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    Derek had never liked dark, spooky places. But here he is, sitting on the cold, damp grass with a snoozing Honedge lying on his shoulder. His back was stiff from leaning on the monolithic structure for hours. He didn’t know the exact time, but from the full moon shining right above the stone circle, Derek guessed that it was around midnight.

    Drawing a long sigh, the Chimchar rubbed his hands together, trying to get some warmth. The air had been quite chilly tonight, or it might have been the Honehenge’s nightly spooky atmosphere. This place was a hot spot for Ghost Types so there’s no wonder. They tend to make the temperature drop significantly when they gathered around in a large group. A flicker of light from his peripheral vision caught his attention. Turning around, he saw a couple of giggling and laughing Litwicks hopping towards the edge of the stone structures. Their ghostly bluish purple flames danced and flickered around, bathing the whole clearing in an ominous blue light. Their giggling didn’t help Derek’s nerves in the slightest. He jumped in both surprise and fright when someone cleared their throat directly behind him.

    “WHA–“

    “Sorry! Sorry!” the Pokémon quickly exclaimed, bringing his/her paws up. Derek exhaled loudly and gulped, while trying to calm his erratic heartbeat down. The Chimchar quickly identified the unknown ‘mon as a lone, male Buizel a few years older than him. Though, he’s quite short for a Buizel, as he matched Derek in height.

    “Can I help you?” the fire type finally asked, folding his arms around his shoulder.

    The Buizel rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. “Yeah... well... you’re on the Guild Errand right?”

    “Yeah...”

    The water type squirmed slightly under Derek’s unblinking gaze. “Well, can I join you for  the moment, until the Ghost types appear that is.” He said the last part quickly.

    Derek blinked. “Oh... huh. Well,” he shrugged and then said, “I don’t mind.” Honestly, he’s in desperate need of some companion instead of a practically useless Honedge who was blissfully sleeping away.

    A wide, grateful smile stretched across the Buizel’s face. He quickly settled right beside Derek and sat down before he turned to look at the longest Honedge he had ever seen in his life. “Is that–“

    “No, he’s a friend of mine, who was supposed to accompany me in the look-out but he dozed off a few hours ago.” replied Derek with an annoyed scowl. “Well, I’m Derek by the way. What’s yours?”

    “Logan.” He replied, taking a good look around the Honehenge. “You’re alone then... so, what about those ‘mons over there?”

    Turning his head to the direction that Logan had gestured, Derek shrugged. “The stone circle is quite huge. The guild members agreed to divide the whole place into small ‘territories’.” He quoted the air, “So I took this part... and so far, no Ghost types had appeared.”

    “Huh. How long have you been here?”

    “About five hours... I think.”

    Logan blinked. “Five... I see– Look! There!”

    Both Pokémon quickly spun around. Between the two identical stone slabs that stood a few feet from them, wisps of dark energy had gathered and swirled around, forming a dark purplish sphere of pulsing light. Logan quickly stood up and approached the ball tentatively, his arm raised as if to touch it. Before he could take five steps however, the dark energy dissipated into thin air, revealing a stout looking Haunter whose eyes were scrunched up as if in pain.

    “Hi?” the Buizel uttered uncertainly, not sure of how to approach a newly formed Ghost. Hell, the errand files didn’t even specify how to actually greet and calm a Ghost. The Haunter opened its dark brown eyes and took in its surroundings in confusion.

    “W-what? Where...”

    From the voice alone, Derek identified the Gas Pokémon as a male. He quickly went to Logan’s side and offered his hand. “Hey... uh... welcome to Andalusst.” He said lamely, mentally kicking himself for not coming up with a more appropriate greeting.

    “Andalusst?” the Haunter stared at the Chimchar and Buizel duo, eyes furrowing in beffudlement. “But... that cannot be! I’m– I was... I– I was at the mines...” his voice trailed off, before he noticed his own floating claws and his eyes widened. It was as if the gravity of the situation had fell on him and the Haunter let out a bone chilling wail.

    “No! No! This cannot be!” Logan looked at the Haunter pityingly as he let out a sob. The ghost type had his claws on his face. “This cannot be... “ before he knew it, the Haunter had his claws clasped on Logan’s shoulders while his wide, terrified eyes stared into Logan’s green ones. “Did anyone else appear before me? Tell me!” he demanded. Logan cringed as the claws digged into his arm slightly. “Tell me! Please!”

    Derek was quick to react. “You’re hurting him! Calm down!” he pried the Haunter’s trembling hands off the water type. “Just calm down, take a deep breath, and tell us what you remember.” He said.

    It took awhile, but the Ghost type finally settled his sobs into sniffles. He gazed sadly at the two young Pokémon in front of him. “P-perhaps... may I know your names first, lads?”

    “Ah, well, I’m Logan, and this is Derek.”

    The Haunter gave them an awkward sort of bow. Being a ghostly Pokémon with virtually no body, it looked like he was giving them a now. “At your service.... though I can’t seem to remember my name...” he trailed off. He shook his head and wiped his eyes.

    “Okay... well...” Derek coughed. “Why don’t you tell us what you remember? Best get it out of your system.” He ignored the look Logan was giving him. The Buizel thought that this was a bad idea.

    “Derek, I think we should–“

    The Haunter cut him off with a wave of his hand. “N-no... it’s fine...” he said, repressing the urge to let out another wail of sorrow. “W-well... what I remembered... is that me and my brother... with a nephew of mine... went to explore a large... a-abandoned mine or dungeon with several other ‘mons.” The images and memories were starting to come to him now, but they were hazy, sort of... veiled by something. He shook his head. “We went deeper and deeper and then... there was this... group of sorts.... and-and they start attacking... there was s-so much blood and bodies and... o-oh...” he clenched his eyes shut as a rather vivid image of a ‘mon he felt a close kinship with, getting skewered over. “L-lots of screaming...” he continued, “And then... cold... the rest were lost to me... they were lost! Why did I ever suggest that expedition in the first place?!” The Haunter was openly sobbing and wailing now as the last of the memories rushed through his head. “M-my brother... my nephew... a-all of them...”

    Tentatively, Derek reached out to pat the Haunter’s back. “Alirght, alright. You don’t have to continue if you don’t want to.” He said.

    “That was the last thing I remembered.” The Haunter croaked.

    “S-so... that’s all?” Logan uttered. “Remember anything else?”

    The Ghost type shook his head.

    Derek sighed and nodded. “I guess that’s it... Hmm... Logan, can you take him to the team stationed at the square? The real guys will handle this.” He whispered whilst calming the Haunter down.

    Logan nodded and gently grabbed one of the Haunter’s claws. “Well, I’ll take you to the Healers and Response team, Mr. Haunter. They will take care of you.” He said.

    “A-alright.” He nodded slowly. His eyes drooped to the ground. “I’m really tired... and confused... but... thanks for your help lads.”

    “Anytime.” Derek gave the Ghost an encouraging smile.

    The Haunter let out a long sigh and followed Logan out from the mysterious stone circle. Derek saw him sway a few times, but the Dewott had kept him steady. He puffed out slowly and turned to the slab or rock where Cael had rested. The sword was still blissfully unaware of what had happened. Derek rolled his eyes.

    Before he could lie himself down on the grass however, a flash of light caught his eyes and he saw the same wisps of energy forming right in front of him. Groaing, the Fire type stretched his stiff back and waited until the ball dissipated. This is going to be along night.

Errand #11 - Ghostly Attendance
Client: Robin
Errand: #11
Date Issued: October 30, 2014
Date Due: November 3, 2014



Teams:
Stormfront
Aecor

Cameos:
Cael the Honedge © Quarteon01
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    Ramzi’s Tavern and Grill was packed with every sorts of Pokémon. Ardor had to crane his neck to spot the elusive and incredibly annoying Dewott within the crowd. To his irritation, he failed to discern the Water-type’s location and had thought that the Dewott was simply pulling a prank on him—a thought that occupied his mind for the past five hours.  

   “Can I help you, sir?”

