be careful, Celebi made him a whelp when he returned and...and.”  She sighed, “He trained too hard and hurt himself badly.”

Gleam was finally brought down and looked, blushing, he’d always considered Pichu so young and weak and now...how the tables have turned.  Still what is Pichu doing here? He went wild and left, apparently trying to find others in the field to be friends with. But soon he’s being sniffed and looked over by the Pichu, then he’s given a hug Pichu looking up, “Will get better?”

Pele nods, “He’s going to have a few early problems, but he’ll survive.  Part of what we were talking about is how to make sure he stays healthy.”  She smiles to Gleam, “He apparently caught you walking back this morning after Pepper took you out, he got so curious he had to know if you returned.  He’s been waiting for you to wake up dear.” Gleam blushed more, and did the only thing he could, stuck his tongue out to give Pichu a lick when he was close enough.  Making the Pichu giggle then hug, “Gleam you’re back! You’re back! Gleam back!!” he just happily hugs up.

Pichu frowns, “Sorry you got hurt and and and you so little but..but you’re back Gleam!  I I couldn’t believe it! I I I was gonna try do dungeons and everything like you but I, but I..I..”  He quiets down, just cuddling close against Gleam.

Gleam meanwhile teared up, yet another missed him badly.  He actually remembers the kid well, one of his first official assignments in dungeons.  He had gotten lost in one, they knew where he was, but nobody was going, most evolved thinking he was just playing a trick.  Apparently the guy was a known prankster. He didn’t care because he just figured what if on the off chance either something did go wrong, by actually getting in trouble, or even if a prank went wrong.  The Pichu was actually in trouble, was low on supplies, and he had no badge to kick him out of the dungeon at the end of the day, so he had to suffer through the dungeon changing a few times. He’d always been grateful afterwards, and sometimes would show up with an item he got from somewhere, honestly never really asked the kid where they came from, he was kind of afraid to.

Gleam just did what he could to show the Pichu something, he honestly missed the little cheerleader a bit, so he gave a few more weak licks, even went over the sacs on his cheeks.  Pichu hugging him, telling him how happy he was seeing him again. Gleam’s ears perking up as he actually felt those cheek sacs firm up. The strength and ability of a Pichu is known to be connected to their mood, sad pichu’s having less control than happy ones, happy on---  Gleam paused his thoughts, those cheek sacs are strengthening and firming completely, he’s never heard of anyone feeling them change, but he can feel it. The kids tail starts showing signs of bunching up, skin slacking lightly, getting ready to lengthen.

Gleam couldn’t help it, his jaw was dropping, why, why is the Pichu getting happy this fast?  He’s weak, he’s helpless, he’s about to be punished by being required to be looked over by everybody, and his freedom limited even once he can walk.  Why would anyone be this happy he’s back? This glad about him? He tears up more, but braces himself for what he’s about to feel, he’d never actually seen a true rapid evolution, he’d heard they were possible, and rare.  But this..this is...why. Why over him? Why!?

He couldn’t help it, his confusion, and just general lack of being able to do anything just made him start to cry, whimpering, he did what he could to nose and lick at Pichu, since it’s obviously making him so happy, and soon he started to see the light of evolution begin springing up, Pele perking her ears...actually the entire group looking on in surprise.  Kencil gasping a moment, the light of evolution slowly calming down, as it went from a Pichu hugging him, to a Pikachu. He looks up at the little guy,”I..I evolved?! I evolved!” he hugged gleam even more, “I evolved!” Then he calms down, reducing the hug, “Gleam I..I’m glad you’r back.” he blushes looking up, “I I I know I left b but, m may I come back? Please?  I I.. I just.” he blushes.

Gleam nods his head to the newly evolved Pikachu, who smiled looking up, “s see one of the saviors of the cosmos says I can stay, Please Flint as guildmaster, c can you let me stay?”

The group went quiet, looking among each other, Pele speaking, up, “Who wants to tell him?”

The pikachu perked, frowning, “Tell me what?  Is there a rule saying I can’t return?” his ears starting to fall.

Pele sighs, “There was a bit of a mixup when it came to the whole leadership thing dear.  You’re kind of hugging the actual guildmaster, Flint is only an assistant.”

Pikachu perked, looking to Gleam, “You’re the guildmaster?”  he blushes, "He said I could stay is ok?”

Pele laughs, “I think it’s been a bit agreed I’m partially taking over some of the important decisions.  By the way I know we met shortly but I’m Pele, Gleam’s mother. If he says it’s ok for you to come back I think I’m ok with that.  But before we send you out on any big important things I’d like you to stick around town, a few of us will want to talk with you, get an idea of what you can do, but you can help around in town in the meantime is that ok?”

Pikachu nods, “Y yes!  Please I I’ll be glad to!”

Pele smiles warmly, “How about we settle a bit with you right now, see if you got a good spot to sleep or not?  Taran has been promised a bit of time with Gleam so why don’t we head off to talk?” Pele nods to Taran and Gleam, “Taran, remember what I said during the meeting, I don’t want to need to get lucky again.  I don’t care about rules, the first hint something could go wrong, contact me.” While most goes off to give Taran some room.

Taran gently noses Gleam, “Hopefully scruff not bad, can’t move anyway.”  he noses the kit, then scruffs him and carries him towards one of the town entrances, then softly puts him down, looking at the kit.  Gently grooming him and looking around the town entrance, making sure he’s allowed some peace and quiet, “Feel ok Gleam? Scruff not hurt bad?”

Gleam earfolds, gently nosing a bit, but settles for the grooming, not that he can do anything about it.  Closing his eyes softly. Honestly part of why being scruffed freaks him out is being immobile, so it isn’t too worrying due to his current condition, still just being carried like that…

He earperks as Taran removes the necklace, Fulger as Taran calls it.  Mother said she was able to make an item connected to the old Guardians.  Apparently Fulger is in that one, and sometimes Taran can talk to Fulger through it.  He perks as Taran places it around his neck, looking up curiously at Taran, what is that cat do-----

He perked, wide eyed as he heard a familiar voice that sounded like low rumbling thunder, “Hey there little spark. ”  He looked up, still wide eyed, at Taran who just nods and rubs his back, while the voice continues, “ I think I owe you a lot.  A lot of us do. I think we need to talk later, when you haven’t just left a meeting that’s left some big shocks for you.  Why don’t I help you sleep instead and my son can see if the three of us can do this.

Gleam blinks a moment more, too shocked to really react, not even to tear up to hear Fulger again, just listening nodding.  He soon started to feel warmth surround him, as if the Luxleo was curling around him, as he drifted off to sleep in the warmth he could swear he heard the Luxleo actually talk, “Looks like you were right son this shou…”  And into dreams the fox drifts.

Chapter Text

Ezelle perked, watching Pele curiously, and honestly if she was not on his side he’d be cowering in fear of her, he almost did at first anyway.  This is not a side of her he was ready for, at all. He was wrong when he said she lost a lot of her fireball, she’s more serious now, her demeanor is more scary, but by Arceus all her fireball has gone into battling.  She asked for his help in locating an item that would prevent her from being confused, which Kencil pulled out of the TerraFlare stash. A normal Persim Scarf, they need to find Kalmin next he thinks, his expertise in building and item fabrication would allow them to regain the ability to modify items.  The scarf needs to be upgraded to a more powerful form if Pele continues to use it.

But otherwise, with her feeling better about being incapable of being confused she’s taken the lead, despite the fact she dropped her fairy move for grass knot to practice with it.  On the other hand she doesn’t need it, it doesn’t matter what she attacks with, as long as they aren’t immune to it, she has taken down everything in one hit. He’s never felt attacks this intense before, and she seems so in her element, she’s actually started playing around.  Doing some of the showman stuff she had done when she lit the fire the first night she was back.

Otherwise he understands why his father came here with Gleam so long ago.  Dragon, Fighting, and Dark typed enemies are most of this dungeon, if Pele wasn’t so strong, his type advantage here would actually be handy.  He actually pretty well admired how she worked, and is quite surprised this two mon team is making it through as well as it is. She’s let him have the exploration bag and just asked him to back her up and use what’s in the bag as he sees fit.  She got Shinx to help her fill it up from her family storage, and from the TerraFlare storage. Looks light but decently packed, this is technically being disguised as a resource run, so running light on items makes sense, and they are picking up pretty well.

He hopes Gleam is doing ok, they haven’t gotten any emergency calls, so he guesses the kit hasn’t had any trouble. He came back from his time with Taran sound asleep, even while scruffed.  Taran said it worked perfectly and indicated he wanted alone time with Gleam daily. He and Pele agree, the kid is hiding something, he knows something else, no idea what, but he definitely knows something else.  He seems reliable though so they agreed to not bother him on what the secret is, he’ll reveal it if it’s needed. But they agreed since he’s already trained to read Gleam’s body language, they would let him watch Gleam some today.  He can do his thing while with Gleam, and maybe once things are said and done today, they can talk to Gleam some and use what knowledge they gained, plus what dad can share to help Gleam more, maybe.

And the decisions on how to handle Gleam she made, he really has no idea whatsoever on what to think of that.  She literally said she had to be more strict to make sure he had more playtime. That, that is just not something he even knows how to react to.  He wants to say she’s going too far, but, but her entire thing was she needs to make sure he plays and has fun more often. There needs to be a serious sit down with Gleam sometime, probably several sessions, just to talk and find out what goes on in his head to make something like that necessary.

Maybe the better way to put it is he thinks she might be going about things incorrectly?  He isn’t really sure, this is sadly part of the training he’s supposed to get from Gle-- hold that thought he’s helpful to a fault, could he actually get Gleam to teach him how to deal with himself?  Worth a try, well lets see what dad says first.

Hey Pinky, might want to get your head out of the clouds, I know you don’t need to do a lot, but seriously I’m mostly single target, they can start surrounding if we get unlucky.”

Ezelle blinks, shaking himself out of thought and looking up, “ Oh, uh sorry I.

Don’t say sorry, just try better.  We all make mistakes, saying sorry for every single mistake is a waste of time, use it for the big ones.

Ezelle sighs, looking around the surroundings and tries to pay more attention to what is going on.  Well he can at least get to work on picking up more items, he never thought he’d have a boring time in a dungeon, talk about odd and new experiences, he still wonders how his son is doing though.


 

I thought I had seen signs of you going wild to be honest, but things were getting so bad with the corrupted that I just ignored them.  A human going wild is rarely something that happens. I always kept telling myself once there was time to spare I’d then get you help and rest, and then I just add to the problem.

Right now he’s crying silently and doesn’t really care a bit about it.  Taran is next to him, just snuggled close for warmth, and occasionally cleaning his muzzle.  After everything yesterday, after finding out all the restrictions he’d have placed on him, how young he is, and how hurt he is.  After waking up this morning during the morning assembly to hear everyone being told of his issues, and having everyone see that thing in his maw, and everyone being asked to remember he’s a whelp before he’s the old Gleam who’s a guildmaster.  Everyone being told to treat him like just another whelp.

Waking up a bit later in Taran’s home, with Fulger greeting him has been a treat.

Just having an adult willing to talk with him, especially what he now knows to be one of the old Guardians, the ones who were actually nice to him.  Just being able to actually answer back, with however this spirit thing works. Just holding a discussion has been nice.

The, the corrupted?  The pokemon who, who started attacking us I guess?

Correct little spark, and they weren’t attacking us.  Not directly anyway.

What do you mean they weren’t attacking us?  We had more than a few just after getting off Lapras and heading towards Dusk forest.

That’s what it looked like, but we were just in the way.  The actual target was the next generation, it’s why Celosia was trapped in a shifting dungeon.  You’re group hasn’t heard everything about Guardians yet, and I know some of the information is for Spirit Talkers and Trainers only.  But I know this much, Guardian towns are in a seperate part of the pokemon world, we are closest to the human world, and as you found with the trainer system, we have strong connections to the human world.  The only other thing I know is that something about our homes, our islands, helps the pokemon world in some way.

Ok so they were after like Taran an--

Fulger cuts in, “ You still don’t understand your importance spark.  Think back to the final floor of Dusk Forest, even in the repeat that was induced by my and Pele’s interaction, they got rid of what grabbed you, only for something else to blow you into the trap.  That floor’s creation was corrupted, that trap was set for you and only you, everything was keyed to get you into that warp tile, so that you would wind up stuck beyond the monster house.

They, they were after me but I--

Little Spark, little spark.  It isn’t even you have so much to learn, instead you quickly ignore anything good about yourself.  I don’t know if you do it on purpose, or if its part of your sickness or something else but, you’re important, if they get rid of the new guardians, or get rid of their trainer, again, then guardians can’t do their job correctly, everything gets weaker, and more corruptions can happen.

Wait, get rid of the trainer again?  Was there one before me?

Fulger actually let out a sad sigh, “ My trainer, we failed him.  This is why we all made the mistakes we made, the mistakes that hurt you so horribly.  We didn’t want to fail another trainer, but we also never had ourselves trained to our full limits.  For the sake of our children we had to protect you, we had to keep you safe. Yes on reflecting, the fact you carried a petrify orb did make my death needless.  But if I didn’t go then, I probably would have went with Calad, Taran relayed to me what little he knew about that. And little spark, I’d go gladly, this isn’t just to protect you, it’s also to protect my little bolt, the one keeping you safe and warm right now.  That is why I asked you to protect and train him as you can, I knew you would, I honestly didn’t need to ask you.

“But, I say all of that, and look at you now.  All of us made mistakes, we hurt you time and time again, we’ve put too much on you.  You’ve come back to us in an attempt not just to train a few pokemon, but to try to cheer up and heal an entire community.  To help rebuild the entire town. Even if you weren’t a whelp, that’d be too much for you to do little spark. You’ve gone wild, your ability to think straight comes and goes, you almost just killed yourself, to my understanding, trying to train the way Sherry wanted you to.  Please little spark, for our sake, for the sake of those of us you miss, and whose deaths hurt you so much. Don’t repeat our mistakes. Let others heal you first please.

Taran perks a bit, nosing at Gleams cheek, “I know enjoying dad but, need eat, drink, and sleep.  Give short time wrap it up, but not ignore needs.” Taran pads off to his storage box, starting to grab out some food for Gleam, and gather up some water.

Yeah I heard him little spark.  Just one final thing, I know you managed to get rid of their latest avatar.  But the corruption, as we call it, it’s still out there. This isn’t some malevolent force, not wholly, there are sentient beings behind this as well.  You’ve dealt them a large blow but they can still be dangerous, Taran has said you have a fear of dungeons. Good. That is where their influence can lie the most.  Thankfully most of their corruption targets are gone, but if any of the old adults still survived, still live. They can still be dangerous, even if uncontrolled. If you, for some reason, must enter a dungeon you need to make sure you have a full complement as an escort.

Oh and the whole thing with me talking with you?  Don’t mention it to anyone please, Taran is trying to, as you so phrase it, pull a Taran.  The fact I’m talking with you is part of it. I’ll talk with you later kiddo, don’t worry I need you to wear my claw pretty often, Taran found a workaround to one of our issues.  And looks like Taran is ready to take me back, please take it easy.

Taran noses Gleam softly, gently removing the necklace and pops out his little teething toy, “Should take whelps soon, or bring whelp here.”  He considers and brings the cup close first, “Gleam try make sound? Not speak, just yip, or bark. See how throat is?”

Gleam blushes, but does as asked, making a couple of very soft little barks, then tries a bit louder and starts to cough, Taran gets him water then starts to feed the whelp. “Can at least whisper maybe.  Though if honest, sound very cute, would like hear more of that.”


 

This floor feels, weird.  The air feels stagnant, he earperks as Pele tells him to pause a moment, then she looks to him, “This is where it happened.”  She takes out her twig and blue fire erupts from it, not intense heat, but ghostly blue flames instead. She puts a hand on his shoulder, and he feels something from her a kind of odd connection.  A moment later he sees it fade in, coming from the way in, his dad, looking almost solid, Granbul, Wailord, and Gleam looking much older, all fade in, much more ghostly looking. They take a protective formation, Triangle, Wailord in front, Gleam right behind him, Granbul and Mardav to either side of Gleam, and begin going through the floor, Pele let them ahead, then follows their lead.

Pele shook her head, “Water types like that on land always freaked me out, they had a full team, I wonder what happened to those two, they never get mentioned, Ezelle?”

Ezelle eartwitches, “It’s always the mention of dad that gets him, and we always talk about what hurt him, in part I think that is when he started regaining some of his worst memories as a human perhaps.  I know when I first changed he asked me to not be the 3’rd sylveon to die for him. And when I discovered my feelers could feel emotions, he compared me to Centai. As for those two, Wailord is Pepper’s dad.  And Granbul is Hoppip’s dad.”

Pele blinked, “Yaknow most humans don’t know how eggs are made, and they assume we do what they do when they make their whelps.  There’s a joke about wailords and skitties. Tell me Pepper’s mom was at least evolved?”

Ezelle eartwitches, “Yeah a Delicat.”

Pele considers, then sighs, “Oh geeze I never even realized that other thing…”

Ezelle looks to Peke curiously, “What’s that?”

Pele blushes, “I have no idea how ah, pokemon are made if you don’t involve eggs.” She paused in thought a moment, blushed a touch more, then turned her attention to the spirits group, “And this is not the appropriate place for that discussion!”

With that said she pulls out her wand and moves after the leading group, Ezelle couldn’t help but grin a moment.  He very much recognized that way of acting. She was so curious and getting distracted, a bit mad at herself for it, but more than a bit shy? Perhaps ashamed?  About even wondering about that kind of knowledge. Oh well she was right this was the bad place to talk about that anyway. He then blinked a moment, as he got his own blush, when he was old enough would he be the one giving that talk to Gleam?  How did humans do it? Crap….

The floor was pretty sparse, which is odd for a later level.  Pele actually used the spirit group to help tell where illusions were coming from, and they started listening in as the group started talking amongst themselves.

The Granbul spoke up, “Mardav, seriously why do we have a small fry with us today?  And why this one? You know he’s just a troublemaker, he isn’t even on our team he’s a rival team founder.  Shouldn’t you be bringing along your own son if you’re going to give anyone an easy run through?”

Ezelle frowns, ears folding, “Seriously, I mean I know why they did it, but I still don’t get why they constantly talked ‘bout little twig that way.”

The Wailord went next, “Or how about my boy?  Skitty could use the chance to learn more about dungeons, not this overeager teller of tales.”

Mardav sighed, “He’s a fellow leader of another team for one thing.  For another you know as well as I do that this assignment is tauros droppings.  This area is well above the skill of anyone on his team. He should have never been assigned this in the first place.”  He looks over at the ghostly Gleam, “Fennekin you should feel free to talk back really, I personally don’t take much for my teammates to be insulting someone who has done a decent job getting my new little eevee so happy and healthy.”

Gleam shook his head, “I thank you for joining me that’s all.  But I can’t prove myself by just talking back. And I feel bad, you three are doing all of the work, but my team is getting the credit.”

The sylveon frowned, “Don’t Fennekin, don’t.  This one is just unfair to you and--”

Gleam perked, “Sylveon behind you, Dazzling Gleam in 2, 1, go.”

The sylveon obeyed perfectly, hitting the houndoom making it’s way over.

“Wailord, Water Pulse should finish it, if you’d be so kind.” Gleam tried asking nicely.

The Wailord sighed, “I see no reason to do what you say twerp.”  And with that the Wailord moved up to use Astonish.

It kept going towards Mardav, Gleam’s ears folding, he shifted position and started to use a blowback wand when Granbul spoke up.

Granbul growled, “Don’t use a wand twerp, Use a powerful fire move on it!

Gleam immediately whined, trying to shake his head, his resistance to being ordered was obvious, but in the end he was forced to move near Houndoom.  He began building up fire in his body and his body began glowing, then he released all the built up fire at once, firing at the ground uncontrollably, the fire spreading around him, his movement allowing it to splash onto the houndoom, but also at Mardav, though he was thankfully not hit by the fire.

The houndoom ignored the attack and the fact it was charged up by it, and feint attacked Gleam, knocking him back with a yelp, the fennekin obviously heavily wounded, Mardav finishing it off with another Dazzling Gleam.

Gleam winced and got up, looking up to Mardav with a soft nod.  Granbul pahing, “What kind of fire type are you, you can’t even outdo----”

Mardav growled, “Granbul shut up, do not issue anymore orders to him, we’re going to need to wait for him to recover from the attack now.  Wailord, why didn’t you use any water attack at all? You went out of your way to rush up and use astonish.”

Granbul growled, “I can’t help it if this runt has no stamina, again we shouldn’t be babysitting his tail.”

Wailord shook his head, “I know what I’m doing and no little unevolved is going to tell me what to do, unlike you Mardav.  You lead this team and you actually took a command from him?”

Mardav sighed, trying to bring out his feelers to calm down at the time, but Granbul and Wailord pushed them off, Granbul growling more, “Don’t try that crap on me, you know I’m right.  And now we’ve got a hurt pre-evo, who apparently can’t even use his own attack types correctly. Firing at the ground? Not hurling fire at the target. We’re going on, you can tend to him.”

Mardav growled, “I didn’t know the houndoom was there, that was a blind fire guided by Gleam, that hit the target surely.  Otherwise it would have attacked me first. And….”

He sighed as they left him and Gleam alone.  Gleam getting up and shaking off, “I’m sorry I don’t mean to be causing trouble among your team Mardav.”

Mardav shhhed, “Heal up with some berries twinkletwig, none of this is your fault.  Though I do wonder, what was up with that attack, I felt the heat off of it but it didn’t hurt me.  It affected the houndoom but I...”

Pele sighed, holding back anger listening in then looking at Ezelle, while Ezelle moved closer to look over the image of Gleam, “What was that about?  Those two are so..” She shook her head, “Gleam mentioned before many adults didn’t think well of him.”

Ezelle sighed, “This is the kind of animosity that our old guild leader encouraged towards Gleam.  He always bad mouthed TerraFlare. I was wondering what Gleam was even doing here, this does look like a tough dungeon.  But apparently Gleam was ordered by Bisharp to take on a job here or something. Many of the adults fell into it, and as you can see, even if their leader happened to like Gleam.”

Pele frowned, and looked at the ground, “Good grief, how powerful was Gleam...the ground here, it’s turned to glass from his use of over heat, I mean sure I could do that too, but he was a fennekin.”  She sighed, “And of course they’d run into an enemy who had flashfire.”

