“What a waste.”
“It doesn’t even know shadow ball, how sad is that?”
“Someone should just put it out of its misery already.”
Yamaguchi was afraid. Afraid for himself and afraid for the pokemon; though mainly for the pokemon.
The boys looked tough and stupid. A bad combination as the creature they crowded shrunk into itself. Yamaguchi caught sight of a tuft of brown sway back and forth in anxiousness.
He gripped the straps of his bag. Nausea overcame him as the boys continued to sneer and kick dirt at it.
One of them sighed and put a hand on his waist. “Man, what a waste. It’s not even worth getting snivy out for this.”
“Why don’t we just take care of it then? Put it in a poke ball and toss it in the lake.”
“Seems like a waste of a poke ball though.”
“Why don’t we just take care of it now? That way it doesn’t bother any other trainers looking for decent pokemon.”
“Stop!” He stuttered out, wincing at his own voice and at how quickly their heads snap away from the pokemon (an eevee, huh?) to him. “It’s not hurting anyone. Please, just leave them alone.” If he gripped his straps any tighter he was sure they’d snap but right now it was the only thing keeping his hands from trembling in fear.
The boys scoffed and looked at each other. The leader between the three put a hand on his chest and gave a bitter smile. “Well, since you asked so politely.” He took a step closer. Tadashi instinctively took a step back. “We’ll leave the waste of space alone. But it’ll cost ya.”
Tadashi hadn’t realized when he’d gotten so close. He could feel hairs on his neck stand on end as he backed into a tree. Shrinking in on himself, Tadashi saw them stand over him. Feeling more and more like that cornered eevee with every passing second.
One his lackeys sneered. “How is he gonna pay? He can’t even afford soap to wash himself with. Just look at how dirty his face is!”
Ah. That struck a nerve.
Tadashi scrunched his noise and tried to cover his face. Tears forming at the corner of his eyes, he swallowed a lump in his throat. Trying his hardest not to sniffle and lose what little pride he had left.
“Then he’ll just have to pay us back another way!”
There was rustling as they shifted on their feet. He was hesitant to look up, but when he did they tossed their bags on top of him. Tadashi struggled to stay on his feet as the weight of all four of their bags messed with his center of gravity. He leaned back against the tree to try and right himself eyes filled with tears as he looked up at the group.
The guy laughed. “And here I thought you’d put up more of a fight! You’re just as worthless as that eevee!”
The group laughed. Throwing their heads back and scrunching their noses in disgust at him.
Tadashi felt the shame twist in his gut. Whatever scraps of heroism he managed to scrape up before had fallen into the pit of his stomach. Making him want to curl up into a ball and hide. Could he honestly be anymore pitiful?
All their heads shot up and stared at the voice. A tall guy stood before them. Lip curled up in amusement as he watched the scene before him, hands shoved into his pockets like he couldn’t be bothered to deal with it.
“Don’t you have anything better to do than pick on little kids?”
Tadashi flushed. Apparently there was. Needing to be saved from the big bad bullies by his knight in shining armor. How embarrassing.
The leader took his time responding, stunned by the guys sudden appearance. As he opened his mouth to respond, the tall guy turned around and started walking away. “H…hey!” He moved to follow, standing in front of him and jabbing a finger at him. “Hold it!-“
The leader stopped in his tracks, freezing at the cold glare he received and gripped his fists at his side. “Y-your glasses are lame!”
The tall guy chuckled and walked away, not sparing any of them a passing glance as he moved away from him.
Tadashi gulped. He could see the boys try and regroup as he watched the back of the tall one as he left.
Shoulders back. Head raised. He was the poster-kid of self-confidence, albeit, maybe just a tad cocky, but even still; Tadashi was jealous. Being able to stand up to a group of boys with raw confidence and no fear for your own self. It probably helped that he was taller and no doubt smarter than them, but watching him act so calm and collect, was just… so cool.
“Tch, what are you looking at?” The leader shoved him back, Tadashi having forgotten them in his daze. He snatched his bag back, gesturing for his lackeys to do the same as he tossed Tadashi a passing glare. “You’re lucky that guy was here to bail you out of this one.” He hissed under his breath, stomping away and not bothering to wait for the others to do the same.
That sounded like the right word to use.
The eevee was lucky to have someone there to draw the attention away from it. The boys were lucky to have run into someone as pathetic as him. And Tadashi was lucky to have had someone so cool come around to save him.
He slumped down against the base of the tree, pulling his knees close to his chest and resting his head in the crook of his arms. Chest heavy, he could feel the pressure behind his eyes build up again and he could feel tears stain his shirt sleeves. If Tadashi wasn’t pathetic before, he was now. Crying in the middle of the road to Vaniville Town. The last thing he needed was to make a name for himself as the crying trainer on route 1 (if ‘trainer’ would even apply to him as he had no pokemon), but he just couldn’t will away the tears as he hiccupped into his knees.