   Ardor turned his attention to the Sandslash that had addressed him, clad in rich red and gold trimmed vest. The Quilava gulped down the small feeling of panic down his throat and spoke, “Er, yes. I’m with–”

   “Reservation under Sharpe, table for two, nine o’clock.”

   With a muffled groan, Ardor spun to meet the sea-green eyes of Fennec. The Dewott had an easy-going grin on his face as he patted the Fire-type’s shoulder. “I was wondering when you’d show up,” he said. “Got us a nice, comfy spot. You’ll like it.”

   “Here you go, sir.” The waiter took out a receipt and wrote something on the surface before he handed it to Fennec. “Table 6. A waitress will be right at you. Enjoy your dinner.”

   “We will.” Fennec nodded, slipping the receipt into his shirt pocket. “C’mon.” He grabbed Ardor’s paws and pulled the Quilava through the row of tables. 

    Ardor was tempted to crush the Dewott’s paw but refrained from doing so due to the number of looks he was getting from their fellow patrons.

   “Did this young chap lose his way?"

   ”I pity his date.”

   He had never felt so embarrassed and self-conscious in his life. He tugged on his simple white hoodie uncomfortably and focused on the back of Fennec’s head instead.

   Table 6 was located on the other side of the restaurant. It was propped on a semi-secluded corner decorated by vine-draped walls and intricately-carved wooden paneling depicting great trees and forests. The table itself was draped in maroon velvet cloth neatened up with Arranysan embroidery. 

   “You picked a nice place,” Ardor remarked, glancing around the restaurant which was decorated with Mediterranean finery as a Delcatty waitress came with a large bottle of wine and an ice bucket. “Must be pricey.”

   Fennec shrugged, rolling his neck as he observed the waitress pour him and Ardor some wine. "I'm someone with fine taste," he said, picking up the glass and sipping some of its contents. "What's the point of being well-off if I don't spend my dough on pricey pricey stuff? Can't say the same about you though." The Dewott furrowed his brows at Ardor's choice of attire. "You look like you're dressed for some jogging...and you turn up 30 minutes late. Where's your manners?"

   Ardor tugged at his simple hoodie as his face flushed slightly in embarrassment. "It's not like I know where this place is,” he murmured, thinking back to his uncharacteristic fussing over his wardrobe and the odd look Darius was giving him. The sleeveless white garment was the best possible option other than his dress robe –which was a no go. He really hated that formal attire. He eyed Fennec’s stylish, but casual black button-up shirt a little enviously. Shaking his head, he continued, “And did you even see the line outside? You just came out of nowhere as far as I know." The stoat turned to look at the waitress as she handed both of them a steaming bowl of soup.

   Chuckling, Fennec quipped, "For a Master, you don't seem to know every nook and cranny of this place like I expected you to. Maybe...I should lower my expectations." The glass in his hand was replaced with a napkin as he flicked it open and laid it on his lap. "You look out of place really."

   The glass of wine stopped halfway towards Ardor's mouth. He was now staring wide-eyed at the Dewott. Taking a deep, calming breath, he exhaled, "And how did you know that, pray tell?"

   "Don't look so shocked," Fennec returned with a bright smile. "Think some random Dewott would ask ya out just like that? You probably know everything about me, so why shouldn't I know everything about you?" He sampled his soup. "Mmm, delish."

    Closing his eyes, Ardor exhaled loudly through his nose. "Your reputation isn't too far off, Sharpe. Did you make it a habit to know your 'victims'—" he quoted the air, "—before you asked them out?"

   "Yup." He seemed rather nonplussed by the question, as if he had been asked that many times before. "But I'm taking a hiatus...so you don't have to worry about me thinking of poisoning your food."

   As if on cue, their waitress came back with a tray of exotic dishes.

   “That was fast...,” Ardor thought before his eyes focused on the tray, widening slightly as they registered an assortment of mezze, complete with yogurt and artichoke salad. "Whoa... wait. Did you order this on purpose?"

   “Better.” The Dewott popped a slice of köfte into his mouth, chewing it slowly to savour the taste. "I made it especially for you. Worked here as a part-timer so convincing the owner wasn't too difficult."

   Ardor blinked in surprise.  “You made these?” He found the notion to be quite far-fetched. Frowning in confusion, he picked up a stuffed Qualot berry and popped it into his mouth, letting out a satisfied sort of voice from his throat as he devoured the food. "You know, this is really good." he remarked, taking another piece. "I'm surprised, really... did you really cook these yourself?”

   Fennec simply rolled his eyes in response. “It's not big of a deal. I just taught myself to survive, that's all.” He propped his elbow on the table. “Cooking is only one of my many talents.”

   “Well, I know some of these are quite hard to make,” Ardor pointed out. “You really have one hell of a talent if you can prepare something like this as if it was nothing.”

   Peering at Ardor with a flat gaze, the Dewott huffed, “You give out praise too easily.” He picked some more of the food to his plate, but not much.

   “That praise happens to come from someone who lived in Fȳren for more than 17 years,” was Ardor’s flat reply. “Need I say more?”

   Fennec hummed flippantly. “Well, in any case, what do you do for a living?”

   Ardor opened his mouth.

   “Besides your primary job of course.”

   The Quilava raised his eyebrow and shrugged. “I joined the Hunters Guild as an apprentice, and have a part time job at the new dojo downtown.”

   Fennec’s muzzle pulled into a small smirk as he regarded Ardor mirthfully. “Is that all? You're not very good at hiding your assassin aura.”

   “For a wanted fugitive, you're not hiding yours very well either, Sharpe. Not worried that the Zigzagoon detective to sniff you out?” Ardor retorted, taking a souvlaki from the serving plate. “And what about your Lucario associate by the way? It has been a while since I saw him. I recall both of you were from the same organization.”

   “Technically speaking, most don't know that I exist.” Fennec smirked. “I can be a painter, a florist, an alchemist, anything you can think of. And I wasn't really trying to hide my identity as a former Reverse member. What's the point when it's all been destroyed?” The Water-type sampled a bit of his tarama and took another sip from his glass. “As for Noir, I haven't really revealed myself to him yet, but I will sooner or later. He was a great partner, particularly when it came to sex~” he giggled. “He'd pound me until I was sore, so, so sore~”

   Ardor had an odd look on his face. He blinked twice and shifted on his seat, giving the silver-haired Dewott an odd look. “I...see,” he coughed.

   “Is there a problem?” Fennec’s grin grew darker.

   “Well, no. It came as a surprise for me I guess.” Ardor shrugged, trying to get the notion of Fennec and Noir being together out of his mind. “Well, you sure aren't bothered by the fact most of the Royal Guards are still looking for you after your serial killing spree,” he uttered, lowering his tone slightly.

   A chuckle rumbled from the Water-type’s throat. “Like I said, I'm a Kecleon. That busybody Zigzagoon can't prove that I killed all those Pokémon.” He scoffed. “No one is going to miss them, now that their secrets have been exposed.” He paused as the waitress came back with the main dish and took the appetizer away. “Well, let’s eat for the time being. You don’t want to let the food grow cold would you?” Fennec said, digging his utensils into the meat.

   Rolling his eyes, Ardor cleared his plate and began to fill it with the new dish that had been laid out in front of them. He had to admit, Fennec’s cooking skills were beyond everything he could ever imagine. Soon, both plates were empty and the two Pokémon were drinking their wine in a satisfied silence.

   Gulping down his last glass of wine, Fennec draped his napkin over his plate and pushed his chair out. "Well, this has been fun," he voiced out, gesturing for the waitress who had been waiting for them.

   “How can I help you, sir?” she asked.

   “Yeah, can we have the bill?”

   The Delcatty nodded with a smile. “Certainly, sir.” Her onyx eyes lingered at Ardor, who was staring back at her with an eyebrow raised. “You have a really cute boyfriend by the way,” she teased as she flipped through her receipts.

   Ardor choked on his wine.

   “I do, don’t I?” Fennec replied cheekily, nodding at the bill before giving the Delcatty some Stars. “I’ll see you around then.”

