~ First Love ~
Bianca trotted through town. Her paws pushed up against her chest and fluffed up her paw fur. The other pokemon looked away. Those who were rude enough to stare gaped. Bianca turned up her nose and padded softly up to the shop run by Travis R. Flareon. He was organizing a large pile of berries and his back was turned.
"Sir," Bianca said quietly. Travis turned around and his eyes popped.
"Um-um-um-" he stammered nervously. "Mrs. Bianca? Erm, what do you want? Well, that is, what would you like?"
Bianca leaned in close. "I want all your Oran berries and your TMs. And I don't expect to have to pay for it."
"Well, erm, Mrs. Bianca, I, uh, I'm not sure if I can afford to give away so much for free," Travis stammered. Bianca leaned over the counter and kissed his cheek. Travis blushed. "But I'll make it work." He turned and gave her a pile of Oran berries and TMs.
"Thanks, hon," Bianca said with a dangerous smile. She began to turn, but then stopped. Perhaps he deserves just a little something for his cooperation, she thought. With an unusual spurt of generosity, she put down ten Poke. Travis jumped as her paw touched the counter.
As Bianca walked away, she glanced around at the other pokemon in the town. They were all gaping. It was clear that nobody had expected her to do such a thing in plain sight.
Bianca sighed. Do I have to do this at every town I go to? She looked at the male pokemon and shot them her sweetest smile and winked. She turned to the few females in the crowd and gave them the finger.
Satisfied, Bianca trotted back towards the forest where she lived. Her home was a small shelter in a treehouse. It had been rotting and abandoned when she found it, but she had given it all new boards and painted it so that it looked like a part of the tree.
Sometimes it's nice to be a female criminal, Bianca thought. She unloaded the new stolen profits into her tree and walked over to the nearby pond.
It shone silver and blue, reflecting the sun and the sky. Bianca leaned over and looked into her reflection.
A typical Lopunny. That's what it showed. Just a normal, everyday Lopunny. Okay, she was a little bit thinner. Maybe her chest was a little bit more developed. Her eyes were a bit bigger. Her smile was colder. And her posture wasn't completely decent-looking. Her tail stuck out and her legs were pressed together. Her chest was covered by a very thin, fine brown jacket that looked like her own flesh. Kept her from looking too, well, too human. But all in all, Bianca was a perfectly normal Lopunny.
The only real difference was that she was a wanted criminal. Bianca was wanted for thieving, escaping jail, attacking an enforcer of the law, torturing, and murdering. Almost all of these involved seducing of some sort.
For instance, Bianca had started off small-time. She stole a few things from stores by sneaking it away. Maybe adding something to her bag quietly after buying things. But after a while, she discovered that a smile or a kiss would typically silence almost all males she dealt with when thieving larger things. Females… well, Bianca had just avoided them.
When she was caught by an officer, Bianca escaped her cell easily. All she had to do was seduce the Grovyle guarding her cage. It didn't work at first, but when she flashed him, he was very happy to let her out.
From there, Bianca just went up. She stole much bigger things. Eventually, she had decided that she was sick of avoiding females. She went up and told a Gardevoir that she required all the berries. The Gardevoir was happy to comply, but she was upset when Bianca began to walk away. She demanded that Bianca "had better get your butt back over here and pay for that."
Bianca had politely suggested that she follow her to take care of the problem in a battle. Then she had literally killed Gardevoir. She didn't fight fair. She bit, scratched, pulled, and tore until Gardevoir was dead.
Bianca was now well-known. She always escaped whenever she was caught and she always, always got away with both stealing and murdering. Bianca was also known for seducing male pokemon into anything. She had been in many, many one-night stands, and her relationships never lasted longer. Bianca was sometimes called "the loveless hell-bunny."
Now Bianca sighed, staring down at her form.
"Damn," she muttered. "I feel like I need something to do… no males in that town gonna want to see me tonight, though."
