Mother of DOGARS!Hey, this is one of two fics I wrote for Serebii Yuletide 2016. My recipient ChloboShoka quite enjoyed it and I hope other people do too. It is also NOT part of my Yangverse project so don't worry about continuity here.
Fantina was busy cleaning out the gym, along with her Pokemon and several Gym Trainers. The last Gym battle had been hectic, and everyone was working hard to make sure the scorch marks, toxic sludge, and such were all removed carefully. Fantina herself was removing some errant Grass-type vines from the wall when her Mismagius approached with a ringing cellphone levitating before it.
"Oh, it's Paul!" Fantina said. "I wonder how his career at Pokestars is going..."
She answered the phone, with "Paul" quickly replying.
"Fantina, honey! I need your help!"
"Help?" said Fantina. "Paul, what could you possibly need my help with all the way over in Unova?"
"Call me Pop Roxie, that's my stage name! I'm talking about our daughter!"
Fantina froze. All color seeped away from her skin. She double-checked to make sure the chill in the air wasn't from her Mismagius, which was merely looking at her with concern.
"Our- Our daughter?"
"Yes! It's near Christmas! And we've been so many Christmases apart! Please, Fantina, I'm begging you to win her over so we can be a family again!"
"But... Juan, dear, why can't you help? She's our daughter, not just mine!"
"That's the thing, honey! I would! But I'm stuck filming a big picture! And you know how persnickety my director gets!"
"I heard that!" said another voice from the phone.
"I know!" said Pop Roxie.
He addressed Fantina again with a sigh.
"So I'm booked! Fantina, you're my only hope!"
"A-alright... Pop Roxie." said Fantina. "I shall."
"Thank you, honey! Good lu- I told you to keep an eye on those SFX Zoroark!"
The phone abruptly hung up, and Fantina promptly groaned and collapsed to the floor, her Mismagius floating over and futilely attempting to prop her up. A gym Trainer came over to her, concerned.
"Fantina, are you OK?"
"Physically, pretty much fine," she said. "Psychologically not so much."
"Do you need me for anythi-"
"Yes. I need help with getting a plane ticket to Unova."
"Er, all right?"
The Gym Trainer left to get what was needed as Fantina picked herself up and sighed, her Mismagius dusting her off as she placed a hand to her forehead.
She had no choice. She was going to have to reason with Roxie.
At the Virbank City Gym, a punk rock band was playing at its loudest and screechiest as a Garbodor and Scolipede looked on.
<Do you think Roxie's backups are ever gonna improve, Algernon?> said the Scolipede.
<I hope so Socrates,> said the Garbodor. <Right now it's like Roxie's backing them up!>
Algernon and Socrates gave hearty laughs.
Meanwhile, as the band was playing, the guitarist looked up at a gaping hole in the ceiling.
"...Are we ever gonna fix that?" he said.
The singer and bassist, Roxie, shrugged. "Eh, probably not. Adds to the grunge-y look of this place."
"But didn't it happen after that weird hole on the sky opened up?" said the drummer. "While freaky shit was going down in Alola?"
"That got cleared up by someone else, didn't it?" said Roxie. "Why should it be my proble-"
At that very moment Fantina burst in through said hole in the ceiling atop her Driftblim.
"Roxie, I'm here!"
Everyone in the Gym froze. The drummer and guitarist stared. Roxie, however, glared at her mother, and made a dismissive motion toward the others.
Roxie gritted her teeth. "This is personal."
At that the drummer and guitarist panicked and fled off into side doors leading into back rooms. Fantina descended upon her Drifblim and jumped off directly in front of Roxie, the two entering a silent staredown as the Drifblim floated over to Socrates and Algernon.
<Ay, Antoinette!> said Socrates. <What're you doing here stirring up old family feuds?>
<To ensure that both parties are kept in line,> said Antoinette. <I do hope you two can assist.>
<Sure thing,> said Algernon. <We wouldn't want Rox to be smothered by her mother!>
The three Pokemon took their places behind their Trainers as Fantina broke the silence with a sigh.
"Roxie, it's been ages..."
Roxie growled. "And I'd rather it'd had been ages longer."
"Sweetie, I've always wanted to make up with you... Didn't you have a fight with your father and have that work out?"
"That did. But that was different. Dad was being a dim-witted, dense, dumb daft dippy dorky doltish doofus, sure, but he was only being a dim-witted, dense, dumb daft dippy dorky doltish doofus. You are on another level entirely."
Fatina finally scowled back at Roxie and put her hands on her hips. "Sacre bleu! What did I ever do to you to deserve a status as lowly as that?!"
Roxie rolled her eyes to the point they almost reached the back of her head. "Oh, where do I begin... Well, first, you never let me be myself. I always wanted to live the punk dream, but you never liked that. You wanted me to be graceful, majestic, fabulous, glamorous - hell, I think it would have been death by glamor for me if you kept it up! But it wouldn't matter to you because my last living moments would have been absolutely beautiful, would it?!"