    Ardor stared as the Dewott slowly made his way to the exit. Exhaling loudly, he quickly followed the Water-type into the streets outside. It was bare of any Pokémon, as it was close to midnight, but there were trickles of ‘mons here and there, mostly nocturnal ones. Ardor quickly fell into step with Fennec.

   “So, that's it then?” the Fire-type prodded. “You kissed me out of the blue, invited me to dinner without me having a say, and then just walk off like that?"

   Fennec shrugged, smiling at Ardor. "You don't seem to enjoy my company, so why should I make the effort?" he asked, tapping his foot.

   "You're the most confusing 'mon I've ever met," Ardor muttered, eyes twitching.

   "At least I'm special," Fennec chirped, leaning on a lamp post as he stopped. He puffed out some air his fingers before the Dewott queried, "Why are you licking your lips, hmm?"

   Ardor stopped what he was doing immediately. "It's a habit of mine," he admitted, feeling a little bit foolish. "I tend to do that at random."

   "Oo~ Mr. Master is lying~" Fennec giggled, grinning from ear to ear. "He actually likes my taste~"

   "I do not," Ardor retorted with a half-hearted glare.
   
   "Hmm..." With a single stride, Fennec devoured the distance between them, their breaths mingling. "That blush is not convincing me~"

   Ardor tried to inch his head away, but Fennec's sudden grip on his shoulders somehow froze him on the spot. "S-shut up." He attempted to intensify his glare, only to meet the otter's sea green eyes.

   Smirking from the reaction, Fennec poked his tongue out and moistened his lips, lowering his eyelids slightly. "You make my heart skip a beat as well," he uttered smoothly, leaning in and pressing their lips together as he hugged the Quilava closer.

   Freezing, again, for the third time of the day, Ardor's eyes shot wide open. His heart was beating hard against his ribcage as his brain tried to comprehend what was transpiring. His body on the other hand, seemed to have other ideas, as he found himself slowly, but hesitantly, returning the kiss.

   The Dewott tilted his head to deepen his canoodling, intertwining his fingers with Ardor's forepaw digits. He opted to take it slow, passing on prodding for entrance in favour of simply enjoying the feel of the Quilava's surprisingly soft lips on his. He eventually broke away, pressing his forehead against his new boyfriend's and tenderly peering into his eyes.

   "Nice to meet you, Ardor."

   Ardor simply flushed, an awkward smile colouring his features. “Y-you too, F-Fennec…”

Zanker Haus - Part 2
Part 1|Part 2

This little story here stems from the number of discussions and RPs I had with Senso ever since I joined PMDU. I had never imagined that one of my characters would be shipped with anyone, much less from one of the best writers in the group. Well, the ship had set sail, no turning back now. Well, read and tell me what you think. :)

NB: Thanks for Setsuna-Senso for proofreading this. :) (Smile)

Fennec Sharpe © Setsuna-Senso
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    “I heard that the others will arrive soon. That true?”

    Darius inclined his head. “In about four to five days, if they have a smooth journey,” he mused. “They didn’t take the same route as we did.” The Shiny Blaziken adjusted the dark grey cloak that was fastened on his shoulder. “They will also bring three Novices with them.”

    “I see.” Ardor nodded. His brow creased slightly as he bit his lower lip. He couldn’t help but worry over that piece of information

    A small chuckle rumbled through Darius’ throat. “Have more faith, Ardor. Odius and Nikandros will guide our Brothers trough the Pass safely.” He took a gulp from his tankard. “You of all Pokémon shouldn’t feel so worried.”

    Ardor exhaled, a rather embarrassed smile plastered on his face. “I know, it’s just... Eight of our Brothers coming here from Fȳren, three of them Novices... Wouldn’t it attract their attention?”

    Darius knew very well whom Ardor was referring to, but he only smiled. “As a Master, you should trust your Mercenaries’ skills and capabilities more. They’ll make it through. I’m sure.”

    “Alright then,” the Quilava replied with a drawn out sigh. The two Mercenaries leading the journey were his best friends, of course he would worry. Shaking his head, he ran his paws through his hair and stood up. “I’m going out for some fresh air. Be back later.”

    “Don’t stay out too long then.”

    “Yeah, I won’t.” Ardor exited the small pub and into the streets. “As if I would stay out for hours on end.”

    The early afternoon air that greeted him was cooler than the air this morning, a great relief for most of the Pokémon that lived in Andalusst. Summer had officially started, and the temperature had risen drastically over the last few days. Being a ‘mon who was born and raised in the dry hot valleys and plateaus of Fȳren, the current temperature didn’t affect him much. In fact, the dry, summer winds would be considered moderately cool and refreshing in Fȳrenian standards; nonetheless, it was still warm. That was why Ardor had opted to wear a simple sleeveless tunic. His regular cloak would heat up to uncomfortable levels under the sun and he would get weird looks from the locals.

    Sighing, Ardor went into a slow, but leisure stroll around the general area around the pub, passing several Pokémon as he did so, while simultaneously picking up the conversations that had caught his ears, a skill that had turned into a habit after several years apprenticing in the Brotherhood. From what he had gathered, there had been talks of an upcoming party hosted by the Iaponese Ambassador as thanks for ensuring her safety in Andalusst.

    Well, that should be interesting. Ardor was now wondering what the Froslass had in store for them. She might throw a Iaponese summer festival if his knowledge on the eastern country was right. They loved to have huge parties to celebrate nature and seasons and so on from what he had read.

    He was brought out from his musings as he passed by a rather inconspicuous looking building to his left. It didn’t look like much but the distinct, rowdy roar of an excited crowd definitely caught his attention. Casting a long, dubious look at the two-storey wood-and-brick building, Ardor shrugged and stepped inside.

    The room beyond the door was poorly lit: a few dusty Chargestone lamps hung along the walls and on the ceiling; the windows on either side of the door were covered with a thin, canvas covering which bathed the whole room in a pale yellow light; the walls were bare, covered with white paint, which was chipping around the edges, and the floorboards creaked when Ardor moved across it. The dull roar of the crowd sounded much louder now.

    “You here to fight or watch?”

    “Hmm?” Ardor turned to look at the Medicham at the counter.

    “You want to fight or to watch?” the dual-type repeated, eyeing the Quilava as he approached the counter. “You seemed to be the fighting type.” She nodded approvingly at Ardor’s prominent muscles.

    The Quilava blinked and shifted under the Meditate Pokémon’s rather critical gaze. “A fight?”

    The Medicham raised an eyebrow. “Yes. This is a fighting club, didn’t the sign tell you?”

    “...There are no signs outside.”

    There was an audible curse from the Medicham as her face twisted in annoyance. “Must’ve been ripped off again, damn those kids... Ah, well. Welcome to the Zänker Haus. You can participate in our daily spars and fights or just watch the ones that are on-going.” She paused to catch her breath. “Entry fees will be three Stars for fighters and one Star for spectators. You still can participate in the fight if you want, so it’s fine either way,” she concluded with a shrug. 

    Ardor hummed thoughtfully, weighing his options. He could participate, and perhaps have a good workout, but that would take hours, which in turn would induce Darius’ annoyance. He doesn’t approve being late. If could also opted to watch the fight, and leave whenever he liked.  Well, he supposed that a little viewing wouldn’t hurt.

    Nodding to himself, the Quilava dug into his money pouch and handed the Medicham one Star. She took it with a nod and handed Ardor a small card of sorts.

    “Fill that and give it to Warden if you want to work that body of yours,” she said with a small smirk.

    “Warden?”

    “Yes,” the Medicham huffed, gesturing to the swinging door to the side of the counter. 

    “The Granbull. His name is Warden. Just go through there.”

    “Ah, okay then. Thanks.” Ardor nodded and pushed the doors open. He found himself passing through a short dark hallway and was soon inside a large hall filled with cheering and shouting ‘mons. The hall was a simple square opening, stretching two floors above with a balcony surrounding the whole area. A set of stairs were built right beside the corridor for easy access to the balcony on the second level. The ones who couldn’t get a good view on the ground level had gone up to view the on-going fight from the top.

