Chapter 1: Coming home
For Njirre, Merry Christmas~
A key turned in the lock, the only warning before the front door swung open to the sound of a cheerful voice.
“We’re home!” “Ril, rill!”
A young girl waltzed inside, the dark shadows of the house faltering under the easy light of her smile. She shucked off her backpack and belt, stretching her shoulders as her Marill companion jumped onto her hat to avoid getting knocked off its perch.
Dropping her arms back to her sides, the girl named Lyra looked around the entranceway as if expecting something. “Hello? Anyone home?”
Silence answered her, and a concerned frown snuck its way onto her face for a moment before her eyes alighted on a patch of formless shadow slowly creeping its way down the hall, the dark spot somehow a darker colour than the rest of the unlit house for no apparent reason. Grinning, she began sneaking forward, Marill getting a grip on her hair as Lyra’s intentions became obvious.
Upon getting close, the girl pounced, leaping atop the shadowy spot with arms outstretched. Just as it seemed she’d slam head first into the floor, wispy black arms appeared out of the darkness, catching her in the air. The rest of the arms’ owners appeared, a collar of red and white hair like of a trail of smoke atop a jagged black pokemon’s body - the piercing blue eye peeking from behind that hair giving Lyra a distinctly exasperated look as the pokemon held her at arms length.
“Darkrai. Dark rai.”
“Hello to you too, grumpy~” Giggling to herself, the girl squirmed in Darkrai’s arms until the longsuffering ‘mon sighed and let her come closer; Lyra immediately wrapping the mythical pokemon in a hug.
Knowing their trainer wouldn’t let go until they returned the affection, Darkrai awkwardly wrapped its shadowy limbs around her, glaring at the blue mouse that let out a squeaking giggle at the action.
Finally, after a few moments that stretched to feel longer, Lyra released the pokemon from the hug. “It’s very nice to be home. How’ve you been while I was out at Goldenrod visiting Gran and Gramps?”
Darkrai shrugged, effectively conveying that not much had happened while she’d been gone. There’d been some nightmares to watch over, and it had enjoyed inflicting a particularly abstract one involving being a Pikipek whose beak wouldn’t stop growing longer on their irritatingly nosy neighbour; she’d been peeking through the windows of the house while Lyra was gone, and it didn’t approve. Uneventful.
Getting the gist of things if not knowing the specifics, Lyra nodded happily. “Glad to hear nothing went badly.”
The general air of things continued that way for a while, the language barrier not stopping Lyra from holding a conversation about her trip, the cute pokemon she’d seen both in the wild and at trainers’ sides, her grandparents and how the daycare was doing, and everything else that came to mind. The dark pokemon listened intently, peaceful and content in stark contrast to their raggedly dangerous appearance.
In the midst of retelling her story of a wild Drowzee getting into a tickle-fight with an officer’s Growlithe, to Darkrai’s skeptical looks and Marill’s giggling trills, the sound of a kitchen timer echoed through the house. The mythical froze in place as Lyra’s attention distracted from her story, peering down the unlit hall.
“That’s…weird. You weren’t playing with stuff in the kitchen, were you Darkrai?” Picking herself up, the girl walked further into the house, leaving her frozen pokemon to blankly stare after her before rushing to follow.
“Wha- hey!” Lyra yelped as Darkrai suddenly floated up behind her at speed and began trying to guide her past the kitchen instead of her intended destination. “I can walk myself where I want to go, thanks! Geez, did you break a plate or something?”
Breaking away, she stomped through the doorway and flicked the lightswitch on, ignoring the panicked flailing from the incredibly powerful pokemon.
Whatever little annoyance she had at the attempt at hiding something from her faded as quick as it had appeared; Lyra’s momentary confusion as she looked at the used bowls still speckled with dried flour and the mixture they’d been used to contain quickly changing to something warm and fuzzy, the sight of colourful shapes on a cooling rack making her aww.
“Darkrai! Did you, oh my gosh were you baking cookies?” Turning to face the pokemon, Lyra couldn’t help but giggle at the vivid brush peeking out from behind ashy hair. Skipping backwards with a laugh, she made her way to the bench, a mournful groan from the nightmare pokemon and chittering giggles from her shouldermouse as the trainer looked down at the cookies her friend had obviously worked hard on.
The candy canes, christmas trees, red-nosed Stantler and colourfully iced presents weren’t the most perfectly shaped, but the fact Darkrai went to this much effort without even having help, let alone that this was her grumpy pokemon friend making something special like this…
They hugged her from behind, and she leant into the embrace that was rarely offered to her. “Thank you. Merry Christmas, Darkrai. This means a whole lot, you adorable lug~”
The pokemon let out a huff in response, but hugged tighter, even as Marill wrapped her tail round them both.
After a long, comfortable while, the shadowy mythical pokemon let out a huff. “Rai.”
Lyra blinked to see a lovingly iced cookie held in front of her face by black claws, letting out a laugh.
“Thanks, I’m sure it’ll be tasty~”