"Honey, you're a budding young woman who can make her own choices now, and you know I would never neglect you to such a lev-"
"You never respected what I wanted in Pokemon either! You kept talking about the unearthly grace and majesty of Ghost-types when I wanted the grungiest of Poison types!"
Fantina pointed to Algernon. "Well I have reason to take offense if that means raising things like living garbage and getting yourself sick!"
<Hey!> said Algernon. <I'm made of refined garbage, lady!>
Only hearing growls and a "Garb!", Roxie still scoffed at Fantina. "Algernon takes offense to that, mother."
Fantina scoffed back. "Well even so I don't see why you'd treat me this way even as I try to apologi-"
"That's not even the clincher!" said Roxie. "You spent so much time focusing on your contest and gym leader careers that aside from when you were disapproving of me you never paid attention to me at all! It was to the point when Dad took his sailor career off to Unova I went right off after him! You are a horrible mother and I don't think you'll ever change, you bitch!"
She started storming off; Antionette, Algernon, and Socrates stared off in shock while Roxie's words finally struck a nerve in Fantina and she started heading after her.
"R-Roxie, sweetie, wai-"
The front door busted open as Pop Roxie charged in.
"Roxie! Honey! I need your help!"
The two stopped and whiled around to face him.
"I'm so glad you're both here, but making things up for Christmas needs to wait! There's a disaster in Pokestar Studios!"
"Merci!" said Fantina. "What sort?"
"The SFX Zoroark - they're rioting!"
"What?!" said Roxie. "Why the hell would they do that?!"
"The more and more Pokestars pushes for CGI everything, the more people and Pokemon they piss off!"
said Pop Roxie. "Zekrom, I remember when the animators rioted..."
"But the Zoroark had only one job anymore: To sub in for any live Pokemon the studio couldn't get! And now they've gotten that taken away from them they're on a rampage!"
Roxie and Fantina stared in awed silence at Pop Roxie before the former gave the latter a glare.
"...We work together. Just this once. That's it."
She headed off with her father and Pokemon. Fantina and Antionette sighed before doing the same.
Pokestar Studios was in chaos.
Most humans and Pokemon had retreated elsewhere or deep inside buildings. Everywhere else, however, were yowling, frenetic Zoroark, Night Dazing buildings and ripping panels off the roofs with their sharp claws.
Roxie, Pop Roxie, and Fantina charged into the situation looking on in horror before Pop Roxie grabbed a Pokeball from his belt.
"They can make themselves invisible, but I've got something for that... Go, Darrin!"
He sent out a Lucario, which immediately flared his Aura feelers to sense out the Zoroark. The Zoroark gave a frenzied collective snarl at the appearance of a natural enemy, and began hiding themselves with their Illusions.
At the sight of her father's main Pokemon Roxie got to thinking.
"Fighting type... Wait..."
She immediately rounded on her mother.
"Hey! Why'd Dad drag you along for a Dark-type invasion? You just have Ghost types, you're literal dead meat!"
Fantina cracked her knuckles. "Ohohohoho, Roxie, don't underestimate me; I've had plenty of experience with Dark types and know my workarounds...
She sent out her Mismagius to accompany Antionette, then addressed the latter. "Communicate a bit with Darrin, please?"
<Where are the cloaked Zoroark?> said Antoinette.
~Trying to close in on our location in front of and behind us,~ said Darrin.
Antionette swung her body in both directions to send Gusts at the hidden Zoroarks, damaging them lightly but breaking their Illusions.
"Joan!" Fantina shouted to her Mismagius. "Give them a Dazzling Gleam!"
The Mismagius cackled and produced gleaming rays of pink light from the gems on its body, hitting the Zoroarks and sending them sprawling. Those who tried to duck out of the way were met with Aura Spheres from Darrin.
Several of the Zoroark tried to take a third option and leap at Roxie, but they were met with the thick antennae of Socrates in a Megahorn.
Roxie pumped her fist. "Hah! We got thi-"
Suddenly Darrin's eyes widened as his aura feelers tremored violently and he started looking around wildly.
~Guys! Something's very wrong here... The Zoroark, something else, something wrong, is driving them crazy! And it's approaching fast!~
<What the hell do you mean by tha-> said Socrates.
He was cut off by a critical Power Gem that sent him skidding to the ground.
"Socrates, no!" yelled Roxie.
She stopped and stared in horror as an otherworldly, translucent jellyfish-like creature descended before her.
The Zoroark were thrown into a further frenzy by the sight of the creature, and began lobbing Dark Pulses, one of which hit Antionette. Sensing her weakness, the creature lobbed a second Power Gem at Antionette, sending her crashing into the ground.
"What in Giratina's name is going on?" said Fantina.
"I don't know, but I'm taking this thing down!" said Roxie. "Algernon, use-"
She was interrupted by the creature lobbing a third Power Gem at her, the gems of light cutting into her skin and clothing hard enough to draw blood and knock her to the ground, helpless.
"Roxie, no!" yelled both Fantina and Pop Roxie.
Fantina saw the creature start to advance towards the prone Roxie and scowled.
"Not my daughter, you jelly bitch."