    The fighting ring was the strangest thing Ardor had ever seen. It wasn’t in the default circular or rectangular shape, but was a large octagon instead. The floor of the ring was padded with soft clay, firm enough to stand and move around in but soft enough not to cause any bruises if one fall, and it was bordered by sturdy canvas walls hoisted by strong wooden poles. Ardor supposed that the owner of the club had given some thought on the wellbeing of the fighters.

    There was an audible pitying “Oooh!” from the crowd as the Quilava walked up the stairs to the balcony. He made his way to look over the railing just in time to see a rather scruffy and tough-looking Machoke delivering a powerful punch right into the cheek of a Zigzagoon half its size. Ardor was surprised that the Normal-type merely stumbled back, looking disoriented but definitely still able to fight. The Zigzagoon was thin, but not overly so, with a rather thick tail and messy fur. He had the lithe, speedy built of a fighter, definitely not the power type, and those calculating blue eyes... well, this had to be an interesting fight.

    The Zigzagoon in question was spitting out red from his mouth and regarding his opponent with a slight cock of his head. The hulk of a Machoke grinned challengingly and banged his bandaged fists together.

    The raccoon rolled over as the Machoke charged in. But he had misjudged the Fighting-type’s strategy and didn’t see the Machoke’s foot coming. Ardor could hear the air rush out of the Zigzagoon’s lungs as the foot collided with his stomach. He staggered backward, almost tripping in the process. Shaking the dizziness out of his head, the Zigzagoon blinked at the crowd before he focused himself back to the fight. The Machoke lunged again, and to his dismay, the smaller Pokémon sidestepped it with ease and countered with a solid uppercut to his jaw.

    There was a thunderous roar and applause from his supporters and betters.

    To everyone’s surprise, however, the Tiny Raccoon Pokémon gave a curt nod to the Machoke. A smile was sketched on his face. “Well done. Thank you for the fight.” And he began to walk away.

    The Machoke wasn’t pleased with the Zigzagoon’s actions, however, as he snarled. His voice thundered above the roar from the crowd. “Hey! We ain’t done yet!”

    “Not done. Finished,” came the Zigzagoon’s reply. He heaved a sigh and exited the ring. 

    “And, as I said, thank you.”

    The Machoke’s face twisted in disgust. He strode a couple steps forward and spat contemptuously at the Zigzagoon, catching him on the back of his head. The raccoon-like Pokémon stopped as the crowd suddenly fell silent. He felt the back of his head and sniffed it.

    “Hmm... Westron Gin,” he pronounced, loud enough to be heard by the entire hall. He turned around and walked back into the ring with the approving roar and applause from the crowd. The Zigzagoon was now eyeing the Machoke with a new calculating look. Ardor could almost see the gears turning in the Zigzagoon’s head.

    The Machoke banged his fists again and fell into his combat stance. What he and the onlookers weren’t expecting however, was the Zigzagoon’s sudden movement and speed, hitting the Machoke with a series of superfast jabs and hooks, incorporating a foreign style of martial arts Ardor had not seen before. The fight ended when the Normal-type delivered a swift kick to the Machoke’s knee, who buckled down and fell over, knocked out. The Zigzagoon had turned away just as the giant of a Fighting-type fell over the ring barriers.

    The crowd had fallen silent, unsure if they liked what they saw, but Ardor was impressed. 

    To take out an opponent less than a minute, and with a type disadvantage at that, was something worth admiring.

    “Well then,” someone coughed from within the crowd below. A Granbull in a simple black shirt and white vest waded his way through the mass of ‘mons and stood in the middle of the ring as the Machoke was dragged out into the infirmary. “The fight goes to James Holford by knockout. Congratulations. Next, we have Fennec Sharpe and Cormac Mc–oh?” He stopped as one of the fight house’s attendants came up to him and whispered something intangible. The Granbull blinked.

    “Ah. It seems that Mr. McDowell wouldn’t be able to fight today,” Warden informed the crowd. 

    There were collective groans and boos from the audience. 

    “But Mr. Sharpe has agreed to select an opponent from the crowd,” he added, much to their surprise. Excited whispers began to spread around the hall. 

    Ardor leaned on the balcony, looking down to the Dewott that was leisurely sauntering into the ring. 

    “This match will be utilizing melee weapons. Anyone who wishes to participate—please move forward to the edge of the balcony or in front of the ring.”

    Fennec watched with a small smile as the majority of the crowd moved backwards to the walls. Only a handful of the audience strode forward. He counted an eager looking Mawile, a Simisage with a smug grin, a brute of a Feraligatr, a pensive Golem, and a jittery Wartortle. And he hasn’t counted the ones on the balcony yet. But one particular ‘mon caught his attention. It was a male Quilava, and he stood out from the rest of the volunteers on the balcony. Well, primarily because of his exotic dark olive green and tan fur, and that firm, muscled stature of his...and partly because the Quilava looked to be the most likely candidate able to withstand his attacks.

    This will be interesting indeed.

    “Mr. Sharpe, if you will,” Warden prompted.

    The Dewott grinned in reply and pointed right at the Quilava on the balcony. “Him.”

    Ardor stared and blinked. “Me?”

    “Yes, the exotic Quilava on the balcony.” The Dewott grinned cheekily. “You seem to be quite the fan~”

    Ardor frowned slightly.

    “Right,” Warden coughed, interrupting the Dewott before he could make his new opponent aggravated. “Mister Quilava. If you would proceed to the changing room to prepare. The match will continue in five minutes. In the meanwhile, you both can prepare yourself.
The rest of the volunteers grumbled and went back to the slowly applauding crowd. Ardor caught the evil stares given by the Feraligatr and Simisage from down below as he made his way towards the stairs. Warden was waiting for him on the bottom of the steps, nodding before he led the Quilava towards the changing room to the side of the hall.

    “Would you require any arm warps, Mr. Quilava?” the Granbull asked, motioning for the number of bandages, gloves, and many other things that were displayed on the cabinet mounted to the side.

    “It’s Ardor, and no, I don’t think I will need any,” the Fire-type replied as he untied the strings of his tunic and pulled it over his head. “And...um, the receptionist said I should give this to you if I wanted to fight?” He handed the small slip of paper to the Granbull as he stored his clothes on the locker shelves.

    Warden nodded. “Ah, yes. Thank you. Just remember to pay two extra Stars to Irma on the front desk since you decided to participate.” 

    “Even if I win?”

    “Yes.” The Granbull nodded. “Fight is in three minutes. Best prepare yourself.” With that, he left Ardor to his own devices.  The Quilava exhaled softly as the burly Pokémon left. Somehow, he had a sinking feeling that the day’s surprises weren’t over yet.


    Fennec was leaning on one of the poles as Ardor entered the fighting ring. The clay ground felt like hardened earth beneath his feet. He glanced around, seeing the looks from the expectant audience around him. Some were sending sneers and shouting encouragement to Fennec instead. The Fire-type rolled his eyes.

    Warden came with a large weapon rack wheeled by two Pokémon behind him. He strode toward the centre of the ring and addressed the crowd. “This will be a match between Ardor and Fennec Sharpe. The winner will be determined by hit points. The fighter who scores two hits or K.O.s their opponent will be declared the winner.”

    Ardor took a deep breath and exhaled, flexing his shoulders and arms as Warden rambled on the rules. Fennec was doing the exact same thing from his side of the ring.

    “And, without further ado...” The Granbull turned to the two ‘mons. “Fighters, choose your weapons!”

    Glancing at his opponent, Ardor went to the weapons rack and browsed through the assortment of swords, daggers, and spears. It didn’t take him long to choose a sabre from the selection of swords. It was quite heavy but well-balanced. Ardor frowned when he felt the blunt edges on the blade. It would seem that they weren’t meant to cut their opponents open. Oh well.  

