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Old February 15th, 2017 (2:32 PM). Edited February 15th, 2017 by Venia Silente.
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Venia Silente Venia Silente is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Hello there! About time I showed up.

This time, I want to present you with a slightly delayed Valentine's story, focused on Nidoran because why not? It's not like I haven't done it before. This story is also related to that one, though this one will be presented in the format of a two-shot instead. Why you ask? Well the thing is, there's a funny story about that, you see, the development for this story was quite a bumpy ride.

But why talk about that when all you want m'dear readers is to delight yourselves in a story about cute Nidorans and Nidorin@s being lovely? Yes you do. So I guess let's get right to the story and I can proide some commentary later.

Enjoy!




“Tricks of the Love Fast”





It was a dark and stormy night in the eastern lands of Suocé, but not in the western coast and the mountain forest where the Nidoran lived. No, the colony of leporine Pokémon, spread across some mountains and distanced from humanity's reach, was still enjoying sleep, but the the tendrils of sunlight peeking out from the eastern horizon would soon bring them up to action. As a crepuscular species, the Nidoran considered these early signs of dawn the call of Frith, the Sun bird, to face the challenges of a new day: to scamper off to graze, to explore the forest, to fight for mates and territory, to look for adventures or to keep watch for predators.

However, at a burrow near the eastern edge of the mountains and far away from most of the action, a Nidorina surrounded by her offspring had decided she would rather sleep five more minutes. Inka was well curled, keeping six furballs of teal or pink colouration close to her chest. Right behind her, her émar Baluarkos, a Nidorino from the surroundings, lay closer to the entrance to the burrow, his body half-blocking it, his snoring faintly echoing across the cave.

Truly, both adults would have preferred nothing more than to spend the morning together doing absolutely nothing. Alas, as parents of six, and of four and one in previous litters, they ought to have known better.

"...Ni~" came a growl.

"...ri?" followed a lazy growl-in-between-a-yawn.

"...ro?" came yet another call.

"...Ni!" repeated the first one, this time a full screech.

For what started as the little furballs around them slowly yawning and stretching awake and licking each other clean and calling each other good morning, quickly evolved into screeching and bumping around and poking their mother as the kittens demanded entertainment! And adventure!

"...Embleer hraka! Why this early?" came the hiss of the mother, freshly jolted awake by the repeated screeching and jabs to her back. The kittens did not seem to mind, they just insisted on grabbing her attention, forcefully at that.

Right by her side, Baluarkos lifted an ear. The Nidorino snorted and pawed at the ground lazily for a moment, then turned his head around and frowned at the spectacle.

"Language, darling. And good morning by the way."

"Is it, Ba'?" answered the female, slowly turning around to try and get the little Nidos off her back. "I feel like I just went to sleep..."

The Nidorino rolled his head in response, looking towards the hole leading to the outside world. Up above, he could see some sunlight making its way into the burrow. His ear then picked up again on the plight of the female for sleep, and he pawed at the ground to get the kittens' attention as he pointed them to the outside world.

"Do!"

"Ro!"

"Ni?"

Some of the kittens leapt off their mother's back and approached the Nidorino, hopping and squeaking as the colony’s excitable kittens were wont to do. Their father welcomed them with some cordial licking and with a paw press on top of them, to prevent them from escaping back to their mother. Afterward, he stood up with a measured and absentminded movement, circling around to try and shake himself well awake. "They just want to pla~y," he commented in between a yawn.

"Ro!" claimed one of the kittens in response, raising his paws to try and get to his father's muzzle.

"They're yelling -ro, so you give them attention," whined Inka as she flattened herself on the ground of the burrow. Much as she tried, the insistent calling from a number of fluffy rabbits was too much for her to ignore.

Baluarkos thumped on the ground, trying to get the kittens' attention; as that didn't seem to work he just picked up a random female one by the scruff of the neck and sat her right in front of him.

"Sleepy, dear?"

The Nidoran female just blinked up at him and resumed her screeching. Some of the other young Nidos who were circling around echoed her.

"...Food then?"

“Ni! Ni! Ni!”

