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Nanu's Revenge

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Chapter 1

I was bloodied and beaten, all by Team Skull. They had taken my Pokémon and nearly left me for dead. This… limbo because consciousness and unconsciousness. What is this… feeling? I must have been knocked out good, if I can’t even tell what state of consciousness I’m even in. My arms and legs… they feel like rubber bands that have been stretched too much. My tongue hurts as well as my jaw.

You there, said a voice inside my head.

Hmm? Who are you? I ask it.

You won’t believe me… but I am Pokémon. I can speak to you telepathically, but only when I’m a Psychic-type.

Only when you’re a Psychic-type? You know I specialise in Dark-types?

But you have no Pokémon with you, Nanu, the voice stated matter-of-factly.  I see Team Skull has beaten you to a pulp. Allow me to take care of you. I too, was a victim of Team Skull’s rage. They abandoned me after I was deemed ‘too wild’.

What kind of Pokémon are you if you can speak telepathically to me? And what did you mean by ‘only if I’m a Psychic-type? I’m still trying to come to my senses. And how in God’s name do you know my name?

I can read your thoughts and I can easily search your mind. My name… I don’t know if I have one. The scientists that escaped from… they called me Type: Full.

Type: Full, where did you come from?

I escaped the labs at Aether Paradise, the voice sighed heavily.

My eyes immediately shot open. I had finally come to my senses. I squinted at the full-blown sun that was casting a bright yellow light. It sucked being an albino. I could barely see in any amount of sunlight, so I had to confine myself to going outside when it was dark or wearing sunglasses.

I stared at the strange Pokémon before me. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. It resembled a hodgepodge of several species of Pokémon. It was mainly black and silver in colour, with olive green front claws, a blue tail studded with grey scales and a pinkish centre. Dark blue scales studded its back legs, and its back legs ended in paws. Around its head, long flowing feather-like structures draped over its chest and back. On top of its head, formed a large crest with three feathers that were pink in colour. The front part of its crest resembled a hatchet, and below that, sat two, short ears with red pinnae and black centres. It stared at me with beautiful, pink eyes with grey irises. Two sharp fangs formed inside its menacing mouth. Its gaze only more menacing with a black mask over its eyes. It had two, strange round objects sitting just below its eyes. Nothing in between its legs indicated to me it was neither male nor female. Was it hermaphroditic?

“You’re a strange creature, huh?” I asked. “You look like a hodgepodge, now how on earth did you come to be?”

Like I said, I escaped from the Aether Paradise. I have no idea where I came from. I have no clues. All I know is, I am a danger to humans. They are after me. I can tell.

“If you’re so dangerous, why are you helping me?” I asked.

I can tell that you’re trustworthy. I know for a fact that you’re an Interpol officer.

“That was so… long ago. I semi-retired. I no longer work for Interpol, even though I do still wear a badge. I am an island kahuna now, Type: Full. It’s something I chose because I got tired of the long hours and endless paperwork. When I’m a kahuna, it’s and easy life for me. Do I still have my weapon? Of course. They let me keep it.”

I’m glad you don’t have your revolver on you. I wouldn’t want you to hurt me if I was to go berserk. Which I am prone to for no reason.

“No reason? Hmm…”

It stared at me with a blank look, not knowing what to say.

“Do you know what gender, or biological sex you are?” I asked nonchalantly.

What’s… what’s that? It looked puzzled.

“Well… every living creature has a biological sex, or gender. Gender tends to be more of a societal concept. Biological sex is a thing you’re born with. See me? My biological sex is male. My good friend Émile is male as well. His boss… my boss… She is female.” I shrugged. Oh Cecilia. What has become of you. You faked your own death to get away from society’s monsters.

Did… did something happen to this… Cecilia?

“Yes. She faked her own death. There are monsters in our society. Some are eviller than others. Oh yes. I remember his name: Doyle Avery, but he also went by Oliver Swift, he was a man of many names. All just as evil and conniving as the last. She had to escape him somehow.” My eyes started to cloud over thinking about him. “Cecilia… I’ll never see her again. I helped her fake her own death. I put her under a witness protection program. Her and her son. I don’t know her new name. Avery managed to murder her husband.”

Type: Full said nothing, only staring at me again, but with sadness in its eyes. Despite being so massive and tall, it sunk down and laid its head near my leg. I looked at my legs, they were bloody and bruised.

    What is… a husband?

“A husband is what Pokémon would call a ‘mate’ of sorts. We have a word for when a husband has a female ‘mate’. She is called a wife.”

Male and female, husband and wife?

“That’s it, you got it.”

But what does male and female mean?

“Hmm. Most Pokémon can mate with each other if they’re male and female. It’s how they can have offspring.”

So, two male and two female Pokémon cannot mate?

“Yes, basically, but here’s where things can get complicated. Some humans don’t like to be their biological sex. Some humans want to be male, or female, depending on what sex they were born with. That is why I was saying it’s more of a societal concept. Because humans can’t tell if a person’s gone through surgery to become male or female. It’s a complicated subject for something of your kind to understand, especially the fact that you didn’t know what it meant when I first started talking to you.”

I get it. People don’t want to be what they’re born with, and so they try to change it. I sometimes wish I was something else. Not a monster from a lab that everyone’s deathly afraid of. Yes. I remember his name: Faba. He is the one that created me… this monster you see before me. Burning hatred started to form in its eyes. A small disc-like object inserted into the round object behind its eyes. No longer were its eyes pink, but a blazing red. Its tail and feathery crest turned into a bright red too. Its new appearance startled me, as it started to slash random trees and rocks. Flames shot from its mouth, incinerating the grass below it.

I tried to get up, but couldn’t. I then realised my right leg was broken. “Shit,” I spat. “Not only did they ruin my pride, but they broken my right leg too.” I was able to move my arms at least. I leaned forward and started to drag myself towards a broken stump.

It didn’t notice me as I was dragging myself, as it was still raging and incinerating random trees. I had never seen such an angry Pokémon before. The light from its fire burned into my retinas.

“Is… this a dream?” I pondered rhetorically. “What is this… limbo? Am I still unconscious, is this only a dream?” Only then did I realise that my leg wasn’t broken, but dislocated. “Well, my leg ain’t broke,” I muttered to myself. “I’m glad they didn’t break my leg. I’m glad it’s only dislocated.” I went ahead and grabbed a stick to bite down on, because I knew it would be so painful. I was nowhere near a doctor, so I had to do it myself. 1…2…3… I counted in my head. I grabbed my leg and twisted it back into the kneecap. I screamed through the stick, only to break it in half. I watched the two pieces fall onto the ground. I had to maintain my composure in order to not throw up from the pain. My eyes watered to the point of tears.

I collapsed onto the ground, but I didn’t fall asleep, but I kept looking at the Type: Full. I could barely see through the bushes, but enough see a man walk up to it.

His appearance was weaselly, with a long white lab coat, white gloves and tall white boots. His hair was blond and was beginning to bald, but he sported a small moustache. Fury was in his blue eyes, and he spoke aggressively. “Type: Full. Why are you here?” he hissed.

Type: Full was about to attack, but he let out a Drowzee before it could react. The yellow and brown tapir materialised and used a Psychic-type move, stopping Type: Full and causing it to stop moving.

“Good job, Drowzee.” He petted the top of its head. He turned his attention back to Type: Full. “Time to put your helmet back on!” he cackled evilly. He grabbed a brown thing from off the ground, slipping it back onto Type: Full. Type: Full collapsed. The Drowzee released its psychic grip from it. I watched in horror, as I couldn’t do anything or move because of the pain I was in.  

It looked like a completely different Pokémon than it was before. Its head was completely covered in a brown mask, with hinges on each side of its head. There were two pieces on the side of its head resembled Phillips screwdriver, while four vanes protrude from its collar, with green circles.

“You’re coming with me, and you will do what I say.” The man’s voice was a harsh and curt.

 Type: Full just growled and started following him slowly. Drowzee followed behind the two, maybe to prevent Type: Full from escaping.

I wonder if this is Faba? I questioned to myself. It was to be, I just know it is. I need to gather up my strength and follow them.

Before I could get up, I heard a Pokémon sniffing me.

Blu found me.

Blu, you found me. Thank God.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 2

The huge Persian, Blu stared at me. Her eyes stared at me happily. “Meee-ow!” she mewed. Her bright, silky blue fur and blue jewel shined beautifully in the sunlight. Despite her huge head, she was lithe and sleek. She was larger than most Persians, which made me wonder if she was a Totem Pokémon.

“Oh Blu, I can’t believe you found me!” I wrapped my arms around her, hugging her tightly, feeling her soft fur and breathing in the scent of fur.

She purred and licked me, her rough tongue messing up my pale hair.  

I laughed a little from her tongue tickling me. “Blu, can you take me home?” I asked.

Her huge head just nodded. I hoisted myself up onto her back and wrapped my arms around her neck carefully. I winced from the pain in my leg, but I ignored it. She let out a meow and immediately started to run off.

It took about 25 mins to get back home to Route 17. My leg hurt the entire time from each stride she took, and my eyes were burning from the searing light from the sun, so I had to keep them closed the whole time. I finally opened them as soon as we arrived, as it was almost always cloudy in the area.

Rain began to fall before I could enter my house. This rain was cold instead of the normal warm rain, so I began to shiver. Blu immediately shot out, taking a huge leap and landing on the porch. I searched my pockets, and lo and behold, they didn’t steal my keys! I immediately opened the door, looked around to make sure nothing was wrong.

I looked over at Blu, she was lax and looked up at me, cocking her head. She let out a small mew before jumping onto the couch closest to the front door. I locked the door and made my way to the couch, sitting next to her. I petted her behind her ear, and she started to purr quietly. She laid her head down onto of my lap. I smiled at her and petted her down her back and tail. I knew she liked that too.

I leaned my head back, resting it against it against the back of the couch. I stared at the white, popcorn ceiling with the glittery things mixed in. I sighed heavily, trying to think of a plan to get back Type: Full. Before I knew it, I fell asleep from exhaustion.


I woke up from dreamless sleep. It took me a second to get used to the dark, as the sun had already set while I was sleeping. Blu was still sleeping on my lap, but I suspected she was getting hungry. “Blu, wake up,” I said quietly. “Are you hungry? I’m gonna make a ‘chicken’ salad. Would you like to have some?”

“Meow,” she let out a loud mew, opening her eyes. She immediately shot up and jumped onto the floor, without making a sound.

I had gotten used to the dark, but I went ahead and turned on the lamp that’s beside the couch. I made my way to the kitchen, with Blu tailing me. I turned around, looking at her and smiling. I turned on the kitchen light, I had to squint for a few seconds, but it wasn’t as bad as sunlight.

Blu’s eyes were slits, staring at me in anticipation, her tail twitching and sitting down on her haunches.

“Sorry Blu, it’ll be a few minutes.” I looked at her while I grabbed a salad mix and a can of the ‘chicken’, which was lab-based but had the same nutrients but made from mesenchymal cells from the feathers of a Blaziken. The thought of eating a real Blaziken made shudder, but I ignored it because I was starving. I mixed a tiny bit into my salad. I set the can down onto the floor and she immediately ate it in one bite.

“Remind me to get more cans,” I sighed. “It’s expensive, but it’s because I love you, Blu.” I smiled and leaned over a little to pet her on the top of the head. She purred and lied down on the bench on that bay window, resting her head on a bluish-grey pillow that I had placed there. Her eyes were slits and she fell asleep while purring.

Something’s off about her… usually she’s so active right now. I bet she’s exhausted from looking for and carrying me. Maybe I’m over-reacting, I thought to myself while I mixed my salad. I finished and made my way to the table, sitting down carefully, as not to hurt my leg even more than it already was. Pain shot up every move I made. I don’t know how to rescue Type: Full, or how to even startI drifted off in my thoughts while slowly eating my salad. 

Nanu… help me. Help me.

“Huh?” I muttered, shocked at the strange voice.

Nanu, help me, please!

I ate my salad quicker, immediately shot up, ran and got my gun. I was ready.

I was ready to save her.



Third person’s POV

“Why do I have to be a cage? Why do I have to have this helmet?” Type: Full cried out, barely able to move. A few tears dripped down her cheeks, landing on the bottom of her helmet. She stood up and walked to the other side of her cage, her movements sluggish because of the helmet. “Nanu… help me…”


 

Nanu’s POV

I grabbed the silencer that went with my Glock 21, screwing it on. I pointed it downwards and walked outside. Blu followed me outside but stayed behind because she knew exactly what guns did. Luna was super bright and lit up the whole area. Surprisingly, there were no clouds in the area either. “Oh Luna… you shine so bright for me tonight, for I give you Tapu Bulu’s blessing.” I knelt the best I could, despite the searing pain in my knee, praying to the Tapu. I got up carefully and found a tree with nothing perched on it. I spotted a berry and shot at it. With a ‘pehheww’, it landed on the ground. I sighed in relief because my aim was still excellent as ever.

“Blu, tomorrow, we go and find my old partner, Naomi.” I turned around and looked her. “Do you remember her?” I asked.

“Meowwww!” she let out a mew of happiness. I remembered she loved Naomi.

“I’m glad you remember. I miss her, we really should go by and see her. I have a feeling she could help us.”

Blu simply nodded as we made our way back in my house.


 

I woke up the next morning at 8 am, the piercing sunlight filtering through the holes in the blinds. I slowly adjusted my eyes to the sunlight, squinting for a few seconds and getting my bearings. The sunlight wasn’t too bad, if it wasn’t directly in my eyes. I noticed my pillow was wet from sweat. Was I sweating that profusely? I feel like a fever’s coming on. I hope it has nothing to do with my leg, though. My knee is still in searing pain. I need to get some medicine for it before I do anything impetuous. I don’t know much about Aether’s security systems and all that. I’ll ask Naomi, she’s an expert hacker.

As I was getting ready, I stared at the huge scar from where a criminal had shot me, right near my aorta. I was lucky to be wearing a bulletproof vest at the time, but it still hurt like mad and bruised me. I looked down in sadness, because Naomi was almost killed by the same man in a gunfight. I jumped in front of her, saving her but taking the scar in return.

Blu noticed my sadness, walking over and rubbing against me, which tickled because I had shorts on. I chuckled a little, grateful that she was there next to me to comfort me when I was feeling down.

“Let’s go,” I said while throwing a shirt on. I grabbed her Poké ball, returning her and watching her dissolve back into the ball. “I feel much safer if you’re inside here,” I said to her, whether or not she could hear me from inside the ball, I didn’t care.

—00–

I hopped out of my car, careful not to hurt my leg. Driving with cruise control made everything so much easier to get to Malie City and I didn’t have to use my leg as much. It was a quick drive, maybe 45 minutes or so.

I looked around, not daring to take my sunglasses off because the sun was brighter in Malie than Route 17. It was hotter than usual; sweat dripped down into my eyes. Wow, why is it so freaking hot today? I thought to myself. I need some ice water or tea. I carefully made my way into the inside of the building. Cold air blasted as I opened the door.

“Naomi?” I called out, taking off my sunglasses since the light wasn’t too bright inside; slipping them into the pocket of my shirt.

“Nanu… is that… you?” she asked. She rounded a corner and immediately walked quickly towards me, her dark brown eyes widened.

Naomi was still just as beautiful as she was last time, I saw her. She was 5’8”, really tall for a woman, I barely towered over her. She was dark-skinned with long, black, beautiful shiny hair. She was tall, with huge leg and arm muscles to match. Her eyes were full of vitality, which matched her fiery personality. She hugged me tightly, squeezing me, but I didn’t care. I breathed in her scent, which smelled like frangipani flowers as well as the ocean, but she also vaguely smelled like sweat. I wondered if maybe she had been swimming earlier today, because her hair smelled like salt. Her nickname was Moana, which was Alolan for ocean, for a good reason.

I was so close that I could hear her heart through her breasts, which helped me to calm down. Tu-tump…tu-tump… I grabbed the back of her head, leaned in kissed her deeply, nearly touching her tongue. A single tear fell from my face. I had missed her so much. I wiped it off with my hand. “I missed you, my Moana…”

“I missed you too, my Triple Sec.” She wiped a few tears from her face. “Please don’t leave me for three months, ever again, my love…”  

“I promise I won’t leave you for a long time.” I nodded.

“Thank you…” She smiled brightly. “Want some iced tea?” she asked.

“Yes. Of course, I do. I’m really thirsty and sweating profusely and have no idea why.” I shrugged.

“I’m sorry to hear that. Are you coming down with something, maybe?”

“I wonder if I am…” I drifted off.

She looked at me closely. “What on earth happened to you? Why are you wearing makeup? Don’t think I don’t notice, because I do, because it’s starting to cake on your face because of your sweating.”

“I know you’d figure it out… I put it on so others don’t stare at me. I was beaten up by Team Skull. It was Guzma, to be exact.” I wiped the makeup I had put on my face.

“Your face looks horrible… it’s so red and there’s a huge gash on your forehead.” She carefully placed her soft-as-silk hand on my forehead. “You’re burning up…” She wiped off sweat from my forehead. “Come and rest.” She wrapped her right arm around me, guiding me towards the back of the station.

Limping alone, I noticed that it seemed empty, as she was the only one there. “How come the station is so empty? Where is everyone? Are they out to lunch?”

“I sent them all to a case outside of Malie, while I kept watch of the station. They should be back soon, I think.”

“I know I’m semi-retired, but what happened?”

“A strange Pokémon, whose name we don’t know, was rampaging.”

“D-did this Pokémon have a helmet, similar to the rings of Arceus?”

“How… how did you know?” She looked at me in awe, surprised. We both sat down at a small, round wooden table.

“Naomi, I came here to tell you something. That Pokémon is being abused by a man that goes by Faba.” I put my left on the holster. “I met this Pokémon. She was the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen: she had a beautiful, white crest that was pink and beautiful pink eyes and tail. That helmet slows her down and she’s not able to eat and drink. I… I want to rescue her from Faba.” I felt rage bubble up inside my chest. “I got a vision… It was her inside a cage, and she was calling out to me, saying ‘Help me, Nanu. Help me’. She was crying, too.” I slammed one of my fists down, baring my teeth.

Shock was still upon her face, and then she nodded understandingly. “I want to join you then. I can’t imagine the hell this poor Pokémon is going through. What did Faba call her?”

“He called her Type: Full. This Pokémon was a Psychic-type when I met her, then she became enraged and turned into a Fire-type. I believe that is how that Pokémon got her name. Another thing, this Pokémon doesn’t have a sex, so I decided to call it a she.”

“That makes it more personable.” She put her hand on her chin.

Sweat continued to pour from my forehead, despite being inside a building with AC and a fan. Naomi noticed this, grabbed a napkin for me, handing it to me. I wiped it off, thanking her.

“I’ll get you some iced tea, fresh from the fridge.” She got up and walked off. She returned a few minutes later with a massive pitcher full of fresh-brewed tea, ice cubes and lemon slices. “I made this about 15 minutes before you came.” She smiled and set the pitcher on the table. It made a thunk sound as she set it. She turned around and grabbed two glasses. She carefully poured the tea into both glasses.

“Thank you, Naomi, I appreciate it.” I smiled.

“Anything for you, my love.” She nodded.

We both clinked the glasses together. “Prost!” we said in German at the same time.

I chugged the tea, ignoring the brain freeze. I felt a lot better and I stopped sweating so profusely. I looked at Naomi, staring into her beautiful eyes and she began to stare back at me. We both stared at each other silently for a few minutes, but stopped once we heard the voices of the other Interpol officers.

“Sounds like everyone’s back now.” Naomi smiled.

The three other officers arrived in the back. All of them stopped chatting when they saw me. I stood up to greet them again.

“Nanu… is that… you?” Officer Martha Mazel stared at me in disbelief. She was short, about 5’2”, with beautiful olive skin, hazel eyes and black hair. She was wearing a white shirt and blue shorts with white hibiscus flowers on it. She had a Firium-Z crystal on a gold chain around her neck, and a black Z-Ring on her left wrist. Her personality was calm, patient, quiet and reserved, and she never yells. Her nickname was Hazel, to match her eye colour and it rhymed with her last name. Her voice was soft and quiet. “It is you…” She hugged me softly, her Z-crystal pressing against my chest.

“Well, I’ll be! It’s Nanu!” Officer Ruben Lawton said with a grin. He was tall, easily 6’5”, tall enough to bang the top of his head on the doorframe. His skin was tanned from being out in the sun for ages, with blue eyes that resembled the ocean itself and long, blonde hair that he put into a ponytail. A few hairs were growing on his chin, but it was just a bit of stubble on his chin and not quite a moustache. Sunglasses perched upon the top of his head. His personality was calm, reserved, not unlike Martha, but unlike her, his voice was louder than hers and he was assertive, often butting in the conversations that don’t revolve around him. His nickname was Ruby and we often shortened his name to it. “It’s my old buddy… I haven’t seen you in four months…” He hugged my tightly, nearly choking me.

Last but not least, was the new recruit, she joined a few months before I had left. Her name was Le Fen. She was the shortest adult I have ever met, at 4’9”, despite her size, she was really strong and could easily shoot a Smith & Wesson Model 500, a huge revolver with a massive amount of recoil. She had beautiful beige skin, blue-green eyes and long, flowing, black hair. She was wearing a purple shirt and dark blue shorts. Perched upon her nose was a pair of glasses, as she was short-sighted and couldn’t see far without them, but to make up for that, her eyesight was sharp and she could see father than any of us. Her personality uptight, and completely opposite of Martha and Ruben, she was loud and spoke her mind whenever she wanted to, not caring about what others think, and she liked to tease us playfully. Her nickname was Lele, because she claimed she saw Tapu Lele before she became and officer and it matched her name. “Well, if it isn’t our lazy, albino freak,” she said playfully, hugging me. I wasn’t offended but I blushed. I missed her playful attitude.

“Are you coming back? Please come back, we miss you, Nanu,” Martha begged.

“Yeah!” Ruben agreed.

“I miss messing with you,” Le said with a smirk.

I looked over at Naomi, looking for consent. She simply nodded. “Yes. I’ll be coming back. I promise not to leave.” I smirked. “Your albino freak is coming back.” I put my hand on my holster, touching the top of my Glock.

“We were about to go out to lunch. Now we definitely have a reason to go out, let’s celebrate!” Martha grinned.

“We were going to have a nice ‘steak’ dinner.” Ruben licked his lips. “I want a ‘steak’ smothered in steak sauce…” I heard him mutter under his breath.

Le looked at Ruben with a smirk. “Winner, winner, ‘steak’ dinner?”

Ruben just chuckled and nodded. “Sure, let’s call it that. We’re winning because we have Nanu back!”

“Well, a nice glass of Pinot Grigio sounds nice, actually.” I nodded. “I haven’t had a glass of wine in ages.”

“I would love to have a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, actually.” Naomi grinned. “Okay, let’s go. You guys go on ahead, I’ll lock up the place.”

Everyone cheered, walking off, talking amongst themselves. I stayed behind.

“Oh? You’re staying behind?” she asked, confused.

“My right knee is hurting really bad.”

“What happened? Do you need help?”

“Yes, I need help. My right leg dislocated from the knee socket, all because of Team Skull.”

“Want to borrow Dale to help you?”

“Dale, huh? I haven’t seen him in a long time either.”

Naomi smiled, grabbed a Poké ball and threw it. “Go, Dale!” she called out.

The Pokémon that materialised was a Mudsdale. Dale was a massive and muscular Pokémon, mostly brown in colour, with a long, black and red mane that ended in long braids, with long feathery hair on his ankles, and massive hooves that could easily crush us. But he was calm and would never hurt a fly. He closed his eyes and started to nuzzle me on the cheek, carefully, as to not knock me down. His soft fur on his head tickled me and I laughed a little. He was taller than the two of us and nearly reached the ceiling. He whinnied and looked at me curiously. I could tell that he must have missed me. Dale was the first Pokémon that Naomi obtained. He sniffed my knee, and looked at me with concern. He started to lick my hurt knee. I laughed again because his tongue was smooth and it tickled.

“Looks like he knows what happened. I think he’s intoned with you. I think he missed you too.” Naomi said while walking to the back and opened the garage door. It was once a garage for our cars, but the building was expanded and we decided to keep the garage door there, for the sake of Dale, because of his massiveness.

He neighed and immediately walked to the outside, careful not to step on anything. As soon as he was outside, he shot out and began to run laps around some palm trees, neighing happily. An orange aura surrounded him, and I knew his ability, Stamina was activated. His hoofbeats sounded like thunder as he ran.

I grabbed my sunglasses and put them on while we both walked outside, watching him running around. She pushed a button a remote to close the door, while whistling for him. He immediately ran back, skidding to a halt, stopped in time as to not crash into us. He neighed happily, licking her hands. He loved the taste of salt, but he wasn’t able to drink sea water. I didn’t realise I had started to sweat profusely again, and he turned his attention to me and began to lick my forehead, his breath smelling like mud and grass. I petted his muzzle, smiling and chuckling.

“Dale, think you can help Nanu? Will you let him ride you?” she asked, rubbing his muzzle.

Dale neighed, nodding his head as a form of a yes. I walked up to him, running my hand down his side, feeling his mane, which felt like human hair but it was just as soft and silky as Naomi’s hair. Underneath his mane, was a bullet wound that I had forgotten about. It was mostly healed, but a small white spot remained. I don’t know why I forgot, maybe because it’s not noticeable.

“I’ll hoist you up,” she offered. I nodded, grabbing one of the braids in his mane. Her huge muscles easily let her hoist me up. I was amazed at her strength. Luckily, Dale didn’t shift and let me sit on his back, as it was painful to mount him and swing my other leg around. I grabbed a hold of his mane, so I wouldn’t fall off when he started to walk.  

“You’re so much stronger than you look.” I smiled, looking at her from atop of Dale. “I meant that as a compliment.”

“Well, thank you…” She blushed. “You can go on ahead, I’ll lock up and catch up with you.”

“Of course, my dear.” I nodded, clicking my tongue and tapping my foot against his flank. He began to walk quickly, but not fast enough for me to fall off. I felt his muscles rippling every step he took, which felt strange against my crotch. I sniffed leaned forward a little, smelling his mane; which smelled like sweat and mud. My friends weren’t too far away, and he quickly caught up with him.

“Hey, the albino freak is riding bareback,” Le teased.

“Why are you riding Dale?” Ruben asked.

“What he said.” Martha pointed to Dale.

“Team Skull beat me up and somehow, my right leg was dislocated from my knee socket,” I replied while looking at everyone.

Everyone’s demeanour changed and they all understood why I was riding him.  

Thump, thump, thump… We all turned around to see Naomi running fast, easily catching up to us. By then, we had almost arrived at the restaurant. She wasn’t even out of breath when she said “hello” to us. We arrived within two minutes of her catching up.

“Umm… who wants to help me down?” I asked, stopping in front of the restaurant.

“I’ll help you down,” Ruben offered. He reached out his hands as I swung my leg over Dale’s back. He wrapped his hands around my waist and was able to lift me off easily, setting me down carefully.

“Thank you,” I sighed in relief. “I appreciate that.”

“Anything for you.” He smiled, nodding.

“Dale, would you like to go run around?” Naomi asked, petting his side.

Dale neighed, instantly running off, his thunderous hoofbeats shaking the ground. He easily cleared a gate that was at least five feet off the ground, despite his bulk. His thunderous hoofbeats got quieter and quieter as he disappeared.

We stepped into the restaurant and we all sat down a rectangular table with booths. I sat next to Naomi, while Ruben sat next to me, Martha opposite of Ruben and Le opposite of me.

Everyone of us ordered the ‘steak’ and bottle of wine to take home. We all toasted and started drunkenly singing in German, much to the chagrin of the other patrons, but the staff didn’t seem to care.

Muss i denn, muss i denn
zum Städtele hinaus, Städtele hinaus,
Und du, mein Schatz, bleibst hier?

(Must I, then, must I, then
from the city must I then, city must I then,
And thou, dear, must stay there?
…)”

I looked at my ‘steak’, which was also lab-based using the mesenchymal cells from the hairs of a Tauros. I was already on my fourth glass of wine, completely pissed off drunk and slurring my speech. I could barely concentrate and my eyes weren’t focusing. “CCal… me a cab… pleassse…” I began to hiccup.

Naomi was irritated that I was even more drunk than she was, but I didn’t care, because I was happy to be with my old friends again.

We all went home in cabs because of how drunk we were and we were unable to drive. I said goodbye, but I had told them I’d be back tomorrow, of course.


 

I staggered through my front door, relieved to be home. I was too drunk to do anything, so I planted myself into the couch, instantly falling asleep.

Bad mistake, I thought to myself as I woke up the next more, very uncomfortable. I rubbed my badly aching head. “Ugh…” I muttered, feeling sick to my stomach from the pain of the hangover. “I should not have done that…” I then noticed my shorts were completely wet from peeing myself, because I was too drunk to even get up and go. “Oh God…” I blushed hard. “If Naomi were here, she’d be on my tail.”

I heard a knock on my door. “Hello?” a feminine voice said, and I knew immediate who it was.

Speak of the devil… I thought to myself. “Just a second!”

“Okay!” I heard her voice holler.

I quickly as I could, I ran off to my bedroom, changing my boxers and shorts and ran back to the front door, opening it.

“Were you naked?” she sneered, playfully joking.

“Yes, yes, I guess you could say I was,” I lied, but being half-truthful. I let her in.

“I came by to make sure you were okay, because you were really wasted last night, and to give you a ride, since you left your car back at the station.”

“Thank you, I appreciate that,” I said while nodding.

“Of course. Let’s go.” She grinned. “We need to come up with a plan anyway.”

I nodded and agreed. “Yeah, we do. Can you drive for me?” I rubbed my head. “I have a bad hangover.”

“You bet.” She grabbed my hand and pulled me along.

I followed her, putting my sunglasses back on and squinting from the light. “Hangovers make me sensitive to the light… I’m going to close my eyes now… guide me, please.”

Pretending I was like a puppet, she guided me to her car, easily lifting me up into the seat. Her car happened to be Jeep, so it was high off the ground. I opened my eyes briefly to see that I was in the seat, her strength amazing me again. I looked over at the cup holder, and there happened to be a huge glass of iced tea.

“That’s for you,” she said while hopping into the driver’s seat. “I knew you’d be hungover, so I made that specifically for you.”

I blushed at her generosity, amazed that she thought ahead of time like that. “Thank you.” I put my seatbelt on.

“You’re welcome, aren’t you glad I thought of that?” she asked as she started the car, putting her seatbelt on.

“Of course, I am!” I nodded. I grabbed the glass, staring at its clear plastic blue lid and blue straw. The cup itself was easily over 24 fl. oz. and it held many ice cubes. I sucked on some of the iced cold tea, ignoring the brain freeze as I drank it. It felt good going down my throat. “This is so refreshing.”

“Freshly brewed this morning, actually.” She smiled as she pulled out of my driveway.

The drive there was rather uneventful, as I kept my eyes closed the whole time and tried to not get sick to my stomach from the hangover pain. The iced tea seemed to have helped with my hangover, however; as it was starting to slowly disappear. I started to doze off without realising…

“Hey, we made it,” she piped up after a nearly hour-long silence.

I woke up from my doze. “What? Huh?” I then looked out the windshield to see that we were already at the station. “Oh wow, we’re already here?” I asked, still half-asleep.

She just giggled, taking her seatbelt off. I chuckled with her, waking up a bit more. Before I could react, she was already out of her seat and she quickly walked over to the passenger’s side, opening the door. “Come on, silly. Our friends are waiting for us.”

I nodded, taking the belt off and carefully stepping out of her Jeep, or so I thought. She was right by my side, wrapping my arms around my waist and easily set me down on the ground carefully. I blushed, not know what to say, but she seemed to have gotten the point.

“You’re welcome, my dear.” She smiled, grabbing my left arm, wrapping it around her shoulder. “I’ll help you walk, you can pretend I’m a crutch.”

“W-what?” I asked, surprised.

“Just do it, you’ll be fine.”

I nodded, taking her advice, lifting up my right leg slightly. We both walked at a steady pace, taking steps at the same time. It was awkward, but I started to get the hang of it. She even helped me through the door. We were instantly greeted by everyone, looking at us curiously. She guided me to the table in the back. I sat down, my face flushing from what she had just did.

“That was nice of her to do that.” Martha smiled.   

“Aww Nanu needed a crutch, huh?” Le said sarcastically.

I just laughed at her joke, happy that she even said anything.

“That was awesome, Naomi,” Ruben complimented.

“Thank you.” Naomi just smiled.

“You’re welcome.” He nodded.

“Now that you’re back, we’re off to get intel on Aether Paradise,” Martha spoke up, looking at the two of us. “They won’t even know we’re Interpol.”

“I trust you to find out more about them.” Naomi’s eyes narrowed and she let out a sigh. “Good luck, everyone.”

They all said thank you, leaving just the two of us alone again.

“You… did that on purpose, didn’t you?” I asked.

“Yes. It’s because I want to take care of you. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but your knee is swelling bad.”

I looked down on my right knee, noticing it looked almost like a small balloon. “Wow… I think I walked too much yesterday.”

“I think you did too. Would you like me to take you to my house?” Her house was a short walk from the station, she was lucky to live so close.

I swear my face flushed a thousand different shades of red. “Y-yes…”

“Okay. I’ll help you there, we can do what we did before.”


 

It took about 10 minutes to get to her house, since I was just hobbling along, pretending she was a crutch.