Ezelle looked up curiously, “You know the attack he used?  And flashfire?”

Pele perked, “Sadly we talked over Gleams explanation or you could have heard it from him.  But overheat is a very powerful fire attack that weakens one’s inner flame for a short while, but it’s also the most damaging fire move I’ve ever heard of.  It’s hard to control but he apparently could control it enough, it splashes around you, which is why he aimed it at the ground, and with proper control, it won’t splash onto allies.  As for flash fire, immune to fire attacks, and it’s inner flame is seriously powered up upon receiving one.”

Ezelle blinks, “I’ve never seen him use over heat, and that must be why he was resisting the attack order.”

Pele nods, “I wish I had Dazzling Gleam right now, Houndooms like that are horrible for me to fight without it.  Immune to psychic attacks, immune to fire. So only my offtype attacks work, and grass knot is horribly ineffective on creatures so light, and he resists grass attacks on top of that.”

Ezelle nods,”So that’s why we had to double team it.  Well hey I’m glad I could help attack at least.”

Pele nods, “Twinkletwig, cute little nickname.”

Ezelle blushes, “It is...he liked to call me and eevee his little twinkle.  But you see Gleam’s tail twitch as dad spoke with him? He barely controlled the urge to wag.  You can see what I meant about parental figures. It half feels like dad adopted him too, to be honest.”

He perks a moment as Mardav looks around seeing who is watching, then quickly grooms Gleam a touch to help him get more presentable, “Twinkletwig, watch your personal grooming habits a bit better, matted fur is not comfortable.”

Ezelle huhs, pausing for a moment, “I, I’d never seen him do that for Gleam before.  Why would he groom Gleam for him. Also I swear, Gleam’s fur pattern looks slightly different, mostly the slight blue highlights.  They are less pronounced in this form, but I can see them, their pattern just looks..different.”

Pele shrugs, “I’ve no idea honestly, on the fur pattern maybe it will change as he ages, as for the grooming we don’t have time, I guess you have some gaps of knowledge when it comes to humans, ask later when we have time.”

Ezelle nods, “Right.”

Pele sighs, “Looks like they are ready to continue, lets keep going.”


 

The rest of the dungeon went okish, Granbull and Wailord stayed ahead of Fennekin and Sylveon.  Generally each stuck into different fights, with them separated so they were eventually able to suss out what moves Gleam had.  Flamethrower, psychic, and overheat. More than likely his 4’th unused move being wish. As Gleam had to help Mardav fight more often now.  Gleam generally working in sync with Mardav, and while never commanding, he did at times ask for various moves or attacks, usually resulting in a decent synergy, or at least mitigating bad outcomes.


 

Pele perks, “Gleam is, well he’s still deferring to others for some things but, he’s acting so different than he was when I was watching him with Fulger and Calad.  He’s calling out attacks to synergize with Mardav, and seems a touch more sure of himself. He never called out attacks with Calad and Fulger. Actually once those two decided to leave him alone he looks like he’s kinda enjoying himself.  I think this interaction with Mardav is what he originally dreamed of when I was to join him in this world.” She sighs softly, then perks. “Oh looks like they’ve found their tar--”

Ezelle blinks, “What’s up with Wailord and Granbull?”

Pele looks towards them while Gleam and Mardav seem caught up with some item they’ve found, Gleam putting it in his bag.

Wailord and Granbull seem to pause, some spot on the floor releasing a dark floating energy, it seems to absorb light as it flows around Wailord and Granbull, slowly infusing into them.

Ezelle gulps, “Corruption, this, this.  This must be how pokemon become corrupted, how, how all the adults started to disappear.  Oh crap in his nightmare Dad and Gleam were being attacked.”

Pele perked, “His nightmare?”

Ezelle frowns, “Oh geeze we never got around to mentioning this, when he stayed over with me, early in the morning he started to have a heavy nightmare.  He was actually talking, mumbling to dad, kicking his legs and, pressing his body to one side or another. He was reliving this moment. I’m sorry I should have mentioned it earlier, but with Pepper, the training incident, and the guardian meeting it skipped my mind.  Though I should mention when he woke up he was far too upset to try to move away from me. And only became stubborn when he started to say he didn’t want to get back to sleep, but then agreed he should. I had to drag out of him why he didn’t want to sleep. Which was a very simple, not wanting more nightmares.”

Pele nods, “Better late than never, and I’d ask what all he said during the nightmare but we’re about to see that it seems.  Ugh, something about those two seems familiar, no I don’t mean as remembering from my whelphood. I mean this dark energy its…” she perks, “It’s forcing a battle mode, similar to how I get, but..but..it seems deeper.”

Ezelle looks up, “You can tell just by watching?”

Pele nods, “That and from anecdotes I’ve heard from others.  So this is probably taking over how they think. It’s also capable of giving them moves they shouldn’t normally learn.  They are...their being forced to close themself off, to cut off all em---”

Pele sighs then laughs.

Ezelle perks, “What is it?”

Pele shakes her head, “I was wrong, I’m not able to tell this.  Mom left this knowledge as another little present for me, but it also matches some kind of news from another country in the human world I caught.  Seeing the shadow reminded me of it I think. But yeah they are being forced into a battle mode harder than I’d ever get into. Cutting off all feelings, all thoughts outside of battle and..and the destruction of their target.  They aren’t in full control and would need to fight it, Gleam mentioned Tacen’s dad managed to fight it off enough to give Gleam time to run, and probably used a self sacrificing version of explosion to take himself and the Rattata he was the mate of at the time.”

Ezelle frowns, “But these two, these two were already unhappy with Gleam, they have no reason to stop do they?”

As Pele shakes her head , “No, no they don’t..”  Wailord moves up and a shadowy aura builds up around him, then waves of shadow energy flow towards Gleam, who is caught unawares and flung back with a yelp.

Mardav perked and looked up, “Wailord, Granbull what are you two doing, stand down!  Do not attack a member of our party!”

Granbull growls, throwing a punch at the air, a pulse of shadow energy flying towards Gleam.  But Gleam manages to roll away.

Mardav gulps, “Corruption.  Gleam, you have my permission to attack them as needed.  But focus on getting yourself to safety. You need to escape!”

The Gleam image shook off, “We don’t leave anyone behind.”  He quickly ate an oran berry hopping back, “why are they attacking me?  We are done with this now, we can just get out of here. Granbull Wailord, whatever I did I’m sorry.  Look lets just let bygones be bygones and get out of here. Hoppin and Skitty are surely waiting for you two to get home.  And Delcatty and Jumpluff, lets just--”

Gleam yelps and jumps to the side as another attack is aimed at him.

Mardav yells, “No use talking to them, trust me you can’t reason with them.  Just get out of here.”

Gleam whines, “Then come with me.”  he perks as Granbull throws another pulse at him, he hops away to dodge it, then yelps as the hop puts him right in the path of Wailord rushing towards him.  Then he squeaks in surprise as Mardav rushes over and pushes him out of the way, sending him toppling to the side, and Mardav taking the attack from Wailord.

Gleam squeaks and perks, “Mardav!  Give me a moment I can---”

Mardav barks out using a command tone, “ Gleam!  Get to safety, leave the dungeon in any way you can!”   He sighs, “If you can and I can’t, please be there for Ezelle and little Eevee, I will try to make it back, hopefully you’ll never need to do that.”

Gleam yelps, “No..NO d d don’t make me I..I can I.I can.”  he stands there trying to resist the order, instead attempting to pull out a move.

Mardav barks out again, “ Gleam I order you to leave!

Gleam whines, his resistance wearing out, “NO!”  As his legs begin to follow the orders, he can be seen running off, leaving Mardav behind.

Mardav stood up, “Come on you two, you’re target is gone.  And I will not let you hurt a single strand of fur on my Twinkletwig’s body again.”  The damage on his body began to close up, as healing energy flowed over his body, “With him gone you face a full Guardian now.  I’m sorry you two, that they got to both of you, I will try to make this fast.”

Mardav jumped back beginning to fire out dazzling gleam, but as it goes out it alters, the power of the moon infusing the attack, as it becomes a moonblast instead.  Knocking Granbull back.

Wailord charges for Mardav again, he pushes the Wailord back with a whirlwind of overpowering scent, with another guardian infused move.

Both opponents stop for a moment, then Granbull begins charging forward, infused with shadowed energy, enveloping his entire body, ready to ram into Mardav.  Wailord coming right behind with another attack setting up for the one two. Mardav watches a moment, his feelers beginning to glow, pushing out more guardian energy, his feelers growing in length, glowing brightly.  He moves out of the way of Granbull’s attack into Wailords, taking the brunt of the hit but wrapping his feelers around Wailords, moving up close, the energy in his feelers blocking some of the damage, while he gives the wailord a devilish kiss, draining some of its energy to heal himself.

At that point the wailord begins to well over in shadowy energy.  It’s body distorting, bulging pushing along it. The sylveon perks up, releasing the wailord and begins to move away, but at that point it was too late, the wailord explodes, it’s body ripped apart by the shadow energy built up inside of it, the rush of shadow energy hitting Mardav, knocking him back and down, the Sylveon passing out.  Granbull coming over and finishing the job.

Ezelle shudders, seeing that explosion, “Oh geeze, what a way for Wailord to go.  And Dad..Dad what was...I. Was he using Guardian powers to empower his moves?”

Pele rubs a tear out of her eyes, sighing as she sees his death, then perks, “Why do I suddenly long for, and miss, some kind of berry based muffin thing?”

Ezelle perks, “Poffin, dad would make them.  You would remember that, you loved the things.” He wiped away tears from his eyes, “But, can, can you do the thing to get dad no---”

Pele perks at Ezelle stops, looking towards him, then following his gaze and she earperks.  All of the spirits have faded, but before them they see Granbull, and it begins to charge up in shadow energy.

Ezelle growls, “He survived..he still lives I..bu but how h he must have been in here this whole time.  But their leader was destroyed.”

Pele frowns, “He, he’s effectively wild.  His leader is gone, it’s pure instinct now.  Pinky weaken his attacks.”

Ezelle nods, beginning to use charm, while pele brings up a grass knot as Granbull begins to charge, making him trip over and fall flat on his face.  Pele readies with grass knot again, Sylveon using Fairy Wind.

Pele sighs, “I wish I could bring out one of my friends, I’d like to just put him to sleep.  But I worry about having enough energy for your dad. I’ll just need to keep hoping this dosn’t overdo it or..”  She sighs.

Ezelle perks, “what.”

Pele smirks, “Shinx made that bag, I’ve learned my lesson on that already.  Drop the petrify orb.”

Ezelle pulls it out and breaks it, freezing Granbull in place.

Pele sighs, “Honestly I’d be ok killing him, but we need more adults in town.  If we can somehow stop this corruption. Besides it’d beef up your team a bit. So how long does he stay like that.”

Ezelle perks, “You didn’t know?  Until something hits him, so just leave him alone and we’ll be ok.”

Pele nods and walks over to where Mardav fell, pulling her wand back out, blue fire aglow on it.  She smiles warmly as a ghostly spirit rises from where he fell, Ezelle walking walking up, ears perking as he gasps, “Dad…”

Mardav looks among the two, “And so the prodigal daughter has returned.  Celosia it is good to see you’re back. And fully evolved I must say, and son, you’ve evolved as well.  I’ve been dead for that long I take it?”

Ezelle walks up, shaking his head, “Early evolution, both of us.  Eevee’s evolved based situation. Pele is...she.”

Mardav perks, “Pele is it?”

Pele sighs, “As long as it’s people who know I answer to either.  Whatever mom did, it worked. I was shunted to the human world. I wound up being raised by a human, then traveling with a trainer on that world.  I’m not sure how much of this was planned by Celebi, but take one guess who my trainer was.”

Mardav smiles, “So Gleam has finished his duty and returned then.  How long has passed?”

Ezelle sighs, “Since you’ve been gone?”  he thinks, “Around nine months. I haven’t quite kept track.”

Mardav perks, “Wait, you were forced to evolve in about nine months?  You weren’t even showing any signs of evolving earlier. You’re buds developed enough in that time.”  He sighs, “Celosia if you would, please create my item. I have a feeling this is a long story, and this dungeon has a few more floors.  With just you two this might tak--”

Ezelle produces an escape orb, “I’m not the one who packed the bag, you can thank Shinx, and Gleam for already having started his training.”

Mardav blinks, then looks up, “Wait is that, is that Granbull?  Be careful he’s dangerous still.”

Pele nods, “We know, we had to use a petrify orb as well.  But I would like to get you back to see Gleam. We hope your training could help us with him.”

Mardav earfolds, “Oh dear, what happened to my little twinkletwig?”

Pele sighs, “The blow you took for him, it reminded him of a Sylveon he raised in the human world, she also took an attack that was aimed at him, and died as a result.”  She thinks, “Right you were the first, we have a lot to catch up on. A lot. For one, at this point in time myself and Ezelle are the only two adults in town, unless you count Lapras, beyond that no-one else is above un-evolved unless you wish to count Pikachu evolving last night.  Gleam, in the process of events has gone fully wild, beyond that when Celebi brought me back with him, because I was there Celebi conserved power, making him into a whelp, near newborn.”

Mardav gulps, “He...a newborn?  He’s a newborn? Well, I mean, all we need is his ad-- wait you said wild--” he frowns, “Wait you need me to see him.  Ok I understand why you want Granbull, son, can you arrest Granbull, and put him into holding? It isn’t all him to blame, but it’ll keep him safe.”

Ezelle frowns, “Most of the badge systems have not been working.  Dad, all of the adults are dead. All of them. That includes the Guardians among them.  Taran has Fulger now, but most of our systems have been busted.”

Mardav perks, “Fulger is one of the lynch pins of the system.  Light walkers always have been. If Taran has been able to charge his station..”

Pele perks, “That might be what Taran did with Gleam last night.  He said he might be able to do something if he took Gleam with him.  Give it a go.”

Ezelle nods, walking over to Granbull, “I’m sorry, but we’ll try to help you get better, for the sake of your son if anything.”  Ezelle tapped his badge, “Granbull, I, Counselling Officer Sylveon, hereby issue a warrant for your capture and safe return, your crime, attacking an un-evolved ally and killing the leader of your exploration team, your punishment for now is confinement due to extenuating circumstances.” His badge toned, to indicated a success, “Granbull, I Sylveon, Leader of Team Elemental hereby arrest you.”  He brought his badge to Granbull, who vanished in a flash of light.

Pele definitely earperks, but keeps her attention on the task she was doing while Ezelle was doing that, and reaches down to where the spirit of Mardav was, picking up a bow off the ground, hmming and moving over to Ezelle, bending down and carefully pins it in front of his other ear, “I figure for a bow, a moveable pin could be nice.”

Ezelle nods, then perks, “I...I.  It worked. Come on let’s get out of here, if you connect to me telepathically can you hear dad somehow?”

Pele shrugs and attempts the connection, “So, where did Granbull go?  And that-that vanishing trick. How you teleported him away, if you’re able to do that Gleam should have known about the whole--”  She ear twitches, “No my first question, where did Granbull go?”

Ezelle sighs, “There’s a prison right outside of town, it should still be safe.  Look, lets warp back to the entrance and we’ll go there first. Dad can we see if Pele can hear you?”

Mardav chuckled, “ I think Celo has guessed at one of the secrets.  Just so you know Celo, share what you like, but there is a lot of stuff that Ena told me that I didn’t share with Ezelle, and even more she said she specifically didn’t tell me just in case.  But this sort of stuff, it’s part of your heritage. Amazing you wound up right perfectly where you need to be, and it sounds like you already know about a lot of your..well I’ll just be honest.  Human technology based information.

Pele perks in surprise, “Wait what?!” Ezelle just quietly uses the escape orb.

Chapter Text

Pele looks to Ezelle and sighs, starting to head back from the Jail with Ezelle, “Yeah we’re going to need to show this place to Gleam.  And I need to check out my Guardian area more. Now to figure out what in blazes to do with Gleam and how to handle him.”

Mardav cuts in, “ Sorry I have not been as much help as you two hoped.  I suppose I should tell both of you a few things. About why I made the choice I did with Gleam, and why all the others may have made similar choices.

Ezelle nods, “ I think Gleam could have genuinely helped you in that fight.  Even if not from directly attacking, his use of wish would have helped keep you from needing to find ways to heal yourself.  And seriously, you already knew he was human, you shouldn’t have needed to hide your Guardian powers from him.”

Mardav responds quietly, “ He might have, but I could not risk our island losing another trainer.  Yeah, this is why I’m not as helpful as the two of you might have liked.  Why all of us took in Gleam as if he was one of our own children. Why we were eager to teach him what we could.  And, why we placed so heavy of a burden on him. I never received full training from my trainer. Ena was the closest with him, which to my understanding is normal.  Spirit talkers wind up being the most like humans, for various reasons. Including the fact they all learn how to speak human. So she also had the most training just because she was with him so much.

He was a good human, came over as a Treecko, he managed to eventually became a Grovyle after stopping the small crisis of our time.  As happened with Gleam he was sent back to the human world, but then returned to us. He and his partner founded team Elemental, which I’m glad to see you decided to stay on the team son, it’s the last of his memory that will be around.  Honestly all of us Guardians were part of Elemental at one time or another.”

Ezelle couldn’t help but chuckle for a moment, “ I’m glad I stayed part of it too, funny enough Gleam complained about too many joining TerraFlare, he probably would have been unhappy if I had left elemental too.  In the end he wound up being the one to promote me to it’s leadership.”

“Otherwise we don’t really know what happened to him.  Bisharp sent he and his partner, a frogadier, off on some stupid quest on Snow Top, I still don’t know what it was about.  They never returned.”

Mardev paused for a moment, “ Wait, Gleam made you it’s leader?  How did he manage to do that? I mean I know he was fascinated with the badge system but---

Pele sighed, “ We did forget to mention that.  Let me Ezelle. Due to, well, Bisharp realizing what a jerk he’d been.  Before he died he apparently gave TerraFlare two final missions. Stop..whatever was going on.  I still haven’t been given all the information yet. And return home. Apparently he applied a huge, you guys had some kind of point system going?  But it was a huge point reward. TerraFlare is now a master team, and until Gleam returned no other team had any leaders. Flint either couldn’t figure out how to promote someone to leader or, well, it turns out Flint was actually the assistant guild leader.  Gleam’s the actual guild leader.

Mardev paused a bit more, ” Wait wait wait wait, the..the.  The actual Guild Leader is a fully, a fully wild whelp?  Oh..Oh crap oh crap..oh…”  He paused again, “ Celo, I just won’t mince words here.   Your workstation, use it to it’s fullest.  I know it’s an old pokecenter. All of the machinery left in there should work correctly, all of it.  Contact the outside. There is a reason why we all hated the fact you were missing Celo. I hate saying it’s the most important Guardian, especially when for the most part it’s a backup.  But a sole Spirit Talker has ways to make new Guardians if they are missing. It sounds like the town is honestly in emergency mode. But tell me more about Gleam, and we need to see if we can find some way I can talk with him.  I know he was a touch attached to me.”


 

Gleam was blushing up a storm but was not going to try to get them to stop.  He developed an itch at some point on his stomach, he tried to ignore it at first, waiting for it to go away, but soon the slight squirming he was doing was caught by Taran.  Who for once didn’t know exactly what was wrong, only that Gleam was uncomfortable. While Taran was trying to find what was wrong Pikachu came in leading Rattata and Sandshrew around, and soon all 4 were sniffing around trying to find the issue when Rattata shrugs, “Think body irritated?  Maybe time for bath? Or rubs, or something?”

Taran nods, “Makes sense.”  And with that said he was in the middle of a bath again.  But they finally had found his irritation, and apparently something was wrong with his fur,  whoever found it, he dared not look, was working at that area quite a bit. And just the grooming and whatever else they were working on getting rid of felt nice.  He heard Pikachu finally speak up, “Help? Think found problem. Fur knotted and matted.” His ears fell, knotted and matted? No wonder he was so irritated. Has he been self grooming lately?  Ugh he does need to get used to licking himself, until...until.. Eight years, eight years. That wouldn’t sound so bad if he didn’t spend so long as a whelp! His own thoughts making him whine lightly, all 4 look to him, he gets shhhed softly and petted then, “Don’t worry, we get rid of ucky tangle.”  Ha they don’t quite know everything he thinks, but on on the other side, he does want the tangle gone anyway. The paws scratching and rubbing there, working on the tangle, feeling nice and a bit relaxing. He perks as the entrance to Shinx’s home is knocked on, just a nicety there is no real door, Shinx calls out to come in, and soon he sees mom and dad.  And dad has an extra bow at one ear, his ears perk up most curiously. He forgot his whole embarrassment over the whole grooming thing going on. Those two snuck out and got Mardav. Somehow he just knows that extra bow is Mardav, he reaches his nose up towards it, sniffing curiously, about the only thing he can really do.

Mom perks, looking upon the scene then giggles, “Well looks like he noticed daddy has another pretty bow, do you want to look pretty and wear a bow?  You wanting to do a show Gleam? Maybe sometime we can let you put on another cute little show again, and dress you up all pretty.” She rubs his head, while the kit just blushes rather strongly, “Pikachu have the whelps slept yet?”  he shakes his head softly, “Go ahead and help them lay down, looks like you’re working on some matted fur? I want to be with my little boy for a short while, so I’ll handle it. Taran please stay, I need someone to let me know how things went.”

Pele sits down and brings Gleam into her lap, and starts working on his fur, “I, I.  I’m sorry Gleam I’ve not been keeping track of this like I should have been. And I mean it.  How long did you spend on working on my fur each day, just to make sure it wouldn’t do this kind of stuff?”  She looks to Shinx, “Any issues?”

Taran considers, “Nothing really, had silent cry session, not seem badly sad, think just remembering stuff.”  He perks and giggles, “Look like mission success?”

Ezelle nods, “In more ways than we thought it would be.  That dungeon has stronger and heartier wood, some good building materials I think.  Will need Sherry to look it over.” Ezelle noses down at Gleam, while the kit lightly noses back then tries to nose up at that bow a bit more.  He chuckles, “Though Gleam seems interested in the real prize. Curious about my new accessory? It’s Mardav, we managed to retrieve him.” He looks to Shinx then to Gleam, “We also discovered something.  Some of the corrupted still exist. We had to fight Granbull, at least until Pele remembered a lesson Gleam taught her. Thank you for the petrify orb Shinx.”