Given that the screeching intensified, perhaps the kittens weren’t in the mood for a meal either...

"They already had their food," interrupted Inka as she tried to ignore two kittens climbing up her back. Baluarkos saw her chest go up and down in a sigh, which only made things worse as the kittens eagerly started playing in their “rollercoaster”.

"Alright, I guess what we should do is go outside."

"Yeah, you do that," the Nidorina grunted.

The male tried to round up some of the kittens and push them closer to the entrance of the burrow, but they insisted in staying close to their mother.

"Uhm..." the male mumbled, trying to think of something. "Come on kits, why don't we go out for some fights?"

That seemed to catch on the young males' attention, as they turned to their father ears flared up, and they eyed him eagerly. As if to emphasize his point, the Nidorino brushed his horn against the ground.

"Yeah, some moves an' stuff. About time they learned to Peck, too."

This got some of the kittens to climb off their mother’s back, at least.

"I can teach them all those things," mumbled the mother.

Baluarkos left out a mocking growl. "And I thought *I* wanted to sleep."

He heard Inka hiss some curses before curling herself further into a ball. The Nidorina’s shuffling brought her kittens' attention back to her, and some of them approached her. For a response, she finally turned around, still curled into a ball, to eye her mate and her family.

"Uhm, Scratch then. Or dunno, what else before they're headed off to the colony?" the male insisted. "It's not fair only the teachers there get to show off," he continued, swinging his horn for display.

"...You still insist on trying to teach them how to fight?" asked the female, letting out a glare that conflicted somewhat with the forming smile in her muzzle.

"Yeah, it's fun," answered Baluarkos as he took a look at the kittens going wild. He then picked up one of the kittens and placed him with the others, all gathered together looking for warmth and activity. He saw Inka frown at him and then turn around to face away from him, but he continued. "The troop just teaches them the usual, so I'd like them to learn one or two things for them to feel unique."

As the kittens continued to surround their father, Inka grumbled at the answer.

"...Maybe my special, charming trick, even," ventured the male lowering his head.

The kittens had picked on the mother's complaint and pointed their ears in her direction, but there was no further response by the Nidorina - she just wanted to get back to sleep. Lacking any answer, the kittens quickly turned their attention back to their father and growled, repeating their plea for activity.

Their pleas were quickly met by Baluarkos with a wink, the assorted Nidos quickly fell silent at their father’s answer, trading glances with one another.

"I don't understand why you insist on this," continued the female, She pressed her muzzle to the ground of the cave and shifted lethargically, not bothering to open her eyes. "It's not like you... suck at this," she said as he saw her chest go up and down in what he assumed was a sigh.

"But if you want the roolil to be ready to fight then perhaps it is I who should show them some moves," she stated flatly as the shifted in her place to try and keep the noisy kittens off her mind, eagerly welcoming the coming quiet.

Inka breathed a couple of times, glad that the cave was now in silence. Only then did she realize that it was quiet… indeed, too quiet... except for the very faint breaths of kittens. She raised an ear; they weren't being rambunctious or anything, they were just… sitting there.

The mother shifted around and opened an eye to see the four... five... six kittens well sat and lined up right by her side. The lot of them looked up to her with the same big pearly eyes and flickering ears and the same attentive, love-grabbing expression they learned from their father for when they really wanted things to go their way. Inka looked down at them, then up at Baluarkos who was sitting a short distance away, a half smile crossing his muzzle, and then down at the attentive kittens again.

One of the kittens, the youngest buck, eagerly raised a paw and pressed it against his mother's. Inka flattened her ears, she knew at that moment they had her against the corner. Her chest deflated.

"...Like, now?"




Not long after, the couple led their kittens to the world up the tunnel to outside the burrow. Baluarkos marched first, stepping on the short grass outside and taking a look at the hill behind him. It was still dark outside, and Baluarkos took it from the red-tainted sky that time for Frith to ascend was still a good while away; the kittens would have the time for some exploration and training.