Her house was beautiful on the outside. It had bright blue paint, with bright white trims and grey shingles, all neatly lined up without any missing. The front door was a bright red, with white frames. She had several skylights that let the sunlight filter into her house. Bright blue, wooden shudders lined the windows, which had white trimmings to. Tall banana trees with large, juicy bananas hung, dangling, tempted me to go and eat one. Beautiful bright red, pink and white hibiscus bushes lined her driveway, while a large frangipani tree with pink and yellow flowers, sat in the middle of her lawn. All of the plants were blooming profusely and there were hundreds of flowers all over. A strong breeze blew, knocking some of the flowers off the bushes. I watched them as they landed on the ground, carpeting the lawn with bright colours. I felt emotional looking at the beautiful flowers, admiring the beauty, but enough to cry.

She snapped me out of my reverie. “You like my hibiscus and frangipani? Do you remember them? They’ve grown so much since you were last here.”

“In this heat, I wouldn’t be surprised. Everything seems to grow fast here. They seemed like seedlings last time I was here.” I smiled, closing my eyes and breathing in the scent of the flowers.

She walked up to her porch, unlocking the door and letting me go in first.

The inside of her house was just as beautiful as the outside. The house itself was open, with only a few walls separating the rooms and doors. The walls were sage green and wood trimmings along the base. Several paintings of Alola were scattered on the walls. Many succulents lined the walls, as she didn’t keep them outside because Alola is too wet and humid to keep them outside. Hanging from the ceiling were a few air plants sitting inside woven jute twine. She also kept several succulents on the windowsill, all sitting in clay-coloured saucers. An old Barrel Cactus that she named ‘Barry’, was in bloom and had a bright pink flower with bright yellow stamens and pistils. He was about 10” tall, with long, thin yellow spines that resembled needles.  

“I see Barry is blooming.” I carefully picked up his pot, observing the beautiful flower. “How long have you had him?”

“I’ve had him for more than 15years. He gets larger and larger and blooms more each year.”

“Ah yes, you’re right.” I smiled, setting his pot back down on the white saucer. I was starting to remember the layout of her house and made my way towards her one and only full bathroom.  

She didn’t seem to care and followed me to make sure I was okay. “You’re free to use my bath now. Just be careful, because it gets very hot since I take really hot showers,” she said with emphasis.

“Ah yes, I remember that.” I nodded, unbuttoning my shirt. “Do you have an extra shirt?” I asked, nearly forgetting this was the same shirt I wore yesterday.

“Of course. You can borrow any of my shirts, actually. A lot of them actually are men’s shirts because they’re more comfortable.” She pointed to her closet, which had no door.

“Thank you.” I nodded.

“You’re welcome,” she said as she turned around, leaving her bathroom.

The inside of her bathroom was beautiful. It was bright blue with bright white tile. There were several seashells placed on various shelves and the top of the toilet. Even the sink was blue and white marble, the colours standing out. A huge, pink conch shell sat next to a metal soap dispenser. The bathtub itself was built into the wall. Not unlike the walls, it was a bright blue with blue tile lining the wall. The shower curtain was palm trees next to a yellow-sanded beach and bright blue sea water and sky. This is how her nickname, Moana, came into play. She was one with the ocean, I swore. A skylight above let in bright sunlight. I didn’t need to turn the light on. 

I turned on the water in the tub, making sure it wasn’t too hot. When it was the perfect temperature, I plugged the tub. I stripped down and slowly sat down, letting the water soak into my hair too. It was so comforting, that I didn’t realise I had dozed off…


 

Third person’s POV

“Help me… Nanu… help me…” Type: Full cried out again. She stared longingly outside of her cage, crying and starving. “Please help me…” Tears welled in her eyes.


 

Nanu’s POV

I immediately had woken up from the strange vision. “I’m coming, Type: Full…” I shivered from the freezing cold water. “I swear to God, I’m coming.” I carefully got out, wrapping a towel around me.  

Please help… the voice echoed in my head…

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 3

Third person’s POV

“Faba…. We have reports of International Police on premises. What shall we do?” a grunt asked. “Shall we lock them up?”

“Torture them while you’re at it.” Faba smirked, laughing evilly. “Glad you scanned their irises. We don’t need Interpol on our premises, finding info about us. Find out why they’re here!”


 

Nanu’s POV

Before I could put any clothes on, I had another vision. All of my friends were danger… I growled, running out of the bathroom, ignoring the swelling and the pain. “NAOMI!” I shouted. My heartbeat so fast that it felt like it was in my throat, nearly having a panic attack too.

“NANU! What is it?” she yelled from living room. Before she could find me, I had made it into the room. Her eyes were massive as I came to a halt.

I panted, adrenaline rushing towards my legs and it temporarily stopped the pain I was feeling. My eyes were widened and full of fear. I caught my breath. “Naomi… everyone… everyone is in danger! I had another vision! I think I’m seeing everything through the eyes of Type: Full! Faba said he was going to torture them!”

A look of ‘I’m-about-to-vomit-from-being-so-scared’ was plastered upon her face. She gulped, trying not to let the sudden rush of emotion cause her to throw up.

I collapsed onto the ground, rage building up inside me. The adrenaline rush was gone the second I collapsed, and the pain and swelling came back, nastier and angrier than yesterday. Tears from the pain welled in my eyes and I couldn’t help it. It was the worst pain I had ever felt.

Naomi collapsed beside me, her mouth agape, panting, tears welling up her eyes. These were not only her employees, but her friends and colleagues. It looked like she was about to bite her tongue in half from the rage that she felt. She slammed her fists on the coffee table next to us, causing a few books and stuff to shift. I had never seen her so angry.

“Naomi…” I said in between pained sobs. “What are we going to do?”

Blood leaked from her mouth from where she really had bitten her tongue. She couldn’t talk, from fear of ruining the carpet with a bloodstain. She slowly got up, shakily and said nothing to me. She grabbed a tissue from a box and spit into it. A look of horror was on her face.

“Naomi…?”

“I-I bit a piece of my tongue off. Not much, but enough for it bleed profusely…” I could barely make out, but I understood the gist of what she was saying. Adrenaline must be surging through her, as she didn’t seem to notice or care about the pain. She couldn’t get another tissue in time, as blood gushed out of the napkin, landing on the white carpet.

“Keep pressure on it, and lean forward. If you lean backwards, you’ll vomit up blood,” I commanded. I slowly got up, grabbing a few more tissues, handing them to her. She nodded as a way of saying ‘thank you’, because I knew she couldn’t speak at the time.

“Anything for you…” I said breathlessly.

She sat there in silence, keeping a lot of pressure on the wound, not letting up for nearly ten minutes. Blood finally stopped leaking from the tissues. She let off the pressure carefully, staring at the bloodied tissues. Lo and behold, there was a tiny piece of her tongue. We stared at each other with shock upon our faces.

I looked inside her mouth and I could tell where she had bitten it, as a tiny chunk was missing. I couldn’t believe that tiny piece bled so much. “Are you okay?” I asked, but I didn’t want it to bleed again.

“Yes,” she muttered through her teeth. “I think I’m okay.”

“I’ve never seen anyone bite a piece off their tongue before…”    

“I got anxious and it was starting to get to me, I tried to clench my jaw to keep from throwing up, and I ended up biting my tongue…”

“You did good,” I commended her. “I’ve gotten sick from nasty nose bleeds, so I knew exactly what to do.”

“Thank you…” She let out a long sigh through her teeth. She slowly got up, helping me up as well, easily lifting me. I kept a tight grip on the towel, making absolute sure it didn’t slip down.  

“You’re welcome. Thanks for helping me up.” I winced from the pain.

“You’re welcome, my dear.” She smiled. “Would you like some paracetamol?”

“You had it this whole time?” I questioned, curious as to why she forgot. Then again, I had forgotten too. “I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before…”

“We’re under a stressful situation now, that’s why we hadn’t thought of it at the time. And yesterday, you got so wasted, that you would have died taking it anyway. You could kiss your liver bye-bye.”

She was right. Paracetamol and alcohol could cause serious liver damage. “That’s true… I was too wasted to even notice the pain anyway.”

“And it all came back, rushing to you after. Yes, I know this.” She nodded, opening her mouth a bit further, but being cautious not to bite the spot. She stared at the scar I had on my chest, touching it carefully. “I… I can’t believe you did that for me…” She looked tearful.

“I would do it again if I could. Naomi, I love you.”

“Nanu… I love you too.” She began to cry a little.

I hugged her tightly, letting lean into me and love on me. Her body felt warm against me and I felt comforted. I could feel her heart beating against my chest. I leaned in and kissed, her lips were as soft as silk, and her breath smelled like spearmint and coffee. I hadn’t been this aroused in a long time. I too, could tell she was aroused, because her heartbeat was getting faster and faster.

“Naomi… will you marry me?” I asked.

She said nothing, her eyes were as wide as pie pans and her face flushed a bright red. “Yes. I do.”

“I’m sorry I don’t—”

She interrupted me, knowing exactly what I was going to say. “No. Who needs a ring to cement their love? An object can’t replace someone’s love.”

I nodded, agreeing with her. “Yes. That’s true too.” I looked at her and then out the windows.

Naomi turned around, looking outside with me. Clouds started the form and the wind started to blow violently. Several petals from her bushes started to blow away, drifting beyond our vision. The palms trees swayed and bowed as some of the long fronds to fall off, scattering on the lawn.

“That’s a bad storm,” she commented. “We’ll have to wait before we can leave to go anywhere.”

“I think it’s a tropical storm. I swore I heard about it on the news a few days ago.”

Hail started to fall. This wasn’t normal hail, no, this hail was about the size of grapes. The stones crashed through the trees. We watched in horror as the hailstorm nearly stripped all her bushes of their flowers. The stones were louder than thunder as it hit roof, with a loud pitter-patter. It didn’t last long, and it was already gone, rain being replaced in its wake. The rain was so warm that the hailstones had already melted, disappearing into the ground.

“Wow…” Naomi stared back at me. “What an incredible storm!”

“It’s been a while since we’ve seen hail, huh? Over 10 years, I think.”

“That sounds about right.”

“I remember that one. That storm costed us thousands of dollars to fix the roof and repair our cars.”

“I’m glad we had enough, though.” She nodded. “You look like you’re in so much pain, would you like to lie down on my bed?” she asked.

I felt my face flush and it turned a bright red. My heart started to beat, and my pupils became enlarged, aroused. I wasn’t sure what she was planning on doing. “Yes. That would be fine.”

She giggled. “I know that look upon your face.”

She had caught me. I cleared my throat. “Do you…”

My face was even warmer now, flushing a shade of pink. “Let’s do it.” I nodded as she guided me back to her room.


 

“W-wow…” I stared at her beauty as she relaxed on top of my chest. We were both out of breath, exhausted. I stroked her head, which felt calming to me.

“I know,” she said with a small smile on her face. She was so relaxed that she could barely react. “I needed that…” she said breathlessly. Her eyes were closed before I knew it.

“Me too.” I nodded slightly. I too, closed my eyes, sighing in relief. We both had fallen asleep the quiet pitter-patter of rain.


 

Nanu… help me… help me…” the voice echoed in my head again.

I immediately opened my eyes, nearly forgetting I was in Naomi’s bed, naked. She was still on top of me and her heaviness was starting to get to me. She hadn’t moved one inch after we had both fallen asleep. “Naomi, wake up.” I poked her. No response. She was sleeping like a log at this point. I sat up a little, picked her up and placed her on one of her pillows. Still no response. It was like talking to a brick wall at that point.

My stomach gurgled as I carefully got out of the bed. “Oh…” My eyes had gotten used to the dark at that point. Moonlight was shining through the skylight. “The storm must have cleared.” I peered out the skylight, looking at the stars. I turned my attention back to hungry stomach. “I’m starving.” I had found my clothes on the floor, putting them on. I quietly snuck to the kitchen, not alerting her. I opened her fridge, perusing and looking closely.

There, sitting on the bottom shelf was a small bottle of scotch. It wasn’t food, but I sure needed a drink. I really need to get over my drinking habit. I decided to skip it, going for a container of rambutans. “Well, that looks good.” I stared at the fruit. It was mostly pinkish-red in colour, with greenish-yellow spines. It just appeared to be prickly, but the spines were soft and the fruit itself was easy to peel, as there was no need for a knife. They got the nickname of ‘urchin fruit’ in Alola for this very reason. The inside of the fruit was a gelatinous translucent white, with a massive black seed in the middle that needed to be spit out.

I sat down at her dining table, looking outside at her backyard. I could make out the shape of some palm and banana trees. I could also see a bit of the ocean, too. The waves sparkled in the moonlight, crashing against some dolosse along the shoreline. Dale was out there too, snoozing inside a shed. His tail twitched occasionally.

I bit into one of the rambutans. It was sweet, juicy and tasted like grapes. “Mm… this is so good…” It melted in my mouth. I quickly polishing off the container, feeling bad that she had to go and buy more. I set all the peelings and seeds back into the container, quickly but quietly stepping out to her side yard, putting all of it into her compost bin. Even the plastic container the fruit came in was compostable, being made from hemp and corn.

I went back in, feeling wide awake and not wanting to go to bed. Naomi was active during the day, completely opposite of me. What should I do? I don’t want to wake her up. Maybe I’ll leaver her a note? I thought to myself. Yes, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll be back, though. I just need to get home and do something, first.

I wrote a note to her, saying I would be back later in the morning and needed to go home at do something. I quietly snuck out her front door. I had remembered where she had kept the spare key, under her recycle bin. I smiled, looking under it and finding the key. I returned to her front door and quietly locked the door. I slipped her extra key into my pocket, making absolute sure it was safe.

I limped back to the station where my car was. The air was thick and heavy, saturated with a high humidity. The streets were empty and quiet, only the sound of the ocean could be heard. The only lights that were shining was Luna herself, causing everything to be washed with a beautiful white light and casting shadows on the roads and sidewalks. “Oh Luna…” My eyes were attuned with the dark and my other senses were sharp as well. I made it back to the station with no problems.

“Wait… she has a spare key for the station somewhere…” I looked around, looking under a rubber mat. There, under the mat, was the key I was looking for. “Perfect.” I smirked, grabbing it and unlocking the door. I had to hurry up and turn the alarm off. Twelve-twenty-five-sixty-nine, I punched into the alarm. “Naomi, you think I wouldn’t know the code, but I know damn well it’s your birthday.”

I walked towards the back of the station, where everything important was kept. I went ahead and turned on a light, since the moonlight didn’t really reach the room. I squinted for a few seconds and got used to the light. I walked over to one of the file cabinets, but it was locked using a padlock. O-three-twenty-three-ninety, the date she first become an apprentice for Interpol. She joined three months before I did. I joined a day after Looker did.

I dug through a bunch of random papers and other items before I found it – my old badge that I carried around. “I’m glad you’re still here.” I admired its beauty, despite it being all scratched up in some parts. My badge had a golden stylized Toucannon, the Alolan Interpol’s logo, with a silver star behind it. The words read ‘International Police’ on the top line and ‘Bellinor Nanu’, with my badge number, ‘59846’ which were both on the second line.

I also looked for my old jacket, which was in here somewhere. I had found buried under more papers. I grabbed it, carefully unfolding it. I noticed it was wrinkled, but I didn’t care, because it would probably just iron out itself in the humid air. It was dark blue, nearly black in colour, with silver buttons, nice and large pockets, a gold badge on left side and a silver nameplate that said ‘Officer Nanu’ on the right side and a golden patch stitched into the right sleeve.

I slipped it on, buttoning up and swiping my hands across it. “I wonder what Blu would think if she saw me in my old uniform.” I grabbed her Poké ball, throwing it and watching her materialise.

“Meow!” she mewed, looking straight up at me, noticing me in my old uniform. She closed her eyes, walked up and sniffed the jacket.

“Remember your collar that had Alolan Interpol’s logo on it?” I asked, curious as to where it was.

“Meooow!” she mewed a reply.

I searched the cabinet a bit more and found something that felt like nylon. “I found it, Blu.” I smiled, turning around. I looked at her collar. It was a deep blue in colour, with a gold tag with Alolan Interpol’s logo, with the stylised Toucannon; it also had the words ‘Officer Blu’ on the bottom of the tag. She was considered an honorary Interpol officer, because of her bravery and her ability to sense stuff that we couldn’t. I unlatched the clip, putting it around her neck, and with a quick snap, the collar was now secured on her neck.

She purred happily, glad to have her favourite collar back. She brushed her tail against my leg, tickling me.

I chuckled, grabbing a belt that carried many items, including a baton, an M26 Taser, a flashlight and handcuffs and an extra holster, with my old gun still inside it. I pulled it out of the holster, pointing it away from Blu and I, looking at it. I was a Beretta Cheetah. It was mainly black in colour, with a beautiful, custom-made, pearly white grip; my friend Molayne had made that grip for me. I made sure the safety was on before I put it back into my holster. “Phew.” I nodded, noticing the safety was on when I slipped back in.

Blu meowed, easily jumping up onto one of the bookshelves lined with various law, criminal justice and police procedural books. She landed with a soft thud. She yawned, blinked once and closed her eyes, her tail twitching and resting her head on a fake plant.

I continued to look through cabinet, finding some old case files. “I wonder if we have anything on Faba, hmmm…” I grabbed several, thick binders. I walked over to the table, carefully looking through note after note.

I felt my eyes get heavy after a while and I rested my head on the table, accidentally falling asleep.


 

“Nanu?” I heard my voice being called. “Nanu?” I felt a slight shove this time.

“What? Huh?” I muttered, waking up in a puddle of my own drool. I blinked, getting my bearings and squinting slightly from the bright sunlight pouring into the blinds. I got used to the light, only to notice Naomi looming over me, mystified. Blu was by her side, staring at me as well, her tail twitching.

“Have… you been here all night?” she asked. “I found your note, but I thought you would be at home.”

“I wanted to, but I figured I’d sneak in before you came by, but I had gotten tired of looking at all these notes and my eyes were starting to burn from looking at the too long, and I was getting bored, too. I should have worn some glasses.” I rubbed my head, aching from sleeping on the table. “I was looking for notes about Faba, just in case if we even had any.”

“Did you find anything?” She didn’t sound angry, just curious.

“No. I didn’t even finish either.” I pointed to the pile of binders that I hadn’t even started on. I yawned, rubbing my eyes and stretching. “You’re going to make me diurnal again, huh?” I teased.

She simply giggled, sitting in a chair next to me, grabbing one of the binders and opening it up. She looked at each page carefully. “Nanu, I hadn’t thought of this, but what if Faba could be a codename?”

“You’re brilliant!” I nodded. “I have a feeling you’re right about that.” I then thought about her tongue. “How’s your tongue?” I asked.

“It’s doing better than yesterday… it really hurt.”

“I read that sores inside the mouth heal quicker. Don’t ask me why, because I’m really not sure.”

“Yes, I’ve heard that too. Because my tongue isn’t hurting as much any more.”

“I’m glad,” I said calmly while smiling.

“What does Faba look like?”

“He’s taller than I am, at 6’3”, with golden eyes, blond hair and wears a white lab coat and white, shin-high boots.”

“Maybe that’s what we should look for in these notes. If not, I bet we can go by the library and look for him in newspapers, using their microfilm projector and their computers. Not all of our notes have been entered into the computer…”

“We really need to do that. This is a pain in the arse, really.” 

Nanu… help me… the voice echoed in my head again.

“We need to hurry! I heard the voice again…”

She simply nodded. We returned to looking through dozens of binders, only to find nothing.

My eyes were burning, watering from staring at such tiny print for a long time. I sighed, shrugging. “I give up. And I’m getting tired of waiting to rescue everyone. Let’s just go…” By then, it was already well after 3pm.

Naomi sighed, conceding in our defeat. “Yes. Let’s go.” She got up, grabbed a belt from the open file cabinet and put it on. It looked tight across her waist, to me anyway. She also grabbed her jacket, slipping it on and buttoning it up. Her jacket was no different than mine, but it said ‘Officer Onaona’ on the right side. She kept her Glock 21 and its holster on her flank, while she kept a Beretta Cheetah on an ankle holster. She grabbed her ankle holster, strapping it on to her left ankle.

I carefully touched the top of my Glock 21, making sure the safety was on. I always double-checked, as I didn’t want to accidentally shoot myself in the foot. I sighed in relief, knowing that it was it on.

Naomi had copied my habit too, as she checked both of her guns, too. She smiled, feeling the safeties of both of her guns. She looked pleased when she figured out both were on. “I feel safe now.” I heard her mumble under breath. “Wouldn’t want to shoot myself in the leg.”

“Of course not.” I set my hand on her shoulder. “I wouldn’t want you to do that either.”

She smiled, chuckling a little. “Curse your sharp hearing.”

I laughed a little, turning my attention to Blu. She was standing at full height, rearing to go. “Looks like she’s ready to go too. Where’s Dale?”

“He’s out front, last I looked, he was playing in the mud and eating grass.”

“Could we ride him to port?”

“Yes, that would be fine with me.” She nodded.

We both walked outside, watching Dale eat some grass only a few feet away from us. He immediately walked up to us, neighing happily and licking sweat off our hands. Blu stayed behind me, a little bit scared of the massive horse Pokémon.

My stomach growled loudly. “Oh…” I felt a little embarrassed.

“I saw you that you ate all of my rambutans.” She bared her left incisors, forming a smirk. She formed a fist, swung at me but stopped only about an inch from my face.

I started to sweat nervously, staring cross-eyed at her fist. “Uhhh… I’m sorry. I’ll promise I’ll buy more for you.”

She simply giggled, lowering her hand while grinning. “Okay,” she stated innocently, as if nothing happened. “I’m hungry too. Let’s go get some malasadas and coffee.”

I sighed in relief, chuckling a little. I walked up to Dale and started to pet his mane. I noticed it had messed up from the storm last night, as it wasn’t silky but wiry and stringy.

“I’ll help you up. I can get up myself, actually,” she said while walking up to us. She bent down, holding her hands out so that I could step on them.

I grabbed a hold of his mane, grabbing on tightly. I stepped on her hands, easily pick me up. I swung my leg over his shoulder, carefully balancing as to not fall off into the hard ground. It was incredibly painful to swing my leg and I winced from the pain.

Naomi placed her hands on his back, easily climbing and mounting onto him. She swung her leg around easily, as if it were effortless.

I grabbed her hands as she carefully balanced. I placed her hands around my waist. “Hold on tightly,” I commanded. I clicked my tongue and tapped his flank.

He walked quickly, almost trotting, huffing and let air blow out his nostrils. I felt every muscle on his back and shoulders, and I had to keep from getting aroused because it felt strange.

Blu ran beside us, but giving enough berth, so she wouldn’t get stomped on. Her lithe body was sleek and beautiful as she ran, her stride being so long that her feet barely touched the ground. She was easily able to keep pace and she ran effortlessly. Even her collar was shining a little bit in the midday sunlight.

My eyes had gotten used to the sunlight, because they weren’t burning. A few clouds scuttled across the sky, blocking the sunlight every few seconds. A huge wind began to blow, carrying the scent the ocean, flowers, coffee and food. My stomach growled again.

“I’m so hungry…” I said pathetically, sniffing the air. “It smells so good…”

“I’m hungry too…” she quietly, sounding embarrassed.

“Hey, we made it. Good timing!” I smiled, telling Dale ‘whoa’.

He stopped and looked at the malasada shop. He too, looked hungry, with a look of ‘I-hope-I-can-get-one-too.’

Blu looked up at us, and she had the same look upon her face. Despite being quite the carnivore, she loved malasadas a lot.

“Dale, Blu, you all get malasadas.” Naomi smiled and looked at both happily.


 

I was full from eating so much sugar and cinnamon malasadas that my stomach began to hurt a little from the sweetness. I finished one last sip of my coffee. I liked it black with a tiny bit of sugar, while Naomi liked hers with creamer and sugar.

As Naomi was excusing herself to the bathroom, I looked over at Dale and Blu. The two were sound asleep, looking satisfied that they had gotten malasada too. I watched as Naomi came back, with a sheer look of terror plastered across her face, her cheeks becoming pale.

“Naomi, what happened?”

“We have to leave, now,” she commanded with assertiveness.

“Naomi, I have to go too.” A blush crept upon my face.

Now!” she demanded, her voice aggressive, filled with venom. I had never seen her so aggressive in a long time.

“Okay, okay! Jesus Christ…” I said curtly.

She grabbed a hold of my hand, towing me with her, with Blu and Dale following closely behind us. We all walked for a few minutes, until we came to an empty area with no people around.

“Now what the fuck was that about?” I hissed.

“While I was in the bathroom, I could hear voices…” She paused. “They were Aether grunts, and they were talking about how they’d track down every last Interpol officer and hold them all captive.”

“Did they spot you?”

“No, I’m glad they didn’t. I peed real fast and left, not bothering to do anything else. I instantly knew we needed to leave asap, before they had found us.”

“We need to leave, now, let’s hop on your boat and ride to Aether Paradise.”


 

We had made our way to the port, searching for her sailboat amongst the hundreds of other boats there. It took about eight or so minutes of searching. She barely used it, mainly because she gets bad vertigo sometimes on it, so she had forgotten where it was.

“I found it!” I called out, waving her to come here.

“Good!” she called back, running back towards me.

The sailboat was a beautiful 20-footer, with navy blue sails, golden wooden floors and a beautiful, wooden wheel compete with spokes and a black on the stern. Her name was the Ocean Maiden, a fitting name for such a beautiful boat.

We both returned our Pokémon, knowing well that they both hated the water.

Naomi easily jumped onto the boat, she held out her hands, commanding me to jump. I nodded, jumping, almost falling into the water, but she managed to catch me and life me up.

“That was close.” I sighed in relief. “Thank you for helping me.”

“You’re welcome.” She smiled.

I looked around the boat, noticing there were bird droppings all over, staining the boat white. The boat smelled like lacquer and tar, with a hint of gasoline. I watched as Naomi climbed up where she had hidden the key and a can of gasoline.

“Here, I got it.” I held out my hands.

“Nope.” She easily jumped down, despite having a heavy, nearly 30 pounds, five gallon can. She cleared me and she landed behind me, causing the boat to shift a little. “Try again next time,” she teased, her tomboyish personality showing.

I had a look of shock on my face, my mouth was agape. “That was amazing.” I watched her smile, turn around and walk towards the stern. I followed her.

She poured the whole gas can into the tank, sloshing as she poured it. She carefully set the can down onto the floor. She grabbed the string, pulling on it a few times, while the engine roared to life.

“I’ll drive it. I know you have bad vertigo,” I offered.

“Be my guest,” she said while untying the rope from dock.


 

It was already dark by the time we had gotten there. We docked at a tiny, newly formed island that was at least a half-mile from Aether Paradise. We anchored down quietly, as to not alert them. We had to swim about 20 feet, but it didn’t bother me. Luckily, she had a waterproof bag that we could put our guns and stuff into them, so as not to ruin them while we swam.

She made swimming in clothes look easy, as I was struggling and being weighed down. I was exhausted by the time we had made it to land.

“How do you swim with clothes on?” I asked her.

“It just takes practice, as with anything. I don’t think you know much a swim, I try to swim every day, unless it’s raining and storming.”

“Damn. Is that why you often smell like salt?”

“Huh, you noticed that?”

“Of course, my other senses are so attuned to everything.”

“Hehe,” she simply giggled. She grabbed one of the bags, grabbing a pair of infrared binoculars.  She looked up with them, looking at Aether. “There’s lots of activity. Lots of people milling about.” She handed the binoculars to me.

I looked through them. Everything cold was a dark green, while people and Pokémon were a bright shade of lime green. “You’re right. I think we should strike soon.”

She simply nodding, trying to stifle a yawn. She looked exhausted as she laid her head down on the soft sand.

“You go to bed, I’ll keep watch for now.” Before I could say anything else, she was fast asleep. I stroked her hair.

“Type: Full, I’m coming, I swear to God, I’m coming, just you wait…” Before I knew it, I had fallen asleep too, comforted by the fact that I was with my best friend and only love.

Chapter Text

Chapter 4

I woke up to the sound of Wingulls squawking. One of them was perched upon my shoulder, eyeing me like I was a carcass. It must have thought I was sickly and dying. “Shoo! Shoo! Get off!” I shooed them away aggressively. “I’m not dead yet!” I hissed. “You winged rats!” I watched them as they all flew off, all of them squawking while landing on the boat. They still had their eyes on me. Curse my albino-ness. My cheeks turned red from embarrassment.

I looked over at the ocean. The sun was still rising and wasn’t quite morning yet. I opened my pocket, grabbing my watch and looking at it. It was already 6:30 in the morning. The sand started to lose its comfort, starting to feel like concrete now. I had a bad taste of salt in my mouth and wanted some water. It also felt like my bladder was about to burst and my sides were hurting. “Ow…” I rubbed my arse, it was in serious pain from sleeping on the sand for so long.

I looked over at Naomi, she was sound asleep and looking like a log. I used to nickname her Log, but not to be racist, but because that’s exactly how she slept; as I had also found it funny, and so did, she. I crawled over to her, poking her. There was no response, so I shoved her a little. “Naomi… wake up!”

“What… huh?” she mumbled. She blinked a few times, eyes heavy. She rubbed them and yawned. She sat up and rubbed her side. “Ow…”

“The sand stopped becoming comfortable the second I woke up.” I started to sweat a little.

“Are you okay? You have a weird look on your face.”

“I have to take a leak pretty bad.”

She quickly nodded before she said anything. “You go, I won’t watch, I swear.”

“I appreciate that.” I nodded, slowly standing up. I quickly did my business and turned my attention towards Naomi; she was staring out towards Aether with the binoculars again. I sat down next to her. I tried to look out without them, but I couldn’t see any details, except a few windows and trees.

The tall building loomed in the distance. It was mainly white in colour with hundreds of windows, with a bright white concrete docks which made it look like it was floating, but I heard they had bulldozed the island and built the building over it.

“No activity. Only a few people milling about outside.”

“Hmmm…” I muttered while she handed me the binoculars. I looked through them and saw a few people and Wingulls all over the island. “You’re right. I think it’s because it’s so early in the morning.”

“I actually have an idea.”

“I want to hear it.” I set the binoculars down in my lap.

“Can you scuba dive?” She eyed me with a small smirk on her face.

“Can I what? No, I can’t scuba dive. I’m not athletic like you. I can’t do sports. I like to play with my kendama though, but I’m not sure what happened to it.”

“I bet Acerola has it ‘hostage’.” She nudged me with her elbow into my side.

I chuckled a little, smiling while thinking about Acerola. I loved her like my own daughter, since I couldn’t reproduce. I felt bad for though, because I had to adopt because of unseen events. Her whole family was murdered, but she doesn’t remember because she was too tiny, maybe three years-old. I had found her hiding in a closet, scared out of her mind at what had happened. The murders had found out she was alive and nearly killed her, but I was lying in wait at the house. I held them at gunpoint while arresting them. They went away for life. I decided to adopt her for this very reason, because I knew I’d protect her in case something like that ever happened again.

“I miss her, but I’m glad she’s in school now. It’s a shame she’s becoming too old to be a Trial Captain. At least she’s in Kukui’s new Elite Four. I didn’t want to disappoint her, actually, so I gave the role to her instead of myself.” I started to feel a bit sad, since I missed her so much.

“She’s in school, a Trial Captain and an Elite Four member? She’s a busy girl.”

“Yeah, she is.” I nodded. “Luckily, she has a shit ton more energy than I do. She can run around for hours and work all day with no break. I wish I could get that energy back or absorb it from her.”

“Are you sure she isn’t high off caffeine? I’ve seen the girl down several Blue Tauroses before, without any ill effects.”

“I think she digests caffeine differently than most people, I swear.” I chuckled a little. “Anyway… do you have another plan?”

“It would involve you pretending to drown.”

“Uhh… I think I’ll take my chances scuba diving.”

“Let me go get the scuba gear.” She stood up, taking most of her clothes off except one piece, it was a swimsuit. She walked into the water until she could no longer stand up, swimming quickly and with almost no effort.

“My sea-girl, look at you swim.” I watched her grab hold of the ladder and without slipping, managed to climb on. I looked over at the sunrise, it was already painting the sky pink and blue.

Naomi returned with two huge scuba tanks and a bunch of, which were really heavy on land. She told what each piece did. Once I was strapped in, it felt like there was a train on my back. I felt weighed down and could barely move.

“I forgot I had these.” She handed me a waterproof holster.

“Wow. Thank you.” I nodded, slipping both of my guns into it and hooking it onto a strap that was connected to the wetsuit.

“You’re welcome. Are you ready to go?” she asked.

I nodded. “Yes. Let’s go.”

“Remember what I told you? If you dive deep and try to come back to the surface, you must do it slowly or you’ll get the bends,” she said while putting a mask on. She grabbed a hold of my hand, urging me to follow her and so I wouldn’t get swept away by a riptide.

We walked for a few feet and dove under the water. I couldn’t believe the beauty of what was underwater, my eyes widened. The water was a crystal-clear blue while sunlight filtered into the water, casting beams of light over the ocean floor, making it look white. A few fish Pokémon such as Alomomola, Bruxish and Mantines swam by, they looked beautiful in water, swimming effortlessly. Corals and sponges shone in bright colours such as pink, purple, bright blue, orange, yellow and brown. Kelp and seagrass swayed with each wave of current. It felt like heaven and it made me feel alive and I felt so weightless.

