You feel bad for the little guy. Xander will probably find some other bug to munch on, but this one you have a small attachment to. You hold out your paw and whisper, “it’s okay little buddy. I won’t let the big bad vulpix get you.”
“Preeeee!” The caterpie crawls his way up your arm and around your shoulders. He’s pretty big and heavy but no bigger than a pichu, so you can handle him fine. You walk over to a tree and tell him to climb up. The caterpie does so and disappears; but before he does, he turns around and squinches his eyes happily, as if to say, thanks!
You sigh and head to the river to get a drink. You wait there for thirty minutes until Xander returns, empty maw. “Did you not get anything,” you ask him.
He lowers his ears, “no luck.”
“Are you going to be okay?”
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. I’ve gone weeks without eating before, so I’ll make do.” At that very moment, his stomach makes a loud growl and he cringes over.
“Uh... yeah. I’ll just eat a few more berries to hold me over.” He walks back to the berry bush.
You wait another few minutes. While waiting, you flash sparks and practice your battle stance, pretending to stare down an ekans. You are at full strength and feel great; although, you do feel sleepy. It’s getting late and you will need to find a place to rest soon. You could have slept in a tree, but Xander can’t climb and you wouldn’t want to leave him alone on the ground.
Xander comes back and yawns. His maw is dripping with blue oran berry juices and full of sharp teeth, meant for tearing flesh not munching berries. The sight makes you a little nervous. The vulpix is more capable than his demeanor lets on. A fight could very well end with your guts cooked and gulped down his gullet. You steel yourself. You can’t show fear or weakness around him. Like a human trainer, you need to exude confidence to keep him in line. But unlike a human trainer, the consequence of failure is much worse than a disobedient pet.
“You're feeling better,” you ask Xander.
“Yeah, much better. I’ll be good to go.”
“Good.” The sun is getting late in the sky, and you tell him, “we need to find somewhere to sleep soon.”
He pipes up, "oh! I know the spot! I've been sleeping there for the past couple months. It's a hollowed-out log, in a safe part of the forest." He looks around. "Uhhh, looks like it's just a couple miles northeast of here. What do you say?"
You don't see any reason not to. A hollowed-out log should be a good place to rest. Sleeping close to the ground would be dangerous for someone of your size. Even small predators would be able to end you with a good bite to the throat, but if Xander stands guard, you should be fine. That is unless Xander gets hungry for a midnight pika-snack but you've already made peace with the possibility when you teamed up with him. You and he will have to take shifts sleeping.
You respond, "yeah! Sounds good to me."
His tails swish, “great! Then follow me.”
He trots off to the northeast with you following. There is no defined path and you have to travel through thick brush, so the going is slow, but in about twenty minutes, you come to the log. As Xander said, it is a hollowed trunk of a fallen tree. The dead tree was huge, the circumference must be around three feet and the hollow goes back at least five. Outside the makeshift home, all the grass is burned. You presume Xander burned it. Now in front is just a patch of grey ash and a few pidgey bones scattered around the area. Next to the entrance of the log is a single beautiful red Fire Lily, sprouted and in full bloom. It has six petals, three dominant and three hidden in the back. The back three are a solid rich red, while the front are the same red but with three strips of a soft yellow, that run from the base to the middle, with the middle strip only slightly longer than the outer two. The stem is about six inches tall and the whole flower is about half the size of your head. The lily, according to your father, from wisdom he claims he gained from his father, only grows from ashes of a forest fire, or from the ashes of a Fire-type pokemon; and if eaten, can heal burn wounds.
“Uh… sorry about the bones,” Xander says. “That was old Xander. No more pidgey for me. Haha.” He is trying to sound sure but you can sus a tone of sadness. “Umm, I’ll just go move these out of the way.” He walks around picking up the bones. Why you wait for him to clean, you look around. The sun is about to set. The sky is a deep purple and the shadows from the thick canopy almost make it as dark as night.
Xander comes back quickly and yawns loud, “oh my. What a long day, I’m beat.” He walks into his log, curls up, closes his eyes, and smacks his jowls gently.
“Hey!” You approach him inside the log. He opens his eyes wide and looks at you. “We are a team remember?”
He looks a little shocked and ashamed, “yeah, of course, Lulu.”
“So we need to take turns watching for predators.”
“Oh… okay that’s fine. So what do you want me to do?”
He seems tired and you wouldn't want him to fall asleep on you. Then again you're tired as well and don’t know if you could stay up. You're the boss; what do you tell Xander?