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Chapter 3: Wandering Back Into His Life.



Last time I talked to you.
You were lonely and out of place.
You were looking down on me.
Lost out in space.

You’re falling back to me!
You’re a star that I can see!
I know you’re out there!
Somewhere out there!

You’re falling out of reach
Defying gravity!
I know you’re out there!
Somewhere out there!

I hope you remember me
When you’re home sick
And need a change
-Our Lady Peace, Somewhere Out There.

*Edited by JLB*

She walked along the grasslands. It had been months since she came this way. She had been a mareep then. She smiled and looked at her wool less hide on her back, belly and flippers. She laughed, she hadn't had flippers then. Her tail bulb was different as well it was green now.

She was bright and cheerful today. Well when wasn't she not cheerful? She wondered if they all were still there, in the caves. Her green eyes went toward the direction of the caves. She smiled, it would be nice to see them all again. She wondered why she even left in the first place.

*****

"Someone is down there." Caludoga whispered peering over the ridge. "A goat! All alone....ripe for the picking!"

"Yose no be killen dat un!" Cordo shoved the black smeargle. "Bossa-Nuh will not liken it-suh! She be wanten de advantage-suh of surprise-suh! yose killen anything now-suh we be in big poo-doo withen Bossa-Nuh!"

"Come on cubone like Caludora blew that when she whacked the mareep and that lamb." Caludoga whispered harshly back.

"Well me-nuh no car'rrrren to be in trouble-suh withen sneasal-nuh!" The cubone crossed his arms.

*****

Things had been rough! Loki sat watching the stream flow. Norrie was having a hard time accepting all that happened. Loki was here early just resting his mind. When he raised Dori this wasn't so hard! Dori hadn't lost his family to death while Norrie....

Lupaul had never been so angry in his life! He held the crumpled flowers in his fist. He leapt into the stream and let the water wash over him.

"What brings you here Lupaul?" Loki turned his attention to the smeargle. "And what is that smell!"

Loki put a flipper to his nose, he knew that smell! He knew instantly who was involved.

"That moron plant is still saying this is all his land!" Lupaul began to rub the flowers on himself hoping to get rid of the stench and he was supposed to meet Azura as he promised soon! He could kill that plant!

"These! These! These...." He was so angry he couldn't even get the words out as he shook the crumpled flowers in his paw. “These were for Azura and that stupid insensitive gloom was sitting on them when I woke up! He said he didn't see them there! Look at the colors! I hand picked them cause I knew Azura would like them and that stupid gloom sits on them! How could anyone miss something with such loud colors!"

"He spray you?"

"Yeah! I told him why didn't he get the hell out of my cave if he was going to be doing this shit! That's when he told me to go to hell so I told him to go to hell! He swung a fist at me so I hit him! Then he sprayed me with that stench!"

"I've told him to move, really I have Lupaul but...he is rather hard headed! He tried to raise another petition to have all the flock removed from "his" valley at the last flock meeting. Of course his motion failed." Loki had his plate full of complaints about Husk. The Gloom was becoming a problem. "You'll just have to put up with him till I can find some way to get him to stop acting like this."

Loki felt there was no way to solve this. Husk was a rude, loud mouth little bastard since the day he met him back in the jungle. Loki had to smile, he had been the same way when he was younger. Maybe the gloom would outgrow this "phase".

"Let's just string him up by his bloom and let everyone beat the hell out of him with sticks!" Lupaul laughed. The image in his mind was so full of spite.

"Lupaul! Let it go. Find some more flowers for Azura. I will speak with Husk again." He got up, so many things he had to attend to! "The thought of it though...stringing him up is intriguing. But! It ain't gonna happen okay?"

"Yeah...I'll leave him alone." Lupaul went back to killing the smell cause he wasn't allowed to kill that stupid overgrown weed.

*****

Azura finished making her daisy chain. She put it gently over he head and onto her neck. The soft petals stroked softly on her fur. She smiled at the flowers. Where was Lupaul? She was meeting him soon, she hoped he would come, what if he had forgotten? She decided to busy herself with making a daisy bracelet so she wouldn't think about Lupaul not coming.

Azura was worried now. Lupaul was late! Maybe he had forgotten all about her. she felt a little unhappy. She fingered one of the flowers on her daisy chain. She sighed, maybe she should just leave. She wandered through the fields till she came to a spring. She picked a pink flower and pulled of its petals, destroying its beauty in despair, she must have been really upset to do something like this.

"He likes me, he likes me not..."

*****

He went about finding more flowers but, none really had the same flare as the ones he had found already.

"Stupid plant!" Lupaul muttered as he ran to get back to the caves. He was going to be late. He was having one of those days were you want to just scream your head off at the unfairness of everything. He was going to kick that gloom out of his cave! That cave was part of the scout barracks!

