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Old 10-06-2012, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: Crystal's Short Stories

Rise of Éclair
Setting: Pkmn/FFXIII crossover
Rating: PG
Spinel returned to her home, feeling completely drained. She had been spending time in New Bohdum, but it hadn’t gone completely as planned. Now Serah was gone, off on her own journey. The trainer didn’t ask for details about it, but was glad she at least was able to see her off. Her only request was that she comes back safely. Now the weight of it all had hit her, and the only thing the young woman wanted to do now was crawl into bed and sleep. However, it seemed like that would not be the case this evening.

“You’re home later than I expected.”

The voice startled her, and it was the only warning she had. With that voice there was always a certain Pokémon. It was less than a second before Spinel found herself on the floor, a tan badger like creature standing over her and rubbing its head under her chin. She chuckled, petting the Linoone’s neck. She then looked up to see her mother, Topaz, standing not far off. She had completely forgotten about this visit, it having been planned ahead of time. Topaz and Garnet continued to live on Cocoon when Spinel had decided to move to Gran Pulse, so they didn’t spend much family time nowadays. That doesn’t even count for how busy their occupations have been keeping them.

“I apologize. Something came up,” Spin replied, managing to push the large normal-type off of her.

“What matters is that you’re home and safe,” Topaz said, offering to help her daughter up off the ground.

The two women then walked into the kitchen, the badger following behind. On the way Spinel had released the Pokemon she had taken with her, which then scattered around the house except for her Totodile and Glaceon, the two deciding to join the group in the kitchen. After a moment to get drinks the women sat at the dinning table, the small water-type having climbed up to sit on the wooden surface.

“How are things in New Bodhum?”

“Good, from what I saw,” Spinel replied to her mother’s question. “Seems like they have things under control.”

“But something happened.”

Topaz had seen the look her daughter wore when she walked in. The look was that of depression, making her look worn out. Something must have happened, but she could not figure out exactly what.

“Serah… she’s gone.” Before she could ask, Spinel continued. “She left on a journey, and we have no clue as to when she’ll be back. Hopefully when she does she’ll have Lightning with her.”

Now that was something the older woman had not expected to hear. She had heard of the tale of the l’Cie who saved them from her daughter, the young trainer having been a part of the group. It was also revealed that over that time she had formed a crush on the soldier, but was never able to act upon it out of fear of rejection from the older woman and the situation they were in. After everything was said and done Lightning was nowhere to be found. Spinel then started to spend a lot of time with her younger sister, the two becoming fast friends. Now with her gone Topaz could only imagine how the young trainer felt. But she smiled, knowing that the main reason behind her visit would cheer her daughter up and keep her mind off of things for a while.

“I know it will be hard, dear, but it will be alright,” she spoke, getting Spinel’s attention. “And I know exactly what will help keep your mind off of this.”

Spin was confused when her mother then reached under the table. For her knowledge only Kohana the Linoone and Kailash the Glaceon were under there. Sure, Kailash could keep her busy, but even so she knew he couldn’t be what her mother was talking about. It was when the older woman brought out a small woven basket that had a blanket in it that she became more curious than confused. The basket was pushed towards her, and Spin brought it right in front of her. She pulled back the blanket slowly, not wanting to disturb whatever it hid. She gasped when she saw what it was. Under the blanket was a baby Pokémon, a Skitty to be exact. But instead of the normal pink coloring it was a nice shade of red. This was a rare colored Skitty, and for a split second she wondered how her mother came to have it. Then she looked back up at the other woman, questions buzzing around in her head.

Topaz merely chuckled. “She just hatched a couple days ago,” she explained. “She’s special, as you can see by her unique coloring. And I think you should raise her.”

Once again the young trainer looked down at the slumbering Pokémon. She could only imagine how tired it was, having traveled from Cocoon to Gran Pulse. But she smiled and lightly stroked the fur on top of her head. She got a gentle purr as a response, the Skitty not even waking. This was just what she needed, and was glad her mother brought this Pokémon to her to raise.

“What are you going to name her?”

She only needed a moment to think it over. “Éclair,” she answered. “Her name will be Éclair.”

Topaz smiled. She knew why that name was chosen, but she would not say anything about it. After all not many people were supposed to know about it. Even knowing the secret behind the name, she was glad she made the right choice. The timing couldn’t be more perfect, and she just knew that her daughter would raise Éclair to be a spectacular Pokémon.

---

The next few months had been eventful. Spinel spent a lot of time for special training with Éclair, getting her caught up with the other new members of the team. And the red Skitty was a fast learner. She had even shocked the trainer when she preformed a Thunder attack after watching a training session with the electric-types. She then learned how to use Iron Tail and Heal Bell, and Spinel was really proud of the small Pokémon. It just proved that one shouldn’t be judged just based on their size.

Now Spin was on a simple scouting mission. Anyone could have done it, really, but the trainer had been the one to accept it. It would be a nice change of pace from the other jobs she had been doing and it gave her some time to spend with her Pokémon. Ren and Éclair were the ones currently out of their balls and had run ahead. They were to scout out a cave for a good digging site, this location being known for the evolutionary stones in its cave walls. Supplies were starting to run low so it was time to start digging again. This would also provide a good opportunity to find a Moon Stone in case Éclair decided she wanted to evolve.