A Mantyke slowly swam towards us, letting me pet it. It was rough to the touch and felt like sandpaper. It swam around us in circles a few times before it swam off, disappearing from our sight. I thought that it was cute that it had approached us so playfully.

It took us about an hour to reach the dock of Aether Paradise. We rose slowly to the surface, breaking it and looking around for some place to climb onto the docks. It was tiring treading water, but I knew I wasn’t going to drown in case I couldn’t anymore.

Naomi, wordless to not attract any attention, just nudged me as she pointed to a ladder about 30 feet away. We dove back under, swimming quickly. I was starting to get the hang of scuba diving, despite not getting proper training.

I grabbed hold of the ladder tightly, lugging myself up. Reality rushed back to me, as I felt heavy as a brick, the swimming fins didn’t help much either. I was ready to take them off because of they were a nuisance on land. I was nearly at the last rung of the ladder when I heard voices. I stopped, hunkered down and listened.

Naomi wasn’t paying attention and she shoved her head into my arse. “Ow!”

“Shh!” I hissed and glared at her, listening, not caring that she bumped into my arse.

“Hey, did you hear?” a feminine voice said.

“What’s that?” a masculine voice asked.

“Faba is rounding up a bunch of Interpol officers and holding them in his lab.” The voice laughed.

“Well, how many officers are left?”

“Well, there’s one named Bellinor Nanu and Naomi Onaona. Faba hasn’t been able to find them yet. He doesn’t know where they are.”

“He’ll find them, I just know it!” the masculine voice said determinedly and just cackled evilly.

As their footsteps faded, I decided to climb up the ladder, standing on the deck. I leaned over, grabbing her hands and lifting her up.

“Sorry for running into your butt,” she said apologetically. “My fault for not watching what I was doing.” She took her tank off and set it sideways on the concrete.

“No, I should have warned you, but it was a last-minute decision. Had to think quickly or we would have gotten caught,” I said while taking the tank off my back, setting it on the ground.

Before we could do anything else, another grunt came running up, with anger in his eyes. “You’re not allowed to be here!” He pointed at us. “This is private property!”

I quickly opened the waterproof holster, quickly grabbing my gun, cocking it and putting my hands on the trigger, all in three seconds. “You’ll know what my nickname, Triple Sec, means by the time I’m done with you.” I put the gun to his temple.

“W-what…” Fear showed in his eyes and he started to sweat profusely.

“Do what I say, and I won’t blow your brains out, got it?” I lowered the gun.

“Y-Yes sir…,” he quaked. “Wh-what do you want me to do? I’ll do anything.”

“Give me your uniform, now,” I demanded.

“Yes sir…” he said while stripping off his clothes, leaving him only in his boxers; which were a plain grey. “H-here…” He handed me his uniform.

I stripped off the wetsuit, replacing it with his uniform. I turned back towards Naomi, she had a look of ‘I-hate-it-you’re-so-violent’ in her eyes. I shook my head apologetically, and she seemed to have understand.

The grunt looked like he was about to escape, so I punched him clean in face, knocked out with one hit. I felt bad for doing this, but I didn’t want to use my gun for something so petty.

“That was a good hit, Nanu,” Naomi complimented while smirking. By then, she had stripped herself of her wetsuit, leaving herself in her bright blue swimsuit.

“Thank you. Now let’s go.” I grabbed Blu’s Poké ball, letting her out; materialising into a battle stance.

She looked confused, cocking her head and wondering what to do. She wagged her tail apprehensively. I urged her to come along with us.

She was easily able to keep pace with us as we ran. We stopped and looked around, hiding behind a tree.

Blu leapt into the tree easily, which the lowest branch was easily 10 feet off the ground. Her hackles were raised and long, sharp claws retracted, her pupils as well being enlarged. She jumped again, reaching some of the highest branches, until it was impossible to see her.

“Wow,” Naomi commented quietly. “That was an amazing leap.”

“I know.” I nodded. I looked around the corner to see the coast was clear. I grabbed her hand and ran.

Blu leapt out of the tree, flying and landing on the next tree over. Her sleek and lithe body allowing her to jump far. She could probably land on the ground just fine, but she chose to jump down the branches, landing on the ground with soft thud and letting out a quiet ‘mmr’ as grunt of effort. She walked up to us, tail twitching, hackles still raised, and claws still retracted.

Two grunts cane rounding the corner, Blu instantly on them, tackling them and bite them her her sharp canines. I hit him clean in the face, knocking him out.

But before she could attack the second one, the female grunt held up her hand in the ‘stop’ position. “Stop!” the voice hissed. I could have sworn I  recognised the voice and I instantly recognised the deep blue eyes. It was Cassidy—Looker’s significant other. Blu stopped in her tracks.

“Blu, what are you doing?” I hissed as I watched her licking the hand of the grunt.

“Triple Sec, it’s just me…” she said quietly.

“C-C-Cass!” I blurted, keeping my voice.

Cassidy was tall for a woman, at least 5’9”, the same as I was. Her long, flowing black hair was tied up into a ponytail and her deep blue eyes had a look of determination in them. She was a lot more muscular than last time I had seen her, and it looked as if she had gained some weight. Her personality was sweet and caring, almost a motherly figure, but she was assertive and would take a bullet for anyone. She was highly intelligent, allowing her to go undercover as anyone she wanted to and never blew her cover until the last second.

“Shh! I’m undercover,” she said curtly, her voice hush-hush. She looked down make absolute sure the grunt was knocked out. “Jake got wind of Faba kidnapping all of the Alolan Interpol officers. Luckily, I’m not in any of his systems, because his iris scanners didn’t recognise me. I haven’t gotten caught yet.”

“Good on you for volunteering. God, I haven’t seen you in years. We don’t have time to catch up, we need to know the layout of this place.” I looked at her straight in the eyes, not breaking my gaze.

“Cassidy, you probably don’t remember me because it’s been a long time since I last saw you,” Naomi said.

“Why would I forget someone like you?” she replied. “I remember you, Naomi.” She put her hand up on her shoulder.

Cassidy hugged us both, while making sure other Aether grunts didn’t notice us.

The taste of salt came back to my mouth after I had ignored it for a long time. “Before we start… I’m really thirsty and I still have the taste of salt in my mouth.”

“Me too.” Naomi looked at Cassidy pleadingly.

“Faba takes good care of us.” Cassidy pulled out what looked like a discount food card known as a food stamps card. “He gives us food stamps cards, and this specific one I happened to swipe off a grunt. We can eat whatever the hell we want if we don’t use up the card within a month. You stay here, I’ll get you guys some water.”

Naomi and I slowly returned to the trees, hiding in the shadows of the branches and keeping quiet. Blu jumped up, keeping watch on the highest branches. When Cassidy returned, Blu jumped from the highest branch, letting out a mrr sound.

“Your Persian is amazing, Nanu.”

“That’s Officer Blu.” I smiled.

“So, she’s an honorary officer, huh?” Cassidy leaned over, petting the top of her head.

“I’m the one that awarded her that. She can sense stuff that we can’t, and her lithe body can run fast, and her stride is huge.” Naomi had a proud look in her eyes.

“Well, Blu deserves it.” Cassidy nodded, handing us both water bottles.

“Thank you,” we said in unison.

“Of course, anything for my friends. Also, I happened to swipe this. You’re going to stand out in that swimsuit.” She handed Naomi a fresh and neatly folded Aether uniform.

I sipped some of the water, sloshing some of the water and spitting it out. The taste of salt was gone, and I drank the whole bottle within a few seconds.

Naomi copied me like a Chatot, and she quickly put the uniform on. She looked like an Aether grunt, just like I did.

Cassidy didn’t seem grossed out that we had both spat. “Doing better now?” she asked as we both nodded. “Let’s go,” she urged us. “I know where your friends are.”

We followed to a nearby entrance that was on the side of the building. The doors automatically slid open as we walked in.

“Keep your cool and pretend you work here,” Cassidy whispered. “Always talk about Faba like he’s a god, because it appeases him, and he’ll kill whomever he distrusts. You have to bow to him whenever he enters the room or he’ll kick you in the balls,” she directed that towards me. “Or the solar plexus,” she directed that towards Naomi.

I gulped, hoping I’d never get hit in the balls again. “How do you know all of this?” I asked, curious.

“Looker… I mean Émile is on this too.” She nodded. “He got here a few days before I did, and he told me everything. That’s how Jake found out about Faba capturing all of the Interpol officers.”

“So, you’ve known about this for a while, huh?” Naomi asked.

“Yes, for about a month now. Faba thought maybe Interpol was onto him for his petty crimes, and I was right…”

“What can you tell us about Type: Full?” Naomi asked.

“Type: Full is a chimeric creature made from different body parts of various Pokémon. The mask it wears helps keep its powers under control. They call its devolved form ‘Type: Null’ because it cannot utilise the ability RKS System. If you sound it out slowly, it sounds like ‘AR-KAY-ESS’, like the Pokémon itself. Faba also said that it’s an Ultra Beast hunter, able to go through wormholes without any ill effects.”

“Ultra… Beast?” I shuddered, remembering seeing some, nearly destroying Ula’ula Island. Tapu Bulu was able to stop them, and they disappeared. “I remember seeing an Ultra Beast. It nearly swallowed everything in its path…”

“They call that one Guzzlord.” Cassidy stared straight into my eyes.

“What an oddly-fitting and ironic name…” My lip twitched.

“Yes, I remember seeing it too.” Naomi’s eyes clouded.

“Apparently, there’s another Type: Full that a kid has. His name, from what I can gather, is Gladion.”

“There’s another one?” I blinked, shocked.

“Wow…” Naomi’s eyes widened. “That’s interesting.”

“There was also a third one, but Faba killed it by a lethal injection before it could escape his lab.”

“He… killed it?” I quivered, shuddering. “I can’t believe my ears.”

“That’s horrifying to say the least… what a piece of shit,” Naomi hissed, baring her incisors and forming her hands into clenched fists. “If I get my hands on him.”

“I want to get back at him too, but don’t be rash. Émile and I want to arrest him and take him to jail and question him. Also… Nanu, it appears as though Guzma is operating under him. Faba has your Pokémon.”

“It’s amazing how Blu managed to escape and find me, though.” I scratched the back of my head.

I helped her escape from him. She swam back to you, actually.” Cassidy nodded, closing her eyes. I watched swim for as long as I could, before Faba found me and told me to return to work.”

“Do you know where the lab is?” I asked.

“It’s deep underground, you need a special key to access it, as it involves an iris scan and a handprint scan. I’m afraid I don’t have that key.” She shrugged. “But I bet we could find a way to get there.” She looked around, watching the grunts milling about. “I do have access to the other levels though, because it doesn’t involve iris and hand scans.” She pointed to a platform that acted like a lift. “That’s the elevator over there. Want to go up it?”

“Yes, is that where my Pokémon are?”

“Yessir.” She nodded and began to walk towards it. She urged us to come step onto it. “The thing freaked me out the first time I stepped on it, but trust me, you won’t fall.”

We all stepped on it. Naomi and I watched what she was doing as she pushed a button for one of the top floors. The thing shifted while some gates appeared as it started to rise.

“Whoa, that felt strange.” I heard Naomi mutter under her breath.

I said nothing but nodded in agreement.

We had made it to the top level, only to see in horror that Guzma was bootlicking Faba, bowing down to him and saying great things about him.

Oh God… what mess have we gotten into now?

Chapter Text

Chapter 5

“Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy?” Faba said condescendingly to Guzma, speaking like he’s a three-year-old child.

The room we were in was huge and looked like a miniature habitat within the building. There was trees, flowers, ferns and water everywhere. There were several platforms built so people could walk over the water without getting wet. Pokémon of all kinds were all over, many of them tiny and young and some with scars and missing limbs.

Faba didn’t notice us, so I looked behind me and looked at Cassidy. “Cass, what is this place?” I asked. Blu stayed next to me, but she looked around curiously at all the Pokémon that were all over.

“They call this the Conservation Area. This floor is for Pokémon that have been abandoned, nearly killed or very young. That includes Pokémon that were targets of poaching, hence why some of the Pokémon are missing limbs.”

“Wow…” Naomi said breathlessly. “This area is pretty cool, actually.” She looked over at a Pikipek missing a wing, so it hobbled on the ground.

“I can’t believe people are so entitled that they poach Pokémon. I can’t imagine that that poor Pikipek is going through.”

“Yes, I was shocked too.” Cassidy’s eyes clouded and she closed them, letting out a sigh through her teeth.

Guzma looked over at us, immediately recognising me. His eyes widened and he said nothing, keeping silent. His face screamed ‘get me out of here’.

“What are you looking at?” Faba said venomously. He looked over at us and we all immediately genuflected to him. “Good grunts, maybe I ought to reward you with wine and steak?”

We all nodded but kept our heads down, but Faba just cackled evilly.

“No, no, you don’t get steak and wine. I was just teasing you to get your hopes up.” He walked over towards us and put his boot on top of my back. “Bellinor Nanu. I’ve been expecting you, actually.” He stomped down on me, nearly knocking me out, but I regained my composure. “I’d never mistake you for one of my grunts. I wondered if you were onto me. Your friends are ‘safe’ with me, and they won’t bother me ever again.”

My eyes widened and I knew he had done something horrible to them, but what, I had no idea. Naomi’s eyes were wide and full of fear, but she said nothing. Cassidy looked shocked at what she had heard. I looked over at her and she shook her head and I knew she didn’t know where they were.

“Don’t you recognise me? You’re the kid that made fun of me when you beat me, all because you had an Alolan Meowth. Your Meowth defeated my Abra and you just laughed at me, telling me to just give up, and saying that my Abra and I weren’t friends. You also said I was too restrictive because of ‘friendship’.”

“F-Fabien…?” I looked up at him with disbelief.

“Yes, yes. It’s me, Fabien, the kid you made fun of in school!” he growled.

“So, you take out all of your anger on my colleagues? My colleagues have nothing to do with this! I was a bully in school, and I’m happy to admit it. That’s my battle strategy, because I want trainers to push themselves and try harder. Acerola says I shouldn’t be so aggressive, but I can’t help it, it’s because of my short-tempered personality and I tend to be cynical and sardonic, too. I love foiling my opponent’s strategies and catching them off-guard. It makes me happy, in fact.” I smirked.

It looked as if he was about to kick me again, but Blu hissed, her hackles raised, tail twitching, and claws semi-retracted. It looked as she was about to pounce. She looked over at me, hoping for some sort of command.

Blu, greife ihn an und lass keinen Körperteil unberührt; (Blu, attack him and leave no body part untouched),” I commanded to her in German, because I knew he wouldn’t understand me.

Blu yowled, leaping high and retracted her claws as far as they could go. Faba tried to knock her down, but her sleek design allowed her to avoid his punch. She clawed him, swiping across his back and ripping up his white lab coat as he screamed in pain. She wrapped her mouth around his arm, jumping up, easily carrying him. She jumped into the water with him still in tow, with a giant splash, and causing a bunch of Pokémon to flee. See Faba, you deserve that! There’s nothing you can do, you’re a Psychic-type user, you wouldn’t be able to touch me! She yowled, jumped out of the water and sat down on her haunches while looking over at us.

I swore I could have heard her thoughts, and I just nodded. “Good job, Officer Blu.” I smiled as she walked back over, shaking and spraying me with water. I didn’t really care.

Naomi and Cassidy’s eyes were huge, and they watched in silence. Guzma was silent too and came over towards us, mystified at what just happened.

Guzma was very tall at 6’5”, and a purple tattoo with Team Skull’s logo, both which made him look intimidating. He had platinum blonde, messy hair and steel-grey eyes. It looked as if Faba forced him to wear a white uniform too, because normally he would wear a black hoodie with Team Skull’s logo on the back. His gold chain with Skull’s logo was missing, as well as his gold watch and Z-Ring. He lacked confidence, hence why he often lost. His parents abused him with golf clubs until his face was unrecognisable, so he decided to run away and that’s why he created Team Skull, to escape from reality.

However, he had an apologetic look in his eyes. “I’m sorry for beating you up, Nanu. You pissed me off with your harsh words.”

I shook my head, closing my eyes in sadness. “I was pushing you to become a better trainer, so maybe someday, you could take my place as an Island Kahuna. You lack confidence, Guzma. I want to help you. I will be stepping down soon, so I can go back to my old job of being a globetrotting Interpol officer again.” I put my hand on my gun, hidden underneath the uniform.

He simply nodded understandingly. “Thanks… Nanu…”

“You’re welcome. By the way, where is my Rusty, Gemma and Flare?” I asked.

“They’re in the lab, in cages.” He shook his head.

“We don’t have access to that…” Cassidy had a blank look on her face.

“I’ll grab Faba.” Guzma smirked, walking over towards the water and grabbing him like a doll.

He was knocked out, but luckily the water wasn’t too deep, because I could see that he was still alive. He was sleeping peacefully, not even fully aware that Guzma had just grabbed him.

We all walked back onto the platform, Blu right on beside me and sitting on her haunches; while Cassidy pushed a button on the lift’s computer.

The computer chimed and with a haunting voice said, “Access denied!” while the screen flashed red. Guzma noticed this, prying open his left eye and grabbing his hand and placing it onto the handprint scanner. Both scanners worked simultaneously. The computer said, “Access granted. Taking you to the lab now. Welcome, Faba.” The screen flashed green and the lift began to descend.

It took several minutes for it to descend. We all stepped off and looked around. It was eerily dark, with very few lights except a bit of light coming through a hallway. My eyes had gotten used to the dark and I knew I’d be able to see better than everyone else.

“I wonder which way?” Naomi asked, confused look in her eyes and she searched.

Nanu… help me! I’m in the very last room on the left!

“I-I think I have an idea where. I swear I can hear the thoughts of Type: Null. She said she was this way.” I pointed towards the left. “Follow me!” I began to run, Blu right on my side and everyone else tailing me.

We had made it to the very last room. I stopped, looking around. There, in the last room, was Type: Null. She was curled up into a ball, twitching a little.

She turned her head, looked up and noticed me. Her tail was wagging, and she closed her eyes happily. Nanu, you found me! Oh, I knew you’d find me! Her voice sounded relieved and happy. Everyone was pleased that I had found her and Blu let out a small purr.

“How do we open the door, Type: Full?” I asked, staring at some sort of locked door that had a computer on it.

Faba uses his hand and eye to open it…

“Hmm.” I nodded. “What attacks can you use? Can’t you just break the door down?”

I could try it. She slowly stood up, lowered her head and rammed into the door, denting it a little. A small crack showed on the helmet. We all back off away from the door, for safety’s sake.

“Try again,” I demanded. “Don’t be weak. Keep trying.”

“Try your best, Type: Null!” Naomi cheered her on.

“I believe you can do it!” Cassidy sounded enthusiastic.

“Do it, kid,” Guzma joined in on it too.

Even Blu yowled enthusiastically.

Type: Null sent out a small growl, lowering her head again, smashing the door enough that went flying off its hinges. A large crack appeared on the helmet – it was nearly smashed.

“What are you doing, Type: Null?” Faba’s voice was full of venom. Apparently, he had arrived without noticing. “You monster. You don’t deserve to be free, you deserve to be locked up where you’ll never be seen by the public! You horrible creature! Why did I even create you?” He had a disgusted look upon his face.

She let out an angry snarl. I am a Pokémon, and I deserve to live! Through sheer willpower and anger alone, the helmet smashed, revealing her beautiful white crest, grey eyes, red ears and beautiful, white tail. She looked pure and beautiful, despite looking like a Frankensteinian monster out of a horror movie.

“Look what you’ve done!” Faba pointed at me. “This is your fault!”

A small but odd-shaped disc fell out of his jacket pocket. It was mainly black in colour. Before he could pick it up, it went flying towards Type: Full, insert itself by the small, round part behind her eye. Her whole appearance changed, and we all watched in awe as her crest, eyes and tail all changed to black.

“D-did you do this for me?” I asked her.

Yes, because you told me you’re a Dark-type user. She turned her head to face me.

Faba’s eyes were as wide as pie pans, and he shuddered in fear at her appearance. “N-No! It will rampage!” He pointed at her. “It cannot control the RKS System and the Memory Discs! That’s why it had that helmet on! It is unstable and a monster!” He grabbed a Poké ball from his belt and threw it onto the ground.

A Bruxish materialised. It was mainly pink in colour, with some sprinklings of sky blue, purple and yellow. It had big lips with incredibly sharp teeth. It floated in the air using its physic powers.

“A 3-on-1 battle with Nanu vs Faba, start!” Naomi lifted both of her arms in a signal to ‘go’.

“Use Aqua Jet!” he commanded.

“What moves do you know?” I questioned her.

She easily dodged the Bruxish’s watery attack, jumping out of the way. I know Flamethrower, Dragon Claw, Shadow Claw and Crunch. and Steel Wing, Aerial Ace and a move Faba calls Multi-Attack.

“Go, use Shadow Claw! This is in honour of my daughter!” I commanded, pointing at the Psychic-type fish.

Both of her claws began to glow purple and a black aura in the shape of claws formed in front of her. She ran up to the Bruxish, slashing it and hitting hard. It fell onto the ground.

“You’re such a weak trainer. Surely you have a strategy to defeat me?” I smirked.

Faba’s face turned a bright red in anger. “S-Shut up!” he hissed. “Bruxish, use an Aqua Jet!”

Water formed around its body as it flew. The attack almost landed, but she moved the last second, landing another Shadow Claw onto the fish. She held it down, stomping on it and creating a sulcus in the concrete. A purple aura surrounded her body and her claws began to glow purple.

I assumed it was Multi-Attack. “Use Multi-Attack!” A small smirk appeared on my face as she slashed the Bruxish. It fainted, so she walked back over towards me, rubbing her head against my cheek.

“Bruxish is unable to battle, Nanu is the winner. Faba, let out your next Pokémon, please,” Naomi commanded.  

“Good job, Type: Full.” I smiled. I looked over at Faba. “Is that honestly the best you can do?” I sneered.

“W-why is it following your commands? This thing doesn’t listen to me!”

 “Because I’m an actual trainer that she’s deemed worthy?” I snapped.

“He’s a kind trainer that cares about other Pokémon!” Naomi hissed, her eyes slits. She started to pet her on her side.  

“He’s a highly respectable trainer. I’ve seen him in battle.” Cassidy stood up for me. “This Pokémon seems to care about him greatly.” She reached out her hand and began to rub her head behind her eyes.  

“Nanu is my friendly rival for a reason.” Guzma stared at him. “He gives me advice and how I can become a better trainer.” Even he started to pet her.

Type: Full loved the attention she was getting, closing her eyes and purring, relaxed. Even Blu was rubbing her cheeks against her legs.

“Why are you calling it a she?” he growled. “It doesn’t have a sex, it’s called an it!”

Type: Full turned around, snarled at him. I’m not an it! The word it is so degrading! I have a sex now! she stated proudly. The feathery hackles along her back raised as she gave him a death glare, holding her gaze with her beautiful black eyes, looking intimidating. She walked back to the middle.

Faba backed off a tiny bit and growled a little. “I-I can’t believe this!”

“Are you going to send out your next Pokémon, or do I automatically win? Are you even a worthy opponent?”

“Faba, if you don’t let out your next Pokémon, Nanu wins,” Naomi teased.

“F-Fine!” Faba stomped, grabbing his next Poké ball. He growled a little and tossed it.

A Drowzee materialised. It was mainly yellow and brown in colour, standing bipedally and had a long truck in front of its face. It was eerily human-like.

Type: Full’s eyes became filled with rage when she saw it.

“What is going on down here? We heard an explosion!” a feminine voice yelled. I could hear footsteps approaching, becoming louder and louder. Out of breath, she stopped and looked at what was going on. “T-Type: Full! What is going on down here?” She bared her left incisors. She was short in stature, around 5’5” tall. She had purple hair and green eyes. She too, was wearing a white jacket and shin-high boots, but with a pink sweater underneath. Perched upon her nose was a pair of pink glasses. “Why is it Type: Full again?”

“You’re just in time, Wicke.” Faba looked over at her. “We were just battling, you should join us.” He looked over at Naomi.

She just simply nodded. “A double battle with Wicke and Faba vs Nanu. Start!”

“I’d be happy to battle.” A smirk appeared on her face. She grabbed a Poké ball off her belt, tossing it. “Go, Bewear!”

The giant, bipedal Pokémon materialised. It was mostly black in colour, with a pink head and pink paw pads, the lower half of its body was black, with white ears and nose. Its tail was long and bushy, with darker pink stripes. Its black eyes glared at me.

“You think I’m intimidated by your Bewear?” I sneered. “Just because it’s a Fighting-type? You can’t fool me. Go, Blu.” I pointed.

Blu leapt towards the middle, growling and hackles raised. She was ready to battle.

“This will be interesting.” I heard Cassidy whisper.

Glad Blu can join me, this will be fun. Type: Full crouched down, ready to lunge at any second.

“Show me what you’ve got! Go first,” I commanded.

“Bewear, use Low Sweep on that Persian!”

“Drowzee, use Ice Punch on Type: Full!”

Drowzee’s hand began to glow blue, forming ice in its hands. It only managed to get a tiny bit of ice on her, and she shook if off like it was nothing. Bewear rushed up towards Blu, almost landing an attack but managed to miss. She made a quarter turn, facing the Bewear. Her claws began to glow a light purple, slashing the Bewear. The giant bear snarled at her, swinging its arms at her, striking her in the back. She recovered quickly.

Prove to me you’re a worthy opponent.” I glared at Faba, not breaking my gaze. “See, I am in sync with Blu, I don’t even need to command her. She knows exactly what to do!”

I want to be in sync with you. Tell me what to do!

“Type: Full, whatever move is on your mind, you attack without hesitation!”

I-I think I get it! She nodded, her claws beginning to light blue with a blue-green, claw-shaped aura. I knew it must have been a Dragon Claw. She smashed her claws into the Drowzee. The yellow and brown tapir went flying into the wall, it had fainted.

“Drowzee is unable to battle. Nanu is the winner.” Naomi grinned.

“Nice! You got it, Type: Full!” I smirked. I turned my attention back towards Faba. “You aren’t proving to me that you’re a worthy opponent, yet. Humph. This battle is actually quite boring.” I pretended to yawn but cracked a smirk.

Naomi giggled, knowing that’s exactly how I battled. “This is why I love you,” she whispered, but I could hear her.

Faba stomped on the ground, grabbing another Poké ball. “You! I’m going to kill you and piss on your grave!”

“You’ll never get to me, actually.” I smirked, putting my hand on my holster. “I got the codename Triple Sec for a reason, not from my favourite liqueur.” I laughed a little. “So, it would be me pissing on your grave.”

“I named him that for a reason: he can withdraw his gun within three seconds,” Naomi told him.

Faba snarled, tossing the ball. An Alakazam materialising.

It was mainly yellow and brown in colour, with a long, yellow moustache and in its hands were two, large spoons. It had tiny black eyes that stared at me, not breaking its gaze while it floated in the air. It was eerily human-like like Drowzee.

“Alakazam, Miracle Eye!” he commanded.

Its eyes began to glow purple; I knew it would allow it to use Psychic-type moves on my Dark-types.

“This is the battle I’ve been looking for.” I cracked a smirk again. “You are showing me you are worthy.”

“Now, use Psychic on Persian!” he commanded.

Its eyes began to glow, lifting Blu into the air. She yowled in surprise, not expecting a Psychic-type move to be used on her. It smashed her against a wall behind me. I had to jump out of the way to keep from getting hit by her body falling. She slowly stood up, shook it off like nothing happened. Her fur was dirtied, and I knew damn well she didn’t like that. Type: Full had a shocked look upon her face as she ran up to her, carefully scooping her up in her mouth, placing her on her back. She carried Blu back to the middle. Blu jumped off her back, snarling at the Alakazam.

“Bewear, use Brutal Swing on Persian!” Wicke commanded.

The bear’s arms began to swing violently at her, nearly hitting her. At the last second, however; Type: Full jumped in front, her lithe design being able to fit despite her height. She got the brunt of the punches. We all looked at her in shock. She had just sacrificed herself to protect Blu. She collapsed onto the ground, unable to move. She had fainted, unable to take the super effective Fighting-type move.

“Type: Full is unable to battle. Wicke is the winner.”

This is the battle I was looking for.” I grinned. “Type: Full, come back, please. You can watch.”

She jumped over towards me, lying down next to me, her head leaning against my leg. I simply smiled and started to pet her head. She purred, looking relaxed and closed her eyes. I looked at the white Z-Ring on my wrist. It had become a habit to wear it that it was just… there. I unhooked the Darkinium-Z from my necklace, placing the Z-Crystal into the Z-Ring, twisting it.

“I didn’t know I was going to need this.”

“Meeeeow!” she mewed in happiness. She knew exactly what was going on.

I spread my legs, crossed my arms in front of his face; then placed my arms at an angle, precisely at a 70-degree angle; I straightened and crossed my arms in front of my chest. I bent over with my hands on his side, nearly touching the ground. I then steadily stood up and then reached up towards the ceiling. A purple aura surrounded our body. A giant black and purple orb appeared on the ceiling. It changed to a swirling red. “BLACK HOLE ECLIPSE!

The black hole sucked up both Pokémon, disappearing inside it. The black hole imploded, disappeared and both Pokémon fell to the floor. They had fainted.

I smirked. I had won the battle.

Naomi said nothing, but she smiled.

Faba and Wicke were shocked at what they had just seen.

“Wicke, let’s go! We have to get out of here!”

“I don’t think so. Blu, go get them!” I commanded.

Blu growled, running up to them within two seconds. They tried to run away but she easily caught up to them. She tackled them, knocking them down as Naomi and I caught up to them.

“Good job, Officer Blu,” I complimented her as I grabbed my handcuffs. I handcuffed Faba. “I’m coming for you later. I have to find my friends.” I looked at him intimidatingly.

“Your friends are on Mount Lanakila,” Wicke commented as Naomi was handcuffing her. “We didn’t strand them or anything, they’re in a cabin somewhere at the summit.”

Cassidy looked at Naomi and I. “You go find your friends and your Pokémon. I’ll take care of these two. I have to find Émile anyway. I’m not sure where he is.”

“I’ll help you look for your Pokémon,” Guzma offered. “If that’s okay with you.”

“Of course, it is; let’s go.” I nodded.

I know where they are. Type: Full looked at me. Follow me. She began to run off. I started to follow her, with Blu at me heels, and Naomi and Guzma tailing me. We walked down a very long hallway. It was dark save for a few lights. It was eerie and strange. It was like a horror movie. I brushed off the eerie feeling, looking up at Type: Full. We stopped in front of a door like the one that she was held in. Looking through the window, we could see all my Pokémon lying down, listless. All of them looked up at us.

Flare howled in delight. He was a shiny Growlithe, with a yellow coat instead of an orange one, but with the same black stripes and cream-coloured tufts on his head and chest and cream-coloured tail. He was different though, because some poachers had snared him. In retaliation, he had almost chewed his leg off, henceforth, he was missing his left back leg. A giant scar went across his back, how he got it, I wasn’t sure. I had happened upon the snare and saved him using my quick thinking. I brought him to a Pokémon Centre. A Nurse Joy saved him and amputated his nearly chewed off leg. He wasn’t a Dark-type, but I felt like it was my duty to save him.

Rusty wagged his tail, happy to see me. He was a Krookodile. He was mostly red in colour, with a white belly and long black stripes almost wrapping around his body. One black stripe circled around his long snout and three encircling his tail. He had small black eyes, but they sparkled when he noticed me. He stood bipedal but wasn’t human-looking.

Gemma’s eyes sparkled and jumped up and down. She was a Sableye. She was purple in colour, with two gems as eyes and a red gem on her chest. She stood bipedally too and looked like a small child, which was creepy, but I loved her anyway. She had razor-sharp claws on her hands, trying to scratch open the door, but with no luck.

“Get back!” I commanded to them. They all moved backwards as Type: Full readied herself. Her claws began to glow blue-green with an aura in the shape of a giant claw. She slashed the door, causing it to go flying, bending in half.

All of them were free and rushed up towards me. Flare jumped up, nearly knocking me down, but I recovered quickly, catching him in my arms. He started to lick me in my face. I chuckled because it tickled. Rusty wrapped his arms around me, like a hug. Gemma wrapped her arms around my left leg, hugging it.

“I’m so glad everyone is okay!” Naomi smiled.

“Meeeeoow!” Blu mewed happily. She too, was happy to see everyone.

“Let’s not forget your colleagues.” Guzma looked at me.

“Yes. Let’s go look for them.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 6

Snow.

Snow everywhere.

I had never gotten used to it. It was not only white, but it was very cold to the touch and very bright white, reflecting the sunlight. It hurt my eyes, but I had gotten used to it. It also made a crr, crr noise every time I made a step. I could see my breath too. I stared at this in amazement, because I wasn’t used to this. I shivered, despite changing into thick boots, long underwear and jeans and a sweater with a thick coat thrown and a thick hat and thick gloves on top of that. “It’s so cold.” I looked over at Naomi; she too, looked like she was a popsicle. I then looked over at Blu, Type: Full and Flare, which were in front of us, they looked fine. They had fur coats and I felt a little envious. I also noticed that we were nearly above the treeline, as the trees were starting to become sparse. They too, were covered in snow. It was hard to walk in the snow, because every step we took, we would sink. The air was thin too and it made it hard to breathe.