    Fennec, on the other hand, simply held both of his hands out, forming a condensed ball of bluish energy between his palms; it grew larger and larger until it was a sizeable orb of snow and ice. Then, it exploded into a myriad of snowflakes. 

    Ardor fought to keep his jaws closed. The collective gasps from the crowd told him that they were just as impressed and surprised as he was.

    Gripped between Fennec’s paws was a large double-bladed glaive made entirely of pure, crystal-like ice. The shaft was a long smooth frosted ice, widening slightly as they melded into the blades, with tendrils of ice warping around the central blue gem which seemed to pulse with energy. The blades were pure white, almost silvery in texture, and shaped like a leaf, tapering into a sharp point on the end.

    “Do you like it?” The Dewott grinned, stroking the flat edge of the blades. “It took me a couple of weeks to perfect the shape and size of this.”

    Warden could be heard choking slightly from the sidelines. “W-well... that is a really fine weapon, Mr. Sharpe.” He cleared his throat and stood up straighter. “Right. Fighters! To your positions!”

    Ardor snapped out of his stupor and briskly paced to his end of the ring and fell into stance. Fennec had crouched low with his glaive held behind him, while his other arm stretched forward, smirking at the Fire-type. From the corner of his eye, Ardor could see several Psychic-types erecting barriers around the perimeter of the ring. Perhaps they realized how dangerous this fight will go, especially with the crowd gathering around them. Ardor’s grip on his sword tightened slightly.

    Meanwhile, Warden had taken his position on the small podium to the right of the ring, where he quickly addressed the crowd and the fighters. “Fighters at the ready... in three! Two! One! Fight!”

    Fennec moved right when the Granbull struck the bell. He hefted the glaive over his shoulder and flung it at Ardor, who sidestepped it quite easily and charged. The Quilava swung his sabre in a wide arc, which was dodged by the Water-type who lashed his feet against Ardor’s, causing the Quilava to trip. The Dewott quickly somersaulted and snatched the glaive from the ground before throwing it towards his opponent. Ardor ducked the spinning bladed spear and closed the distance between him and the Dewott. Blocking the incoming punch, the Quilava swiftly slammed the flat side of his blade against Fennec’s chest.

    “Impressive,” he remarked, swerving out of the way as the glaive come spinning in. The Dewott caught the weapon expertly. To Ardor’s surprise, the weapon split into two short swords with a simple twist on the shaft. Smirking slightly, Fennec brought both of the blades up and slammed both of the flat surfaces together, creating a high-pitched sound wave which disoriented Ardor who hissed and clamped both of his paws on his throbbing ears. The psychic barriers rippled from the noise itself, thankfully muting the ear splitting noise to a bearable level outside the ring.

    Taking advantage of the momentary lull in concentration, Fennec lunged and swung his swords downwards, only to meet Ardor’s sabre. The icy surface of the glaive cracked beneath the force as both Ardor and Fennec pushed both of their blades together.  “You look cute when you’re in pain,” the Dewott snickered. He rolled his wrist around, using the momentum to push Ardor’s smaller weapon down before he swung his other sword in a sideways arc. Ardor didn’t have time to react before the blade smashed against his cheek, sending a jolt of coldness running down his body.

    Shaking off the cold, Ardor glared at the Dewott and swung his sword to the side, releasing the hold on his blade before hitting the back of the hilt to Fennec’s stomach. The Water-type staggered as the air rushed out of his lungs. The Quilava quickly twisted his body around his opponent, gripping and twisting Fennec’s arm, putting enough pressure to force the otter to release one of his swords. It fell with a loud clatter to the ground.

    Thinking quickly, Fennec tipped himself a bit before he jumped, hitting Ardor’s jaw and releasing himself from the Quilava’s strong grip at the same time. He then proceeded to flip the Fire-type and slam him on his back, effectively knocking the breath out of him. The Dewott quickly twisted his body around and straddled Ardor’s chest, eliciting a wheeze from his downed opponent. He leaned his face close to the stoat and chuckled. Before Ardor knew what happened, Fennec planted a lingering kiss on his lips while pinning his paws down.

    The roaring crowd fell silent.

    Ardor’s eyes flew open as he felt the other male’s lips on his. Reacting on instinct, he quickly bit, hard, on the Discipline Pokémon, who immediately recoiled out of pain. He was about to knock the Water-type off him, but Fennec held his paws firm to the ground.

    “What the hell you think you’re doing?!” Ardor all but snarled.

    Fennec wiped his bloody mouth, looking at the amount of blood that managed to smear his fur. He chuckled. “Feisty. I like you,” he answered with a wink. “I was scoring a hit. What did you think? That counts, right?” He turned to look at Warden, who blinked at the rather unorthodox display of crippling an opponent.

    “Ah, oh.” The Granbull cleared his throat and nodded. In a louder voice, he said, “Fight goes to Fennec Sharpe in the two-out-of-three-hits bout!”

    There was a slow, but steady applause from the crowd as the psychic barriers dissipated and a roar as Fennec bowed to the audience. He turned and helped Ardor up on his feet with that annoying grin plastered on his face. Swiping his silvery white bangs out of his eyes, he gave a once over to Ardor and nodded to himself. “Dinner. 9 o’clock. Ramzi’s Tavern and Grill. Don’t be late.” He winked and turned his body towards the exit, leaving a stunned and flabbergasted Ardor.                                                                   

    “H-hey! What the in oblivion—OY!” Ardor growled and took after the Dewott. But the otter had disappeared within the cheering and cat-calling crowd.

Zanker Haus - Part 1
Part 1| Part 2

This little story here stems from the number of discussions and RPs I had with Senso ever since I joined PMDU. I had never imagined that one of my characters would be shipped with anyone, much less from one of the best writers in the group. Well, the ship had set sail, no turning back now. 

This is the second appearance of Fennec Sharpe in my stories. If you're curious, Fennec had appeared as the primary antagonist in one of my other PMDU stories. But here, he serves as one of the main "good" characters. And this is my first attempt of writing in the romance genre, so any advice will be welcomed, but please keep your flames or rants to yourself, thanks. Well, that's that, and enjoy.

now lemme just go over there and...idkthisisquiteembarassinghelpme

NB: Thanks for Setsuna-Senso for proofreading this. :)

Fennec Sharpe © Setsuna-Senso
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    Derek took another sip from his warm Grepa juice as the Iaponese Ambassador– who he had leaned to be called Ayami, floated past by. His claymore Honedge partner was floating beside him, looking quite engrossed on his activity of observing the number of Pokémon that had attended the party. The ghost sword turned his single eye towards two certain guests that had joined them on the bar. He was surprised to see a Doublade,  as his kind were quite rare, and somehow, he hadn’t seen any Honedges, Doublades, or even Aegislashes lately, even if the city had lots of them floating around.

    Perhaps he ought to venture out more.

    “Hi! Welcome to Avalodge.” Cael heard the ambassador's cherry voice as she greeted the two guests. “What can I get for both of you?”

    "Oh, um... I'd like an Apple Cider, please!" The Braixen replied as he shifted his orange vest snugly around his torso.

    "Dude. That's alcoholic. You sure?" One of the swords that followed him interjected, echoed by the other.

    "Yeah man, you're a lightweight!"

    The Braixen’s face pursed in annoyance. "Weren't you guys the ones to tell me to have fun once in a while?"

    "... Good point." The first sword replied before turning to the Frosslass. "Two for the handsome swords too, please!"

    “Sure!” Ayami giggled at their antics, feeling more than happy to oblige.

    Cael chuckled to himself and decided to continue to his activity of observing the guests. The Avalodge was definitely crowded with various sorts of Pokémon he had ever seen. There was a lone, bored looking Phantump sitting by the Avalugg tables, eyeing someone who was face painting a few tables away. A pair of blue robed Lucario and Honedge walked past him, seemingly to be deep in discussion about the upcoming ice sculpting contest.

    “But... a bust would be simpler, wouldn’t it?” the Lucario complained. “Come on, Ven. I’m not that skilled.”

    “Which is why I purposed a Pidgeot statue.” The Honedge replied evenly. “It won’t be that hard, Zenneth. Trust me.”

