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Starlight Aurate

Ad Jesum per Mariam
Location
Route 123
Partners
  1. mightyena
Hi everyone! This is just a silly one-shot that I thought of one day and decided to write it. It's a simple man-and-his dog story, meant to be mostly comedic. It's a spin-off of my main fic, Drowning, but you can read this without having read Drowning. As long as you know that Team Magma commander Tabitha has a Mightyena, that's enough background info. I had the RSE character design for Tabitha in mind when I wrote this, but it doesn't make a huge difference if you think of the ORAS or manga design.

Also, for simplicity's sake, I wrote the Pokemon speech with typical dialogue tags. I realize it's not consistent with what I normally do, but I felt like it worked better for this one-shot.

Content warnings: singular mention of blood, singular use of a swear word.

Enjoy!

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“Who’s a good boy? Who’s the best boy?”

“Me! I’m the best boy!”

Mightyena wagged his tail as Tabitha patted his head and ran his fingers through Mightyena’s thick, matted fur. Tongue lolling out of his mouth, heart bursting with joy, Mightyena looked up at his trainer. Tabitha smiled—one of those special smiles that he reserved only for Mightyena. He never smiled at other humans. Other humans didn’t deserve his love the way Mightyena did.

And loving Tabitha was his favorite thing ever! This had been the best day ever—Mightyena did a training simulation in front of weak humans and their weak Pokemon, then he and Tabitha played, and then Tabitha did desk work, and then he and Mightyena got to cuddle! It was just like yesterday—only better.

“I have a meeting with Maxie right now, Mightyena. But I’ll be able to play after that. Sound good?”

Mightyena’s tail stopped wagging and hung low. He yipped—but he and Tabitha had been together for so long that, by now, his human understood him perfectly.

“I’m always sad when you have to work…”

“I know, I know. Do you want to come with me to meet Maxie?”

Mightyena huffed. “No thanks. I’ll go outside while you have human-talk.”

Tabitha smiled again. “Sounds good. I’ll see you later.”

The prospect of seeing his beloved trainer again soon made Mightyena just a little less sad.

++++++++++++++++++++

The sun warmed the dirt beneath Mightyena’s feet as he trotted up the path to the Team Magma base. The jungle of northern Hoenn echoed around him with the twitters of Taillow, the roars of Vigoroth, and the barks of Linoone. Before him, the Team Magma base loomed as a large, imposing, conspicuous figure amidst all the foliage.

Maybe the humans chose this place because it was so far away from other humans. Or maybe human eyesight and smell were so bad that even they couldn’t notice the base. But to Mightyena’s heightened senses, it was always easy to find—and that was good, because he always knew where to find Tabitha.

His bushy black tail wagged. It had been such a great day—and it was only going to get better! The sun was in the center of the sky, at its zenith. There was plenty of time have so much fun with Tabitha! Maybe they would go on a walk through the jungle, or if it was raining they’d play inside. Then they would snuggle and go to bed. What a great day!

The human doors for the base were closed like they always were. But Mightyena didn’t need doors. Spotting some shadows cast by large, broad-leafed plants, he slipped into them as if they were water.

The blackness of the shadowy world twisted and turned about Mightyena as he passed through them. But it didn’t bother him. It was something all Dark-types could do. He had always been able to pass through shadows, ever since he was a Poochyena. He even brought Tabitha with him! The shadows looked confusing, but Mightyena could navigate them easily, as if they were the outside world. Tabitha said he was getting the hang of it, too! And passing through shadows made it so much easier to battle against other Pokemon and sneak up on them.

Mightyena emerged from a shadow in one of the hallways near Tabitha’s office. Tabitha was so close! He couldn’t wait to play with him.

As Mightyena jaunted through the hall, he stopped dead in his tracks, his nose twitching. Something smelled burned—but it smelled alive. It smelled acrid, fleshy, like death and decay—but not quite dead. Only mostly dead.

Houndoom.

The only Houndoom in Team Magma belonged to Tabitha’s boss, Maxie. Was Maxie here?

Mightyena turned a few corners, and sure enough, Maxie’s pair of Houndoom stood in the hallway. Tabitha stood with them, talking to a human-grunt. The two Houndoom turned to see Mightyena walking towards them.

“What are you two doing here?” Mightyena asked while Tabitha kept talking to the human.

“Our human is away for the time being,” one of them said idly. He flicked his pointed tail as he turned to Tabitha. “So we’ll be staying with Tabitha.”

Mightyena started. He didn’t expect that.

“Oh… How long is your human away for?”

“Couldn’t hazard a guess,” the female Houndoom said. She exhaled deeply, a few embers puffing out of her mouth as she rolled her eyes. “Looks like we’ll have your human for the time being, at least until ours returns.”

Mightyena’s fur bristled at the words. “You can play with Tabitha for a bit, but he is not your human. He can’t even understand you!”

The female Houndoom sneered, her narrow eyes half-closing. “Maybe not yet. But he strikes me as a fast learner. Didn’t he learn how to communicate with those Pokemon in the clinic after spending only a day with them?”

Mightyena realized she meant the Breloom, Claydol and Golbat that helped out the human working in medicine and his heart twisted with jealousy. “Yes, he did—but that was after spending an entire day with them.”

“We’ll be here for quite a bit more time than that,” the male Houndoom said with an ugly smirk.

Mightyena’s ears twitched. “You can spend some time with Tabitha—maybe he’ll even understand you, eventually—but he will never be your human. He loves me.”

“Wh—oh, Mightyena!"

Mightyena looked up as Tabitha dismissed the grunt and noticed him for the first time. His human smiled and bent down to be eye-level with Mightyena. Now that he had filtered out the less familiar scent of Houndoom, he could smell the stale sweat and cooked rice scents that always seemed to linger around his human. The scent warmed Mightyena’s heart and his tail wagged uncontrollably back and forth.

“Hey, buddy, what have you been up to?”

“I was just outside. It’s a beautiful day! Are we going to go on a walk later? Or maybe hunt? Or maybe we can go to the river? Or how about we roll in the dirt outside?”

Tabitha smiled. “I never roll in the dirt; that’s always just you. And I can’t play with you today, I’ve got a lot of office work to do. By the way, Maxie is gone for a bit and he asked me to look after his Houndoom while he’s gone, so we’re going to be with them for a while. Okay?”

Mightyena looked back at the pair of Houndoom, who stared back at him smugly. Hearing Tabitha say out loud that he would have to share his time with them made it somehow more painful.

“It won’t be for too long, but I want you to make them feel at home. Maxie and his Pokemon deserve the best.”

Mightyena didn’t say anything as Tabitha stood up and headed down the hallway, the Houndoom trailing after him without sparing Mightyena a passing glance.

Sure, Mightyena would be nice to them. But he would not defer to them. Tabitha was still his, and his alone.

+++++++++++++++++++++

Mightyena’s head rested on his large paws as the sound of Tabitha’s scribbling pen reached his ears. He opened his eyes to see the two Houndoom lying near the far wall, apparently asleep.

Mightyena was sad. He really wanted to just play with Tabitha all day. But Tabitha had work. But he wanted head pats and scratches and snuggles. And Tabitha only needed one hand to write!

Getting up, Mightyena started to plod over to Tabitha—but the female Houndoom got up at almost the exact same time, walked over to Tabitha, and placed her head in the human’s lap.

Tabitha looked slightly surprised—but he still reached down and began petting the Houndoom’s head. In a few short moments, the head pats were mechanical, and Tabitha was once again completely engrossed in his desk work.

Mightyena froze, unable to tear his eyes away from the Houndoom. Her head was on Tabitha’s lap—and she was receiving head pats from him! Tabitha always gave Mightyena head pats—they weren’t meant for Houndoom!

Anger and jealousy boiled within Mightyena. His claws scratched against the metal floor as the muscles in his legs and feet tightened. His nostrils flared and the fur rose on his back like a ridge. It took all of his control to not let a growl escape from his throat.

The Houndoom opened an eye and smiled cruelly at Mightyena. “Upset? I just want some affection while my human is gone.

Mightyena didn’t care how reasonable that was. He was still mad. He would not let someone else take Tabitha’s attention from him!

Plodding over, he placed his head on Tabitha’s other leg and looked up at the human with wide eyes.

“Wh—oh, hi, Mightyena,” Tabitha said idly. He traded off between patting the Houndoom’s head and patting Mightyena’s.

Even though receiving head pats from Tabitha was Mightyena’s most favorite thing ever, knowing that another Pokemon received them, too, made him angry. It just wasn’t right!

+++++++++++++++++++++

Mightyena went in the jungle by himself that evening. He poked around through the foliage, sniffing out wide varieties of different Pokemon. But he didn’t know what he was looking for, or why, or anything. He couldn’t stop thinking about seeing Houndoom with her head on Tabitha’s lap. How dare she try to get head pats from Tabitha!

After half-mindedly sniffing out a Zigzagoon, he caught the shrieking creature in his fangs.

“Oh, please, let me go!” the prey Pokemon cried. “I haven’t done anything! And you’re domestic—why would you eat me, anyway? Won’t your human feed you?”

Mightyena’s jaw clenched—Zigzagoon squealed. Mightyena opened his mouth to bark at the stupid Pokemon.

“Of course my human feeds me!” he shouted to Zigzagoon as he limped away, leaving a bloody trail behind him. “He loves me! I don’t need to feed on prey like you to survive!”

Disgruntled, Mightyena plodded back to the human base. It was almost sunset—time for him and Tabitha to cuddle!

Going back to Tabitha’s bedroom, Mightyena nosed the door open. He was so excited! Cuddles were his most favorite thing ever. The day had been rough, for sure, but nighttime cuddles were always worth it.

As Mightyena pushed the door open, his heart pounding with excitement, he stopped cold. His tail stopped wagging. He stared wide-eyed at the scene before him.