Pele nods, “Once I remembered the talk of how it’d make a monster house safe, I figured it somehow disabled enemies...and I figured you’d have packed one if able.  And just told Ezelle to use the thing. Ezelle issued a warrant, and then sent him to jail. Whatever you and Gleam did, I guess it worked.” She sighs, “I want to spend time with my kit but, both of us still need to report in what happened.  And I think decompress, check in on the progress of a few wilds with projects, and yeah my days seem a touch busy. I just really wanted to see how things have been going in here and if he’s ok.”

Gleam for his part is still trying to nose at that bow.  He perked upon hearing about Granbull, gulping, then looked up at the mention of him being arrested.  And the mention of the petrify orb being used. He’s tearing up softly remembering that day, sniffling a bit, Shinx quickly licks and cleans up Gleam’s muzzle, “Think Gleam want wear pretty bow.”  he noses Gleam softly.

Pele smirks, “If you really are so interested in pretty bows, then yeah I should definitely help train you for a show sometime.  I think it’d be fun, maybe pulls out a few of the young ones who aren’t into fighting, give them something fun to do. Though you’d still need to wait for awhile.” she eartwitches and looks to Ezelle, “Though if I actually had to guess knowing who it is.”

Ezelle shrugs, “He can’t move much anyway, not like he’d ruin the item.  And right now you’re out after that discussion so not like I can use him.  Ok Gleam you can have the pretty bow, let you pretend your a sylveon like dad for a bit hmm?”

Gleam blushes hard, wiggling in place a moment.  Why are they prattling at him like that? He lets his ears lower and frowns, trying to show his displeasure.  He isn’t a baby!

Pele sighs and kisses Gleam on the forehead, “Calm down, I already warned you, we’d treat you like a whelp, and I do mean it.  But I am just having fun, teasing my little kit. At least you actually frowned and showed you didn’t like something again. I know, it’s Mardav and you want to at least feel close to him again.  I am out of guardian reserve so you can have him for now, but I’m sure Ezelle would like him back later, they were having a discussion.”

Pele considers, “For the sake of it, you didn’t leave him in as bad a shape as you thought.  He had you run to keep you from being attacked, and because he planned to kill both Wailord and Granbul with the use of his guardian powers.  Three things he didn’t want you to see. The moment you left he used guardian energy to heal himself to full. The fight might have changed if you were there, but then again, uh yeah trust me the way they got him wasn’t pretty and might have gotten you too.  I’ll just leave it at that. When you can talk we can discuss this more, and I can let you know in full what we saw.”

Ezelle undoes the bow on his ear, “Honestly I want to know how dad did the guardian power enhanced moves.  He upgraded one and the other, I never have heard of.” He lightly pins the bow in front of Gleam’s left ear and smiles, “I’d say be careful with him but you can’t really do anything to mess it up so instead.  Shinx make sure nothing bad happens ok?”

Gleam meanwhile is ear twitching, speaking in his head, “ Mardav?  Mardav? ”  He guesses not, but flicks his ears in thanks, feels kinna funny pinned there, but he’ll accept it, might make him look cuter, which he had done to mom a lot when she was a fennekin.

Pele smiles, “Ok that does look precious, Gleam we must talk later about finding you some suitable little things to wear, I bet you would do well in a show.  Actually if you happen to know the rules for one, we can start setting something up, it might be a fun activity for those a bit wild and for those still training to enter a dungeon.  It might help the town be a bit happier here and there yaknow? Not just trying to play around with the cute gleam talk.”

Ezelle licks Gleam on the forehead, “Ok Twinkletwig.”  Gleam perks, looking up to Ezelle, who just smiled, “If you don’t mind, I do think it fits you after all.”  Gleam nods, blushing a bit but smiles softly, he flicks his ears a little more, then perks as that bow feels odd, turning his head one way then another.

Pele hmms, “We’ll return after a short while, but you seem in good hands with Taran.  And I think both of us have a few wilds to talk with. I’d take Pikachu but he seems to enjoy being around you.”

Shinx perks, “Take Pikachu.  Wish check something. Time Gleam sleep anyway.”

Ezelle looks at Shinx curiously and hmms, then pads off to where Pikachu took the other whelps to sleep.  A surprise “eeep!” is heard, and soon Ezelle returns prancing along, bouncing a giggling pikachu on his back., “Come on Pikachu, you haven’t had a good chance to meet with Pele, and with the whelps sleeping you’re fine to do so.”

Pele stands up and pats Ezelle the two exiting the house.  Pele looking to Ezelle and once far enough away, “ That was an abrupt change of plans, what’s up?”

Taran is doing his thing again I can tell.  Pele, I think there is some kind of interaction between the guardian items and Gleam.  When the bow was put on, he acted like he expected something. I also think I saw the bow move on its own.  I honestly don’t know what is going on, but I have a feeling Taran is doing something big. It might be best to allow Gleam and Taran to get an excuse to be alone with Guardian items whenever they show interest in them.  The bow is easy, we just accept he likes to dress-up like a sylveon, or look cute, or something, since it honestly does look cute on him.” He sighs wistfully, “I think I do need to see what I can do to raise my brother more.  More and more I’m wanting a kit to actually raise and teach, not one just to heal. Don’t get me wrong I love Gleam, but what he needs to be taught is different from a normal whelp.”

Pele scritches Pikachu a bit, “ At this point I’m more and more curious what is going on.  And I wonder how much Gleam knows himself…” Pele allowed a blush through again, “ Oh geeze that again, I know our bodies are grown, but we are both too young and, I still don’t know what to actually do for that, let me get to actually know you or remember you better at least, I swear you’re helpless.”

Ezelle just grinned, then tickled Pikachu with his feelers, and started to just chuckle, “ You are lovely when you’re flustered by the way.

Taran watches them go, then prrs, “Is nice to have trust.”

Gleam looks at Taran curiously, head tilting, he flicks that ear with the bow again, it feels warm, which is kinda nice.

Taran noses Gleam, “Know something happening, not know what, trust best.  Ezelle watching funny, figured out.” As he does that he slips Fulger’s necklace onto Gleam.

Hey Spark, give me a moment kiddo.  Mardav wake up, I can feel your presence already, and you’re feelers are already working on the bow.”

Mardav’s voice is soon heard, “ Wait, wait he can actually hear me?  Gleam you’re actually listening in to me?  But that, that must me---”

Fulger cuts in, “ Shush on that.  I was hoping to be more, well quiet but I might as well admit this to Gleam, and get Gleam in on this.”

Gleam perks, “ Umm wha?  Look I already promised I’d keep quiet about the whole you’ve talked to me thing but.”

Fulger cuts in again , “To put it simple, and Mardav please listen in.  Gleam, you are not supposed to be able to hear any of us normally.  The fact you can hear us is highly, highly unusual. Taran and I have some thoughts on why.  But this is one of those things of, we don’t want to overly burden you with knowledge that might or might not be true, plus you have enough promises and debts to last you for now.  It might be best from now on that if given a Guardian item, you bring up with anyone new that you know you aren’t supposed to be able to hear them. And ask them to not overly speculate on things.”

Mardav finally comes in, “ This, this.  I mean this..this means.  Right be quiet about it, Gleam with you..with you a whelp and, and fully wild.  Yes I’ve been told, I was filled in on a lot. When do you plan to go home, to have an able human body again?

Gleam earwilts, “ But, I am home. ”  His eyes tear up at the thought of leaving again, “ I don’t want to leave.  I...I’d lose momma, she hasta stay here as the Spirit Talker.  I’d lose my friends again. I don’t want to go again, please, don’t tell me I need to go again.  Please I want to stay, even if I’m weak and useless right now I want to stay, please don’t make me leave just cause I can’t do anything.” At that point he just fully breaks down, sobbing quietly.

Shinx perks in surprise, gently nosing Gleam, licking along him softly, trying to help calm him down, figuring it must be whatever is being discussed.

Mardav shhhs quickly, “ Oh, oh my.  I’m sorry Twinkletwig I’m sorry.  I didn’t know that was a sore spot for you.  I just, you actually plan to go through with growing up again?  As a human I know you must have been near adult. But you’re fine with being a whelp, and growing up again and everything?  I mean, from what I can tell you’re near newborn, you’ve got a lot of time to go through.”

Gleam softly whimpers, tears flowing from his eyes, continues to sob, “ I know I know, I hate being a useless, do nothing, everybody needs to wait on me little whelp.  I hate it! I’m weak, I can’t do anything. I can’t help in the dungeons, I can’t do any actual work.  I need to stick to the simplest of training exercises. I have no stamina, I’m just taking up space and food, doing nothing but making it so others need to watch over and dote on me, then there is my punishments coming up for hurting myself accidentally.  I want to actually be out of whelphood. But no, I don’t get to cheat my way out of it. But I still want to live here. Being a whelp isn’t forever, I just need to tough it out.”

Fulger, “ Gleam!  Trust me you’re more important than you think.  Look yo---”

Mardav cuts in this time, “ Fulger, don’t.  I think I understand enough to know his importance.  That isn’t the problem. Twinkletwig, punishment for hurting yourself?  I’ve been given some heads up. Are you talking about the overexertion Sherry caused you to do because your wild enough to keep obeying her to your own detriment?  The fact you almost died because the only ones who knew you were overdoing it, were whelps who did not know exactly when to cut in? Not even you seemed to realize you were literally killing yourself by obeying Sherry?  While I think what Pele is doing might be heavy handed, it isn’t punishment Gleam.”

Gleam whines softly, “ She plans to restrict my time more, even when I’m able to walk and talk again, she plans to keep my schedule more strict, and restrict what I can and can’t do.  I’m going to always have a minder, even if I’m among whelps, someone will be there, maybe a whelp, whose job it will be to watch me and just me. They plan to treat me more like a baby, they did it partially with your bow.   I’ve got this stupid thing in my muzzle, that does give me something to do to keep from talking accidentally, but it..its just...it..argh..infantile, it’s humiliating to have it, and the entire town sees it. They’ve all been told to treat me more like a whelp.  They actually plan to more closely regulate playtimes for me I just I...I can’t right now.

Mardav comes in softly, “ You, you actually consider that a punishment.  You actually consider what she is doing a punishment.  My word Gleam, I noticed a few things about you when you were first here but..my word.  Gleam you seem tired, but we need to talk more. A lot more Twinkletwig. But honestly I just wish I could curl around you and comfort you.  You aren’t being punished, she isn’t doing this to be mean to you, or to make you feel bad. She wants to make you healthy. But my do I wish I could just hold you and comfort you.”

Fulger cuts in, “ Why not try Mardav, why not try?  Just trust me and give it a try.”

Mardav pauses, “ Look there is no way it’s possible, no way at all I can honestly do th--  fine I’ll trust you.”

Gleam perked a moment, feeling warmth surround him, he can almost feel a familiar sylveon body near him, shivering he slowly closes his eyes, letting what he feels calm him down a bit, sleeping sounds good, before he fully drifts off he hears one last thing from the sylveon spirit, “What the, how far does this go---”.


 

Pele smiles softly to the whelps gathered around her then sighed, she had Ezelle take Pikachu off so it’s just her, the whelps, and Kencil.  She had all the little one’s gathered, even the ones who were visiting Gleam earlier. Oddly enough Shinx was out with Gleam, more of their secret business.  She buzzed Shinx to make sure things were ok, and Shinx said he was asleep and he was checking something else out. She was more than a bit worried for her boy but Shinx has shown himself somewhat reliable already, so she chose to focus for the time being on the whelps currently collected.

“I honestly wanted to talk with all of you a bit.  I know I had Shii tell you a few things, but, I wanted to talk a bit more in person.  To explain a few, oddities about Gleam.”

She closed her eyes softly a moment, “And I suppose to ask you all about how you want to help Gleam.  Rattata and Shii have already shared how you all feel about Gleam, and we’ve seen it first hand. As much as I want to say stop trying, this isn’t for you to worry about, I think that’s impossible, I would need to seperate Gleam from all of you in order for that to happen, and beyond limited contact for a month or so, I don’t plan to do that.  So I wanted to speak with all of you myself.”

“First a question, I know how old his body looks, I know how old he seems right now.  But all of you know he was made younger, into a whelp, like all of you. So how old is Gleam really?”

They all quiet down a moment, ums and uhs can be heard, finally one of them hazards a guess, “was told almost evolve, umm, 8?”

Pele smiles, “Nice guess but it’s wrong.”

Most of the whelps look a bit confused but nod, thinking, “Older?”

Pele nods, “Yes, he’s older than 8.”

After a bit of time Pele smiles, “I just wanted you to think a bit on his age.  This is going to be a lot of pretty advanced stuff. And I need you to realize how much trouble just..well, all of us minders have with him, and why.”  She sighs closing her eyes, “Despite the fact that all of you seemed to have gotten used to it rather quickly and are already helping him some.”

“First, it isn’t normal for someone to become younger.  This does not happen a lot, if at all. And many of us did not get to know him as well as you did.”  Pele closes her eyes, “Yes that does include me. I’ve already been told all of you know I adopted him.  I never met him as a fennekin before this happened.”

The sandshrew perked up a moment, “Never met as fennekin?  Much older, already evolved?”

Pele sighs, “It’s complicated, very complicated.  For the sake of it yes we’ll say he’d already evolved when I met him.  It’s easy to understand. Yes when all of you met him the first time, when he didn’t remember where we came from, when he didn’t even remember me.”  She let out a deep breath, “Even then he had been made younger.”

“But that is where our issue comes in.  I’ve never met him as a whelp, and trust me, I know this sounds impossible, but he’s never been a whelp before.  At least that he can remember. I’ve never met him as a fennekin. And most who got to know him, got to know him as a leader, as someone more capable than them, as someone who told them what to do.”

Pele closes her eyes, “Which is what happened yesterday, Sherry remembered the old Gleam, and Gleam’s other problem reared it’s ugly head, we think he was focused on making her happy.  The same way he did his best to make all of you happy when he was bigger, even though he was hurting, he was trying to just make someone else happy.”

Pele pauses a moment, “I’m sure you noticed today was different during playtime, we pretty much agree only Shii, Rattata, or myself know how to properly run the games all of you play.  Now we want at least Ezelle to learn how to run them properly as well, we need to make sure nobody else gets hurt by trying to play a game improperly.”

“But beyond that I did want to talk mostly about Gleam.  Kencil pointed out to me earlier, even I don’t know him as well.  Some of you can tell his needs before I do. I’ve also only known him as a leader, as someone who leads me.”  She sighs, “Honestly as the one who taught me everything I know. He always considered me a partner, but as much as I’ve adopted him, he adopted me.”  She watches the whelps think and perk about that, letting them have a few seconds, most of them listening while also happily snuggling in her fur.

“So most of us need to take a bit of time to get to know him.  To understand who he is, to know him again. He’s sick, he’s hurt in many other ways, but it’s going to be hard for us to help him until we get to know him, as he is now.  For those who think of him as strong and capable of anything, learn he isn’t. As olders get it into their head he’s young and has needs, that he is very much ignoring.”

She sighs, “Which brings me to the main reason I wanted to talk with all of you.  Gleam does not know how to properly be a whelp, he needs help learning that. Learning how to make sure others know his needs.  Right now whenever its anyone but Taran watching him, Shii or Rattata are to be around him at all times, as they know his needs.  But this is not a good solution. We need Gleam to announce his needs on his own.”

She pauses, not enjoying what she is going to say but, “So basically, I know all of you trust him, but he isn’t as rational as he used to be.  Be careful following his instructions. But otherwise when he’s around any of you, please, help him learn how to properly be a whelp. Not a good whelp, not a polight whelp, not an obedient whelp, but just how to be a whelp that at least knows how to make sure he gets his needs met.”

Several of the whelps giggle at the idea of teaching him for once, then pause and look up, “Mama when can we see him again?”

Pele sighs, “Right now he’s real hurt.  He needs to mostly sleep, eat, drink, and sleep more.  So we are keeping him very separate. I know I saw Rattata and Sandshrew with him earlier when I visited Taran.  It’ll be about like that for the next few days, just a few visitors to him, allowing him a bit of company, he really can’t do a lot right now anyway.”

She considers, “I am still debating what to do after that, Ralts here figured out about how young he is, he’s young enough that I should just pick him up and never let him down for a good while.  He shouldn’t be playing big games, he shouldn’t be running around during a little dance. He should be tucked up with a caretaker, making sure he was kept safe and warm. Which I think even he knew, to my understanding he mostly stayed in one place playing with a ball, until the minders asked him to do more?  Perhaps a few of you asked him to play more?”

The whelps talked among themselves then a few looked down, “wanted play with too..but don’t like game.”  They considered a bit, “But, course no fun either to play together.”

Pele nods, “Don’t feel too bad, there is more than just ball that Gleam can play.  Just that in some cases, well, you need to act more like caretakers than like playmates.”  A few perk up again Pele smiles, “How many times did he find something for you to do, that he did in a different way?  I’ve watched some of the games Shii and Eevee play.” Pele looks over to Shii, “She actually does that with Eevee, she isn’t good for pounce, tackle, or even chase.  But she’s found ways to play with Eevee, even while she isn’t playing directly.”

Pele considers then smirks, “Though if you’re wanting to play with Gleam, once he’s older I think I can show you a few games he’d play with me.  Called them team building exercises, they are meant for.” She pauses, “Actually as soon as I have the time and..” she grins, “Sorry to keep skipping topic, I have some olders I need to talk to.”  She looks at the group, “But many of you want to help in dungeons right? And most of you know these games are played in order to make you stronger. The goal of a team builder is to help you learn how to work together with others, specifically with a small group.  As soon as I can I will have something set up, as I know at least two who wish to work together. And I’m sure a few more of you will like to as well.” She considers, “I’ll see how far I can simplify things, but these arn’t good for real young ones. I’ll try to see if I can come up with something more.”

Pele gently picks up a few whelps, she’s been alternating a bit, trying to find everyone a comfortable spot near or on her, occasionally cradling one or another close, just whenever she felt like she wanted to hold one, more or less letting herself indulge as much as she reasonably could in her more motherly instincts, “But otherwise I do hope I got what I wanted to say about Gleam across.  It’s sadly painfully clear I need to learn the new him, as do many others here. And Gleam needs to learn about the new him as well, he needs to know how to properly act like a whelp, and get his own needs filled.”

“Makes me wonder what needs and such he hides from me even now, though hopefully we can stop that to a degree.”

Pele sighs, “But as much as I’ve enjoyed my time with all of you, I do need to get with my other duties.  I plan to have minder be a job I take some day little ones do not worry.” She gently helps them out and nods to Ralts, “I think I said what I wanted to say to them too.  Kencil can you let Sherry know I’d like to talk with her today? Just find me when she comes back.”

Chapter Text

Gleam wakes up slowly, last he remembers he...he thinks.  No that wasn’t a fully restful sleep, he woke up a few times during it.  Half drowsy half awake, half memories. But right before he fell asleep, Fulger told Mardav to try to hold and comfort him, then Gleam felt comforting warmth about him, and he swears he heard Mardav talk, out loud, though his eyes had already drifted closed.  He lets out a soft lil yawn, and tries to not berate himself as he squeaks a little bit while yawning, but right now he doesn’t want to draw attention to himself. He can still feel Mardav’s bow on his ear base, Fulger’s necklace is gone, probably Taran talking with him.  He mrrfs as he yawns again, and he wants to stretch so badly, that would feel nice about now. But he doubts his body has healed any. Still he can’t resist the urge to try...his limbs start to ache and hurt pretty quickly as a result, then he squeaks as he starts to roll, a foreleg going around him and suddenly steadying him.

He feels Taran lightly rub his muzzle along his body, just a gentle friendly rub, and suppresses the urge to whimper and whine over the fact he felt like he was about to fall off the pillow, butterflies in his stomach, then he earperks as he hears Taran speak, “Gleam, be good whelp.  No hold in, let out.”

Gleam’s ears folded, he has to suppress yet another urge to whine, over Taran telling him to do that because he has a feeling of what is about to come, slowly opening his eyes, looking to Taran meekly, trying to shake his head a little bit, pleading with his eyes, Taran sighing, “Gleam, no hold.  Hold bad, no hold. Let out.”

Gleam shook his head a little more, he isn’t some whiney lil whelp, he doesn’t need to cause a fuss over a little thing like almost rolling off a pillow, then he feels the soft silky but deep voice of Mardav in his mind, “ Come on Twinkletwig, he’s right.  You've just been startled, it doesn't feel good, why aren't you making any noises?  By now, well you helped with Eevee early on, he'd already be whining, at the least wanting to be comforted at your age.”

Gleam held back a whine, he's getting double teamed now, “ Please no, don't.  Don't want to. No.  So please.” He can't help it, he can feel a need to panic rise in him.  Starting to feel worried, his breath quickening, Taran looking at him curiously, while Mardav quiets down in surprise.

Mardav finally speaks to after awhile.  “ Gleam what's wrong?  This isn't about being treated like a whelp, I can easily see that.  Why does being encouraged to whine make you panic? Your scared. When all we want you to do is ask for comfort in the best way your body can do it.  And now, you really need comforting. From a panic attack.”

Gleam softly folds his ears, looking over to Taran, eyes pleading with then he flops his head down onto the pillow.  Taran looks at Gleam with disappointment then sighs. “No Gleam, ask You know what want.” Gleam earfolded and did the only thing he can think of to try to soothe himself, and lightly sucked on the thing in his maw.  He closed his eyes, and just tried to pretend nothing was there to watch him. Feeling more than a bit humiliated, on the other side it did start to work, the action making him calm down.

But then he felt it tugged out, with a soft pop.  His eyes shot open in surprise as he looked and saw Taran use his own maw to toss it out of reach and turned back to look at Gleam in disappointment.  At that point too much had just happened in a row for him, and he could see Taran getting more stubborn, which started to worry him greatly. He hated to admit the one mon that scared him the most, that he feared drawing the ire of was Taran.  And that worry combined with everything else finally made him give way, starting to first whimper, then tear up and cry.

Taran sighed, still a bit disappointed but he started to nose over and gently groom Gleam, rubbing his muzzle along and gently comfort the kit.  “Wish you didn't wait till full break down. Wanted you ask to be soothed, to stop this from happening.”