We had matching clothes, as the Nurse Joy at the Lanakila Pokémon Centre was gracious enough to give them to us. The hats were a woolen and black, while the gloves matched, all these items were thick and had a reflective liner inside them, to trap heat. The boots were a pleather and were brown in colour, with black laces and went all the way up to the knees; they were also very hard to walk with because of how thick they were. The sweaters were dark green and woolen as well. The coats were a highly reflective orange, so we could be noticeable in the snow. The inside of the coats had the same reflective layer as the gloves and hats.  

“C-c-c-c-cold…” Her teeth started to chatter. Despite wearing incredibly warm clothes, she was very cold. I knew she hated the cold and didn’t like to be in it.

“Here, come here,” I offered, opening my bright orange, highly-reflective coat. “I’ll keep you warm.”

She grinned happily, immediately walking over towards me. She nestled inside my coat. I could tell she felt a lot warmer as she stopped chattering and shivering. “Thank you…”

“You’re welcome. We must watch where we are going, though. There are Sandshrew everywhere too. I don’t want you to slip on one.”


Flashback

“I have to take care of something,” Guzma told me. “You’ve inspired me to do better. Now, go find your friends. I need to go find Plumeria. Good luck, Nanu.”

“Thank you. Do your best, Guzma.” I nodded.

“You’re welcome. I will see you later.” He pulled out a Ride Pager, pushing the button. A Flygon materialised. He jumped onto its back, flying off and disappearing.

Cassidy walked up to me. “Here, I have one too. I don’t need it.” She handed me a Ride Pager. “And these are the Memory Discs that can help Type: Full change her typings.” She also handed me a stack of what looked like DVDs, but they were various colours. Luckily, they were all small enough to fit into my pockets.

“Wow. Thank you, Cass.” I smiled.

“You’re welcome. Good luck! I hope to see you again someday, Bellinor.” She leaned over, kissing me lightly on the cheek.

My face flushed red as she walked off, but Naomi didn’t seem to care that she did that, in fact she giggled a little. I’m glad we’re friends. I love you as a best friend, Cass.  


Present

I started to feel warmer now that Naomi was nestled up next to me. I felt relaxed. Her head against my chest felt good and I started to get a little bit aroused. I tried to not let it show, because I knew she would notice instantly.

Sex in a place like this? I shuddered. No, thank you. It’s too damn cold.

She looked at my face and instantly recognised the look in my eyes. “I know that look, your pupils are enlarged.”

“Well, it’s because you’re beautiful and I can’t help it.” I shrugged, snickering.

“I know I am!” she teased and grabbed my hand, running a little bit ahead, falling over backwards on purpose. I came down with her, surprised at her random burst of energy. All the Pokémon turned around to see what she was doing.

“You guys go on ahead, we’ll catch up.” I shooed them off.

We won’t be too far away, then. Type: Full stared at us curiously. I swore I could see her shrugging, but not in the way humans would.

Naomi stared into my eyes and started to kiss me deeply, our tongues nearly touching.

“Hey, you’re gonna get a cold,” I teased, grabbing her arm and pulled her up, letting out a grunt of effort. “We better keep up with them, or we’ll get lost.”

“You’re right. Let’s go.” She nestled up against me again while I wrapped her around my coat tightly, hugging her. She seemed satisfied and warm, so we continued.

Light snow began to fall as we continued, sticking to our clothes, instantly melting too. I held out of one of my gloved hands, watching the flakes melting instantly. It was quiet, not even the wind was blowing. A few Alolan Sandshrews passed us, however; making cute grunting noises and quickly getting out of our way. Their blue and white bodies easily blended into the snow, disappearing from our sight.

It took us a few minutes to catch up to them because of how heavy the boots were. Flare howled in delight, as if he had found something, his tail wagging at a million miles per hour. He started to run off, Blu yowling and following him, with Type: Full tailing behind the two. I let go of Naomi. We both began to run despite the boots being so heavy. We all ran for a few minutes until we came upon a small log cabin looming in the distance. Naomi and I quickened our pace, even catching up to Flare and Blu. We all stepped dead in our tracks, stopping in front of the cabin.

It was small, mostly medium reddish-brown in colour and made from the Ohi’a Lehua wood, an evergreen tree that grew around the coastlines; its hard wood perfect for building houses. Greyish-white smoke poured out of a chimney, with the chimney itself being made from stones of various greys and browns. Light poured through a light blue curtain from a small window on the front of the cabinet. The door was a bright red with reflective paint.

I walked up to the door, knocking on it. I could hear voices but couldn’t tell what they were saying. The red door swung open, only to see that it was Ruben.

He had a shocked look upon his face. “N-Nanu! You found us! Come in, you look like you’re freezing and it’s snowing!” He moved out of the way, letting all of us in.

It was so warm, it felt so good. The smell of coffee and pasta wafted through the air, making me feel hungry. My stomach growled, and I then realised I hadn’t eaten all day.

“Nanu! Naomi!” Martha spoke up, walking up to us and giving us both hugs.

“The albino freak and the log found us, huh?” Le teased, grinning. She walked up and gave us each a hug as well.

Naomi just giggled, not caring whether or not that comment was racist towards Native Alolans.

“Meowww!” Blu brushed her tail against everyone’s leg.

“Arrr arr arr!” Flare barked, jumping up onto Ruben, but he caught him at the last second. He started to lick his face.

“What Pokémon is that?” Martha looked at Type: Full curiously.

“That Pokémon is called Type: Full,” I explained. “She was created by Faba of the Aether Foundation.”

“Does… she have a nickname?” Le asked.

“Oh… I hadn’t thought of a nickname for her yet. I think it should be up to her. For some reason, I have the ability to hear her thoughts.”

I… I want to be called Argenta… I think it fits me.

“Well, I think she picked her name. She will now be called Argenta. It sounds very much like the German word argentum.”

“Well Argenta. Welcome to our group, we are globe-trotting police officers known as Interpol. It’s short for International Police. We mostly stay in Alola, but if we’re needed, we have immunity and can travel anywhere we can.” Ruben started to pet the top of her head. “I’m Ruben.”

“I’m Le, Argenta. I’m the newbie here.” She started to pet her side.

“And I’m Martha, Ruben’s partner.” She smiled at her and started petting her ears.  

“So, tell me what happened?” I questioned as I stripped off my winter clothes. I walked over to a coat hook, taking everything off and hanging them up.

Ruben piped up. “Wicke helped us escape. I don’t think Wicke is a bad person, it’s Faba that is and has bad intentions. She blindfolded us, sent us on a Metagross and it happened to have landed here. She told us to take off our blindfolds and she sent us into this cabin, and we’ve been stranded for about three days because every time we try and leave, it snows heavy or there’s a blizzard, reducing our vision. We could only see a few inches in front of us, so we turned back and went back in. Not only that…” He pointed to the bricked fireplace. “We found a Torracat stranded out here. We think his owner must have died out here.”

“It must have been recent, because this cabin has been used recently.” Naomi looked around. “There’s still electricity running,” she said while hanging up all of the winter clothing.

“Yes, we don’t know who owns this cabin.” Martha shrugged. “But, we felt bad for the Torracat, we couldn’t leave him out in the blizzard. He was ill and dehydrated when we found him. He must know he can’t drink snow, or he’ll freeze. He was starving too, nearly eating all of the food we made.”

“We started to ration it, but then we found more food in a deep freezer in the back outside of the cabin, completely made from snow. Someone was smart enough to think about that, and I commend them for it,” Le butt in.

I walked over towards the Torracat. Blu, Argenta and Flare all sat down on their haunches next to me as I knelt. He just slept, not even moving, breathing laboriously and snot dripping from his nose. He was mostly black and orange in colour, his upper half being black and his lower half being orange. Two black stripes encircled all four of his legs, while two orange stripes encircled his tufted, black tail. He also had one, orange stripe going down his back. He had furry cheeks and a long tuft of hair that resembled a cowlick. I noticed that the bell-shaped organ under his chin was out, and normally, it’s a yellow-orange. I also noticed several cuts in various spots along his back, feet and head.

No wonder he’s sick and was cold. His bell went out for some reason, I thought to myself. What a minute! If I can befriend him, he evolves into the Dark-type Incineroar!

“Torracat,” I spoke gently as I possibly could, knowing well I had a gruff-sounding voice.

“Torra…cat?” he sounded listlessly as he meowed. He cracked open his beautiful golden eyes, yawned while turning around and falling back asleep.

I then saw a collar around his neck, with a Firium-Z crystal hooked to a golden keyring. “Hmm? What’s this?” I thought aloud.

“It’s a Firium-Z, why it’s there, we don’t know. We tried to look around, but we couldn’t find a Z-Ring,” Ruben spoke up.

“Hell, we looked everywhere. I mean everywhere. Even the toilet tank,” Martha said hesitantly.

Le looked at me, not breaking her gaze. “We then decided it must be on the corpse of his owner.”

I felt bad for him, his owner died, and he was feeling ill. I can’t imagine what he is going through, really… I stood up, backed off a little and turned around, my stomach still growling. “Oh…”

Le giggled teasingly. “Aww tough ol’ Nanu is hungry like a baby, huh?”

“Heh, yes, yes I am. I’m starving. Naomi and I haven’t eaten all day and we’ve both have been running off our fat reserves.” I was half-joking, half-serious.

“Yes, I am really hungry.” Naomi looked at her stomach pathetically.

“How come it smelled like pasta when we walked in? What kind of pasta did you guys make?” I walked over towards the tiny kitchen.

It was small, barely enough room for two people. It had a small sink, a stove, an oven, a toaster but it seemed to be lacking a dishwasher. However, next to the sink was a dish drying rack that was white in colour. A few dark green porcelain plates sat in the slots. A tiny fridge sat on one of the cabinets. I looked out the small window and saw that there was a blizzard raging outside. Even my sharp-at-night eyesight couldn’t see any details.

“I’m sorry, we ate it all, but we found lots of fruit and canned chicken in the makeshift deep freezer.” Ruben walked over towards me, looking apologetic.

“Fruit, eh? What kind?” Naomi had a pleading look in her eyes.

“We found dozens of apples, strawberries, peaches and pears,” Ruben replied, grinning at Naomi. “We put them in the fridge, so we didn’t have to go outside in the blizzard.”

Naomi immediately opened the fridge, peering in and looking. She grabbed an apple and chomped down on it; making a crrr noise as she bit down on it. “This apple is so sweet and yummy!”

I grabbed a golden-coloured peach and bit into it. Its flesh was very sweet and juicy, and tasted like the peach mango juice my mother made when I was a child. I cupped my hand to make sure the juice didn’t drip onto the floor. “I haven’t had a peach this good in a long time. Seems like most of the ones I eat are too sour, for some reason.”

“I told you to look for the brightest pink and brightest yellow peaches.” Naomi nudged me.

I chuckled a little. “I should listen to your advice.”

She had eaten everything by then, including the core and seeds. All that was left was the sticker and the stem. “You still owe me a bag of rambutans, hehe!”

I finished my peach, reaching for the compost bin to put the stone into. I looked at her, shocked that she even ate the core. “Goofy girl.” I nudged her back in her side. “You ate the seeds and the core? You’re funny.”

“We’re exhausted.” Ruben yawned. “We’ll be taking a nap in one of the empty rooms. You are free to make yourselves dinner, we won’t be bothered by the smell.”

“That’s fine with me.” I nodded, turning around and noticing that Martha and Le were already gone and Ruben was walking off. Even Blu, Argenta and Flare had fallen asleep. Argenta was sleeping on her side, stretched out and looking very comfortable. Blu had leaned up against her, burying her head into her feathers. Flare was curled up and sleeping next to her side.

I wonder if Argenta is an omnivore or what. I wasn’t sure if we were to make any dinner that they would wake up.

“What should we make for dinner?” Naomi asked, opening a cupboard. There, on the top, was an unopened bottle of Pinot Noir.

“Hey, is that an unopened bottle of Pinot Noir?”

“Hey, you’re right!” She reached for it, setting it down on the countertop.

“Ula’ula Vineyards, 1985,” I read the bottle. “That one is nearly 18 years old.”

“It’s not… poisonous, is it?” Her voice was quiet.

I laughed hard. “No, silly. People can drink wine that’s nearly a century old.”

“I know.” She did a 180. “I was kidding.”

“But why has it been sitting in the cabinet since 1985?” I shrugged. I suspect an older person lived her, and the older they got, the less they could reach up high. He or she must have lived alone too, with no one to help them.

It was almost as if Naomi read my mind, which was creepy. “Maybe they forgot about it? They were getting senile and forgetful.” She looked up at the cabinet again, this time grabbing a can of chicken soup mixed with vegetables and noodles. She looked at the expiration date and it was fine, because it read June 2, 2005.

“So, it appears someone has lived here,” I deduced, put my hand on my chin, watching her open the can. I found a pan and set it onto the small gas-powered stove. With a pffwom-ccrr-crr sound, the stove steadily burned a blue flame. I noticed that the pan barely fit.

“Well, not only were they senile and forgetful, they’ve owned a wrong-sized pan all this time,” she pointed out. She picked it up, flipped it over and pointed to a scorch mark on the bottom of the pan, in a perfect rounded shape.

“Actually, I have a theory. I suspect they lived in a house somewhere besides here. Once they moved up to here, they didn’t feel like buying any new kitchen utensils.” I pointed to another pan that wouldn’t fit.

“Yes, but what happened to them?” she asked. “I’m getting a sense that maybe they didn’t die from freezing outside in the blizzard. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

I deadpanned, eyes widening. “You… think they were murdered?”

She simply nodded, saying nothing. She had a blank stare on her face, as if she were deep in thought. She, without putting much thought to it, dumped the soup into the pan.

“Naomi…?” I waved my hand in front of her face. It wasn’t often she did this and I considered it an idiosyncrasy.

“What? Huh? I’m sorry, I was deep in thought, actually.”

“What were you thinking about?” I asked.

“Well, I was noticing how clean this house is. I don’t mean what our friends did, but notice how there aren’t any fingerprints or even bloodstains? If this person was murdered, then maybe the killer wiped the scene clean?”

“I think you’re right.” I put my hand on her back. “We’ll get to the bottom of this.” The smell of the soup started to waft up towards my nose, making my stomach growl again. “Shall we discuss this over dinner?”

She opened another cabinet door, reached up and grabbed two bowls and two wine glasses. “Yeah, I’m starving too.” I too, could hear her stomach growling. “We need a wine bottle opener of sorts.”

I reached at my pocket of my jeans, feeling for my pocket knife. I kept it attached to my keys. “Here, this pocket knife happens to have a corkscrew.” I flicked open the corkscrew, shoving it into the wine cork. I had to twist hard, but I managed to get the cork off, and with a pop! it was finally open. A fine mist of carbon dioxide floated in the air briefly and I knew for sure that the bottle had never been opened.

Naomi noticed this too, sighing in relief. “Thank you for opening that for me.”

“My pleasure.” I smiled, patting her on the shoulder. I poured the wine for both of us while she carried the soup to the table.

The table was tiny, barely fitting us both. It was a flimsy, white plastic table that was covered in scratches.

“Well, this is awkward.” She shrugged.

“Yeah, it is. Oh well, it’ll have to do.” I nodded, looking straight into her beautiful brown eyes.

“So, let’s see. What were discussing?” she asked, taking a huge bite and ignoring the heat of the soup. “Oh yes, the murderer. We need to figure out what may have happened to the perp and his modus operandi.”

“Let’s look around when we’re done eating. I bet we can find out what is MO is. I have a hunch that it may have been money.”

“But people also kill sex and revenge.” She cracked a smirk.

“How true.” I nodded, taking a sip the soup, carefully. It was delicious, had the right type of saltiness that I loved, mixed with the taste of carrots, peas and bell peppers, even the noodles were the right consistency, being soft but not too mushy. Something felt off… but I couldn’t tell what.

“Something is off…” She read my mind. “I can’t pinpoint what it is.”

“We know that it’s not expired, because June 2005 is about 18 months from now.”

“That’s not it… but I get what you’re saying.” She took a sip of the wine, feeling happy and relaxed. “This Pinot Noir is so good.”

I took a sip and nodded, agreeing with her. “It’s not too bitter and it’s not too sweet. It’s perfect, actually.” I felt my stomach make a flip. “Ugh.”

“Are you okay?” she asked, confused.

“It felt like my stomach made a flip. Ah, I bet it’s nothing.”

“Well, okay.” She shrugged and finished off the soup with a giant gulp.

I finished off the soup and looked at Naomi. She too, didn’t look too good. “Are you okay?”

“Well, I’m having horrible indigestion and I’m not sure why. I wonder if it’s because we hadn’t eaten since yesterday?”

“Now you know how I feel. My stomach is doing flips. I don’t think it’s that, though. I have a strong suspicion it might be something else.”

“I wonder if there’s any medicine in the bathroom here?” She stood up, but quickly bowled over, clutching her stomach. She recovered and walked over to the recycle bin, grabbing the can and looking at it. “Nanu… this has fish in it. That wasn’t chicken, it was tuna.”

“W-w…what?” My eyes widened. We both had an intolerance of fish, we could eat it, but eating too much and we would get sick, but not to the point of actually throwing up. “I’ll be damned.” I clutched my stomach. “No wonder something was off. The broth tasted like chicken, though.”

“I must have misread the label. I’m sorry, Nanu.” She clutched her stomach, dragging herself to the small living room, lying down on the couch and collapsing. She closed her eyes and sighed harshly.

“It’s okay.” I nodded my head slowly, getting up and walking to the living room. I collapsed in a chair and said nothing.

Argenta, Blu and Flare all walked up next to us, wondering what was going on. They looked at us curiously, not knowing what was happening to us.

Nanu, Naomi, what happened? Argenta asked.

“We both have an intolerance for fish,” I moaned in pain.

Intolerance? Is that why you are sick? Is that intolerance does?  

“Intolerance means we can’t digest fish. It’s excruciatingly painful. It hurts going down and going out.” I felt a little embarrassed, trying to explain something she didn’t understand. “It’s literally going to kick us in the arse later.”

Blu jumped up onto the arm of the chair, wrapping her body around it. She licked my face, purring. Flare jumped up onto the couch, lying down next to Naomi’s legs, curling up and sleeping next to her. She sat up a little and started to pet him. “Thanks, Flare,” she spoke to him softly as he licked her hand. Argenta lied down next to both pieces of furniture, closing her eyes and falling back asleep.

I fell asleep and didn’t even realise I did. I woke up incredibly groggy and dazed. I rubbed my head and yawned. I slowly stood up. I looked over at Naomi, she was still sound asleep. My stomach was still hurting, and I felt sick still, so I rubbed it. “Ugh,” I mumbled under my breath.

Blu twitched her ears, yawned and jumped off. She knew I wanted to get up.  She back to sleep on the floor.

Naomi woke up groggily, rubbing her eyes. “My stomach still hurts, Nanu…” she whispered and looked up at me. Somehow, she had sensed I had woken up.

“Mine does too,” I whispered. I looked out one of the larger windows. The sky was clear and black; however, I could see a tiny bit of yellowish-white in the distance, with a bit of moonlight shining and stars twinkling. Luna herself was a waxing quarter. Moonlight reflected off the snow, making everything a luminous white. I had never seen anything so beautiful before. “The snow stopped falling, and it’s nearly dawn.”

“Well, that’s good. Maybe we can finally go home?” She stretched.

“That would be nice.” I slowly stood up. I looked over at the opposite wall and lit up by the moonlight, was a clock hanging on the wall. It read 5:30.

Naomi was curious as to what I was staring at. She slowly sat up, careful not to kick Flare. She turned her head around and looked at the clock. “Oh, I didn’t realise it was that early in the morning.”

“I love going to bed watching the sunrise at dawn, but I usually fall asleep before the sun fully rises.” I looked back over at her.

She smiled and giggled at me, but her face changed when her stomach growled. “My stomach still hurts.” Her face flushed a bright red colour.

“You go first.” I shrugged, not caring. “I’ll be all right.” But, I felt sweaty and my face flushed. I stared up at the clock to help ignore the pain in intestines. “Urgh…” I looked over at all of the Pokémon, they were all sound asleep and not even stirring. Even the Torracat was quiet, only one ear twitched. I looked back over at the clock.

“Hey, I’m back.” Naomi tapped me on the shoulder. I had been too busy staring at the clock to even noticed that she was even back.

“Oh? Huh? Right. I’ll be right back.” I clutched my stomach and ran to the bathroom. When I finished and walked back, Naomi was looking outside the window, observing the outdoors.

“It’s so beautiful outside.” She turned around and looked at me. She looked a whole lot better, as she was back to her peppy self. “You look so much better!” She better now! Your face isn’t sweaty and flushed.” She slapped me on arse, surprising me.

“Hey, you know I’m going to get you back when you least expect it!” I smirked. “But yes, I feel a lot better than I did last night.”

“I’m so glad! Yeah, I’ll be more careful on reading labels.”

“It’s not your fault, we were both tired and starving. I don’t think straight when I’m both.”

“So, the albino freak likes butt touching?” Le teased as she walked in. She yawned and situated her glasses.

“You saw that? Whoops!” I chuckled, not even phased nor did I really care. “I like to flirt with my girlfriend anyway.”

“Yes, I saw it on my way to the bathroom.” She eyes both of us. Despite her young child appearance, her light blue gaze was quite intimidating. Her gaze turned into a smile and she simply laughed quietly.

Naomi laugh hesitantly, a bit embarrassed but she quickly shook it off. “Do you want some breakfast and coffee?”

 “Of course, I’m starving. Seeing as how I slept all night. Oh yeah, we saw bacon in the deep freezer last night.”

“Oh, interesting. I’ll go and look.” I nodded, walking towards the back door. I quickly put my boots, tying them loosely. I didn’t bother with the coat because I knew I wouldn’t be outside for very long. I walked outside, looking around and watching my breath billowing but the thin air made it harder to breathe. I walked up to what my friends called the deep freezer.

It was a large structure, resembling an igloo, but completely made of ice. The rising sun filtered on the inside, making the inside appear blue. I ducked a little and went inside. It was only slightly warmer on the inside but stayed cold enough to keep everything frozen. My jaw dropped when I saw the inside. There were even shelves made of ice, completely lined with huge baskets of frozen fruit, vegetables, bacon, sodas, orange juice, flour, sugar, baking soda, chicken, fish and even steak as well as several blocks of tofu and giant, 20-pound sacks of rice sitting against the wall.  

“This is genius. What a clever idea. Putting all of the baking stuff in here is a good idea too.” I grabbed a package and walked back inside the house. By the time I had walked back in, Ruben and Martha had woken up too, the two were chatting to each other, Le was reading a book and Naomi was pouring each of a cup of coffee. Even Blu, Flare and Argenta were all awake, curious as to what I was carrying. The Torracat moved a little, mewing loudly and sneezing, snot running down his nose.

“Hey, Nanu found the thing of bacon!” Ruben said while I took my boots off.

What is ‘bacon’? Argenta asked.

“Bacon is a lab-based meat made from the mesenchymal cells of a Grumpig.” I held out the package, opening it and letting her sniff it.

That smells good. I could see drool forming in her mouth.

“Yeah, many people love bacon.” I turned around and looked at all my friends, they all nodded in agreement with me. “Eating a real Pokémon and killing it is considered a taboo, so scientists created a solution: lab-based meat that doesn’t involve any killing.”

Hmmm… She cocked her head, drooling copiously.

Even Blu, Flare and even the Torracat were all staring at me, drooling as well.

Fine. I’ll get more bacon.” I walked up to Naomi, handing her the package.

“Thank you Nanu.” She blew me a kiss as I walked off. “We’re starving!”

I felt my face flush a little. “You’re welcome.” I walked back outside, looking around. Something didn’t seem right. The wind started to blow, chilling me to my bones. “Brr… that wind wasn’t blowing before.” I ducked a little, walking back into the icy igloo. I grabbed another package of bacon as well as some orange juice. Shaking the bottle, it was completely frozen, and I wasn’t sure how warm it up, but I decided to leave it and go with coffee instead.

Walking back in, I could smell the bacon wafting throughout the air. “Mmm…” I mumbled, feeling my mouth beginning to water. I looked over at everyone, they had already sat down and started to eat without me, but I didn’t care.

“Good, I’m glad you’re back,” Ruben said to me. He had already finished, which shocked me because I wasn’t out there for more than five minutes. “I can cook that for the Pokémon,” he offered.

“Thank you, Ruben.” I nodded.

“No problem, I know you must be starving, so don’t worry about it.” He nodded.

I sat down and immediately started to eat without a pause. I was starving after what had happened last night. Naomi looked at me funny, because I swear, I can feel it when her eyes are on me.

“Slow down, honey,” Naomi warned. “I already told Ruben to slow down, but he just wolfed it down in like two bites.” She looked over at Ruben. “I’m not going to feel bad for you if you get a stomach ache.”

“Uhhh… heh… heh…” He simply rubbed the back of his head but didn’t complain of anything. “I feel fine, actually. It’s just my bad habit, eating quickly like that, I won’t do that around you again.” He turned around and looked at her. He walked over to all the Pokémon, giving each a heaping pile of bacon. He walked back over and sat back down next to us.

“Good.” She closed her eyes, smirking.

“Hey, when are you two getting married, huh, Nanu?” Le teased. “You and Naomi like a married couple. All that’s missing is a child.”

My heart dropped. Le doesn’t know. She barely knows anything about me. I cleared my throat. “I’m not able to have children, Le.”

Ruben and Martha turned their heads, whistling.

“W…what?” she gasped. “How come?”

“I got the genetic short end of the stick. Not only am I albino, I have a rare disease that makes me infertile. It’s so rare that I’m the only case of it occurring in Alola. It’s called macrozoospermia.”

Le stared at me in disbelief, nearly dropping her fork. “Out of all of the diseases, I’ve never heard of it! No, I’m not going to ask how you found out.” She blushed a little. “That’s none of my business, of course.”

“That’s why I adopted Acerola, since I can’t have children of my own. She was a handful growing up, and now that’s she’s a rebellious teen, I don’t think I want another child.”

“And Naomi is okay with that?” she pried.

“Yes, of course I’m okay with it. I never showed any interest in children, but I do love Acerola. She’s a sweet girl. I truly care about her.”

“I proposed to Naomi a few days ago, actually.”

Everyone said nothing, silent.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 7

Ruben nearly spat his coffee out, with a shocked look upon his face. “When were you going to tell us?”

“Aww. I wasn’t there!” Martha looked like she was about to fake cry.

“You were going to keep us in the dark for how long?” Le shrugged.

“We’re sorry,” Naomi said apologetically. “He said it while you guys were gone and it was out of the blue, of course. Even though we have known each other for ages.”

Ruben looked at Martha, then Le and then back at us. “You’ve never told us how you met. I’ve known you two for a long time now.”

“Heh. Is that so?” I closed my eyes, sipped a bit of coffee and looked at Naomi; who looked exasperated. “I’ll tell you.”



June 20, 1990

I worked at a bar from 8pm-5am at night in Malie City. It was owned by a kind owner that let work at night and sometimes let me close early if the bar didn’t have much traffic.

The bar wasn’t particularly spectacular, looking like a cliched movie bar. A piano sat in the corner, where patrons could play it. In the opposite corner was a jukebox, which I hated that thing sometimes because people would just pick the same songs repeatedly, ad nauseum. For some reason, they were addicted to Voyager’s Don’t Stop Imagin’. If I saw patrons trying to play the same song again, I would give them a death glare and smirk, with an ‘I caught you!’ look on my face. The patrons quickly learned that I hated the thing and would find ways around playing the same song again, particularly when I wasn’t looking, much to my chagrin. All the chairs, the barstools and the bar stand were made from the Ohi’a Lehua wood, a beautiful medium reddish-brown wood with an interesting grain, which was dotted with small holes. The lighting was subdued, making the place a lot darker that it really was, but at specific times at night, the moonlight would shine through the large windows. Plastered on the wall behind me was a liquor license, several people’s choice and a picture of Geoff receiving the award.

The tap itself had many kinds of beers, such as Budew Light, Michaud’s Ultra, Heinemann, Quinnes, Manuel Madams, Krone, as well as some artisan ales from a local brewery just down the street. The shelving was lined with many types of whiskey, vodka, rum, scotch, tequila, gin, cognac, even obscure ones such as absinthe and baijiu. There wasn’t a cocktail I couldn’t make, as I had almost every ingredient known to man. The non-alcoholic drinks included apple juice, sweetened iced tea, sodas from around the world, and virgin versions of our cocktails.

A bit of food was served, such as beer cheese pretzels, clam chowder, fish and chips, and even malasadas in various flavours. The most popular items were the beer cheese pretzels and the malasadas, particularly the ones with the chocolate hazelnut in the middle. The two chefs that were here a little bit before I arrived, would cook and create everything from scratch, even several days in advance. They would leave everything in an airtight cold storage, so all I had to do was reheat everything in our oven. This cold storage was so cold, that not even bread would stale when inside it. While the food wasn’t exactly 100-percent fresh, the patrons didn’t seem to care, because heating everything in the oven seemed to make them happy.

The owner himself, named Geoff Westcott, was usually there from 2pm-8pm and we almost always gone by the time I arrived, but he would occasionally stay after he got off, have a beer, leave and ride home on his Tauros. He gave me the extra keys to the place and declared me the night time manager. That was how much he trusted me, but it took me nearly two years to gain his trust.

He was well-kempt. Everything was spic and span, including all the glasses, the bar stand itself and even the bathroom. There was barely a speck of dust on piano in the corner. If someone vomited, he would spray the hell out of said object with vinegar and bleach, and scrub so hard that the smell of both of those cleaners made me want to vomit. We would have patrons leave, though, if this happened. It wasn’t allowed and if we saw someone about to, we would order them to the bathroom, order them a cab and force them to go home. Luckily, majority of patrons left before getting that ill. He allowed Pokémon too, if they didn’t drink any of the alcohol, create a ruckus or pee anywhere. Which was perfect, because Blu mostly laid down on the very top of the shelf. There was one smell I would never be able to get out of all the furniture, was cigarette smoke smell. I tried to convince him to ban smoking, but he didn’t seem to care.

I wasn’t as well-kempt as he was, but he never did yell at me if I made a mistake. He would tell me to just try harder, so he would make a game out of it. If I did just as well as he did, he said I could have helpings of the beer cheese and pretzels, for free.

Those things were the fucking devil because of how delicious they were. I probably gained about 10 pounds eating them, which I could feel by touching my stomach.

It was already 12:45 am on a Wednesday night. It wasn’t particularly busy, so I began to sort and stack a bunch of shot glasses, making sure they were perfectly balanced. I paused, looking at a woman approximately my age. She had come out of nowhere, as I must have been so distracted that I didn’t hear the bell ringing.

She was beautiful, with tanned skin, big brown eyes, and long, flowing black hair that she put into a ponytail. She had huge muscles, like maybe she worked out often. She was wearing a navy-blue uniform, with a nameplate that said Officer Onaona on it, and a golden badge with a stylised Toucannon on it. Around her belt was a pair of handcuffs, a holster with a gun inside of it, a nightstick, a flashlight and a radio on it.

“Can I see your license?” I asked.

She grabbed a wallet, taking her license out. I saw that she was 20 years old, but I wasn’t invested in seeing her name, because I didn’t really care. I saw too many people at my bar, but the patrons didn’t seem to care that I didn’t remember all of their names.

I nodded a thank you. “Hey kid, long day?” I asked, but I wasn’t much older than she was, but it was habit to call people shorter and younger people ‘kid’.

“Yes…” she said quietly, her voice drifting. It was so quiet that I could hear her sigh softly.

“Do you want to talk about it? I can keep secrets.”

“Give me a fireball first and then I’ll tell you.”

Shocked that she had ordered something so spicy, I nodded. I grabbed a shot glass and a whisky bottle, pouring it and giving it to her. She downed it in one gulp, not even reacting to cinnamon hot flavour.

“Thank you.”

“Of course. Now, will you tell me?”

She leaned her head into her elbow, looking at me with a long look on her face. “I was made Captain a few days ago because of unforeseen circumstances.” She stared into my eyes but shirked away, possibly intimidated by my bright red eyes.

“Yes?” I motioned her to continue.

“My old Captain died of unknown causes.” She motioned for another fireball. “I just went to his funeral this morning… been so sad that I haven’t even changed out of this…”

“I’ll be damned.” I grabbed the bottle again, pouring her another shot. “That must be tough, having that responsibility poured onto you like that.”

“Yes, because of that, now someone needs to take my place as a First Grade Detective.” She kept motioning to pour me another shot. “Now, I’m on the hunt for new recruits.” By the time she had finished explaining, she was on her sixth shot. She got so drunk that she passed out onto the bar stand. I wondered why she drank six, as obviously she was a lightweight and obviously wasn’t used to having that many shots, but she didn’t appear sick to her stomach.

“I hate to have to make her leave, she’s completely out of it.” I felt bad for her, so I kept cleaning up off all the shot glasses until I had finished them off. The reason being is because there was a huge party in here earlier with more than 30 people, just nearly around the max capacity. They left shortly after she had arrived.

It was quiet the whole time I cleaned up other parts of the bar, and I knew I could close early soon. I looked over at the woman, she was still sound asleep, drooling and twitching.

“Maybe I should drop her off at the elderly couple that live upstairs?” I looked over at Blu.

She yawned, looked over and me and mewed quietly, like she agreed. “Meow.”

“Well, I will be right back then. Keep watch,” I ordered her. 

