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Let's Go Safari!
Part VI

Naruto strolled along the shore of the clover-shaped pond while Sakura kept using his fishing pole.  He'd already hooked a tadpole-like tympole, which he'd decided to name Gamatatsu.  Not being as big of a fisherman as his mother, he was ready to move on in search of other pokémon.

I've caught six pokémon now, he mused.  And I have nine safari-balls left.  So…

A quacking sound drew his eyes back to the surface of the pond.   A small flock of blue-feathered duck-like pokémon were paddling along and playing with each other.  As he watched them, he was struck by an idea.

Mom's always complained that there aren't any good water pokémon that can actually fly.  She has Briny, but now that he's a pelipper she thinks that he looks all dopey and slow.  Maybe I could get one of these as a present for her.

After thinking it over for a minute, he pulled out his bait bag and started sprinkling the tasty cubes onto the water to tempt some of the pokémon closer.  Several of the duck pokémon paddled closer, snapping the treats up in their bills.  When Naruto saw one that was close enough and looked thoroughly distracted, he made his move.

He bopped the water fowl in the head with a safari-ball and it was drawn inside with a startled squawk.  It was hard to tell how much the ball was twitching as it bobbed on the surface of the water.  But when the red light went out there was no question that his attempt had been a success.

"Alright!" Naruto cheered and plopped onto the ground to pull off his shoes and socks.  Now to go get it…

***

When the magmar finally refused to let him wander any further, Sasuke turned and skulked back to where he'd left the rest of his group.  He'd captured two more pokémon: a steely pawniard and a ferret-like mienfoo.  Perhaps he could convince the others to follow the path that he'd taken.  Before he'd had to turn back he thought he'd seen the entrance to a small cave.

Obito, the relative that he'd decided to classify as "embarrassing", was still sitting on the log while his saddled rapidash grazed on the meadow grass.  Sakura seemed to have hooked a heart-shaped pink fish with hand-like fins with Naruto's pole and was gushing excitedly over it.  And Naruto had his shoes and socks off and his pant legs rolled up to the knees, like he'd been wading in the pond.

"What's that called?" Naruto was asking the pink-haired girl.

"An alomomola," Sakura answered.  "It's it pretty?"

"It's got a long name," Naruto remarked.

"I think I'll call her 'Alo'," Sakura said thoughtfully.  Then she caught sight of him out of the corner of her eye.  "Sasuke-kun, you're back!"

"Hn," the Uchiha boy grunted as all eyes swung towards him.

"So…you catch something?" Obito inquired.

"Snivy, pawniard, mienfoo," Sasuke listed tersely.  "Can we move on now?"

"So impatient," the adult sighed with a shake of his head.

The corners of Sasuke's mouth twitched down in a brief frown and he headed over to where he'd left his backpack on the roots of a shady tree.  Naruto's and Sakura's bags were there at the base of the tree, too, along with Obito's light bag.  The blond boy's litwick had been left loose there so that it could continue to accelerate his egg's incubation.  But he'd only taken a few steps when the ghostly candle started flailing and making a ruckus.

"What's the matter Onibi?" Naruto asked.

Obito lifted his sunglasses and squinted his remaining eye.  "Looks like your egg is cracking."

Naruto promptly freaked out.  "What!  What am I supposed to do?  What—"

"Relax," Obito chuckled.  "Just hold it and when it hatches make sure that you're the first it sees."

Sakura shoved him over to where the two-tone brown egg was shivering and cracking, pushed him into a sitting position, and put the egg in his lap.  While the girl bounced with barely restrained excitement, Obito took his time limping over with the aid of his walking stick.  Sasuke rested his shoulder against the tree trunk and watched with much greater dignity than his two former classmates.

The egg wobbled and shuddered as cracks split the eggshell with painful slowness.  It started at the narrow top end and stretched down towards the wider bottom end.  Then, finally, it burst open with a flash of light.

When the glow faded, the creature that had been growing inside the egg was revealed at last.  It was brown and fluffy, with long thin ears and a bushy, fox-like tail.  It opened large black eyes and squinted up at Naruto's face, then its fluffy tail started to wag.

"A baby eevee!" Sakura breathed.  "It's adorable!"

Sasuke wasn't terribly impressed.  Eevee was a decent pokémon and very flexible in terms of possible evolutions.  And while it wasn't terribly common, it also wasn't incredibly rare.  Naruto's mother possessed a female vaporeon (which explained exactly where the egg had come from) and Naruto already had an umbreon, so another eevee wasn't necessarily anything that he needed.

