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[Previously: (x) (x) ]

We need to talk? That doesn’t sound good at all. Tsubaki swallowed hard, trying to think of some way to get out of this…

“Mama!”

Right, Leila. With that in mind she turned, hoping that she’ll save her from this situation.

“Ah… Can we talk about this later…? Leila’s awake and I really should go check up on her.” She said her tone quick and shaky. She couldn’t even stare at him, she really screwed up.

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"She can wait a little while longer," Ray replied without hesitation, stepping to the side to stop Baki in her escape. He was not letting her get off so easily. It’s happened for too long already.

"Besides, this is important… Look at me."image

Shit. He was really determined on having this conversation… Seeing as walking away from it was no longer an option, Baki stood still. She didn’t want to look at him; she didn’t want to meet with that disappointed stare.

After being ushered once more, she slowly lifted her gaze back to him, eyes locking like they had just a moment ago. “W-What could be so important?” She asked.

Instead of jumping straight to the topic, Ray hesitated. His eyes stared into Tsubaki’s, searching for some sort of answer as to… Why. Why? Her eerie resignation rang clear in his mind throughout the entire night, but when it came down to asking her the words caught in his throat. Part of him was afraid of asking, for fear of feeding into the fire, but…

"Why…" he growled, irritation starting to well up inside him, "Why would you… You can’t be serious, right? You’re not… You’re not really going to do it. What happened to our promise? Of not worrying about it and focusing on Leila." He watched her fidget uncomfortably beneath his stare, her gaze shifting periodically. It pissed him off. She was hiding something. "Look. At. Me."

“I-“She muttered, throat suddenly becoming dry. His stern command made her entire body tense. Why? It seemed pretty obvious to her but at the same time… “I don’t know what you want me to tell you…”

She braced herself for the unhappy remark to come, but before he could say anything, she spoke up again.

“I just can’t completely shove it aside, okay? I can promise you all I want but it’s not gonna go away forever…” There were nights when she was thankful Ray hadn’t slept with her; it kept her up at night. And when she did finally fall asleep, her fears were just played back to her a hundred times worse. She had to wonder if he ever noticed, on those nights where she tossed and turned and found no peace even with his presence. “I just… What do you want me to do? I’m trying as best as I can. Isn’t that enough?”

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"But WHY didn’t you tell me it was bothering you? All this time I thought you had gotten over it, and that you’d accepted it. All this time I thought things had been settled and life would be okay with you, me, and Leila. All this fucking time…" His voice raised slowly with every word, his frustration beginning to overwhelm him. "I thought you were happy."

He stopped himself short, seeing her cower in his shadow. She looked so helpless. She looked afraid. He felt a little guilty for how angry he felt, but the more he thought about everything he found out the past couple of days the more frustrated he got. HE felt helpless, and HE felt afraid… What was he gonna do if Tsubaki left him? He continued.

"You say you’re trying your best… And you STILL want to end your life? What are you even living for right now? Because it certainly isn’t for us. It isn’t for you, your friends, or your trainer… I thought you were stronger than this."

Tsubaki bit her lip, his words cutting really deep. She fiercely dropped her arms to her sides, fists forming as she contemplated exactly what to say.

It hurt, it really did. How he worded things…

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“I AM HAPPY. I don’t WANT to go back to how things were, when I was completely alone, left behind by those I care about the most…” She glared angrily at the floor, though anger is far from what she wanted to feel. “I don’t want to watch everyone slowly die off while I still have centuries ahead of me. It just… Doesn’t seem fair.”

She was afraid to tell him, afraid to see his reaction. Sure, there were times when she felt the need to get it off her chest but every time she sought the opportunity… Something held her back. No one truly wants to hear you are contemplating something that severe, and it did her no good to get others involved, especially when no one else was supposed to find out.

She spent most of her life trying to become as strong as she could be, and truly believed there wasn’t anything she couldn’t accomplish. But maybe she wasn’t that strong after all?

Ray looked down at Tsubaki, observing her anger that seemed to rival his own at this point. They were always so explosive with each other in arguments, but never before had it gone above yelling. He feared what would come next, should things go wrong. “What happened to you wanting to live and experience what your parents didn’t? There is so much you could do… I just don’t understand what makes you think it’s the right choice to end your life after we’re gone.”

