You brace yourself. You should probably look away, but your morbid curiosity takes hold. Xander crouches low, his eyes are dilated and trained on his kill. The pidgey, unaware of its impending fate, continues to peck at seeds. Xander licks his chops.
It happens so fast; Xander jumps and arches high in the air. He comes crashing down on top of the pidgey. The surprised pidgey squawks, spreads its wings, and tries to flutter away, but it is much too late. Xander lunges his open maw towards the back of the pidgey’s neck. *CRUNCH* The jaws clamp down making a sickening noise. The pidgey’s frantic squawking is replaced by raspy breathing. Xander and his prey wrestle in a flurry of feathers and fur for over a minute until finally, the pidgey collapses. Xander keeps his bite down, waiting for his prey to die; his tails wag, he shakes all over, and he whines in anticipation. The pidgey’s head is forced in the dirt, looking directly at you. Its beak is wide open, its tongue is laid out limp on the ground, blood dribbles out, and weak raspy breathing ekes out. The look in its eyes is that of pure terror.
You’ve seen enough and turn away. The pidgey is not much smaller than you and some part of you imagines you are the pidgey. Xander could very well end you like that and the thought shakes you to the core. 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 hear Xander begin to cook his meal. The pidgey breathing becomes frantic; it is still alive, poor thing. The pain of being roasted alive must be unimaginable. The air fills with the smell of burning feathers and cooking meat. If you’re being honest, it smells good. Xander crunches bones and smacks his jowls as he eats his meat.
You hear him gulp. “You okay, Lulu?”
You look back, trying not to show fear. The pidgey is now dead, thankfully; its eyes are dim and almost have a calm look to them. A large chunk has been ripped from the back of the neck. Blood drips from Xander’s chin and bits of white meat are stuck in his teeth. “Yeah,” you tell him, “I’m good, just a bit squeamish, that’s all.”
“Oh, haha. You’ll have to get over that if you live out in the wild. You know what gets you over that the best? Trying some yourself!”
It does look kind of good, but you hold on to your morals, “uh, no thanks. We pikachu don’t eat meat.”
“Oh yeah, that’s right. I’m sorry, I forgot. I hope you don’t think less of me for this.”
“No, no, I knew what I signed up for. You gotta do what you gotta do, I understand that, and don’t hold it against you. But maybe…”
“Maybe, next time you could do it a bit quicker. You know, end its suffering the fastest way possible. You gotta eat, that’s fine, but there’s no need to drag it out, right? I mean, what if a pidgeotto got a hold of you. Wouldn’t you want it to kill you, if it came to that, in the least painful way?”
He cocks his head to the right, puzzled. “I guess I never thought of it like that. Huh, you pikachu have a funny way of looking at things. I like it though. I will, promise. Next time I kill something I’ll do it right quick, then eat it.” He smiles.
“I’m glad to hear it. Listen, I’m going to finish eating berries; meet me by the creek once you’re done.”
“Sounds good!" He goes back in to eat, this time going for the guts. You leave before you see too much.
You turn around and head back to eat some more berries. The smell of cooking pidgey overpowers the oran berries but the two tastes pair well with one another. You get your fill and head to the creek to get a drink. Along the way, you run into a caterpie hiding under a bush. It is looking over where Xander is currently eviscerating a pidgey.
It looks up at you with big eyes and says, "preeee," as if it wants you to help it.
Xander already has his meal for the night, so there is no reason for this little guy to get the maw this evening. 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! At least one thing didn’t die tonight.
You sigh and head to the river to get a drink. You wait for Xander to finish his meal for about twenty minutes. While waiting, you practice flashing sparks and your battle stance as though you are staring down an ekans. You feel great and full of energy; so far the journey is going great.
Xander returns and smiles, “wow, I’m stuffed! I haven’t eaten that much in months.” You can see his stomach is slightly bloated and loud groans and glerks come from deep within. He lets out a big yawn letting you see his sharp teeth still with bits of meat in them. It's getting late and you’ll need to sleep soon.
"It's getting late," says you, "we should find somewhere to sleep."
He pipes up, "oh! I know the spot! I've been sleeping there for the past couple of 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 are 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 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 the ash of a forest fire, or the ash of a Fire-type pokemon; and if eaten, can heal burn wounds.
“Uh… sorry about the bones,” Xander says. “I know you don't eat meat, so I'll clean these up." He walks around picking up the bones. While 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. Eating pidgey always makes me sleepy. And I haven’t eaten that much in months. Good night's sleep will burn the little chick off.” He walks into his log and curls up, closes his eyes, and smacks his lips 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?