Tabitha sat on the ground. And they were with him. The two Houndoom pranced back-and-forth on the floor as Tabitha playfully tapped the sides of their heads (just like he always did with Mightyena). The two Houndoom scattered about, tongues lolling from their mouths. The male Houndoom glanced over and saw Mightyena for a split second before pouncing on Tabitha, sending the human sprawling flat on his back.

“Oof! You’re a big boy, aren’t you? Haha, let me up! Let me up, come on.”

The Houndoom got off Tabitha and the human sat up. His hair was disheveled and he was breathing hard—but he was smiling. His eyes lit up when he saw Mightyena standing there.

“Oh, hey Mightyena! You wanna come play with us?” The smile faded from Tabitha’s face as Mightyena made no response. “What’s the matter?”

“What… what are you doing?” Mightyena asked uncertainly.

“We’re just messing around,” Tabitha said as the female Houndoom slunk under his arm and he started patting her head. “Since Maxie is gone, I thought it’d be nice to give them a bit of attention.”

“Yeah, come on,” the male Houndoom said silkily. “Join us. It’s fun.

Mightyena stiffened and directed his words to Tabitha. “I—I think I’ll just—I just wanted to sleep, actually. It’s been tiring today. But I’ll go somewhere quieter.”

Tabitha looked slightly surprised. “Oh, okay. If you’re sure.”

Mightyena didn’t spare him or either of the Houndoom another glance as he turned tail and left the room. He walked aimlessly through the hallway, his spirits low and his tail trailing on the ground. He didn’t know where to go, or what to do… Maybe he would go back at nighttime and cuddle with Tabitha then? After all, Tabitha’s bed was still Mightyena’s bed. Sure, he had that cushion on the side of the room that Tabitha got for him when they joined Team Magma, but he never actually used it.

But Tabitha actually played with Maxie’s Houndoom! How could he do that? Mightyena had never seen him do that with any other Pokemon!

“AGH what are you doing with tha—NO, DON’T STICK THAT THERE!”

“I’m sorry, ma’am, but you need your medications!”

Mightyena perked up at the sound of shrieking Pokemon from a door down the hallway. Wasn’t that where the medical Pokemon and their human lived?

Nosing his way through the door, he saw a Claydol psychically levitating a syringe in front of a Cacnea who sat on a tall stool. The Cacnea’s eyes were wide with fright as she eyed the syringe with distaste. Her right arm was heavily lacerated and oozing sap. Behind her, a Golbat sat perched on a metal rail of one of the many beds dotting the room.

“I am NOT taking whatever is in there! Just patch up this arm!”

“That’s not how it works,” the Claydol moaned. “You need to take some of this first to truly heal your injury. And your racket seems to have caught the attention of others.”

Cacnea turned her head to look at Mightyena; Claydol’s vision allowed him to see in all directions at once, and so Mightyena was in clear view the entire time.

“If you need any medications, don’t take them from him!” the Cacnea shrieked. “He’s mad!”

Mightyena plodded into the room and looked up at the three other Pokemon. “What are you all up to?”

“Trying to fix Cacnea’s arm,” Golbat said tersely.

They are trying to stick me with that!” Cacnea shrieked as she gestured to the syringe. “All I want is some bandages for m’wound, but they won’t give them to me!”

“Ma’am, please,” Claydol said again, “your wound is infected, and we can’t give you the bandages until—”

“Help! Help! I’m being repressed!” she shrieked.

While the two of them argued, Mightyena glanced around the room. Apart from a lone Zangoose lying on a bed, the room was empty.

“Hey,” Mightyena said as the Cacnea’s shrieks cut off—Claydol had successfully hit her with the syringe and injected the solution into her. “Where’s your human?”

Cacnea’s eyes rolled up and she slumped on the stool, unconscious.

“He and Breloom are away for a bit. Asked us to take care of patients for him,” Golbat said while Claydol levitated some bandages and began binding Cacnea’s wounds. “Where’s yours?”

“He’s in our bedroom,” Mightyena sighed. “But he’s taking care of his boss’s Pokemon, so now a couple of Houndoom are in there playing with him…”

“The Houndoom?” Claydol said with a shudder. “I can’t stand those things. I can’t sense their presence, I can’t feel their minds, and they always give me creeps.”

“You can’t sense me, either!”

“But at least you don’t slink around, acting all suspicious. Your body language is easy to read. But there’s just something else that’s off about those two.”

“Maybe because they’re hellhounds?” Golbat noted.

Claydol nodded. “That might have something to do with it. Why is Tabitha playing with them?”

“Oh, you know Tabitha—the kindest, sweetest, most loving human ever—”

“He’s an asshole,” Golbat said.

Mightyena leapt to his feet and bared his fangs at Golbat. “You do NOT talk about Tabitha that way! He’s the best human ever!”

“I just watched him send a Flygon out over the jungle and had his trainer chase after him.”

“Well, then, that human probably deserved it.”

“He also fought someone who challenged his authority.”

“As he should treat anyone who challenges his authority!”

“And he stopped the grunts from partying and told them to go to bed early.”

“An early bedtime is needed for everyone to perform at their peak!”

Golbat stared deadpan at Mightyena over his folded wings. “If Tabitha is so perfect, why are you here while he’s with someone else’s Pokemon?”

Mightyena’s ears drooped and his tail fell as he sat back down on the floor, hanging his head. “I don’t know what to do. I saw him giving them head pats and belly rubs. He’s never done that with anyone other than me before.”

“Head pats?” Claydol asked as he finished binding Cacnea’s arm.

“Yeah… Is that normal for other humans to do with someone else’s Pokemon? Your human sees other Pokemon all the time—how does he treat them?”

Golbat glanced at Claydol. “Derek just fixes the Pokemon’s wound and lets them go. He also feeds them and makes sure they get rest—but he never plays with them.”

“The only one who really tackles him and messes around with him is Breloom,” Claydol said. “Golbat’s just not a fan, and I’m too big and heavy to do it without crushing him.”

The words struck Mightyena’s heart like a hammer striking a nail.

“He… he doesn’t play with others?”

“No,” Golbat said.

“But… but why would Tabitha do this, then?”

“It might be like you said. Maybe he’s just that nice to Pokemon. Maybe he’s just sucking up to Maxie.” He raised his wings in a half-shrug. “Or maybe it’s time to let him go.”

“Let him go?!”

“Only if things are serious,” Claydol said with a reproving glare at Golbat.

“What—serious? What do you mean? How serious?”

“As long as he doesn’t push you away or replace you,” Golbat said.

“Replace—no.” Mightyena shook his head. “Tabitha would never do that to me! Why would you even say something like that?”

Golbat didn’t respond but just kept eyeing the sleeping Cacnea with his beady little eyes. With his wings covering the majority of his body, Mightyena couldn’t read his expression.

“Don’t mind him,” Claydol said. “He’s just been through a lot in his life.”

“I don’t just say things,” Golbat suddenly said. “It happens, sometimes. Look at me. I’m a Golbat. I’m common—a ‘com mon,’ as our kind call it. Most trainers don’t want me. One who did got tired of me when he saw other Golbat and Zubat everywhere. He didn’t give me attention. Other Pokemon mattered more to him. He had me stored away with other Pokemon at his professor’s lab. Other Pokemon were cycled in and out. I was stuck there. For years. So I left. Derek took me in. My specie didn’t matter to him. It never has. He never replaced me. He never pushed me away. So I’m staying.”

Mightyena stared at Golbat while Claydol unsuccessfully tried to turn away from the awkward situation, cursing his panoramic vision.

“You… just left? But what did your human think?”

Golbat lowered his eyes. “I don’t think Randy ever noticed.”

For the first time, the commonality of his specie hit Mightyena. The Houndoom were foreign, rarer—special. He was a Mightyena. His kind was found all over the Hoenn region, in every patch of grass and swath of trees. There was nothing special about him.

He was replaceable.

“I’m not saying you should walk out on your human.”

Mightyena looked up at Golbat as he interrupted his flow of thought.

“I’m just saying that, sometimes, lack of interest happens. Replacement happens. Tabitha has loved you and cared for you your entire life. But don’t close off the possibility of walking away.”

Mightyena mulled over Golbat’s words. As he thought on them, he felt indignant—and angry. And the more he thought on them, the angrier he grew.

“No.”

He stood up.

“Maybe your first human—Bob, or whatever his name was—didn’t care about you. But Tabitha has always loved me. And he always will. A few Houndoom won’t change that.”

Without a second glance, Mightyena walked back into the hallway. He would show that Golbat—he would show those stupid medical Pokemon!

As he walked into his room, he pushed the door open much more confidently this time—and stopped dead in his tracks once more.

The two Houndoom lay on Tabitha’s bed—on Mightyena’s bed. Tabitha stood off to the side and looked up as Mightyena walked in.

“We’re going to sleep, Mightyena. Is it all right with you if they sleep in bed? Just to make them more comfortable and feel at home.”

Mightyena said nothing. He couldn’t say anything. His nose was filled with the acrid scent of not-quite-dead, and all he could see was the two Houndoom lying in his place.

“Mightyena?”

He looked up and saw Tabitha gaze at him with concern.

“Is something wrong?”

“Oh—oh—I—uh—well—you see—” Mightyena stuttered for a second before inhaling deeply and looking up at Tabitha with large, doleful eyes. “Where am I supposed to sleep?”

“You can always sleep in that bed I got for you.” Tabitha gestured to the large, untouched cushion lying against the wall.

“Oh… you’re right. I can.” Without another word, Mightyena plodded over to the large pillow and lay down on it. The cushion was comfy, shaped perfectly for his canine form—but without Tabitha’s embrace, Mightyena might as well have been sleeping on sharp volcanic rocks. The bed was soft and warm, but without Tabitha, Mightyena was colder than he had ever felt in his life.