“I’ve experienced a whole lot already, with others. What am I going to do when I’m the only one left? I’ll have nowhere to go… Not even back home with my parents since they were already far off in their years when I went off on my own.”

It was much too early to be thinking about it but she just couldn’t help it. It was scary not knowing how you were going to handle a situation, especially one that had a major impact in your way of living. “There’s no way I’m going to continue to lose people I care about over and over again, who’s to say I’ll meet anyone who can keep me company for such a long period of time? If you hadn’t noticed, I don’t even get along with my own species.” She continued, though that may be entirely her fault.

She wasn’t helping her argument and it frustrated her. She held her face in her hands and let out a long groan.

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“What’s the point of living if I can’t ENJOY it?”

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“You act as if you’ll always be alone after we’re gone,” he pressed further. Head pounding tremendously as she listened to Ray speak, Baki bit her lip and remained silent. Ray continued, “It’s not like we’d be completely gone from your life either. Memories last forever you know.”

“1000… years… is a long time… W-what if I forget them?” She argued, though it was weak compared to earlier… Still, to forget about her family and lose whatever memory she has left of them…

That is a fate worse than death.

The luxray sighed. She’s missing the point. “I doubt you will if you’re this worried about it. What’s the problem? Why isn’t the sole fact that at the very least you still have that to look back on for comfort enough for you?” As he spoke, he lost eye contact with Tsubaki once more. Though he didn’t mean to, his voice grew louder again in a feeble attempt to keep her attention.

”I don’t know.”

“Why wont you look at me right now? Is it because you know I’m right? Or because of something else?”

“I SAID I don’t know!”

“Stop YELLING and LOOK at me.“

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This is ridiculous. It hurts. Stop yelling. I don’t know. I don’t know.

I don’t know.

"I don’t… know."

Tsubaki shut her eyes and shied away, unable to handle Ray’s harsh tone. His yelling rang in her ears along with the millions of thoughts circling in her head.

Make it stop. Please make it stop…

"Mama..!!"

"I… need to get Leila—"

"Wait."

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Just as she was about to leave, Ray took hold of her wrist. There was no way he’d let her run from this again. She winced, this time more visibly in pain. His grip felt oddly suffocating to her, and instantly her arm ached like it had all those years ago. Her throat went dry. Her body shook. Seconds later, her entire arm went numb.

"Let go." Her voice was barely above a whisper.

Reluctantly, Ray let go.

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Head pounding and vision blurry, Tsubaki escaped for the comfort of her daughter.

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"Where did she go…?"

[Ray and Tsubaki are now available for questions.]

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Evelyn: Sorry for distracting you, Emily — I guess I lost track of time!

Emily: Oh, no problem! I’ll get the rest of these boxes packed away soon. I think I heard Tinny and Damien leave, so I’ll go ahead and finish up the rest of the indoor chores.

Oh, and thanks for letting me look through the scrapbooks. I think I have an idea of what I want to do.

Evelyn: Haha, sure no problem. I think later tonight we’ll be taking some of the pokemon out training so—

<riiiing! riiiiing!>

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Evelyn: Ah, sorry, I gotta take this call… <waves goodbye to Emily before walking to her room, phone in hand>

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Evelyn: … Hello?

Camille: Bonjour, dear Evelyn~! How are things, hm?

Evelyn: Ah, fine… Just been a bit busy is all, haha. And you?

Camille: Truly wonderful!! Although, it is a bit bothersome taking up the night shift. Kalos is a pretty, but lonely place to be at night.

Evelyn:

Camille: <giggles to herself before continuing, tone shifting slightly> Has the breeding business been treating you well, deary?

Evelyn: It’s… better.

Camille: Hmm~ you do not sound so confident! Not very professional of a lady such as yourself, non?

Evelyn: L-Look I’m kind of in the middle of a lot of things right now. I’m… doing the best I can. Breeding them isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do, Camille. Can you wait a little bit longer?