Usually the elderly couple, Mr and Mrs Fitzpatrick, stayed up late watching movies and tv, because they knew they didn’t have much time left and wanted to spend as much time with each other as physically possible. They never did sleep well knowing they had one foot in the grave. They were in their 80s, but were still high functioning, able to take walks and didn’t need help with much of anything. Little did I know; they would live another 15 years. Why they thought they were going to die soon, I don’t know, but I suspected they were paranoid. They were married for over 70 years by the time they had died.

I carefully scooped up the officer, able to lift her. She was light, despite her muscle mass. Her weight shocked me. She was so knocked out that she didn’t even move or even react, just kept on sleeping. Since I didn’t have a free hand, I didn’t bother to lock the door. I carefully pushed the door open with my foot, but luckily, the door closed slowly, so it wouldn’t slam. I saw that Blu had sat down next to the door, keeping watch like I told her too. Carefully balancing, I walked up the stairs without any problems.

I stopped in front of their door, I could hear them chatting with each other, with forks clanging against some plates. I knocked on the door and called out. “Hey, it’s Nanu.” I could hear a chair scooting across the floor and footsteps.

“It’s Nanu!” Mrs Fitzpatrick said happily as the door opened. She then noticed the woman I had in my arms, and instantly knew she was wasted. “Did she pass out drunk?”

Mrs Fitzpatrick, despite being elderly, was quite lively. She had dyed her hair black, but that was a while ago, because grey hair was starting to show. She had beautiful, hazel eyes that held their gaze. Her dark tanned skin, light brown freckles and wrinkles gave her character, as if she weathered many things. She was tall for an elderly person, at 5’5”, but she tended to slouch, making her a lot shorter than that. Her personality was kind, happy-go-lucky, optimistic and was rarely down.

“Welcome, Nanu,” Mr Fitzpatrick looked at me and then the woman in my arms. “She is beautiful.”

Mr Fitzpatrick was not unlike the Mrs, being just as lively as she was. He had dyed his hair brown, but grey was showing, too. He had charming brown eyes that sparkled whenever he looked at me. He too, was tanned, had wrinkles and freckles. He was 5’6”, but slouched like the Mrs.  His personality was kind, down-to-earth, tenacious and was often optimistic like his wife. They say opposites attract, but the two had similar personalities, but being married for so long, they must have rubbed off on each other.

Their flat was beautiful, with nice white walls and wooden trim, the walls covered in pictures of themselves with their children and grandchildren and a few paintings. Even the ceilings were white with swirled patterns and the glittery stuff. The carpets were a dark brown and fuzzy and soft to the touch. Their couches were a tan with a velvety texture. The doors were a dark brown as well.   

“Thank you, ma’am, sir.” I nodded.

“No problem,” they said in unison, which they often did.

 “I need a favour, obvious—”

“You may set her down in the extra bed, I knew what you were going to say,” Mrs interrupted me before I could say anything else.

I nodded, walking off towards their spare bedroom. The door happened to be open, which I sighed in relief, because she was starting to get heavy. I smiled as I set her down.

“Aww, Blu is here too?” Mrs asked. “Are you hungry? Hmm?” I could hear her talking to her.

“Blu is so cute!”

“Meoow!” she mewed hungrily.

“Heh, heh, heh…” I chuckled a little, happy that she was getting attention.

The spare bedroom was beautiful, with bright green walls, white trims and doors. The carpet was the same colour as the one in the living room. The bed was small, meant for only one person. It had a dark brown headboard and baseboard, with light blue sheets and a huge, fluffy pillow with a bright blue pillowcase.

I thought that the jacket and belt must have been uncomfortable, so I carefully took both off, setting them on nightstand next to the bed. I decided to leave her alone, so I left the room quietly, closing the door half-way, just in case she needed me.

“Want some dinner?” Mrs asked, placing her hand on my shoulder.

“I’d love to, but since I wasn’t able to lock up, I need to go back.”

“You go on ahead, we can wait.” Mr nodded.

My stomach growled, as I hadn’t gotten my beer cheese pretzels. “Well, seeing as how I’m really hungry…” I sighed, walking off and leaving their flat.

I cleaned up a little bit more before leaving, so Geoff would be happy when he came later that day. I locked up the place, with Blu on my heels as we both left. When I came back to their flat, they were both drinking some wine and it looked as if they didn’t touch their food yet.

“Glad to have you back, Nanu.” Mrs smiled, her voice quiet and mellow.

“Come join us!” Mr stated happily but kept his voice down.

I sat down at their table; a plate was already ready for me. I looked at the plate of food. It was a cheese, green bean, corn, squash, and red pepper omelet. I drooled sniffing it. There was even a glass of wine sitting next to the plate. “Wow! Thank you!” I grabbed the glass of wine, sipping it. I could tell it was a Cabernet because of its dry flavour.

“You are welcome, Nanu.” Mrs smiles at me.

“Cheers!” we all toasted quietly.

I ate quickly because I was starving, slowly sipping the delicious wine. I didn’t want too much, because I had realised, I had forgotten to count the money.

“Do you want dessert?” Mrs asked.

“No, because I realised, I forgot to count the money…” I felt my face flush. “Can I come back? I don’t really want to leave the girl alone.”

“Of course.” Mr nodded. “We keep the door unlocked anyway, but most likely, we’ll be asleep by the time you come back. Just please be quiet when entering.”

“Yessir.” I nodded, getting up and scooting my chair under the table.

“We got it.” Mrs put her hand on my hand, before I could grab the plate.

“Okay.” I nodded. “Thank you for everything.”

“You’re welcome, make yourself at home when you come back.” She smiled.

I quickly but quietly walked off, down the stairs. I carefully unlocked the door, walking up to the alarm and disarming it. I walked up to the cash register, unlocking it with a key I had. Walking to the office, I sighed in relief that I didn’t have to count the money manually, because Geoff had invested in a Moneymeister.

“I’m so glad we have this,” I thought aloud while writing down how much money I had made that night, which was $565.89. I also made sure that there was at least $200 in the drawer for the next person to use it.

I rarely went to the bank and dropped it off in a night deposit box, unless there was well over $1000, which we didn’t want to hold onto, in fear of getting robbed. I put the money and a till onto the safe, making sure it was completely locked, always double-checking.

After finishing that off, I made my way back upstairs to their flat. I quietly snuck in, making sure not to make a noise. The Fitzpatricks has gone to bed already, because not even the faint music from their tv in their bedroom was playing. Blu was sound asleep on a rug next to the couch, she opened one eye to look at me, but fell back asleep. Her stomach looked very full, because they must have fed her a lot of food.

I down down on the couch, turning on the small lamp so I could read one of the many novels they had on their bookshelves. I grabbed a novel called The Majestic Gadsby. I looked at the clock one the wall. It was already 3:15.

I finished the book in about three hours, by then, it was already 6:15 in the morning. Dawn was coming soon, which I usually watched the sunrise until my eyes started to water and burn.

I went to go pee and brush my teeth. After I finished, I decided to check on the girl, before borrowing their other extra room.

She had woken up, dazed and confused, her eyes weary and watering. “W-where am I?” she almost screamed, but I stopped her.

“Shh!” I snapped.

“Who are you?” she growled at me. “Did you drug my drink and take me to your house to rape me?”

“…what? That is a serious allegation against me. I helped you to this elderly couple’s house because you passed out drunk, in my bar. All I did was carry you up here, take your jacket and belt off, because I thought they were uncomfortable. I would never touch a strange inappropriately. Well, you left me with no choice because I couldn’t call you a cab, I didn’t know where you live, I don’t even know your name, because I get so many patrons that I stopped caring what their names are. I also didn’t want to take you to my house, for obvious reasons. I don’t want you to think I was taking advantage of you and now you throw the word rape at me! How do you think that makes me feel? Do always automatically think every male that helps you is going to rape you? Why would I rape a police officer anyway? Do you think I’m above the law for some reason? Or is it because I have a penis? I can’t help it, obviously.
“Well, well, well… I have good news for you, because I’ve never even been attracted to girls, even in school and even now in college. I had lots of friends that were girls, but I was never in love or even have a crush on them. Before you ask, I wasn’t even attracted to boys either. I’m not interested in a sexual relationship, period. I bet if you looked up asexual and platonic, I would be in the dictionary. Hell, even arousal, foreplay and anything romantic or sexual all seem like a foreign concept to me. I just have never been into those kinds of things, because of how cynical and sardonic I am. I think lowly of the world, but I try and stay as positive as possible.”
“I’m actually trying to train as an Island Kahuna, because the current kahuna is very ill and is dying of terminal cancer. Being a bartender and a kahuna, I don’t have time for a relationship, even if I wanted one.” Words just rolled off my tongue, I talked until I was nearly out of breath. Panting, I noticed her blank expression she had the whole time.

She sighed, nodded and looked apologetic. “I’m sorry for that accusation.”

“You’re hungover and confused, you were expecting to be in your own bed. Do you even remember walking into my bar, drinking five fireballs and passing out? You seemed very depressed, which didn’t surprise me, as I have seen my fair share of depressed patrons.”

“I only vaguely remember that… Well, I am the youngest Interpol Captain, and I can’t handle that responsibility, I’ve never been a leader type of person.”

“I can’t believe such a huge responsibility was dumped on you.” I shook my head. “You’re so young too, aged 20, right?”

“Yes, I am 20, my birthday is on Christmas Day, actually. I’m the second youngest Interpol officer ever, tied with Logan Kenda of Kalosian Interpol.”

“I saw that on tv a long time ago. That’s amazing, actually. What is your name?”

“I am Officer Naomi Onaona.”

“Well, Officer Naomi… would you like me to take you home?”

“You would do that?” she asked, surprised.

“Of course, I would.” I smiled, nodding. “I am Bellinor Nanu, but most people just call me Nanu for short.”

“Well, I appreciate it, Nanu.” Her dark brown eyes sparkled.


 

A few days later

I walked into the shooting range, where I liked to fire off some steam, especially when I couldn’t sleep.

“Hey, it’s the Bell himself!” the owner, Andrew Adler at the reception desk laughed. In his mouth was a half-burnt cigarette.

“Hey now, I’m going to get back at you for calling me that!” I teased, smirking.

Despite his gruff voice from years of smoking, Andrew was a kind man, enjoying my company. He was short and stubby, at 5’3”, with black hair that was receding, dark green eyes and black glasses perched upon his nose. While he made up for in height, he was strong and could easily fire a rocket launcher, or so he told me. I had trouble believe him, but being former military, I wasn’t surprised. I often wondered if he was being facetious, as that was his personality.

“Which gun are you bringing in today? Your Beretta Cheetah?” he asked while handing me some paperwork.

“You bet, Andrew.” I nodded, quickly filling out the paperwork.

“Thank you, Nanu.” He nodded, looking at the paperwork. “You may enter.”

By then, I had already put in my ear plugs and shooting muffs in and put my safety glasses on. “You’re welcome!” I was probably shouting by then.

I entered the back of the building. The shooting range was well-kempt, everything being practically clean. The whole area was made of thick concrete, several feet thick. There were several firing lanes, but I wasn’t sure of the exact count. In the back of the firing lane, was a bullet trap, where the employees could retrieve the stray bullets. At the end were paper targets in the shape of a person.

I walked towards the middle, got myself situated. The range master ordered everyone to go and shoot.

I withdrew my gun from its holster, cocked it and fired. I counted to see how long it took to do this. Five seconds, oh come on, I can do better than this. I kept practicing, getting faster and faster. Four seconds now.

Before I could shoot again, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Turning around, taking my shooting muffs off, I noticed it was Naomi.

“I-I have never seen anyone shoot so fast…” she said hesitantly. “Bellinor Nanu, may I test you to become an Interpol officer?”

My jaw dropped and my eyes widened, I nearly dropped my gun.

What did she say…?

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 8

“You what now?” I had a shocked look on my face while putting my gun back in its holster.

Still intimated by my bright red eyes, she shirked back a little and talked fast. “Iwanttohireyou!” she said so quickly that the words were nearly one long word.

I looked at her in disbelief, closing my eyes a little. “You will have to get over my bright red eyes. I can’t help it, I’m sorry. I try and wear contacts to change my eye colour, but it’s painful to try and get them in and out, so I stopped doing that. I will dye my hair sometimes, so my head doesn’t get sunburnt so easily.”

“Can I ask you some questions? Can we leave?” She started to urge me to walk with her.

I started to follow her, quickly exiting the range, so the other customers can continue to shoot. “Can we do this over… a date?” I gulped. I’ve never been on a date and don’t know the first thing about them.

Apparently, she had noticed my confused look. “Well, you told me you were asexual and platonic, so you’ve never been on a date, huh? I will take you on a date. Generally, the lady gets to pick the place, and the gentleman pays, or sometimes they split the bill.”

“I-I have to pay?” I pointed to myself, blinking.

“Yes, you.” She pointed at me, but she kept her eyes on my feet instead of my eyes.

I sighed, placing my hand on my forehead. “Fine, fine.” I grabbed my wallet from my pocket, opening it up and looking in it. “Crap, all I have is $25 in cash, and my credit card that I barely use.”

“Okay. Since you only have $25, and I only have $45, we can split the bill. I hate for you to use your credit card. As for where I want to go, let’s go to Sushi High Roller.” She grabbed my hand and began to walk fast.

I was shocked in her sudden change in demeanour. I nearly dropped my wallet as she tugged on me, but managed to recover it before losing it, putting it back in my pocket. “Naomi, I can’t eat fish, it makes me sick!” A blush crept on my face.

“Me neither, I usually just order a huge helping of cucumber rolls, miso soup, edamame, tempura and vegetable fried rice.” She turned around briefly, smiling at me.

“You eat all that?” I scratched my head. “I don’t really like Kantonian food, so I had no idea they had all of that…”

We walked for about five minutes before we arrived. The outside was beautiful, with yellow wooden walls with black trims and dark green roofing. Paper lanterns in various colours hung from some black wiring. A light breeze blew, ringing some bells hanging in the Koa trees. There were also lots of tables outside, made from Koa wood, stained black and yellow, to match the outside of the building.

She led me to a small but incredible garden. In the middle was a water pool full of water lilies, with some Goldeen living in it. They were chubby and larger than most Goldeens, possibly fat off people feeding them. A sign next to the pond said ‘No Feeding Us, Please! It Makes Us Sick!’ in big, bold letters. The tables were shaded by bamboo that was easily 30 feet high. There was something I noticed though, as it was a Forest Gardenia, or Nanu in Alolan.

I stood there, staring at its beautiful white flower. It was incredibly rare, and I had only seen it once before.

“Earth to Nanu.” Naomi waved her hand in front of my face.

“What?” I snapped back to reality. “Oh yes, I was just looking at something, sorry,” I said while sitting down, looking at the table. Sitting on the table was a small pot of hot green tea and two small teacups, as well as a metallic condiment holder with salt, pepper, sriracha sauce, soy sauce and wasabi sauce. Another holder contained two menus and neatly-wrapped silverware. A vase with roses and carnations sat inside a clear glass vase.

“Cool place, huh?” she asked, already sipping some green tea. “This is my favourite spot, especially when it’s really hot outside.”

“I can see why, it’s very beautiful.” I smiled, feeling the warm breeze blowing in my face. I yawned, eyes watering and weary. “Normally, I’m not up during the day, so I’m really tired.” I stared at the menu, many of the items starting to merge together.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” She shook her head.

“Well, if it ain’t Officer Onaona!” a hearty voice said while we both looked up at him. “I’m going to assume you’re already ready, huh? Who is your friend here?” The man was tall, easily 6’9”, with long legs and arms and a barrel chest and large arm muscles, large steel-grey eyes and auburn greying hair tied in a ponytail. He was wearing black jeans and t-shirt with a white apron tied around his waist. Despite being huge and tall, his voice was soft but with a thick Galar accent. His massive hands easily covered her head as he patted it, messing up her hair.

“Jerry! I’m starving! Give me my usual. I don’t know what my new friend here wants.”

“Jerry, huh?” I stood up, holding out my hand.

He shook my hand, nearly crushing it, a ripple of shock and pain twisting my face. “Oh, hahaha! I’m sorry for hurting your hand!” he chuckled rather loudly.

I sat back down, rubbing my sore hand. “This is why I don’t like people all that much,” I mumbled. “Anyway, I’ll have what she’s having, since I never really have been a fan of Kantonian food.”

“Of course! What would you like to drink?” he asked.

“I will have a peach sake.” Naomi smiled and then looked at me. “Do you want one too?”

“Sure, why not?” I shrugged. “I have had sake before, but it was plain and bitter with no flavour.”

“You will like this one! It’s like peach jelly!” He took a pencil and paper out of his pocket and started to write down our order as he walked away.

I turned back towards Naomi, looking at her. “What would you like to know about me?”

“How come your eyes are so red?”

“I’m albino. Have you ever seen an albino person before?”

“No…” she said hesitantly. “I thought you were a demon when I first saw you.”

I sighed, unsure of what to say. “I got that a lot at school, when other kid’s parents were around. It was mostly the over-religious people that would say things like that. It hurt my feelings as a kid, but I started to ignore it. I believe that’s where my cynicism came from.”

“Oh…” She deadpanned. “I’m sorry to hear that. Is there a question you want to ask me?”

“What makes you think I can be an officer like you?” I sneered, forcing a laugh.

“I saw how fast you were quick drawing your gun and how well your aim is… You got that target right in the middle of the forehead.” She took a sip of tea and closed her eyes. “I get the feeling you’re highly intelligent and unsure of what to do.”

I was taken a bit aback by how quickly she figured me out. “You knew that just by looking at me?” I stared straight into her eyes, not breaking my gaze. “That’s impressive, to be honest.” I smiled, placing my head in my hand.

“It’s why my captain hired me; he saw my potential as well as my excellent deduction skills.”

Before she could say anything else, our food arrived. Jerry carefully placed each plate down on the table. Jerry handed us each a glass of peach sake. We both said thank you as he walked off and disappeared from our view.

I stared in disbelief at how it looked like a mountain of food. My stomach growled in anticipation. We both grabbed our glasses and toasted. The sake was delicious, very sweet and tasted like peach preserves.

I took a bite of the cucumber roll and instantly fell in love with it. It was salty and tasted like the ocean because of the seaweed and tasted cool and refreshing because of the cucumber in the middle. Even the rice had the right amount of salt and soy sauce.

She must have been starving, because she was already digging into the food. Her vegetable fried rice was gone in about three bites, she chugged the miso soup, her steamed and salted edamame was gone in about two minutes.

“Naomi, slow down,” I warned her. “You’re going to make yourself puke.”

“Nah! I’m starving and working out, jogging and swimming takes a lot out on me. I have plenty of energy because I eat so much.” By the time she had finished saying that, her veggie tempura was gone.

“Well, I’m not going to feel bad for you if you do end up sick.” I took a bite out of the veggie fried rice, which was delicious, with carrots, peppers, peas and baby corn. “But… I admit, this food is delicious. I was never a fan of Kantonian food, so I’m glad you pointed it out to me.”

“Of course! What is your favourite food?”

“I prefer my mom’s cooking. She makes excellent comfort food such as macaroni and cheese, potato salad, chilli, even poutine. I love her food. If you’re ever up to meeting her, I’d be happy to have her cook for you.”

“Poutine, hmm? Isn’t that from Unova?”

I nodded, taking a sip of the sake. “Yes, the recipe is from Unova. She is a globetrotter and has wanderlust. She gathers recipes from around the world. Her malasadas are to die for, though as that is my favourite recipe of hers. She is huge on vegetarian recipes. She and I hate the idea of killing Pokémon specifically for its flesh.”

“I’ve heard scientists are scrambling for an alternative they can create in the lab that doesn’t involve any killing. They say it’ll be out in a few years, albeit expensive.”

“Actually, that’s what I have heard too. I admit that I miss my mother’s chicken pot pie. That was my second favourite recipe of hers after her malasadas.”

“What about your father? And what are your parent’s names?”

“My father is lazy, he’ll eat anything. He mostly makes the unhealthy microwavable crap that’s advertised on tv often.” I sipped some of the miso soup. It was very unhealthy saltiness to it, but the tofu and seaweed were perfect in it. “My mother’s name is Libelle and my father’s name is Cuthwulf. My father’s parents, which are my grandparents were trying to go with an old Galar-ish style name; that’s why it’s so unusual.” I finished off the miso soup quickly.

“Now, tell what they’re like and I’ll tell you what my parents are like.”

“My parents divorced when I was five, so I barely remember anything. My mother is kind, strong, beautiful with dark green eyes, blonde hair, long legs and arms. As I mentioned before, she loves to travel, explore new places and loves to cook; she is calm and collected, patient and doesn’t judge. My dad is a bit lazy at times, but is hard-working, animated. He has steel-grey eyes and black hair; he is tall enough to hit his head on anything low-hanging. Once his mind is set, he won’t stop until he gets hungry and thirsty. I’ve seen him work nonstop for six hour stretches, caked in dirt and sweat completely soaking his clothes and hair. He loves to work on old cars, finding parts and remodelling them so he can sell them at a higher price than what he paid for them. When he is finished working, he is lazy as all hell and sleeps 10-hour stretches.”

She smiled the whole time, listening intently, not even interrupting me. By the time I had finished; all her food was completely cleaned off, only a few crumbs were left. “Fine. I’ll tell you about my parents. My mother’s name is Maira. She is strong-willed, rarely gives up, down-to-earth and optimistic. She is shorter than I am but shares the same beautiful, long flowing black hair and dark brown eyes. She loves to cook too, but not as extensive as what your mother does. My father’s name is Keoni. He is short and a bit chubby, with short legs and arms; he has short black hair and lighter brown eyes than my mom. He is loud, obnoxious and pretentious; completely opposite of my mother. But their love is undying, and they barely fight, despite having completely opposite personalities. There was one time, when I was young and didn’t understand, I walked in on them having sex. They were so compassionate, and I’ve never seen them like that before or since. I think they were a little more careful because it was horrifying,” she quavered while she flushed a bright red. “Did anything like that happen to you?”

I nodded, feeling my face flush. “Not quite, but I got close. I didn’t understand, of course. I was only four years old at the time. My mother was cheating on my father. It’s why they divorced. I had caught them, told my dad and he just walked out, not even saying goodbye or anything like that. Didn’t get to see him until I was 16, as he didn’t get custody of me, because he ran away back to Galar. My mom never did marry the guy she was cheating on, but they’ve lived together and had a relationship for ages now. She hasn’t cheated ever since. I’ve mended with my father though, as I decided to start over.” I felt my eyes water a little thinking of how he hurt me by disappearing.

She seemed to have noticed this, because her smile turned into a look of concern. “Are you okay?”

I nodded, blinking away the water in my eyes. “I’m sorry, it’s just very painful to be reminded sometimes.”

“I understand.” She held out her right hand and touched the top of my left hand, patting it softly. “My captain was my uncle. He died in a freak diving accident, looking for a corpse. The current carried him away and he couldn’t get to the surface in time by the time his air had run out in his scuba tank. That is why I was depressed and drank myself until I passed out.”

“No… I understand.” I nodded. “I lost my grandparents, on my mother’s side, in a freak boating accident. My inheritance included their house on Route 17, all the land that goes with it, all the fruit trees they planted to make extra cash with as well as over $300,000. Which I don’t touch, as I have only used it in case of emergencies.”

“T-three… hundred, thousand? Six digits, right?” She looked at me in disbelief.

“Yes, six digits, you’re correct. My grandparents were very freaking rich and had money out the wazoo. My mother doesn’t care about money, so that’s why my inheritance is so high.”

“Wow…” She closed her eyes and sighed deeply, placing her hands on the table. She opened her eyes and looked over at me, not breaking her gaze. “Are you going to finish that?”

“Oh, you’re right. Hold on, let me finish off this tempura. It’s really good, nice and crispy.”

“Okay, take your time. Jerry is going to come back by and ask if you want some dessert.”

“D-dessert?” I stuttered, nearly dropping my fork. My stomach twisted a little thinking of dessert.

“Tsk, tsk, tsk…” she teased and waggled her finger. “Shame, shame. Hehehe…”

I sighed after taking a bite, finishing off the tempura. “Fine, you got me. I’ll try whatever dessert you normally get.”

“The dorayaki is to die for.” Her eyes glittered. She blinked and looked back at me. “Are you done?” she teased me.

“Yes, I am done. You can have the rest. I think I’m too full to have anything else other than dessert.” I carefully scooted the plates towards her side. I stared in disbelief as she started eating like a rabid Lycanroc.

She was finished in less than five minutes. She had a smug look on her face, like she had accomplished a Grand Trial. She turned around, waved at Jerry and got his attention. “Jerry, my friend and I would like some dorayaki.”

He didn’t even bother to come closer, just simply nodding and quickly writing it down. “Two dorayakis coming right up.” He walked off and disappeared from our view.

I turned my attention back towards her. “Hey… I’m sorry for going 80 in a 70 mile-per-hour zone, the other day. I’m sorry I did that; I tend to have a bad lead-foot. I’ll pay it off, I promise.” I shrugged, feeling apologetic.

“No. You know what? Rip that in half, I could care less. I only did that because you scared the crap out of me taking me home, but also, I didn’t know you were an amazing marksman either.” She chuckled a little, looking at me in a motherly sort of way.

Does… she love me? I’ve never felt love beyond my parents… is this why my heart is beating so fast when she teases me? Tapu Bulu must have heard my thoughts, because a strong-enough wind blew, blowing some of the petals of the Forest Gardenia onto the table.

“Hmm?” She looked at the petals curiously. “Nanu flowers? Weird…”

“Naomi, I’ve barely known you, but I…I have a strong feeling you like me…”

“Ever heard of love at first sight?”

My face flushed a bright red. “Y-yes…” I replied, stuttering and shocked. “I’ve never felt love outside of family… I was scared to get close to anyone for fear of rejection and being abandoned…”

Before either of us could say anything else, Jerry returned with the dorayaki. She smirked, thanking him and shooing him off. Jerry seemed to understand what was going on, because he nodded and quickly walked off.

I sniffed it, as it smelled delicious. “Ohhh… wow!” I picked it up and took a bite. “This is delicious… It reminds me of my mother’s malasadas…” It was very sweet, almost too sweet but I was able to handle it.

“I told you, you’d like it.” She smiled, putting her head in her hands, looking at me intently.

“You already finished…? Is that why you are staring at me like that?” I felt confused.

“Yep! And because, you’re freaking adorable.”

I almost choked but stopped myself. “T-thank you…”  I blushed a bright red. “I like how you did a 180 on me…”

“Well, I started to feel pity for you, because I know exactly how you feel. I was made fun of a lot in school too.”

“Heh, you don’t need to feel pity for me. I just started to ignore people and stopped caring what they thought about me.” I finished off the sweet dessert in two bites, because of how delicious it was. “Thank you for recommending this place. I’m going to have lots of energy tonight at my bar.” I looked at my watch. “Well, it’s already 4:30, I’m surprised.”

“Of course, my pleasure, Bellinor. I’m just glad you even came along with me, seeing as how you’re soooo platonic.” She giggled, taking one last sip of green tea. “Check please, Jerry!” She waved him towards us.

“Did you enjoy all of that food?” he asked.

“Yessir.” I nodded. “Thank you so much.”

“Thank you, Jerry!”

“My pleasure.” He set the sever book down on the table. He walked off quickly, bussing another table.

I looked at the server book. It was black plastic and with “Sushi High Roller” in fancy, cursive lettering. I opened it up and looked at the ticket, shocked how low the price was. It was $30, not including the tip. “Hey, would you look at that.” I set the book down. “It’s only 30.” I grabbed my wallet, setting down the $25 I had.

“Huh. I’ve never seen it even before like that. That’s pretty cool.” She grabbed her wallet and set down a $10, which accounted for the tip.

We both stood up, walking down the trail that led to the front of the restaurant. A nice, warm breeze blew, carrying the scent of the ocean with it. Several Pikipek, a Trumbeak and a Toucannon all flew off into the distance, all of them squawking non-musically.

Before I could say goodbye to Naomi, she had wrapped her arms around my sides, hugging me tightly, her gun digging into my flank, but I didn’t care. I wrapped my arms around her flank, breathing in the scent of her hair, which smelled like the ocean and hibiscus flowers. Her warm breath was in my ear as she whispered, “You’re hired.”

“When do I start?” I asked, letting go.

“You start June 28, three days from now.”

“Well, I will see you then.” I nodded, waving. I stood there in shock, watching her rounding a corner and disappearing from my sight. “I-I can’t believe that just happened…”

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 9

I had to break the news to Geoff, which devastated him, but he wasn’t angry just disappointed; however, he said I could come and work anytime I wanted to, and I said ‘yes’. But if looks could kill, he would have murdered me right then and there. My last three days at the bar were depressing and lonely, as I didn’t have as many as many patrons. I was going to miss the beer cheese pretzels, and it felt like I lost weight thinking about that.

I had arrived bright and early on the 28th, like Naomi had told me to do. She was going to train me, albeit a bit harshly. She wanted me to be a well-oiled machine that could react to any situation.

She had me run several laps around an invisible oval, which was in Malie Garden. It didn’t help that it was really and painfully hot this morning. Another thing that didn’t help was there were bridges all over the garden, some of them were rickety and old as time itself, with holes in some of them. Other than that, the garden was quiet and peaceful, a few Pokémon here and there but they fled as soon as I ran past them. There were flowers all over the place, with waterfalls, bamboo and huge Koa trees.

Panting, sweat dripping like a waterfall, I had collapsed on my knees and planted myself face-first into the dirt, caking myself in it, while my sunglasses almost fell off. “Naomi… this…is…going…to…make…me…puke…” I said in between breaths.

She saw the opportunity to kick me on the butt, playfully kicking it, but not hard enough to hurt. “Get up, you’re making Dale look run for his money by being more of a jackass than him.”

I chuckled, standing up and rubbing my butt. “That’s my butt, you know…”

“Hehe. I know it is, and it’s a prime target for my foot.” She smirked, narrowing her eyes.

I blushed, unable to stand her flirting; as it was adorable. “I know you’re just flirting with me.” I smirked, grabbing my sweat-soaked shirt and throwing it towards Dale, her Mudbray. The maroon shirt landed on his back, which surprised him and started to shake it off. “Oh, sorry Dale.” I walked over to him and started to pet him.

Naomi just giggled, unable to contain herself. “Careful, he might try and eat your shirt, if you aren’t careful. I’ve had socks and shirts go missing because of him.”

I had met her Mudbray, earlier that morning. He was a cute bugger, with huge eyes, teeth and ears. He was mostly brown in colour, with a tan underbelly and tan featherings around his hocks, and a long-flowing, black mane and tail to match. He was a young one, acted like a brat, braying at me whenever I would trip or stumble. He would push into my butt with his face, nearly knocking me down while snickering at me, which sounded like a low braying.

I also let Blu out, letting her meet Dale. The two seemed to get along, because they were play-fighting with each other, creating mock attacks as well. The two chased each other around, but they never did get rough, knowing their limits. I was glad he was distracted by Blu, because of his bratty behaviour around me was starting to get under my skin.

Naomi turned around, blushing at my half-nakedness, muttering to herself. I could kind of catch what she was saying. “Oh my God, he is so sexy without his shirt on… he’s not ripped but he’s still sexy…”

I placed my hand on her shoulder. “You know I can hear you, right? I’m not ripped yet, but maybe I will eventually.”

“You can hear that! That’s incredible hearing.”

“Yeah, since the sun hurts my eyes, I make up in excellent hearing, smell and taste. I can smell the slightest scent on the wind.”

“Heh, I got to be careful, hmm?” She narrowed her eyes, smirking. “Well, can you run one more lap?” She grabbed a stopwatch, holding her thumb on top of the button. “I want to time you this time.”

“Whaa—” I sighed. “Fine, fine.”

“One… two… three… GO!” she shouted as I ran off.

I quickened my pace and ran faster than I did before. Wind blew in my face, the scent of green tea and castella cakes blew with it. “Mmm…” I mumbled. I saw that the rickety bridge was coming up. My pace was still quick, but I was careful not to trip. Luckily, nothing happened, and I didn’t trip. A few Poliwag moved out of the way quickly, slipping into the water, landing into the water with a plop. A few Masquerain flew passed me, their long wings easily manoeuvring out of the way. A few Meowth also hissed at me, hiding in the bushes with only their eyes showing. I smiled at all the Pokémon I had passed. They made my running go by a lot quicker, everything being a blur, and by then, I had arrived back where Naomi, Blu and Dale were standing.

Naomi pushed the button on the stopwatch, looking up at me. “Congrats, your run was 6:23.5. Shall we try again tomorrow?” she asked.

“Y-yes…” I panted, out of breath. My throat was dry and stinging. “I need… tea…”

She patted me on the back, handing me my shirt. “Let’s get some tea. Let’s race!” she teased but didn’t sound serious.

 I just chuckled, putting my shirt back on, even though it was completely soaked, using it to wipe dirt off my face. “What is your fastest time around the garden?” I asked as we started walking to the garden’s tea area. Blu and Dale followed closely behind us.

“Last I checked, it was 3:21.7”,” she replied.

I babbled nonsense words. “You’re fast, huh? Were you in track in high school?” I questioned.

“Of course. I did every sport under the sun at my school. Even cricket, basketball, football, soccer, lacrosse and even polo. Although, I was never good at football because of how rough it is. People were sceptical of my gender because of how tomboyish I was. I hit puberty very late, later than most girls at aged 14.”

“Hah. I get that vibe, judging from the fact that you’re wearing men’s t-shirt and shorts. Was there a subject you weren’t good at in school?”