The room went dark as Tabitha turned the light off. But Mightyena could still see clearly. He shut his eyes and borrowed his snout into the crook of his leg. He didn’t want to see those Houndoom.

But he could still hear them. He could still make out the words that Tabitha failed to understand.

“This bed is so comfortable… I’m so happy we get to lie here…"

“And this human is so warm and snuggly…”

Tears weren’t a natural reaction for a Mightyena. They were a strange phenomenon that only happened to humans—and he had seen Tabitha shed them a lot. But if Mightyena possessed the faculties to do so, he would be crying softly as he fell asleep.

++++++++++++++++++++

Mightyena nosed his food as the two Houndoom next to him licked their bowls clean. Nearby, Tabitha got his things ready to prepare for his work that day.

“This is a nice setup,” the female Houndoom noted as she licked food specks off her snout. “That human is very nice. He gives nice cuddles. I practically wanted to melt when he gave me those head scratches.”

Mightyena stiffened and put his nose in his food. He didn’t need to respond—he shouldn’t respond.

“Agreed,” the male Houndoom murmured. “And I slept so well last night. He’s really taken to us, hasn’t he?”

“He has not.”

The two Houndoom looked over as Mightyena glared at them over his food bowl.

“Tabitha has not taken to you. He’s just nice to everyone.”

The female Houndoom cocked her head back and stared down her nose at Mightyena. “Is that so? I’ve only ever heard the opposite. That Flygon’s Damien said Tabitha treated him cruelly and made him trudge through the jungle for hours. And I heard he beat Hariyama’s Georg in a fight. Seems like he isn’t so nice to others.”

“That’s because they deserved it,” Mightyena snarled. His blood aced—the hair rose on his back back as flashes of anger zipped through his body. His lips curled back, exposing his long fangs. “Tabitha is nice to you, but you do not own him.”

“Maybe not now,” the male Houndoom said. “But I think he’ll take to us soon enough.”

Mightyena growled. “Don’t lie. He would never do that.”

“Might want to double-check with him on that.”

“LIES!”

Lunging forward, Mightyena snapped at the male Houndoom with bared fangs. Houndoom jumped back, pulling his lips tight and exposing his own set of canine teeth.

“Mightyena, what are you doing?”

Tabitha rushed over and stood between the growling canines.

“He’s full of LIES! I want to shut him up for good!”

“NO!”

Mightyena pounced forward, trying to get around Tabitha, but his human knew him too well, was too experienced with him. Tabitha caught Mightyena in mid-pounce and pinned him to the floor, holding him down with his body weight.

The Houndoom were still within sight—within range—if he could just get free! Blood still pounding through his veins, Mightyena struggled and wriggled—stopping when Tabitha’s fist came down on his head.

Mightyena had been through countless fights in his life. Even when he was a Poochyena, he got into scraps with other village Pokemon—the neighbor’s Zigzagoon, the wild Rattata lurking under houses, and plenty of Sentret. As he grew older, he fought more frequently—he fought for himself and Tabitha when they were living in the jungle, and he fought all sorts of Pokemon when they lived in the streets of Rustboro. He had endured beatings, bites, slashes, stings, toxins, burns, paralysis, choke holds—

But nothing had ever hurt as much as that one blow from his Tabitha.

“No! Bad boy!”

If that physical blow had hurt, the words hurt a thousand times more. It was like a thousand pairs of fangs biting into Mightyena’s heart at once and rending it apart. He stopped struggling against his human and lay in a curled-up heap on the ground, shivering.

Mightyena's ears flattened against his head. He looked up at Tabitha with wide eyes as his human got off him.

Tabitha was angry.

And he was angry at Mightyena.

Tabitha was never angry at Mightyena. He was always angry at humans. Always at the grunts. Never at Pokemon—never ever at Mightyena.

But Mightyena saw—felt—Tabitha’s cold gaze bore into him. He saw the human’s hands clenched into fists. He heard Tabitha exhale deeply and slowly.

“Don’t ever try to attack them again.”

Without another word, Tabitha finished getting dressed and walked out. Mightyena heard the clack of the Houndoom’s nails on the floor as they followed him. He heard the clack! of the door closing. But all he could feel was his heart being ripped apart over and over again.

Bad!

Tabitha had never called him that before. He was always a good boy—wasn’t he?

Bad!

He and Tabitha had been through so much together—Tabitha always loved him. Tabitha always told Mightyena how much he needed him.

Bad!

Would he actually prefer a pair of Houndoom to Mightyena? He thought of what Golbat said to him: don’t close off the possibility of walking away.

Bad!


The pain was too great. He couldn’t bear it any longer—he wouldn’t! He loved Tabitha. He loved him so much that it hurt. But he couldn’t stay and watch Tabitha trade in Mightyena’s love for that of another.

He would leave a note. Going to Tabitha’s desk, he jumped up and put his forepaws on the top of the desk, picked up a pen in his mouth and left the message:

“I have left. Don’t come looking for me. I’ve made up my mind. I’m not coming back.”

Mightyena looked at the indecipherable scribble on the paper before him.

“I don’t know how to write!” he realized. And that just made him feel even more sad.

Dropping the pen on the desk, he got down and walked out the door, through the hallways and into the grey gloomy outdoors. The sky outside reflected Mightyena’s dismal mood: dull clouds blocked out the sun and blocked out the blue sky. The occasional thunder rumbled in the distance. A few drops started falling from the sky. He missed Tabitha already. It was starting to drizzle—Tabitha hated drizzles.

As Mightyena plodded down the dirt path, his head hung low and his heart sunk even lower and lower with every step. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw Tabitha’s angry face. Every time he stopped focusing on the current moment, he felt Tabitha’s weight pinning him to the ground. And the same word kept running over and over again in the back of his mind, each time more painful than the last:

Bad!

The rain drops fell more heavily. Mightyena stopped walking. His heart hurt too much. He whined and his whines turned into howls. Sitting in what quickly turned into a puddle of mud, he raised his head and let loose a long, mournful howl, singing his sorrow and pain out to the world at large, letting everyone listen to his distress and despair.

He howled again and again, letting out his mournful keen amidst the thundering downpour and crackles of lightning. It hurt, it all hurt so much.

“Mightyena!”

A clear voice cut through Mightyena’s howls—but it wasn’t just any voice.

It was his voice.

Mightyena ceased howling and lowered his head to see a shadowy figure coming towards him through the rain. The downpour blocked out his scent, and the crash of rain and thunder blocked any sound the on comer made—but Mightyena knew who it was.

Getting on all fours, Mightyena turned and took a few steps before his voice cut through the rain again.

“Mightyena, don’t leave! Please, come back!”

“Why should I?”

Mightyena wheeled around, and Tabitha was close enough now that Mightyena could see him more clearly. His human was soaked to the bone, his hair sticking to his face, his hood sagging down his back, his clothes weighing down from the weight of all the water they absorbed. The human stared at Mightyena with drooping eyes and his hands held out.

“Why should I go back to you?” Mightyena repeated. “You don’t want me anymore!”

“That’s not true, Mightyena!” Tabitha dropped to his knees, splattering mud over himself. “I do want you!”

“Then why did you say it?” he said tearfully. “Why do you keep those Houndoom with you? Why do you keep them so close and let them sleep in my bed if they don’t matter to you?”

“Those Houndoom belong to Maxie—I’m only taking care of them as a favor to him! There’s nothing between us, I swear—I want you, Mightyena, not anyone else.”

“But you—you hit me!” Mightyena cried with a sob. “And you called me a” he almost couldn’t say it.

“You called me a bad boy!

“I—I gave you everything! When your younger brother was kidnapped and your home village burned to the ground, I chased after those kidnappers with you! My clan took you in when your family died! I went with you to Rustboro when you had nothing. I lived on the streets—I did everything for you!

“You’re right, Mightyena, you’re right. And I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have hit you or called you bad! You’re not a bad boy, Mightyena, you’re a good boy.”

At the words “good boy,” Mightyena’s heart lightened. He stared, thunderstruck, at Tabitha as his human walked over to him and bent down, cradling Mightyena’s face in one hand.

“Y—you mean it?”

“You’re more than a good boy, Mightyena—you’re more than the best boy.” Tabitha slicked back the fur on Mightyena’s head with his other hand as he gazed meaningfully into Mightyena’s eyes. “You’re my boy. No one else. Just you. There’s only you—there’s only ever been you. I love you, Mightyena. And I promise you, no matter what, we’ll stick together.”

Mightyena’s tail wagged as his heart soared. “Even if it means leaving Team Magma?”

Tabitha didn’t respond. He stayed on his knees, water dripping off him, staring stonily at Mightyena.

“Tabitha?”

“We don’t need to go over hypothetical scenarios, Mightyena. But I love you and I will always stick by you.”

“Oh, Tabitha!”

His heart flooding with peace and joy, Mightyena pounced forward, knocking Tabitha flat on his back in a muddy puddle.

“I promise you, Tabitha, I’ll never leave you again!

Getting to his knees, Tabitha wrapped his arms around Mightyena in the warmest embrace Mightyena had ever received. Warm embraces were Mightyena’s favorite thing ever! All the ice-cold pricks, all the hurt and pain in his heart—it was all gone, washed away to the bottom of the sea.

The two of them stayed like that as the rain pounded down and lightning sizzled in the sky above them. After a few minutes, Tabitha asked, “Can we go inside now, please? I really hate the rain.”

“Of course!” Tabitha relinquished his embrace and the duo made their way back to the base. Mightyena’s tail wagged uncontrollably, flinging droplets of water everywhere. “Once we awaken Groudon, you won’t have to worry about rain much anymore!”

Tabitha said nothing—but Mightyena saw a smile.