The grumbling Nidorina and the six kittens of the couple marched out of the burrow next. The kittens were quick to spread around each doing their own thing, which mostly consisted in chewing some grass, pawing at the dirt, or trying to climb the ledges around the burrow. Inka sniffed around for a while before turning to her male, pointing him to guard the downhill side while she headed up the ledges to check that the burrow opening was safe.

After that came the time to secure the surroundings. Baluarkos instructed the kittens to keep close to the burrow and pay attention to their mother, then both parents went on their own way: Baluarkos to the first bushes and rocks downhill and Inka to the tree line uphill. All the while, the kittens observed with eager interest as their mother climbed the tree and scouted around.

The pair took their time to inspect the surroundings: scratching some territorial markings, listening for predators, and looking around for some familiar Pokémon in the area, all tasks which the sparsely populated hill made sometimes hard and boring. Unlike life in the more forested and protected hills to the west that served as the heart to the local Nidoran colony, the fringes where Baluarkos' family lived was a far quieter, but also more treacherous abode.

"No elil around," declared Inka, using the traditional term for the predators, as the pair got back to where the kittens were, "I think I can handle them on my own."

"You sure?" Baluarkos asked as he started rounding the kittens up, picking them up by the scruff of their necks and placing them besides his flank. a task made harder when the kittens decided to run circles around him. "I wanted to help with the basics and-"

"I can do that better," the female grunted, as she turned and leered at him, "in the meanwhile you go fetch us fresh food and herbs, you never know when one of them will get a scratch."

Baluarkos dropped his ears, taken aback. The kittens, sensing that their mother was about to train them, quickly turned to start running circles around her instead, growling and bumping at each other.

The male looked down at the kittens, who ignored him for their newfound entertainment, and back at their mother again, who kept her eyes trained at him, head slightly tilted. Baluarkos wondered if, from her expression, she was somehow as puzzled as he was. Before he could venture to ask about it however, the kittens started prancing around and clinging to her mother's side with their claws, trying to regain her attention.

The mother stepped back and thumped on the ground trying to call them to order, before looking back at the male and pointing him to the bushes uphill. Baluarkos blinked, prompting the female to repeat the gesture.

"I guess," was all he said before he waved the kittens a goodbye and marched uphill with heavy steps, to where he knew the good food was.

If the elil had not gotten to it first.




The Sun was already poking up over the horizon by the time Baluarkos was on his last round, and the lively green of the edge of the forest was now more visible, the trees and branches casting long but still faint shadows.

Baluarkos, sat on a patch of dirt right in front of some berry trees, looked to the horizon and then to the hill and the world below him, concerned. He then ran his paws across the ground, and started walking and sniffing around.

The first few runs for food had gone all right, just a matter of venturing into some relatively safe areas where he knew he could fetch food. As the couple was one of the very few ones living in that hill, competition with other Nidos for the food was not much of an issue, so that mostly left checking around for predators as usual.

The Nidorino sighed in concern and moved closer to his favourite berry tree to examine it. This last run was going not like the previous ones; the male had assumed no other Nidorino in the area would have ventured this far into the edge of the colony, to territory exposed to the strong Rock-type Pokémon or the "white wings of death". As such, he expected that none of them would even find the still young apicot berry tree among the bushes with the most juicy food that Baluarkos had kept hidden.

And yet here was his tree, almost picked bare of fruit.

A random berry sat a short distance away on the ground, crushed and trampled into the dirt. There were various footsteps in the area, and near the bushes he had found the scent of at least one Nidoran and some other Pokémon - maybe some Aron or Zigzagoon from the area.

Baluarkos gave a quick scan of the bushes’ surroundings. The location of the trees itself was still mostly protected and hidden, except for the presence of a specific intruder, masked by the scents of the trees themselves; but around the place and downhill there had been various indications of scuffles and skirmishes. He walked around his crushed fruit and dropped his head; there were far more signs of skirmishes than normal, and they looked fresh.

After thinking for a moment, the Nidorino headed to the nearby bushes. He had a bit of difficulty making his way through the steep ground or the large and slippery rocks, but all that also was of help - it made fights or easy ambushes unreliable; so it did not surprise the Nidorino that the marks on the tree bark and the ground downhill would lead him to a brook nearby., more open ground to where the action must have had followed.

