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Destiny Village ~ X-Eye Cauldron

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
"Of course not," Starr snapped automatically, only to wince immediately afterward. "I mean... no. I left over a year ago. I hate that life. I hate the things I did for them."

And yet... if Ajia hadn't gone through with her insane plan, would Starr have ever left? Would she have betrayed Team Rocket, or just... kept falling in line, forever? The thought burned.
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Brisa weathered the sharp response. She couldn't exactly blame Starr for being terse; her memories must be truly painful.

"There's no way that prick let you walk out on him just like that," she replied, after a moment's consideration. "Not with the way he treats other livin' beings as his property."

There was a turmoil behind Starr's eyes Brisa could only begin to guess at. She... really didn't know all that much about Starr's life, even now.

"What happened a year ago, Starr? And... since then?"
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
Starr let out a hollow chuckle. "Yeah, that's not the sort of thing you can just up and walk away from. My friends exposed the fact that I'd tried to keep them alive. They got the rest of the team to turn against me, including the boss, so... not much of a choice but to run for it. We've been on the move ever since."

Brisa had accepted it way the hell too easily. But that was only because she didn't know the reality of it.

"You already know the kinds of things I did for the team," Starr went on, bitterly. "I probably wouldn't have left if it weren't for what happened that day."
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Brisa remembered. It was hard to forget.

"I did that. To my best friend. Tortured the shit out of her. Deliberately."
"I was afraid that... They would've killed her if I hadn't..."

But Brisa knew Starr wasn't a monster, no matter how much the torracat seemed to believe it.

"Sounds like you chose to protect yer friends even though you'd be cast out fer it if you were found out," said Brisa, carefully. "And they believed in you enough to stick with ya even with a heartless sack of shit like that out for yer guts. That... That takes courage. From you and yer friends both."

She leaned forward a little. "If yer boss was also yer pa, don't that mean you were near enough born into it? It's hard fer anyone to turn their back on family, let alone if their pa is some ruthless powermonger who'll have them fuckin' hunted down fer it."
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
Again with the positive spin. As if there was anything at all brave about torturing a friend because she was too much of a coward to defy Team Rocket until there was literally no choice left.

"Doesn't change that I chose to do that shit. Nothing changes that." Her mouth had gone dry. She took another drink of her coffee and half-wished it could burn. "That's all done with though. They'd already made themselves enemies of Team Rocket, screwing up jobs and such. It was safest for us to stick together."
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Brisa tapped a claw thoughtfully on the table as she took another sip. She knew by now that even when everything Starr said sounded wrong, there was sense there somehow. Starr didn't make decisions in the interest of self preservation. So when she said 'it was safest'...

"You're still protectin' 'em, aren't ya?" she said. "That's why you're with yer friends. Not to keep yerself safe, but to keep 'em outta harm's way."

She gave Starr a harder look, one of her ranger stares she learned from Sierra.

"You aren't here 'cause you wanna go on makin' wretched choices. You're here 'cause you're makin' up for yer mistakes. And now y'got an opportunity not just to do right by folks, but to fight the very bastard who put you in that darkness to begin with. It ain't mine to tell ya when you've paid for yer mistakes, but surely this is part of it?"
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
Starr clenched her mug tighter. "Only because they're too stupid not to get themselves into trouble."

With a defeated sigh, she went on, "You know, when I first got here, I wondered why Diyem didn't grab Ajia or Jade. They're the hero sort, not me." Everything of her conversation with Diyem before she showed up in Veritas was a blur. Was there... a reason he'd grabbed her over them?

"Well, it'd be nice if I was brought here just to fight that bastard. Would make it feel less like some kind of screwed-up joke."
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
"I reckon I follow yer meanin'." Brisa hid her dry smirk of disagreement behind her drink.

This wasn't the first time Starr had insisted she was no hero, and doubtless it wouldn't be the last, but Brisa had seen the way Starr looked out for her teammates, the way she burned herself up with the effort she put in, the way she blazed like a goddamn meteor in battle like nothing Brisa had ever seen. And for all her obstinance, anger, and insistence that she was tainted by her actions... there was a rough kindness in Starr, a kind of caring that she didn't even want recognised.

But Brisa recognised it. That was why she'd let Starr pull her away from frantically trying to help organise search parties and investigate fallen meteors. She'd learned to trust Starr's judgment and work out why she was right as she was lead along by the bandana. There was no point arguing the point head on. That wasn't the way, with Starr.

"I bet you'd rather it was you goin' through this shit than them, though, am I right?" asked Brisa. "Even with that heartless bastard in play, I know you want to get one over on him and be the one t'do it. So what's got you off yer game besides the rage in yer gorge whenever you lay eyes on the sonofabitch?"
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
For all the times she'd wondered why Diyem didn't grab Ajia or Jade, Starr suddenly felt an uncomfortable lurch at the idea of them facing Giovanni or Mewtwo, let alone both combined into one.

"Yeah. Better me than them." Even if Ajia would've been the sort to keep the team unified and Jade would've cared enough to reach out to Darkwhite, and... And now Starr was failing at holding her shit together in the fights that mattered most.

"Then again, seems like I've sucked ass at every fight since he showed up, so... so much for that." It was such a shallow, stupid reason to be angry, but it was something concrete at least.
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Brisa knocked back the rest of her drink and signalled the bartender for the same again.

Now... What was this really about?

"Okay. So, what, you're frustrated 'cause you've wanted to dust that bastard since before he even turned up, but you ain't been pullin' the weight y'think you oughta be?"

Brisa scratched her cheek fur thoughtfully. That wasn't right. She thought back to what Starr had told her in the pit... the fear just visible in her eyes as she insisted she didn't want to talk about him. The hatred in her stare as she recognised him in his mewtwo guise.