As the two of them went back to Tabitha’s bedroom to dry off, Mightyena saw Maxie’s Houndoom lounging on the bedroom floor. Mightyena planted his feet firmly on the ground, the fur on his chest and back bristling. He bared his large fangs in a snarl. The two Houndoom looked up at him—Mightyena’s intimidation attempt must have worked, for they looked slightly uneasy and shrank back.

But he wasn’t going easy on them.

“Listen, you two!” he declared. “Tabitha is my human, and—”

“We know,” the male Houndoom said lazily. “Did you want to sleep in your bed tonight?”

“Why, yes I did! And I want to make it clear that nothing will chase me away from him! You won’t have him, and you won’t keep him away from me!”

“Well, duh,” the female Houndoom said as she swished her thin, whip-like tail. “Maxie is our human, after all. We’re not staying here.”

The snarl fell from Mightyena’s face and his fur laid flat on his body. “You what?”

“You want to sleep in the human bed tonight, or not?”

“Wha—yes, I do! But—but if you’re not after Tabitha, why did you say you were earlier?”

“We’re Houndoom,” the male Houndoom said. Raising his head, he looked deadpan at Mightyena. “Hellhounds. Antagonism is our thing.”

“Y—you just—you were just mean to me because you felt like it?”

The female Houndoom raised her haunches in a half-shrug. “Felt like it—driven to it. It’s our nature. Our design. It’s what we do best. Don’t always feel like we have much of a choice in it.”

“It’s just easiest to go along with it and strike out at those closest to us,” her companion said.

“So… you don’t actually want Tabitha?”

The pair of hellhounds looked at Tabitha: he had shed his clothes and sat shaking in his chair, curled up into a ball with a towel wrapped around him. He sniffled—and let out a sneeze.

“No,” they said unanimously.

“Oh.” All the anger and ill-will within Mightyena was gone. “I guess you couldn’t really help it, then. No bad blood between us—I forgive you.”

“We’re not sorry,” the female Houndoom said, but Mightyena didn’t hear her. He plodded over to Tabitha and snuggled his great head into his shivering owner.

“I love you, Tabitha.”

That night, the Houndoom chose to sleep in Tabitha’s office. Mightyena and Tabitha snuggled together in bed, hearts full of joy, finally at peace.

Until the middle of the night when Mightyena had night terrors and started whining and crying in his sleep.

Tabitha started petting Mightyena to console him. “Hey, Mightyena, shhhh, it’s ok—oof!”

Mightyena lashed out, first kicking Tabitha to the edge of the bed and then stealing all of his pillows.

“Mightyena, calm down—AAAHHHHH!”

As Tabitha shoved Mightyena, the Dark-type let out a shadow ball attack. It collided with Tabitha’s chest, sending him flying off the bed and into the far wall.

Grumbling, Tabitha got up—Mightyena was still sleeping on the bed. Now that his assailant was gone, the canine slept soundly. Tabitha laid on the large cushion he had originally bought for Mightyena, thinking that his chances of getting any sleep were better there.

But for Mightyena, it was the most peaceful night of his life.
 

kintsugi

golden scars
Location
waiting for the fog to roll out
Pronouns
she/her
Partners
  1. silvally-grass
  2. lapras
  3. golurk
“I have left. Don’t come looking for me. I’ve made up my mind. I’m not coming back.”

Mightyena looked at the indecipherable scribble on the paper before him.

“I don’t know how to write!” he realized. And that just made him feel even more sad.
I am dead. Dead. Slain.

I'm not at all caught up on Drowning (yet 👀) but this was such a delightful treat. I'm a sucker for big dumb dog POV tbh.

I like how you keep this one light-hearted--the villains aren't really villains, Tabitha isn't even aware that there's an issue, and most of this is just Mightyena connecting the dots incorrectly (and poor guy, what else could he do? Lacking hands makes connected the dots hard). It's such a silly and absurd conflict but you bring it to life perfectly in Mightyena's head, which I think is honestly really hard to do in fiction--convincing an audience that a character believes something, even if the audience definitely wouldn't believe that thing.

The humor's a real treat too. In general Mightyena POV is just fun because like wow everything is great / everything is the WORST now, and there's this really palpable feel of dog-drama that's hilarious to read, but the jokes land as well. The one I quoted at the top is probably my favorite, but these gems were great as well:
“Oh, you know Tabitha—the kindest, sweetest, most loving human ever—”

“He’s an asshole,” Golbat said.
“I just watched him send a Flygon out over the jungle and had his trainer chase after him.”

“Well, then, that human probably deserved it.”

“He also fought someone who challenged his authority.”

“As he should treat anyone who challenges his authority!”

“And he stopped the grunts from partying and told them to go to bed early.”

“An early bedtime is needed for everyone to perform at their peak!”
Mightyena stared at Golbat while Claydol unsuccessfully tried to turn away from the awkward situation, cursing his panoramic vision.
mightyena is all bork bork and I love him dearly.

I do think that the light-hearted nature of this story makes some of the darker elements pop, perhaps not in a way you'd intended. For example, Mightyena sulking off and almost eating a Zigzagoon as a stress outlet is a bit horrifying, as is Tabitha punching Mightyena at the end--it's all sort of in-line, since like, yeah, they're still villains, Tabitha makes that guy chase a flygon through the woods for hours, sorta thing--but for whatever reason I found those bits more jarring when they're played for drama than when they're played for laughs.

Still, this was a real fun treat to read. Mightyena is the best boy!! And I am glad he finally knows it. Thank you for sharing <3

---

some quick line-by-line thoughts:

Mightyena wagged his tail as Tabitha patted his head and ran his fingers through Mightyena’s thick, matted fur.
The pronoun flip here for "his" being Mightyena and then Tabitha is a bit tricky to follow.

The human doors for the base were closed like they always were. But Mightyena didn’t need doors. Spotting some shadows cast by large, broad-leafed plants, he slipped into them as if they were water. The blackness of the shadowy world twisted and turned about Mightyena as he passed through them. But it didn’t bother him. It was something all Dark-types could do. He had always been able to pass through shadows, ever since he was a Poochyena. He even brought Tabitha with him! The shadows looked confusing, but Mightyena could navigate them easily, as if they were the outside world. Tabitha said he was getting the hang of it, too! And passing through shadows made it so much easier to battle against other Pokemon and sneak up on them.
I dig the worldbuilding here, and wow, it'd truly be a different world if dark types could just zip around wherever they wanted, haha. I wasn't sure what the payoff was for this, so to speak--there's a lengthy paragraph describing this, so I thought it'd be important later, but it didn't ever feel like it panned out.

Tabitha stood with them, talking to a human-grunt.
I love the implication that there are pokemon-grunts too haha.

“Looks like we’ll have your human for the time being, at least until ours returns.”

Mightyena’s fur bristled at the words. “You can play with Tabitha for a bit, but he is not your human. He can’t even understand you!”
I didn't quite follow Mightyena's response--is he just overreacting when he assumes that Houndoom is claiming Tabitha as Houndoom's human? Houndoom specifically uses "ours" for a different human, so it seems pretty clear that he doesn't think Tabitha is his.

“We’ll be here for quite a bit more time than that,” the male Houndoom said with an ugly smirk.
For the most part I think the xeno-aspects of this are handled well--dog mannerisms feel very doggish. Not sure what a smirk would look like for a dog though--maybe they have a different way of expressing that emotion?

Even though receiving head pats from Tabitha was Mightyena’s most favorite thing ever, knowing that another Pokemon received them, too, made him angry. It just wasn’t right!
it's true, The Rule of Conservation of Headpets states--

My specie didn’t matter to him.
This might be a you-specific pokemon convention that is explained elswhere in the canon, but otherwise I'm used to seeing the singular of "species" being spelled "species"

And I heard he beat Hariyama’s Georg in a fight. Seems like he isn’t so nice to others.”
I like this idea that pokemon think that their humans are theirs, sort of the same as humans tend to think that pokemon are theirs. Some cute partnership going on in this one. I'm curious why they don't have names for themselves though? Male Houndoom/female Houndoom is one workaround for when you get two of them in the same room, but what do you do if there are three haha?

His blood aced—the hair rose on his back back as flashes of anger zipped through his body.
I think you want "blood raced" here?

Tabitha didn’t respond. He stayed on his knees, water dripping off him, staring stonily at Mightyena.

“Tabitha?”

“We don’t need to go over hypothetical scenarios, Mightyena. But I love you and I will always stick by you.”
hahaha I heard you read Salvage, and if that's true, god, oof, this line broke me lol.

“No,” they said unanimously.
"unanimously" felt a bit weird to describe two people--maybe simultaneously?
 

K_S

Yes, my fav 'mon match up with TR's, what of it?
A/N: Alright as this was for fun and you’ve no established issues I’m going to be offering a rather light review for it. I’ve been itching to dig into this one since I saw it up, but for the fairness of a specific contest I only skimmed the first paragraph, thought it looked like a nice read, and promised myself to come back to it later.

So here we are.

Alright onto the actual review itself.

A/N: 12/13/20 Please disregard all notes about commas I may have had posted they were in error and the correct grammar rules are on my last post in this thread.



By line five we know this is one of those cuddle dogs trapped in a bruiser’s body (I’ve always found the mightyena line a bit creepy personally, hence that view I suppose) and Tabitha is such an utter dog person, worse he’s one of those dotting dog people because you don’t get that much wild devotion from cuddles unless either the dogs a cuddle bug or a cuddle bug raised by someone who goes above and beyond in their affections towards such cuddle bug.

Seriously getting flash backs to that old email blurb that used to circulate about how everything is the dog’s “best thing ever” so long as their human was about… Wondering if you drew inspiration from it for Might’ here?


And first line in, title drop, nice….

Style notes: While I get Might’ is all but screaming glee here… There’s a lot of He’s in the first paragraph outside of the dialogue opening… I’d recommend a bit of paring down for clarity's sake, also there’s some wordiness that can be cut. I’ve put the alterable text in underline and my reasoning why in parenthesize by it.

