Hey Serebii people. Long time not showing up around here, but this is just as good a day to fix that as any other. Because really, I wouldn't have anything better to do on a day such as Valentine's, right?
I'm here to present a small story that, actually, was written a long time ago. But I never bothered posting it in English, or in any big fanfiction site for the matter.
Big mistake, I know.
It was a small attempt to expand on the backstory of two Nidoran OCs of mine. And this being a small story about how a couple got to be, this day would be just as good as any to have this small story definitively posted. So this is basically an introduction to how Inka, my Nidoqueen character featured also in my Interpretations entry, landed her catch.
Still, as you likely already suspect if you have read some other of my stories, this is not going to be a typical romance thing. Or just a typical thing at all. I tried for it to be a bit more xenofictiony when I wrote it... would hope to know if it worked. Also, free cookies for the ones who get the reference I made in the language used by the Nidoran. (Not if you're a colleague from WAAPT though, you already know this one. Sorry. :p )
Does not mean you're not going to enjoy it though, I hope!
No more interruptions then. Here I leave you with...
Silly human, romance is for Nidoran!
It had been a calm day so far, in the outskirts of the large city that rested beside the forest. Up by the edge of the flower shops district, some small stores were running their daily routine. Small buildings with automatic semitransparent doors that the inhabitants of the city handled without much issue to carry out their business.
The Nidorino, like many others in the wild, did not really have that much of a good relationship with the automatic doors. They were just... a thing, quite hard to handle, just like vanishing walls or mysterious artifacts of lore, not to mention the fact that hlessil – the strays and outcasts – weren't allowed inside these weird human burrows.
Not that this young specimen cared today. Barely over one year old, he was strolling around the store, listening, sniffing with interest, his clean, unbitten ears flickering every time one of the ithé – the weird non-Pokémon race that populated the cities and who called themselves "humans" – was about to emerge from weird structure, prompting the pinkish Pokémon to turn tail and run, horn down and muzzle open, to hide in the nearest safe place, usually a thicket or a hrududu – one of those small metal creatures the humans used to travel around the city.
All the better if he had to run. The Nidorino was happy to let himself run wildly every few minutes, trying the power of his new muscles and the toughness of his new paws, and each time he proudly stood before the store exposing his pale, unscarred flank, so silly of him to think that that was valuable but hey, that's the young for you.
Just like the other three or four Nidos roaming around the street, he was part of a small outcast troop that lived by the very edge of the forest. That didn't make them bottom percentage, no… it was a honour, if a tribulation as well, to live near the humans, the elders of the nearby forest colony said. But boy it was hard and annoying sometimes, the Nidorino thought as he went hide in a thicket. Every once in a while some annoying human kit would try and randomly throw Pokéballs at them, not even bothering (or perhaps not even knowing) with the ancient ritual. Other times the troop delved too deep inside the city, ate the wrong human's grass, and then they were chased back to the forest by angry Pokémon the colony called fuléarof, dogs of the dawn, but the Nidorino had heard the humans in blue clothes call Arcanine.
There was the laughter of human kittens and the voice of their marli, the mother, fading away; the Nidorino peeked outside of the thicket, and saw them go away. Looking down the street one of the other Nidos of the troop was trying to attack some silly Pidgeys - that would keep him busy for a while. Even further beyond the Sun was diving away, to the eternal sea – the night was to come. The Nidorino turned his ears to the other side to check for any call from their troop leader. None come yet… that's great! He could have some more time to play, he thought.
Time to cautiously approach the human building again. Step after step, ears raised, the Nidorino moved slowly to face the mysterious disappearing wall that allowed the humans to come in and out…
And once he was very close, he decided to rub his muzzle against the lower part of the wall, just to confirm the reason why he had been so eager to spend the last half hour trying to figure out the intricacies of this wall the humans had placed.
Yes, he did confirm it as soon as his nostrils picked the scent. He raised his sight to try and distinguish anything inside the structure's hide, but for the most part he couldn't understand anything of what he was seeing, which was mostly blurry ghosts wandering around past the barrier. All he knew was that there was a Nidorina, somewhere inside. His eyes scanned a couple of times but got nothing, and this prompted the Nidorino to push his horn against the mysterious wall... softly at first, but harder when he felt the wall vibrating and pushing back in response to his strength.
Test your strength, get past the wall, that was the "message" that he could get. He had enjoyed himself so much since his evolution, just a couple of moons ago. He had found himself stronger, faster, smarter, if unfortunately larger enough that he had to dig himself a new burrow. So… strong and fast enough to take down this mysterious barrier, perhaps?
Face the wall, horn down, ears flattened. Focus his energy for a moment and... push!
Nothing. The wall wouldn't budge.
But of course! He was missing something!
So naďve of him to forget that he had to charge! Pointy end of horn goes inside the opponent, his instructor told the once little Nidoran. After a warning growl and a moment to shake his head, the specimen turned around and walked a short distance away, five or six steps from the wall, then turned around to face it again.