“Don’t run too far,” Spinel then spoke, noticing the two ran straight into the cave.

“We won’t!” she heard Ren reply, just barely being able to make out their shapes.

Another reason the area needed to be scouted out beforehand was to ensure that no Pokémon or creatures had decided to call this place home. There have been a few instances when there have been a nesting Pokémon or creatures, mainly Behemoths, that needed to be driven out. However Spinel has been to this location many times and the only thing she would have to worry about were wild Pokémon looking for a stone to help them evolve, and those were easy to deal with. It also didn’t hurt that she could understand their language.

So far there hadn’t been any encounters, and that was something that put the trainer a little on edge. Not even a wild Pokémon searching for one of the stones. It could be that it was just the time of day, but even so there wasn’t any evidence that anything had been here in the past couple days. Also there were a lot of loose stones that the young woman didn’t recall seeing last time. Even so she still had a strange feeling about this and was glad she had told those who came with her to stay at the entrance.

About halfway into the cavern was when things changed. Spin could see that Ren and Éclair had stopped to look at some of the evolutionary stones that had fallen off of the cave wall, ones that were commonly used on Eevee. She smiled at the two, and not even a moment afterwards the ground started to shake. It intensified in seconds, and before anyone could react the cave roof caved in. If there was shouting or a scream it was drowned out by the sound of the falling rubble. Dust blinded everyone’s view and took several minutes to clear. When it did, the two small Pokemon gasped at what they saw. Their trainer had been pinned from the waist down under the rubble, the wall of rocks completely blocking the pathway to the entrance. They rushed to her side, making sure she was still alive.

Spinel grunted, doing her best to not show weakness in front of her Pokémon. “I’ll be okay,” she said, her voice strained.

“We have to get you out!” Éclair said, panicked.

“I don’t have… anyone with me that could… destroy the rocks without… risk of hurting me more,” the trainer managed to say between deep breathes.

The team she had on her now was based on power, having prepared for any native Gran Pulse creature that might have stumbled into this cave. But behind stuck under a pile of rocks from a cave-in was not one of the things she had planned for. She didn’t want to risk any further injury, already feeling extreme pain in both of her legs. Not to mention she couldn’t even reach the other Pokéballs she had with her with the rocks going up to her waist, the spheres being in a thigh pouch. She sighed heavily with a shaky breath, looking up at the cave ceiling. She could only hope now that the rest of her team had heard the cave-in and would come to help her out.

“I found something!”

The trainer turned her head to see her Totodile holding a stone. If one weren’t trained it would have looked like an ordinary rock. But that wasn’t the case here. Ren was holding a Moon Stone as she walked up to show her trainer. Spinel took it from the water-type and looked at it closely, confirming it was indeed what she thought it was. It was the very thing she personally wanted to find, but under better circumstances.

“If I touch that, I’ll evolve and become stronger. I could even become strong enough to get you out,” Éclair meowed, looking at the stone in the woman’s hand.

“Éclair,” Spinel spoke, her voice serious, “you don’t have to do that for me. I don’t want you to evolve if you don’t want to.”

“I want to!” the feline protested with a hiss. “If it means getting you out and to help, then I’ll do it! I won’t regret anything!”

This was a side of the Skitty she hadn’t previously seen. Normally the kitten was happy, bouncing around and having fun. Spin didn’t think she would have become this determined or protective, still being young. However she wasn’t going to deny the request. She presented the stone to the normal-type, who didn’t even hesitate in touching it. A quick moment passed before she started to glow and change shape, becoming bigger in size and her outline changing. It wasn’t long before the light faded and where the rose colored Skitty once stood was a Delcatty. Just like before she wasn’t the normal color of her species, the red coloring passing on to her fur instead of where it would have been a pale violet. Her eyes were also a different color from both the normal coloring and her rare coloring. Éclair’s eyes were a striking blue, instantly reminding the trainer of someone.

But the thought didn’t last long as she then groaned in pain, the rocks having shifted on their own from their weight. The Delcatty didn’t hesitate after that, turning and jumping up as high as she could. Her tail started to glow, and at first Spinel and Ren thought it might have been Iron Tail. But when the feline’s tail continued to glow instead of turning metallic the trainer realized it wasn’t the steel-type move. This was a new technique all together, one her previous form could not learn. It was confirmed when she spun midair and smashed her tail against the top rocks, smashing them without causing the whole structure to shift or others to move. Éclair learned Rock Smash instantly after evolving, just to help her trainer out of the current situation she was in. With precise control of her power and perfect aim the Delcatty worked her way downwards, figuring out it be the best way in freeing the trainer.