Camille: Now now, Evelyn, you know we are not the kind of people that like to wait… <smiles, despite the seriousness in her voice> How about a change of plans, hm?

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Camille: We can double the compensation in exchange for the first eevee we talked about. I believe his name was Clear, oui? He would make a fine pet!

Evelyn: <too shocked to speak, hand tightening the grip on her phone> B-But… I t-thought—

Camille: Evelyn.

We cannot wait any longer, nor can we let you stall any further. My boss has already sent someone over to Johto to negotiate further with you. It is not in my control, you see!

Evelyn: B-But I can’t just…

Camille: You can’t just let your beloved ranch fall apart, is that correct?

<a long silence, then Camille laughs>

Camille: My apologies; have I scared you? Please rest assured, we do not have the means to cause such destruction. It is simply not our style! However, I must remind you that it is out of my control, and… well, things are certainly subject to change, deary. Remember that.

Evelyn: I will… Is this person a friend of yours? How will I know it’s them?

Camille: Ah~ You will just have to wait and see~! I am almost home, so I am afraid we will have to chat later, love. Do enjoy your evening!

<click! … …>

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Evelyn: What am I gonna do…

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[At the Johto Rangers Headquarters]
Garbs: Glad you could make it! Though I expected you here couple of hours ago, get into trouble again? &lt;ruffles her hair&gt;
Tinny: Please, when do I get into trouble? &lt;brushes him off but grins and pulls into sibling hug&gt;
Garbs: … Mhm &lt;chuckles&gt; Sure. Anyway, the reason why I called you here is because I’m a bit over capacity and was wondering if you’d be willing to take care of a few friends of mine.
Tinny: Friends…? What do you mean?
Garbs: &lt;pulls out a couple pokeballs&gt; Currently, I’m two pokemon over my limit, annnd~ since your birthday is coming up anyway, what better time to hand ‘em over, no? 
Tinny: Ah, I see! So what’s in ‘em? &lt;carefully takes them into her hands&gt;

Garbs: We use them a lot here, but they’ve begun to multiply and we don’t have enough rangers to pair them with…;
Tinny: Hm, well alright. Consider them safe with me!
Garbs: &lt;expression turns more serious&gt;… Speaking of safe, everything going smoothly back home? Nothing too out of the ordinary going on, right? &lt;turns to his desk and pulls out a few files&gt;
Tinny: No, not that I know of anyway… Why?

Garbs: ‘Course we’re not sure what exactly they’re being provided, nor by who. &lt;opens the file folder&gt; They are causing all sorts of trouble over in Kalos and are slowly broadening their horizons it seems. Just asking since you and your friends are pretty into the breeding business.

Tinny: Well, now to important business. Where am I sleepin’ tonight?

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[At the Johto Rangers Headquarters]

Garbs: Glad you could make it! Though I expected you here couple of hours ago, get into trouble again? <ruffles her hair>

Tinny: Please, when do I get into trouble? <brushes him off but grins and pulls into sibling hug>

Garbs: … Mhm <chuckles> Sure. Anyway, the reason why I called you here is because I’m a bit over capacity and was wondering if you’d be willing to take care of a few friends of mine.

Tinny: Friends…? What do you mean?

Garbs: <pulls out a couple pokeballs> Currently, I’m two pokemon over my limit, annnd~ since your birthday is coming up anyway, what better time to hand ‘em over, no? 

Tinny: Ah, I see! So what’s in ‘em? <carefully takes them into her hands>

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Garbs: We use them a lot here, but they’ve begun to multiply and we don’t have enough rangers to pair them with…;

Tinny: Hm, well alright. Consider them safe with me!

Garbs: <expression turns more serious>… Speaking of safe, everything going smoothly back home? Nothing too out of the ordinary going on, right? <turns to his desk and pulls out a few files>

Tinny: No, not that I know of anyway… Why?

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Garbs: ‘Course we’re not sure what exactly they’re being provided, nor by who. <opens the file folder> They are causing all sorts of trouble over in Kalos and are slowly broadening their horizons it seems. Just asking since you and your friends are pretty into the breeding business.

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Tinny: Well, now to important business. Where am I sleepin’ tonight?