Her name was Zoroark. She had been an outsider all of her life. She had stood within the boundaries of the Pokemon forest village.
"Well... It's only a matter of time before they drive me out of this village... So I shall live here."
That had been several months ago, when she had first entered the village. They hadn't chased her away, but the village Pokemon were wary. Rumors spread, including a rumor that she would abduct young Pokemon and slaughter them. Of course, this was untrue. Zoroark anticipated this, and many of the other situations that had come with it. When she walked by, Pokemon would stop their conversations, and watch nervously until she passed. The littler ones would run for cover, and those who could fly did. It was a judgment based on her appearance. Her sinister coloring and malign features were forever a taboo to the village. She, however, merely accepted it. At least she was able to stay. The only villager who waved away these "dangers" was a Kangaskhan who went by the name of "Mother K". She was willing to provide Zoroark the items that some of the other stores, like the Kecleon Shop, refused to give.
"They be scared of you, chile," she would often say.
"If they're scared, then so be it," Zoroark would answer. "Let them believe their own stories."
Presently, the day was bright, and the sun's rays shined through the branches of the verdant forest. Zoroark traveled through the less inhabited part of the forest, towards a Pecha berry tree where many of the villagers would get their food. Once again, the Kecleon brothers refused her service, saying, "We just so happened to run out of stock," though Zoroark had known the truth. Unfortunately, Mother K was not able to help her. "I really did run out, chile," she had apologized. "At least the tree's bearin some fruit. I'd suggest using that as your resource."
She'd taken that suggestion. Eventually, she reached the tree.
At least here there is no one to deprive me of my food, she thought in a somewhat laid back optimistic way. Time to eat.
After eating her fifth berry, she was about to take her sixth, when she heard a movement behind her. She knew what it was; a Pokemon from the village, ready to take away what belonged to everyone. So it didn't surprise her when she heard a soft thud on the ground: whoever it was landed from the tree branches above.
Without turning around, she stopped, and asked, "What business do you have here?"
"I was about to ask you the same thing," came the reply, with a rough, deep voice. "This tree is a food source. It's not to be defiled by demons."
"Well then," Zoroark said nonchalantly, picking the berry with her scarlet claws, "If I see any, I shall be sure to keep them from this tree."
"You have quite a tongue, woman," the voice growled. Right after he said that, Zoroark heard a soft whoosh of air.
She turned her head only half way. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see the owner of the voice slightly. He was slightly taller than she, and colored blue, black, and beige. He held a Bone Rush bonestaff.
"I've been known for that," she replied.
"Along with several other things," the stranger replied. "The village has spoken about you. It miffs me how you could remain in our village."
"Tell me," Zoroark said, taking a small bite of the berry she had picked, "do you realize they make up those stories?"
"The young Meowth boy disappeared for a while, and when he returned, he told of how you almost killed him."
She laughed; not an evil laugh, but a laugh of someone who has had enough. "The day he disappeared was the same day his mother decided to give him a bath. The boy isn't fond of his mother grooming him."
There was a slight pause, before the stranger admitted, "That is quite true."
Zoroark turned all the way around to face the stranger, and got a better look at him. He was canine like, with red eyes, and a black stripe that ran across his eyes like a mask, down the tip of his muzzle, and around the back of his head, where four dreadlock like attachments hung. The areas of his face where the black stripe was absent was colored blue. So were his arms, his powerful thighs, and his tail. His paws, shoulder rings, legs, and the ring around his waist were black as well. The only part of his body that was neither black nor blue was his torso, which was beige. To finish, he had three spikes, one on the back of both his paws, and one on his chest.
"At least you acknowledge the truth," Zoroark said. She added bitterly, "The others are too consumed by their prejudice to see it."
The stranger could detect the resentment in her voice. Hm... She is not a demon... Misunderstood, perhaps...
"Your name is Zoroark, yes?" the stranger asked her.
She looked up at him. "It is... However, your name is unknown to me..."
"I am Lucario," the stranger replied. "I live within the border of the village. I am one of the several Pokemon that stand guard for invading humans and such."
"I assume your leader told you to hunt me, then," Zoroark said.
"We are an equal group... but I am the best of them," Lucario replied. "No, some of the villagers had told us to beware of you... but I see nothing harmful about you."