It took some time, the feline making sure she didn’t cause the trapped woman more harm while freeing her, but it had been worth it. Without causing another cave-in or having the rocks shift to undo the work that had been done, Spinel was able to pull herself out when there was enough room. She couldn’t hold back sounds of discomfort as she crawled backwards to get her legs out, now could she hide the disheartening expression she wore when she saw the damage. All she could see was torn cloth, gashes, and blood. She didn’t want to get a closer look, just wanting to get out of the cave. She reached into her thigh pouch and pulled out one of the Pokéballs, releasing her Nidoking a second later. Alistair was at first shocked when he saw the situation, but soon shook it off and gently picked Spin up. The Pokémon then rushed out of the cave to meet the rest of the squad, who then wasted no time to call in for emergency medical care. The rest was a blur to the trainer, not even realizing she was soon being loaded into an air ship to be taken to the nearest hospital. All she could think about was how grateful she was to have had Éclair with her, not wanting to know what could have happened if she wasn’t present.

---

Spinel was confused when she next woke up, not even remembering going to sleep. At first the lights blinded her, causing her to close her eyes on instinct so she didn’t get a migraine. Taking a few moments to get used to it she then looked around her surroundings. White walls and ceiling, barely any decorations, and uncomfortable bed with plain sheets meant only one thing: Spin was in a hospital. She hated being in them, and at first was wondering why she was there. It was then that everything came back. She pulled the sheets back, hoping that what she was remembering was only a bad dream, however her fears were realized. Her legs were bandaged, some red patches here and there on both of them, and she could barely feel the limbs at all.

She felt herself about to panic, however she took a deep breath to prevent it and once again looked around. She noticed she was hooked up to an IV, so she could only suspect that there were powerful painkillers in the drip. Some movement caught her eye, and looking at the lone chair near her bed she saw a ball of red and blue. The trainer recognized the Pokémon instantly, and was both surprised and glad to see them. Éclair had been the one to move, Ren still sleeping. The Delcatty moved cautiously, making sure she didn’t disturb the Totodile, and then jumped off the chair and walked up to the bed. She sat down on her haunches and sat up, placing her front paws on the mattress.

“You’re finally awake,” the feline spoke, stating the fact as if she was convincing herself.

Spinel placed her hand on the cat’s head, right between her ears. “I am, and I’m happy to see you.”

The normal-type purred, leaning up into the touch. After a moment the Delcatty jumped onto the bed, having been called up by her trainer. She made sure not to move around too much and laid down next to the woman, allowing her to wrap her arm around her neck and continue to stroke her fur.

“Have you two been here the whole time?”

“We have,” the Pokémon answered. “Your mother came to visit as well, along with some kid. I didn’t get his name.”

Spinel chuckled. “I have a feeling it was Hope. He’s a friend, so you don’t have to chase him away.”

Éclair huffed. “That’s what Ren said after I just looked at him.”

“You sure you didn’t glare?”

There was no immediate answer, and that amused Spin. The Delcatty once again started to remind her of someone, which only added to that amusement. It seems like she had picked out the perfect name for the cat-like Pokémon, especially now with how she was acting. Which would be the exact opposite of those of species, most Delcatty being known for their gentle behavior and avoidance of fighting. She continued to pet the feline, getting the subconscious reaction of the feline leaning into the touch and lightly purring.

“Éclair… Would you happen to know what has happened here? What the doctors have been saying?”

The Delcatty stopped purring, her gaze turning serious. She wanted to be honest with her trainer, but wasn’t sure if she was ready to hear the news. The feline had refused to leave the room when the doctors talked to Topaz about their findings. But the look the young woman returned told the Pokémon she wanted to know, not caring what it was. She just needed to know.

“You have had a few surgeries since coming here after the accident. There was quite a bit of damage on your legs, more on your right than left. Seems like how the boulders fell only your left knee was injured, but your right was almost shattered. They are uncertain if you’ll ever be able to walk again. I also heard one say they were amaze you didn’t need your right leg amputated.”

Spinel took in all the information. She seemed to be calm about it, but she was shocked and scared. She couldn’t think of what it would be like if she could not walk again. Her career demanded a lot of physical activity out on the field. If she were to be confined to a wheelchair she would have to retire, and she wasn’t even twenty yet! Her walls started to crumble as she started to shake, holding back her sobs. Éclair picked up on this right away, and her reaction was to shift so she could rub her head against the young woman’s arm.

“I’ll be okay,” she meowed. “You’re stronger than that. It will take time, but I have no doubt you will be on your feet in no time. And if you need me, I will be there with you every step of the way. As will the others.”

Spin couldn’t hold it in after that. She turned and hugged the Delcatty, crying into her fur. She knew her friends, family, and Pokémon would be there to support her. They would believe in her and continue to give her the strength to fight. Even so, she didn’t know if she could do it…

It isn’t a matter of can or can’t. There are some things in life you just do.

The words just came to her. It was something a close friend had once said during the most difficult journey she had been apart of. That was enough to change the trainer’s thoughts. With new determination she was going to beat the odds. She would show that the doctors are wrong, and she will walk again. Not only that, but she’ll run as well. It will be like she was never in the accident in the first place. In fact, she’ll be even stronger and faster than before. It will be hard work, no doubt, and very painful. But that wasn’t going to detour Spinel at all from reaching her goal. With all of those close to her behind her, supporting and believing in her, she had no doubt that she will make the impossible possible.
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