Quote with suggestions:
Mightyena wagged his tail as Tabitha patted his head and ran his (drop, excessive, by establishing Tab is patting the fingers running through are also Tab’s as no one else is established as present) fingers through Mightyena’s thick, matted,(coma needed, matted and tick are list describing fur) fur. Tongue lolling (out of his mouth, since it’s established as the tongue lolling and it can’t really do anything but loll out of the mouth excessive), heart bursting with joy, Mightyena looked up at his trainer (can be dropped). Tabitha smiled—one of those special smiles that he reserved only for Mightyena. He never smiled at other humans. Other humans didn’t deserve his(droppable, a lot of he and his’ here this ones excessive) love the way Mightyena did.

How it looks with alterations:

Mightyena wagged his tail as Tabitha patted his head and ran fingers through Mightyena’s thick, matted, fur. Tongue lolling, heart bursting with joy, Mightyena looked up. Tabitha smiled—one of those special smiles that he reserved only for Mightyena. He never smiled at other humans. Other humans didn’t deserve love the way Mightyena did.

You are aware that in the first eleven lines you use the word mightyena nine times? I’d rec replacing a few of those with descriptors, pet names, ecetera to break it up a little. This is a trait that continues throughout the fic which is why I’m harping a bit on it with the counting and what not.

Also interesting how Might is using a (benign mind) possessive ownership slants in his descriptors of Tab but Tab is not, at least in his dialogue thus far. Is that a ‘mon human mentality thing or foreshadowing ?

As Might’s a dog I’m curious how your sense of choice that he focus’ on his hearing and sight. I expected the canine to be sniffing everything and poking at smells… and that coma thing I mentioned before… the descriptor about the magma base “conspicuous” needs one after it.

There's a bit of tug and war between your style and the tone you’re trying to establish with Might’ carrying the story. We got happy go lucky simple dog ‘mon and a wordiness that fights against it. It’s not big, but it’s why I recommended the parring in the previous section, to maintain a simple tone without excessive wordiness. Here’s another example.

Quote: The sun was in the center of the sky, at its zenith. There was plenty of time have so much fun with Tabitha!

Alright while this works in establishing the time of day/times passing and what not… It’s a case of excessive and tone break. By itself center and zenith works as a case of either or. They both literally mean the same thing that’s where the excess kicks in. Now how it breaks things with the tone is… zenith, rather highbrow, has overtures of power and sophistication… more metaphysical rather than physical if you will. In the center however is totally rooted in the physical, relies on simple words/concepts, and seems more in tune with Mr. Dark, matted, and bouncy.


I’m guessing Might’ shameless spams feint attack like a pseudo teleport tactic. Wondering if you plan on or have built up on it… the mechanics of such “shadow” travel sounds interesting and worthy of plot/fic bait.

So Houndoom are ‘mon evil zombies… oooh boy guess who is not breaking away from their stereotype in this fic? Max’s ‘Doom’s that’s who. For any comments related to them from here on out I dub them he’doom and she’doom…

Again, noticing the possessive attachment words from she’doom here mirroring Might’ earleir… That’s not going to go over well.

Style note: While I get you’re using the dialogue to reinforce that Tab’s noticing Might’ (if not the drama, he’s a bit dense in that regard isn’t he?) because you immediately have the line

Quote: “Wh—oh, Mightyena!"

Lead into…

quote: Mightyena looked up as Tabitha dismissed the grunt and noticed him for the first time.

I’d say one of the two is excessive and I’d suggest dropping the dialogue as its presence neither helps or builds up the scene. If you rather keep the talking you’d have to reorder the paragraph and its actions to avoid the redundancy.

Use of scent: Since entering the base, and a little before, you’re used Might’s nose to set the scene, breaking away from the visual heavy span earlier. Because of this scent and smell have been used a lot I’d recommend a break off of that pattern with this paragraph. Here’s a rather dense patch with an easy fix.

Quote: His human smiled and bent down to be eye-level with Mightyena. Now that he had filtered out the less familiar scent of Houndoom, he could smell the stale sweat and cooked rice scents that always seemed to linger around his human. The scent(swap with “familiarity of it, this allows you to break away from overused sense without losing meaning and relying on memory instead of nose) warmed Mightyena’s heart and his tail wagged uncontrollably back and forth.

Style note: after the page break, where Might’s with Tab and the ‘Doom’s at the paperwork scene there’s a lot of Mightenas. Nearly one or two per line.. I’d rec the same advice as before, break it up with descriptors unique to Might’ and the like.

Out of curiosity how does Might even deal with Tab’s Camelrupt or any of his other ‘mon? I get this is some dog-style territory tug of war but Might’s acting like Tab has never had a conflict of interest before.

.. Is it me or is the she’doom the one pushing most of the buttons and the He’doom following along with it?


There’s a lot of he/hims in this action scene I’d suggest parring it down to preserve clarity. Also the combat is rather… list like. The first run is an attempt to clear out the excess in he and hims.

Change one:

Mightyena pounced (forward, drop, excessive), trying to get around Tabitha, but his human knew him too well, was too experienced (with him, drop excessive).

The seconds an example how to shake off the list effect and restructure to clean out some of the he and hims… it’s more glaring because you have Tab, Might, and He’doom so there’s a chance of confusion, clarifying will keep it to a min.

Change 2:

(Tabitha caught, drop. We just used Tab’s name words ago, excessive)

New sentence start: Mightyena (added: was caught, (thus showing what tab was doing)

(In (excessive drop, we know Might was pouncing per previous line and the was caught stopped the pouncing motion)

mid-pounce( drop the rest: and pinned him to the floor, holding him down with his body weight.)

his human (thus saying tab without saying tab)

pinning him down.

Condescend:
(Tabitha caught, drop ) Mightyena (was caught, add, preserves action and keeps name out, also consider switching this ‘Might with a descriptor) (in drop) mid-pounce and (pinned drop) (him, drop) to the floor, holding (Tab) him down with his body weight.

Put together without explanation

Mightyena was caught, mid-pounce, his human pinning him down.



Considering the Tab/Might reconciliation… and here we have full circle with Tab letting Might know that he was his… the tone of that section finds a right notch between sweet, fitting, and adorable. The clash with the apathetic ‘Doom duo after is a bit jarring and feels like it could be dropped without hurting the tale. Granted if you take pleasure in showing that resolution no harm done to the narrative whole… And Might’ getting the bed all to himself at tales end… a lighthearted extension to the ending.

Thanks for taking the time to share this extra bit of Drowning lore, it was a wonderful read.
 
Last edited:

Starlight Aurate

Ad Jesum per Mariam
Location
Route 123
Partners
  1. mightyena
Thank you both so much for taking the time to read and comment on this! They were both a delight to read, and I'm glad you both seemed to enjoy yourselves as well.

I am dead. Dead. Slain.
Now what do I do with your body

I'm not at all caught up on Drowning (yet 👀) but this was such a delightful treat. I'm a sucker for big dumb dog POV tbh.
Oh haha I might as well let you know to stop yourself while you're ahead; Drowning is on a hiatus with no current end in sight. I decided to rewrite the "first few chapters" and miiiiiight have gotten slightly overambitious with it 😬 And I am already well aware of the multitude of problems and inconsistencies the current iterations have lol. You will absolutely not hurt my feelings if you don't leave a review because the whole thing is looking like it's getting canned, anyway.

I like how you keep this one light-hearted--the villains aren't really villains, Tabitha isn't even aware that there's an issue, and most of this is just Mightyena connecting the dots incorrectly (and poor guy, what else could he do? Lacking hands makes connected the dots hard). It's such a silly and absurd conflict but you bring it to life perfectly in Mightyena's head, which I think is honestly really hard to do in fiction--convincing an audience that a character believes something, even if the audience definitely wouldn't believe that thing.
Thanks so much! I am aware that this was a ridiculous premise to begin with and something told me to just go with it, so lo and behold, here is the finished product. I'm glad it all worked out!

The humor's a real treat too. In general Mightyena POV is just fun because like wow everything is great / everything is the WORST now, and there's this really palpable feel of dog-drama that's hilarious to read, but the jokes land as well.
Thanks! <3 I love writing Mightyena POV, it was a lot of fun.

mightyena is all bork bork and I love him dearly.
I love him so much too ;_;

I do think that the light-hearted nature of this story makes some of the darker elements pop, perhaps not in a way you'd intended. For example, Mightyena sulking off and almost eating a Zigzagoon as a stress outlet is a bit horrifying, as is Tabitha punching Mightyena at the end--it's all sort of in-line, since like, yeah, they're still villains, Tabitha makes that guy chase a flygon through the woods for hours, sorta thing--but for whatever reason I found those bits more jarring when they're played for drama than when they're played for laughs.
Yeah, there was a sort of "I want this to be innocent-dog POV but also they're part of Team Magma where team members have no qualms with maiming and killing people. Tabitha sending a guy chasing through the woods for hours was something I included in Drowning--in the chapter that was going to be uploaded next if it had never gone on hiatus 🙃

I dig the worldbuilding here, and wow, it'd truly be a different world if dark types could just zip around wherever they wanted, haha. I wasn't sure what the payoff was for this, so to speak--there's a lengthy paragraph describing this, so I thought it'd be important later, but it didn't ever feel like it panned out.
This was a bit that I got from Negrek and her way of writing Salvage, actually. It's become a part of my headcanon and now I'm stuck with it :V It doesn't really come in to play here, but I think I explained it herer and never fully explained it in Drowning where it definitely warranted a full explanation XD

I didn't quite follow Mightyena's response--is he just overreacting when he assumes that Houndoom is claiming Tabitha as Houndoom's human? Houndoom specifically uses "ours" for a different human, so it seems pretty clear that he doesn't think Tabitha is his.
More just him being overprotective of "his" human and jealous that someone else would play with him and "have him" until their human (Maxie) returns.

