Commission of an artwork to go along with a little story, written by and commissioned by ~PreseaFan92!
[link] Print available here!
Grove outside of Mossy Village, early afternoon.
It was quiet today, Twiggy thought. No winds blew through the grove; no Pokémon journeyed through. Or, perhaps it did, and he just never noticed. Perhaps Pokémon did pass by, and he was too scared to hear them. The young Turtwig’s body felt numb—his heart pounded so fast, yet exhaustion spread over his body like a terrible disease, like the one that killed his mother. He didn’t dare think of her, though. If he did, all walls would be broken. The fortress he built around himself in the past week, it would quickly crumble, like a sandcastle under the force of a wave.
The only thing Twiggy could focus on was his reflection in the babbling brook he stood by, its rushing waters the only sound he could hear. His entire body looked pale in the reflection; his eyes were empty and stoic. The tiny stream was the only place he could sort out his thoughts—for the longest time, he called this his “thinking spot”.
Though, it was tough to think when the scenery changed. The Turtwig’s lone reflection in the water, the one that he was finally getting used to, found company in a new face. The water reflected the visage of a fiery Vulpix; her eyes contrasted her counterpart’s, filled with emotion and life.
“Hiya, Twiggy,” the Vulpix gave a half smile—Twiggy saw from the reflection; the voice flowed into his ears as easily as the stream, “Um…how’re you holding up?” Upon hearing the voice, the Turtwig turned away from the familiar stream as he turned his gaze to the Vulpix with a sad smile.
“I’m…o-okay,” Twiggy replied hoarsely through the lump in his throat, “I told myself I’d try not to think about things until I…think about myself. D-does that make any sense, Fleur?”
Fleur, the Vulpix, gave a nod, “Uh…sorta. I’m not the Pokémon to talk to about that kinda stuff. Uh, but, you can talk to me anyway! I might not understand much, buuuut my Ma says I’m a good listener, and--oh.” Fleur covered her mouth with her front two paws, realizing her mistake. In the past week, the mention of any type of mother—even the word in itself--got Twiggy nervous, on edge, sometimes even bawling in the first few days.
“No, um, it’s okay…” Twiggy shook his head, the walls he had built around himself slowly crumbling down, “I think…maybe I should talk about her…maybe it’ll help.”
“Fire away, little guy,” smiled the Vulpix. It took a few moments for her friend to collect himself, and Fleur thought she could see a tear on the brink of falling, but in time, the Turtwig spoke, albeit with a quiver in every other word.
“Well…her last words--”
“Ooh, ooh, I got this!” Fleur chimed in, “I wrote it down in my notebook for posterity! Um, let’s see…” The fire-type turned through some pages on a notebook she took out from behind her ribbon.
“’You have your whole life ahead of you, Twiggy…you’re not just my son anymore, you’re growing up. Go and see the world’, she said…” the Turtwig continued, as if he’d recited the words time after time, “’Do what your mother could never do.’”
“Hmm?” Fleur tilted her head, “I have, uh…‘Sitrus berries, water, Moomoo Milk’—oh, wait, no, that’s Ma’s shopping list—“ she flew through a few pages again, “Aha! Um, it says…yeah. Yeah, what you said. Also, I have, ‘Fleur…please, protect my son. You are his most trusted friend…I know you two will help each other’.”
“Y-yeah…” the Turtwig sniffled, “I-I just get so worried…I want to fulfill Mother’s last wish, I just…don’t know how. The world’s so big, Fleur! And I’m…so small. I just…want to be safe, here, at home, but...”
“Well, you can’t mope around here forever like a full Snorlax!” the Vulpix shrugged, smiling towards her friend, “I don’t think your Ma would particularly like that, y’know?”
“Wouldn’t it help you, though?” Twiggy asked, “You wouldn’t have to worry about protecting me, or--”
“Nope,” Fleur shook her head vehemently, sticking her tongue out, “Nope nope nope. I don’t come all the way here from Snowy Village every day for nothing, silly! I like the feeling of running down the hills, sliding through the snow and running through the groves to find you! It’s like an adventure, every day! So, I mean…we’ve gotta be adventurous with your Ma’s last wish!”
“But you could get hurt!” the Turtwig protested, “I…I don’t want you getting hurt.”
“That’s why we’re gonna do this together!”
“H-huh? Fleur, what do you--”
“Form an exploration team with me!” the Vulpix spat out, her eyes wide and expectant, “It’ll be the best, Twiggy! We can do so much, and we can go on super cool adventures…I hear there’s an entire town to the east with guilds dedicated to that stuff! And we’ll be keeping both of your Ma’s wishes! I’ll keep an eye out for you, and we could travel the whole darn world with those kinds of adventures!”
“Wh-whaat?!” Twiggy’s eyes widened, full of shock, “Why me…? I-I’m just…well, me.”
“Because!” Fleur scratched her head in embarrassment, “…Uh, you’re the only friend I’ve got…no one else in my village takes me seriously…But we can prove them wrong, Twiggy! We don’t have to be those kids who get into trouble all the time! We could be…Rescuers who get into trouble all the time—Even Merchants, maybe Rogues if we feel really adventurous!”
“You really mean that, Fleur?” the grass-type asked, the hollow feeling he had slowly melting away, “It’s…really okay?”
“Of course, buddy!” his friend gave a wink, “I don’t say stuff I don’t mean…so, are you in?”
“I, well…yeah, I think so…If it’s for Mother, then…I—we can do this.”
“Eeeeyyaaaaaaaaaaayy!” Fleur jumped for joy a few times, unable to control her excitement. She began to babble a bunch of things about adventuring, but Twiggy couldn’t make head nor tail of her gibberish; she spoke much too fast when she was overexcited like this. It was only when she made a request of Twiggy that she slowed down her words for him:
“Sowhat’rewegonnanametheteam, huh?! What’rewegonnanameitTwiggy?!”
Suddenly a weight plopped onto poor Twiggy’s shell—he was never very good with naming. He took a few minutes to think, but nothing sounded natural to him. He stopped to take a look at the surroundings, thinking that maybe he could get a good name out of that, when, almost out of nowhere, the young grass-type noticed a tiny patch of wild chamomile growing a few feet away from the other side of the stream.
“Mother’s favorite…wild chamomile,” Twiggy closed his eyes and reminisced, “She…she’d always use it on me to help me sleep when I was having nightmares.”
“Hmm…sounds like a plan!” Fleur nodded but scratched her head not long after, “Team Wild Chamomile! …It’s a bit long, though…How ‘bout we make it just Team Chamomile?!”
“I’d like that…” Twiggy gave wide, sincere smile—one Fleur hadn’t seen from him since his mother fell ill, “I’d like that a lot.”
“All right then!” Fleur jumped again, “Then from today on, I’mma be Team Chamomile’s leader, and you’re gonna be my co-pilot, co-pilot!”
“O-okay!” Twiggy jumped as if to copy his friend—the two both laughed at that, and from that day, their destiny as explorers was sealed. The two would travel to Tao village, become rescuers…and their days would never be the same.