Taran started to gently lay over the kit, head across Gleam's back, cuddling with him while he cried.  “But in end you obey at least.” Taran looks at Gleam and considers, “Maybe feel better if bigger family?”

Gleam sniffled and hiccuped while Taran rubbed on him.  “Want say sorry, but wrong word. Don't like hurting you, but need learn.”

Taran pauses for a moment and mews sadly, while he thinks, “Gleam, you scare me a lot, I know you are used to being older.  But you are taking it too far. You are young, you need to watch for your own health. I don't know why you refuse to let others know when you need or want something.  But panicking is not healthy when you are just being asked to let others know you need something by making sounds.” Taran sighs, “I don't want to need to do anything stronger to you Gleam, you are too good and nice of a mon, but I can't let you keep denying yourself.”

Taran sighs, licking the kit gently, “Worried Gleam, worried, worried, worried.  Miss you, you gone. Don't want lose again, especially not because not know sick, not know hurt, or you do too much.” He concentrates for a moment again, “I care for you the same way I would for a brother, it's why I asked about the family thing, I know Ezelle did it by accident, so trying to not press it.  But I wonder if you would react better to a brother. But considering what Ezelle said about you.” He pauses and nods, “Imprinting so easily, I wonder how long it'll take for anyone who watches you to be seen as family. Just because we will need to do what we can to take care of you. Is that what you are afraid of?”  He sighs softly, “But nevermind that for now, please let us give back to you some of what you have given to us.”

Gleam sniffles, he cried through a good bit of that, but again he heard that, worried.  He’s trying to be good, to be easy to take care of, to not cause a fuss. Why? Why does that worry others.  Why does him not begging for attention constantly worry others? Why does him letting actual whelps, who actually need adult attention, get it, worry mon?  Why is it the only thing he seems able to do is worry others, even when he’s trying to be good and easy to take care of. Why? Why? Why? He gets so frustrated he doesn’t even catch he lets out a little growl and suddenly Taran’s head is on top of his own, holding it down.

Taran whimpers strongly, “Stop Gleam, hurting yourself, stop it.  Don’t try bang your head. Gleam please, stooop!” He actually whines out the last bit, and before the cat said he was worried, but now there, there is a strong edge of worry to the cats voice.  He could swear it almost sounds like he’s about to cry. At that point the cat goes from trying to just be close and cuddle lightly to actually hugging around the kit, all 4 limbs around him, holding him closely, the cat licking along what part of him he can.

For Gleam, his thoughts just spin, what just happened?  Why is Taran so worried? Hurt himself? Bang his head? Was he doing that?  What? And now Taran sounds like he’s close to crying, what did he do? What did he do?  How did he drive Taran to this? What is wrong with him? He’s made mommy cry, daddy beg him, now Taran, Taran is like this.  What did he do? He starts to cry and whine himself, his body starting to shiver.

Taran whimpers a bit more, then shifts about, one paw leaving the hug. Taran’s badge starts up a moment later, “Ezelle here.”

Taran quietly responds, sounding….defeated? “Is Taran, please come, just you.”

Ezelle responds sounding rather confused, “Umm, ok I’ll be there soon.”

Taran just quiets down after that, other than occasional sniffles.  Gleam can just feel his heartbeat now, partially listening to it as well.  It’s fast, Taran just cuddles with him, sniffling. Gleam is just confused, what is going on.  He hasn’t heard Taran sounding this bad since before he began to train the cub for dungeons, at that point he was unhappy with the fact he couldn’t seem to work well in dungeons, Gleam figured it out, the poor cub had a few developmental issues, once he understood the cat had a different way of thinking than most mon, he was able to help.  What did he do to his cheery little cat? How? Banging his head? Was he really? And he realizes he has somehow genuinely scared the cat. He quiets down, trying to give Taran a few soft licks, trying to rub his head back against the cat. Just anything he can do to show the cat a bit of affection.

Soon enough Ezelle pads in, looking about warily, seeing the two together, Taran hugging Gleam, not looking overly happy, Gleam lightly pushing up against him.  The sylveon pads over to the two, looking worried at the scene before him, gently lifting the two together in his feelers, shhing softly, “What is it? What is it?  What’s going on you two?”

Taran earfolds, “Th, think make mistake.  S stop Gleam, hurting self, but.” The cat mews sadly, “he tried, Gleam try hurt self.”

Ezelle definitely perks in surprise, looking to Gleam in worry, Gleam himself definitely surprise, eyes wide, ears perking up.  The sylveon takes a moment to study his feelers and sighs, nosing Gleam then looks to the shinx, before pulling them both close, gently starting to groom Taran, “Can you tell me what happened little cub?”  Ezelle paused a moment, closed his eyes silently to himself, doing his best to not sigh at his own actions, Gleam perking his ears softly, thinking he already knows what is going on.

Taran looks up, sniffing a bit, then takes a breath, “Gleam wake up from sleep.  Almost roll off pillow, I stop, Gleam startle, obvious upset little, want whine, but stop himself”  Taran mewed looking down, “Tell Gleam whine, he refuse, ask more.” Taran mews more, “He start acting panicky but still no whine, just stare with eyes, remind I want whine.”  

“He use thing put in maw calm, instead of whine.  I take. He start whine, cry finally. Comfort as can.  I talk about why do this. He quiet then seem getting worked up. Then growl, start moving head up, down fast, hitting on pillow. I stop him, he start shake and whine and cry more.  Call you, he quiet down.”

The cat lowered his ears and whimpered, talking in a defeated voice again, “Should take before make worse.”

Ezelle sighs, lightly rubbing the two a moment, “For the sake of it, for both of you. Taran does think he's telling the truth Gleam, so this isn't a trick from him.  Second, Taran, Gleam feels confused I am not sure he even realizes he did it. Otherwise he seems…worried. Both of you do.”

Otherwise Taran started releasing his grip on Gleam.  Gleam frowned and shook his head as he started to feel those feelers go around just him, starting to pull him away from Taran.  He didn't want to go, Taran needs to know not his fault, that he likes Taran, that he isn't mad. He winced as he tried to move his legs, trying to grab at Taran.  Ezelle shhed to him softly, “Hold still Twinkletwig, don't make me need to restrain your legs.”

At that point Gleam didn't really care, he kept moving his legs as he could, wincing more, he was not going to leave Taran, not like this.  Then he squirms as his legs are held still, Ezelle sighing, “Gleam, careful you’re still recovering you should not be moving this much, what has gotten into you?”

Gleam frowns more as he’s restrained, fine if they want him to whine.  And he starts to whine and whimper, not planning to leave Taran. The sylveon and the shinx both look on in surprise, both a touch bewildered.  Ezelle blinking a moment, he expected being held by daddy might make the kit feel better but this confuses him a touch. He looks at Taran who seems just as surprised and confused.  The kit getting louder and louder, Ezelle feeling over him, “I mean I’m glad he’s finally but…” He lightly feels the kit’s stomach, “He could use a little food but I don’t think that would make him get this loud.”

Gleam continued squirming heavily, tail flailing as he keeps whining, he can’t move a lot really, Ezelle holding him secure..and it aches and hurts more to even attempt too much.  Ezelle earflicking, “He wants..something that..that’s all I can tell.” Taran slowly leans up, lightly sniffing at Gleam, and he immediately quiets down softly as Taran gets near, brushing his tail over him.  Ezelle perking a moment more, and lightly lets Gleam back down next to Taran, the kit going quiet.

Ezelle sighs, “Sorry Taran, looks like Gleam isn’t letting you out of babysitting duties.  No matter how you feel I don’t think he wants to leave.”

Taran tilts his head to the side then sighs, nosing the kit and helps situate him on the pillow.  The little kit softly licking back at Taran as he’s nosed. Again trying to display a bit of affection for the cub.  In return Taran nosing a bit more and he tries to think a bit, nosing at Gleam a little more.

Ezelle shrugs, “If anything Taran consider you stopped the behavior before he got hurt, so far everyone else has had it go too far.  I left him with Pepper, and we know how that went. Pele dropped him off with Sherry and now you see what’s happened there. You not only stopped him but called for help immediately it seems, while trying to keep him safely held.  Out of all of us, you’ve honestly done the best.”

Taran nods slowly, mewing a touch more sadly then noses Gleam, “Right.”  He softly paws along Gleam’s head, “I just...” He looks up, “Scared, never, never see whelp do that.  But you think not know?” Taran tilts his head a little bit, then considers looking at Gleam for confirmation.  Which the kit slowly nods his head.

Taran sighs, “Ok.  Wish knew what happen.  Ask once talk.” He gently rubs his muzzle along Gleam, “But never hear whimper, whine willingly loud before.”  Taran considers and sighs, nosing along Gleam’s back, “Good whelp.” He then gives Gleam a few soft grooming licks.  Which Gleam just closes his eyes over, he still does not care a lot about being licked and groomed like that, but on the other side he can’t deny the attention in general just feels nice, which that fact annoys him greatly.  He does not want to be a little attention seeking hog. But he tries to not show his annoyance, he doesn’t want to make Taran feel bad again, so he just lets it help him settle down and slowly relax, blushing softly. Then surprises himself when the little fox starts to let out a squeaky purr, his eyes opening pretty wide and he stops purring once he caught on to what he was doing.

Ezelle chuckles a moment while Taran lets off a little giggle, “Where Gleam Scarf?  Think want hide..”

Ezelle nods, “Pele has it, something about comforting scents.”

Taran nods, and saddles up closer to Gleam covering him a bit more, actually moving over him gently, “Though think Gleam found something he like huh?”

Gleam just gives a shy little squeak.

Ezelle rubs Gleam’s muzzle gently, “No need to be so shy son, it’s ok to enjoy being taken care of, really.  Taran get off of him, please, no need for him to hide it’s just the three of us. And personally I like to see my son actually enjoy himself.”  The sylveon leans down to gently nose Gleam, smiling to him warmly, then he sighs and shakes his head, “I really need to stop thinking on that.”

Gleam looks at Ezelle curiously, the sylveon patting him a bit, “Something your mother said you wouldn’t like but...that I want to see that’s all.  Don’t worry about it I was talking to myself. But how about you go back to relaxing while Taran grooms you? I’d never heard you purr before…”

Gleam lightly earfolded then nodded his head, slowly laying his head down shyly and closes his eyes.  Need to make Taran feel better he reminds himself, and soon he feels himself being groomed again. He tries to not think about what is going on, just let Taran do his thing, relax, settle, let yourself enjoy the attention.  It'll make the cub happy, swallow your pride for the time being. He soon slowly settled down, trying to ignore this is being watched and once he's decently relaxed he wiggles shyly as he starts to hear and feel himself purr again.

Nothing more is said, though he can feel air movement due to his whiskers, prob father walking around.  He finally hears a voice in his head again, very soft and low, trying to not startle or upset him. “ You are a piece of work, you know that?  You refused to whine for your own comfort and needs.  But the moment you knew your actions hurt someone or they took your actions wrong you dropped all decorum and worry.  You whined and whimpered loudly. I can feel your dislike of enjoying this, but you let it happen because it makes Taran feel better.  I mean I'm glad you're letting him pamper you, but I'm pretty sure everyone wishes you just let yourself enjoy it for no reason other than enjoying it.”

Gleam just lets his ears fold submissively, “Don't like to hurt my friends, don't want to take advantage of them.  Don't want to cause trouble, in enough punishment already. Already they have to cater to me if they want me to live.  Gotta feed me, give me water, keep me warm, ironic, keep a fire type warm, but they do. Sleep next to me if not a close quarters sleeper to nap with me, take care of grooming me.  And I don't care to think of more. I just want to be easy to care for it's all. The thing with Sherry was my bad, should have stopped. Which is where it gets even worse, the whelps are even needing to watch me, instead of playing and having fun.  So I'm even a burden on the whelps.”

Mardav pauses a moment, “ You know, when you helped me with the whelps, I always wondered what went through your mind.  What made you so loving and caring to all of them. Forgiving to the point that you forgave insults and bad command from those currently in your group.  So attentive to notice when your help was needed. I had always hoped some of what made you that way would rub off on Ezelle. What a mistake that was, I never want to wish that amount of self hatred on anyone.  Gleam, try to forget you were ever anything but a whelp for awhile. Think of yourself and take some time to be selfish for once in your life.”

Gleam perks his ears at first as he starts to listen, the compliments, the fond sounding voice, then earfolds and actually whines as Mardav’s speech turns a bit colder once he says mistake.  Only to again turn from the slightly colder one to the voice he’d use to talk to whelp, slightly peppy, slightly singsongy. Gleam can’t help but find the sound slightly alluring even as he tries to feel a bit offended over it being used on him.  “ Surely you don’t mean that, please, mistake?  And, I’m not a greedy little whelp, I’m not , that’s the whole point.  And please, don’t use your whelp voice on me, please.  I’m not just a whelp, please.”

Gleam suddenly finds daddy’s feelers about him, Taran softly nosing the kit’s side.  He slowly opens his eyes looking up, hoping he won’t need to whine to be put down again.  But he noses back at Taran who finally speaks up, “Think hungry, get food? Please?” He looks up at Ezelle who hmms and nods, padding over to where Taran’s chest is, the cat whispering to Gleam a moment,”You, Mardav, talk?”  Gleam looks over to Taran and gives a slow nod, his ears folded, he gives a shy little quiet bark. Lightly pushing his head closer to Taran.

Taran shrugged a bit, “Need food anyway, good enough excuse.  Sleep again soon, rest, heal, grow.”

Mardav softly cuts in, “ Sorry I suppose that was overly harsh.  Finally had you willingly relaxing and I ruined it.  But it’s how I feel. Gleam, you know you aren’t healthy, I’m sure of it.  I’ve been told you have nightmares, you weren’t happy as a human when you returned.  And you were giving an honest try at having a life as a human, at least Pele thinks you were.  Gleam you’re wild, you’re self destructive, you said the thing with Sherry was your fault. From all accounts you were driven, strongly, to please her, to make her happy.  You didn’t stop because you wanted to please her. You try to ignore your own needs to make others happy. That is not healthy.”

The spirit quiets a moment, before starting again, “ But this isn’t news to you.  Sadly. This is not new information.  You’ve been told this a few times. But still, some part of you drives you to hurt yourself while helping others.  Not just to help others, not just to be nice, but specifically drives you to aid others in ways that are self destructive.  Look I’m going to quiet down, think on my own a bit. If you like I’m willing to sing to you a bit, maybe you’d like a nice lullaby after food, help you sleep, help you heal.  Not just to treat you like a whelp, but to help you get to the point you can walk and talk again. But while I leave this subject, can you do me a favor? Just think, think about why you don’t want to just help others.  But why you insist you aren’t allowed to be helped yourself, you aren’t allowed to enjoy yourself. Why you are only allowed to have fun if others have fun, why it’s ok for you to hurt to make others happy. But why it isn’t ok for others to make you happy.  Just think about it, ok Twinkletwig?”

Gleam quiets a bit in his own thoughts before replying, ” I’ll try, I’ll try to think on it.”  He pauses a moment more then sighs, “ I haven’t heard you sing in quite awhile, always was a sweet voice, think even when I wasn’t a whelp you could about put me to sleep anyway.”  He lets out a light little sigh, “ Go ahead.” He earfolds, “ It, it.” he lets a few tears fall, “ I honestly would like to just hear it again, for no reason other than to hear it…”

Mardav pauses, then speaks softly, “ Thank you little one.  Now eat, then you can sleep.”


 

Taran watches as Gleam seems to just drift off into pleasant slumber on his own once he’s finished eating, he then looks up to Ezelle, staying huddled next to Gleam for the time, “Ezelle, stay moment?  Lay beside, not busy?”

Ezelle perks but nods, slowly laying down next to both of them, using his feelers to softly hug both.  The shinx sighing and looking down, ears flicking and twitching, then he looks back up. Ezelle perks more, “You’ve got something on your mind, what’s up?”

Shinx sighs, “Catch mistake, understand why, but catch.”  He noses Gleam’s side gently, “Gleam not respond, but I ask.  Feel better, brother.” He lowers his head, “I know, talk dad, whenever want.  But, only talk, not feel. Not nuzzle, not hug.” He closes his eyes, “Dad sad he can’t, know cub need, all cub need.  Close adult.” he looks up, “Not sure adopt, but..” He earfolds, and lays his head on Ezelle, taking in a deep breath, “Don’t mind treat sometime.”

Ezelle earfolds and nods softly, “Yeah I can understand that.  It was nice to talk to my dad again too. But..it is just talking.  And physical contact would be nice.” He blushes a moment, “I kind of wish I was still an eevee when I first met Pele, I think I would have enjoyed being held by her for a moment, like all of you can be.”  he smiles sadly, “But that’s something else.” He noses Shinx gently then shrugs, “In all honesty what you’ve asked is something Pele and myself are both considering anyway. I doubt either of us could ever be everyone’s mother or father.  But those who are still here, could surely need at least an adult to be near.” He considers a moment, “Pele has been hit especially strong by her maternal needs, the same way you enjoy running dungeons, she’s started to get great enjoyment out of taking care of kids.  And we’ve discovered she needs what outlets she can get.” Ezelle suddenly perks his ears, “Oh right we needed to ask you a question. I’ll go ahead and do it. If you don’t mind?”

Taran perks his ears but nods, then smiles, “Maybe sometime, be nice, all leaders, together?  Just, be close, everybody?” Then he thinks, “Question? Ask?”

Ezelle nods, “You’re the only one of us, besides the whelps, to receive actual training from Gleam, and in that case he was actively training you on purpose.  So you’re the only one we know of, besides Pele, who he has trained.” He sighs, “Pele is running into an issue...with her emotions. When you were with Gleam did he seem to do anything that helped you regulate your emotions?  Did the way you handled them change after he left?”

Taran perks, then shakes his head, “No, always same.”  he tilts his head, “Pele trouble?”

Ezelle sighs, he looks to Gleam feeling over the kit, making sure he’s asleep then looks to Taran, “Yes, something is going on with her emotionally.  It’s like something else handled them for her, and now it’s stopped happening. And she’s hitting an emotional backlash.” he sighs, “We think she might be going through a version of what drove Gleam wild.  We were kind of hoping you had an idea on if Gleam was somehow managing emotions..but that seems to not be the answer. Ralts, myself, and Dad plan to have sessions with her mindlinked, hopefully we can help her.  But if you’d like to help her, just go to her if you need to be held or comforted, as I said that seems to be something that actually brings her joy, to hold and comfort cubs and whelps.”

Taran nods, “Hope ok.”  he looks at Ezelle curiously, ears twitching, “Know you hope lot.”  He sighs, closing his eyes then considers, “Sadly I don’t know her as well as you do, I’m too young to have gotten to know her well when she was first here.  Though I should probably let dad talk to her sometime, he has fond memories..”

Ezelle perks, then sighs, “Of course you’d know...well at least it’s from Fulger.  She remembered when she went to her old house, but her memory is fragmented, very broken, she said she’ll tell everybody eventually, but for now it’s Kencil, Gleam, and myself who know..”  he earflicks, “Most spirits will probably know who it is pretty fast too. But she’s choosing to reveal it slowly, she has such few memories she doesn’t want to disappoint those who remember our little fireball fondly.”

Taran nods, “Keep quiet, ok.”  He softly pushes his body against Ezelle, “Is ok, we nap?”

Ezelle smiles warmly for the moment at that, “I’ve a few wilds to look after later.  But I think we can rest together for a bit.” With that said he slowly curls around the cub and whelp, “And I’ll let you decide on the whole adopt or not thing.  I imagine it might feel odd to have your father to talk to and me as your father too. But I’ll still be here at least, I might still go with cub on occasion though.” he noses along Taran softly then smiles, “But that’ll be as far as I go little sparkster.”  he grins, “But here...let me handle one thing while you nap.” And he begins to groom out Taran’s fur gently, getting it good and straightened out, while Taran slowly settles down to take a bit of a nap with Gleam.


 

For Gleam the next few days were rather quiet and uneventful.  Not that he was overly bored or anything. He’d wake up hungry, at first Taran nearby for the rest of the day, feeding him, he could feel Mardav watching and listening to his thoughts, though no real communication, until he was finished with food.  At which point the spirit helped send him back to sleep with a song.

The next day he woke up to the bow already removed, daddy probably talking with Mardav.  Pele had him for the day and he found himself often waking up in her arms, every single meal he was tended to by Althea, Pele’s energy reserves apparently having grown enough to allow her to do so.  He was a bit saddened to see the spirit, and he really didn’t enjoy it when she finally gave him the talking to she promised. Hearing her say she didn’t sacrifice herself just for him to kill himself later was one of the oddest experiences he ever heard.  But she focused more on how he’s too young to not be napping more often, needing to keep to simple play. Reminding him he knows better than to focus on advanced training on a new team member, he’d never do that to his old team so don’t do it to himself. And basically reminded him that as a trainer, he pretty much went against every single rule he laid out for his own team, and hurt himself badly in the process.

On the other side, she did soften up in subsequent feedings once she had said what she wanted to.  Talking about how cute he looked, she reminded Pele of a few grooming tips and techniques. And he at least got to eat her eggs over gummies, not that he minded gummies, but he didn’t feel quite like he was eating childish food when he swallowed down the eggs.  Though those feedings quickly became a blur, as soon he was just waking up half asleep, eating the egg, then falling right back asleep. He actually tried to stay awake a few times just for the sake of it though. But they always managed to get him back to sleep.

From there he sort of lost track of time, he tried to do what he could.  But they stopped letting him stay awake, and actively worked towards sending him back to sleep at all times.  So the next bit of time became a blur of eating and sleeping, sometimes being half awake. Sometimes he’d startle awake from a nightmare even, but he always had someone near, usually mama, to first force him to not hold it in, then to help soothe him better, much to his chagrin after a few times of this it became natural to work up to crying after a nightmare.  He discovered Pele had a decent singing voice, and he had many half awake memories of just being almost hidden in her fur, snuggled in while he ate then drifting back off to sleep to Pele humming one thing or another.

He also had a few short memories of being with Taran or Ezelle, but those were short lived each time they happened.  It was a relatively quiet and peaceful pattern for however long it lasted.

Chapter Text

“He awake?”

“I think he waking up!”

“I saw his eyes move.”

“He waking up!”

“Shh shh don’t startle him, mama might hear.”