But then he happened to take a look at Naruto's face and found himself completely puzzled by the other boy's reaction.

Why does he look like he's seeing a ghost?

***

Naruto stared down at the pokémon on his lap and felt like someone had thumped him in the back of his head with a heavy book.  The eevee from his dream stared up at him with the same innocent, cheery face.  If he didn't feel so stunned and if he wasn't stuck sitting down, he probably would've staggered away from it just like he had in the dream.

"Vee!"

"I bet it'll look up to Shadow like a big brother," Sakura babbled happily.  "They'll look so cute together, don't you think?"

Now it felt like someone had socked him in the stomach.  He bowed his head as his eyes stung and he tried to find air to breathe.  His fingers fisted in the short green grass and he felt vaguely ill.

"Vee?"

The eevee peered up at him and its wagging tail slowed.  It was a little smaller than most eevees that he'd seen, he noticed with detachment.  It wasn't as fluffy with a shorter neck ruff and its long ears seemed a bit floppy.

"It's too bad that we had to leave our pokémon behind for this safari," Sakura continued.  "Otherwise Shadow could meet it right now."

Naruto gritted his teeth together so hard that his jaw started to ache.  He wanted to tell her to shut up, but he couldn't seem to unfreeze himself to do it, or anything else.  So he just sat there with his head down and hoped that she'd shut up soon.

The eevee seemed to be worried by his non-reaction to it.  The brown fluff ball wobbled into his stomach and tried to climb up his chest to get closer to his face.  But as a hatchling fresh from its shell, it had terrible coordination and ended up toppling onto its back in his lap and flailing its paws in the air, spreading tiny bits of eggshell everywhere.

"Eee!"

"What are you going to name it?" Sakura asked.  "Do you have any idea what you'll evolve it into?  How about an espeon, to compliment your umbreon?  Or does Shadow's type not matter—"

"Shut up," Naruto finally managed to choke out.  "Shadow's dead."

And then he lurched into motion.  He staggered upright, causing the newborn eevee to slip off his lap with a squeal, and stalked off, leaving his shoes, socks, bag, and litwick behind.  The blond boy stumbled to the far side of the pond before he decided to sit down again.

He wanted to rage at his mother, but she was out of reach until he could get out of the Safari Zone and find a phone.  He wanted to bite Sakura's head off, but she hadn't upset him on purpose; she had no idea about Shadow because he hadn't told her, or any of his old classmates.  He wanted to trade the baby eevee for Shadow, but not only was that impossible, it wasn't really fair to the fluffy newborn.

Naruto sat with his back up against a tree and slowly shredded fallen leaves with his fingers without really seeing what he was doing until something dared to interrupt his solitude.

"Vee~!"

The eevee almost bounced off his knee as it tried to pounce on him.  It scrabbled onto his leg and pawed at his arm frantically.  When he looked its face, he couldn't help but remember his dream.

—"Don't go!  Don't leave me alone!  I love you!"—

Naruto chewed on the inside of his cheek while the eevee pleaded with its large dark eyes.

Stupid…it was just a dream.

A touch on his other side alerted him to the fact that Onibi had shown up as well.  The spectral candle petted his arm much the way that it had the previous evening when he'd first met it.  Naruto watched the litwick for a moment before sighing.

"Sorry about running off like that…"

"That's good to know," Obito's voice answered, making the boy jump.  

When he turned and peered around the trunk of the tree, he saw the Uchiha riding towards him on Wildfire with Ash trotting alongside.  The houndoom spat Naruto's shoes with the socks stuffed in them at the boy's feet and snorted with disgust.  Naruto's backpack dangled from Obito's maimed right hand.

"It's time for us to get moving if we'll be doing any more hunting before it's time for lunch," Obito said.  "So let's get a move-on, shall we?"

Naruto nodded sheepishly and started putting his socks and shoes back on.

"So…your friends didn't know?  At all?"

"I was alone when it happened," Naruto muttered.

"Why were you alone?" Obito asked as he tossed the blond his bag.

"I travel alone," Naruto shrugged as he returned Onibi to his safari-ball.

"Why?"

"Everybody else left before I did," he shrugged again.  "Ino, Chouji, and Shikamaru stuck together because their dads are all friends.  Shino and Kiba went with Hinata because her dad asked them to.  Sakura managed to attach herself to Sasuke because she's into him, and Sai was with them too, but he left after a little while so nobody knows where he is…"

"So you're by yourself all the time?" Obito frowned.

"I always have my pokémon with me," Naruto muttered.  He hesitated before gingerly scooping up the little eevee and tucking it in the crook of his arm.  "Hey…why do you think my mom gave me this?"