There was a rustle beside him and he froze.
Was it too late? Had he been found out and a new group had come around to poke fun at him? Or maybe the boy from earlier had come back…
He sincerely hoped he hadn’t come back. He already embarrassed himself enough. He didn’t need any more of it.
A light nudge to his leg made him peak out from his pity party. His eyes were puffy and there were still tears in them when he turned to the blurry, brown smudge beside him.
It was the eevee from earlier. It should have been long gone by now. Somewhere safe and away from rogue trainers.
“It’s not safe for you here. They might come back and you’re hurt.”
It stubbornly chanted its name, bowing its head and resting it against his side.
Tadashi chuckled bitterly. “You don’t need to thank me. I… didn’t exactly do anything.”
Choosing to ignore him, the eevee purred out its name and nuzzled its head against him.
It was hard to keep up the pity party with a fluffy thing like that comforting him.
What a shame too.
He’d wanted to go at it for a bit longer. He laughed and raised a cautious hand to pet its head. “Why don’t we go find a pokemon center to rest at? I think we could both use some help and a good rest.”
Its ears twitched. Tadashi though it was considering his offer for a second, obviously hesitant to follow a trainer after the mess earlier. He wouldn’t blame it for regretting coming to comfort him and scurrying away into the forest to heal in its own time. It’s probably what he would have done he were in its position (maybe?).
It mumbled its name a few times and raised its paw. Eyes twitching in focus as it gently touched Tadashi’s leg. They stayed like that for a few seconds, until it started huffing and its ears began to twitch in discomfort.
Tadashi had no idea what it was trying to do. He thought back to what he said earlier; offering to take it to a pokemon center to get it checked out, stock up on supplies, figure out what to do with the eevee (whether it wanted to go to a pokemon preservation or be released back into the forest), find some help on how to get-
It was trying to use helping hand on him.
A move used on other pokemon in double battles. A move used on other pokemon.
Tadashi’s eyes widened at the cold sweat starting to form on its brow (could pokemon sweat?). He raised his head and frantically gestured for it to stop. “Ah! Thank you! But I’m not a pokemon!” He stuttered out. “You don’t have to strain yourself out for me!”
Rather comically, it let out a huff and fell against his side. Tadashi tried his best to catch it before it landed on something uncomfortable.
He would have been worried if it hadn’t been smiling up at him, sighing happily before burying its head into his side. Tadashi let out a huff of his own and closed his eyes, petting behind its ears and shifting before his leg had a chance to fall asleep. Careful not to bother the resting pokemon, he smiled fondly as its head started drooping of to one side. Helping hand must have sucked up what little energy it must’ve had left. Hopefully it wasn’t too exhausted to earn a stern talking to from the working nurse at Vaniville’s pokemon center. Either way, after the day it’s had a little nap just to be safe wouldn’t hurt.
While the same could be said about himself, there was simply too much to do. Getting eevee safe and healed was his main priority.
Tadashi shakily stood up, trying to keep his little buddy as steady as he could in his arms. Its breathing had steadied and he feel a tiny bit of its drool wet his chest. If it hadn’t been so damn endearing he’d have woken it up.
Curse him for being so weak.
He pet its head again, feeling his chest tighten as it purred in its sleep. It was going to be hard letting it go out into the wild once it was all healed up, but keeping it when it clearly didn’t want wouldn’t be right.
Tadashi held back a yawn as he picked up his pace towards Vaniville. He may even be able to visit Professor Takeda before releasing eevee. Just to check its stats of course. Having its information logged onto his pokedex would be a nice silver lining to this whole endeavor. Having a name for it too would be nice, rather than just calling it eevee the entire time. It kinda looked like a Kou in his opinion.
The eevee shifted in its sleep. Tadashi paused, wondering if maybe he’d been thinking too loud and had woken it up. Whipping its tail back and forth, it nuzzled closer to his chest and purred in its sleep. He released a breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding. As if expecting it to suddenly jump out of his grasp and run away.
He was getting ahead of himself again. He didn’t even know if the eevee would even want a nickname, let alone one given to him by a stranger it’d just met (he surely wouldn’t).
Watching its chest rise and fall with every breath, how peaceful it looked after the whole endeavor that was their afternoon, Tadashi decided to stop worrying about it all for just a second.
To forget about what others thought of him or whether or not he’d end up successful.
Right now he had a pokemon in his arms in need of help that needed his help. Help he was eager to give as he felt partly at fault for not stepping in sooner but, at least for now, that was enough.