Subject: Re: [PW!] Ai desu ka? [was Chasing the Glooms Away] Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 03:05:08 GMT From: "Amber Foxwing" <> Reply-To: "Amber Foxwing" <> Organization: Cox Communications Newsgroups: "If _you_ were leading," Bob countered, "We'd get lost. We're supposed to turn here." Bob pointed down the fork in the path next to the one Jason had taken. Velocity, already partway down it, yelped at them, telling them to hurry so they could save her trainer. Jason put on a hurt expression. "Well, if you don't want me to help in this," he swung himself up onto Keaton's back and laid down, his arms crossed under his head, "Then I'll just hitch a ride up here for awhile." Keaton snorted and bucked forward. With a wail, Jason grabbed Keaton's horns and flew, heels over head. He ended up hanging onto Keaton's horns, staring the angry Tauros right in the eyes. Both their eyes twitched. "Or I could walk..." TBC Jason resumed walking and they all made slow progress thru the forest. Velocity would stop here and there to retrace her steps and catch her scent again to follow where she had gone. Jason stared off into the distance. What if they were too late? What if they had sold Amber? He forced the thoughts out of the head, both because they made his stomach turn with unease and they weren't supposed to be on his mind. Suddenly Velocity barked and he faced ahead. They were at a rather small archaic building. He turned to everyone else behind him. "We have to be *careful*, or you guys could get captured. It was really stupid of you to come, but...I guess...thanks for the backup." Bob gave a thumbs up. "No prob, Jase." Jason took a deep breath and walked in, immediately followed by the rest of the group. There was a hallway straight ahead that turned right at the end. On the right of him was a desk dacing the left wall. It was built into the wall and was littered with papers and writing instruments. At this desk was a man of 50 or so, with somewhat gray hair on either side of his head; the top was bald. He wore shabby clothing and seemed a little dirty. The place stunk horribly of what he feared was blood. Jason fought the urge to gag and straightened his posture when the man turned to him. "May I help you boys?" the man asked. "Yes. I to buy a half-breed..." he stammered. He hated this idea of buying a person, much less Amber. "Oh you do? Wonderful! What do you have in mind?" "Uh...uh...a girl...about my age..." "Ah I see I see. Why don't check out our wares? Go ahead and explore." "Thank you," Jason and Bob said together. They walked down the hallway and when they were out of earshot of the man, Jason turned to them. "We're all splitting up now, to search for her. If you find her, try to find the rest of us." "Right," the rest replied. They all took different branches of the hallway and soon he was left alone. He took the first door he saw. Inside he saw the operating table and tools. He shut the door quickly, forcing the bile back down in his throat. "Ugh," he blanched. What if...Amber...He panicked, looking through each door. Storage he came to a room with cages. He entered. -------- Amber heard someone come in. She knew that whoever it was must be looking to buy a half-breed; it wasn't the heavy lame footsteps accompanied by the friendly chatter of the old man. She quickly dove into her straw pile and hid, adjusting herself so she could see whoever it was. -------- He looked through the room: 3 big cages on each side. He went down one side first. He saw a Pidgeot girl finally stirring on the floor. She muttered something then went back to sleep. Not Amber. He saw an Abra girl with narrowed suspicious eyes. They reminded him of one of the last looks he'd seen on Amber's face, but this was not Amber. Then he saw a Growlithe boy. He was leaned against the back of the cage, looking at him with contempt. Definately not Amber. He turned to the other row. An empty cage. Did someone already buy her? He hoped not. A cage with a pile of straw? Why? It was empty. He took a chance. ------- Amber could only see the shape of the person. She couldn't identify who it was, but they had stopped in front of her cage. They leaned forward slightly and gripped the bars, appearing to be trying to see into the straw. "Amber?" She leaped in surprise. Jason?! Why was he here? Why did he come? How did he find it? She poked her head out. "J...Jason?" she said, astonished. ------- He knew it was her when the straw pile jumped. When she poked her head out, he was sure. "Hey there, Amber. Hmph. Glad you aren't sold. Come on now, we're going." She lowered her ears and backed up slightly. "I'm staying here," she said quietly. Jason shook his head in surprise. "What? No you're not." "Yes, I am." "Wait---why are you staying here?" "Cause I have no right to be with you guys. I'm just fine here." "No, you're coming with me." "No." "Why don't you have any right to be with us?" "I'm nothing but a burden. What good have I brought?" "Plenty. Now come ON." "Why are you trying to get me to come?" "Because everyone wants you back." She lifted herself free of the straw and sat on top, stubbornly crossing her arms. "I can't go, Jason, because I'm needed here." "Needed?! How could you be needed here? Who could need you more than I...uh...they do?" "I'm a model." "A model. Ha ha, funny, what do you model, Amber?" he asked sarcastically. "No, I'm like a living reference for how we're put together. I have a purpose here. There's no reason for me to be in Bob's house." "You *help* this mad man?! Dammit, Amber! You have to come now!!" Amber backed against the wall as if to escape from his yelling. He instantly saw his mistake, and though he was angry, he had to calm down to talk sense into her. "Amber, come here." "Why?" "Just come here." She looked at him for a few moments then climbed down from her straw pile. She crawled towards him and sat a few feet away from the bars. "Amber, you're needed at Bob's house too. We all need you. It...It's been...boring without you. I mean...even...even an more exciting than...nothing at all." Amber laughed softly. "Perhaps, but it sure doesn't feel much better." Jason scratched the back of his head, trying to figure out what to say. "Well...anyways, come home with us." "Us?" "Bob, Kitsu, Keaton, and Aerie are looking for you elsewhere." "Are they crazy?! They'll get captured---" "Bob's wearing a large hat and Aerie and Kitsu and Keaton are transformed." "...Still, they shouldn't be here on my account." "Well they'll stay here unless you come." "I can't! Don't you see? Most of the stuff that's happened to us has been my fault! Most of the Team Rocket attacks were because of me!" She abruptly broke off and looked down. She turned around and leaned against the bars, staring at her claws for a little while. She waited for her breath and heart to slow. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "Hmm?" Jason asked. "I'm sorry...for hitting you, for getting upset, for being overprotective of you. It's just...I saw her...and I thought that...well...maybe I was never good enough." Jason didn't answer for a while; he just stared at the back of her head. "Yeah, I guess I'm sorry too." She turned to look at him over her shoulder. "Really?" "Yes. I'm sorry for the things I said, and for acting like an asshole. But you know what?" "What?" "I think it's me who's not good enough." She blushed and smiled. "Thank you..." "Course. Now are you coming?" He offered a hand through the bars. She took it and nodded. "Coming." "Alright. Wolfgang, go!" He released his Machamp, who promptly bent the bars wide enough for her to come through. She stepped out onto the cement and into Jason's arms. They hugged for a few moments then released, content to hold hands. They started towards the door. Bob burst in suddenly. "I couldn't find her---oh. I see..." he smirked. Jason didn't notice, and neither did Amber. They had finally made up. TBC Woo hooo! ^_^ The story arch finally ended! ^.^