“Sorry, just, he sleep lots.”

“Yeah wanna play again.”

“I know, we all do.  But if you’re too loud, or make him squeak, mama might hear and come put him to sleep.”

“Yeah, sissy been having him sleep lots.”

“Is why he big?”

“Yah, soft tummy, no thin.”

“Mama has been making sure he eats a lot.  You’re still a bit pudgy yourself eevee, I think that natural for a whelp, at least fleshy ones, I remember you were pudgy too rattata.”

Gleam continued listening for a bit, soft tummy?  Big? Startle? Wait they are worried he might get startled?  He isn’t that young. He pushes back the instinct to whine, but does let himself stretch some, he hears someone giggle, then something taps one of his forepaws, he does a light swipe at it from reflex, another soft giggle.  And he paws again, reaching for it, feeling that tap, then does another swipe, hearing another giggle.

Sounds like the whelps are feeling playful, oh well not a bad way to pass the time while he wakes up, he starts feeling around with both paws, hearing more giggling.  He recognizes a tail, he thinks rattata’s come to his paw, he tries to grab with both paws, it moves away super fast, even as he reaches for the way it went.

Pretty soon he’s playing along with their little game of catch, the giggling from the whelps please him a bit, then he perks as rattata speaks up.

“He healed?  I remember not supposed to move for long while.  But he stretching and playing even!” the mouse speaks out in quiet excitement.

Shii giggles, “Oh, yes think he been healed for awhile I think.  I try to sneak and use what spirits and Ezelle teach me. Do my best to check him out.”

Eevee speaks up then, “Then why no play?”

Shii sighs, “He’s mama’s first child, she very worried about him.  And he’s really young. So she’s protecting him lots Especially since second day he was back Skitty almost took him away and he got hurt so badly.”

Eevee ohs softly.

Sandshrew softly whines, “Before that, he play.  Play ball. We play.”

Rattata speaks up this time, “Yeah, but sissy also wanted be Mama to him.  When he got hurt she worried a lot, so decided to mama him a lot.”

Eevee perks, “Why eyes no open?  He old enough.”

Shii giggles, “Because he’s listening to us talk silly.  See his ears twitching around?”

Sandshrew, “Listening?  You think, you think, he awake enough, understand?”  he sounded awfully excited.

Shii hmms, “Only one way to find out.  Rattata, take out thing in mouth. Gleam, please don’t whine, and if talk, just talk softly.”

Soon he feels his little muzzle toy tugged on then popped out, as he opens his maw some to help release it.  “Un, un, uuunnn, unnnnd, unn.” He starts to blush, his voice sounds so quiet, so tiny, so small, and it feels like it’s been forever since he used it to actually talk, he’s actually stumbling over everything.  At least he isn’t coughing, but it seems like he’s going to get a bit more awake or something to get up to speed on talking.

Shii giggles softly, “It’s ok little brother, you’ve been sleepy long while.  Rattata give mouth thing to sandshrew, and go watch for mama.”

Gleam squirms a moment, “li..li..liii--”

Shiii shhs, “Stop, I know you want to talk more.  But I already catch what you mean, and that you understand us.  And if you keep it up you might frustrate yourself, which might get Mama’s attention.”

Gleam frowns a little bit, “buh….buh..”

Shii sighs, “Put it back in, lil brother always stubborn.”  And he finds that item put back in his maw, his ears wilting a little bit.  And he feels Shii rub up against him. “Why not open your eyes? I promise we don’t want to just send you back to sleep.  Lot of us miss just being with you.” She sighs softly, “Mama wouldn’t even really wake you for mine and Rattata’s whelpend party, I had passed whelphood for a bit, but hid it and waited for Rattata, we had hoped that both of us having whelpend would be enough for mama to let you stay awake.  I was hoping she would, was wanting to celebrate with my little brother. Instead she let me feed you once you were barely awake, was nice but like being with brother better.”

Gleam plastered his ears on his head hearing that.  Both left whelphood and he slept through it? He started to whimper a little bit, trying to hold it back.  He feels Shii rub him gently, Eevee and Sandshrew cuddled near. Shii sighing, gently rubbing a bit more. Gleam just snuggling in and trying to quiet down, missed their whelpend party?  Missed an entire day like that? And disappointed Shii? Why does he only seem able to make others unhappy, and this time it was as part of his punishment.

Shii suddenly spoke up, “Shh, act like asleep, Eevee Sandslash nap with Gleam.”  He felt himself moved onto his side, and they gently fold his legs against his body, back to his usual sleeping position, the two whelps cuddling up near against him and atop him lightly.  Gleam quieted down by now, and was just trying to listen without drawing attention.

He heard soft steps enter the room, then did everything in his power to keep his body still as he heard mama talk, “Hello there, just checking in to see how things are going.  How are my babies doing?”

Shii and Rattata both speak up, “Doing ok Mama/Sissy.” While Shii continues, “Whelps asleep, though were wanting extra play earlier.”

Pele hmms, “Extra play?  Oh begging to play with my sleepy one again?  Sorry dears but I don’t think he’s quite ready for play yet.  All the sleepy time helps him grow some.” She sighs, “And he was pretty small for his age.  So he still needs a little more time. Don’t worry you’ll get to play with your little brother soon.”

Rattata speaks up next, “I, I know he got hurt.  But, when eevee and I play with him, he ok then. Plus other way grow is play.”

Pele shhhs,”I know dear I know.”  A soft sigh can be heard, “But I didn’t know better.  I didn’t know how little he was, and how much protection he needed.  I know all of you love Gleam, don’t worry he should be awake a bit more often soon enough.  Once he’s grown enough it’ll be hard to keep him asleep, he’ll just have too much energy. We’re just waiting until that happens is all.”

Gleam felt mama’s paw come down, lightly stroke over his body, as well as the whelps atop of him.  He meanwhile was doing his best to hold back tears, how long had they been conditioning him while he slept?  It’s so hard to hold back his want to cry out, whimper and whine, he hopes mama leaves soon, he doesn’t want her to know he’s awake.  He doesn’t want to just be put back to sleep, to lose more time with everyone. He missed an important date for Shii. What about Kencil?  Has she evolved, he heard age wise she was close, did he miss her evolution?

And he found it was far too late, he’d already worked himself up with his thoughts, and apparently they had been working on breaking down his willpower whenever he woke from naps.  He was soon starting to tear up, whimper, then whine. He heard a soft shhing from mama, then lightly all 3 of them was picked up, the bundle of whelps held against mama’s softness.  Eventually he was letting it out shamefully and loudly, Eevee and Sandshrew did their best to comfort him a bit, but mama mostly took over, holding him close, giving him gentle kisses.  Telling him it was ok, to just let it out, he slowly flashed to this happening dozens of times after nightmares, he’s lost track of how often.

Once they had conditioned him to get upset after nightmares, that became the next step, they didn’t try to stop him, they just held him, told him it was ok, that he was safe, that whoever had him loved him.  And that’s what mama was doing right now, the realization she isn’t even trying to stop him from crying directly, that she’s just going to let him go until he’s too tired. That thought just made his outburst louder, that no-one is trying to stop him, they plan to just have him keep going till he can’t anymore.

But given time, he does tire out, hiccuping softly.  Ears folded, he ruined it...they had him awake, mama was going to leave..but he upset himself, his fault.  Now she’s going to send him back to sleep, he’s going to wind up missing more time. He whimpers quietly, just settling in to his fate, to just miss the world.  Just there to take up space now apparently, he gives a lil sigh, then turns to nose both Eevee and Sandshrew before the inevitable happens. Already feeling himself being softly rocked, then gives a lil squeak as he finds himself being shifted around, and soon mother is grooming his face.

He quietly lets it happen then eartwitches as he feels a buzzing, oh that doesn’t hurt, good.  Wonder who is talking to who. Then squeaks as he hears mama in his head, “ Sweety?”

Gleam just quiet sighs, “ Go on, get it over with, put me back to sleep already.”

Gleam feels himself squeezed a bit more then Pele sighs softly, “ My little twig, don’t be like that.

Like what?  It’s what you’re going to do, just put me to sleep so I’m out of the way and punished, I’m just accepting it.”

This isn’t a punishment Gleam, this is to --”

Missing I don’t know how many days of my life?  Missing Shii and Rattata’s whelpend parties? Just wasting away asleep constantly, unable to do anything, to see anyone.  What’ll happen I’ll just wake up some day as a Delphox, and then finally you’ll let me stay awake? This isn’t a punishment?  Restricting my freedom once I can walk? Missing important milestones and events of others?

Pele sighs softly, “ Gleam! Hush!  We almost lost you twice due to carelessness, you almost died.  You think I’ll just sit back and do nothing, that I’ll take no steps to make sure that never happens again?

By not even allowing me to live?  By treating me like a helpless infant? By--

Pele cuts in quickly, “ You are a helpless infant.  You just refuse to accept the fact, son.

Gleam whimpers a little bit, “ No, no I wasn’t.  This is all because you kept pu--

Pele stills a moment, letting off a soft chuff of annoyance, “ I’m going to be nice to you for now, but sweetie, back talking and blaming your mother?  That is not a good little kit. But I’ll let it go for now, we’ll pretend you aren’t my boy and talk this out for now.”

Gleam suddenly whimpers much more.

Pele sighs, “ Remember your little stage performance where you bumbled between everyone then almost fell over multiple times, despite trying your best?  How about the fact eevee was stronger than you? That batting around a ball was one of the few games you yourself knew you could do? Your need for warmth?  The fact others do need to groom you? In the end you didn’t even eat without being fed first, Ezelle told me of that experiment.

Gleam whines softly, “ Sorry mama….

Pele gently sighs again, he can feel her moving around, but he’s remaining curled up with his eyes closed, “ I probably should have let you get your complaints out and not reminded you I was your mother.  Though I’m mostly over that now anyway, but I know back when this started I would have loved to actually talk with you more as equals as you had just started off with.  But let’s get to your other complaint.”

“Little twig, compared to normal fennekins, when you first came here.  Your weight and size was appropriate for how old?”

Gleam eartwitched lightly, “ I, I dunno mama...never seen whelp fennekin before..”

Pele gently scritches Gleam between the ears, “ Then I’ll make it simple, you were both underweight and small for your age.  We have a full pokecenter worth of equipment here, trainer Gleam had thankfully trained Althea on how to use the equipment, and there was enough energy around to get it working.  While you were sleeping I had her run the full gamut of tests on you. Hon, you arrived here around 3 weeks old. You were underweight and small for that age. That’s probably part of your whole issue you had with your strength.”

Gleam gulps softly, “ Underweight...Small?”

Pele sighs, “ Yes little twig..you’ve gotten closer to normal over the past few weeks, and while you might be annoyed by it...your baby fat looks quite cute to me.  And you’ll be needing it to continue growing and getting stronger. As for the sleepiness, Althea suggested it, that I had been letting you force yourself awake far too much, and she helped me with actually taking care of a young whelp, did you know she was 30 years old?  She knows a lot about whelps.”

Pele considers a moment, “ If you make a promise to mama, I’ll let you stay awake and play with the whelps for a little bit ok?

Gleam perks up squeaking gently, “ What is it mama?

Pele scritches his tummy, “ When you start feeling tired don’t fight it.  You’re still growing and sleep helps with that.  I’ll tell the whelps the same. You can play but when you look tired you need to get back to sleep.”

Gleam sighs, whimpering, “ Already tired from crying…

Pele hums to him softly, “ Next time then dear, next time.  Also that way they won’t have someone watching for me, and try to hide the fact you’re awake from me.  You’re far too together to not have been awake for awhile. Most of the time when we talked I’d get single words out of you.”

Gleam feels himself being softly rocked, while Pele speaks softly, “So we have a little bit to talk about, you four, stop pretending Eevee and Sandslash I already know, just be careful he is trying to fall back asleep….”


 

Gleam yawned and stretched a bit, then had to immediately had to fight an urge to whine.  What is going on, he isn’t a crybaby, so why does he want to whimper and whine so much now?  He just has a slight discomfort around his stomach, a few whines make it out despite his best efforts.  Then he feels someone come over and lightly rub over him, small paws, so not mama. Soon they rub his stomach, pushing softly.  This is someone capable of standing on two legs. So if he was with the same group from earlier, Rattata or Sandslash…

Rattata speaks up, “Tummy feel soft, think hungry?”

Gleam wonders why he didn’t consider he was hungry, then heard Shii, “How awake is he?”

Rattata pauses, “Umm I dunno, he’s stretching and staying pretty still, see ears moving so he listening.”

Shii giggles, “We feed him liquid then, unless he say otherwise first.  If you awake Gleam might wanna talk.”

At that point he is just confused, liquid?  Like the sippy cup he'd chosen? But that'd be just water.

He heard Rattata giggle, “Think he confused, here Gleam.”. He found the, he sighed and finally admitted it to himself, pacifier in his maw pulled out.  Then it was replaced with another one? Wait he smells fire gummi? Then a liquid squirts out. A moment later he's sucking away with little control, liquid fire gummi?  And he realizes how he being fed, and blushes quite heavily. Especially as he's rolled onto his back and feels Shii lightly lift up his head, while he assumes Rattata holds his food container.  To his further embarrassment, this actually feels humiliatingly comfortable. On the other side this was filling his stomach, and he couldn't stop, he sighed mentally, nursing even if he tried. He really hopes this stage of his life ends quickly.  He'll be happy to go back to stuff he can actually eat, not just drink.

On the other side, Rattata and Shii seem pretty happy about this, so at least they are having fun.  Which makes him feel better at least, he decides he'll just not look until he's finished with his meal.

Which once that is done he's given a good chance to stretch, and finds a tail in reach this time. Looks like someone is wanting to play again.  He swipes at the tail lightly, then tries to grab the fluffy thing, he heard Eevee giggle lightly and keeps going for it. Before long he had managed to grab it, or rather Eevee let him get it.  He tries to not be upset that others were taking it easy on him, on the other side that tail does feel nice he could grab it and hug it all day -- what is he thinking? No no no, he should only initiate cuddles if it looks like the whelp needs it, needs to remember to look out for them.  Though mama said he was...he shakes his head a bit, then squeaks as his hindpaws are suddenly being tickled on the pads, and he starts to kick at the tail doing so, partially kicking, partially grabbing at. And finds a pair of small hands tickling his stomach.

He’s being attacked on all sides, and can’t help but giggle in surprise as he starts to wriggle, flailing his paws to try and stop those going after him.  Oh geeze they all want to play pretty badly it seems, and he starts trying to reach and go after all the limbs best he could, especially as both tails start trying to tickle, he begins to bat and push them away, while his own rather youthful sounding voice fills the air with his giggles.  But in time they stop and he’s left panting, with a silly grin and a few leftover giggles.

He then feels Shii softly rub up against him, while she speaks with a soft giggle, “Gleam, open your eyes.  Dunno why you always keeping them closed. Dun you wanna see us before play tires you out?”

Gleam blushes a bit, making a few intelligible yips then makes a shy lil squeak sound.  He slowly blinks open his eyes, feels like been forever since he’s seen the world. Momma did talk in a manner of weeks when it came to him sleeping...he really hopes that means less than a month.  There’s the room, looks like they have him on a pillow in the playroom. He then looks down and whines, he looks so...fat, a moment later his eyes focus better and the whelps come into view, Sandshrew, Eevee, Shii, Ra -- Oh wait, those last two aren’t whelps anymore.  He blinks a bit more, ugh this reminds him of when he first woke up with amnesia, he so wants to look himself over, his body feels odd, and he wants to figure out what’s different.

Huh..Eevee doesn’t look as big to him anymore, odd.  Still kinna big but not as big, he can tell Rattata is fully grown, and his fur is in completely, and Shii has her nice healthy colors.  Sandshrew, again, doesn’t look as big as he did, well, when he last saw him.

Well otherwise, might as well do what mon do, he works himself into a more upright position a moment, and gives soft nosing.  Which is met with giggles, he finally starts to work up to a sitting position, and is actually helped to sit up by the others.  Does he really need this much help? How much more of a burden has he become? He shakes himself off a moment and works his maw, “h h.” he pauses, come on this shouldn’t be so hard, “hi.”  He swears his voice sounds absolutely tiny, and his vocalization sounds odd, very squeaky.

A moment later those around him giggles and he’s bowled over by being hugged by 3 mon all at once, Rattata squeezing a moment, “Your awake, your awake.”

Shii sighs, “Only for little bit.” She looks down then looks to Gleam, “Right Gleam?”

He earfolds, and stifles a yawn, but nods, then noses at Eevee gently who aawwss, “Why? Why no play more?”

Rattata perks and ohs, “We promise, only stay awake till sleepy.”  He earfolds, blushing, “We played so much...got him tired.”

Gleam considers a moment, that was a promise...on the other side, he got to do something other than just be put back to sleep, he squeakily yips to get their attention and opens his forelegs wide, hoping they get the idea.  And they seem to as a moment later Eevee is nudged into his hug, he does his best to give Eevee a nice big hug, but finds himself being pushed up against Eevee as well, and curled up and...he squirmed shyly as they push it so Eevee is cuddling him, not the other way around, he’s all snuggled up against Eevee and he gives a light squeak, then Sandshrew comes round and snuggles from the other side, leaving him in the middle, he tries to look up in surprise only to find Shii and Rattata shhing him, getting a few soft headpats from Rattata.

Shii humms gently to him, then smiles, “Go on an sleep, you look comfy like that.”

Gleam blushes a touch more but closes his eyes, tucking his head back in and lets himself fall asleep.


 

Gleam slowly wakes again to his body on autopilot, he’s tasting gummi again, then soon after realizes he’s, he’s, he’s.  Another mental sigh, they’ve got him nursing again, why? Why do they insist on doing that? He doesn’t need to develop other bad habits.  But he finds he can’t work himself up too much he’s just, just. Annoyingly he’s just too comfortable, he doesn’t know much about young whelps, beyond when he helped with Eevee but.  Is it possible that like a human baby he needs to be weaned? No no he does not need to think down that line, he was eating berries, apples, and gummi’s easy enough early on. They’ve just found something else annoyingly infantile about his behavior.

He really isn’t sure what gets to him more, what’s going on, or the fact this is somehow relaxing him enough that he can’t even work himself up to be properly upset about this at the moment.  He really needs to nip this one in the bud before they try for more. From what he can tell mama is holding him, he can feel her fur all around him, and somehow he just knows she’s here. He squeaks softly as suddenly his food source is removed, and hears mama shhh to him.  This is definitely going too far, but before he can complain he’s shifted and laid across her shoulder. And feels his back being rubbed. Ok seriously what is going on? This is ridiculous, what is mama doing? He starts moving his legs trying to push, then squirms as he feels a need and...belches.

Did she just? She did!  She did just! He starts to speak and finds his maw filled with his toy.  Argh this is not what he wanted! Come on his throat is fine, no reason to fill his maw anymore, he spits out the thing in his maw, which comes as a surprise to mama, who gasps and moves to pick up the item, “Uh oh, did someone drop it?”

Gleam earfolds then growls lightly, being talked to like that is not what he wanted to hear, “nn, nnn n.”  He sighs, still issues talking, he’s going to just need to find some place to work on actually talking correctly, deciding to just let the growl speak for itself.  He squirms after his thought and looks up towards her after a moment.

Pele perks her ears then sighs, “Gleam…” She considers, “Fully awake again I take it?”

He nods his head.

Pele considers a moment then opens up a mental talk with him, “ You don’t seem that talkative even though you obviously have something you want to say little twig.

Gleam lets out a soft sigh, “ Don’t know what’s wrong there, but hard to talk.  I think from just how it’s been...I don’t even know how long I’ve been, out of it, you spoke in terms of weeks is all I know.  Just going to find some time when I’m alone to get it practiced.

Pele shakes her head, “ For the sake of it, three weeks.  You’ve been acting your age sleepwise for about three weeks.  This last week you’ve been a bit slightly more restless, so I had guessed those days were coming to an end.  But it looks like you’re waking up more fully now. Otherwise, son, you already know what I said, someone is going to be always watching you.  If you’d feel better about it I can let Taran watch you practice your talking, you seem, oddly, less self conscious around him, but you are not going to be left alone.

Gleam earfolds, “ Can you at least stop with the baby stuff then?  My voice is fine, my attempts at talking have not caused coughing fits.  And no more of how you just fed me? Please I don’t need those..things. You even got Shii and Rattata using those, things, on me.  I don’t need any more bad habits…

Pele sighs, “ We talked about something like this before dear.  I will do my best to not belittle you but, I will tend to your needs and wants, no matter how they feel to your big mind.  I will consider what you just asked, but you haven’t had a chance to pay attention to what such actions do to your body. While you were healing we were still waking you up for eggs, enough to eat, then let you go back to sleep, just keeping you comfortable.  Once you had healed, well the gummi’s and the juice made from them is just as nutritious as that egg is. We started you back on those, occasionally an egg, just because it stretched food resources some. We figured we might be able to have you stay asleep easier if you just nursed, we were right by the way, but something else happened.  You’ve had less horrible nightmares, I wouldn’t be surprised if you had more like the caterpie dream, but the amount of times you woke up freaking out lessened greatly. If it helps you sleep better I’m not going to stop it.”

Gleam whined a little bit, “ Noo….I don’t want to be treated like an infant!

Pele shhhhss softly, holding him close, gently rocking him in her arms and sighs, “Maybe if you heard it out loud.  I’m sorry Gleam but no matter how you feel about it, you are a very very young whelp, you are the pokemon equivalent of that human term.  I will keep things in mind when talking with you, but your health comes before your pride. Once you have something more resembling of a nap time and a bedtime, we can move letting you nurse to a just before going to sleep thing, if it still helps.  But just like you co-sleeping with someone, this is something that makes your sleep easier, sorry but not really. Otherwise you’ve complained about an oral fixation, the pacifier seems to fix that nicely and I know you know it doubles as a way to self soothe, when you aren’t fully awake you tend to start using it to calm down pretty fast.  I figured learning to self soothe isn’t a bad thing as long as you are showing you’re upset so I’ve let you keep it, but if you like I’ll gladly remove your only method of self soothing. As backwards as I know it sounds and is, we actually want you to learn to be reliant on us for your needs and wants, so sure we can toss away the pacifier, just do realize I know that having something in your maw helps you calm down, and consider how I might use that knowledge.”