"When you first saw him and recognised him, you charged straight for him and I joined you without a second thought. We couldn't touch him. And I figure you never coulda laid a paw on him in yer own world. You... you don't think you can hurt him. Is that it? You can't see a victory with this motherfucker in the picture."
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
Starr glanced away with a huff. "I don't know. Maybe? It's fucking stupid, I know. We've been beating the shit out of gods that're at least level with Mewtwo, maybe even more. I shouldn't be feeling like this."
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Brisa shook her head. "Nah. We've been fightin' pokémon as powerful as that body he's in, but we ain't been fightin' him. And we ain't ever fought him at full strength, neither. Just think about that, willya? Every time we've faced Giovanni, we've been taken by surprise while already exhausted. We've been on the back foot every time. And... I don't reckon that's an unfamiliar feelin' fer you, if you grew up with that yer whole life. Of course it's fuckin' harder."

Brisa almost put out a paw, then bit her cheek. Gods, she knew Starr would be okay with it, maybe even needed it, but four years without someone to reach for had made Brisa forget how to. She thought of Luz, always touching people by the shoulder with a fierce smile. That wasn't her. It was too hard.

"Harder don't mean impossible, though," she said, softer.

Brisa reached out and put her paw on Starr's, and gripped it tight. It felt... warm.

"We can beat him, you 'n' I together. All we need is to figure out an angle that lets us put the hurt on him fer once. And there's nobody better positioned to do that than a daughter who knows everythin' about him, but who he has no idea about at all. You, Starr. You're how we beat him."
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
Starr chuckled weakly, shaking her head. "Where the hell's that confidence coming from." She was used to Brisa being the anxious one overreacting to things. The reversal was... strange. But it was hard to deny that she didn't feel alone, and that was something.

"Don't know how much I buy it, but it feels good hearing it, so... thanks." She gripped the Luxio's paw back. It was strangely comforting.
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Brisa let Starr grip her paw as long as she wanted; there was nothing that could make Brisa snatch her paw back now.

She smiled drily. "I just wanna say... as much as everythin' feels like it's goin' to shit sometimes, and how tired I am, and how fuckin' bad I feel about Sword... when I look at the folks who fight beside me," when I look at you, "it's hard to doubt that we'll pull through somehow."
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
Starr met Brisa's eye. The urge to dispute what she was saying was still there, but... it was harder to listen to it with just how damn earnest Brisa had looked when she said it.

"Yeah. Maybe you're right." Maybe they would beat him, dammit. It was all they could hope.

"And hey... speaking of shitty dads who need a beating, you finally got to meet your dad and Dave came with?"
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
She blew out a breath in a voiceless whistle. Jesse and Dave. How to talk about that?

"As fer my pa... I guess I asked Dave to come, and he said yes, and Buffet said that was fine. I thought... I thought he'd have my back. Give Jesse shit if he tried browbeatin' me. In the end, he couldn't wait to get his teeth into Jesse, and it was barely five fuckin' seconds afore he started in on him about... about what I told ya."

She hissed through her teeth and tightened her grip on Starr's paw, hard.

"They, uh. Had some kinda telepathic argument. It spilled over. I saw how my pa remembered my fight with Cathy, which wasn't fuckin' pretty. I saw some awful shit in Dave's head, but that ain't mine to tell ya about. In the end, they mentally beat the shit outta each other fer... fer bein' absurdly like each other. Ended up exhausted."

She cut herself off, tail flicking, as she recalled what she'd seen and heard in vivid detail.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
Starr put her other paw to her forehead with a dry laugh. "Oh my god, Dave. Must've sucked to overhear that. I guess I can't blame him for laying into the guy though. Was half-wishing I could've done it myself. Though... not feeling like I missed out if it turned into that." Psychic bullshit and reliving memories? Hell no.
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Brisa looked up with a quiet chuckle. "I thought of askin' you to come, but I couldn't stand the thought of him diggin' around in yer head. Dave's a dark type, so I thought he'd be clear, but he actually let Jesse do it. Out of, I dunno, stubbornness or somethin'."

She tutted, shook her head. "Even so, I did find out what happened to him. Went off east to fight some threat he didn't wanna tell me and my ma about. His usual bullshit, thinkin' he knows best about everythin'. At least I got to tell him he was wrong about me. And... against every expectation I had, he even apologised."

And he looked at me and begged my help because he'd got it all wrong.

"Seemed... seemed like he meant it."

Brisa grit her teeth. She was still seething about it, underneath her fur. Sure, Jesse had apologised... but that only meant that he was wrong, and he was capable of realising it, he'd just taken seven years and a magic encounter with a god and his opposite number from another world to come to terms with that. Salt and sand and spit, it shouldn't have taken all that, should it?
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
From Brisa's tone, it sounded like her dad apologizing was a real hell frozen over sort of deal. But still...

"It shouldn't have fucking taken that much for him to realize he screwed up," Starr muttered, scowling. "And like, is he even gonna remember it? Geez..." Her tail lashed back and forth in agitation, and she took a deep breath to calm herself.

"Well, at least that explains where you got the idea that you've gotta always be the one to fix things," Starr added with a bit of a smirk.
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
"Apparently he might remember changin' his mind, accordin' to Buffet..."

Wait. 'Always gotta be the one to fix things'?

"Hold up a second. Whaddaya mean by that, partner? I– I'm just one gal, I can't fix everythin'. I dunno what yer talkin' about."

Brisa blinked in confusion and went to her drink for something to focus on that wasn't Starr's smirk, which as usual, was getting right under her skin. Why'd she have to be so smug when she was calling Brisa out for something? Especially something that didn't make a lick of sense. But Starr was Starr, so there must be something to what she was saying. Brisa would hear her out, at least.
 
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