    Cael could hear the blue cloaked Lucario grumble and disappear from view. With that, the Honedge went back to his sight-seeing. There were sure a lot of ghost types today, he mused, with an abundant amount of fire types. Perhaps that was why Derek seemed perfectly fine when he was shivering badly at his arrival with Ardor.

    And speaking of the devil...

    “Afternoon, Ardor.”

    The thickly robed Quilava nodded. The sword noted with amusement, that Ardor had a really bright yellow ‘mask’ painted on his face. It’s quite simple in design, but Cael would recognize a Verinzian styled carnival mask right away. It even had small, gold swirls around his eyes.

    “Afternoon, Cael. Enjoying yourself?”

    Cael’s green scarf swished lazily. “Quite, yes.” His eyes gleamed. “You got quite the artist, I see.”

    Ardor chuckled. “I’m surprised myself.” He nodded to the shiny Noibat who was flying towards a bright pastry cart attended by a Zoroark. “Despite what he said, Lapis’ work surpassed mine by great lengths.”

    “Lapis?” Cael blinked and looked towards the blue furred bat that was currently helping the Zoroark to sell the pastries. “Oh, I see. Interesting name...  Well, have a drink Ardor. It won’t be another hour before the Ice Sculpting began.” Cael intoned brightly. “I trust you and Derek already have something in mind?”

    Ardor hummed. “Actually, we will be partnering with other teams for that contest.” He said. “Derek had partnered with a Frogadier by the name Zach and his Togepi teammate..” Ardor nodded towards the hooded Bubble Frog Pokemon a few seats away. “The twins had agreed to help me and Lapis, on the other hand.”

    Cael blinked his sole eye, once. “The twins? You sure the ice won’t melt before you three fire types could even begin?

    A snort came from behind Ardor. “Then we will make sure the Nevermeltice wouldn’t melt, if it can melt in the first place.”

    “Glad you two can make it.” Ardor grinned, turning around on his seat to greet the two newcomers, his eyes shuffled between the Houndours. Both Nicolò and Alessandro were identical in the looks department: having the same set of bright amber eyes, same face structure, and even identical V-shaped skull-helmet on their heads. Their only difference was their build and hair. Alessandro had his medium length hair tied in a short ponytail and had a more muscular build. Nicolò on the other hand had shorter hair and a leaner but sturdy frame. But more or less, it would be quite confusing to differentiate them if not for Alessandro’s ponytail.

    Stessa cosa.” Alessandro replied, grinning. He adjusted his dark brown winter coat around his shoulders as he and his twin brother took the empty seats between Derek and the Phantump. “No wonder you told us to bring some winter clothing. It’s freezing in here.” He added, grimacing slightly.

    Ardor smiled wryly. “Derek didn’t bode too well with the cold either.”

    “As if you fared better.” The Chimchar retorted.  Ardor waved his paw dismissively.

    “Well, anyway. Have you two decided on what we should sculpt?”

    It was Nicolò who replied. “We have thought about several ideas, but we agreed to make the–

     “Le Grandi Torri di Guardia.” Alessandro supplied.

    “We had planned to make a large scale replica, which means–

    “–we will need at least five large ice blocks to make it.” Alessandro added.” And did you bring those small Chargestone lanterns we asked?”

    “Yes. It’s with Derek at the moment.”

    Nicolò grinned. “Great! It will illuminate the tower nicely–” 

    “–from the inside of course–”

    “–and the ice particles should reflect the lights very beautifully.”

    “Perhaps we should carve an opening between the ice blocks so we could place the lanterns inside.”

    “Yes, that should do the trick.”

    Ardor blinked and shook his head to get rid of the impending dizziness. Watching the two talk is like observing a tennis match.  “Wait, wait. Le Grandi– you meant those two famous ivory watchtowers?”

    Sì.” both intoned.

    “The ones that burned down with the city?”

    Both Houndours’ smiles faded, slowly replaced by a tight frown. Both looking quite uncomfortable with the subject.

    “Yes... We would like something to remember and preserved from our home...” It was Alessandro who had spoken.

    “Ah, alright.” Noticing their agitated body language, Ardor quickly changed the subject. He could relate with the two hellhounds. Watching your home burn and your family member die in one single day... it couldn’t be pleasant.

    “Well, I think you should know, arts-and-crafts aren’t my strong subject, or even my other partner, so to speak.”

    Alessandro chuckled. “Just leave the carving to us. You and that Noibat can help by cutting the basic the blocks into shape.” His eyes wandered about. “Well, we still have some time, right? I’ll just be with that Braixen over there.” He grinned, sauntering towards the fire type with the Doublade pair.

    Nico let out an exasperated sigh. Ale, this isn’t the time to flirt around!

    His words fell on deaf ears however, as Ale went to sit with the Fox Pokémon.

    Dei boni...” Nico muttered under his breath and went to order a drink with a small, annoyed scowl.

    Ardor’s eyes followed Ale as he conversed with the Braixen. He couldn’t hear what they were discussing, but it would seem that the fire fox was quite amused that Ale went to flirt with him. The Houndour seemed to have invited the fox to the bar as the two stood up. The Doublade stayed where they were though, waving their magenta scarf-arms as the fire types left.

    "...why not, if you don't mind a guy like me." Ardor heard the Braixen’s mirthful voice as their voices entered his hearing range.

    Nico chocked slightly at his drink, stifling a laugh as he looked at his twin brother’s stunned face.

    "Wait. Sei un maschio?!" the ponytailed Houndour asked.

    The Braixen blinked. “What’s that mean?”

    “He just asked that if you’re a guy.” Nico translated with a small snort.

    "Oh, yep." The fox replied, his bushy tail swished around. "I don't mind guys though. Gotta say, you do look cute~"

    Somehow, Ale managed to get through is initial surprise and his shocked face had returned to his award winning grin. With a chuckle, he replied, "Thanks. You look fine yourself."

    It was Nico’s turn to look dumbstruck. Cael couldn’t help but laugh out from the amount of hilarity while Derek observed the interaction with a choked smile. Ardor just snorted and shook his head in amusement.

    “Gods... I should’ve known.” Nico groaned, but there was an underlying satisfaction in his voice, as if he had solved a centuries old mystery.

    Derek made a coughing noise and stood up. “W-well.” He fought to keep his face straight. “I’m going to see Zach and Drew over there.” He nodded to the Frogadier and Togepi team.

    “Yeah. Go ahead.” Ardor nodded, stuffing his cold paws into his wintercoat pocket. His paw fingers immediately brushed against the ring which he had secured inside. A thought occurred to him.

    “Nico, can you come with me for a second?” he requested. The Houndour in question shrugged and nodded.

    Derek watched them stood. “I’ll see you later then.”

    Ardor nodded as the Chimchar left the bar to join his Ice Sculpting partners. Derek observed as Ardor turned to Nico and walked slowly to the other end of the bar. “Do you remember the ring?” His voice was pensive.

    The young Houndour’s ears perked up. “Yes...” he replied hesitantly. “How could I not?”

    The rest of the conversation was lost to Derek’s ears as the two fire types disappeared into the crowd. He wondered if they were talking about the journey they had taken a few weeks earlier. To where, Derek didn’t know. But Ardor had returned with the twins and another ‘mon with a ring made of pure silver and a small wooden box which jingled when the Quilava handed it to Darius.

    Shaking the thoughts out of his head, the Chimchar warped his loose scarf around his neck and walked past a stage which had been set up the other day. He watched in wonder at the finely dressed ‘mons bearing various musical instruments. One of them stood out from the most, seeing that the particular Zigzagoon was clad in a thin white shirt and a simple black jacket, looking quite miserable. Derek couldn’t help but feel pity to the normal type, seeing that he was shivering from the cold. But he couldn’t do anything at the moment, unfortunately.  

    “Hey! Over here!”

    The Chimchar blinked and looked around to find who had called him. He then spotted Zach waving from his seat. Smiling a bit, the fire type went to join the two Hunters and began to discuss what they should be making tonight.