With a sigh, Bianca turned and walked back to her treehouse. She let out a cry of alarm as she saw someone standing under it. A Lucario! Ugh. Bianca had met another Lucario before. It had been a male, and he had been viciously cruel. He was one of the guards when she was put in jail. She had tried to seduce him, flashed his, and even drawn him into her cell and pleased him. But even while she did it, he didn't do anything. Instead he watched her icily, and when she had finished he left her cell, locked it for the night, and left. Luckily for her, the next guard was easily seduced.
This Lucario watched her with amusement in his eyes. When she took a few steps forward, he didn't react at all. Bianca was surprised – he was neither seduced nor was he cautious.
"What are you doing under my tree?" she snapped, narrowing her eyes.
"This is your tree?" the Lucario asked, feigning surprise. "Oh, well, that's a shock. I would have assumed that a tree belonging to someone would have initials carved in the trunk. Did I miss them?" He turned and looked the tree up and down before turning back to Bianca. "Nothing," he added, crossing his arms coolly.
"Look into the branches," she growled, pointing up at her treehouse.
"Oh, that treehouse is yours? Hmm. You have an interesting building technique. And by the way, sorry about those Oran Berries. I didn't think they belonged to anyone, so…" The Lucario snickered, looking carefully at her.
Bianca frowned. "You ate my berries?"
"Not all of them," the Lucario said, smiling. "I left a couple hundred. You really like to stockpile on your berries, don't you?"
"I need them," Bianca replied.
"Painkillers," the Lucario said, winking at her. "I get it. What happened to you? Rough night out? Beaten up by a gang?"
I don't like this, not one bit, Bianca thought. "No. Things happen. It's a fact of life."
The Lucario pushed himself off the tree and approached her. The offhanded way his eyes scanned her scantily clad body actually embarrassed Bianca, so much that she wanted to cross her arms over her chest and hunch over.
"So," the Lucario said, "things happen. That's true. What sort of things do you mean?"
"Just… things. Battles with wild pokemon. Bug bites, poison stings, etcetera. It's part of life. You're a pokemon, you battle, you get hurt, you eat an Oran Berry and get better."
The Lucario's gaze was mild yet disconcerting. His cool red eyes scanned her own pink ones. Bianca felt as though he were searching her gaze for some hint of her past, but she had learned a long time ago how to put up a shield over her gaze. Unfortunately, he apparently had, too, and she couldn't discern anything from his own gaze.
"So… how did you find so many Oran Berries?" he asked her, giving away nothing in his cool tone.
For a long moment, Bianca had to think about what she would say. At last, she answered, "I'm good at hunting for things. Oran Berries are very common, you know."
The Lucario stared at her for a second. Then, "Yes, they are common… in shops. And by hunting you mean seducing, right?"
Bianca's mouth fell open and she took a step back. "What?" she protested, though it was true. "Of course not! I'm not some sort of outlaw or anything!"
"Sure you are," the Lucario replied. "You're Bianca, the Loveless Hell-Bunny. One of the most famous – and least jailed – outlaws in the Sinnoh region."
Dammit! How did he know? Bianca forced herself to stay calm. "That's not true," she said firmly.
"I know it's you," he replied. "I noticed you stealing some Oran Berries from the nearby town. You didn't see me." Noticing Bianca's panicked look, he added, "Don't worry. I won't turn you in…" Here's where he adds, "for a price" and insists that I do something for him, Bianca thought, irritated. "…because, to be honest, I don't really care whether or not you're an outlaw. I'm a loner – you know, I don't live in a town and I don't belong to a trainer, and I don't hide in wild grass, either!"
"So what do you want from me?" Bianca demanded. "I can't exactly offer you a safe place of protection."
"I want to sleep here tonight, just this one night. I've been traveling for months now and this is the first place I've found that isn't too close to a town and is hidden well. I haven't had more than three hours of sleep at one time since I began to travel." The Lucario hesitated a second, then held out his paw. "By the way, Bianca, my name is Lucas. It's nice to meet you. Officially."
Bianca felt a faint smile spread across her face. "Nice to meet you too… Lucas," she replied, and placed her paw in his.