For the most part I think the xeno-aspects of this are handled well--dog mannerisms feel very doggish. Not sure what a smirk would look like for a dog though--maybe they have a different way of expressing that emotion?
Yaaarrrrgh I didn't think that dogs might not smirk X( Good catch!

This might be a you-specific pokemon convention that is explained elswhere in the canon, but otherwise I'm used to seeing the singular of "species" being spelled "species"
Ah hmmmm, fair I suppose. I'm accustomed to seeing "specie" but that might also be because I work in biology :V But we also use words that sound completely incorrect in every day language that are akshyully correct, like "fishes."

I like this idea that pokemon think that their humans are theirs, sort of the same as humans tend to think that pokemon are theirs. Some cute partnership going on in this one. I'm curious why they don't have names for themselves though? Male Houndoom/female Houndoom is one workaround for when you get two of them in the same room, but what do you do if there are three haha?
Okay confession time: both Houndoom were originally male and I changed one to female when I realized I had written myself into a corner.

It's something that I took after the anime, and tbh, I don't think I'm going to change it anytime soon even though I've been recommended to--I know that sounds horribly stubborn (and perhaps it is?) but because I've had these characters around for so long I feel like changing their names would be a big adjustment and mostly that it's who they are and not just a label. I'm sorry for blowing this off so rudely but tbh I've only had 2 people suggest I change this aspect and ijustdk how else to put it X(

I think you want "blood raced" here?

"unanimously" felt a bit weird to describe two people--maybe simultaneously?
Those pesky typos strike again.

Thanks again so much for the review! It was a real treat to read :)


A/N: Alright as this was for fun and you’ve no established issues I’m going to be offering a rather light review for it. I’ve been itching to dig into this one since I saw it up, but for the fairness of a specific contest I only skimmed the first paragraph, thought it looked like a nice read, and promised myself to come back to it later.
This is certainly a premise that brings a lot of questions in and of itself, but either way, I'm glad you're here! Thanks for leaving such a nice long review :D


By line five we know this is one of those cuddle dogs trapped in a bruiser’s body (I’ve always found the mightyena line a bit creepy personally, hence that view I suppose) and Tabitha is such an utter dog person, worse he’s one of those dotting dog people because you don’t get that much wild devotion from cuddles unless either the dogs a cuddle bug or a cuddle bug raised by someone who goes above and beyond in their affections towards such cuddle bug.

Seriously getting flash backs to that old email blurb that used to circulate about how everything is the dog’s “best thing ever” so long as their human was about… Wondering if you drew inspiration from it for Might’ here?
Ohhhhh yes, big time on those old email blurbs about dog minds. I definitely got inspiration from that XD And also I got inspiration from living with a dog for 15 years lol.

This was also giving myself a chance to show Tabitha's softer, loving side. He's a "villain" sure, but I like having humane villains that have a softer side and can show affection, love and devotion towards others.

And first line in, title drop, nice….
One of my proudest moments lol


You are aware that in the first eleven lines you use the word mightyena nine times?
....
..
...
Well, I am now!

This is totally a fair thing to point out--I was sortof aware that I used a lot of "he" and "Mightyena" but didn't really pay attention to it or know how to deal with it. Either way, thank you for pointing this out! And thanks for the stylistic tips--seeing everything broken down like that really helped me visualize how to write more clearly.

Also interesting how Might is using a (benign mind) possessive ownership slants in his descriptors of Tab but Tab is not, at least in his dialogue thus far. Is that a ‘mon human mentality thing or foreshadowing ?
Just a mentality thing--this was meant to be centered on Pokemon and their mindsets, so I only delved into that and how they thought of their trainers as "theirs."

As Might’s a dog I’m curious how your sense of choice that he focus’ on his hearing and sight. I expected the canine to be sniffing everything and poking at smells… and that coma thing I mentioned before… the descriptor about the magma base “conspicuous” needs one after it.
I tried focusing more on hearing and scent than on sight, though I admittedly didn't go as far with it as I would have liked. Him poking around and sniffing everything might have been a good thing to add in, though!

There's a bit of tug and war between your style and the tone you’re trying to establish with Might’ carrying the story. We got happy go lucky simple dog ‘mon and a wordiness that fights against it. It’s not big, but it’s why I recommended the parring in the previous section, to maintain a simple tone without excessive wordiness. Here’s another example.
Thank you for pointing this out and providing the example--I kept delving back into my natural tendency to be wordy and it obviously was a struggle for me to stay in doggo mindset, heh. So this is helpful to hear from someone else! I appreciate it.


List issue again, broad-leafed needs a coma after it before plants… I’m curious and this might be a bit dated, but has anyone explained why the list and coma rule is in place? I can go into it via PM if you like.
... Does it? "... large, broad-leafed, plants" doesn't look correct to my eyes. You can feel free to send me a PM as to what the technical rules are because I've never heard of anything saying to put commas after a single descriptor.

I’m guessing Might’ shameless spams feint attack like a pseudo teleport tactic. Wondering if you plan on or have built up on it… the mechanics of such “shadow” travel sounds interesting and worthy of plot/fic bait.
Mentioned it to kint and I'll mention it again here: I have it a lot in Drowning but never fully explained it the way I did here XD It definitely pops up a lot more and is in use a lot whenever Mightyena is on the scene.

So Houndoom are ‘mon evil zombies… oooh boy guess who is not breaking away from their stereotype in this fic? Max’s ‘Doom’s that’s who. For any comments related to them from here on out I dub them he’doom and she’doom…
Oooooh I love this :D

Out of curiosity how does Might even deal with Tab’s Camelrupt or any of his other ‘mon? I get this is some dog-style territory tug of war but Might’s acting like Tab has never had a conflict of interest before.
In 'my' version of Tabitha, Mightyena is his only Pokemon. He commands others or has them battle, but he doesn't raise or build any seriously strong friendships with other Pokemon like he does with Mightyena.

.. Is it me or is the she’doom the one pushing most of the buttons and the He’doom following along with it?
Tbh, I hadn't noticed, but that would certainly fit female villainy and pettiness imo

Considering the Tab/Might reconciliation… and here we have full circle with Tab letting Might know that he was his… the tone of that section finds a right notch between sweet, fitting, and adorable. The clash with the apathetic ‘Doom duo after is a bit jarring and feels like it could be dropped without hurting the tale. Granted if you take pleasure in showing that resolution no harm done to the narrative whole… And Might’ getting the bed all to himself at tales end… a lighthearted extension to the ending.

Thanks for taking the time to share this extra bit of Drowning lore, it was a wonderful read.
Thanks so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it! And I truly appreciate you pointing out the stylistic errors/touches, that really helps me out a lot. Glad I was able to give you a proper reply to a review, for once! :D
 

K_S

Yes, my fav 'mon match up with TR's, what of it?
kintsugi said:

I am dead. Dead. Slain.
Now what do I do with your body

Well considering OSJ's love of plants I vote mulching... we've garden materials to hide the lot in or at least a surefire catch of shovels if we can find their supply shed.

Oh haha I might as well let you know to stop yourself while you're ahead; Drowning is on a hiatus with no current end in sight. I decided to rewrite the "first few chapters" and miiiiiight have gotten slightly overambitious with it 😬 And I am already well aware of the multitude of problems and inconsistencies the current iterations have lol. You will absolutely not hurt my feelings if you don't leave a review because the whole thing is looking like it's getting canned, anyway.

That's a shame I was liking the ideas you were pursuing, inaccuracies non-withstanding. Considering you've a huge catch of lore aka chapters knocking around with a lot of promising ideas in them... well an old trick I did when I wrote myself into a similar corner was break the lot down into ficlets. Fragments and stories so I could preserve what I liked, play with it a bit in my head to smooth things out, and use various reader reaction to the lot as a springboard/sounding board as to what worked, what didn't, than went back and started the work and was able to revisit the original story with a clearer head and avoided the missteps that I'd made when I started out.



I'm glad you liked the zombie mon section...

Here's a blurb on lists in writing I dug up...original source for the blurb


Punctuation is used to separate the items in the list. The usual way of doing this is to place a comma after each item in the list:

The school has a vegetable garden in which the children grow cabbages, onions, potatoes, and carrots.

The last item in a list is often preceded by the words and or or. Some writers and publishers always put a comma before the word and or or but it isn’t wrong to leave it out.



Alright... so I was in the wrong on my advice about the comas so I apologize for spreading bad data. The rule that applies to the segment I was going on about, the team Magma Base segment as you originally have it, is correct per the fifth rule in the guild I provided. Thank you Pen for catching me on that! I stopped reading after the first because I though it applied to the situation in your text. I'll leave the resource up with my correction and delete my segment about it on the review.

Detailed
comas and lists rules page.
 
Last edited:

Starlight Aurate

Ad Jesum per Mariam
Location
Route 123
Partners
  1. mightyena
Well considering OSJ's love of plants I vote mulching... we've garden materials to hide the lot in or at least a surefire catch of shovels if we can find their supply shed.
:D
Hey OSJ, I found some more fertilizer for your plants!

That's a shame I was liking the ideas you were pursuing, inaccuracies non-withstanding. Considering you've a huge catch of lore aka chapters knocking around with a lot of promising ideas in them... well an old trick I did when I wrote myself into a similar corner was break the lot down into ficlets. Fragments and stories so I could preserve what I liked, play with it a bit in my head to smooth things out, and use various reader reaction to the lot as a springboard/sounding board as to what worked, what didn't, than went back and started the work and was able to revisit the original story with a clearer head and avoided the missteps that I'd made when I started out.
Well I do intend to post it all, it's just the 900 reviews on the first chapter pointing out the same problems by each different person made me realize it needed a rewrite lol. And unfortunately for myself my brain is ENORMOUS and I've felt the need to give every character backstory and have deepened the lore and mythology in it. We also recently learned about statistical power analyses in class and I feel the need to incorporate that in there. So the rewrite is QUITE the rewrite, lol.