    Meanwhile, Jim Holford sneezed as he drew his jacket collar over his neck. At least it provided some warmth. He huffed at his own negligence. Not only he had forgotten to wear warmer clothing, he had also forgotten his newly acquired scarf back at his flat. He had been informed that formal wear was the dress code for musicians for the night, but he had somehow forgotten that Avalodge had a concentrated winter climate.

    Oh well, no use crying over spilled milk.

    Shivering from the cold, the lanky Zigzagoon went to retrieve his trusty violin from the case and plucked the strings to test their pitch. He struck some notes to determine which ones would need tuning. Satisfied, he decided to play an excerpt from Ungarische Tänze No. 5 to make sure he had everything right. His violin was working well so far.

    As Jim was about to test another piece to get his strings going, he started to realize that he was being watched by someone. The Zigzagoon turned with furrowed brows  to see a Grovyle observing him with fascination written across his face. The Grovyle blinked when he realized that Jim was now staring back at himself, and he promptly averted his gaze away.

    “F-forgive me. Er...did I bother you?” the grass type coughed, directing his gaze back to Jim sheepishly.

    Jim raised his eyebrows. “No, no you didn’t.” he responded, taking in every detail of the Grovyle with his cold blue eyes. What he found was definitely interesting.

    Strong, lithe build...nimble claws...subtle dent on the fingers...ink and chemical stain on sleeve... interesting way to fold a dorsal-leaf...Aaah, I see now.

    “Isaac, wasn’t it?”

    The stunned expression on the Grovyle’s face was enough for an answer. “Er, how did you...”

    “You told me yourself. Just now.” Jim replied. “Well, that, and I’ve read every record on new members. I simply piece the facts together.” He added.

    Isaac blinked. “I see...” he shifted awkwardly.

    Seeing the Wood Gecko’s discomfort, Jim sighed and extended his paw for a handshake. “James Holford. I don’t believe we had met, which is strange since we are in the same guild.”

    “Nice to meet you, Mr. Holford.” The grass type took Jim’s paws with his own claws. “And indeed? Well, in that case, your previous statement makes more sense now.” He chuckled good-naturedly.

    “Right. Just call me Jim... or James. Whichever you prefer.”

    Isaac smiled. “Alright.” He adjusted his white coat as he prepared his own instrument –which turned out to be a violin to Jim’s interest. “Do you play often, James?”

    “Not really. I play it only when I have nothing to do or I need to think.” Jim replied, humming to himself. “Hmm... I trust you to have adequate violin skills?”

    “Indeed I do.” Isaac replied. “I play my violin often, just to spend the time.” He seemed to realize something as a small frown creased on his forehead. “Are you alright? You look kinda cold.”

    “Hmm? No, I’m not cold. I’m feeling quite well.” The Zigzagoon replied untruthfully. He sneezed. “I’ll be fine in a few minutes.... I think you should do some warm ups with your instrument. The cold is not good for the sound box and string.”

    The Grovyle nodded, though he still looked a bit skeptical about Jim's current condition. “Thank you.” He then went to tweak and tune his violin, making sure that he had every string in the correct pitch while humming a random tune to himself. “Hmm... what should I play... oh yes... That would do.” The Grovyle grinned and began to bow a cheerful and light melody. The Researcher-slash-pseudo detective immediately recognized the bubbly serenade that practically skipped out of Isaac’s violin.

    “Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major.” Jim uttered, impressed by the skill Isaac was showing.

    Eine kleine Nachtmusik” Isaac nodded in agreement once he finished the Allegro, happy that someone recognized one of his favourite Wolfgang pieces.

     Jim turned around as several ‘mons applauded by the little show, his mouth quirked upwards. “Oh, look. We have an audience.” He chuckled as  Isaac gave a small bow to the applauding crowd, grinning slightly.

    “So it would seem.” Came the reply.

    A thought occurred in Jim’s mind as they went to regroup with the other musicians. “Hmm... How’s your Sight Reading skill, Isaac?”

    The grass type grinned brightly in response. “More than adequate I suppose. Why do you ask?”

    With a sideways glance, Jim went to reach inside his satchel pocket and pulled out a thick manila folder. He then gave it to Isaac. “I composed this piece from an idea that I had for a while, and I haven’t had the time to test out the duet part. Would you mind playing the second violin?”

    Isaac stared back and forth between Jim and the composition he held with shock written on his face. He found himself at a loss of words. It was a waltz. Slow, melodious, and hauntingly beautiful. He did not need to read through the whole composition to guess that Jim had put a lot of passion and pieced the melody brilliantly.

    “I’d be honoured.” He managed to choke out.

    Jim’s grin was blinding.


    The sports competition went well into the night.

    Tristan had never felt this spent in his life before, or feeling extremely invigorated as well. The soccer match he and Tor had participated went off and finished with a blast. Some of the participants are young ‘mons were between mid-teens to 20 year olds, but it was very fun indeed.  It was too exciting that the Prinplup couldn’t recall how many goals were scored by his team that day, but he did remember Tor being a very effective and fearsome striker.

    Around three in the afternoon, an exhausted Tristan decided to retire and went to get some refreshments inside the bar, while Tor –who somehow had an impossibly large amount of energy today, went to exert his remaining energy by playing a rather intense game of Dodgeball. The shaggy haired Buizel who had initiated the game had invented some really interesting variations. One of them was called Sulagest if Tristan recalled correctly.

    “Right then lads! Th’ rules are simple. Anythin’ goes in this game.” The Buizel shouted, sporting a rather manic grin. “Gather dirt to throw at yer enemy's eyes? Have something to knock’em off ther’ feet? Use Protect to shield yerself? Heh! Anythin’ goes as long as yeh dun’ go maulin’ the other team!”

    Needless to say, it was quite the brutal game ever.

    Tor came out victorious, which wasn’t really surprising, for Tristan anyway. He supposed that his teammate’s military training and Special Ops background had helped on his timing, reflexes, and power . But the Shinx did not walk out without a scrape. Tristan counted a swollen eye, at least a dozen bruises and cuts all over his chest and legs, and a mildly sprained ankle.

    And their resident doctor was not amused.

    “Good gods Tor! Did you get into a bleedin’ bar fight already?!

    “Dodgeball, Leo. It’s Dodgeball.” Tor replied with a loud groan as Leo forced him to sit down on the nearby bench.

    The Vaporeon’s eyes widened. “And since when did a simple Dodgeball turned into some barbaric game?! No, don’t tell me. It’s the freaking Stone Age! ‘Course a harmless game would be quite brutal.” He remarked, flapping his arms about. “Vest off.” He added.

    “You would want to direct that question to Slick.” Tor remarked.

    “Slick?”

    “That pirate wannabe Buizel who invented the Sulagest mode.”

    Leo blinked. “Sula– what?”

     “Brutal mode, if you prefer,” Tristan butted in, but Leo directed his glare to the Captain.

    “Hey, hey, hey,” Tristan found himself shrinking away from the angry water type. “I can’t just–“

    Leo interrupted him, his paws clenched. His voice was deathly calm. “You know what? Just shut up... and let me work.”

    “...okay.”

    “Hush!”

    Less than five minutes later, and a lot of hisses and yelps from Tor’s part, Leo stowed away all of his rudimentary pastes and ointments into his faithful medical bag and shooed the disgruntled, but much better Shinx and their Captain away. Packing his bag up, the Vaporeon made his way towards the bar. “Stupid, adrenaline crazy officers and crazy detectives.... I really need a break.” He muttered, straightening the hem of his jacket.

    He went pass the ice sculpting corner, pausing to gawk one particular structure that was slowly taking shape. A tower, he realized.  It was a detailed replica of a Renaissance bell tower. Well, it looked like a cross between a bell tower and a watchtower when he took a closer look. Leo had to admire the amount of detail that were carved into the ice blocks. Two Houndours were busy carving the tiny windows and tiny details of the façade while a Quilava and a shiny Noibat, both had at least three layers of clothing, was carefully cutting the ice blocks into smaller pieces. Leo also noticed that there was a circular hollow dent in the unfinished structure. A quick glance to the side revealed that the three fire types had planned to place two white and blue coloured lanterns inside, which would illuminate the tower in bluish white light.  