Baluarkos frowned, realizing that the stream was the same water course that headed to his home burrow and then off to the next hill to the west - to the Colony.

Baluarkos emerged from the bushes and stood atop a ledge; his sight tracked the course of water as it snaked around downhill, reaching close to where his burrow was and then turning to the forest, to feed the grounds there. All the way the course seemed clean of intrusions.

He wondered if this had been a new species trying to settle in and mark territory in the area... which might mean there was also another Nido in the area trying to defend the territory. Baluarkos leaped down to the creek and followed it downhill, trying to check for traces of more scuffles.

As he made his way back to the burrow, Baluarkos grew worried. It was not only the presence of an intruder that had managed to find his berry patch that perturbed him, but on top of it all, the intruder had found and focused on his secret place. If Baluarkos could not defend it, he likely would not be able to defend the other, more numerous and spread-around ones.

The roaming of a potential predator or competitor did not worry him much - if it was a predator, Inka would take care of it as soon as it got close to the burrow. He was not that good at fighting. She would always stay close to the burrow to protect it and, as far as he knew, she would not ever lose a fight, not even against the cloud-like birds of death.

But he mostly scouted around the territory and collected food. If he couldn’t secure either, the defenses he put up would be for naught.

Plus, this intruder had taken away his favourite fruit. Her favourite fruit.

This, he decided, would deserve a horn ram or two.





Back at the burrow some time later, Inka had gathered her kittens and prepared them for the troop of Nidorino and Nidorina who would come pick them up. In fact, Inka could see the troop a distance away, occupied with keeping their trailing school of kittens secured amidst some rocks.

By this time, Baluarkos was returning from his last round, the Nidorino’s eyes looking tired and somewhat stressed. He obviously had found something along the way, though when Inka asked what had happened, the male brushed the matter off saying he could explain later before going to sit at a ledge, peering at the visiting troop.

The troop was spearheaded by a bulky Nidorino, who greeted Inka and Baluarkos with a bow, along with three or four Nidorina and Nidorino who only gave Baluarkos a passing, dismissive nod. Inka frowned, already used to her peers’ distant treatment of her mate, but said nothing to them. Instead, she stood on her hind legs and awaited for the leader to give the same briefing as every week: the troop was here to take the kittens to the communal grounds for a couple of days, so that they could be taught and trained while the adults focused on their stuff.

"...The usual," explained the leader Nidorino. "Gathering food and resources, and of course, protecting the forestland."

Baluarkos noticed the unflattering stares the lesser Nidos in the troop gave him when this last point was made. His ears folded back before he locked eyes with one of the males, and the two barely swung their horns at each other's general direction.

Not long after, Inka and Baluarkos's kittens were being round up by the troopers. One by one they gave their parli and marli a nuzzle. Inka licked each one on the left ear and instructed them to behave while in the communal grounds. Baluarkos too bade his children farewell, nuzzling them and reminding them, in a somewhat disappointed tone, to "stay charming" and to always pay ear to their surroundings.

Came the time to go, the adult Nidos inspected the surroundings to make sure that they were clear to go; this despite Baluarkos's assurances. A bit fed off of their usually dismissive attitude towards him, Baluarkos decided to approach one of the troopers.

"Say, if you'd be okay with that maybe I can accompany you to the next hill."

The Nidorino he spoke to, a younger but more muscular one with a long cut across his torso, blinked at him and shook his head. Certainly it was not rare for some parents to accompany the troop to the next burrow as a measure of security - and to keep the kittens entertained and obedient.

"We already have some parents with us," answered the male, looking away from Baluarkos.

The male ignored the hint and decided to try being just a bit more amicable. "We can always chat about things then! I'd like to see if any new families have tried to establish themselves in this area.."

"We don't need hlessi company, really," answered the male, not even attempting to hide his mocking of Baluarkos's social standing as an outcast. To his credit, Baluarkos did not react to the slur, he just waved his head to point to the brook that went down the mountain area and sardonically wished the troopers a fun trip downhill. After that he returned to the ledge he was previously on and kicked a random pebble away, he watched it roll downhill for a moment until it hit a tree.