He looked about in the Moon Hall, she wasn't there. Lupaul was late and she...she must have left figuring he was a jerk. He looked around he spotted Lino.

"Hey Lino you've seen Azura around?" He asked the younger smeargle.

"She left a few minutes ago." Lino answered.

"Did she say anything? Leave a message or anything?" He was worried, he was worried he ruined something before it even started.

"No sorry Lupaul." He pointed. "She went that way."

"Well, thanks Lino." He ran, he would knock that gloom out one of these days!

He ran out on to the fields, his sharp eyes saw her! He ran he felt like a jerk for being this late! He felt so bad but, it wasn't all his fault.

"Azura! I'm so sorry I'm late." He gave an apologetic smile as he held the flowers out. His smile faded as he saw most the blooms fell off during his running, how worse could this day get? "Well they were a lot healthier awhile ago."

Azura looked up. He had come! She lit up immensely, she dropped the steam of the flower into the stream and jumped up.

"Lupaul, I thought you weren't coming." she looked down at the bunch of “flowers” he was holding and giggled, She smiled. "It's ok Lupaul, I'm just glad you came!"

"I'm glad I made it." He felt everything he had just gone through fade as he saw her smile. Saw the way she looked at him.

"I almost didn't make it." That stupid gloom ruined his day but, Azura's face when he came to her was worth it all. He offered his paw. "I want to show you the pond. Duff told me there are a bunch of water flowers and the magikarp are splashing about. I think it'll be fun."

She laughed and took his paw.

"I'd love to see it!" She smiled. She followed him as he led her through the fields and trees. "When will we get there Lupaul?" She giggled in excitement.

"Well it's not too far away. We're half way there already." It felt great to hold her hand and to hear her laugh. "Speaking of magikarp! I had this crazy cousin who would fish with his tail! Yup he'd stick it right in the water and wiggle it and sure enough a magikarp bit it!"

Lupaul figured she ought to like this story, it was rather funny.

"Well this one time a remoraid clamped on, he was screaming and shouting and I was trying to pull it off!" Lupaul laughed.

She laughed. She loved his jokes. He was so sweet too. She sighed and looked around. She hadn't really explored this valley to its full so this was like an new adventure to her and doing it with Lupaul made it more fun, she was Kara had introduced them. Which reminded her...

"Where are Duff and Kara?" She asked after a moment of silence.

"Duff was called away with Ray-ray to go check something out that Bujordan found. Knowing that old coot Ray-ray and Duff got their work cut out for them."

*****

Ray-ray bent down to smell the pile. he stood and looked at the others. Bujordan was standing there waiting for an answer.

"It's Miltank! listen Bujordan! Next time yose find one of these here "strange" plops of crap dun be calling me up here okay? I got more better things to be doing than smelling shit!" Ray-ray knew the second he saw it, it was no pred pile. "Come on Duff! Let's go do some real work!"

"Don't turn your back on me!" Bujordan snarled.

"There is no reason for a scout to waste anymore time of dis! Unless yose found something really important I'm outta here!" Ray glared.

"That will be all." Bujordan leered back.

*****

"Husk? What is this I hear about you spraying Lupaul?" Loki found the gloom above the caves on the rocky mountain side. The gloom was gathering herbs.

"Why can't you just give back the land you stole and you wouldn't have any of these problems." Husk glowered.

"Husk! This is the perfect place for my flock and there is more than enough room for everyone. Why are you so stubborn Husk? You were a little pain back in the jungle! What happen you get kicked out? Come on Husk you been hiding something under all this little act." Loki stood watching the gloom.

"I was not kicked out of my tribe! I decided I was better off starting my own tribe." He crossed his arms.

"Yeah! You did a fine job at that too!" Loki looked about sarcastically. "I see your tribe is huge. When you want some help, want to talk out your problems come find me."

Husk watched the "amp" leave. He grunted and went back to gather herbs.

She wondered if anyone would even remember her. She had been here so briefly. She remembered the ram Charivari, he was a clever and fun pokémon to be around. She wondered if Juna was around. She thought of little Norrie.

"Who are you! What do you want here!" A gloom shouted from overhead. Nysokatta looked up.

"Husky! You imp of a gloom! I see you haven't changed one bit!" Nossy laughed.

"And who....Nossy? that you? Nysokatta!" Husk blinked his eyes. The gloom climbed down. "I'm so glad you are here! You don't know how happy I am!"

"Well I'm glad to see...."

"Now you can tell that old boyfriend of yours to get the flock out of my caves!" Husk laughed. "Come on he'll listen to you! Tell him the whole herd has to get out!"

"Gee, it's been nice catching up and all husk." Nossy rolled her eyes. She smiled, so Chari was still around!