That evening, Bianca watched Lucas sleep. She wasn't tired yet, but he had fallen asleep almost as soon as he had lain down. She could tell he hadn't had enough sleep.
She watched as his chest rose and fell as he breathed softly. He doesn't look dangerous when he's asleep, Bianca thought. He looks innocent. I wonder why he's been traveling, and why he doesn't want to be too close to a town. Is he an outlaw, too?
She considered it. It was possible – he hadn't tried to turn her in, and he had been hiding somewhere when he was in the town. But he didn't seem like an outlaw… didn't seem like the thieving type. Sure, he was snarky and had insulted her… but that didn't make him an outlaw. It made him interesting.
Bianca winced. I'm doing it again… he wouldn't be interesting in me flirting, anyhow. He's a Lucario, and they can control their emotions. I learned my lesson already. Besides, I just met him. She didn't stop watching him, though.
Then Lucas stirred slightly, rolling over so that he faced her. For a moment he appeared to still be sleeping, and then his eyes fluttered open.
"You woke up?" Bianca stammered, looking away. "I didn't wake you up, did I?"
"No…" Lucas murmured, eyes drooping half-closed. "Just a dream…" He sat up, rubbing his eyes carefully to avoid stabbing them with his paw spine.
Bianca tipped her head to one side. "A dream? About what?"
Lucas frowned. "Nothing."
Bianca pushed herself further up against the wall. "Was it a nightmare?" she asked gently.
Lucas winced. "Err… kind of. About… why I'm traveling," he added hesitantly.
Why he's traveling? Hmm. "What's it about?" Bianca asked. "Sometimes telling helps."
"Well… when I was younger, I lived in a group of Lucario and Riolu. But… I wasn't really happy there. I didn't fit in, you know?"
Bianca nodded – she knew very well how it felt not to fit in.
"So I left my group," Lucas continued. "It was hard at first – I'd never had to find food by myself before; there had always been a pile of berries and prey brought in by patrols. Actually… the reason I left was because there was another Lucario… I was engaged to her, not by choice. She was desperate to find love and she was clingy. If I went on a patrol, she had to come with me. And if I was tired or itchy or cross, she'd go insane trying to get me to go to the healer.
"At last, I tried to break it off. I suggested to Carmen – that was her name – that perhaps we weren't right for each other. She went nuts! I swear, she went literally crazy. She tried to attack me every time I left the house, and she tied my paws to the door every night so that I couldn't leave." Lucas shook his head. "And she was completely normal in public, so none of the others had any clue what she was doing to me.
"So one night I found a sleeping potion and put it in her food. She was out like a light before the meal was over, and I managed to escape. She's still coming after me… I know she is. And I have nightmares about her every night – nightmares that she'll come after me, and kill me when she catches me." Lucas shuddered. "I don't want to see her again, but I know someday she'll get me."
Bianca was stunned. This was not the past she had expected from a strange Lucario who had been traveling for several months. And yet… somehow it seemed to fit. He looked haggard now, looking away from her out the window of her treehouse.
"Is… is that really true?" Bianca asked, knowing that her worry would show in her voice and not caring for once.
"No…" Lucas growled. "I made it up, because I thought it would make a good bedtime story! What do you think?!"
Bianca bit her lip and Lucas sighed heavily.
"Hey, I'm sorry," he said. "That was uncalled for."
"I get it," Bianca said quietly. "It's understandable. You had a nightmare… you've had trouble. It's normal to lose your temper."
Lucas turned and stared out the window again. Then, standing up, he said, "I want to look at the stars. Can I do that from the tree?"
Bianca stood up and pulled down a hatch in the ceiling. Unfolding a wooden ladder, she told him, "I made a balcony up at the top of the tree. It looks like the tree, so pokemon won't notice it, but you can go up."
"Thanks." Lucas grasped the ladder in his paws and climbed up carefully as Bianca held it steady for him. At the top, she heard his footsteps on the wooden balcony above. After a while, she lay back down and closed her eyes, listening to him naming constellations under his breath.
