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a little friend

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James Ross’s Arctic Ninetails had made herself comfortable under the wardroom table, while Francis sat, looking quite chagrinned at the creature that was sitting on top of the same table.

“Francis if it followed you all the way back to the ship that means it likes you and, moreover, that it wants to be your partner,” James said, gesturing at the Piplup that was waddling it’s way along the table toward Francis.

Francis sighed. “I just don’t see the point in it.”

“The point is companionship, an animal who can match your own skills and offer support,” James replied. “Frankie did the same thing you know, followed me right back to the Victory on one of my sledge trips.”

Frankie gave a small yip from under the table, sitting up to put her head in James’ lap. James chuckled and rubbed her head.

“I know you’re skeptical Francis, but give it a go, I think he suits you.”

The Piplup had now toddled over and seated itself directly in front of Francis. Francis gave the creature a baleful look. “I don’t suppose you’ll like England very much.”

He looked over at James. “Frankie’s handled the climate all right hasn’t she?”

“She hates summertime,” James said. “But she can also produce her own ice if she gets too hot, I imagine your Piplup is capable of much the same, give him a tub of water to splash in and I’m sure he’ll be happy as anything.”

Francis huffed, staring back down at the Piplup, who chirped happily at him.

“Have any thoughts on what you’ll name him?” James asked.

“Not after you,” Francis shot back, though it was teasing. The irritation he’d felt about this situation was now rapidly draining.

James laughed. “In my defense, I was missing you greatly at the time.”

“What about Terror?” Francis said.

“Name him after the ship?”

“Why not, we name ships after people, why not a Pokemon after a ship?”

James opened his mouth, as if to protest, but then he stopped. “I suppose it’s as good as anything.” He turned his gaze to address the Piplup. “And what do you think?”

“Piplup!” was the chirped response.

Francis chuckled. “That sounded happy enough, Terror it is.”

James grinned. “Now lets see if he lives up to the name.”