Gleam earfolds and sighs, hanging his head down a bit, “ Maybe sleeping away this part of my life wouldn’t be such a bad thing…I’ll keep it for sleeping, but unless I ask for it no need to give it if I’m awake.”

Pele shakes her head, “The only one making fun of you, is yourself dear.  Pretty much everyone else accepts you’ve at least got whelp needs. More than a few just accept you as a very smart whelp.  Honestly it’s been hard to keep you to myself these past 3 weeks, and trust me I’ve tried all I can, especially because this is when my guardian duties are at their strongest.  And my guardian stuff happens in town. But everyone else still wants to be with you, even to just feed you or watch over you while you sleep.”

Pele sighs, “You really did something to this town dear, something big.  They love you Gleam, I remember you used to lament about the restrictions on capturing and choosing what pokemon could be on your team in the human world.”  She looks down to him, “You’ve effectively caught every single pokemon on this island, I’ve let the other guardians know exactly what that means. But Gleam this town, not only do they all belong to you, they all want to belong to you.”  She smiles sadly, “My trainer is still lost, hurting, needing to get better. But when he does, however he wants to train them, even if just for pokemon contests, and exploring, he has his pick of anyone he wants. But in the meantime, how about both of us learn from them how to be proper pokemon, and not a high powered battler, and a human who I’ve been discovering knew way too much about pokemon for his age?  Which for you includes not being fussy when being taken care of.”

Gleam blinks and looks up, “ I, other want to watch me?  I I own the town? Wha?” He gulps a moment, squeaking meekly then perks , “Knew way too much?” He rubs at his own eyes softly .

Pele shakes her head, “You look like you’re starting to get tired.  I’ll explain it later, but you’re an anomaly, so am I to be honest, both of us are, unusual when it comes to the whole guardian setup these islands have.  Gleam, you’ve gone wild, I’m trying to ease that up and get you less wild, but you know you’ve gone wild. Althea had heard stories of it, and my guardian job, in part, deals with knowing a whole lot of information.  You shouldn’t be you anymore. The fact you’ve retained your human memories, and full personality, is not normal. By all accounts you should be nothing more than a month and a half old fennekin whelp. But you aren’t, you’re hurting, but you’re still you.”

She softly leans back in the rocking chair with Gleam, then starts to slowly rock with him, “You’re even very together for a wild.  But most sources I’ve found agree it might because you’re a starter, apparently most starters, even wild ones, tend to have decently social and together thoughts.  If I went wild I’d probably be similar. It’s pretty much been agreed that the fact I’ve become the towns mother figure willingly probably has a lot to do with my own wild tendencies.  I’ve at least convinced those who didn’t start off as whelps to call me Matron instead of mother. But I know what most of them think.”

Gleam sighs a little bit, looking up to mama, ears folding a moment. “ Sounds like a lot…”  He looks aside a moment, “ I just can’t wait for this whole..whelp thing for me to be over so…” he pauses himself and just keeps his thoughts to himself.  “ But right, I feel sleepy. ”  He quietly curls up, nesting in Pele’s arms, head managing to tuck into his tail as he just readies himself to get back to sleep.

Chapter Text

Gleam yawned a bit and stretched, huh he isn’t in his bassinet, he can usually feel that.  He has a warm body directly beside him, actually covering him slightly. They start moving the moment he’s stretched, but not a lot.  Quadrupedal form. This is kind of exciting to him, in the few...he thinks maybe 3 days, that he’s regained consciousness, this is the first time he was left outside of mom’s house, and left away from, he tries not to wince as he thinks, other whelps.  And this can’t be mama’s house, she keeps it warm and toasty, he can tell whoever is beside him is sharing warmth cause its needed. They feel short furred, Taran or Papa assuming those he’s been with. Technically could be Rattata too though. Body shape feels smallish he can feel the start of both fore and hind legs.  So not papa, definitely not his warm house either. Some part of him tells him it’s Taran but he isn’t sure why he thinks it’s Taran.

He suddenly finds one of his paws tapped at, and he swipes towards whatever tapped his paw.  He can also feel who he assumes is Taran move around slightly, another tap, he swipes automatically, and there’s Taran giggling, yep he’s with Taran it seems.  He gives another stretch and yawns widely, welp, time for him to be awake for at least a little bit. He perks as the thing in his maw falls out and Taran’s head moves prob to grab it.  He shakes his head and does his best to speak, “nnn, ooohh.” He squeaks out, perking at how tiny his voice still sounds, blushing.

He perks more as he hears Taran giggles, “Cute!  And awake?”

Gleam nods softly, “y.” he manages to get out among a few soft yips, Taran nosing him softly.

“Open eyes little brother, want see, want play, then sleep.”  The cat purrs.

Gleam perks his ears and squeaks?!  His eyes going open quickly with that surprise, “br, br, br, br?”  He earfolds and blushes at his stumbling.

Taran shh softly, nosing Gleam gently, the cat smiling to him, “Mother”  he considers,”She adopted Guardians.” he giggles, “Sherry, Taran finally know she Celo too!”  He grins, “They surprised.” He considers, “Flint not care, forgot he mainlander.” Taran prrrs a bit more, “Talk with Shii.”  He looks at Gleam in eyes, “We play first, once tired, feed sleep.” He tailswishes,”can try talk play, but, after sleep, will talk.”  He stares into Gleams eyes, who gulps and whines a moment, then tries to push down that urge to whine. Taran nudges softlly, “Is ok, sorry I scare.”  He softly grooms along Gleam, then taps a paw, “Shii said make sure paw move good. Mother think wake enough, be restless. So time re-learn walk tonight.”

Gleam looks at Taran curiously at that, testing a paw on the ground, Taran smirks a moment but nods.  Gleam goes ahead and starts trying to get his paws properly under him and stand, he soon realizes he can’t get his legs directly under him, the bit of weight he’s put on don’t allow his legs to go strait, and he flops back down with a yelp.

Taran noses and shhs, “You ok, you ok.  But mama, no practice, she time practice.”  he rubs his muzzle along Gleam, “I just help legs.”  He smiles softly, “We play.” His tail starts to wag softly and he gently noses Gleam, helping him roll onto his back, Gleam squirming and looking around with a few yips, before he’s laying on his back.  He rolls himself back and forth a moment, before looking up at Taran, his ears folded in worry. Taran noses a bit more, shhing, “is safe, just me.”

Taran grins and Gleam soon finds his nose tapped by the star on the cat’s tail.  He squeaks and squirms, then finds it tapped again...then again...and soon he bats at it, trying to push it away.  Taran smiles, and tries tapping Gleam’s paws, making the kit swat at the tail. Then he moves in with it to tickle the little fox’s stomach, making him squeal and giggle in surprise, then try to kick at the tail to get it away.

Pretty soon Taran has Gleam lost in the little game.  Not really giving the kit time to think what is going on.  The cat had an idea what he’d tell Gleam if the kit ever got upset over being played with.  But Gleam seemed decently distracted by the game itself to keep from getting too upset. The cat eventually getting the young fennekin to grab and hold onto his paw, bite at it in play, lightly be lifted up as he held onto the paws.  And in general made sure the fennekin got a workout.

Gleam did his best to show a bit of displeasure as the shinx started to feed him before he went to sleep.  But Taran just continued, Gleam was honestly hoping for him to not do it, since holding the thing would be awkward.  With the fact he still needed to get used to talking again he couldn't even make his case against it.

Taran just rubbed him lightly and shhed him, then smirked, “Sorry, mother only this, until later.  All seen, some feed you. Timburr and Bunnelby, others too.”

That only made him whine heavily, but he soon quieted down, sighing as he slowly relaxed then fell asleep.


 

Gleam looked about nervously, he clung closely to Fulger’s back.  Calad was taking point while Flint followed closely behind Fulger.  The dungeon had been rough so far, at least that he could remember. He’s managing to hit a few with a blast wand, though he is spending most of his time clinging to Fulger’s back and trying to hide.

At a rest stop they restocked at the chest, he always found it odd the statues looked like a gallade.  Calad pulls out a bottle much to Gleam’s dismay. And Fulger shhs, “Baby can’t grow strong, if baby doesn’t eat.  Baby can’t help me if baby doesn’t eat. Baby shouldn’t be here.” The image of fulger starts to have it’s skin and fur melt, “If you weren't a baby you could have saved me.  I could have lived if it wasn’t for baby.” The partially skeletal figure starts looming over Gleam, who tries to back up, starting to yelp in surprise.

“It baby’s fault, worthless little baby.  Calad would have survived, Flint wouldn’t be wild, if you weren’t a worthless baby.  But don’t worry, we’ll make sure to die just so your worthless self can be fed, take your bottle baby.”

By this time Gleam is scrambling, legs flailing as he’s trying to move back and away, shaking his head, trying to speak, but he can only bark and yip, he can’t even talk.


 

Gleam bolts awake, trying to sit up, but can’t get his legs under him correctly.  Instead he flails a bit, but Taran soon puts his head on Gleam, settling him down and shhhing. Unfortunately for Gleam this seems to trigger his wateworks, the kit unable to help himself at the moment.  Taran lightly hugs his body around the kit, Gleam trying to quiet down, even as he starts crying himself hoarse, pushing himself against the cub. Even as the cat speaks, “Is ok little brother, is ok. I here, I protect.”  He pauses, “Know how feel, mother say way.” he noses Gleam’s cheek, “Unsure, but mother time, make you this. Is ok, no insult, love brother. Want brother ok, protect brother.”

He doesn’t want to be comforted, not really, but he’s hoping it’ll help him quiet down.  He needs to get away from needing others to comfort him, yet another bad habit he’s picked up.  He finds he does not know what to think of Taran’s speech, he got the general idea. He wishes the cub would just help him overcome it though.  Still he tries to work on self soothing for the moment.

He tries to remind himself, that wasn’t really Fulger, that wasn’t Fulger.  Fulger would never speak like that. Not that hatefully, not that cruelly, no matter how right that was.

How right what was little spark?”

Gleam jumped in surprise, he was so caught up he didn’t realize Taran had slipped that necklace on him, he squeaked hearing Fulger again, “ I’m sorry, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to, I’ll try to get better I jus---”

Shhhh, shhh quiet down spark quiet down.  No reason to be sorry, Taran just figured with you still needing to practice talking it’d be easier for me to ask you about your nightmare.”

Gleam’s ears fold as he whines, “ Don’t wanna talk about it, just a bad dream.  I’ll get over it. And eventually won’t need Taran to soothe me.”

He actually hears Fulger let out a sigh, “ You aren’t getting out of it little spark.  No more secrets, now go on, tell me about your nightmare.  I don’t want to make fun of you for it, I just want to help you feel better.  And I do keep getting some ideas of what is going on. The reason you’re still crying is that you keep thinking back to it, so now I already know it involved me.”

Gleam shakes his head a little more, whining meekly, “ I already know it won’t happen, I already know what’s in it wouldn’t happen.  I know it isn’t true. I don’t need any help with that, there’s no way you’d call me a baby any--- ” He mrrfs, trying to still his thoughts with a further whine, trying to push into Taran.

Baby…huh...human term I take it?  It resonates different in your mind at least. ” Fulger considers for a moment then sighs, “ My death again?  Or at least related to it spark?  I just wish to help, and no matter what you say you aren’t over it.  You might intellectually know the truth, but you don’t seem to actually believe it.” Fulger sighs again, “ I wish I had known some of the items you usually pack, but I was always interested in you helping Taran, in making you feel at home.  I never considered to ask you what you considered a good setup for a bag. My own hubris made me hurt you that badly…”

Gleam whimpers, “ No you did what you could I froze, I wasn’t thinking I couldn't think.  The only thing I was doing was going off of autopilot, I was trying to just help you fight them.  I wasn’t thinking straight at all.”

Fulger considers, “ And that was my point, I should have known what was in that bag, but I never asked you.  If I had known and was thinking strait, I would have ordered you to drop the orb, and then we’d have been able to escape.  I was rash in my decisions to protect you. I knew something was wrong with you, I knew you were not behaving well after.” He pauses, “ That happened.  I knew you had a great marketed increase in dungeon running.  I had noticed you started entering dungeons in the night, alone.  Mostly gummies. You ran dungeons more often in the day as well, where you used to be more conscious about taking your own time off and rests.  Taran mentioned you had started to rely on him more when it came to using items, and you had slowed down in calling out and suggesting commands.  But I was ignoring everything. Too worried about the corrupted and trying to protect you, and trying to make you comfortable.”

Fulger sighs a bit, “ So please let me make up a bit of it little spark.  I can at least talk a bit about your dream and let Taran know..”

Gleam pushes against Taran firmly, giving a huge sniff then whines when he lets out his breath, “ F fine I...just I..”

He did his best to describe the dream as he remembered it.

Fulger sighed after listening, “ Gleam, oh my little spark.” He paused, “ And the sad part is, what you need comforted on, isn’t the part you want comforting about.  Gleam, I’d never mind helping you, you aren’t in the way. If I was there, physically, I’d be happy to take care of you, and once you weren’t scared of em, taking you on the safer dungeon runs you used to take whelps on.  I take it this whole baby thing is some human name for a whelp. Gleam, there is nothing wrong with you needing to rely on others, especially now.”

Fulger paused then half chuckled, “ Actually I’d have no problem feeding you either.  Not because I think less of you, but, well, it is cute and I wouldn’t mind helping you.  But Gleam, why is it so bad for you to need to rely on others?”

Gleam just earfolded, listening to the spirit speak with him, then let out a soft shuddering sigh.  “ Mardav asked me something similar last time I was with Taran.  He asked me to think on it. Then I’ve lost 3 weeks of my life. So I haven’t really thought on it, I’ve barely been awake enough to remember a lot.  And it’s been taken up by whelps playing with me.”

Fulger hmms, “ Then may I ask a question, I might need to give you another to think on.”

Gleam squirmed as Taran started to get clean him up, “ Ask away.

Why did you want to return here?  What exactly did you want?”

Gleam earfolded, and had started to settle down as Taran shifted to grooming along his back, the kit’s face clean and the fur laid out, “ Celebi said they needed help rebuilding the town.  I, I wanted to see my friends again, get away from the obsession with battling in the human world, help them fix the town.  Maybe get to live here, evolve into a Delphox and just, get to stay. Help others.”

Fulger considers more, “Well for the town to rebuild, our old guardian jobs need to be renewed.  Pele is doing what she can on that side of things, and the town is slowly being healthier.  But until all of the guardians are retrieved and at least are able to charge their stations, rebuilding will need to wait.  And really that has little to do with you, you’ve already trained Pele, well above how she needs to be trained. So for getting the guardians back, you’ve already done that part and aren’t needed, in fact you’ve done more than you needed to.”

“For the rest of it, as you age as a whelp, you’ll be awake for longer periods of time naturally, and let me be honest with you.  Everyone has wanted a chance at taking care of you Gleam. Honestly I think at some point you need to spend a day with Sherry’s new team that Pele made for her.  When they are having a home day. It’s the beginning of a build team, they’ve been getting input from Shii and Rattata, as well as some from Pele, but they are trying to build a place for whelps to play.  And it’d let Timburr and Bunnelby see you a bit more.”

“But, something else to think on.  What better way to know how to rebuild the town, than to need to live as one of us, from a whelp up?  Even being wild, you’ll have some experience on what helps ease you down.”

Gleam earflicks a bit, “ So I can’t even really rebuild the town right now?  And I’m not needed for the guardian stuff? So I really am just useless right now?”

Fulger sighs, “ You’re year spent training Pele is what was needed.  You aren’t useless, you’ve just done it already. And Gleam, with you being wild, should you really be needed right now?  Never mind all of the other hurt, and the fact you can start to be upset from simple actions that nobody knows about. You need your time to heal, and that is what you should be focusing on, getting better.  Let Pele do her job, consider your job learning how to be one of us, since you wish to live as a mon, and getting better. You can start with trying to copy the grooming Taran is giving you, most whelps by now generally try to copy those around them, or if you want more personal, straighten up the fur on your forepaws.”

Gleam blushes a moment, but starts to softly nudge against Taran, then try to return some of the licks he’s receiving, though he can’t quite reach Taran’s back..but just tries to lay down and straighten what fur he can reach.  Making the cub giggle softly. “Ok little brother, groom too, but practice talk. Unless tired?”

Want me to signal to Taran to take you back?”

Fulger chuckles, “ I think I’ll stick with you for a bit, easier to understand you, and maybe we can figure out why you’re having issues talking?  In the meantime you might as well warm up your voice. Taran has said he likes your barking.”

Gleam squirms, but does start making a bit of noise, also trying to figure out why he has issues talking.  He finds his yips and barks even sound odd, just his normal sounds, something seems off about them, “ Yeah I don’t know what’s wrong.  Never had to learn how to talk my first time here.  I had to get used to walking sure, but not talking. But it’s not doing what I want it to do.  I’m not even getting out a good bark, something is wrong.”  He tries to not whine for a moment, not wanting to worry Taran.

Fulger sighs, “ Gleam, show your frustrated.  As for learning to talk that does seem a bit odd.  On the other paw, your barks are reminding me of what our little fireball used to sound like when she was first making noises.  So I can’t say you’re doing something wrong. Well what was it like getting used to talking like a mon?”

There was nothing...I’ve always tried to talk the same way I was human.  No special effort, I’d I’d just try to say something and different sounds just came out.  I mean obviously pokemon speech, but it’d have the same general meaning. When I was human if I pictured myself as a fennekin I could still do it too.”  The kit attempted a few more simple barks, earfolding and giving a lil growly whine for show, when they sounded bad to him.

“Aww, think little bark cute.”  Taran gently noses Gleam, rubbing muzzle to muzzle, then gives a the kit a few licks, “Keep try, get better.”

Interesting, oh I think I see what you mean.  Come to think of it I’d never need to do much beyond intend to talk either.”  The spirit hmms, “Sadly this sounds like one of those things humans would have studied.  Maybe Fireball can give a few ideas Spark. But it sounds like you need to do more than just focus on what you want to say..”

Gleam whines softly as he thinks then realizes as he goes back through his schooling, “ Muscle memory, Celebi must have somehow passed me muscle memory for talking.  Basically the whole..we think of what we want to do and do it without thinking about the individual parts.  I must have lost it in the time I was asleep.” his ears fold as he lets out another whiney bark, “ Which means I need to figure out how a mon actually talks...instead of just automatically speaking correctly.  Then practice it till again I can just think of what I want to do.”

Fulger chuckled softly, “ Learning to talk, learning to walk.  Sounds about perfect for learning how to be a mon properly.  Yaknow I changed my mind, could you get Taran to grab me? I’ve had a thought..also keep practicing.”

Gleam looks up at Taran, pawing at his muzzle to get his attention, then paws at the necklace, trying to push it off, Taran eventually getting the idea and putting it on. Gleam sighs and returns to noisemaking.  Trying to get things to sound right. After a bit he quiets down, voice getting tired, then earfolds as Taran feeds him again before more sleep.


 

It feels like only moments later when he awakens again, and finds himself in between two seperate warm bodies, he stretches a moment, then starts to softly work his way a bit so he can see more of the world.  Again he somehow knows who is next to him before even opening his eyes, Taran and Papa? He didn’t even need to think on it, by instinct he softly whines as he works his way up enough for his head to pop out between the two and look around.  He quiets down as he can now look out from between the two, still in Taran’s home it seems, then blushes as the two turn to regard him, Taran looking halfway sleepy while the sylveon seems more awake and warmly noses the kit.

“Well hello there son, welcome back to the waking world.” The sylveon smiles, “Hope you slept well.”  As Gleam looked back at Sylveon in confusion, Ezelle just chuckled, “Taran gave me a call, mentioned you seem to just have forgotten, or are not used to, making sounds correctly.  And since eevees sound a bit closer to fennekins figured myself and dad could help. Though you did help a lot with my little brother, so keep in mind what was said to him.”

Gleam just ducks his head down shyly, hiding his snout back between the two as he tries to move properly between and under them again.  Ezelle smiles with amusement and shhs, gently shifting away from Taran, moving to his side to allow the two to be pulled close against his chest, moving Gleam up near his muzzle, while letting Taran snuggle further down against his body, “So I figure we’ll see how you sound so far twinkletwig, then we can go from there ok?”

Gleam blushes much more, whining and looking away, trying to quiet down that impulse to whine to no real success.  Ezelle looking on partially in amusement, partially in surprise. He gently started to groom down Gleam’s back, just trying to get him to calm down.  A few weeks ago he knew Gleam would pretty much refuse to whine and cry, but now... He looks down at his young charge, his son, poor guy seems so vulnerable.  And now that he thinks back, to how Gleam looked a few weeks back and now, he looks so much healthier. Adorable whelp fat all over, and he’s grown in size a decent amount as well.  Once the kit calms down he smiles, “Ok Gleam why not go ahead, let me see how you sound ok Twinkletwig?”

Gleam earfolds a bit, but nods slowly, blushing a moment but gives a soft bark.  Looking up at Ezelle who smiles warmly, “It’s ok Gleam, if anything I’ve been kind of hit with the whole wanting a kit thing.”  He considers, “Teaching one, being there.” he softly noses Gleam then sighs, “And someone did so well teaching the whelps that there honestly isn’t a lot for me to do with Eevee.”  he smirks, “Well even before all the adults were gone, mom and dad had done a lot with him. But all of his social learning, Shii had been secretly watching over and helping him develop, then she trained Rattata to be her helper and he’s been doing the same.”  He chuckles softly, “I’ve asked her to at least talk to me about things like that and help me watch for them.” Ezelle shakes his head, “I swear Gleam, I just want to know how you managed that. Dad says he is surprised by that, did Bella encourage you to share some of the stuff Shii knows?”

Gleam nods lightly, giving another lil bark, Ezelle just noses him and pats softly, “But lets get to work.  You’re strangling your barks, are you trying to be quiet? It just sounds like your making it end far too early, open that mouth a bit more and put some more force behind it son.”  He softly rubs down Gleam’s back more, soon the kit giving out a louder more full bark, “There you go there you go! Come on we got a bit of time to practice these basics, once you’ve got them down, we can work more on converting them to actual language.”  He pulled Gleam a bit closer, smiling, “Never thought I’d be teaching someone to talk.” He gently licks over Gleam’s head, “You’re voice seems to have changed slightly by the way, I think I like it.”