Zoroark was genuinely surprised. "That must be the first time I've heard anyone other than Mother K speak kindly of me."
Lucario, despite being a brave warrior, felt hesitant to reply, but gathered his courage, and spoke, "You are quite... nice..."
Now Zoroark was amused, but she politely said, "Why, thank you."
"You do not have a mate, do you?" Lucario asked.
"No. None of the villagers would ever think to even speak a kind word to me. You are possibly one of the first."
The first to show such interest, might I add, she thought to herself. Then, she said aloud, "I've had my fill of food. You can go back to your group and tell them you drove me off."
Lucario looked at her with sympathy. "I would be disgraced to pretend to dislike you. Would you like me to escort you to your living area?"
Zoroark thought to herself for several moments. What a fool I would be to pass up kindness from someone as chivalrous as this stranger. "I would prefer that, thank you."
Lucario had not expected to see such an uninhabitable place. The wooden hollow was rotted, and old Spinarak cobwebs hung everywhere. Tochukaso mushrooms that even a Paras would turn down grew inside. The only "nice" area was a bed shaped patch of moss. "Why do you live here?" he asked, turning to her in horrified amazement. "How could you stand it?"
Then he saw her expression, and was immediately regretful that he spoke those words. Zoroark replied the latter of his questions with downcast eyes, "I can't. It's the only living space that the village would tolerate me. They would not stand to have a demon curse their forest. Unfortunately, this only adds to my image as a heartless beast."
Lucario stared at the hollow for several moments. Then he said, "I would never forgive myself if I were to leave you here to stay."
Zoroark's red brow raised up slightly. "Are you suggesting something?"
"No; Insisting something."
"You could not possibly be serious."
"And why would I not?"
"You have only just met me, and I am thought of as evil, unless you have forgotten."
"I know you are not evil, and a first encounter shouldn't mean I would not trust you."
"Of course, trust me though I might rob you blind," Zoroark said sarcastically.
"I'm never blind," Lucario countered.
There was a short silence between them. Then Zoroark finally replied slowly, "Very well... It shouldn't take long before you too run me out."
Lucario replied solemnly, "I promise you I won't."
They both left the decaying wood tree, and headed for Lucario's domain.
"I assume you'll find this more comfortable?" Lucario asked.
Even Zoroark, with her brusque personality, was unable to hold back the admiration of what to her was the homiest area she had seen. Several branches were tied (by Lucario's own paws, she assumed) overhead, and several blankets were hung slanted around the area. Instead of rotting wood, as Zoroark had lived with, there was soft grass that served as a floor, and near what appeared to be a fire pit adorned with crystals as hearth stones was a bed of straw covered in another blanket. That, however wasn't all. From the trees of the tied branches were hollows in the trunks.
"The atmosphere of this place..." Zoroark said breathlessly.
"Very warm, isn't it?" Lucario asked.
"Yes... it is..." But Zoroark shook herself mentally and said, "I can't stay here for long."
"You may stay permanently if you would like," Lucario said kindly.
"Wouldn't your mate disagree on my presence?" Zoroark asked.
"I have no mate either," Lucario said, looking at her. "I should like to have one, though."
Zoroark suddenly felt bashful. "Interesting... Well, I should hope that my presence here would not ruin your chances..."
Lucario understood her timidness. He decided to ask anyways. "Would you?..."
She looked up at him, then said, "Not yet..."
"Perhaps after a week, when we've grown accustomed to each other?"
"After a week," Zoroark agreed. They both entered under the canopy. After several minutes, Lucario had arranged a second bed for Zoroark.
Something had been bothering Zoroark, so she asked Lucario, "Why are you kind to me?"
"Because I try not to judge other Pokemon on appearance," Lucario replied. "And because you have your own dark beauty. You seemed lonely, too."
"Lonely?" Zoroark was slightly returning to her sarcastic mannerism. "I've lived alone my whole life. I am used to it."
"Your mother and father-?"
"-Were not with me. Both separated from each other, and my mother was caught after she gave birth."
Lucario felt a rush of sympathy for her. "I am sorry..."
"There is no need to be sorry. In fact, I haven't thanked you for your hospitality."
As it was evening, both took to their beds, Zoroark a little more slowly. She was unused to a warm bed. Lucario was unused to a companion.
When the week has gone by, Zoroark thought to herself, I'll accept his courtship.