*****

"There it is, you can see it just right there in the distance. Right under that stand of trees is the pond." Lupaul pointed ahead.

She leaned over, her shoulder brushing his shoulder, to see where he was pointing. Sunlight sparkled on the parts of water it could reach around the trees like someone was leaking glitter into the pond from certain points. Flowers waved softly in the breeze at the waters edge, giving moving colour to a perfect scene. Azura gasped.

"Ah yes I see it!" She said happily. "Lupaul, how did you ever find this place?"

"I found it by accident really. I was patrolling for Lino, one the younger smeargles here and I slipped in the stream and was washed out here." He looked embarrassed. It felt wonderful to have her this close to him. "I come here once in awhile to fish, not with my tail though!"

He looked at her he knew he really was falling for her.

She laughed slightly at his little joke and bent down, hugging her knees and wrapping her tail around her. She pulled a flower towards her to sniff its scent. She closed her eyes to take in the pure beauty of the flower's unique scent.

"This smells lovely." she said looking up at him with her deep blue eyes.

"It looks stunning." Lupaul smiled as he sat. "This is has become my favorite spot. the breeze is nice out here, the landscape is just amazing. I come out here to paint once in awhile when I have time."

An orange magikarp flopped out of the water and splashed back into the water. Lupaul grinned.

"Looks like Duff was exaggerating! Those fish are hopping." He could see a few more in the distance splashing. "So now you know I spend my time being lazy around here what about yourself? What do you do for fun Azura?"

"Me? Oh I usually just stick to my cave and paint flowers on the rocks, my cavemate Harmony lets me paint, she says it brightens the caves!" She smiled, "That or I just wander the fields and sit and think."

"You have a roommate too? I bet yours is not a jerk like the one I got stuck with!" Lupaul rolled his eyes as he thought of Husk. "She sounds nice. I think a lot too."

"My roommate’s a Miltank, you know Harmony, she’s a healer, our cave's filled with dried herbs and stuff, it smells lovely and Harmony says the flower pictures make pokémon feel more at ease when they come to get healed. She's pretty nice."

She sat back next to Lupaul and watched the Magicarp flopping in and out of the water occasionally. After a quiet minute or so Azura asked, "Lupaul, you were one of the scouts who found the ewe weren't you?"

"I was the first on the scene." that was a dark day and to believe only two days ago it happened.

"It must have been horrible." Azura shivered, "And to think, Juna was so loved, and little Norrie losing her mother, its terrible."

A magicarp jumped out of the water and made a particularly large splash.

"It was. I don't worry about it too much anymore. A predator as big as that thing would have come back into the valley by now. Something that big would need to hunt so maybe it moved on when we spotted it."

*****

It had been quite a day. He had to speak with Husk, Norrie had another screaming fit, and Dori was still distant to Loki. He sat in the grand hall upon his "throne". He had so many things to attend to and he felt like running from it all. Just up and go!

"Ammmmphion!" The little voice made Loki look about.

"Amphion!" He laughed and scooped the baby up. "What are you doing here?"

"Ammmp! Amp!" The child cooed.

Loki heard it! that little voice sounded so much like him! He let it go. No! Amphion's voice was not the same. It couldn't be. He tickled the child and Amphion laughed loudly. Loki made some faces.

From the doorway stood Kanga watching her son and the gengar play. She grinned, he was becoming good with children. She giggled as her son tugged at Loki's beard. Dori remained silent by her side.

"Kanga?" Loki smiled feeling a little foolish that her son bested him by grasping hold to his beard. Amphion tugged and tugged shaking Loki. "Dori how are you?"

"Fine uncle." He turned around and left.

Loki wanted to shout for him to come back. He wanted to know what was bothering Dori. He wanted them to be close again. Kanga watched her mate just snubbing his best friend, his mentor, Loki raised Dori why was he acting like this?

"Me-suh apologize for Dori-suh. He not acten liken himself-suh lately." She turned back to Loki.

"No need Kanga. I will speak with him. He....I don't know anymore Kanga! Everything is just insane around here lately." Loki sighed, Amphion had stopped his beard pulling and looked up at Loki.

"Ammmmmp!" He hugged Loki.

He smiled, the little guy was rather intuitive. Loki hugged him back. He handed him to Kanga.

"I'll go talk to him now." Loki took the same path.

"Amphion?" He looked up at Kanga with questioning eyes.

"Oh, yose Daddy just acten silly-suh. Loki go talken withen him-suh."

"Da? Da?" The baby cooed and pointed at Loki.

Kanga tried to figure out what he was saying. she smiled.

"Oh! yeah yose Daddy wenten dat way-suh." She nuzzled her child. “And he acten so silly-suh to Loki-suh.”

“Da. Da da?” Amphion giggled and pointed again.