Ezelle rumbles warmly, “We should probably get Pele in here, I shouldn’t hog all the fun and special moment of teaching you to talk.”  He grins a moment, nosing at Gleam, leaving the kit looking surprised over all that his papa said tilting his head with a blush. Ezelle perks, nosing down at Gleam, “Come on you were there for Eevee, all those little bits of his life, when you weren’t with Shii.  Or when you were helping the whelp group and eevee was brought there too. Wasn’t it nice when you managed to help him talk a bit?” Gleam looked aside but finally he nodded slowly, Ezelle smiled, “Sure once you have the basics, again, you’ll get to talking quickly, but there is something nice about helping you and watching you regain your ability to talk.”

Gleam ducked his head down a moment.  Really? Talking about stuff like that, at least they won’t be talking about things like milestones to him.  Not a direct translation. He sighs in thought, he has agreed to be their son, well, he agreed to be Mommy’s son.  Dad was accidental but really in the end, he’s agreed to it just in a different way. He supposes if he’s going to be their kit they will want to enjoy such, milestones.  Gleam cringes a bit as he even thinks that. Same way apparently Mother wants to be there when he actually works on getting used to walking again. Hopefully there won’t be too many of such things though, at least he still remembers how to tap his own reserves.  He thinks he’ll gladly celebrate whelpend at least.

Ezelle gently rubs a paw along Gleams back, “You ok Twinkletwig?  Got a bit quiet there, and you looked like you didn’t enjoy something.”

The kit looks up for a moment, then down at Taran who is looking up a bit worriedly.  He swallows that bit of embarrassment for now and snuggles up against Father, and returns to working on his vocalizations.  Ezelle looks at him curiously a moment, then gives a few gentle groomings, sighing softly, “You will be telling your mama what that was about son.  Something is on your mind.”

Gleam allowed his ears to fold, but nodded.  They continued working on his noises a bit, dad and Taran continued to compliment on how cute he sounds now.  Part of him wants to take offense at that, but he’s a whelp, can he really help it? On the other side his voice having changed slightly makes him wonder what he did to his throat, and the new sound is so, small, in his opinion.  He noticed Taran was cuddling in with dad quite a bit, then went back to what Taran said earlier about mom adopting all the guardians. Does that mean dad did too?

Something he was dreading came soon enough, as his energy started giving out and he needed to nap again.  Where has his stamina gone? He needs to ask mother that, why can he only stay awake for such short periods, when he first got here he managed to stay awake for so long, and annoyingly he was starting to feel hungry again, when did his stomach become a bottomless pit?  But he saw the part he was definitely not enjoying, as father got ready to feed him more fire gummi juice. By this point he was starting to get used to the routine, mother claimed it helped him with the nightmares. He really doubts it, he honestly felt more like they just all liked seeing it for whatever reason.  But Mom liked it, Taran seemed to enjoy feeding him, he’d put up with it for their sake. Though his ears wilted as apparently dad planned to join the ranks of those who fed him that way. On the other side he at least went to sleep pretty quickly.


 

He awoke once again, to find he could tell there was a 3’rd mon in the room.  He was warmly snuggled between Dad and Taran again, but he somehow knew Mama was in the room as well.  He heard soft giggling from Taran and he heard mama giggling too, but he wasn’t too sure where she was, he dug his head out and opened his eyes to look around.  Taran was already looking his way and grinning about something, he then spotted Pele sitting on a cushion right in front of the three, she smiled down warmly upon seeing him.  And she giggled a touch more.

“Someone in a rather good mood right now?”  Gleam tilted his head in a bit of confusion, he did feel a bit happy for some reason at the moment but how did she know?  On the other side he needed to stretch and yawn, and did so. Which just made him hear both of his parents go aawwww. He tried to ignore it, he supposes if he’s healthy he should look cute, he felt Taran lightly rub him with a paw, he returned with a pat since he had to climb atop the cub slightly anyway.  Then looked back up to mother curiously, finally giving a shrill yap as a way of saying hello. Still a bit bothered by the way he sounds but it is what it is.

Pele smile down to him, watching him lovingly, “Gleam honey, why don’t you look behind you a moment if you’re so confused?”

The little fox tilted his head but slowly turned to look, to find his tail wagging rather rapidly.  He hadn’t even been paying attention to the thing, darnit how does he stop it again? No wonder Mother must think he’s in a good mood.  He blushes with a shy lil whine, and mommy awws gently at that, reaching down and picking him up. He hrrffed a moment, as that felt uncomfortable until she had some support under his body..he felts uncomfortably heavy when he had no support.  But a moment later he was being hugged close to mommy, and he gave a gentle yip out to her. And now that his attention was called to it, he could feel his tail was wagging rapidly, and he worked on trying to stop it.

Pele sighed a moment, petting down along his back, “So before we get started on the main reason I was called in.”  She concentrated a moment, and Gleam perked at a familiar vibration in his body, a moment later he heard mother in his mind, “ So is that everyone?”

“Hey Twinkletwig and Fireball.”

“I assume you heard dad, I’m in my flower.”

“I think you’ve got my cub, Fireball.”

Here.”

Gleam blinked as not only Ezelle and Taran came in..but also the spirits, then realized he was the last one who hadn’t answered yet, “ I’m here.”

Feeling ok there?  You’re mental voice sounds pretty quiet there.”

Gleam earfolded a bit, “ So many, that all.”

You aren’t as used to him after well, everything happened.  Myself and Calad are the only two there the whole time. Anyway.  Come on Spark it’s ok. I know you had to force it earlier for all the little fun games you had, but you can calm down, we just want to talk a bit.  Think you can manage that?”

Please wait a moment, this is something new I’d like to hear.  It can’t be the crowd, I’ve seen him do better in crowds. I’ve seen you playing and having fun with the whelps, haven’t you sweetie?”

Fulger sighed, “ I’d like to give him more space to talk, please.  I’ll explain in a moment, but come on Spark go ahead, you can manage to talk with all of us right?  Or should we have someone fetch Flint? Will that make you feel more at ease?”

Gleam earfolded, “ I can try, let’s not bother Flint.  I just feel quiet is all.”

Now I’m wondering if you even realize why.  Anyway since it’s new info. Over time he slowly became more and more, well, quiet and staying in the back around adults.  We’ve got 4 adults here, and one other cub. Plus I imagine the past few weeks have put a strain on you, right Spark? Feeling not exactly mature?”

Oh, you mean you’ve been seeing evidence of…” Mardav pauses, “ Gleam, please answer first.”

Gleam gives a slight squeak, “ Evidence of?  Anyway I..um, I suppose he’s correct.  Learned after awhile to, hang back. Hide.” he sighs after a moment, “ And yeah, I don’t exactly feel too...anything.  Seriously I just… ” Gleam takes a breath then lets out a big one and flops down shaking his head, “ No, evidence of what?”

Mardav sighs, “ Gleam I’m hearing a lot of baggage in all of that, please remember what you just decided to put aside.  Whatever it was I’m sure is affecting you. But evidence of, honestly you losing the fight of your humanity over your mon self.  Being more subservient, seeing them as superior just because of their age or evolution. That kind of stuff. Basically closer to going wild.”

Gleam earfolds..then sighs, “ Oh.  And mostly tired of just fighting…”

Fighting?  What do you mean spark?  I think everyone plans to keep you aw--”

“Dad, please, quiet, for Gleam.”

“I honestly wonder what the little twig means by fighting myself, I can tell some things weigh on him but…”

Taran sighs, he gets up, moving over to where Pele has Gleam, and gently rubs on him all friendly like, then takes a moment to gather his thoughts correctly, “ Being mature, and being listened to, over being treated like, what’s that human word?  A baby? Every complaint he has, gets met with why he’s wrong. Why he can’t have what his more mature outlook on life wants.  He was starting to get onto some of how he’s being treated leaves him feeling. But all he hears is why his feeling is wrong. So every time he voices not liking something, it feels like a fight.  Examples.”

“While it’s healthy for him, he is uncomfortable with his whelp fat, thinks he’s too big and honestly thinks he’s fat.  Immediately I can see Mother wants to say how he’s wrong. How he isn’t fat, see it in father as well. Fighting. Lot of whelp things, or decisions made for safety, he say anything about, he told immediately how wrong he is.  No real soothing, no real feel better, instead he told he wrong, and how. Fighting. Make him feel like he need defend himself, that whatever he say, he need immediately have defense for, once it is attacked.“

Pele and Ezelle looked at each other a bit quietly then Gleam, Mardav and Fulger silent in thought.  Gleam on the other hand was looking down at Taran, partially in wonder, the other part well, his tail was wagging rather rapidly.

After a bit of time Pele let out a sigh, “ Ok, then lets try to do this right on what had Gleam before I got here.  Ezelle if you would?”

“Ah right, was helping with getting his vocalizations a bit better, Taran and Fulger had figured fennekins sound a bit more similar to eevee’s, so myself and Mardav might be better for why Gleam was having issues talking.  Taran somehow gathered that Gleam knew the right sounds, but somehow had forgotten how to make them. So we were here helping him work on his barks and yips. I was mentioning how much I enjoyed it and that I figure you might enjoy helping along some too.  Sharing these sort of special moments, I think he’s about ready to say something we can recognize, to be honest. Something about that didn’t quite make him whine but it made him not happy.”

Pele perks and looks to Gleam curiously, who sighs after a moment, “ Was kind of hoping to keep the word secret.  Just accepting something I wouldn’t enjoy would happen, just because I have a mother and father.  Celebrating over things like what he just said, milestones, being the human term. Learning to walk, learning to talk, learning to tap into my reserves, which Mardav helped me with already, and I still remember how to do, my inner fire finally flaring up, whelphood end, just things like that.  Just not a lot to talk about, I’m Mom and Dad’s kit, both of you will want to enjoy such things in my life, I accept that already.”

Pele sighs, hugging Gleam close a moment, looking to Ezelle and motioning with her head, he pads on over and soon Gleam is brought down enough for both to hug him.  Just letting him to be held close by both adults for the moment, “So why not enjoy them honey? We’ve been there when very hurt humans and mon had to learn how to walk after being down for too long.  Everybody still cheered for them?” She kisses a kit between the ears, “Not trying to argue my son, but you just don’t seem to enjoy the idea of us being proud of you, and celebrating various special moments in your life.”  She hmms and tries giving him some tickles, grinning as he giggles and squirms in response,”Might as well enjoy life hmmm?”

Ezelle looks up to his son worriedly, smiling a little bit at the giggle.  He softly pets over with his feelers, “Let’s be honest, my flower, he also still thinks like the grown human you knew, to a degree.  I suppose that affects what feels ok.” He looks to Gleam a bit seriously, “Thank you for at least accepting we’ll get excited over such thing.  But something to remember son? They are important because they mark growth. Walking and talking indicates you’re past being just a newborn, that you’re more mobile and while a few cuddles might be nice, you shouldn’t just be carried everywhere.  That we need to let you get around on your own as much as we can, so you can get stronger.”

Ezelle smirks, “These important bits of whelphood, son, are indicators that your growing up, that you’re leaving behind being a whelp.  While I don’t want you to strain yourself, and I hope you take the same care for yourself that you took to my brother, and the other whelps.  You might at least consider another way of looking at them, excited that you are getting older, since I know being a whelp bothers you some.”

Gleam blushes a touch, his tail wagging a bit more, but he gives a meek little nod.

Pele smiles warmly, “Let’s work on your voice a bit more then ok?  Your father says you’re about ready to talk, let’s get a few words out of you then.  So let’s hear what sounds you can make, then I can tell you what I remember from being a fennekin to get talking.”

Soon enough Gleam gives what vocalizations he knows, with all 5 giving slight input and encouragement.

Gleam blushes a bit, those two words..it had to be those two words they’d encourage him to know first.  Still once he was sure he had the idea down correctly, “Mama..Dada..” he looks between his mother and father, who give him a rather warm smile and a firm hug.  He tried to hide his embarrassment, his small voice, those two words, he felt so vulnerable. And he knows he saw something cross mother and father’s faces when he said that, milestones, he said his first words, so to speak.  And that’s how they are going to see it, as mama and dada.

“There we go, that’s right sweety, think we got you all nicely started, how about a few more advanced words then?”  And immediately they start ramping it up, hoping to give him a decent, if small, library of words to know how to speak.  Gleam tried to ignore the warm glowing smile the two had as they literally taught him how to speak. But he was still glad for the actual ability to speak at least, he won’t need to rely on Mother or Kencil to translate for him.  By the time he was starting to get tired he was managing to say a few words without really need to think about how he said it. And he had a few simple sentences he could easily string out. The fact he’s going to need to actually practice talking sort of annoyed him, but that’s what he’ll live with.  Though when Mardav suggested and father helped enact a certain word building rhyming game, he couldn’t help but blush. He came up with that randomly when Eevee was learning how to talk, he didn’t realize how much Mardav had been listening to that. It was a bit more embarrassing when he had to mention how to improve it, which surprised the other three.  Then it came out how Mardav thought is up...that got a laugh out of a few of em.

Eventually he tired from all the talking, even with his cup of water nearby, which he was thankful for.  And they were starting to help him sleep while mother spoke, “If I’ve got things timed right you’ll probably wake up around supper time, we plan to have a small event then.”  She looks at him, “While I’m pretty sure most of the guild will enjoy it, I get the feeling you’ll be a bit uncomfortable. Consider it your punishment for not watching your own health and hurting yourself so badly.  I’ll give you something pleasant afterwords to make it up a bit, but I wanted to warn you ahead of time dear.” She smiles warmly, “Don’t worry, nothing about insulting you, I just think you’ll be uncomfortable is all.  Now get your sleep, and see you when you next wake up.”


 

Ezelle sighs, “You still plan to go through with that?  I mean we could easily let him practice on his own. Or he could have done it while with Taran here.  I’m sure it might be easier on him.”

Pele shakes her head, “He’ll survive it, this is also for the town as much as anything.  I’ve kept him hidden except for occasional visitors, for a good 3 or so weeks. I made sure to keep them updated, they’ve seen him in the bassinet.  But they need to know how bad off he is. I honestly was not expecting the need to learn to talk again, which is why I gave him a leg up on that. But many of the guild expect him to be the same mon.  Including soloing dungeons. I honestly am curious what bout of insanity led to that, but that’s beside the point.”

Taran tailswishes, “Overdoing whelp treatment?”

Pele smirks, “Ironic coming from you.”  She sighs, “But you seem more in tune with his feelings than most of us.  I just don’t want to get in the habit of helping him retain his dignity, at the cost of his health.  Some of the things he hates, are being done because it’s healthier for him. Flint agrees he’s been getting less nightmares.”  She sighs softly closing her eyes, “But I’ll try to watch for what I do to satisfy just my own maternal instincts. The problem is, well, I do see him as my kit, as my son.  And to a good degree I just want to treat him like a young kit. Holding him close, bonding with him, having playtime, playing with him in various ways. I’ve gotten a handle on my emotions now at least, well for the most part, but I really am needing to hold back to give him what maturity I will be allowing.”

Ezelle grins, “We could always give him a brother…”

Pele sighs, “Encourageable.  I am trying to turn some of my attention to other whelps, and the guild.  Besides I’d rather not give Gleam competition for my attention. Either he gets jealous, or he martyrs and refuses my attention for the sake of his little brother.  Plus I’ve no idea how long it’ll take for me to actually give birth, that might be too long to provide the kind of distraction all of you would be hoping for.” She smiles sadly, “But I promise I am going to be trying to spread out more.  I’ll be there for Shii, but something seems off about her, probably the fact I’m not used to grass types, but what she wants and needs seems different from what I’m used to. But Rattata, Sandshrew, and Eevee seem to take well to my style.  Though I blame Mac and the relationship we had for my slight understanding of Sandshrew.”

Ezelle nods, “Still I worry about Gleam’s mental health if we keep up treating him this way.”

Pele nods, “Ok I promise I’ll try to tone it down.  But honestly, Mr. Counselor, we need to help him rely on others as much as we can.”

Ezelle sighs, “I know I just.  I saw him earlier, when it was just us 5...wow once you include the spirits the number sounds big.  But he couldn’t stop from whimpering and whining, I saw him actively trying to fight against it, but he couldn’t.  He just looked so, helpless, and was acting so different from how he did a few weeks ago. We had to beg him to cry, and even still he wouldn’t.  He’d patiently wait for food even if hungry, we had to find ways to make him let himself be upset. Now, I don’t know, I just worry, are we doing what is best for him?”

Pele pets down Ezelle’s back, “He looked so helpless because he is.  He’s finally showing his age is the problem. This whole time he was always so helpless, wanting to whine and cry.  He’s just being forced to show it now. If anything how was Eevee at a month and a half old? Hopefully you grew up with him some right?  Consider looking at when Eevee passed certain markers in life. Yes, he has all the memories of the human trainer Gleam, of the Savior of the Cosmos, Fennekin.  But he’s still a whelp who we need to make sure stays healthy ”

Taran listens, then softly noses next to Gleam, deciding to settle down to a short nap with the kit while he thinks on his own plans for his little brother.

Chapter Text

Gleam found himself slowly waking up to a variety of fruity smells, the noise of various mon talking around the area.  He didn’t care to try to count how many he just..somehow knew was there. All he knew is he felt the bulk of his body nestled into fuzzy warmth, partially hidden inside of mother’s fur.  Food was all nearby, and he remembered they were trying to make sure he’d wake up around supper. The entire town must be together to eat, he slowly allowed his eyes open to see the variety of mon all gathered together for the meal.  Yeah this looked like every single badge holder, plus the whelps. To his knowledge that is the entire town. He perked after a moment, apparently Bunnelby had been watching him every so often, even with just his head poking out, she’s caught sight of his eyes opened and nudged Timburr to look over to him.  And soon the two softly waved, Gleam gave a short nod, but chose to remain quiet, he really really did not want to draw attention to himself.

But soon a few others were catching his open eyes, smiling to him, waving, pointing him out.  And he found himself feeling more and more shy, he was doing his best to keep his breathing under control.  To not get overly worked up, then he felt a buzzing in his body, mentally sending a questioning hello, but getting no answer, he looked around curiously and found Kencil watching him.  She must be reading his emotions, but who is she contacting? He did duck back slightly into mom’s fur, especially as he wanted to muffle the soft whimpering he was starting to do. He does not want to make a scene during supper.  And shouldn’t be whimpering right now.

A moment later he saw Kencil push away her food, apparently done with it, then she scooted back.  And he yelped loudly as mother suddenly shifted her grip on him, to actually hold him, and move him into Kencil’s waiting lap.  That got everyone’s attention, that loud youthful yelp, sounding slightly airy. Gleam just blushed and ducked his head down while the ralts gently shhhed to him and he soon heard Kencil in his head, “ It’s ok Gleam, it’s ok.  Sorry we should have warned you that you were going to be moved.  Just lay down and I’ll see if I can help you calm down a bit ok? I noticed you were starting to feel panicky there, though I imagine the attention from your yelp has not helped.”

Gleam whimpered softly but laid out in the ralts’s lap, letting her pet and rub over his body, trying to work on slowing down his breathing, not wanting to have a panic attack, not now, not in front of everyone, “ I’m sorry.  You shouldn’t need to do this, but thank you.”

Kencil looked at him curiously, “ Gleam.” She considers and smiles a moment, “ Little nephew, it’s normal.  You’ve been with nobody but your mommy and daddy for a good portion of your whelp life.  With very few visitors. And now you suddenly find yourself awake with a lot of pokemon all at once, who honestly have started to stare at you.  Giving you more attention than a little kit is used to from mon bigger than him. That’s reason enough for a whelp to start to worry. Then you suddenly get lifted out of your safe spot to be put somewhere a bit more out of the way, without warning.  It’s no surprise you’re whining nephew, none at all. If you want to calm down find a way to distract your thoughts and let Aunty Kencil help you feel better ok?”

Gleam blinked, “ Nephew?  Aunt? But I..wha.”  He tries to collect his thoughts, the familial terms throwing him off track for the moment.

Kencil just smiles warmly, ” Well your mother is my sister. Big or little, however you want to look at it.  But she is my sister. That makes me your aunt, and that make you my nephew. You’ve been such a sleepy little guy I suppose you haven’t noticed the changes among the Guardians.  The Guardians, well really, the Guild leadership. We’ve decided most of us to be a family. Sherry and Flint being the only two to not really be adopted by Pele, or at least they don’t call her by a familial term, but she’s still there as a motherly figure.  But the rest, Shii is your big sister, both rattatas are your uncles, Taran is your brother, your father is your father of course. Flint is your close friend, your partner, and Sherry, well, let’s be serious we all know how you see her. Most of the whelps call Pele, mama now, and she can’t really stop it, so they all are variations of brothers and sisters to you, except for Eevee.  Who they managed to get him to understand the whole uncle and nephew idea.”

Kencil pauses, “ Got that so far nephew?  I know it’s a bit much and I’m figuring your brain is still getting up to speed.  Need me to go over any of it again? Or are you following ok?”

Once Gleam indicated he was following she continued, “ The word Matron has started to spread around, as what everyone calls Pele.  A motherly figure, but not their mother. Someone who is there for them where their parents can not be.”

Gleam lets his ears fold for a moment more, though from the rubs he’s starting to purr quietly, “ For the sake of it I..I can’t control the purring thing, honestly I’m not trying to.”   He blushes rather warmly , “And sounds like mother is doing a lot.  Not, not overly stressed by it is she?”

Kencil blinks then sighs, “ Ever the thoughtful nephew.  For the sake of it we are monitoring and making sure she’s ok.  But she has a very strong motherly instinct, to a degree having little ones to take care of calms her some.  But, Nephew, you are too little to worry that way, let us worry about keeping her ok like that. You worry about having fun.”

Gleam lets off a squeaky little adorable growl, “ I’m not just a whelp.  My day isn’t taken up by just playing.  And no trust me I know better.” He sighs, “ I came up with pretty much every little game and exercise mon have been doing with me to help me strengthen my muscles.  But I don’t have the energy. Even besides that I’m not just a whelp I’m still me I’m still Gleam..not just a little kit!  Please at least talk to me like I’m older.”