Then Lucas gasped. In an instant, Bianca was on her feet. "What?" she called up to him.
"Come look at this!" he cried. "It's incredible!"
Relieved, Bianca climbed up the unsteady ladder and joined Lucas at the railing. He pointed up, and she gasped as well.
It was a wave of flickering lights in rainbows of color! "It looks like the Northern Lights!" Bianca exclaimed.
Lucas nodded beside her. "I think it's something to do with pokemon battles. When two powerful pokemon are battling, the excess power of their moves will go up into the sky and do things like that." He pointed again. "Look – there's a big burst!"
He was right. It was only a moment before an explosion of red filled the night sky above them, and faded away.
Bianca looked at Lucas then. His eyes were shining, as if he had completely forgotten about the other Lucario who was hunting him down. And she had no plans of reminding him.
Then Lucas turned to her. "Thank you, Bianca," he said earnestly. "You've helped me a lot, though you don't know me. You gave me a place to sleep and listened to what I had to say. That's more than most pokemon would ever do."
Bianca smiled. "It's nothing."
"No, it's something," Lucas argued. "It matters! You're an outlaw – you had no way of knowing if I would turn you in or stab you in your sleep or something, and you still let me stay. That's huge!"
Bianca blinked a few times. "I didn't mean…" She stopped, then tried again. "It's just that… you interest me. You weren't impressed or afraid of me when you first saw me, and that's not what usually happens."
Lucas smiled wanly. "Yeah… I bet not." Something in his tone made Bianca want to laugh, which was rare. She didn't laugh easily.
"Well, anyhow… if you've gotten as little rest as you said, then I think you ought to go back down and get some sleep," Bianca said. "If you want to stay in the morning, that's okay with me, too… but either way, you need rest."
"Right," Lucas agreed. For a second, they both fell silent. Then Lucas said, "Well, goodnight, Bianca. Sleep well. I may leave in the morning."
Bianca felt disappointed by that, but took it without complaint. "Okay, Lucas… in case you do, goodbye… I hope you visit again, if ever you pass by."
For another long moment, there was an awkward silence between them. Then, at the same time, Bianca and Lucas moved forward and fell into each others' arms, and kissed.
Bianca shifted slightly as the bright light of the morning shone onto her face. Then, yawning, she blinked open her eyes and looked around.
Lucas was lying next to her, still sleeping soundly. Bianca watched him fondly, recalling the previous night. Neither of them had gotten much sleep, but it had been fantastic.
He needs rest now. Don't wake him up, she told herself. Just go find something to eat… something other than Oran Berries.Standing and stretching, she walked outside with plans to head to the small town nearby. When she got back, Lucas would still be there – she was sure of it. And she would actually pay for the food this time. She doubted that Lucas would want her to do anything other than that.
When she reached the town, Bianca looked around. It wasn't one she had been to before, but it was surprisingly empty… as though everyone was hiding from her. Maybe they know I was nearby and don't want anything stolen from them, she thought.
But even when she entered a store, there was no one around. "Weird," she murmured, and got a shock at hearing her own voice, loud against the silence.
Outside once again, she realized that there were a few flies buzzing around the doors of houses. Did the town leave for some reason and left their food behind? Evacuation? I think I should check this out…
She walked up to one house and knocked on the door.
Concerned now, Bianca pushed the door open. Several flies from outside buzzed inside – and she let out a shriek.
Everywhere, blood. Splattered on the wall, dripping from a table, smeared across the floor – nothing but blood!
Bianca stared, eyes wide, at the bloodstained room in front of her, and then she noticed the bodies.
Two of them, both Feraligatrs. One male, one female, and they were both dead. The female was laying half-up against the wall, eyes glazed over with the murkiness of death. The male's skull – if you could call it that anymore – was smashed, and Bianca saw that his skull had been bashed against the table corner.
"Wh-who did this?" she whispered, backing away in horror. Then she had a sudden, terrifying revelation. What if the other houses are the same way?