    This should be quite the spectacle.

    The Vaporeon soon found himself sitting by the bar, conversing with the many healers and scholars from the Researcher guild while enjoying several cups of warm Iaponese beer. As Leo reached for his third glass, soft music began to waft through the lodge, drawing everyone’s attention to the stage. A quick glance told Leo that the dancing competition had started, with a Dusknoir in a formal suit announcing the rules and whatnot. Anyone could enter provided they wore suitable clothing. This is to say, formal wear.

    “Hello there. I was wondering if you would be here and there you are.” Someone giggled. “Mind if I join you?”

    Leo turned to face the owner of the voice. “Hmm? I don’t mind– oh.” His eyes were suddenly drawn towards the eerily familiar blue eyes which belonged to a familiar Braixen. “Ah, hello again.”

    Matsuri’s face broke into a broad smile. “Hi there, doctor.” She slipped to the seat next to Leo’s. “How’s the Researchers doing for you?”

    “Oh, well. Lots of experiments and pouring over old documents.” The Vaporeon shrugged. “Beer?”

    “No thank you.” The Braixen replied politely, running her paws through her immaculately curled red hair which fell down through her backs in soft waves, framing around her face perfectly. And there are her brilliant blue eyes, like a storm brewing in the midst of a bottomless ocean–

    ‘Get a grip Leo.’ He berated himself. ‘There’s no use, and there’s definitely no chance for an old ‘mon like you.’ He sighed, slowly realizing that the Braixen had been talking for the last five minutes.

    “...and I had to drag Toshi out from his room. He wasn’t so happy when I had to levitate him out.” The vixen giggled to herself. “Well, that’s old grumpy Toshi for you.”

    “I see.” Leo nodded absently, sipping his beer. He blinked when he realized that Matsuri was not regarding him with a rather wistful smile. “What? Something on my face?” he wiped his mouth with the back of his paw.

    “Oh, nothing, nothing.” The vixen quickly replied, looking thoughtful. “You know, I was wondering... well, it’s really out of the norm, but... would you like a dance?”

    Leo choked on his beer so badly that Matsuri and a Banette had to pound his back. After he calmed down, he settled back on the stool, still coughing, and took calming breaths. “Thanks.” He muttered to both ‘mons.

    “You’re welcome.” The Banette replied. Leo was trying hard not to stare at the Unown that had somehow become the ghost type’s necklace. It blinked back.

    “A-anyway.” The Vaporeon turned his attention back to Matsuri, who was now looking at him in concern. “You said something about d-khf-ancing?”

    “Well, if you don’t mind.” She smiled brightly.

    Leo did not know what drove him into saying yes. He was quickly dragged over into the dance floor by the most beautiful Braixen he had seen in his life and was quickly engaged into a mysterious waltz with her. They twirled around, passing a tall and lanky Stunky with sharp, pinched features dancing with a rather muscly looking male Charmeleon with deep crimson scales. They had to avoid the fire type's abnormally large tail a couple of times, but perhaps it was her smile or something, but the Vaporeon was really enjoying the waltz. Though, his clumsy moves contrasted with Matsuri's gracefulness. Leo never really had the time to think why he had accepted in the first place, as he was now at the receiving end of an amused, yet inquisitive smile from Jim, who was leading the lively tunes with a Grovyle in a violin duet.

    Groaning inwardly, Leo realized that Jim would be pestering him with the most embarrassing questions for the next two weeks.

    But... he guessed that he could enjoy the moment. For now.

Of Sculptures, Games, and Dances
EDIT [20/10/2014]: Updated the cameo team links and their respective owners. NO CHANGES MADE TO THE STORY WHATSOEVER I SWEAR



I. AM. SO. DONE.

Working on two stories with one of them as a collab, and trying to figure out which cameo would go into which is not fun. Buuuut I guess it's worth the work. Well, here it is, my personal Frosty Festivities entry. And please ignore the title. I have no more ideas. My imagination is spent. 

Anyway, you could say this is a continuation or a companion story to Frosty Festivities - Part 1, which is a collab between me and Senso... well, the first part only. The ending differs slightly from what I had planned, due to time constraints and my brain had other ideas, so yeah. 

Welp, hope you enjoy this silly little story of mine. Quarteon out.

NB: Apologies for those I did not manage to cameo at this contest. I simply couldn't find any space for them. And special thanks for Mytew for the help with the Italian terms. You are really great, buddy. XD



Translations:

Stessa cosa = Same here / Likewise
Le Grandi Torri di Guardia = The Great Guardian Towers
Sì = Yes
Dei boni! = Good gods! 
Sei un maschio?! = You're a guy?!



NPC Cameos:

- Ambassador Ayami the Froslass © ChillySunDance  

- Cael the Honedge © Quarteon01 

- Nicolo and Alessandro de' Furnocci the Houndours © Quarteon01 

- Miles the Charmeleon © Quarteon01 

Cameos (in no particular order):

- Lapis the Shiny Noibat and Grayson the Zoroark, Solemn Vow © Setsuna-Senso

- Gray the Banette and Enigma the Unown, Eroteme © julioblah 

- Slick the Buizel, Briny Buccaneers © TheTravelinBuizel

- Zenneth the Lucario and Ven the Honedge, Truth Hunters
© SpeckulativeDust

- Mytew the Braixen and Hiro (with Orih) the Doublade, Might and Magic © Mytew

- Zachary the Frogadier and Drew the Togepi, Perfection of the Cards © JoseCelada & Numbuh1234

- Isaac the Grovyle, Animus © MuriArts

- Matsuri the Braixen, Icefire © cailas-moon

- Nan the Phantump and Comet the Frogadier, Wraith © DeathByGnome 

- Thomas the Stunky, Name © writercoda & UltimateSassMaster

Team Applications:

Scorch Recon

Stormfront

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Quarteon01

Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
Indonesia
I'm a writer, but I also occasionally draw and sketch things, but I lacked the hardware and software to upload it here. My scanner is not good enough, and I only have my laptop and my mouse at disposal so.... I stick to writing.

Anyway, I have joined DeviantArt for 2 years. I've never been active until I joined PMDUnity. It sparked my interest seeing all these good writers there. I'm mostly in Fanfiction.net, but I got into a long writers block so... yeah. The group I joined really helped to lift my block somewhat.

I'm still learning in my writing. I have grammar issues, jumping at tenses occasionally. But I'm slowly correcting the habit. I might go and write a book someday. I have some random, but good ideas jumping around my head. Who knows?


Current Residence: My house...
Print preference: Perfect printing images
Favourite genre of music: Classical and Pop
Favourite style of art: Paintings and digital art
Operating System: Windows 8
MP3 player of choice: I don't have a MP3
Personal Quote: What the-?!
Interests
FRIGGIN FIFTY WATCHERS! ASDFASDFADSFAFD I'M SO HAPPY THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH I JUST CAN'T ADFASDFADFADFADF
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Comments


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:iconabundridge:
ABundridge Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the fav!!!
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:iconthetravelinbuizel:
TheTravelinBuizel Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
tank ye for the favorite X3
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:iconthetravelinbuizel:
TheTravelinBuizel Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks fer the favorite man! XD
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:iconquarteon01:
Quarteon01 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome! XD
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:iconthetravelinbuizel:
TheTravelinBuizel Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thank yeh for the favorite dude! ^_^
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:iconquarteon01:
Quarteon01 Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
No prob~
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:iconmutitus:
Mutitus Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014  Professional Writer
I'm glad that you enjoyed my report on the Tower of Mastery.
Reply
:iconquarteon01:
Quarteon01 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Good to know. Your reports are always fun to read. :D
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:iconmutitus:
Mutitus Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2014  Professional Writer
Thank you very much. :)
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:iconquarteon01:
Quarteon01 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome!
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