“I wasn’t good at science and math. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why I quit college. I couldn’t handle it and then my uncle offered me a job as a police officer…”

“Well, don’t give up on college just yet. Right now, I’m taking a break, but I hope to return to it. I was using my bartending job as to pay off my debts. Like I said, I don’t touch my inheritance money. Period. I’d rather earn my money with good, old-fashioned work.” I shrugged, sitting down at one of the tables.

“Me too.” She nodded in agreement.

A waitress immediately walks over. She was short, with beautiful dirty blonde hair, blue eyes and a huge beautiful smile. “May I take your order?” she asked politely, pencil and notepad in her hands.

“Yes, two castella cakes with maple syrup and two green teas,” Naomi spoke for me.

“Coming right up!” she smiled, walking away and disappearing to the inside of the café.

“Thanks for doing that.” I rubbed the back of my head.

“Of course.” Naomi smiled.

After we had finished the delicious cakes and green tea, we decided to go by the police station. Luckily, it was within walking distance, about 10 minutes. As we were walking, I took everything in, including the smell of hibiscus flowers, the ocean and various types of food. A few Pikipek and Wingull flew by, squawking in alarm at us walking near them. Blu and Dale ran around, playing some sort of game, but I wasn’t sure what to call it, almost like a ‘nah nah booboo’ sort of thing.

My legs and feet felt like rubber that had been overstretched. I hadn’t run in ages, as that was not part of bartending. It was amazing that my knee didn’t sublux either, as it tends to want to come out of its socket if I overexerted myself.

Naomi turned around, looking at me while walking backwards. She was surprisingly fast walking backwards, and she noticed the shocked look upon my face. “Why are you so quiet? What’s up?”

“Well, my right knee just loves to sublux when I overexert myself. You should be glad it didn’t happen today,” I explained. I saw that she had a ‘what does that mean?’ look on her face, remembering she wasn’t good at science.  “Subluxation is when a knee pops out of its socket. It’s excruciatingly painful to pop it back in without painkillers and a doctor.”

“I’ve dislocated my shoulders and hips more times than you can shake a stick at, but I didn’t care. The pain was worth it because we had won the soccer game. After that, I just completely ignored the pain.” She had a massive grin on her face, so big that I could notice a few teeth missing. She must have realised, because she turned back around, frowning and twiddling her fingers in embarrassment.

“Hey.” I put my hand on shoulder. “You can tell me what happened.”

“Some kid that was older than me, accidentally ran into me. I ended up cheek-first into a brick wall. He was a lanky kid, with brown hair and blue glasses. He was screaming and running away from a Minior that was falling. It almost hit his head. That’s why my three of my teeth are missing.”

“Lanky kid with brown hair and glasses. You mean my friend Molayne?”

 “What! How did you know that?”

“I happen to be his friend. I met him a few years ago. Did you see the custom white grip on my Beretta? He made that for me. He’s a nerdiest of all nerds, but I love him as a friend. He’s good at science. If there’s anything that you need help with, you call him up.”

“Maybe I should go back to school, no?”

“I think you should.” I nodded. “I would be happy to help you. Maybe we should look for some more recruits first, right? To help with the load, of course.”

“Hmm…” She put her hand on her chin. “How should we go about doing that? I found you by random. I don’t like asking people stuff out of the blue, but you’re an exception.”

“I get what you’re saying.” I nodded. “Can you make posters?”

“Seeing as how we’re almost to the station, I don’t see why not.” She pointed off towards her left.

“Ah, great.” I smiled, watching her pick up her pace. “Hey! Wait up!” I quickened my pace to keep up with her, as she was nearly running, while Blu and Dale were able to follow us easily.

I looked at the police station. The walls were a light blue with black trimmings and a bright red door. Big bold text on the door said ‘Malie City Police/International Police, Alola’ on it. A star-shaped sign hung by a long, black metal chain. The outside also had large, one-way windows to let in light from outside.

She grabbed some keys from one of her breast pockets, twirling them around her left index finger and then unlocking the door. “You’ll have to excuse me for what you’re about to see,” she said while opening the door.

I blinked, shrugging and unsure of what to expect. Then I saw it, before I could even walk in. “What the—”

 An Alolan Meowth, a Rockruff, a Pikipek and a Baile-style Oricorio all came running and flying out, respectfully, out towards Naomi. The Pikipek and Oricorio landed on her shoulders, while Rockruff licked her left ankle and the Meowth rubbed its cheeks along her right leg. “Hello Night, Roc, Beak and Meadow,” she cooed at them, speaking softly in a motherly tone.

Night had a beautiful, shiny black coat with a light grey-tipped tail and back paws, and large, black ears and long pointed whiskers. Her charm was shining brightly in the sunlight and I could have sworn I could see the sky reflecting off it. She was sadly, missing part of her ear, but luckily it wasn’t a huge part but enough to notice. Night didn’t even seem to care, swiping a paw across her face, licking it.

Roc was a cute little guy, mostly tan in colour, with huge blue eyes, long flopping ears, whitish, long tail and cute paws with a darker brown than the rest of his body. He too, seemed to be misfit like Night, as he had a huge scar running down the length of his back, forming a long pink line where it had healed. He wagged his tail playfully, inviting me to play with him.

Beak was larger than most Pikipeks, mostly black and white in colour, with a pinkish-red crest, a long, thin grey-coloured bill tipped with black and grey, zygodactylous feet – two toes front and back – and large, blue eyes, with white underwing coverts. Not unlike Night and Roc, he appeared to have an injury as well, because part of his tail was missing, leaving only a stump where the feathers should be.   

Meadow was tiny, about one-fourth the size of a normal Oricorio. She was mostly red in colour, with two black stripes on her wings and tail. Two white feathers on the nape of her neck curled around her cheeks. Her eyes were a light green, rather than black, like other Oricorio’s eyes. She didn’t have injuries, so she had gotten away scot-free.

“Where did you find all of these Pokémon?” I asked. I held out my hand, letting Meadow land on my hand. She started chirping singing musically as I petted her cheek. I didn’t really like birds, but my mother had told me they loved to be petted on their cheeks, since they can’t preen there. “I feel bad for them.”

“They’re actually wild Pokémon that I saved from poachers. Out of the dozens of Pokémon my uncle and I found, these were the only four we were able to save. Some of them had their flesh cut up and cut up and some of them had to be put down because their injuries were too great.”

I felt bile rise into my throat. “Why do people think they’re entitled to eat the flesh of a Pokémon?” I hissed, gritting my teeth, which scared the Oricorio off my hand, flying onto Naomi’s shoulder.

Naomi looked at me with a shocked expression. Then again, she hadn’t seen this side of me. She quickly recovered, nodding in agreement. “You’re right. I don’t get people.” She waved her arm so I could go ahead and step inside.

As we walked inside, all the Pokémon followed us in. Blu sat down on a bench near a bay window, Dale following her. The two nestled down onto some pillows. Roc and Night follow them, settling down with them. Blu let Night sleep next to her, licking the little Meowth’s head with her large tongue. Both started to purr; Blu acting motherly towards Night. Beak and Meadow both flew up towards the rafters, landing in a flowerpot hanging from a hook. The nestled down, tucking their beaks into their wings and slowly falling asleep. They all seemed satisfied that Naomi was back.

“Did you arrest them?” I asked.

“Yes, but we have a legal obligation to shoot them if need be.” Her eyes clouded. “It was the first time I had seen someone actually die, right before my eyes. He tried to shoot at my uncle and I… my uncle shot back at him and killed him right there. It shocked me. I felt pity for him, though. I felt bad he had to die like that, but it also means one less evil person in this world.”

“You’re right. It’s a shame he chose that life, and he paid the consequences for his actions.”

She urged me to sit down at a table. “Please, sit, you look exhausted. I’ll make some iced tea.”

“Thank you, Naomi.” I smiled, sitting down, but unsure of what to do. I decided to just look around.

The inside of the station was nice. It had light blue walls with black trimmings. Even the ceiling was light blue, with wooden rafters. Hanging from the rafters, was a bright blue flowerpot with a Mistletoe Cactus hanging in it in long, flowing strands. The cactus had beautiful white blooms on it. The spines of the plant didn’t seem to bother Beak and Meadow and they were quite content to sit in the middle of it.

Plastered along the walls were various pictures of police officers, including Naomi. I decided to get up and so I could see and look at the pictures. Near the picture of Naomi, was a picture of the previous captain. I didn’t think to ask what his name was, because I figured she would still be mourning his loss. He was short in stature, with long black hair in a ponytail and dark brown, almost black eyes; around his neck was a Grondium-Z Crystal, but it looked like a replica. The text under the captain’s picture read ‘Iwalani Onaona; brother, father and son’. Must be her father’s brother, then. I wish I could have met him. He looks so young, too.

I must have been too distracted, because I felt Naomi’s presence behind me. She looked at me with sorrowfully, her eyes cloudy. It looked as if she were about to cry and was trying to hide it to act tough. “I guess I need to move his picture over to there.” She pointed to another set of photos. A metal plate above all the photos, with the words ‘Gone, But Not Forgotten’ etched into the plate. I also noticed not all of them died on duty, but of old age as well.

I counted at least 50 people that had lost their lives, dating all the way back to the 1860s. “Malie City Police have operated since the 1860s?”

“Even before that, according to my uncle. Alola had a de facto International Police force since the 1840s. See that man?” She pointed to the very first picture. “Finbarr Holmes is the man that started International Police. He gathered the best men around the world, from the farthest reaches, giving them diplomatic immunity and letting them travel anywhere they want, letting them take their guns anywhere without consequence. Alola just happens to be the first subsidiary ever created. Next was Galar, then Kalos, then Johto, then Kanto, then Hoenn, while Sinnoh and Unova being the last two. He poured  many years into building the offices for all the regions. A rumour says he died working on the Unova office, dying of a heart attack with a brick in his hand. He poured a lot blood, sweat, tears and broken bones and sore joints to build his empire. He was rich and had a lot of money for someone during that time period.”

I couldn’t tell what his hair or eye colour was since the photo was black-and-white, but I could tell he was tall, with long legs and long arms and short hair with a retreating hairline. He had a pair of glasses perched upon his nose and a pocket watch hanging from a chain on his trousers. He was also wearing a uniform with epaulets hanging down from both shoulders, but I couldn’t tell what colour it was. Underneath his picture was the text ‘Finbarr Holmes, 1790-1866’.

She pointed to the eighth picture. “Hawthorne Holmes, Finbarr’s granddaughter, was the first woman police officer. She too, was tomboyish not unlike me. She faked her sex and dressed as a male, confusing people—” A smirk formed on her face. “—But one night, while taking a bath while she was ill, her partner came to check on her, only to stumble into her room and noticed that she had breasts. She got into some serious trouble, but her captain cared about her enough that they let her stay.”  

Her photo was old, and the colours were fading, but I could see she had short, blonde hair and deep blue eyes. She was wearing a black men’s trousers and a dark grey men’s shirt underneath her uniform. Her uniform was navy blue, with bronze cufflinks and buttons, while golden-yellow epaulets hung down from the shoulders. She too, like Naomi, had a stylised Toucannon on her left shoulder.

“Did you get any ideas from her?” I smirked, nudging her a little.

“Nope. I didn’t know about her until I started working here—” Before she could say anything else, the phone rang. She was instantly on the phone, immediately answering it. “Hello?” She paused. “Hello?”

I walked over towards her, eaves dropping on the conversation. All I could hear was a gurgling sound on the other end. “What is that sound?” I whispered.

“I-I don’t know…” She turned and looked at me. “Hello?”

“One…five…So…th…Aven…” the voice went quiet and all that we could hear was a dial tone.

“Naomi, do you know any addresses with those words?” I asked.

“One five South Avenue? Was he trying to say fifteen maybe?” she asked rhetorically, starting to pace frantically.

I grabbed her by both of her shoulders, spinning her around. “Calm down, we can figure this out. We can’t panic. Let’s start looking! We can split up. Blu!” I whistled, summoning her.

She jumped off the couch, easily jumping over all the Pokémon, almost as if she was flying. “Meow,” she mewed quietly. She had a ‘What are we doing? Are we battling?’ look on her face.

“Here, I have these.” Naomi walked over towards a locked cabinet, quickly unlocking a padlock with one of the keys on her keyring. She opened the drawer, grabbing something from it. “Catch!”

I held out my hands, watching her throwing a walkie-talkie at me. I easily caught it, looking at it. It was small and black in colour, with a volume knob and a knob to change channels, 10 in total. ‘Motorola’ in big, white letters was written on the side. “Walkie-talkies, huh? That’s a good idea.”

“Yes. Please make sure it’s on channel three, that’s the one I normally use.”

I looked at the radio, and indeed, it was on channel three. “Yep. We’re all good. Come on, let’s go.”  

“Dale, let’s go!” Naomi called out to him.

Dale carefully got up from the bench, trotting over towards her. She easily jumped onto his back, commanding him to start running. I watched them run out the door and off towards the right.

I looked at Blu awkwardly, unsure of what do to. “Blu… can I ride your back?” I chuckled awkwardly.

“Meowww…” I swear she rolled her eyes, but her meow sounded like ‘fiiiine.’

I jumped onto her back, albeit it was awkward because my feet nearly touched the ground. “Thanks, Blu. Go!” I commanded her. I grabbed a hold of the scruff of her neck, but she didn’t seem to care, since I knew it wouldn’t hurt her. It was bumpy and awkward and almost fell off her back. She rounded a corner quickly, running off in the opposite direction of Dale.

Wind blowing in my face felt good, and I could smell pizza and sadly, garbage as well; but I kept my eyes closed because I had never ridden Blu and I was slightly scared. She ran for about three minutes, stopping at a corner. I opened my eyes, curious as to why she had stopped. On the sign was 15th and South Avenue. “You found it, Blu. I think this is it.” I pushed the button on the radio, double-checking it was on channel three. “Naomi… I think I found it. It’s a townhouse on 15th and South Avenue.”

“I’m on my way! Hee—” Her voice cut off as she let go of the button.

A small, pink townhouse sat on the corner. Even the door was a light pink with white trimmings. Wrapped around the yard was a white picket fence that was only about 2’ tall. Several kinds of flowers, including tulips, roses and plumeria were lined up along the fence. Two, large Wiliwili trees, with their bright pink flowers, were planted on opposites sides of the yard, with a sidewalk in between the two trees.

I could hear hoofbeats coming closer and closer. I saw Naomi in the distance. It took a few seconds for her to get there, but I didn’t care, because I didn’t want to go in alone. Dale barely stopped in time, nearly knocking me down.

“Dale! Please be a little more careful!” Naomi commanded as she got off his back. She petted him slowly.

Dale lowered his head in embarrassment, trilling and sighing through his lips. He neighed quietly, then lifted his head and looked up at me. Unusually, he wasn’t acting bratty.

“You’re forgiven, Dale.” I laughed sheepishly, petting him on the top of his head, feeling his silky mane.

“Let’s go in. Dale, Blu, stay here please.” Naomi turned and looked at me.

“Okay.” I nodded, following her.

As we slowly walked in, it felt eerie. There was something in the air, but I couldn’t tell what it was. It was silent, no tv or music playing, not even the AC was running. The hair on the nape of my neck was standing up and I didn’t bother looking around. We walked into bedroom.

Much to my horror, it was a corpse sitting on the bed. There was blood all over the bed and there was a thin, red line along his neck. There was a long, arc-shaped splatter from where the carotid was severed. The smell nearly knocked me out, as it smelled metallic-y, like pennies. I could even taste it in my mouth, as my nose and taste buds were extremely sensitive to anything. It tasted almost like meat in my mouth.

“Oh, God…” I gagged, trying not to vomit from the smell.

“You’ll get used it,” Naomi said monotonously. “It’s part of my job.” She had no emotion and had a blank stare on her face. “Death, death, death… It’s usually all we see.” She didn’t even react to the smell. She slipped on a pair of gloves she grabbed from her back pocket. “You’ll need these.” She handed me a pair.

“Fine. But, just so you know, I don’t like this, all right?” I gagged again.

“I know you don’t. Look, there’s the murder weapon.” She pointed to a steak knife on the floor. “I’ll look for clues.”

I nodded, unsure of what to do. I grabbed the knife, carefully holding it and hoping I didn’t rub any fingerprints off it. “What do I do with it now?” I gulped, because slightly congealed blood was still dripping off the knife, landing on my bare, sandaled feet.

“Here, you put it in one of these bags.” She grabbed an evidence bag from one of her breast pockets. “And be careful not to get blood on your bare skin, I can’t believe you’re wearing sandals of all things. You could easily get HIV.” She rolled her eyes.

I carefully placed the knife in the bag, zipping it up and sealing it. “Y-yes ma’am…” I felt embarrassed. “I won’t wear sandals again while we’re at a crime scene.”

“I order you to,” she demanded with authority in her voice.

I was shocked, as I had never heard her talk like that. I was taken aback by her idiosyncrasy. “Of-of… course…”

“I will let you sit this one out, go ahead and go back to the station. Take the knife with you. I’m going to continue investigating.”

“N-no. I want to stay here, actually. I want to help.” By then, I had gotten used to the smell of blood. “I’ve gotten used to the smell, I don’t smell it anymore, in fact.”

“That’s good. Could you help me look for a driver’s license or some sort of ID, maybe?”

“I’ll look.” I nodded, carefully stepping over a pool of blood. I walked to the kitchen, looking around at everything.

The kitchen was huge, with white tiles and walls. In the middle, was a huge island with a sink, a dishwasher and a stove/oven combo. Hanging from the ceiling was a rack to put pots and pans. All of them were neatly organised by size. The countertops were made from granite, which had a lustrous look, and it had no discernible scratches or marks on it. There, on one of the countertops, beneath the cabinets, was a knife holder. One of the knives was missing, as I was able to see a slot. Next to the knives, was a knife sharpener made from diamond-coated plastic.

“NANU!” Naomi called out from the other room, before I could keep searching.

“Yes?” I called back, quickly walking back to where the corpse was, but she wasn’t in that room. “Where are you?”

“While looking for clues, I found a corpse of a woman.” She peaked out from around a doorframe.

I walked up to the room, the loud smell of blood hitting me again. I gagged a little but controlled myself.

“She was stabbed the same way as the other victim. I am going to assume this is his wife. Did you find any clues?”

“No.” I shook my head. “I tried to look in the kitchen where normally people keep their keys and wallets, but I didn’t see anything of that sort. I did find a knife sharpener and a slot on a knife rack where the missing knife was supposed to be.”

“Excellent work, not bad for your first day, huh?” She grinned.

I heard a small noise not too far from where we were standing. “Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?” she asked.

“It sounded like a child crying!”

“Wait.” She listened for a few seconds. “I hear it too.” She nodded.

We both walked towards a closet where the sound was coming from.

In the closet, was a little girl…

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 10

Much to our horror, a little girl, not much older than three, was sitting in the dark corner of a closet. She was hiding amongst her neatly hung up and clean clothes. Or, they were clean but had smudges of blood on them. She too, had smudges of blood all over her face and hands, and congealed blood was sticking in her light purple hair and even dried vomit was around her lips.

What a horrible and sick thing she had to witness. I feel bad for her. She was our one and only witness to the brutal murder, and she was probably watching in horror as her family was butchered. Which meant she probably saw the people that did it.

“Girl, what is your name?” Naomi spoke softly to her, in a motherly tone.

“Acerohlah,” she replied in a small childish voice.

I got the gist of what she was saying, as it sounded like she was named after Acerola Cherry, a non-native plant that was cultivated in Alola, for their tart fruits used to make jelly and preserves.

Naomi looked directly at me, staring me down without breaking her gaze. “You know this is a serious situation, right? We should take her back to the station and get her washed up. She just watched her whole family being murdered.”

“Let’s take her. I can carry her.” I opened my hands, wrapping them around her armpits and picking her up carefully. She didn’t even fight me as I wrapped my arms around her, letting her sit on my hands.

“Mimi…kins?” she questioned.

“Who’s Mimikins?” Naomi asked.

All the sudden, a Mimikyu appeared out of nowhere, materializing from behind us. This wasn’t a normal Mimikyu though, as she was grey and monochromatic instead of the yellow Pikachu-like Mimikyu. The Mimikyu looked at us curiously, wondering why I was holding the girl.

“I’m going to assume this is Mimikins.” I laughed nervously, as Ghost-types kind of scared me.

“Wanna wager that it is?” Naomi asked, being facetious and sardonic while smiling mirthlessly.  

“Mimikins!” Acerola held out her hands, trying to reach for the Mimikyu.

“Mimimi…” Mimikyu floated closer to her, wrapping its strange, ghostly hands around her.

I admitted to myself that it looked cute. “Shall we go?” I asked Naomi.

She simply nodded and said nothing, as we walked out of the house. “Let me call for backup.”

We solemnly walked down the street, allowing Naomi to call for backup and a CSU from the neighbouring Akala Island. Once we got confirmation, we walked to the station in silence, Blu and Dale unsure of what was going on, as they didn’t make a peep. Not even Mimikins made a sound as she floated behind me, wrapping her weird ghostly hands around my shoulder. No bystander even stopped to talk to us, and I got a sense they knew what had happened, because by then even I had gotten some of the congealed blood on my t-shirt.

We finally made it back to the station, only to be greeted by the misfit Pokémon. They sensed something was wrong when they saw our solemn faces and the blood all over the girl, because they stopped dead in their tracks.

“Naomi… why don’t you have a CSU?” I looked at her dead in the eyes with a serious look on my face.

She looked at me, mortified. “My uncle and I could never afford one. It’s beyond our budget…”

“Wait, what?” I blinked as Acerola shifted in my arms. “Wow… are they expensive, then?”

“Yes, it’s about $15,000 to hire them and about $3000/month after that. We tried to pay in installments, but neither of us could afford it and they ran off to Akala Island. Normally, the crime scenes aren’t so… bloody. They have a CSU on Akala Island, where they have a better budget. It’s also why it was two of us here in Malie City.” 

“Wow.” I stared at her blankly. “Do you have some place to wash her off?” I asked.

“Yes, I’ll take her.”

“Yes, please do, because I’d feel like a… pedophile.

“Nah, I feel like she’s our responsibility until we can find her family, but my gut is telling me that’s the only family she has.” She grabbed Acerola, who didn’t fight as she seemed scared stiff. “Come along now. I got you.” Her tone was sweet and motherly.

I have an idea, I thought to myself while she was walking away, the Mimikyu following them. I grabbed a paper towel, spat in it and wiping the blood off my foot. I tossed it in the trash. I sat down at a round, wooden table. I grabbed my check book from my breast pocket, grabbing a pen as well. I stared at the check, which was linked to my inheritance. This is my first time using this. I quickly wrote a check, writing her name down and writing ‘fifteen thousand and – 00/00’. I looked over the check, making sure I didn’t make a mistake.

“Nanu, what are you doing?” Naomi’s voice startled me.

“Wahh!” I jumped a tiny bit, turning around and looking up at Naomi, she still had Acerola in her arms. “You scared me. Here, this check is for you. It’s my gift for you. We need a CSU and we can’t afford to waste time by calling Akala’s CSU.”

Naomi’s face flushed several shades of pink. “W-what…? This is for us?” She set the freshly-cleaned up Acerola onto the floor.

Acerola toddled off towards the bay window bench, Blu following her protectively, while her Mimikyu floated along behind them. “Kitty!” she started playing with Blu.

I put the check book and pen back into my pocket, stood up and handed her the check. “Please use it, go and cash it in, if you need to. This is the first time I’ve written a check, actually… as I said before, I’ve never touched my inheritance.” I rubbed the back of my head.

She blinked several times, a few tears running down her face. She wiped them off with her hands and wrapped her arms around me in a tight embrace. “Thank you…”

“You’re welcome.” I returned the tight embrace but not as tight as how she was squeezing me. I felt my back pop in a few places. “You’re hurting my back, Naomi…”

“Oh, sorry!” She let go of me, wiping more tears off her face. “W-what do I owe you in return?”

“You don’t owe me anything, other than your friendship and partnership. That’s all I’m asking, actually.”

“Yes. I know we just met, but so far, I’m enjoying our friendship.”

“I’m enjoying your company as well. Would you like to come over to my place sometime?”

I felt a tugging of my shorts near my femur. “I’m hungwee.”

“Aww. Okay.” Naomi kneeled beside her. “What do you like to eat?” she asked.

“Pizza! Pizza!” she called out happily. “I want pizza!”

Naomi looked up at me. “Do you want me to call in a pizza. How do you like yours?”

“I love my slathered in garlic sauce, with mounds of cheese and whatever vegetables, I honestly don’t care what kind of veggies.”

“Oh, that sounds great.” She turned her attentions back towards Acerola. “Do you want some cheese pizza?”

“Yes! Yes pwease!”

I smiled at Acerola, as I felt my heart fluttering a little. She was so cute. “Well, it’s settled then.” I kneeled beside her as well, patting the top of her head. “Do you have any other family?”

She shook her head slowly. “No… just momma and dadda…”

My heart sank. “You were right, Naomi…” I looked up at her with concern.

“I knew it. It was just a gut feeling too. This is even more serious than I thought. We’ll have to find her a foster family.”

“Naomi.” I stood up, putting my hand on her left shoulder. “I’ll adopt her. I’ll go through all the legal leaps and bounds. I’ll do anything, honestly. I know I’m young and probably not ready for a child… but I’ve always wanted a child since I can’t reproduce.”

Her jaw dropped, she looked at me, shocked. “You can’t reproduce? Why? How? How did you find out?”

My face flushed, I leaned in closer to ear and whispered, “I tried to get a vasectomy, but before that, I tried to donate my sperm to get some extra cash since I was drowning in student debts, only get bad news. I have an incredibly rare disease, in fact I’m the only person in Alola to have it. It’s called macrozoospermia. My sperm are so large that they’re non-motile. That’s when I found out I can’t reproduce. I’m sorry for dropping all of this on you at once, but you were curious.”

“No, I’m very nosey,” she whispered back. “As much as I am observant, I never would have guessed you can’t reproduce. You just don’t seem like the type. I probably would have figured it out eventually.” She stopped whispering and then spoke up, “I’m going to order that pizza now. We can’t leave Acerola hanging.”

“Ok-ay!” Acerola started to twirl around, going back to playing with Blu and Mimikins.

“Meow!” Blu mewed, letting her play with her tail. She seemed extra protective over her, and it was almost as if she sensed what had happened to her.

“EeeeEEeee!” Dale neighed, being careful not to stomp her with his powerful legs.

I yawned, exhausted. “Ugh…”

“I’m so sorry for the horrible first day. My first day wasn’t quite so hectic. Here, I can take Acerola to my parent’s house tonight. My parents love children. In fact, normally and legally I can’t do this, but what if I were to petition to adopt her as well? We’re not living together, but if we were to get split custody of her. I’ll talk to the judge. Does that seem fair? It’ll help take the load off both of us. Actually… I feel like a child is going to be a burden to you. You said you’re more active at night, right?”

“Wow.” I looked at her, shocked. “We could probably do that, actually. Laws are more lax here about parental rights, than say Galar and Sinnoh. So… I don’t see why not. My mother loves children too, more so than father, but he doesn’t hate children. Because he loved me until he walked out on us.”

Before we could complete anymore thoughts, we all heard a knock on the door. Naomi walked over towards the front door, greeting the pizza delivery guy. I watched her as she pulled out a $10 as a tip to him.

“Who wants pizza?” Naomi called out as she walked back towards us, setting the box on the table.

Smells delicious. I breathed in the scent in a large inhale.

“I dooooo!” Acerola quickly came running over, almost tripping.

 I managed to catch her before she fell, grabbing her and setting her down in a chair; however, she was very short and barely reached the table, only her forehead was showing. “Do you have anything she could sit on?”

“Oh yes. I have a couple of phonebooks. Give me a minute. I’m sorry I don’t have any plates, haven’t bought any since my uncle died. We used the last two plates the last night he was alive.” Her eyes clouded as she walked off.

“Okay. While you do that, I’m going to call my mom.” I nodded, grabbing a paper towel for Acerola. “You can use this as a plate, okay?” I said sweetly to her, trying not to sound gruff. “I will be right back. You be good for uncle Bellinor, okay?”

“Okay!” she said in a little voice.

As I walked off and turned around, I noticed Naomi was back and setting down two phone books for her to sit on. I grabbed the phone and dialled for my mom.

“Mom. Are you there? Hello?”

“Bellinor? Is that you? How are you, honey?” Mom asked a sweet tone.

“Yes, I’m good, Mom. Listen… you know how I wanted children for a long time?”

“Mmm-hmm?” she mumbled and paused. “Wait—you didn’t knock a girl up, did you?” She sounded half-accusing, half-teasing.

“No, no, no… Of course not. But… yes. You know how I told you I was training to become a police officer? Well, on my first day, Naomi and I stumbled upon a crime scene. While we were there, we found a girl hiding in the closet. Her mother and father were murdered. Well, we asked her if she had any other family, and she said no. Mom… I was hoping to adopt her. You know my new friend, Naomi?”

She said nothing the whole time I was explaining and finally spoke up. “Yes, what about her?”

“She was thinking about adopting her as well, since the laws here are laxer about adoptions than other regions. We’re going to try and petition to adopt her.”

“I think you should do whatever your heart thinks. What is your heart telling you?” she said with emphasis.

“My heart is telling me I should go on with it.” I nodded.

“Then you should do it.” She sighed softly. “Listen, I have to go. My Pokémon are getting hungry. Come and see me sometime soon, okay?”

“Okay, Mom. I love you.”

“I love you too!” She made a kissing sound and hung up.

I turned my attention back to the pizza, which smelled so good. My stomach gurgled. I walked back over to Acerola and Naomi, whom was talking sweetly to the little girl.

“Finally going to join us?” Naomi asked, a slice nearly into her mouth.

Acerola was somewhat struggling to take a bite, as the toppings were falling off. “Hungweee…”

“Oops, sorry about that Acerola,” Naomi apologised.

“Here.” I grabbed my pocket knife from my keychain, flipping the blade open. “Don’t worry, it’s clean, actually.” I cut the pizza for her, smiling and watching her grin brightly as she saw the pieces getting smaller. She no longer struggled as she ate, and she seemed satisfied.

“Tank you, uncle Belly-nor.”

“You’re welcome, little one.” I petted the top of her head, comforting her. I walked over to Naomi, sitting next to her. She had already set a slice aside for me. “Oh, thank you, Naomi.” I smiled.

“Of course, anything for you.” She winked seductively.

My cheeks flushed and I tried to hide it with the slice of pizza, but she seemed to have noticed me blushing. “Uhh.. uhh…”

“Don’t think I didn’t notice that, honey.” She smirked. She wrapped her arm around my shoulder. “I love you,” she whispered.

My face flushed even redder than it was before. “I love you too.”

“You should show me how to get to your place. I would love to see your land.”

“Of course, but you’re arousing me…” I whispered.

“Oh ehehe.” She giggled, playing with the tuft of hair on the top of my head. “You’re sexy, did you know that?”

“I got that a lot when I was in high school and college.” I looked over at Acerola, she had finished the one slice of pizza and had fallen asleep, with her head on the table. “Looks like the little one is asleep now. Let’s go to my place. It’s about 45 minutes from here.” By then, I had finished my third slice of pizza, while Naomi had finished five.

“I can see why you got those comments, because it’s true.” She too, looked over at Acerola and looked back over at me. “I’m tired too, let’s go now.”


 

“Wow… your land is beautiful!” Naomi shielded her eyes with her hand. “So many trees and flowers! Koas, birds-of-paradise, bananas, frangipanis, coconuts, breadfruit…” she started naming them all off.

I was impressed by her knowledge of the trees growing on my land, despite not being good at science. “That’s why I love it out here.” I looked down at Acerola, she seemed to be curious about everything and was sniffing various flowers, getting pollen on her nose.

“Mimi…” Her Mimikyu had its ghostly hands around her shoulder. “…kyu!” The Ghost Pokémon pointed at a Morellul sleeping on a log.

“Meow,” Blu mewed, twitching her tail in anticipation.

“Eeee!” Dale neighed, running around in laps around some Koa trees.

It was mainly white in colour, with large black eyes and three large mushrooms growing from its head and three, short root-like feet. It looked at us curiously.

“Uncle, aunty, what’s that?” She pointed to the mushroom Pokémon.

“That’s a Morellul.” Naomi crouched down next to her. “You never touch them, they’ll put you to sleep. This one is awake for some reason, I think we disturbed it. Let’s go this way.” She grabbed her hand, gently leading her away from it.

“Moree-lool?” she asked.

“Yes, that’s right.” I smiled, nodding. “That Pokémon is called a Morellul.”

A huge flock of Oricorio flew by, descending upon the various flowers that grew all over the place. There were at least 50 or more, all pollinating the flowers at once, fluttering about, wings a blur. Their bright red plumage stood out in the nearly-evening sunlight.  We all stared at them in appreciation. And then they were gone just like that, before I could grab a video camera.

“That was amazing!” Naomi said happily. “I can’t believe they didn’t stay for very long.”

“They’ll probably be back. I’ve gotten video of them before. They usually come about once every two weeks or so.”

“Pwetty bwirdy!” Acerola called out happily.


 

“I’ll sleep on the couch,” I offered. “You can sleep on my bed. I’m sorry my house only has two bedrooms.”

“It’s okay. Do you think she’ll be okay in here?” Naomi asked, tucking her in.  