That thought washed over her, paralyzing her with terror until the only thing she could do was go and see. Panicking, Bianca raced from house to house, pushing open doors and smashing the windows when the doors were locked.
And it was true.
Every house in the small town was bathed in blood and corpses. When Bianca had finished looking in them all, she bent over and vomited on the ground. I wanted food from this town! She felt dizziness overcome her, and she fell to the ground in a dead faint.
"Wake up. Wake up, little Lopunny friend!"
Bianca's eyes opened slowly to the face of a Lucario. But this one was female.
The Lucario who was standing over her was caked with drying blood. There was a wild light in her red eyes, a light that alarmed Bianca.
"Are-are you Carmen?" Bianca croaked, struggling to sit up.
"That's right!" The female Lucario leaped back off of Bianca, face split with a huge grin. "I'm Carmen! Did Lucas tell you about me? He was thinking of me? How wonderful!"
This pokemon is really insane, Bianca thought fearfully. She's crazy! I need to get out of here.
But that was easier said than done. Bianca was in the basement of one of the houses. There was a corpse on the other side of the room – a Charmeleon this time. It was a female, and there was a blood-soaked basket of clothes in its grasp. There was a washing machine behind it. Doing laundry… what a sad way to die, Bianca thought.
Carmen was blocking the exit. Bianca tried to stand and found that her ankles were tied. She staggered and fell back down again with an "oof!"
"Aww, don't you want to stay for a while?" Carmen asked, her eyes growing bigger and becoming shiny with tears. "But I like you! Or I did, anyhow. Before you did that thing… Oh! And I had to talk to you about that, too!"
Bianca glared at Carmen. "I can't escape. Talk to me."
Carmen grinned. "Yaaay! You want to listen to me! Okay, well, here goes." Her voice turned cold as ice. "You listen to me and you listen good, got it? Lucas is mine. He belongs to me, and I won't let some slut like you steal him away."
Bianca twisted her paws behind her back, trying to wriggle free from the ties that held her wrists. "I'm no slut," she growled. "And Lucas isn't yours."
"We're engaged!" Carmen shrieked. "He's mine! He'll always be mine! You can't have him! I've made him mine and he's mine forever, you hear me?! I took him away and he's mine!"
Bianca snarled. "You can't make him yours! He doesn't love you, Carmen. You're insane!"
"I'm not insane!" Carmen screamed, so loudly that it hurt Bianca's ears. "And you – you slept with MY Lucas, MY mate! You must be punished!"
Bianca felt one of her wrists slip free carefully, and managed to free the other one as well. "Shut up! Lucas doesn't love you – he loves me!" She wasn't certain that it was true, but she knew that she loved Lucas, and he had some feelings for her, even if they weren't pure love.
Carmen's paw spines glowed as she attacked Bianca. When the Lopunny held up her paws to stop the Close Contact blows from falling too hard on her, the mad pokemon didn't even notice her victim's freedom. Carmen was too furious. Bianca used her ears (her precious ears that all Lopunny love!) to shield her head as she leaned forward and freed her ankles.
Carmen let out a piercing scream of fury. Bianca, feeling her own rage well up, leaped to her feet and used Jump Kick, slamming her foot up right into Carmen's chin. The Lucario stumbled back, wobbling, and stared at her.
"Don't you ever say Lucas isn't mine!" Carmen shrieked, and attacked again with Aura Sphere. Before she could, however, Bianca used Quick Attack combined with Agility, darting out of harm's way and lunging at Carmen. She knocked over the crazy pokemon and tore viciously at her flesh with her seemingly innocent paws. Then, when Carmen tried to feint to one side, Bianca caught the trick and leaped in at Carmen's throat.
With a sharp snap and a deep bite, Bianca bit through Carmen's throat and used her paws to snap the female Lucario's neck. Carmen went limp.
"Lucas isn't yours," Bianca said to the limp body. "He's his own pokemon. He's free now."
Then she left the town behind, feeling as though something very heavy had been lifted from her shoulders. Lifting her head determinedly, Bianca walked away from the town.
She was going to find Lucas.