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Choices in the Storm

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Thunderclouds rolled across the night sky above the beach, sending rain skittering across the ground, hammering against the windows of the professor's labratory. Lightning bolts danced along the clouds and occasionally arced downwards towards the ground, accompanied by the rumble of thunder.

Lillie paid it no mind, continuing to read a book that had recently been published regarding the new secret technique system that was phasing out the old hidden machine system that had been so prevalent in regions like Kanto and Johto. During the first few storms, she had been terrified, clutching her clefairy doll and trying to avoid screaming too loudly to not wake the poor professor up. Over time, and thanks to her recent adventures across Alola, she managed to overcome that particular fear.

However, she was soon drawn out of her reading by a gentle knocking at the door, barely loud enough to be heard over the rain beating against the windows. Lillie climbed down the ladder from the loft and put the book down on the couch as she made her way over to the door, curious as to who the visitor could be at this time. Professor Kukui was currently on Akala Island spending time with Professor Burnet, so it couldn't be him...

Lillie's question was answered when she unlocked the door and opened it, when she was greeted by the sight of a shivering and utterly drenched Sun.

"Sun!" she yelled in surprise, before gesturing him to come in. "By the Tapu, what happened to you?" she asked as she closed the door, turning to look at the figure who was now stood in front of her.

"W-w-w-went mantine s-s-s-surfing," Sun said lamely. It was then that Lillie noticed that Sun wasn't dressed in his usual outfit, instead being dressed in the surfing ride gear.

"In this weather?" she asked in alarm.

"I-I-I-I-I wanted t-t-t-to beat H-H-H-Hau's high s-score on P-P-P-P-Poni, b-b-b-but I-I-I-I got k-k-k-k-knocked off and s-s-s-s-swept away," he explained. Lillie sighed and shook her head.

"Well, where's your bag?" she asked.

"S-S-S-S-Still outside." Lillie turned around and opened the door, grabbing the bag off of the stairs to the labratory before closing and locking it again, shivering from her brief exposure to the storm outside.

She held it out to him. "Go get yourself changed, the bathroom's through the door under the loft. There's some towels in there as well for you to dry off with," she told him. Sun nodded, and grabbed the bag off of her, the touch of his ice cold fingers making her flinch and let out a small squeak before he walked away into the bathroom.

After he walked into the bathroom, Lillie quickly ran over to the professor's bedroom and grabbed the covers off of the bed, pulling them towards the couch in the main room, the luvdisc in the aquarium next to the couch watching her in confusion as she threw the cover onto the couch, before she walked over to the kitchen and put the kettle on, adding sugar and coffee to two cups, one for her, one for him.

Suddenly, Lillie felt something cold touch her shoulder, and she jumped away and turned to see Sun standing next to her, dressed in a blue tank top and white shorts, bag in one hand, his other hand outstretched as if to tap her shoulder. "Sun, you are still freezing. Go sit down on the couch and wrap yourself in those covers," she ordered him. Sun nodded again, and walked over to the couch, smoothing out the covers before lifting them up and sitting down on the couch with them over him, digging into his backpack for something. The kettle finished boiling, and as Lillie was pouring the water into the cups she heard the signiture sound of a poké ball being opened, and Sun started whispering to someone. Bringing the cups towards the couch, she soon saw who Sun was talking to.

"C-C-Circe, this is Lillie," Sun said, pointing to his friend who had just set the cups of coffee down and was picking up part of the covers to sit down on the couch under. "Lillie, this is C-C-Circe, s-s-she's helping me w-w-warm up," he told her, pointing to the larvesta currently snuggling up on his lap.

"A larvesta? Sun, how on Earth did you find a larvesta?" Lillie asked in surprise.

"A t-t-traveler on Ula Ula was selling an egg their volcarona had laid. Put me out about 20,000, but s-s-she is so adorable," he explained, his shivering starting to cease now that Circe was warming him up.

"Oh." Circe stopped snuggling Sun for a moment to look at Lillie. "Are you sure you should have a baby out when you are that cold?" she asked warningly.