In the end, the troopers just waved a curt goodbye to the couple and went off their way, circling a smaller marching troop of twenty-something kittens, Inka and Baluarkos' around them.

The two parents just remained as they were, together but separate; they waved some goodbyes and then stood there watching, once again, their family go.






Author's Notes



Background

Soooooo... this is only the first of two parts of the story. I swear, this was going to be a one-shot! Just a brief story about Nidorans being cute for Valentine's, who doesn't love that? But, well... it grew into a monster right under my nose. Whereas the previous story barely went over the 2k words barrier and the original model for this story was only projected to be four scenes and like 3k words long, all fluff no plot, it somehow twisted itself into a long story of xenofictional family values blah blah social criticism woof woof gender roles yadda yadda, of about 7k words long.

But that was not going to stop me from allowing you to experience the benediction of Nidoran cuteness! They are really an underrated species who deserve more screentime. So, after some discussion with my beta readers (hi there Virgil, Tracer and others!) I decided that, given the deadline and progress, it would be fit to split the story into a two-parter.

Actually, it would have been published very late yesterday, or today morning, but there were some weird issues around. Like, only now did I discover that the captcha of the new CDN PokéCommunity has since late last year won't allow me to create threads when I'm outside my house. Go figure, me, a virtual prisoner in meatspace. Add to that a horrible overnap of 4 hours plus the ensuing headache, and the usual annoyances of a work day... and here I am! I managed to do it!

Next Chapter

As such, that means that the next part of the story is inbound soon, hopefully before the weekend hits. As a fair warning, the release of the next part might be accompanied by some edits to this first part, in which case I'll let you know so you can re-experience the story whole.

The Setting

Some of you readers might be privvy to the fact that this story, like "Silly Human..." before it stars my two Nidoran characters Baluarkos (male) and Inka (female). This time we are seeing their life a couple of years after their erratic first encounter; now they have managed to find each other again and are living together in the wild, breeding cute little poisonous furballs. That means that, continuity-wise, this story can be considered a sort of indirect sequel to "Silly Human...", and of course takes place in The Suocéverse.

Glossary

One thing that some of you must have noted is the Nidoran dialect. It's basically Lapine from Watership Down, which totally fits rabbit-like Pokémon, so here you have a quick glossary of terms in case they were not obvious enough (I tried to make them as context-safe as possible):


* Frith - the name of the "Sun Bird", the deity that the Nidos worship and that here corresponds to the Legendary Bird Ho-Oh.
* émar - as a noun, one's mate; as a verb, to be a mate of someone, be it romantically or sexually.
* Embleer hraka - curses and expletives various, left to the imagination of the reader. {XD}
* roolil - kittens, plural (the singular is rooli).
* elil - a general term for one's "lethal foes", predators; the term is intended as a sort of superlative, calling someone an "ela" (the singular) implies no amicability is possible with them.
* parli, marli - father and mother, respectively.
* hlessi - a derogative term for an outcast, someone who lives on their own; the equivalent for us would be something like "hobo", except with a more charged social slur slant to it.


Credits

I, Venia Silente, am the author of this story, just in case that somehow was not clear enough. :p

Pokémon and creatures of the franchise are © Nintendo, Gamefreak et al, you know the drill.

This story references elements of Watership Down by Richard Adams.

Credits to Bits'n'bobstones (link), the online Lapine dictionary that I used as a source.

Beta reading was in charge of Virgil, Tracer, Tangent, Corvus Atrox and others from the WAAPT community and others related.





Well, that's all I really have to say for the moment. Stay tuned for the resolution of the story!


I hope you people enjoyed your Valentines!
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Old February 22nd, 2017 (5:46 PM).
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Bay Bay is offline
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Aw, I remember Baluarkos and Inka from the last story, and haha they have a family now. The Nidos are definitely very cute and Baluarkos seems to be such a proud father there. I do like some of the world building concerning the Nido family system, though I am aware you've been worldbuilding this region/verse for a long while now. Looking forward to part two.
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