"I can only make guesses, but I'm sure that she didn't mean for it to upset you so much," Obito replied and turned Wildfire back towards where Sasuke and Sakura were waiting.

"Maybe," Naruto mumbled as he followed and the eevee started licking the bare skin of his forearm with its warm tongue.  "I don't want another umbreon to replace Shadow."

"Impossible!" Obito snorted.  "Every pokémon is unique, even within a single species.  And no one's saying you need to evolve that eevee into another umbreon; it can become six other things depending on what you decide."

"Yeah," Naruto nodding slowly as they came into view of his two traveling companions.  "I guess so…"

"Try not to worry about it," Obito advised.  "Now let's go check out this cave that little cousin Sasuke has found!"

Sasuke heard that remark and scowled at his adult relative.  Sakura shifted uncomfortably, unsure of whether or not she should chastise an adult in defense of her crush.  Naruto managed a weak grin and adjusted his grip on the eevee so that it couldn't lick him anymore.

I should try and enjoy myself.  This is a great opportunity—getting to play in the Safari Zone for free.  I'll worry about why Mom gave me an eevee egg when I can get at a phone.

***

Sasuke peered around the recesses of the tiny cave.  It was small as caves went, and clearly artificial, made from concrete and chunks of imported rock.  His group's arrival had started a flock of fluffy flying things called woobats into flying away, but aside from them the cave seemed to be empty.

There had better be something else in here, he thought with a scowl.

If he had been alone, an empty cave wouldn't have been a big deal.  Sakura had wasted a safari-ball on trying to get one of the woobats as it had fled, but it had failed and then all the bats had disappeared into the surrounding trees.  If no one caught anything, this little exploration would be a waste of time, and that would reflect on him as it had been his idea.

At least his old classmates seemed suitably distracted from his poor choice of direction.  He'd been blindsided by Naruto's admission that his umbreon was dead.  Sakura had been even more shocked and she was clearly torn by respecting his feelings and finding out exactly what had happened, so she settled on constantly glancing at and away from him and not saying a word.  And Naruto, while more subdued than normal, did his best to act like he hadn't freaked out and stormed off earlier.  He mostly rubbed his newly hatched eevee's ear and asked Obito about his adventures working in the Safari Zone.

A sound scrabbling sound immediately caught his attention.  Sasuke squinted into a dim cave chamber and saw something moving.  In order to get a better look, he tossed a handful of bait cubes to tempt it closer.

The pokémon was a small four-legged reptile creature.  It was dark in color—mostly blue with a black feathers or fur covering its head and neck.  A spike poked out of the top of its head and it was impossible to see its eyes, or even if it had any eyes.  While it was distracted with munching on the sweet treats, he scanned it with his pokédex with the voice function turned off.

Deino…a dark dragon…

Sasuke scooped up some rock fragments in one hand and pulled a safari-ball from his pocket with the other, and set about catching what he hoped would be his big brother's nightmare.

***

Ino brushed her bangs aside as she and her group traversed the desert.  Well, it wasn't really a desert; it was just a corner of the new part of the park that had been covered with a layer of sand and a few big rocks.  But real or not, it was home of a selection of desert-loving monsters and that's what they were on the look-out for.

So far, their pokémon-catching efforts were going well.  Ino had captured several pink pokémon with flower patterns on their hides less than a few minutes outside of camp.  She'd found one munna right after the other and had collected three of them.  One she would keep for herself and she planned on giving one to each of her parents.  And in addition to the little psychic tapirs, she'd also picked up a cute child-like monster called gothita.

Chouji had picked up two new monsters as well.  The first one had been a disgusting animated garbage bag called a trubbish, which he found just as cute as his cubchoo that always had an enormous glob of snot hanging from its nose.  And as soon as they'd come to the desert area, he'd caught a little rock creature named roggenrola.

Shikamaru had caught a lot of pokémon, but they were all the same species.  When they stumbled over a large herd of deerling, he'd just thrown safari-balls until he'd run out.  Ino was sure that he'd done that because he'd come to find their safari to be "troublesome" and he was done expending any effort on it.

His ridiculous laziness really made her want to scream sometimes.

Ino puffed out her cheeks in annoyance and resisted the urge to kick at the sandy ground.  If she did she'd just get sand—well, more sand—in her shoes and it would irritate her more.  So she pushed Shikamaru's complete lack of ambition or drive out of her mind and focused on getting as much as possible out of this unique opportunity.

A smudge of green against the dirty yellow of the sandy field caught her attention and Ino stopped short.

"I'm going that way, okay?"