She, Joan, and Algernon moved toward the beast. Pop Roxie and Darrin moved to follow, but the Zoroark began encircling them en masse, and they were forced to keep them at bay with volleys of Aura Spheres.
Fantina, meanwhile, pointed at the creature with a grim expression on her face. "Joan? Nasty Plot into Shadow Ball!"
Joan's power grew with wicked thoughts as she lobbed a ball of dark energy at the creature; it was hardly phased, however, and retaliated with a Venoshock that sent her reeling back.
While the creature was distracted, however, Algernon picked up a piece of Pokestars rubble, which he tossed up and down. "Hey creep! Rox taught me this for dealing with floaty types!"
He threw the hunk of rubble at the creature for a Smack Down, taking it by surprise and leaving it stunned by a following Psychic from Joan, leaving it dazed and reeling.
Fantina looked up at the sky; it was night, with stars faintly glimmering. "You know, whatever kind of Pokemon you are, I could just end this mercifully..."
Joan charged a Nasty Plot into another Psychic.
"...But given you hurt my daughter..."
Algernon lobbed a Gunk Shot.
"...You need to learn a more proper lesson."
The strange creature was blasted to the floor by both attacks, and feebly twitched and crawled around, barely moving otherwise.
The Zoroark stopped what they were doing, dazed and confused; having forgotten what they were mad about they all shrugged and made their way back to their homes, giving Pop Roxie and Darrin time to catch their breaths. Fantina, meanwhile, glared at the near-unconscious creature before seeing Roxie again out of the corner of her eye and rushing over to caress her.
"Roxie, dear, are you alright? I'm so sorry... So sorry for everything..."
Roxie coughed and looked up at her mother weakly. "No, I... I'm sorry... You... You saved me... You actually cared..."
Fantina smiled and stroked Roxie's face protectively as ambulance sirens wailed in the distance.
In the hospital, Fantina and Pop Roxie sat by Roxie's bed, having idle conversation with her as she rested. Eventually a nurse came up to them.
"The results are in; she's going to be all right. The creature's neurotoxins didn't get to her, so the stitches she got will be all she needs."
The others sighed in relief.
"Speaking of that creature, however..."
She made way for a man with graying hair in a brown trenchcoat that caused Fantina's eyes to light up upon seeing him.
"Bonjour, Looker!" said Fantina. "It's been a while."
"It has!" said Looker. "But I'm here to tell you that creature you defeated was an Ultra Beast - a strange type of Pokemon that resides in the Ultra Dimension! The one you caught specifically was UB-01 Symbiont - otherwise known as Nihilego, a Rock/Poison type. The Ultra Beasts gave us a hell of a time in Alola, and if they're spreading elsewhere we'll have to keep an eye out..."
"So what do we do with it now?" said Pop Roxie.
"Usually HQ wants us to bring those Ultra Beasts back for study or... extermination..."
He shook his head, then smiled at Fantina and handed her a strange, blue, striped Pokeball with gold ringlets. "But we've made exceptions for powerful yet compassionate Trainers before and can do so again. I feel that Ultra Beast will be in good hands with you, Fantina."
Fantina smiled back. "Thank you, Looker."
Looker nodded and left the room with the nurse; as soon as they were out of eyeshot and earshot Fantina gently nudged Roxie.
Roxie blinked. "What Mom?"
Fantina pulled the strange Pokeball out of her dress and handed it to Roxie.
"It's a Poison-type, right? Then it's my gift to you!"
Roxie started. "Really?"
Fantina winked. "I beat it down so it so it could be taught a lesson for hurting you, didn't I? Why don't you deliver a further lesson personally?"
Roxie grinned. "Then oh hell yeah I will!"
The Christmas tree and lights were shining in Pop Roxie's house, as Pop Roxie, Fantina, and Roxie sat together talking and laughing.
"So," said Roxie. "On that week to Alola to find out more about my Nihilego I got you both something."
"Oh?" said Pop Roxie.
"What are they?" said Fantina.
Roxie tossed a Quick Ball towards her father, revealing a small, purple, crablike Pokemon that scuttled up his back.
"That's a Crabrawler. Like climbing things, so watch out for that, but I think he and Darrin will get along. They evolve in cold places too."
Pop Roxie petted the Crabrawler, which gave a happy chittering noise and a "braw!".
"And for you, Mom..."
She tossed a Lure Ball to summon a strange spectral creature that seemed like an animate, moss and rust-encrusted anchor.
"That's a Dhelmise. Ghost/Grass type, but it can power up its Steel moves with its Ability too."
Fantina looked the Dhelmise up and down. "Fascinating..."
The Dhelmise gave a creak and groan that seemed vaguely approving in response.
Fantina then approached Roxie. "Now, if that Nihilego isn't too much of a handful, I've got a present for you as well - my Gengar Olympia was being a bit feisty and..."
She handed Roxie a Pokeball, which Roxie opened to reveal a young Gastly, who giggled and danced around Roxie's head, making her laugh. She then turned and smiled at Fantina.
"Thanks, Mom. You're pretty great."