A rawr was issued, because the Nidorino was not going to back down, which he showcased by pointing end of horn at the blue-ish wall. Getting no response from the wall, the Nidorino buffed and followed with the customary and always useful Leer, his body stiffened to look as threatening as possible, his irises acquiring a blue-ish tint for a brief moment. A thump on the ground, legs well spread, and after a moment to take a breath, his charge. He was so going to win this one.
The eager Nidorino had barely had the time to aim his horn in his stint at attacking when his ears picked what seemed like a very sharp, brief cry coming from above. A slight tremor under his feet and the Nidorino was surprised to see the wall quickly move away somehow and… disappear?
Where did it go, the Nidorino asked to himself as he hastily braked, followed with a surprised "where am I now?" in a somewhat meeping mental tone.
The Nidorino looked around, he was now in a different place that seemed to be the inside of the human structure, the floor and the walls were different here and there were weird trees lined up across the floor, with even weirder coloured leaves and objects hanging from them. The sounds and smells were all uniform, but off from what he knew, and were carried by a strange cool wind emerging from somewhere within the walls around him, forcing most scents off the wall he had come through.
He instinctively followed his ears and turned his head up to notice some sort of creature with a black eye making most of its body hanging from the ceiling, watching him. But as the creature did nothing but stare, the Nidorino returned his focus on the affair that had brought him here.
Sniff left… Sniff right… where was the Nidorina?
The Nidorino hesitantly took a step forwards and looked around. He could hear some humans around but couldn't see them, they were spread somewhere amidst the weird trees, some Pokémon were also there if the scents he was picking were all right. He would have to start looking around and evade any humans that would-
Oh? The tremor again! The Nidorino quickly turned back to see the blue-ish wall slide in from nowhere, and within just a couple of seconds his view of the trees and the hrududu outside, as well as the soft wind, were nearly completely blocked by the mysterious wall. Nearly skipping a heartbeat the Nidorino poked the wall with a paw, then his horn… just like before, all he felt was a slight vibration and a strong resistance. He could see some Nidorino-like shadows moving outside, probably the rest of his troop, and his ears flared up.
He nervously turned around, examining his surroundings. There were some more noises that he didn't pay much attention to as he was busy scanning for any other possible exit, but he was fairly sure he had circled the building many times and never found another kind of disappearing wall for humans to cross in and out.
He swallowed. Next he tried to pick any wind or any vibration to no avail and then started turning forth and back, pawing the door a couple of times and trying to check for humans alternatively.
It was right after one of those turns that he suddenly noticed, something had made the recesses of his mind freeze; he found himself standing still, ears pointed back, and realized there was something out there (or, well, in there) to look for. Carefully he turned around and quickly glanced at the weird trees, and it was right by one of them that he saw her eyes, inquisitively examining him, the form of the Nidorina sat at a corner.
The Nidorino shaked for a moment and swallowed again, looked back. The female was somewhat larger than himself, and seemed to be fairly more aged as well. She was inside, she was a trained Pokémon after all and not a hlessi the male thought, picking some clues from her rough flank and her clean, slightly sharpened claws and her… possessive demeanour? As he did, he felt himself being examined as well, but beyond some blinks the Nidorina gave no indication whatsoever if she liked what she saw.
Come on, boy, he reminded himself, just like you practised. You got yourself this far.
<…H-hello?> he growled faintly while stepping forwards.
Not much of a response, the Nidorina simply shifted her ears a couple of times, probably checking for the same sounds he was, and then simply leaned on the weird tree, her chest moving slightly with her breathing. The male was not to give up though, he was young and confident in his top-percentageness.
<I'm Baluarkos and I'm very healthy!> he growled, louder this time. He moved in a couple of steps and presented his flank, turned around a couple of times to show he was (just a bit!) confident with his surroundings. <I beat that blue… wall… thing!>
That seemed to definitively trigger a reaction in the Nidorina. Baluarkos saw her move her head a bit, look at the door behind him for a moment and them at him again. For whatever reason, the female then leaned onwards and let her forepaws rest on the ground, her face drawing something similar to a smile, her fangs showing off, a telltale sign that she wanted to see more of... him?
He smiled back as well, felt his body tense. Circled around a couple of times, then looked back at the blue-ish wall and back at the female, who blinked. He had to show he was strong, he reminded himself that the female had probably missed him scaring the foul wall into letting him in.
So perhaps another display…
He assumed a threatening posture again as he turned at the door and aimed his horn at it. Just as before, no response, so he took a couple of steps back, buffing as malely as he could. His feet suddenly caught a minute difference in the texture of the ground that surprised him, he stopped and looked down, after a moment he heard the female giggling. Ears down and blushing he looked back at her and saw her sitting on her hindlegs this time, her pupils dilated, she replied coyly tilting her head and then pointing him to the wall.
<I'm great, I can do this~>, he said to himself tilting his head like the female did.
So after a moment he shaked himself and thumped at the ground, ready to challenge. Even though he could not see it he could feel the Nidorina staring at him with interest. He let out his Leer and roared at the door, with the already expected lack of response, he puffed his chest, he'd have to do this the hard way. Again. Females dig males who go the hard way, his troop leader said. So be it, ears down, legs well spread, focus on the door... a couple of thumps...