Before anyone could disagree, Ino made a beeline for the blob of green.  The color green almost always meant a grass pokémon, and her family was big on grass pokémon.  So any green pokémon was well worth her checking out.

The unknown green thing soon resolved itself into a pokémon her pokédex could identify.  It looked like a cactus crossed with a bunny rabbit and its jagged mouth was set into a cheery grin.  The monstrous cactus was called a maractus and watching the cute thing wiggle made Ino want to squeal, but she restrained herself lest she startle it into fleeing.

But a handful of bait and two safari-balls later, Ino had it caught and allowed the squeal of delight out.

I love this place!

***

Naruto munched on an apple as he sat outside a rest house.  Unlike the one at the center of campsite, this building was unfinished.  There were plastic sheets in the windows instead of glass, there was no furniture inside of the house, and there was no electricity.  The only thing that functioned was the toilet.  Their lunch had been preserved in several ice-filled coolers.

Before they'd stopped for food, Sasuke and Sakura had both captured two new pokémon apiece.  Sasuke had caught a deino at a fairly steep cost in safari-balls, and then an electric zebra called blitzle.  Sakura had caught a blitzle at the same time as Sasuke from the same small herd, and then she'd gotten her hands on an amoeba-like pokémon called solosis.

Naruto hadn't caught anything new, though he had tried.  He'd tried to get his own blitzle, but all the zebras had disappeared before he could make a throw.  He had attempted to get a deerling, but after wasting two balls his target had bounded away.  And just before they'd reached the rest area he had tried to get some kind of cute puppy called lillipup but again he wasted a safari-ball for no return.

Now I just have five left…

His eyes drifted down to the pokéball resting by his knee.  He'd left the eevee lose up until around the start of lunch.  It kept getting into everything and running around and so he'd finally introduced it to the pokéball that would be its mobile home.  With it confined he'd been able to eat without worrying about it getting lost.

He really didn't know what he felt about the little fluff ball.  It was cute and energetic and friendly, always trying to lick him, touch him, get his attention.  He didn't dislike it and want to get rid of it, but he didn't want to get attached to it either.

Naruto traced a fingertip over the cool metal of the only pokéball he'd been allowed to bring into the park.

Should I insist that Mom take it back?  Should I get rid of it by trading?  Should I…keep it, and give it a name?

The questions chased themselves around in his brain until his teeth hit the tough core of the apple and he realized that he was finished with it.  He snapped the pokéball to the bracket on his belt and gathered up the garbage from his lunch for disposal.  Then he happened to catch sight of Sakura heading away from the rest house with Ash the houndoom and a sense of purpose about her and on a whim he decided to tag along.

"So, where are we going?" he asked her as he jogged up to her side.

Sakura jumped at his sudden appearance.  "Oh, uh…I saw that there was a stream this way and since everything needs to drink water I figured that there would be pokémon over here."

"Cool," he grinned.  "Do you think we should get Sasuke?"

"I already invited Sasuke-kun to come along," the pink-haired girl shrugged.  "He was too busy studying his pokédex."

"Too bad for him then," Naruto said.  "I bet we'll find some cool stuff and he'll miss out!"

"Naruto," she sighed and shook her head.

They slipped through a screen of trees to find a shallow stream that ran over a pebbly bed.  Just across the water there were two pokémon in clear view.  They were small, barely two feet high, and gray-green in color.  They had fin-like crests on their heads and sizeable straight tusks jutting from the corners of their mouths.

The two tusked pokémon were facing each other and appeared to be playing a mirroring game.  One would raise its right arm, and the other would raise its left arm.  One would shake its head and the other would do the same.  The only difference between them was that one seemed stupefied by the other's mimicking ability, and the other found its fellow's amazement humorous.

Naruto made up his mind and made his move first.  He plucked a pebble from the stream and used it to bean the grinning tusked lizard in the head to daze.  And as soon as the little rock left his hand, he reached for a safari-ball to send right after it.  The creature was so stunned by the first blow that the safari-ball barely wiggled before the capture light went out.

Sakura was seconds behind him.  Since the remaining pokémon was panicking, she didn't try to use any stones.  Two balls ended up getting broken, but the third one was the charm and she caught it.

"I'll get them!" Naruto volunteered and got across the stream by stepping on a few rocks that peeked above the water.

"They're axew," Sakura said as she stared at the screen of her pokédex.  "They're a dragon-type pokémon!"

"Awesome!" Naruto beamed.