“Fine I’ll see what I can do nephew.  But you seem to react decently to it physically.  Lil tail wagging. As for your energy, please remember I was here when your mother was a whelp.  Gleam you’re barely a month and a half, you’re just now coming out of your early rapid growth. You’ve gotten your whelp fat by now too, finally adorably pudgy.  I give you about one more week before play being something that passes the time ends, and you start bouncing off the walls needing to play almost every moment your awake.  Unless you manage to do something to tire yourself out. But right now you’re still in your first growth stage, Gleam you’ve gained not just some pudginess, but a considerable amount of size as well.  I can’t believe we let you get by with all the stuff we let you do a few weeks ago. You should have been snuggled up with your mom or dad, and stayed there.”

Gleam gulps, “ Bouncing off the walls, n needing to play constantly?”  He shivers a moment, “ Come on it won’t be that bad surely.  I mean I don’t even have a lot of energy.”  He earfolds, “ Let’s be honest I’ve been mostly a whiny crybaby, having to struggle to keep from making a scene…You’re needing to soothe me now as it is to keep me from doing anything.”

Ralts smiles sadly down to Gleam, “ You aren’t any worse than most whelps.  Again it’s just been mostly us Guardians around you.  Subconsciously you got used to that over the weeks, also sister worked hard, and I mean hard, to make sure you didn’t hide how you felt as much.  Sorry nephew, but we want you showing us how you feel. As you grow you can relearn how to hide things, but your level of control was unhealthy for a whelp, especially given how often you’d use it.”

Kencil considers a moment, “ And I’m pretty sure your energy levels will pick up, come on remember Eevee?”

Gleam whimpers, “ I don’t want to be crying all the time, and whinin an stuff though, I do it too much right now.” He perks at the question, “ Yeah Eevee was cute, fun to play with, not really hard to keep up with though.  I suppose I prob built up a bad habit with pounce with him though, I encouraged him to try to surprise pounce me whenever he could.  Gave him a goal to be patient for and it helped me keep up with my own practice to dodge things. Did he ever pass that on to anyone else?”


 

Ezelle was curiously watching Kencil and his son, after that yelp.  The emotions playing over Gleam’s face, even as the kit closed his eyes.  But he was more surprised to see Kencil get a sudden look of surprise then worry.  He tried to watch and see what was going on, then perked as Pele was suddenly in his head, “Ezelle dear, we have a slight question.”

“This have anything to do with why Kencil was looking so worried?”

Kencil pops in, “ Yeah, this is for you and Mardav.”

Mardav suddenly answers, “ For both of us?”

Kencil nods, “ Yeah, Eevee, he’s pretty high energy right?  Always has been? He’s started calming down some, especially for Gleam, but very high energy.”

Mardav chuckles, “ Oh yes, he was quite the pawful once his early growth stages finished.”

Ezelle hmms, “ Yeah I’ve always had issues keeping up with him, he usually tires out any minder, and he loves pouncing at random, rough to keep track of, he’s gotten good at being sneaky.  But beyond that yeah, he still wears me out, and I’ve been his play target since Gleam’s been sleeping. I’ve never had the amount of energy he had. And that includes when I was an eevee myself, he was always outdoing me energy wise.”

Ezelle looks on as Kencil seems visibly shaken, “ What’s wrong?  Would you like me to step over and--”

Kencil pauses, “ How did Gleam handle Eevee?  I was just talking to him about, well, early whelp stages.”

Mardav chuckles, “ Early on he’d patiently play with the lil guy while he was growing, dabbing and pushing with a paw, basically the same limb training we gave him once he woke up.  Ezelle son, after I was gone, how did he do then?”

Ezelle grins, “ Oh geeze, he’d run Eevee ragged.  Brother always had great fun, but Gleam could always outlast.  I mean sure he’d sometimes swap out and find a toy which would brother’s attention for some time, but eventually he’d be trying to pounce at Gleam again.  Which Gleam always tolerated, would even often break into play right after being pounced.”

Ezelle watched Kencil...she looked even more worried, what is up with her, well might as well, “Kencil dear, what’s wrong?”

Let me verify this, after a day of adventuring, he could visit your house, and play with Eevee hard enough for the little guy to tire out.  Or could he only do it if he spent the entire day minding? By the way as a side note the whole pouncing thing was that he used Eevee as dodge practice, he told Eevee to try to catch him by surprise, he used that as part of his own training.”

Ezelle tilted his head, trying to figure out what Kencil was getting at while Mardav cut in, “ Oh Twinkletwig was quite good at tiring out most whelps, he helped me watch them quite a bit.  He would sometimes help get the more troublesome ones down after doing a dungeon. Honestly he’d sometimes be more energetic after a dungeon.”

Kencil blinked, “ More energetic..more energetic after a dungeon..get Flint for the love of Arceus get Flint, I’m hoping he has a good explanation for what’s going on.”

Uhhh what’s going on?”

Pele smirks, “ Sorry Kencil is, checking up on Gleam’s past behavior for some reason with whelps, and was wanting your input.”

Flint hmms, ” He loved to be round the whelps, especially once he found out they weren’t some kind of special permanently weak mon.  He thought there was something wrong with whelps at first...born weak. Which I kinna set him straight on. But no tell me exactly what’s going on.”

Kencil sighs, “ Nothing serious but...if my guess is right we are going to have a handful in a week or two.  Flint you were in dungeons with him the most, what did he eat, anything to get more energy. And what is this about him sometimes playing even harder with whelps after dungeoning in the day?”

Flint blinks, “ A handful?  He mostly stuck to apples, simple food berries.  Only had effect berries if needed. But as for playing harder, he needs to wake up to get started.  Dungeons usually woke him up pretty fast and pretty well, he’d actually have his energy spiking near the 2’nd or so floor of the dungeon and be going on full blast from there.  So by the time we got home he’d usually train, or help somewhere to help get rid of excess energy, which yeah he’d usually play with the whelps. Once Eevee had his energy going he’d sometimes purposefully search out for him and really give the kit a good workout.”

Kencil frowns, Ezelle watching as she looks down to Gleam, rubbing over him, kneading his back, “ By Arceus we are going to be in trouble.  You might as well bring Gleam in…”

Ezelle blinks, “ Kencil what’s going on, in trouble?  I mean your worry seems, odd. I mean so he was a good whelp minder, and enjoyed minding them. What’s wrong with that?”

Pele earflicks, “ Hey sweetypie, give me a moment before you talk much, in the middle of a discussion.  I mean I suppose it makes sense, no seriously sometimes in training as a human he’d run through some of the things he had us doing, being a human he had nowhere near our capabilities but, once he became a mon I could see him easily joining in on the training.  If you like dear go ahead and say hi.”

Uh, yeah I kinna figured if I was putting you guys through training I might as well join in when I could.  This just a private talk or what?”  The small kit curiously lifts his head up a bit.

Kencil comes in, “ A few things you said kind of worried me, I was checking with those who knew you most.  Gleam, I want to point out none of us, and I mean none of us can even try to keep up with Eevee, how were you able to keep up with him without tiring out?  You apparently knew how to wear him out pretty well?”

Gleam blinks a bit, but lays out quietly, “ Yeah sure, he isn’t that hard to be honest.  I mean as I am right now he’d prob outdo me. But seriously just play with him, he really likes to wrestle and push you around, pounce, run.  Race him a bit, I mean I suppose he put me through my paces a bit, but just made it an interesting challenge.”

He put you through your paces before, or after a dungeon nephew?”

“Oh if I had a day with him alone, well it wasn’t uncommon for him to just pass out and need to nap a few times.  I was doing simplified tandem training with him and didn’t realize it. You’d remember it mom, some of the stuff I had you and Mac doing.  Modified for Eevee and myself. Huh, wonder how well that stuck for us to work together. But it’d usually wear him out pretty good, and while he napped between sessions I’d do some of the more serious personal training until he woke up.”

Hold it there nephew, did you just say you played with him till he had to nap, then trained yourself even harder until he woke up, just to return to playing with him?”

Yeah it made sense, I’d already be a bit worked up to do something, so might as well work on a drill or something until he woke up, then back to playing, well seriously, training in a different way, but he always enjoyed the training game so yeah.”

Ezelle finally cuts in, “ Ok Kencil stop checking and rechecking, I think you have your answer.  But seriously he just was able to keep up with Eevee, why are you so worried?”

None of you get it...he kept up with Eevee, as, well, we guessed his body was around 7 years old.  In about a week or two his energy levels are about to start peeking. The mon who could tire out Eevee is about to start hitting his own urges to play.  The mon who tired out eevee, then trained harder, just to go back to tiring out Eevee is almost ready to need someone to tire him out.”

Ugh back to my needs to play, look no seriously don’t worry about it.  I’ll find something to do, you already plan to have Shii monitoring my training.  I’ll just happen to know what the games I’m playing actually train. You won’t need to worry about me trying to get out of playing games or whatever, I promise.”

Ezelle gulps, “ No Gleam..no, the worry is the exact opposite you’ve, you’ve never actually had the impulses whelps get to play.  Yeah we’re in trouble. Gleam you need to understand, you’re laying there peacefully right now, soaking up the pets Kencil is using to keep you calm.  Once your body wants to play doing that will feel about like torture. And what Kencil was checking out is, well, you’re apparently very high energy. None of us, and I mean none of us can keep up with Eevee, meanwhile you were able to tire him out.  That leads to, well, you’re going to have a lot of energy.”

Gleam blinks, “ What will I be driven to beg all of you for entertainment?  I can’t even walk right now. I need to practice talking too.  I’m going to spend a good amount of time just getting my muscles up to where I can stand, without getting tired, heck I should have been doing that already, but apparently Mother wants me to practice at a certain time.  Even after that, you’ll be putting me with the whelps right? With someone watching to make sure there are no issues? I’ll just be playing among them. Or give me a ball and a decent space to chase it around if I’m alone.  As much as I hate to give more to use against me...you don’t need to keep up with a whelp, find ways to make them work harder than you do for the same goal. Mum, you probably know that best when it comes to training, just pretend your the trainer for ideas.  While I wore myself out I never did as much as the six of you.”

Oh right, you’ve never been a whelp ever, and the only experience has been on these islands, and your mother has no memory of her whelphood.  I’m sorry son but for a full explanation you’ll just need to wait until it actually happens to you. Trust me none of what we are saying will do what you will be feeling justice.”

Pele hmmed a bit, moving away her bowl of food, obviously done with it then smiles, “ Well since Gleam said he needs to train sitting up, lets get the bit of fun started, bring him up here.  And Gleam for the sake of it, Taran approved what I’m about to do as a good way to remind you to not overwork yourself anymore.  Anyway time for you to come back to mama.”

Pele softly reached down picking Gleam back up setting him onto the table, the little kit looking quite bewildered for the moment, then noticed all of the pokemon starting to look his way, whispering among each other a bit, Pele quietly helped the kit into a standing position.  Ezelle could see the poor kit’s legs wobbling almost immediately.

It’s ok son, it’s ok.  Just do your best to stay standing.  No don’t worry about replying, everyone is rooting for you, we all know you can do it.  It might take time, but we know you can do it.”


 

Gleam took in slow breaths, everybody was staring at him, everyone.  He didn’t yelp at least, he had been warned he was going to be picked up and moved around.  Thankfully mother helped him into a standing position. But he could feel his legs already wanting to give out.  Right now he was just trying to fight a panic attack, he wanted to run and hide, back in Mama’s safety, get in her fur where nobody is watching him, his whole body was quaking, “ About to have someone touch you, it’s ok.” A moment after Ralts talked to him he felt himself softly touched, the pet on the back.  Trying to help calm him down.

Pele began to softly speak up, “Gleam has, come a long way in his recovery.  And in growing, I know a few of you can tell he’s gained in size considerably, and he’s started to get pretty restless and having a harder time actually getting to sleep quickly, so after discussing with the other guild leaders who know whelps well enough.  His time of being, hidden, is coming to an end soon. However that time to heal and grow has taken it’s toll.” She looks down to Gleam a moment, who understands why she’s talking about him and over him, but he’s still a bit earwilted. But lightly tailwags as she reaches down to pet him, feeling her warmth over his body, even as his leg muscles shake from more use than they’ve had in awhile, “Plus the strong wild tendencies to act like a whelp also don’t help.  His legs and voice have healed, but he now needs to retrain them. This is honestly the first time he’s stood up in weeks, and while he fully understands everyone..well. Gleam why not say hi?”

Gleam folded his ears more but nodded, “H H Hello e e everybody.”  He looked down meekly at his voice again, especially as he heard so many aww and a few mentioning his voice had changed.  How it sounds even cuter now. A few others mention how he seemed to have issues talking. Making the kit look up at his mother with worry, she just shhhed him softly.

Pele smiles, “I know many of you have wanted to see him lately, and since he’s started to get restless, I figured we can all share in seeing him re-learn how to walk.  Once he’s up to fully playing more you will probably see him around town more often. Given some...interesting news about how energetic he might be, I think I’ll need to discuss how he’ll be kept”

Several excited whispers and ohs went around the table about seeing him learn to walk.  A few familiar with whelps do mention he seems finally old enough. More going it’s Gleam, and others saying yes but he’s a whelp again.

Gleam earfolded at the last bit his mother said, “Mama, no that bad..”  Which only made him blush more, that, that just. He did his best to slowly shuffle backwards, as he heard soft giggles and awws, Pele shhhed to him.

“Go on out there Son.  Anyway you’ll need to forgive his limited vocabulary.  Apparently he’s needing to relearn how to talk. If I had known that I would have helped him more but as it stands we helped him get a few limited words.  On the other side please remember despite his inability to talk too well, he does still understand you perfectly. We just need to let him practice talking and get more words over time.”

Bunnelby at that point spoke up, “Does he know any of our names?  Actual or species names?”

Gleam decided to speak up, “Bun.  Bun. Bun-ny-be.” He blushes, “know small words, names no.”

Bunnelby giggled and awwed, “Ok Gleam that’s fine, you almost got my name.”  she giggles, “Be careful or you might accidentally name me while working on pronouncing it.”  She giggled teasingly, “Can you walk over here?”

Gleam looked up to mother who nodded, then to Bunnelby.  The rest of the large table had quieted down out of respect.  And he slowly started taking a single step..one forepaw off the ground, he could already feel himself start to wobble, so he quickly moved it forward and brought it to the ground.  But now he was slightly off balance. Everybody, everybody was watching him, seeing him half stumble in walking, he whimpered softly but tried to continue, next leg, raise it up, push forward.  Crud he’s moved both forelegs, he’s streatching out a bit and starting to panic, why did he move both forelegs before moving the hind ones? He quickly tries to bring up a hindleg and winds up losing what little balance he had and falls with his legs splayed out.

Several around the table gasped.  He heard no laughter, though he expected it..nobody derided him.  Some started asking if he’s ok..if he’s hurt. His body still buzzed so he figured the connection was still there, “ Stung, but hurt my pride mostly…can this stop soon?”

He started working on getting his paws under him again, then perked and looked up in surprise as another weight landed on the table, he could feel it shift.  What he saw made his tail wag uncontrollably, Flint was smiling at him softly and making his way over, he gives a soft nosing then rumbles quietly into his ear, “You can do it partner, come on we’ll get this together like old times hmm?  Just get your legs under your body first before you push up.” He finally manages to stand again, and actually hears a few soft clappings? Stuns him to stay still a moment, but soon he starts trying to move again, while Flint is whispering, “Take it easy, bring up a hindleg first, then forward with an opposite foreleg, finish up by bringing the other two.  It’s a slightly odd walk, but it’ll get you started.” He follows the idea, bringing up a hindleg, under his body a bit more, finding it odd he isn’t told to move a foreleg, but he then moves a foreleg forward a bit sumbly, he then moves the other two legs in the same sequence. Soon he’s making his way over to Bunnelby. His walk is kind of odd, his fat is making him waddle slightly, and each step had to be quick, stuttering.

He finally made it over to Bunnelby though, the last little bit of it through sheer determination.  He was also trying to make sure he was not overdoing it, but nobody seemed to be stepping in. In fact Flint kept in step at his side the whole time, walking with him slowly, just being there as support.  Though the moment Gleam was in range of Bunnelby’s ears he flopped down, panting lightly. Bunnelby awwed and gently lifted him upsmiling, “You did good Gleam, looked tiring. Not even stood before?”

Gleam gave a single answer of no, while bunnelby grabbed the cup she’d been drinking from, tipping it up for him slowly, so he could drink from it.  The rabbit mon smiled a moment, “Well best way to get used to it is to keep going.” She looked up, “Would everyone like to see Gleam close up perhaps?”

The table picked up with noise, and Gleam got the idea of what his task was about to be.  He looked up to Mother worriedly but she just smiled and nodded to him. With that he definately knew his task then sighed, “ At least give me a few stops along the way, this is as tiring as I was worried it’d be….”

And with that Gleam soon found he got to be the after supper entertainment.  His walking training turned out to be that he was to pace all the way down from mother to the table’s other end.  Then return to mother. He made multiple stops along the way, often given a bit of petting, and definitely enough water to ease his thirst.  But by the time he made it back to mother he was pretty dead tired, the last bit of the way Flint actually helped hold him up slightly, letting the kit walk, but taking off some of the weight, however the moment he was close enough to Mother he flopped down in front of her and refused to move from that spot, Flint laying down next to him and staying close.  That got a few giggles as Pele asked him to get up, to come a little closer, but he seriously refused to move from that spot.

Pele sighed and sent, “ Gleam if you don’t get up, I’m grabbing out your bottle.”

Gleam turned his head to look up at her tiredly, “ I nominate the rattata brothers to feed me then.”

Pele blinked a moment then paused, “ No Gleam seriously I’ll have you fed in front of everyone.”

Gleam sighed and just to prove he was too tired to care, “Tay-Ce-end come, puh-lee-cee.  Tat--taaa too.”

Both came over looking down at him a bit worriedly, Rattata looked so big now..but he’s out of whelphood of course he looked big, Gleam slowly pawed then yawned a bit while Tacen spoke up, ”You ok Gleam, didn’t expect you to ask us up.”

Gleam earfolded, “Mama, no up, fed.  Tired, you feed.” He looked at both of them.  

Rattata for his part just giggles and skittered over to Mother with a smile and looks up, “Give bottle please?”

Tacen meanwhile looked at Gleam with a bit of worry and gave him a hug whispering into his ear, “A bit overworked I take it.”  Gleam just nodded softly in response.

Ok Gleam you win, you’re apparently a bit too tired.”  She paused a moment then sighed, “ I suppose I should actually praise you and say sorry.  If you’re really so tired I shouldn’t be pushing you too much.”

Maybe I am being overly dramatic I just know I feel too tired to move...oddly this didn’t happen when...when..”   He paused...closing his eyes in thought sighing a bit, “ When I hurt myself. I was able to force myself to keep going no matter what..”

Pele gently rubs a paw over Gleam’s body, warming up the air around him gently and shhs, “ It’s fine, you did good, that was quite a long walk for a little kit.  Maybe you just need a bit of a breather, we’ll see how you feel after the rattata brother’s feed you.”

Pele gives Rattata the feeding bottle and he soon brought it over to Gleam, Tacen helping roll the kit into a more comfortable position for feeding, Flint providing something for Gleam to rest against.  And Gleam had what counted for his supper, right there as the entire town watched. It left him blushing a moment, but eventually he just let the taste take him away, letting his apparent addiction to fire gummis distract him for now.  He did his best to ignore the adoring awws, but he heard no giggles...instead more than a few saying they wanted to feed him too.

Eventually he finished, opening his eyes slowly to look up at the two brothers, noticing the younger one actually looked slightly bigger than his brother, go figure.  He lightly nuzzled the two then wound up with both of them giving him a hug, then helping him stand up. He noticed mother had stepped away which surprised him. But for the time being the fact he was still a bit winded, he just enjoyed the hugs for now, and squeaked a soft, “Thank you.”

He really hoped he could stand whelphood without falling into whelpish habits.  He’s started to realize what’s been going on with the way his, he considered in thought, new family were treating him.  He should have known already, they made their intentions pretty clear weeks ago. They want him to be a little self serving attention getting whelp.  They must have worked on him a bit during his sleeping days. He did have trouble keeping from whining or crying from a nightmare now. He’d had a few since he awoke.  And even now he’s just sinking into the hugs given by the rattata brothers, even thanking them. Instead of trying to get away.

He perks as Mother returns and picks him up, snuggling him into her warmth, he considered for a moment, and he sunk himself into her fur.  He took a moment and earperked as he realized something and looked up, “mama?”

She looked down and smiles, “Yes little flame?”’

Gleam blushed softly, he needs to build his vocabulary...at least work on some more mature sounding words, but Mother wanted to know what he wanted so he went ahead with what he had, “No sleep?”  He tilted his head hoping mom got the idea.

Pele considered a moment, “You know the proper thing to do, if I’m to treat you like a whelp is to not use the easy route to clarification.  But honestly I do feel bad about not realizing you needed help with talking that badly.”

As Gleam felt his organ buzz, “ Hi again mom.  I’m just, I’m not feeling tired or sleepy like I normally do after um...supper.  Feeling a bit surprised. Legs are a bit sore but otherwise feel decently perky.

Pele giggles, “I told you Gleam, you’re getting near the end of your first growth stage, as that ends you’ll be awake more often like most whelps.  Anyway I got something you might enjoy set up, hold still and I’ll take this slow with you ok?”

Gleam tilted his head curiously looking up, “Ok mama..”  the softness of his voice still annoyed him. It didn’t sound bad, on any other whelp he knows he’d comment how cute they sound, but it’s just another reminder of his status now.

He was brought out of his thoughts a moment later as mother gently lifted him out of her fur, then she started to gently put him down, he looked up at her curiously, head tilting, then he felt his tail dip into warmth..and it began to feel heavier...next his legs met the warmth..he realized the heavyness was from his fur soaking up liquid...slowly mother immersed his body in what he realized was warm water, well not warm.  He’s pretty sure this was close to boiling to actually feel hot and soothing to his fennekin body.

He looked up a moment, he knew what he wanted to do right then and there and had to make sure of one thing, “soo- up- ort?”  He cringed at that horrible pronunciation.

Pele just smiled and nodded, “I got you little flame, go ahead and relax, I’ll keep you from slipping under.”

With that assurance Gleam just let his body relax, enjoying a nice hot soak, and eventually an in depth grooming, in what he later found out was a cooking pot his mother decided to repurpose.  While some very bewildered guild members looked on at a fire type whelp enjoying his time in the water. With a certain rock pup overseeing it.