I left the room, with her following me. I shut the door about half-way. “I think so. The bed is short enough and the toilet isn’t very tall or large either. I don’t think she’ll fall in. This was my room when I was a child. I’ll leave the door open in case she needs something. Would you like to watch a movie?”

“Do you have a tv? I didn’t see one in the living room.”

“Uhh…” I blushed. “That’s because it’s in my room. It has been there even before my grandparents died. They had gotten to where they could barely move without a cane and they couldn’t get off the couch without assistance. So, I helped them move the tv to their bedroom.” I led her to my room, locking the door behind me.

“I don’t mind if it’s in your room.” She winked, wrapping her hand around my chin, leaning in and kissing me.

“Ohh…” Her kiss aroused me, and I felt my heart beating quickly and my pupils enlarging.

“I know that look.” She looked at me without breaking her gaze, giggling.

“H-how do you know that look?” I asked, nervous.

“I had a boyfriend before you, silly. When he got aroused, his pupils would enlarge, and his heart would start beating quickly and he would get a boner too.” She grabbed my crotch, I yelped a little and completely taken by surprise, but then again, I kind of liked that.

“Ohhh…” I shuddered. “I-I barely know you… Aren’t we going to fast?”

“Maybe so, but I’ve been sexually frustrated for a while now, ever since my boyfriend broke up with me.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.” I laughed nervously.  

“I could care less, it was both of our idea, because it wasn’t working out anyway.” She managed to push me onto the bed.

I was surprised at her strength, but I noticed her arm muscles were bulging when she pushed me onto the bed. “W-wow… the spontaneity… are you okay with this?”

“I should ask you the same thing, Officer,” she quipped a rejoinder.  

“Y-yes… I love you, Naomi.” I grabbed her hands, pulling her in towards me. “L-let’s do this…”

“Okay.” She grinned, excited.


 

“W-wow…” I said while petting the top of her head. I looked down at her, she had already fallen asleep on top of me, but her weight didn’t bother me at all. “Goodnight then, Naomi.” I shut my eyes and fell asleep.

I woke up the next morning to Naomi’s head still on my chest, which surprised me a little. I had then remembered that we had had sex last night. “Naomi, get up. Wake up.” I poked her shoulder but got no response. I shoved her off my chest, but she didn’t even react, as she was still snoring.

I sighed, sitting up and hopping off my bed. “Log…” I mumbled to myself, dressing myself and looking back over at Naomi.

She started to stir, opening her eyes and looking at me, rubbing her eyes. “Oh, Nanu, you’re awake now.”

“Good morning.” I smiled and slipped my shirt on. “But what do you mean ‘you’re awake now’?”

“Because I had woken up briefly and I saw that you were still asleep.”

“Well, I pushed you and shoved you and you didn’t even react to me.” I shrugged.

“Oh, sorry. I tend to sleep heavier than most women. I apologise.” She slipped out of the bed and grabbed her shirt. “I could have sworn you called me Log…” She had a pouty look on her face. “Fine, fine. I’ll come up with a nickname for you when you least expect it.” Her lip curled into a smirk while she put her shirt on.

“Oh my, I’m soooo scared. Hahaha.”  I watched as she put her shorts on. I grabbed her hand, guiding her towards the outside of my room. “We should probably check on Acerola.”

“We should.” She nodded as we walked down the hallway.

I quietly opened the door, looking at Acerola. She was still sleeping on the bed and it looked like she hadn’t even moved. Tucked into her arms, was her Mimikyu. “She’s still asleep. She must be exhausted after what happened to her yesterday.” I shook my head.

“Let’s leave her alone.” Her stomach growled. “I’m hungry. Do you have anything to eat for breakfast?”

“I could make toast, scrambled eggs and orange juice. The orange juice is fresh, straight off the tree, but I’m not always able to do that. The freaking Pikipek and other birds pick them off, leaving holes in them and that causes them to rot faster.”

“Oh, I’m sorry that happens. I would love some fresh orange juice.”

“It’s all right. I usually don’t have anyone over, so I usually just make enough for myself.”

I had cooked up some breakfast for Naomi and I but by then, Acerola had woken up to the smell of half-burned toast and fresh eggs. I made her half a slice of toast and half an egg, which she ate quickly and hungrily. She also quickly downed the fresh juice. I had realised she hadn’t eaten since 4 o’clock yesterday, hence why she was eating so quickly. She was also quiet too, not even interrupting us while we were chatting.

“Well, I should probably be getting to the station now. You should join me, actually.”

“Well, I may just drop her off at my mom’s house, I think she wouldn’t do well at the station anyway, she would probably get bored.”

She leaned in a whispered. “Thank you for the sex last night, and I appreciate you inviting me to your house and making breakfast for me.”

“Of course, my dear.” I kissed her on the cheek. “Bye, my love. Be careful going to the station. Do you remember how you got here?”

“Yes, I did follow you after all.” She grabbed Dale’s Poké ball, returning him to the orb. She grabbed her keys, blowing me a kiss.

“Bye aunty Naomi!” Acerola jumped off the chair, hugging her legs.

“Goodbye, little Acerola.” She smiled, talking to her sweetly. “I will see you tonight, okay?”

“Okeee!” She jumped around happily.

“We’re going to my mom’s house.” I knelt beside her, putting my hand on her shoulder. “You’ll love her house. My mom loves children and she works at a library, too. You’ll love the library. Shall we go now?”

“Potty…”

“Can you go alone?” I asked, unsure of what to do. “Are you potty trained?”

“Y-yes…” She quickly ran off. She returned a few minutes later, seemingly satisfied. “Librarrrry!” she said happily.

“Good girl, let’s go.” I grabbed Blu’s Poké ball, returning her. I grabbed my keys, grabbed her hand gently and led her outside.


 

Malie Library

We both walked into the library, Acerola jumping up and down happily, clutching her Mimikyu. I could hear my mom’s voice in the kid’s corner of the library, and she was putting on a fake Galar accent just for the story she was reading.

“What’s more, the ghost was very greedy, and it would run off with anything that struck its fancy…” Mom looked up briefly, gazing at me with her beautiful green eyes and smiled.

I waited for her to finish the story called the Greedy Lapoo. Once she finished, all the kids moaned ‘awwww!’, but she ignored it.

“Mom.” I smiled, looking into her eyes.

“Bellinor. I am glad you could join me.” She smiled, looking down at the child. “Is this Acerola, hmmm?”

“Yes, this is her. Listen… I was wondering if you could watch her today, since you work with children all the time. Listen… I must go to work today too. Naomi is expecting me, actually.”

“I can watch her. She is adorable, Bellinor! She will love it here. I read stories all day anyway.”

“Mommy?” Acerola cocked her head, looking up at Mom.

“Yes, that is my mom, Acerola.” I smiled.

“You go onto work, I’ll be fine. I’ll watch her. Call me when you get off, okay?”

“Of course.” I nodded. “I love you, Mom. I’ll be back later tonight.”

“I love you too, my Bellinor.” She kissed me on the cheek.

“Goodbye, Acerola. I’ll be back, okay?”

“Okeee!” she said happily, jumping around.

I walked off, turned around briefly and saw that Mom had already guided her back to the corner of the library.


 

Malie City Police Station

“Pretend to punch me,” Naomi commanded.

“W-what?” I asked, confused.

Blu and Dale seemed confused as to why she said that, looking at us curiously.

“Do it, I dare you.”

“F-Fine…” I formed a fist, reached back, springing my arm forward, but my punch didn’t connect as she was able to quickly move out of the way.

“You missed.” She formed a fist, hitting me in the balls softly. “You have to protect your balls. An attacker could strike there at any moment, since that’s a vulnerable spot.”

It hurt bad, despite the punch not being hard. I leaned over a little. “Oof. Watch it!”

“Try again.” She held both hands up, forming both into fists. I tried to punch her again, but she managed to grab my hands and easily knock me to the ground. She put her foot on my butt.

Winded, I was at the point of giving up. I couldn’t believe how strong she was. “Hey…”

“Try again,” she commanded.

“Fine, fine.” I stood back up, brushing some dirt off my shirt. I formed a fist again, trying to punch her, albeit softly. My punch didn’t connect again, and she just threw me to the ground again.

Again.

I sighed, rolling my eyes and getting back up. I tried to punch her again, but she retaliated, and managed to punch me softly in the balls again.

“Protect your balls like your life depends on it.”

“Oh God…” I collapsed onto the ground, my eyes watering. “Come on, that’s not fair!”

“Majority of attackers, aren’t fair, period.” She put her foot on my butt again, kicking it softly. “They’re going to do anything against you to try and win, especially thugs and similar-type people. Surely, you’ve been jumped or a bar fight, right? Being a bartender and all.”

“N-no… I’ve never been robbed, nor have I ever been in a bar fight. My patrons were better than that. Most people avoided me when they see my unnatural skin colour and red eyes.” I slowly got up, shaking my head. “Why are you having me do this anyway?”

“Because sometimes people will react quicker than when you grab them and will try and resist arrest. You have to fight back.”

“That makes sense, I suppose.”

“Yes. Try again. I don’t care if you hit me, because I’m used to it. I don’t care about the pain.”

“Fine.”

We must have practiced for about two hours before the both of us were completely wiped out. I had finally managed to connect a few punches that looked like it would have hurt, but she seemed to be completely unphased.

I collapsed into the ground on my knees, exhausted and sweating profusely. Naomi sat down next to me, patting me on the back and congratulating me.

“Want some lunch now?” she asked, her stomach growling. “I need to make a call anyway, just to check up on the CSU and see how far they’ve progressed.”

“Fair enough.” I stood up, grabbing her hands and lifting her up.

We walked back into the station, Blu and Dale tailing us. Beak and Meadow descended from some trees, landing on her shoulders while Roc and Night came from some bushes, walking beside her ankles.

Naomi walked to a cabinet, grabbing an electric countertop burner as well as a large pot and a box of spaghetti noodles. She filled the pot up with warmed up water from the sink. “Here, while the pasta is boiling, I’ll make the call.”

“I’ll watch the pasta.” I nodded, staring at the boiling water.

“Thank you,” she said while walking off.

I could kind of hear her voice while she was talking on the phone. “Wait, the killers came back after they found out the girl was still alive?”

I almost choked on my own saliva when she blurted that out. “W-what?” I asked rhetorically, shocked. “I can’t believe my ears…”

I knew damn well my mom was in danger, too.

Mom… I’m coming. I’ll keep you safe. Please be okay.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 11

Go now, save your mom…” Naomi’s voice rang in my head as I quickened my pace, even though I was dead tired and starving. I was running off my own fat reserves and I could feel lactic acid forming in my legs.

I had finally made it to library, running so fast that I nearly crashed into the automatic doors, barely clearing them.

Mom looked at me, shocked. “Bellinor, what’s wrong?” She blinked.

I walked up to, completely out of breath, wheezing. “Lead the kids into the shelter… Now.”

“Y-yes.” She nodded, complying. “All right children! We’re going to do a drill! We’re going to pretend there’s an intruder!” She leaned over, pushing the 20 or so children into a shelter in the back of the library.

Before I could explain why, I felt a presence next to me. Mom’s mouth was agape. Something sharp was stabbing into my throat, but not enough to cause me to start bleeding.

“Move an’ ya die,” a gruff voice told me.

“Y-yes…” I felt sweat starting to form on my forehead and the hairs on my back of my neck started to raise. What would Naomi do? I thought to myself. What was it she said in case I was held at knife or gunpoint? Think… think… ‘Your balls are the most vulnerable part of your body, protect them with all costs!’ Although I couldn’t see and turn my neck, I could guess he was about four or five inches taller than me, because I could feel the man’s breath on my forehead. Let’s see… I guess his crotch is about three and a quarter foot off the ground. The man must not have been watching my feet, as I lifted my leg up and kicked him clean in the crotch, knocking down on the ground, but the knife managed to connect to my neck, slicing my neck to the back of my ear.

“You son of a bitch!” the man hissed, clutching his testicles. He was huge, easily 6’5”, with long brown hair in a ponytail and long beard that braided and ended in dark blue beads; his eyes were large and dark grey, with an evil look to them. His ears were pierced in several places and his nose was pierced as well. He was wearing black jeans, black t-shirt with a black pleather jacket which was studded with beads. His muscles were huge, and I could tell he was the killer, because I could tell by his muscle mass, as he had nearly decapitated them.

I finally turned around and looked at him. “I could say the same to you, you piece of shit.” I grabbed my gun, unhooked it from the holster and cocking it. “You move and you die. Are you the murderer of that little girl’s parents?” I started to approach him closer, my arm completely straight and holding him at gunpoint. “I know how to use this and I’m not afraid to.”

He started to chuckle evilly. “Of course, I am.”

“But why?” I hissed, looking up and noticing Naomi, but I didn’t react.

While he was distracted, she grabbed a bright yellow and black taser, a weapon I had no idea that she had carried. She aimed for the back of his neck. The man didn’t seem to have noticed when the two electrodes connected to the back of his neck. She pushed a button and the electric current send shockwaves down his whole body as he convulsed. He collapsed onto the floor, not even moving.

Mom looked what had happened, she was just as shocked as I was. “What… was that?” she asked.

“That’s a taser, Mom. It’s a non-lethal weapon that sends out an electrical charge instead of blanks or bullets.”

Naomi grabbed her handcuffs, grabbing his arms forcibly behind his back and arresting him. “You’re under arrest for the murder of Georgina and Tyler Harper. You stay here. I’ll tase you again if you move.” Naomi walked up to Mom, looking at her with her big brown eyes. “I am Naomi, charmed.” She bowed slightly. “It’s nice to meet you, Libelle.”

“It’s nice to meet you too, Naomi.” Mom held out her hand and the two shook hands.

“I wish we could have met under different circumstances.” Naomi shook her head. “I’m sorry you had to watch that.”

“No… I’m intrigued. I have never seen a taser before.”

“Me neither.” I shook my head, standing next to Naomi and Mom.

“Most people haven’t, as it’s not a common weapon and used only by police. They aren’t allowed by private citizens.” She grabbed the taser, letting Mom look at it. “See, it’s not dangerous unless I pull this trigger here.” She pointed. “That trigger shoots out two electrodes connected to some wiring. I push this other trigger, and that sends out an electric current.” She pointed to another trigger. “It’s a handy weapon when people are resisting arrest.”

“I see.” Mom nodded. “What are you going to do with him?” she asked.

“Well, I have to hand him off to the Akala’s Police because our jail is filled to the brim. Anyways…” Naomi looked at my neck, noticing the shallow cut along my neck. “What happened?”

I reached up to my neck, cupping my hand on it and noticed a tiny bit of blood on my hand. “He held me at knife point, I kicked him in the balls and the knife slit across my throat.”

She sighed. “You’re lucky he didn’t cut deeper. Apparently, he nearly decapitated their corpses,” she whispered the last sentence.

“Yes, I noticed that when I was at the crime scene,” I whispered and nodded. “Mom,” I spoke up. “Shall we meet for dinner tonight?”

“Yes, let’s meet for dinner at my place. I’m sure you’d love to have some of my malasadas.” She winked, nudging me.

“Eh-heh…” I chuckled. “Of course, I do. Anyways, goodbye Mom, and I’m sorry that had to happen.”

“It’s all good. Goodbye, Bellinor. Nice to meet you, Naomi.” She smiled, her bright green eyes sparkled.

“Likewise, Libelle. Goodbye.”

We led the murderer out of the library, and everything seemed fine until we nearly got the port. He tried to escape, but she managed to knock him down, nearly throwing him into the ocean.

“Do you want to die a painful death?” Naomi hissed; her voice full of venom. Her immense strength allowed her to dangle him over a dock, with only his feet touching the wood.

“N-no…”

“No? I didn’t think so.” She pulled him back up, pushing him along.

“Nice job.” I smirked, unsure how what to say, as I had never seen her like that.

We led him to the Akala Police, which were sitting on a yacht, waiting for us.

“Hello, Ruben, Martha.” Naomi closed her eyes, bowing slightly.

A tall, tan-skinned man jumped off the boat. He was tall, easily 6’5”, with ocean-blue eyes and long, blonde hair that ended in a ponytail and a tiny, not-quite-a-moustache on his upper lip. He took his sunglasses off, looking at me curiously. “I’ll be… I’ve never met an albino yet. The name is Ruben Lawton, my friend and partner over here calls me Ruby.” His voice was loud and authoritative.

“Hello.” A short woman that was 5’2”, with beautiful olive skin waved at us. She had beautiful hazel eyes and black hair. Around her neck on a gold chain was a Firium-Z Crystal. She jumped off the yacht, easily able to jump onto the dock. “I’m Martha Mazel, but Ruby here calls me Hazel.” Her voice was quiet and not much louder than a whisper. “Why did you blurt out he was an albino?” she growled at him, nudging him.

“Hey! What was that for?” Ruben snapped. “I’m sorry for blurting that out, but someone was telling me about this new officer and rumours spread fast. So, the rumours are true. You are an albino!”

“Wha—” I blinked. “People already know of me?”

“Pfft,” he sputtered. “Naomi tells us freaking everything.”  

“I’m sorry Nanu, I spilled the beans.” She stuck her tongue out playfully, winking at me.

I blushed, unsure of what to say. “Well, I guess the verdict is out, huh?”

“That monster kicked me in the balls,” the murdered hissed.

“Shut up or I’ll personally kick you in the balls.” Naomi lifted her leg up in a 30-degree angle, looking like she was about to strike.

“I have an accomplice, you stupid bitch. I wish you luck finding him,” he cackled, hacking up a glob of yellowish spit, which he spat out right on my bare foot.

I snarled at him, glaring up at him. “Haul him off, now.” I looked straight into Ruben’s eyes.

Ruben was larger than this man, as he was easily able to drag him across the boardwalk and onto the yacht.

“I hope we get to meet again,” Martha said quietly, jumping back onto the yacht.

“Bye, it was nice to meet you! I’ll probably introduce myself next time, under better circumstances. We’re in a hurry – our boss is expecting us any minute.” Ruben waved goodbye as Martha unhooked the yacht from the dock. She too, started to wave as the yacht started to disappear into the horizon.

“What the heck was that?” I looked over at Naomi.  

“I’m sorry, he’s just like that. He was never good at introductions. Remember how I said I had a boyfriend before you? Well, it was Ruben.”

“W-what?” I blinked, shocked.

“Uhh… How should I explain? That’s basically how I know him. I know him from school, believe it or not. We’ve been friends since we were children, even our parents are friends too. We had two clashing personalities, and that’s why we decided to stay as just… ‘friends’, and nothing more. He’s a year older than I am but he had to be held back in fifth grade because he was struggling from dyslexia.”

“Oh.” I looked out over the ocean. The yacht was just a tiny dot by then and I could barely see Akala Island in the distance and only seemed like a mirage.

“Yes, I’m sorry. I hope it doesn’t hurt.”

“Of course not. I’m glad you’re friends.”

“I’ve actually been trying to get the two to come over to here and work for us, but my uncle and I couldn’t afford it. Now that you wrote me that check…”

“Did you cash that check yet?” I asked.

“In fact, I did. Just this morning. I transferred the money to Heahea City Police. Expect Ruben and Martha to join us, I hope…” She shaded her eyes and stared off into the ocean, staring out at Akala Island. “This is getting me fired up!” she shouted happily, stripping off her shorts and t-shirt, revealing a bright blue swimsuit. She jumped off the dock, which was easily 15 feet high, diving head-first.

“W-what!” I looked at her, shocked. She was a lot quicker than I thought, as she was easily 30 feet away before I could even react. She dove under the water and disappeared.

“Fine…” I stripped off my t-shirt, launching myself off the dock, cannonballing into the water. It didn’t even hurt when I landed in the water. I dove under, holding my breath, opening my eyes and looking at the beautiful water.

“Beautiful, huh?” Naomi’s voice gurgled. She was already beside me.

“Of course, it is.” I admired all the different coloured corals, sponges, starfish and seashells. The water was a clear bluish-green with no turbidity and no sign of a riptide either. Sunlight poured through the water, casting beautiful beams of whitish light onto the sea floor.

A few fish Pokémon swam by in huge schools, including Wishiwashi, Alomomola, even a Bruxish and Popplio swam by. On the seafloor was a Dhelmise, Pyukumuku and Shellder resting on the muddy bottom. Although it startled me, a Sharpedo approached us and motioned me to grab a hold of its dorsal fin.

Naomi and I swam up, catching our breaths and diving back down.

“I think it wants you to grab a hold of its fin.”

“Oh. Do you?” Although my voice was gurgling and distorted, it seemed to have understood what I had said.

“Sharr…”

“It’s a ride Pokémon, Nanu! That’s why it’s not attacking us.” I caught the gist of what she was saying.

Naomi and I grabbed a hold of its sandpapery fin, sitting on its back as jetted quickly through the water, faster than the speed limit of boats. It swam so fast that it porpoised out of the water quickly, breaching and flying about 20 feet out of the air.

I had never felt anything like it, it felt as though I was weightless. “This is amazing.” I inhaled as much as possible.

“I agree.” Naomi inhaled hard before the Sharpedo landed back in the water.

It guided us back towards the shoreline, surfacing and letting us swim back towards the dock. We both climbed up a ladder, laughing the whole time. We walked over and grabbed our clothes, walking over to a bench and sitting down, exhausted from what had just happened.

Before we could leave, we were approached by a tall, black-haired man with light blue eyes. He was wearing a black shirt with bright yellow buttons and red cufflinks and a white undershirt. “Did you enjoy that?” he asked, grasping a coin and flipping it, catching it before it fell to the ground. He had a slight Galar accent and his skin was whiter than most of the people that lived here, and I could tell he was not from around here.

“Is that your Sharpedo?” I asked, curious about this man.

“Yes, that is my Sharpedo. I’ve been enjoying my time in Alola and I had to obtain a Pokémon that I could travel between islands with. Ahh…” He inhaled and then exhaled sharply. “The name is Gallagher, but my friends have the habit of nicknaming me Grimsley, because they claim I’m a vampire. I love Dark-types, too. They are my speciality.” He started to roll the coin expertly between his fingers.

“Nice to meet you, Gallagher. I am Nanu.” I stood up, holding out my hand and shaking it. “I too, love Dark-types.”

“Ah. Yes, I can tell you do, being albino and all.”

“My name is Naomi.” She stood up, walking up to him and shaking his hand as well. “I love Ground-types, personally, but I seem to attract the attentions of all kinds of Pokémon.”

“A native Alolan like you, I’m not surprised. No, I’m not trying to be racist or anything.”

She chuckled nervously, rubbing the back of her head. “How are you able to figure that out? All because of my skin colour?” A blush crept on her face.

“It was just a guess.” He shrugged. “Although, I’m surprised you don’t specialise in Water-types, I saw you swimming. You’re quick. Have you ever tried to swim to Akala Island?”

“You bet I have! It’s fun!” She started to get fired up. “You don’t know how much I love swimming.”

“Heh, heh, heh… I can tell you like to swim even before you dove into the water. I saw you getting fired up. I like your personality.” He smiled and then looked at me. “Would you like to battle me?”

“But I only have one Pokémon,” I confessed.

“Oh? Mm-hmm. I see. Shall we do a 1v1, then?”

“Fine.” I grabbed Blu’s ball, tossing it and watching her materialise.

She materialised into a battle stance, with hackles raised, claws retracted, and pupils enlarged. “Meoww!” she mewed, wagging her tail apprehensively.

“A cat Pokémon? Let’s play the same game.” He grabbed a Poké ball, tossing it.

An unfamiliar Pokémon materialised. Its upperside being purple and its underside being yellow, with green eyes and a bright pink stripe through its eyes, wrapping around its nose. It had various-sized rosettes all over its back. Its tail was long and thin, ending in a tuft of hair that resembled a sickle.

“What is that Pokémon?” I asked, curious.

“According to this book I have…” Naomi conjured up a book seemingly out of nowhere, and I recognised the book as a prototype Pokédex. She held it open on a page with the said Pokémon. “It’s called a Liepard. It’s native to Unova and Kalos. It’s a pure Dark-type, not unlike Blu. The text below the image says ‘Stealthily, it sneaks up on its target, striking from behind before its victim has a chance to react’.”

“That’s correct. He is my ace. I call him Leopold.” He nodded. “Seems like we have a lot in common, Nanu. We both own felid Dark-types.” He started to roll the coin between his knuckles again, tossing it, snapping his fingers before catching it.  

“Heh. It looks like we do. What a coincidence, no?” I smirked. “Are you a worthy opponent?”

“Am I what now?” he chuckled, confused. “I could ask you the same thing. I believe I’ve heard of you. You’re training to become an Island Kahuna, huh? Will you give me a Darkinium Z if I defeat you?” He pointed to the one on the necklace around my neck.

“Uhh… you can’t have this one. My mother gave it to me after she found it tilling some soil… but, I do have an extra.” I reached into one of my pockets, revealing an extra Z-Crystal. You can have this if you defeat me. But if I win, what do you owe me?”

“Hah… I’ll let you take care of my Sharpedo and I’ll give you this.” He held up an orb-shaped, rainbow crystal that was no larger than a golf ball. “You’ve heard of Mega Evolution, right?”

“Yes, yes I have.” I nodded. “It’s something that is widespread in Kalos, right? But don’t I need a Key Stone and a Mega Ring?”

“No to the Mega Ring, in fact, I believe I read that someone discovered you can use a Z-Ring. I will give you a Sharpedonite, however.”

“Shall we begin? Naomi, do you want to judge?”

“Not really… I’ve never judged a battle before,” she replied.

“I’ll judge. I knew you would be down here.”

I turned around and saw Mom, with Acerola at her heels. “I’ve been watching this whole time. Sorry for not saying anything.” She guided Acerola over to Naomi.

Acerola sat down on the ground near Naomi. “Auntie…” She hugged her legs.

“Aww, I love you too, Acerola.” Naomi sat down next to her, petting her head and hugging her.

Gallagher and I walked off several feet, turning around and staring each other down, while Mom stood off towards the side in the middle.

“Battle start! Bellinor vs Gallagher, 1v1, go!” She waved both arms commandingly.

“Blu, use Power Gem!” I commanded.

“Leopold, Fake Out!”

Blu’s gem started to glow white, shooting off a light blue beam from her forehead; however, the Liepard managed to avoid the attack by slapping its paws together, sending a shockwave of air, causing the Power Gem to fly right back at Blu and nearly hitting me as well. I barely moved out of the way in time. I noticed the beam barely touched her, as she shakily got back up.

“Such power.” I smirked. “This is the type of battle I look forward to.”

“That was amazing!” Naomi’s mouth was agape.

“Incredible,” Mom commented.

“Show me what you’re capable of.” Gallagher smirked.

“Fine, fine.” I snapped my fingers. “Use Nasty Plot!”

Blu snarled, glaring while a bright red aura surrounded her, raising her Special Attack by two points.

“Ah, impressive indeed. Two can play that game. Leopold, Hone Claws!”

Leopold began to scratch the ground, sharpening its claws on the wood. A bright red aura surrounded him, raising its Attack and accuracy by one point. I knew then I had to be careful.

“Excellent… yes, this is the kind of battle I was looking for.” I nodded. “Blu, use Water Pulse!”

A blue ball of water formed in front of her mouth, slamming it onto the ground, sending crashing waves towards Leopold, whom had barely moved in time.

“Leopold, use Night Slash!”

Leopold ran towards Blu, disappearing for a few seconds, reappearing behind her, claws glowing bright purple, striking her and disappearing again. Blu collapsed for a few seconds, but quickly recovered, shaking off the attack, her gem starting to glow. She fired off black orbs, surrounded by rainbow rings, straight at the Liepard, catching him off guard.

“W-what?” I blinked, smirking.

“It says here that that’s Dark Pulse.” Naomi held up her book, pointing to Alolan Persian.

“That is correct. Congrats on your Pokémon learning a new move.” Gallagher began to clap, satisfied at what was going on. “Let’s finish it with an Iron Tail!”

“Blu, finish the Liepard off with a Power Gem!”

Leopold’s tail began to glow white as he ran up towards Blu, but she managed to dodge it and use a Power Gem, striking at close range. Leopold fell to the ground, completely exhausted and at wit’s end. He had almost fainted until his body began to glow a bright light purple and yellow, charging at Blu. However, she retaliated with an Iron Tail. The two Pokémon collapsed onto the ground at the same time, swirls in their eyes indicating they had fainted.

I blinked, confused as to what had just happened. “It’s a tie.”

“It’s a tie,” Gallagher repeated by with emphasis on ‘a’. “You know what that means, right? We both won fair and square. Catch!” He grabbed a beautiful yellow, blue and grey orb, which was slightly larger than a baseball, from his pocket. He tossed it at me, and I caught it.

I admired its beauty, staring at its translucent, cat’s-eye marble appearance. “What is this? Is this a Mega Stone?” I questioned. “It looks like a huge marble.”

“It’s called a Sharpedonite, and it’s used to Mega Evolve Sharpedo.” He walked over closer to me, handing me a Key Stone. “This is a Key Stone. Don’t lose it, as they are very hard to find in Kalos. Promise?”

“Yes, I promise. Now, here’s the Darkinium Z that I told you I would give you.” I reached into my pocket, grabbing it, placing it into his open hand. “These too, are hard to come by. Please don’t lose it.”

“I swear to God and cross my heart that I won’t lose it.” He nodded. “Now, do you know where I could find a Z-Ring?”

“Try battling Hala on Melemele Island first. If Tapu Koko is watching, he may present you with a Z-Ring, if he thinks you’re a worthy opponent. Be careful, Hala specialises in Fighting-types. After you defeat him, come back to me and I’ll teach you how to perform Black Hole Eclipse.”

“Hmm. All right then.” He nodded, handing me a Poké ball. “This is Sharpedo’s Poké ball. I trust you with it.”

“Of course. It was nice meeting you. Good luck on your journey.” I nodded, smirking. “That battle was fun, by the way, I was impressed by your skills. I hope we can battle again someday.”

“Me too,” he stated confidently.

Naomi, Mom and Acerola all walked up to Gallagher, Mom introducing herself before he left. We all waved goodbye to him as he walked off, catching a ferry to Melemele Island.


 

“Your house is so beautiful, Ms Nanu.” Naomi looked at all the various artworks from around the world, that Mom had collected over the years. “Ooh! I like this cool mask; I can tell it’s a Native Alolan mask, because it looks like one of the masks my father would wear when he’s telling stories.”

It was mainly brown in colour and resembled Tapu Koko, with large white lines surrounding its pupil-less eyes, with large, yellow teeth and lines of various colours were all over the mask. Long, yellow feathers were glued at the top of the mask, they were presumably Tapu Koko’s feathers.

“Yes, I obtained that one from a fair on Melemele Island, back about 20 years ago. I’ve had it ever since.”

“It’s beautiful.” Naomi carefully picked it up, put it on her face and turned around, pretending to scare me. “Boo!”

“Ohhh… I’m sooo scared.” I grinned, chuckling.

Mom just laughed in a child-like manner, and it was one of her traits that I loved about her, she seemed to really get down to their level.

Blu just snarled, seemingly rolling her eyes and twitching her tail. “Meow…” she growled throatily.

Acerola hid behind Mom, obviously scared of the mask. Mom noticed and started to comfort her.

“Sorry, Acerola, sorry Blu,” Naomi apologised, setting the mask back down on its own stand. She turned around and looked at Mom. “Thank you for letting me come over. Bellinor was telling me that you’re an amazing cook and that your malasadas are to die for.”

“Oh, he did now?” Mom smirked, nodding. “Well, I’m actually missing something, as I happened to drink the last of it, last night. Can you go and get some whiskey from the store? I also ran out of chocolate hazelnut spread, too. Make sure to get the one that doesn’t have Moomoo Milk it.”

“Okay. Well, we’ll be back later. Acerola?” I kneeled a little. “Do you want to stay here with Mom?”

She finally said something after being silent the whole time. “Okay,” she said quietly.

“Bye, Ms Nanu.” Naomi waved.

“Bye, Mom.” I waved, grabbing a small backpack.

“Whiskey?” Naomi whispered as we walked out the door.

“Uhh… what can I say? It’s the secret ingredient for her malasadas. She’s also severely lactose intolerant, even the tiniest drop will make her sick to her stomach. I’ve never seen her in so much pain before, she accidentally ate some milk chocolate and collapsed on the floor, clutching her stomach, moaning in pain. That’s when she said ‘no more, I’ve had enough of this horrible pain. Please don’t buy me chocolate for Easter’.”

“Wow… my mom is lactose intolerant too, but hers isn’t as bad as what you’re describing. I’ve never seen my mom writhe in pain. I, personally, love milk chocolate too much to give it up.”

“The only other time I had seen her in so much pain was when I was four, she had a miscarriage. Yeah, I could have had a sibling… even if she or he was a half-sibling. It was the man’s – whom mom cheating on – baby. I had never seen so much blood before until we stumbled upon that crime scene.”

“Oh… I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Thank you, Naomi.” I nodded, eyes watering a tiny bit. “What about you? Do you have any siblings? I forgot to ask.”

“No, but I grew up with my cousins. My house was practically their second home. I’m very close to my cousin Keoki, I considered him my brother, since I was an only child.”

“Tell me about him.”

“Well, he’s around my height, but he has longer arms and legs than I do, his skin is lighter than mine is, and he has lighter brown eyes than I do. He was the one that taught me how to play sports, and it was his idea to dress me up like a boy, because he saw how good I was at soccer and baseball. He’s a chill guy and tends to be more laid-back than I am, but once he gets motivated, he has a fiery personality like I do. He tends to be effeminate too, as I’ve seen him cry many times. I had never seen him cry so much after his father, my uncle, died. He’s really good at faking being a guy, just like I’m really good at faking being a lady.”