The blond boy shoved his catch into his pocket and tossed the other safari-ball over the stream to Sakura before retracing his steps back to the opposite bank.  Sakura kept researching her newest acquisition with excited intensity.  Ash didn't seem to sense anything else nearby and took the opportunity to get a drink from the clear stream.

"Let's go make Sasuke jealous," Naruto suggested and started back towards the rest house before Sakura could share her own ideas.

Sasuke was exactly where they'd left him—sitting on the countertop and leaning against an unpainted wall as he perused data in his pokédex.  Obito was sitting on top of one of the coolers with his prosthetic leg popped off so that he could rub at the stump.  The older Uchiha waved upon their return while the younger one completely ignored them.

"Get anything?" Obito asked as Ash settled down beside him.

"We got dragons!" Naruto boasted.

"Let's see 'em," their guide invited.

They released their fresh catches at almost the same time.  Sakura's axew reappeared first.  Naruto's re-solidified a fraction of a second later.

"An axew!" Obito smiled.  "And…uh…"

"That's not a dragon, Idiot," Sasuke snorted.

"Wha—huh?"

The thing that had come out of his safari-ball wasn't a little green dragon with tusks.  It was a charcoal gray furry thing with an inky black neck ruff, red paws, red eyebrows, and a red tuft of fur on its head.  The creature was mammalian, fox-like, and it glanced over its shoulder at him with something like disdain in its blue eyes.

"That was not what I caught," Naruto declared with a point of his finger.

"No, it was an axew, I saw it!" Sakura agreed.

"Weird," Obito muttered and pulled out his little field guide.  "Well, let's see what it is…"  He paged through the catalogue of pictures from cover to cover, and then started looking through it again.  "This…doesn't make any sense."

"What doesn't?" Sakura asked.

"Every species that we ordered is in this book," Obito frowned and pushed up his sunglasses to get a better look at the pictures.  "But…but it's not in here!"

"Then how did it get here?" Sakura wondered.

"And what is it?" Naruto sputtered.

Sasuke turned the volume up on his pokédex.

"Zorua, the tricky fox pokémon…"
Disclaimer: I don’t own Naruto or Pokémon. If I did, I’d have a lot of money…but I don’t. So don’t bother suing, you won’t get anything out of it.

Notes: (Crossover, could be a crack!fic if you want) Here there be Naruto characters and Pokémon monsters! This is a short story which takes place about a month after the events of “Shadow and Ash”.

Read, review, and enjoy!



Let’s Go Safari!:
Part I: [link]
Part II: [link]
Part III: [link]
Part IV: [link]
Part V: [link]
Part VI: HERE
Part VII: [link]
Part VIII: [link]
Part IX: [link]
Part X: [link]


Index: [link]
Add a Comment:
 
:icondef-h:
Def-H Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
(To the other commenter) No one is as late as me.
OK now to finish all the comments on this story
1) Finally the egg hatched and Naruto has an Eevee, too bad he didn’t want one.
2) Well at least he told them that shadow died.
3) I think it would be good if Naruto didn’t have to travel alone so often.
4) Heh Naruto definitely has quite a bit of luck catching a zorua.
Reply
:iconmolliemon:
Molliemon Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
1) ^^;
2) :nod:
3) :meow:
4) :D
Reply
:iconpopthepuff:
PopthePuff Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2011
Aw sorry for he seriously late review. I was kinda ill and in the hospital. :XD:
But yeah i'm back. And Hell eah, Zorua!And he's pretty nice to the Evee. An Axew woulda still been cool though. :/
Reply
:iconmolliemon:
Molliemon Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2011
Hospital?!
:ohnoes:
Reply
:iconpopthepuff:
PopthePuff Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2011
I know right. It wasn't life threatening though. Boredom was the worst virus over there. I feel happier now. :XD:
Reply
:iconfarmercout10:
Farmercout10 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2011
Ehhh, one dragon in his team is enough for Naruto. And Sakura training up a Haxorus is appropriate for her. Still dissapointed in Naruto's non-capture of a Golett, but at least Sasuke got a Pawniard. Does it look like Naruto's actually gonna start travelling with people now or am I reading too much into that 'I travel alone' line?
Reply
:iconmolliemon:
Molliemon Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2011
:meow:
Reply
:iconsilvershadowstalker:
SilverShadowStalker Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2011
I KNEW IT!!! And Poor Eevee. I hope he keeps it and loves it. It won't be nice of Naru to keep it in Shadows proverbial shadow.
Reply
:iconmolliemon:
Molliemon Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2011
:)
Reply
:iconkiri-razael:
Kiri-Razael Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
He took it better than I expected, it was a good thing that Naruto had that dream and met his eevee before it hatched :)
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