"C-Circe isn't a baby. I'm pretty sure she's gonna evolve soon. And larvestas are fire type, remember? She was fine when we were training on Mount Lanakila, so I'm sure she's fine with me," Sun reassured Lillie. Circe was looking at Lillie expectantly, causing Lillie to look at Sun in confusion. "Oh, yeah. Sorry Circe, but Lillie doesn't like touching people," Sun explained to the larvesta, who let out a sad hiss, before moving over to let Sun reach for his coffee.

"Why were you trying to beat Hau's score on the mantine surf anyway?" Lillie asked as she reached for her coffee as well.

"He beat my high score this morning, so I figured I could get some practice in on Seraphim since the storm meant the other mantine surfers wouldn't be out," he explained. "But we wiped out badly and got carried away from the course and washed up here. 'Raph's okay, but I don't think we'll be doing that again," Sun tried to joke, only to awkwardly look back at the coffee in his hands to avoid Lillie's worried glare.

"Sun..." Lillie shook her head and sighed as he took a sip of it. "You are an idiot, you know that?"

"Yeah." A thought occured to him. "Do you have any books we can read?" he asked. Lillie nodded, and grabbed the book she had placed on the couch earlier from under the cover as Sun went to grab the lamp but stopped, suddenly having an idea. Lillie and Circe looked at him in confusion as he dug his way through his bag before pulling out another poké ball and opening it up, revealing the familar form of Faroh.

"Faroh," Sun greeted the ampharos. "Can you use your tail to light up the book for us? Don't use a lot of light." Faroh nodded, and a small amount of light was emitted from his tail, enough that it allowed Sun and Lillie to read the book together.

An hour past. Or maybe it was only half an hour? Lillie wasn't sure. But they had both finished their coffees, and Circe had fallen asleep, curled up in the corner of the couch. Sun was starting to drift off, his head now resting against the back of the couch, eyes closed. Lillie gestured to Faroh to turn the light off, and the ampharos complied, before quietly walking off to the other couch and climbing up there to sleep. Lillie gently placed the book on the table and rested her head against the couch, and closed her eyes to try to sleep.

A few moments later, she felt something move, and opened her eyes to see that Sun had fallen asleep, and was slowly, ever so slowly, toppling over from where he was resting his head. Lillie watched as Sun moved, inch by inch, off the back of the couch.

She would ended up giggling had his head not landed on her shoulder. She barely surpressed a squeak of alarm, but Sun gave no response. His shallow breathing told her he was asleep, fast asleep. He wouldn't even realise something was wrong.

Lillie sat there, now wide awake in alarm. She didn't like most people touching her, and the few that she didn't mind didn't go beyond handshakes. To have someone asleep on her shoulder... She didn't know what to do. She should wake Sun up, let him sleep on the couch while she went back to the loft, but she felt... Odd. Comfortable, to be more exact. There had been two times before this that she had felt like this with him. Once when they were forced to camp on Exeggutor Island and she'd woken up to him holding her hand in their sleep, and another time on the Altar when he came back from facing necrozma, and had hugged her, held her close, talking excitedly about the Ultra Megapolis and necrozma. The first time, it was the first time they'd camped together since her mother had abducted her back to their home and the second time, he'd had just returned from a journey the Ultra Recon Squad had stated he most likely would not return from...

But there was no dangerous journey he'd come back from this time, no fear of never seeing each other again. Just his own stupidity and competitiveness. But this felt nice, but then again, she didn't know how he'd react when he woke up. Sun wasn't really a cuddly person, he might be embarassed, she might be embarassed...

But there might not be another chance like this.

So Lillie made her decision.

She carefully moved herself to make herself comfortable so she sleep and so that Sun could sleep without any aches bothering him in the morning. She closed her eyes, the beat of the rain against the walls, the windows comforting her as she started to drift away on the currents of sleep, her friend asleep next to her, the storm raging overhead ineffective in disturbing their serene world.

Whatever happened come morning, she was glad for this chance to sleep like this.