Loki couldn't find Dori. He had slipped down some hallway, one of them. He stood so unsure of his adoptive son. What set him off like this? Loki would give anything to have back the old days when the kid would tell him everything that was going on in his life. He took a deep sigh and turned back towards the grand hall.

*****

Nossy smiled there was a face she knew!

"Kanga!" She shouted.

"Hello-suh?" Kanga looked up from her son. She cocked her head, that flaffy looked a little familar.

As the flaffy got closer she brightened up. Kanga grinned.

"Nysokatta-suh!" Kanga hugged the little ewe. "How isen yose!"

"Very well Kanga." Nossy smiled and hugged her huge friend.

"It hasen been so long!" She let go and stepped back to study her friend. "Yose grown some."

"So have you!" Nossy patted Kanga's stomach. She grinned and looked a bit embarrassed.

"Yes, me-suh puten on some more weight-suh." She knew Loki would be happy to see the ewe again.

"Enough chit chat! Where is Charivari! She has to go tell him to get everyone out of my caves!" Husk butted in.

"I never said I was going to do any of that Husk!" Nysokatta put her flippers on her hips and glared at Husk. "And that was just plain rude Husk! We are talking."

"But, you have to! He stole my land!" Husk growled.

"Oh! Husk-suh yose stoppen thisen! Yose should be maken friend-suhs instead of always fighten-suh withen everyone!" Kanga sighed. He was just rude and would probably never change.

"What is Husk doing now!" Loki's voice came from the passage.

Kanga grinned, he would be very surprised. She ignored Husk as she watched Loki come through the tunnel. He looked so anger at Husk. Kanga hoped Nossy wouldn't look badly on that.

"You tell him to get his flock out of caves!" Husk shouted.

"And who is ...." Loki saw the flaaffy standing there.

Nossy studied Chari, he had grown some since the last time they met. His beard was longer, his tuft too. She wondered how much had changed in the months she had left. She smiled, she realized how much she had missed him.

"Nossy? You're back!" Loki couldn't believe it! He swept the flaaffy up in a hug. "You're really back!"

"Chari!" She laughed as he stood back to look at her. "You are still so crazy!"

"Am I?" He laughed with her. He thought he would never see her again but, here she was before him. She had grown up some. She lost a lot of that wonderful silky wool of hers. He would know her anywhere still! Those green eyes, so full of mystery and adventure. To hear her laughs in these caves again brought a huge grin to his lips. He had missed her, missed everything about her.

“Well it’s splendid surprise to see you again.” He put his flippers about her again. He had missed her and to have her here again lifted his heart.

“I’m so glad to be seeing you again as well Charivari.”

“Nossy!” Dori laughed as he walked in. this was great news!

“There you are Dori!” Loki turned to the little flaaffy.

“I bet you’re glad to see her again Uncle Loki!” He was smiling.

Loki smiled back, that was the Dori he knew! That was his “son”! Loki grabbed him and ruffled his furry head. He struggled and laughed as Loki did so but, he began to laugh. Nossy coming back was a good thing! It was a sign of better days to come. It brought Dori back to his senses. Loki let him go and just stood there as his “son“ stared back up at him, both just grinning. He found his eyes drift back to the lovely ewe.

“Nossy what brings you back?” he sat and stared at her eyes. They were even darker green than Kawaii’s had been.

He thought of her just for a moment, he had missed her but, he had to admit Nysokatta excited him more than any female he ever knew or loved. The other he could ever think of who made him feel this way was Kanga. She had to know how he felt. She must know something. He was lost just listening to her voice, admiring her eyes, he was so lost! She didn’t seem to care how he felt toward her or not even noticed. Loki felt stupid, falling in love with someone who would never return his feelings. It was just like Kanga all over again. Only this time the ram wasn’t around to steal the girl. Loki was given a new chance, he had to tell her, let her know maybe she would stay knowing it all.

He found himself looking toward Dori, would he want to get in his way like the other goat? No the flaaffy was nuzzling Kanga and the two were so damn close. He felt a little sting but, he could have said something a long time ago, could have won the doe’s heart a long time ago. He found Nossy smiling back at him.

“They really are a perfect couple.” She whispered to Loki with a wink.

“They are, you know....” he tried to find the words. “Never mind I’ll tell you later.”

It was always later with him. And he lost out by saying later in his youth.

“Chari! What were you going to say? You always do this! Make me wait and get me itching with curiosity!” She teasingly shoved him. Her laugh was so angelic to his ears. “So where’s Juna! I can’t wait to tell her and Norrie about all my latest travels!”

“Well, there is plenty to speak of Nossy. I’m sorry you came back and there is only bad news I have to share with you.” He sighed, later had struck again. She would be grief stricken, she wouldn’t care if he had feelings for her after she found out what became of her flock sister.

To Be Continued.............

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