The blue-ish wall was quick to met his strong charge with the tremor and the high-pitched sound, and in a moment Baluarkos saw the wall slide away into nothingness just in time for him to proudly cross to the outside. He stopped right on his track and found himself right where he was before entering, could see the thicket and the hrududu from before, with one of his troop buddies intently looking down the street from behind it. He could once again sense the faint sea breeze – though it was a bit colder this time.
He let out a very specific growl, which called the attention of his buddy, and then turned back to look at the Nidorina.
<…See? I'm strong! I have a good flow by a creek! A burrow of my own> he added, pointing with his paw to the forests to the east.
The Nidorina giggled for a moment and leaned on the ground again, looking at him with prowling eyes and her claws dug on the ground, as if she was having a certain fun watching him. Baluarkos, not used to the feeling, blushed and shaked his body for a moment. The two Nidoran looked at each other for a moment, she moving her ears in apparently random directions while he was leaning left and right, not letting her out of his sight.
<You're funny…> she said suddenly, in a low enough tone that Baluarkos barely picked it. But that was all he needed. Her call was coy and gruff, her voice sounded even older than Baluarkos had presumed, didn't know what to do about that but with what followed he wouldn't care.
She waited for a moment and then made an inviting motion with her head, the Nidorino blinked and smugly growled at nowhere. He stood quiet for a moment, breathing calmly as if playing hard to get, then the female repeated the gesture.
<I'm Inka>, she growled then slid her claws by the ground besides her.
Baluarkos felt like top-percentage. He assumed a calm posture, then walked towards her.
Then he felt a tremor just like what he felt when the found the blue wall again and… no, no…
Eyes wide open and claws ready, the Nidorino rushed at the open space trying to reach the female, but before getting any far he found his field of vision obstructed by the blue and felt a strong thud, having bumped on the closing door. He bounded back somewhat ungracefully and then roared at the blue-ish wall. It was there again, as if nothing had happened, blocking his way.
He was once again trapped outside, away from her.
The Nidorino scratched the door a couple of times to no effect, then stepped back and looked it up.
<…Rrrrr... No! I'm hers! I'll have you for this!> he yelled at the door.
Still resting on the corner of Aisle 3, Inka continued to giggle as he watched the young male through the semitransparent door panel. She ran her claws on the empty ground besides her and amused herself watching the obviously recently evolved Nidorino bump on the door a couple of times, lean on it with both forelegs, poke it with his horn and apparently call it various names – even the strongest name, Ela, reserved for the most lethal enemies of Nidoran, predators such as Skarmory.
Inka found it fun to play games with the various Pokémon from the forest who came down to the city to try their luck – in particular if they were Nidoran, male, and proactive. Some of them were actually smart, but all of them fell easily in the trap of the automatic door and reacted in convoluted and funny ways.
The Nidorino outside stepped back a couple of steps and charged at the door. Inka sat and blinked as she saw the male crash against the door, his horn leaving a notorious dent on the panel. Her ears had stiffened at the crash, the sound screaming into her instincts that the male had just somehow found some sort of vulnerability in the door.
<…That's going to call some attention> she told herself, then retreating a couple of steps to hide.
She had to admit, this one was at least a bit smarter, or a bit more eager, or perhaps just a bit luckier than the others. He had gotten inside the store by his own means. Teasing him had been very fun, in particular the face the poor boy put in the microsecond he realized that the door was going to close again.
Then she heard angry footsteps coming from the aisle behind her and she moved away in time to see one of the human clerks, carrying a box. The human turned at the door and as soon as he saw the dent on the panel let out a scream followed with the usual human rant about the stray Pokémon. Inka saw the human quickly trade the box for an iron shovel and head to the door, which opened right after the Nidorino had tried to Double Kick it in his rage.
Inka felt something coming from the outside, peeked from behind her corner to see the stunned male quickly scan the store, not noticing Inka, then look up at the human who was about to shoo him. And she sensed the scent of an Arcanine in the distance.
<…Hray, yen u!> she hissed, instructing him to run. Just run.
He picked her voice, his ear turned to her direction for a brief moment, but before he could do anything else he was smacked in the head by the iron shovel and was forced to turn tail and run away, beyond the thicket, to reach his troop as the clerk followed for a couple of meters, swinging his shovel as threateningly as a common store clerk could.
And while Inka could not see, she could listen, and she sighed as she realized the Nidorino's troop was quickly rushing away as a police cart with a couple of officers and likely a couple of Arcanines pulled by next street.
Inka frowned at the human past the door. She decided to return to her Trainer before he figured out anything had happened, to spare themselves any trouble. If she was any lucky, with him busy buying various human-food groceries, he wouldn't have even noticed she was gone to have fun~
A couple of minutes later, the five males that comprised the troop were running across a deserted street uphill, trying to reach a creek that led to the edge of the forest. One or two streets behind two female Arcanine were chasing, firing a couple of Flamethrowers, Roaring at them and quickly catching up.
<Oh, she wants me…> Baluarkos yelled, in between excited gasps for air. <I know she wants me.>
For the young boy the mad rush towards the forest fell like a smug stroll that day.