But! If you are looking for more Aqua/Magma, @OldschoolJohto has written "THE" Aqua/Magma fic on these forums, Continental Divides. It is read and widely praised by pretty much everyone (including yours truly), so you might enjoy looking at it!

I'm glad you liked the zombie mon section...
It was a very unique take and I quite enjoyed it!

Alright... so I was in the wrong on my advice about the comas so I apologize for spreading bad data. The rule that applies to the segment I was going on about, the team Magma Base segment as you originally have it, is correct per the fifth rule in the guild I provided. Thank you Pen for catching me on that! I stopped reading after the first because I though it applied to the situation in your text. I'll leave the resource up with my correction and delete my segment about it on the review.

Detailed
No worries at all! I am horrendous when it comes to grammar and punctuation lol and I appreciate the advice and help you tried to give!
 

DeliriousAbsol

*Crazy Absol Noises*
Staff
Location
Behind a laptop, most likely with tea
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. mawile
Oh man, this was so 'dog' it was wonderful. Have you ever read Katt vs Dogg by James Patterson? It's a kid's story, but the characters
are very cat and dog, and Mighteyena's speaking mannerisms often reminded me of that. Especially how everygthing is 'the best ever' even
if the same thing happens every day XD

Mighteyena was delightful. I do enjoy pokemon POV stories, and I don't often read trainer 'fics. But this was great. His relationship
with Tabitha is very sweet, and puts into light that - bad guy or not - the games' antagonists still love their pokemon.

You did a good job of making those houndoom downright unlikeable. I like dogs, but those are bad dogs. And they very much were
bad dogs in this scenario. If Tabitha had understood them, I feel he wouldn't have stood for their treatment of his friend.

A few thoughts:

The blackness of the shadowy world twisted and turned about Mightyena as he passed through them. But it didn’t bother him. It was something all Dark-types could do.

Oh interesting! I'd not considered this as an ability dark-types might have. Slipping through shadows seems a ghost-type thing to me,
but this is a neat twist! Using the dark to his advantage. Such a clever boy =3 And the fact he can take his trainer with him? Well...
that's one way for Team Magma to sneak up on Team Aqua!

The Houndoom opened an eye and smiled cruelly at Mightyena. “Upset? I just want some affection while my human is gone.

The fact she's trying to make him jealous, which isn't a good quality to begin with, is just plain cruel. I add this to the list
of reasons I don't like houndoom XD

After half-mindedly sniffing out a Zigzagoon, he caught the shrieking creature in his fangs.

“Oh, please, let me go!” the prey Pokemon cried. “I haven’t done anything! And you’re domestic—why would you eat me, anyway? Won’t your human feed you?”

Aww ='( I know it's nature, but the poor thing!

The Cacnea’s eyes were wide with fright as she eyed the syringe with distaste.

Totally relatable. I sympathize, Cacnea, I really do.

I’m a Golbat. I’m common—a ‘com mon,’ as our kind call it.

Hah! XD This amused me!

Other Pokemon mattered more to him. He had me stored away with other Pokemon at his professor’s lab. Other Pokemon were cycled in and out. I was stuck there.

Burn on absolutely every pokemon trainer ever 8D *hides in shame*

For the first time, the commonality of his specie hit Mightyena. The Houndoom were foreign, rarer—special. He was a Mightyena. His kind was found all over the Hoenn region, in every patch of grass and swath of trees. There was nothing special about him.

He was replaceable.

Noooo! You're a billion times better than any icky houndoom! You're a hyena-dog-thing, and you're lovely! I mean, those things
don't even look like they have fur, and you have a lush mane. Much nicer to pet than a nekkid doggo.

He shut his eyes and borrowed his snout into the crook of his leg.

I think this should be 'burrowed' or 'buried'

“I have left. Don’t come looking for me. I’ve made up my mind. I’m not coming back.”

Mightyena looked at the indecipherable scribble on the paper before him.

“I don’t know how to write!” he realized. And that just made him feel even more sad.

This was like sad comedy. I wanted to cry and smile at the same time. Very cute, too.


After a few minutes, Tabitha asked, “Can we go inside now, please? I really hate the rain.”


This felt like such a Team Magma quote XD


The ending was very sweet, and comical with Mighteyena booting Tabitha from the bed without realising it. I'd never thought animals
could have night terrors, but our old dog once woke up from a nightmare and panicked. It makes you wonder how much like us they can
be with dreams and mental health. But other than that, picturing Tabitha resigning himself to the dog bed was hilarious.

This was very well done! I believe this is the first time I've read any of your work? I really enjoyed it. Your style flows well
and is very easy to picture, and the canine point of view with the world painted through his various senses was certainly colourful and vivid. I'd never thought of houndoom as smelling 'not quite dead' before! I loved reading the antics of this 'best boy'. Thank you for writing this little delight =D
 

WildBoots

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
Help, my heart. So cute.

Also, oof my heart: Safari ate my pull-quotes. Skimmed to find them again, but I might’ve missed something I meant to talk about. 💀 I just reacted to lines in order for this one~

Mightyena’s thick, matted fur.
Matted?! No way. Tabitha has got to be brushing this gud boi.

He never smiled at other humans.
Omg, Tabitha, never change.

and then Tabitha did desk work,
I wish what was emphasized here were instead a Very Important Task that Mightyena does while Tabitha does (actual) work, like guarding the door or chewing a rawhide.

Mightyena huffed. “No thanks. I’ll go outside while you have human-talk.”
Love.

Or maybe human eyesight and smell were so bad that even they couldn’t notice the base.
Haha, this is great. Poor humans, I must help them. I also like the doubt—he’s not totally sure what humans can do.

His bushy black tail wagged.
I’m not sure we needed this one! We’re nerds: we know what mightyena looks like. And I’m not convinced it’s something he’d emphasize about himself.

Maybe they would go on a walk through the jungle, or if it was raining they’d play inside.
But it’s not raining now?
He even brought Tabitha with him!
😮 Good boy!!

It smelled acrid, fleshy, like death and decay—but not quite dead. Only mostly dead.

Houndoom.
Oh, fun take on this species.

“Couldn’t hazard a guess,” the female Houndoom said.
Missed opportunity that they don’t have other names for themselves!

His human smiled and bent down to be eye-level with Mightyena.
*bent down to eye-level.
I think you can trim words and it still works.

he could smell the stale sweat and cooked rice scents that always seemed to linger around his human.
I love these details! Great characterization for Tabitha (but no tea?!) and emphasizes how much Mightyena uses smell. I wish each character here had an olfactory introduction!

Tabitha smiled. “I never roll in the dirt; that’s always just you.
Oh wow, I didn’t realize how literal his understanding is. (Lol at this very hood suggestion from mightyena.)

Getting up, Mightyena started to plod over to Tabitha—but the female Houndoom got up at almost the exact same time, walked over to Tabitha, and placed her head in the human’s lap.

Tabitha looked slightly surprised—but he still reached down and began petting the Houndoom’s head.
Oh man, from Tabitha’s perspective, I can imagine how this is just, “Aww yeah, the boss’s pokemon like me. Employee of the month.”

Tabitha said idly. He traded off between patting the Houndoom’s head and patting Mightyena’s.
I was picturing him doing bongo drums on their heads. Bongo doggos.

why would you eat me, anyway? Won’t your human feed you?”
A little bit of trickster rabbit vibes here.

tongues lolling from their mouths.
You’ve got this in a couple places. Just “tongues lolling” works. (Where else would their tongues be, right?)

his spirits low and his tail trailing on the ground
Oh no, baby. (Tail/trail is a little funky though. Dragging?)

After all, Tabitha’s bed was still Mightyena’s bed.
I want to play up that it’s mightyena’s bed that Tabitha also sleeps on, lol.

The Cacnea’s eyes were wide with fright as she eyed the syringe with distaste.
Omg did you just—

“Ma’am, please,” Claydol said again, “your wound is infected, and we can’t give you the bandages until—”

“Help! Help! I’m being repressed!” she shrieked.
People protesting masks in 2020.

“He and Breloom are away for a bit. Asked us to take care of patients for him,” Golbat said while Claydol levitated some bandages and began binding Cacnea’s wounds. “Where’s yours?”
Wow, lots of trust from Derek! Also, lol, this has sort of a Rugrats feel of the kids having adventures while the parents are away.

“The Houndoom?” Claydol said with a shudder. “I can’t stand those things. I can’t sense their presence, I can’t feel their minds, and they always give me creeps.”

“You can’t sense me, either!”

“But at least you don’t slink around, acting all suspicious. Your body language is easy to read. But there’s just something else that’s off about those two.”
Aww, friends. Interesting that only Mightyena seems to put weight on them being the boss’s pokemon—maybe because he’s more hierarchically-minded?

“Oh, you know Tabitha—the kindest, sweetest, most loving human ever—”

“He’s an asshole,” Golbat said.
OMFG yes. I’ll take the entire stock. (Though I kinda wish this would’ve cut off at “most loving.”)

“And he stopped the grunts from partying and told them to go to bed early.”

“An early bedtime is needed for everyone to perform at their peak!”
Good job, Tabitha-mom.

“If Tabitha is so perfect, why are you here while he’s with someone else’s Pokemon?”

Mightyena’s ears drooped and his tail fell as he sat back down on the floor, hanging his head.
Oof.

Or maybe it’s time to let him go.”

“Let him go?!”
Omg are they breaking up?

I’m a Golbat. I’m common—a ‘com mon,’ as our kind call it.
Hmmmmmmm

My specie didn’t matter to him.
*species
This one caught you a couple times.

“Maybe your first human—Bob, or whatever his name was—didn’t care about you.
I kinda wish this one had gone the direction of Humie the Human (like Pinky the Skitty or Mighty the Mightyena). Like, does Mightyena know which human names are over-used?

“Where am I supposed to sleep?”

“You can always sleep in that bed I got for you.” Tabitha gestured to the large, untouched cushion lying against the wall.
Oh noooo, baby.

“No! Bad boy!”
💔

The repetition on these was great.

He would leave a note. Going to Tabitha’s desk, he jumped up and put his forepaws on the top of the desk, picked up a pen in his mouth and left the message:

“I have left. Don’t come looking for me. I’ve made up my mind. I’m not coming back.”
OMG HE CAN’T WRITE
I am deceased.
Omg he can run away and find Nate. Perfect team: can’t read meets can’t write.

The sky outside reflected Mightyena’s dismal mood: dull clouds blocked out the sun and blocked out the blue sky. The occasional thunder rumbled in the distance. A few drops started falling from the sky. He missed Tabitha already. It was starting to drizzle—Tabitha hated drizzles.
I love how Mightyena’s judgement of the weather stems from whether Tabitha likes it. (Because it’s possible a dark-type would like gloomy days, right?)

“Mightyena, don’t leave! Please, come back!”
Omg wait did he understand the scribble???

“I—I gave you everything! When your younger brother was kidnapped and your home village burned to the ground, I chased after those kidnappers with you!
Wait holy shit, I didn’t expect an actual backstory drop here.

Mightyena’s tail wagged as his heart soared. “Even if it means leaving Team Magma?”

Tabitha didn’t respond. He stayed on his knees, water dripping off him, staring stonily at Mightyena.

“Tabitha?”

“We don’t need to go over hypothetical scenarios, Mightyena. But I love you and I will always stick by you.”
🙃🙃🙃 Hahaha

Antagonism is our thing.”

“Y—you just—you were just mean to me because you felt like it?”
Lol

I forgive you.”

“We’re not sorry,” the female Houndoom said,
LOLLLLLL

Tabitha laid on the large cushion he had originally bought for Mightyena, thinking that his chances of getting any sleep were better there.
Oh, perfect. Happy ending. Holy moly.

Two final thoughts: 1) omg if houndoom are meanest to those close to them, my guess as to why Maxie left them behind is that he needed a break, lol. They’re probably the worst to him. 2) it’s interesting that none of the pokemon seem to care about Groudon. They’re in it because their humans care.

This was way cuter than it has right to be. Genuinely laughed at a lot of these. Very fun read. Do another. :D
 

Starlight Aurate

Ad Jesum per Mariam
Location
Route 123
Partners
  1. mightyena
Sorry for falling behind on these! Real life is chaos 🙃 But thank you both so much for these lovely reviews!

Oh man, this was so 'dog' it was wonderful. Have you ever read Katt vs Dogg by James Patterson? It's a kid's story, but the characters
are very cat and dog, and Mighteyena's speaking mannerisms often reminded me of that. Especially how everygthing is 'the best ever' even
if the same thing happens every day XD
I have not, but that definitely sounds like the vibe I was going for! XD

Mighteyena was delightful. I do enjoy pokemon POV stories, and I don't often read trainer 'fics. But this was great. His relationship
with Tabitha is very sweet, and puts into light that - bad guy or not - the games' antagonists still love their pokemon.
Thanks! If there is one creature Tabitha has a soft spot for, it's Mightyena :P

You did a good job of making those houndoom downright unlikeable. I like dogs, but those are bad dogs. And they very much were
bad dogs in this scenario. If Tabitha had understood them, I feel he wouldn't have stood for their treatment of his friend.
Absolutely not! Tabitha loves Mightyena and he would never have let those bad dogs be so mean to his one and only good boy.

Oh interesting! I'd not considered this as an ability dark-types might have. Slipping through shadows seems a ghost-type thing to me,
but this is a neat twist! Using the dark to his advantage. Such a clever boy =3 And the fact he can take his trainer with him? Well...
that's one way for Team Magma to sneak up on Team Aqua!
I actually got the idea from Negrek's fic, Salvage! I thought it was neat, and it became headcanon for me XD

Totally relatable. I sympathize, Cacnea, I really do.
Hahaha I definitely do not like shots either XD

Hah! XD This amused me!
Heh, I saw it in PMD stories and decided to throw it in here :P

Burn on absolutely every pokemon trainer ever 8D *hides in shame*
I'd be lying if I said this didn't also apply to me lololol

Noooo! You're a billion times better than any icky houndoom! You're a hyena-dog-thing, and you're lovely! I mean, those things
don't even look like they have fur, and you have a lush mane. Much nicer to pet than a nekkid doggo.
Hearing you say that would absolutely have made Mightyena's day <3

I think this should be 'burrowed' or 'buried'
Good catch! Thank you!

This was like sad comedy. I wanted to cry and smile at the same time. Very cute, too.
I honestly cried and laughed many times while writing this haha XD

The ending was very sweet, and comical with Mighteyena booting Tabitha from the bed without realising it. I'd never thought animals
could have night terrors, but our old dog once woke up from a nightmare and panicked. It makes you wonder how much like us they can
be with dreams and mental health. But other than that, picturing Tabitha resigning himself to the dog bed was hilarious.
My parents' dog used to cry at night, and sometimes I still hear him whining and moving about in his sleep. I wonder what goes on in their heads when their heads!

This was very well done! I believe this is the first time I've read any of your work? I really enjoyed it. Your style flows well
and is very easy to picture, and the canine point of view with the world painted through his various senses was certainly colourful and vivid. I'd never thought of houndoom as smelling 'not quite dead' before! I loved reading the antics of this 'best boy'. Thank you for writing this little delight =D
Thank you so much! This is so far the only piece I've written where the Pokemon communicate with each other using human dialogue and it seems to have gone over well so far! Thanks for leaving this very heartwarming and wonderful review <3 I'll do what I can to catch up on The End soon, since real life is slowly starting to calm down!

Also, oof my heart: Safari ate my pull-quotes. Skimmed to find them again, but I might’ve missed something I meant to talk about. 💀 I just reacted to lines in order for this one~
Oh nooooooo D: I hate it when that happens. All the same, thanks so much for stopping by! I'm amazed you re-wrote the review o_o You really didn't have to haha, but I appreciate it all the same!

I wish what was emphasized here were instead a Very Important Task that Mightyena does while Tabitha does (actual) work, like guarding the door or chewing a rawhide.
Ah, a missed opportunity! Mightyena does get plenty of opportunities to do Very Important Tasks. But he also loves to play and snuggle.

But it’s not raining now?
Sorry for the lack of clarity on that--if he and Tabitha are schedule for a play date but it rains outside, then snuggling inside is their backup plan.

Missed opportunity that they don’t have other names for themselves!
I knooooooow it's this weird headcanon that I have that I probs SHOULD let go for everyone else's sake but I essentially have it that Pokemon don't think of each other in human terms and wouldn't use human "names" for each other and instead identify each other with other markers. Obviously no one can know that without me saying first though lol and I end up never explaining it.

I want to play up that it’s mightyena’s bed that Tabitha also sleeps on, lol.
Haha whatever belongs to Tabitha really belongs to Mightyena, Tabitha is just allowed to use it.

People protesting masks in 2020.
Omg I did not have that in mind at all when I wrote this XD I thought of that scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the peasants are trying to talk to King Arthur and whenever he argues back they shout, "Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

Wow, lots of trust from Derek! Also, lol, this has sort of a Rugrats feel of the kids having adventures while the parents are away.
I never watched Rugrats! But yes, he and his Pokemon are very close and trusting.

Aww, friends. Interesting that only Mightyena seems to put weight on them being the boss’s pokemon—maybe because he’s more hierarchically-minded?
He only puts emphasis on them belonging to Maxie because that's what Tabitha emphasizes and values.

Omg are they breaking up?
Even WORSE than that

*species
This one caught you a couple times.
I said this to kintsugi; I think it's because I use the word "specie" a lot in work in school, so even though it's correct in a biological sense, I'm not sure if it's correct or incorrect in a narration.

I kinda wish this one had gone the direction of Humie the Human (like Pinky the Skitty or Mighty the Mightyena). Like, does Mightyena know which human names are over-used?
I didn't think that far into it and just had it in mind that Mightyena didn't remember or didn't care the name of Golbat's previous owner lol

Oh noooo, baby.
It broke my HEART to write that part.

OMG HE CAN’T WRITE
I am deceased.
Omg he can run away and find Nate. Perfect team: can’t read meets can’t write.
It hurt to write that but I was also gigling when I did. And I don't think Nate would like Mightyena very much; he's too happy-go-lucky for him, heh.

I love how Mightyena’s judgement of the weather stems from whether Tabitha likes it. (Because it’s possible a dark-type would like gloomy days, right?)
Of course! And after such a difficult break, every single thing he sees reminds him of Tabitha.

Omg wait did he understand the scribble???
I seriously considered writing that in XD

Wait holy shit, I didn’t expect an actual backstory drop here.
Oh I had more in here before I realized, "eh, that's reaching."

Tabitha is absolutely not ready to consider the possibility of leaving Team Magma.

Two final thoughts: 1) omg if houndoom are meanest to those close to them, my guess as to why Maxie left them behind is that he needed a break, lol. They’re probably the worst to him.
Omg XD I gave him Houndoom because that's what he had in the Pokemon Special manga, ha. I'd think that his houndoom are much better and less antagonistic to him.

2) it’s interesting that none of the pokemon seem to care about Groudon. They’re in it because their humans care.
100%. Awaken a god? Meh. My human wants it? Best plan ever!!!

This was way cuter than it has right to be. Genuinely laughed at a lot of these. Very fun read. Do another. :D
Thanks so much! I truly enjoyed reading your review; it brightened my day :) But I am not at all confident in my ability to do this again lol
 
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