“Your cousin sounds interesting. Does he happen to play for the Oricorios? I feel like I’ve seen him on the tv at my bar, before some rowdy patron cracked the screen because the Starmies lost. It’s batshit insane sports fans that make me hate sports.”

“Oh, I know what you’re talking about. It ruins the enjoyment of sports, honestly, but I tend to ignore those types of people. My cousin and I are very competitive.” She put her hand on her chin. “In fact, I beat him in a game of 1v1 basketball and I defeated him, and as a prize, I got $50. Don’t worry, we would never illegally gamble.”

“I don’t know how many people I’ve had to chase out of my bar because they wanted to gamble over a thousand bucks, I didn’t want to get my arse in trouble.”

“What was your craziest patron you ever had?”

“Well…” I put my hand on the store’s door, pushing it open. A bell made a light brrriiing sound as the door opened. “I think maybe it was time some patrons tried to smoke marijuana, the smoke nearly made me high as a kite, and I had to open a few windows. Geoff was none too thrilled, as he only allowed tobacco. He didn’t want his patrons to get high, nor did he want me to get high off it. I admit, I will smoke a cigar occasionally, but I hate the smell of cigarette smoke – it makes the person smell like crap. I’m glad places are slowly banning people from smoking in inside places.”

She reached up, grabbing a plastic jar of chocolate hazelnut spread. “Oh yeah, I know what you mean. Cigars are nice occasionally, but I’m not addicted or anything. My favourites are the flavoured Wishi Sours, especially the banana-flavoured ones.”

“Odd, that happens to be mine, too.”

“How did you find out they taste so good?”

“Well, I wanted to try them by random.”

“Oh… I accidentally got into my dad’s locked cabinet, that he forgot to lock, and got into it and tried them. I was only 13 at the time, but boy was he pissed. I had never seen him so angry. I was forced to smoke the whole pack until I could take no more.”

I made sure the spread didn’t have any Moomoo Milk in it. I nodded, smiling. “Audacious, aren’t you? Oh, by the way, you grabbed the right one. Thank you for that.”

“Yes, I am curious about everything. Also, you’re welcome. I recognise the brand, because I’ve seen this at the bakery I go to. No problem.”

We both walked up to the counter, the store owner greeting us. “Ah, if it ain’t Officer Onaona, welcome beautiful!” He winked flirtatiously. He had dark-tanned skin with beautiful light green eyes and sun-lightened blonde hair. He was shorter than the two of us, but to make up in his vertical problem, he had long legs and a short torso. “Ah, who is your friend? He is beautiful too, albinos are beautiful people, too.”

I felt a blush creep up on my face. “Uhh… my name is Bellinor, but most people call me Nanu.”

“Don’t worry about Jeffrey,” Naomi whispered. “He is bisexual and flirts with everyone.”

“I heard that.” He had rested his arms on the counter, with his head on top of that. “I can hear many-a-things.” He giggled like a maniac. “Is this all?” He grabbed a barcode scanner.

I looked at the shelf above him, and surprisingly, there was whiskey on the top shelf. “I’ll take that Pontiac Spaniel’s up there.” I pointed.

He turned around, grabbing it. He set it down with a small thud. “Do you have your ID?”

“Of course, I do, I’m never without it.” I reached into my pocket, grabbing my wallet and taking my ID out.

Alolan driver’s licences were beautiful, mostly pinkish-red in colour, slowly graduating to a light-yellow colour, with a rainbow in between the two colours. It in the top left corner, was the word Alola in big, white block letters.

“Mm-hmm.” He scanned it with his barcode scanner, but he double-checked my licence. “You’re cool,” he said in a calm demeanour. “I like you, I know your mother, as she comes in here quite often. She has told me a lot about you. Tell her Jeffrey said ‘hi’, please?”

“Of course.” I nodded, taking my maroon-coloured backpack off and stuffing the two items inside it. I grabbed a $20 bill from my wallet.

“That’s more than enough,” he snickered. “Thank you. Your total is only $15.45, and your change back is $4.55.”

“Thank you, sir.” I nodded, grabbing the change and putting it back into my wallet.

“Nah, thank you for your service. If you didn’t come in here, I wouldn’t have a job.” He winked at me flirtatiously. “It was nice to meet you, Bellinor.” He draped his arm over the counter and we both shook hands. “Have a nice day.” He waved as we walked out.


 

“Oh, this is heavenly…” Naomi bit into the malasada. Mom shoved so much spread into it, that it gushed out and dripping onto the plate. “I love how it just erupts like a volcano!” she teased.

“Yummy!” Acerola said happily, her eyes sparkling every time she took a bite.

“Oh God, I think I died and went to heaven…” I bit down hard into one.

“Awww… haaha… thank you for the compliments,” she chuckled.

Before we could say anything else, I heard a strange noise. “What was that?” I asked.

“It’s probably one of the Pokémon outside.” Mom looked out the window, but to no avail, there was nothing out there.

The next thing I saw horrified me…

It was an intruder, and he had his eyes Acerola…

Oh, shit.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 12

Naomi and I immediately reacted, standing up at the same time and unhooking our guns from our holsters and cocking them. Blu stopped eating her malasada, and with a screeching yowl, she grabbed Acerola, whom was confused, unsure of what was going on. Blu curled up, hugging her body against the little girl’s, holding tightly onto the collar of her shirt.

Luckily, Mom was out of sight of the man, but she still saw him. She too, was a handgun owner not unlike me. She quietly grabbed her stainless steel Colt 1911, that she kept in the highest shelf in her kitchen, which she could barely reach, since she was only 5’3” tall.

I didn’t turn around to attract attention, but I could hear her grabbing her gun and cocking it. “It’s three against one, bastard.”

“Heh heh… it looks like two vs one to me.” He grabbed a huge hunting knife that he had been hiding on his side.

He looked no different than the other guy, and I had to make a double-take to make sure it wasn’t the same guy, but he was shorter and had tanner skin. I wondered if maybe they were twins. And I also wondered where he had come from.

“No… it’s three versus one.” Mom held her arm out straight, rounding the corner of the kitchen that the man couldn’t see around. She had a custom-made laser sight for her 1911, that slipped over trigger guard, while the beam itself being a bright green. She aimed the laser and the gun right at his forehead. Being strong-willed, she slowly approached him closer and closer, the dot on his forehead getting larger and larger.

He just chuckled nervously, keeping the knife in his hand still and not dropping it, but slowly backed up the closer and closer she walked towards him. “Uhh… w-hat are you doing, stupid cunt?”

Oh, shit, hehe… I thought to myself, putting my gun back in its holster.

“Oh-ho-ohohoho… What. Did. You. Call. Me?” she snarled, twisting her face and baring her incisors. When she got angry, she was a hothead and she was petrifying as all hell. She got a look of pure anger and disgust on her face. Despite looking like a teenager and being short in stature, she was on the heavier side, at around 150-ish lbs. Not unlike Naomi, most of her weight was pure muscle mass. She got so close to him, pointing the gun at his temple and suddenly pistol whipped him on his face, hard. She clocked him so hard that I heard his nose crack.

He barrelled over onto the ground, blood gushing from his nose. “What the fuck—blarghhh—” He coughed up blood copiously, leaking from his mouth, all he could do was cough and sputter. “OW—blarchhh—” He spat out what chunks of what I assumed were pieces of his teeth.

No one calls me a cunt and gets away with it. Naomi,” she called her over.

Naomi already had an extra pair of handcuffs on her person, twirling them in her fingers, and she immediately walked over and cuffed the guy, whom didn’t even fight back. “You’re under arrest.”

It took several minutes, but his nose finally stopped bleeding, but he still complained about the pain. “Oww… ow…”

The blood was a shiny red puddle on the floor, reflecting the face of the man, the edges already coagulating. I shuddered, remembering the crime scene I had seen just the previous day, feeling bile in the back of my throat.  

“Shut up, pussy,” Naomi hissed. “How do you think Georgina and Tyler felt as you slit their throats? Don’t you think they felt fear?” She pointed her gun at his left kneecap, and she looked tempted to shoot him, but I knew she knew better than that, she would have gotten her butt in serious trouble.  

“Are you the other killer?” I asked, looking at him dead in the eyes. If looks could kill, I would have been charged for murder right then and there. He said nothing, so I reiterated what I has just. “Are. You. The. Other. Killer?”

“Y-yes…” He looked down at the ground.

“Why?” I hissed.

“Because of money, that’s why.”

Blu snarled at him in disapproval, her half-inch fangs visible. It was almost as if I could understand her, “you are a piece of shit… this poor child…”

“How did you know the girl was here?” Naomi asked, eyes full of rage and face twisted in disgust.

“My brother and I were following you…”

“How long have you been following us?” I snapped a quip, before he could say anything else.

“And how did you get in my house anyway?” Mom glared, not breaking her green gaze, her left fist clenched so tight that her knuckles were white.

“Through a window in the back of your house.”

Mom’s gaze dropped, flushing bright red. That was the window that her Toucannon flew through, but it was normally too high for a person to climb through. He would have had to use a ladder to climb. “Where did you find a ladder? You have to have a ladder to climb through that window.”

“I stole it from a hardware store.” He had giant smirk on his face. “It’s so easy pretending to be an employee there, they’re so lackadaisical and don’t give a shit. All I had to do was ask if I could borrow it and pretend to need it for something on a high shelf. They didn’t even see me exiting with it.”

“You’re a fool for admitting to stealing.” Naomi stomped her left foot near the man’s crotch. She turned around and looked at Mom. “Do you have a phone I could borrow?”

“Yes.” Mom nodded. “It’s right over there.” She pointed to a small table next to the kitchen counter.

Naomi nodded, walked up to the phone and dialled a number, presumably for the Heahea Police. “Hello? Yes… yes… yes… We have the second murderer; he was bold enough to enter my friend’s mom’s house! …We can meet at the dock, 5 o’clock sharp. All right, thank you sir. Goodbye.” She hung the phone, sighed heavily and looked at us. She had the look of ‘do you want to go to the docks with me?’ plastered on her face.

“I heard a commotion!” a familiar voice stated with worry. It was Mom’s live-in boyfriend, Jonathan, the man that Mom had cheated on. I used to despise the man when I was little, but I’ve grown to like him, because of how protective and how much he loves her. He had a shocked look upon his face when he saw the amount of blood on the floor. I swore I could smell a fear-scent on him.

Jonathan was a tall man at 6’3”, with dark-tanned skin, black hair and hazel eyes, he also had a small moustache and beard. Perched upon the bridge of his nose, was a pair of black-rimmed glasses. He was wearing a white tank-top and khaki shorts. His arm muscles were bulging, and his fists were tight. By his side, was his trusty companions, his Dusk Lycanroc and Salandit.

His Dusk Lycanroc, named Swift, was mainly orange and white in colour, with black markings around his neck and black-tipped tuft of hair that hung down in front of his face. He was light, lithe and lanky, his long legs and claws could easily outpace the quickest of runners. He looked at the man at beautiful, green unblinking eyes. A snarl appeared on his face, with fangs barred. Dusk Lycanroc was one of the rarest of all Alolan Pokémon, and it was rarely encountered and only a handful of trainers had one.

His Salandit, nicknamed Smoke, was mostly light grey in colour, with a dark grey head and two flat spines that made her head look like a mask and tooth-like protrusions along the top of her jaw. One, long orange line ran down her back, splitting into four at her back, with rounded tips. She had light purple eyes with slit pupils. I could smell her scent, as it was almost sweet-smelling but toxic in large amounts.

“What are you doing in my house?” Jonathan snarled. “This is my house and you’re not allowed in here. What the hell happened?” He looked over at Mom.

Mom sighed through her teeth. “This piece of shit snuck into our house and broke in. I pistol whipped him. It looks like I broke his nose and some of his teeth, too. That blood you see on the floor his from his nose and whatever he coughed or vomited up. He is in handcuffs because apparently, he murdered two people.”

“I swear to God it wasn’t me, though. It was my brother.” The man looked at all of us in fear.

“But were you there? Whatever you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Come on, we’re leaving.” Naomi hoisted him up easily, despite the man being huge.

“Mom, Jonathan, we’ll be back later. I’m sorry you had to see that.” I looked into Jon’s eyes.

“It’s okay, Bellinor. We have to find a way to clean up all the blood.” Jon shook his head.


 

Two murderers in one day?” Ruben laughed hysterically. “I’ve never seen anything like this before!” He was laughing so hard that he nearly fell off the yacht.

“I know! I’ve never seen it before either!” Naomi smirked, laughing.

Even Martha was giggling a little but was quiet the whole time. “Hehe.”

“I got word I’ll be joining you guys soon. Our boss thinks it’s sometime next week or so.” Ruben smiled at us after finally stopping his laughing. “Well, we better go, our boss will get mad if we stay too long. Bye Nanu, bye Naomi. It’s good to see you guys again.”

“Bye!” Martha said barely over a whisper, but I could hear her.

“Goodbye!” Naomi and I said in unison as we both waved them off.


 

“Our Father, who art in Heaven, hollowed be thy name…” the Priest at the front of the caskets, stated with authority.

 Naomi, Acerola and I, as well as Jonathan and Mom, even my best friend Molayne and my new friend, Gallagher had made it too, all went to Tyler and Georgina’s funeral. We thought we were would be the only ones there, but we were wrong, because there were a lot more people than we thought.

Acerola was confused as to why she had to wear black instead of pink and she had no idea what was going on. She didn’t understand the concept of death yet.

Everyone even dressed up their Pokémon. I put a black bow on Blu’s tail, while Naomi put a black blanket on Dale, Gallagher put a black collar on Leopold, Mom put a black bib around her Toucannon, named Piper, even Molayne tied a black ribbon around his Skarmory, named  Petrel, Jonathan put a black vest on his Swift and Smoke.  

Everyone was wearing black and a few people had black umbrellas because it started to rain. A few people asked why it wasn’t open casket and some people asked why they had died, only to be horrified that their throats were slit and almost beheaded.

There were flowers all over around the caskets, even surrounding the tops of them too. Roses, carnations, gardenias, lilies, amaryllis, frangipanis, callas and forget-me-nots were all displayed in beautiful bouquets.

“Excuse me,” a masculine voice said, tapping Naomi’s shoulder. His voice was low to avoid interrupting the Priest. “I was wondering how you knew Tyler and Georgina. I don’t recognise you.” He was a short man, not much older than Naomi and me; with dark brown hair and light grey eyes. Not unlike the others at the funeral, he was wearing slacks, dress shirt and shoes. By his side, was a Popplio with a black vest on.  

Naomi’s eyes clouded. “I-I’m the officer that found them…”

I stared at the ground solemnly, not saying anything.

“Oh… Well, I was one of their friends. They were a beautiful couple, they loved greatly when they were alive. I-I-I can’t believe it was cut so short…”

I put my hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry for your loss. I didn’t get to meet them, but I wish I could have.”

“T-thank you… my name is Fin.” He tried to smile but failed to do so.

“…For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen…” the Priest finished.

I watched Fin introducing himself to my friends, as he was curious as to who they were.

After the funeral, Mom, Jon, Naomi and I walked back to Mom’s house without saying anything. I decided to carry Acerola, as she looked scared, confused and tired. She was crying a little, wondering what happened to her mom and dad. She eventually cried herself exhausted and had fallen asleep in my arms.

I didn’t realise Molayne and Gallagher were behind me, following us. “Hey!” Was all I could hear.

I turned around and saw my two friends. “Oh! Gallagher, Molayne. I didn’t know you were following us.”

“Hey… listen, we were wondering if you guys wanted a drink at the bar down the street,” Molayne asked, not breaking his light grey gaze.

“How about we go my bar?” I asked.

“Oh, you have a bar?” Gallagher asked, confused.

“Well, my boss said I could return any time I wanted to.” I nodded. “But since I technically don’t work there anymore… I don’t know.” I looked at my watch and noticed it was already 2:23. “Well, my old boss might be there…”

“Let’s go then,” Mom insisted.

“Eh… why not?” Jon shrugged, gave into the pressure.

“Fine, fine, I’ll go too.” Naomi nodded.

Luckily, the bar wasn’t too far, since the rain started to pour. None of us even had umbrellas, because we didn’t even know it was going to rain. We finally made it into the bar, completely soaked head to toe. Save for Acerola, as I had wrapped my dress suit around her.

“Geoff?” I called out, setting the half-asleep Acerola on a couch. She had been spared from the soaking rain, somehow.

Blu shook her fur out and curled up beside the sleeping girl, licking her softly. Dale, Leopold and Swift both shook the water out of their fur as well, settling beside Blu. Petrel and Seed looked uncomfortable and began to preen their feathers, settling on top of the couch. Smoke had nestled against Swift’s fur and she was spared from the rain.  

“Bellinor? Is that you?” his hearty voice called out from the back of the bar. He appeared from the back of the bar, with a cash drawer. He unlocked the till, placing the drawer in it, which made me assume he had just gotten here. “Well, if it ain’t be!” he cooed, blinking.

Geoff was a short, middle-aged man that was 5’2”, dark brown hair and receding hairline, yellowish-green eyes, and light skin that easily sunburnt. To make up in his short stature, he had long arms that could easily reach the top of my head and over the bar stand. He had a giant smile upon his face, despite a huge cigar wedged between his teeth.

“Everyone, this is Geoff, my old boss,” I greeted.

Geoff introduced himself to everyone and began to wonder why all of us were dressed in black and he was curious about the child I had brought in. I had to describe that we had just come back from a funeral.

“Well… I never got to meet them, so shall we have a toast to them?” he asked, all the while trying to grab my attention.

“What is it?” I whispered into his right ear.

“Can you work for a few hours tomorrow night?” he questioned with curiosity.

“Uh… yeah, why?” I asked. “Naomi has been having me get up in the morning, sadly, but I would be happy to volunteer if you ever need me and we don’t have any cases.”

 “Okay.” He nodded in compliance and grabbed enough beer steins for everyone. He pushed down on a random tap, which happened to be the beer from the local brewery down the street. He filled them to the brim, until they were bubbly.

“Cheers!” we all toasted, the glasses hitting each other with a clink!


 

Present

“Well, that’s the story of how I met Naomi…” I finished it off. “As well as Acerola, too.”

“Wow, I had no idea how you had met Ruby and Hazel either,” Le commented.

“Oh, sorry, we forgot to tell you. It was so long ago…” Martha looked at Le apologetically. “It was 13 years ago, in fact.”

“It just seems like yesterday, however.” Ruben had a smile on his face.

“But, where was your father in all of this?” Le asked.

“Well, my father was in Galar at the time it happened, and Galar happens to be 11 hours ahead and he likes to sleep a lot. Every time I try and call him, he’s either so drowsy that he doesn’t know what’s going on or he never answers. He went over there to buy some cars and fix them up.”

“Oh, huh.” Le shrugged, looking out the window again. “Well, there’s another blizzard…”

“We have to find a way to solve what happened to Toracat’s owner.” I looked over at him, he was sleeping by the fireplace again, possibly bored of us. “I wonder if his name might be Firium.”

His ears twitched when he heard the word, looking over at me.

“Firium?” I repeated, standing up and walking over towards him.

His ear twitched again, yawning and sneezing. “Meow,” he mewed throatily.

“Argenta, think you can help me figure what’s up with him?” I asked.

Of course, I can. Argenta walked closer to us, sitting down on her haunches.

“I need to find out what happened to his owner.” I knelt beside him, reaching out my hand.

Argenta started barking and squawking while Firium was meowing, and I could tell the two were deep in conversation.

I heard a hissing noise coming from the tooth-like projections from her head, like a hard sigh. He said his owner and him were trying to go to Lanakila Pokémon Centre, when suddenly, a blizzard started. The two got lost and the blizzard picked up even harder, when he got separated from his owner. The blizzard let up, he followed the scent of his owner, only to find his frozen body curled up in a fetal position. He had frozen to death that night, and there was nothing he could do. He was starving and there was nothing to eat, so he had to eat some of his owner’s corpse. She paused and looked at my expression.

I shuddered, feeling even more horrible at what happened. “Wow…”

He eventually had to move on because he knew he couldn’t stay. He got sick from being in the snow and ice for so long, that he became sick with a cold, hence why his nose is running. He tried to drink the snow, but it made it even worse and he became dangerously cold. He wandered for about three days before finally finding his owner’s cabin. That’s when he happened upon Le, Ruben and Martha. He was confused as to why they were there, but he is grateful that your colleagues managed to save him. Firium is telling me he is feeling so much better now. By the way, he feels regret trying to eat the frozen flesh of his owner. He says he will never do that again, no matter what the situation was.

Firium had an apologetic look on his face as he sneezed again. “Meow, meow…”

He says he wants to go with you. He likes you.

Blu stepped over quietly, mewing and wrapping her tail around his back, nuzzling him. “Meow.” She looked at me a blank look on his face.

“Fine, fine. I give up. Firium, would you like to come with me? Where is your Poké ball?”

“Meow…” he mewed hoarsely, shaking his head.

I understood the gist of what was going on, as I didn’t need Argenta to help translate. “Oh. You don’t have a ball, do you? You’re a wild Pokémon?”

“Meow!” He nodded, pawing at my belt playfully, knocking an empty Poké ball from it. He tapped it twice, a blue beam surrounding his body as he disappeared into the ball. The ball shook once and immediately clicked.

I grabbed the Poké ball, grinning like a fool. “Well, looks like I caught a Torracat!”

Everyone started clapping and congratulating me on my new capture.

I let out Rusty and Gemma out so they could meet their new team mate. They all seemed happy and started conversing and playing amongst each other. Firium seemed to completely ignore that he was sick and started pawing at Blu’s tail playfully.

Everything was fine until a large pile of snow started to form around the cabin…

Shit. We are really in a pickle now. How do you get out of this?   

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 13

“Do you think there’s enough food for all of us?” Ruben asked, with a quizzical look on his face.

“I sure hope so…” Martha said quietly.

“I saw a 20-pound sack of rice when I went out there,” I commented. “I should bring that in before more snow piles up around the cabin.” I quickly got up, grabbing my boots and coat. I quickly tied the laces and slipped the coat on, rushing outside.

Snow blew all around me, buffeting me with large flakes. Luckily, the igloo wasn’t too far from the house itself, maybe about five feet and I quickly walked inside, protected from the blizzard. My breath wreathed from my nose and throat as I picked up the bag of rice. I began to wonder if I should pick up anything else.

“Hmm…”

“Hurry!” I heard a voice shouting, but I wasn’t sure who it was, since the snow blowing covered up any sound.

“Fine, fine…” I muttered, grabbing some of the cans of vegetables as well. Luckily, the pockets of my coat were large enough to stuff the cans into them. I ran as fast as possible, trying not to trip. The thin air made it worse and I was struggling to breathe, and my stomach was hurting as well.

Naomi was standing by the door, open wide enough that I could see her. “Hurry!” she called out.

I tried to pick up my pace, but to no avail, as I had nearly tripped. Luckily, I had barely made it before more snow covered up the cabin. I collapsed onto the couch after setting the sack down.

“Ugh…” My voice was muffled in the pillows. “That was hard work, carrying that sack in the thin air…”

Naomi rubbed my back, patting it. “I’m sorry, you didn’t have to do that.”

I sat up, taking the coat off and grabbing the cans out of my pockets. “I might be a douchebag to most people, but no, it honestly felt like a moral obligation, since I don’t want us to starve. The thought of someone starving makes me sick. This bag of rice should last us for a while, actually.” My stomach was still hurting, and I wasn’t sure why. “Ugh…” I rubbed my stomach.

“Are you okay?” Le asked with a concerned look. “Oh! You probably have altitude sickness…”

“That’s something that would never come to my right mind.” I put my hand on my chin, pondering. “It honestly feels like I have a hangover…”

“Well, obviously, you aren’t going to feel it often, since most of Alola is at sea level.” Naomi looked at me with concern again. “Here, I usually keep this on my person.” She reached into her pocket and handed me a small bottle of ibuprofen.

“Oh, thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” Naomi smiled.

“Here, have this cup of water.” Martha handed a full cup of water.

“Thank you, Martha.” I grabbed the cup carefully.

“No problem,” she replied quietly.

I smiled slightly, taking two of the ibuprofens, and drinking the nice, cool water. It felt good going down my throat and it felt like my headache was disappearing already. I didn’t even realise I had drunk the whole cup. “Wow, that was good…”

“Would you like to lie down?” Ruben asked. “You can borrow the bed I’ve been sleeping in.”

“Oh, that might make me feel better, actually.” I nodded, slowly stood up and made my way to one of the bedrooms down the hall. I walked in and shut the door.

The bedroom’s walls and carpet were a sage green, with brown wood trimmings along the base; the walls, were sadly, empty and with no paintings or even pictures. In the corner, was a portable electric heater with oil that heats up inside coils. The bed had a queen mattress, with sheets on it were a light grey and pillowcase was a navy blue, not matching the sheets — which I found to be odd — the baseboards were a dark mahogany, one of the rarer woods found in Alola. On top of the sheets, was a thick, woollen and knitted, dark grey blanket. Sitting beside the bed, was a mahogany nightstand and sitting stately on it, was a lamp that had a dark blue base and light blue shade, the bulb being an LED, producing a whitish light. The room smelled vaguely like the oil from coils and recently polished wood as well as Ruben and Martha’s scent. It was an eerily blank room, with no pictures or paintings, or maybe it’s because I never thought to look under the bed.

I kneeled beside the bed, peering under it. Lo and behold, was several items under the bed, but most of them were boxes. I went ahead and drug one of the boxes out, peering inside it. “Huh?” There, sat a white-coloured radio, with a black screen and various coloured buttons. “It’s… a weather radio!” I gasped, shocked. “I’ll be a son of a bitch!” I fenagled with it, turning on one of the switches. I kept the volume low, because they probably thought I was asleep.

“Blizzards will continue to cover Mount Lanakila for a week, blizzards will continue to cover Mount Lanakila…” the masculine voice repeated the sentence.

I sighed harshly and set the radio down, turning it off and setting it down on the nightstand. “Well…” I muttered under my breath and collapsed onto the bed. “I guess we’ll be stuck here for a while…” I closed my eyes and felt drowsy.

“Meow.” I felt a small thud. I opened my eyes to see Blu had somehow snuck into the room. She had a lackadaisical look on her face, and I could see her aging face. She was once my mom’s Pokémon and she had Blu before I was even born, which made her more than 35 years old. Where she hid, was beyond me. She walked up to me, curled up next to me while purring and fell asleep.

I petted her head and smiled, listening to her purring. “I love you, Blu. Thank you for being there with me through thick and thin…” I yawned, curling up on my side and falling asleep.

I woke up from a dreamless sleep, waking up from the smell of chicken, vegetables and rice floating in the air. I inhaled for a few seconds and I could feel drool forming inside my mouth, coating my tongue. “Mmm, that smells good.” I slowly sat up, disturbing Blu’s sleep.

“Meow.” She yawned, stretching wide. I could see drool dripping her mouth as well.

“Are you hungry?” I asked softly, petting underneath her chin.

“Meooow…” she purred softly. I didn’t need a certain Argenta to help me translate, as it sounded like a ‘yes’ to me.

“All right let’s get some dinner. Hold on, let me grab this radio.” I slowly got off the bed and reached over towards the nightstand, grabbing the radio and tucking it under my armpit. I opened the door, Blu immediately charging out and running around and playfully wagging her tail. The scent of food was loud, and I felt my stomach rumbling.

I made my way to the kitchen, to find Naomi brushing Dale. Luckily, there was plenty of space in the living room and Dale looked comfortable, closing his eyes. Martha and Ruben were cooking in the kitchen and chatting with themselves, while Le had made a kettle of coffee and was pouring into four different mugs, almost as if she were expecting me.

“Alola,” I greeted in a playful tone.

“Alola!” Naomi smiled, setting the brush down.

“Hey!” Le said happily.

“Hello,” Martha spoke in a quiet tone.

“Alola, Nanu!” Ruben grinned.

Dale walked over to me carefully, coming over and licking me, messing up my hair. “Eeee…” he neighed. His breath smelled vaguely like grass and rice.

“Aww, were you able to get some rice too?” I petted him on the head.

“Yeah, he acted hungry,” Naomi replied before he could neigh. “Poké balls can only protect so much.”

“Indubitably.” I nodded, looking off towards my right, noticing my Pokémon. “Did you give them some food too?”

“Oh no, they didn’t act like they were hungry, I think they were waiting for you. They seem to have manners, unlike some Pokémon.” Naomi glared at Dale, but her face was soft, and I knew she was just teasing him. She noticed that my hair was messed up and she flushed a bright red, possibly because it was how I looked when we first met. “Bellinor…” I heard her whisper under her breath.

I chuckled slightly, reminiscing about when we first met, walking towards the kitchen. “That coffee looks good. How did you know I was on my way?”

“I’m a Psychic-type,” Le teased, her blue gaze not breaking mine. She put her index finger and middle finger near her temple, not unlike the Psychic Z-Move. A huge smirk appeared on her face.

“Ohhh, I’m sooo scared,” I teased back. I then noticed her Comfey, Flower, perched upon her shoulder. She didn’t let her out often, as she often got lost amongst flowers and often blew away in the wind, Le didn’t feel safe letting her out of her Poké ball often, but inside the cabin, she was safe. “Aww, it’s Flower.” I held out my hand.

“Com…” Flower floated over towards me, wrapping herself around my arm, her tiny paws tickling me.

“Hey, that tickles, little one…” I chuckled a little. “I’ll let you stay, Flower.” I turned to Ruben and Martha, whom were still chatting, but I wasn’t paying attention to what they were saying, but they stopped when they saw me look at them. “Whatever happened to your Ninetales and Sandslash?”

“Oh, we left them in the care of my mom, since she raises Pokémon for a living anyway,” Martha replied.

“Ah. I see. I was just curious as I hadn’t seen them in ages.”

“Sorry! ‘Ike is doing fine, actually. Her mom’s favourite Pokémon happens to be Alolan Ninetales…” Ruben rubbed the back of his head.

“Kalo is doing fine too. I don’t know if you remember, but ‘Ike is Kalo’s mate.” Martha smiled slightly. “He loves her very much. I kind of regret not having him on my person, because he’d love this place…”

“Yeah, ‘Ike would love this place too. She hates being at sea level.”

“Yes! I do remember the two being mates. Have they had any offspring yet?” I questioned curiously.  

“Not yet… it’s something my mom is hoping for, so that’s why we left our Pokémon in her care. She knows that type of stuff. But it could be, we need to take them to Hokulani or here, since they’re both Ice-types.”

I want to meet them too, Argenta thought happily, looking at the three of us, drool forming on her beak.

I had nearly forgotten I had the weather radio tucked under my armpit and no one seemed to have noticed, not even the fully observant Naomi, but I just assumed she was distracted. “Right, I found this.” I set it down on the table, turning it on.

“Most of Alola will be sunny today, with a high of 28 degrees Celsius! Winds gusting up to 24 km/h! Mount Lanakila and Hokulani, be warned! Blizzards and snowfall of up to 1.25m possible tonight! A low of -23 degrees Celsius is possible! Please be very careful if you live here or plan to go skiing. It is very dangerous and treacherous, with a side of unforgiving!” a loud, feminine voice said with gusto.

I got tired of listening to her grating voice, so I turned off the radio. Wow, that is so cold…

“A weather radio! Cool! And it works too, the batteries haven’t corroded or leaked…” Martha smiled. She loved technology and was an IT girl, loving every bit of it, despite her meek appearance and tiny, soft voice. People typically don’t know that about her and their jaws drop, as IT work is usually considered a man’s job.

“Hey, I’m surprised it works,” Ruben sighed happily.

“Wow! Where did you find it?” Naomi pondered.

“I found it under the bed in that room where Ruben and Martha were sleeping.” I shrugged. “All I did was look inside one of the cardboard boxes under the bed. I’m surprised you two didn’t look inside them.”

“Oh, I didn’t want to pry…” Martha said hesitantly.

“When we were looking for the Z-Ring, we didn’t think to look in the boxes…” Ruben hesitated and his face flushed red.

“Ah, maybe it’s worth a look, huh?” I nodded.

“Yeah, I’ll take a look, but dinner is ready now,” Ruben announced. “We made plenty for all the Pokémon too.”

“Ah, great.” I noticed several Tupperware containers filled to the brims of rice, vegetables and chicken. “Thank you for that! I appreciate it…”

“Of course. It was my idea anyway,” Martha said modestly, nodding.

“Well, I appreciate it.” I put my hand on her shoulder.

A blush crept up on her face and she was laughing nervously. “T-thanks…”

“There’s no need to be so shy,” Le teased as Flower floated back to her shoulder.

Martha’s face flushed white, even more nervous. I felt bad for her, as she usually took fluoxetine for anxiety and she must have been having withdrawals. “Okay…” She was trembling uncontrollably.

“Hey, it’s okay. I know what it’s like to go through withdrawals. I was once addicted to hydrocodone.” I sighed and touched my chest where the bullet bruised me. “I will give credit where credit is due. Thank you for cooking dinner.”

“Okay! You’re welcome!” Martha’s expression changed and she stopped trembling.

I looked over at all the Pokémon. Argenta, Firium, Rusty, Gemma, Flare, Blu all sat down next to us, expecting food.

Martha and Ruben happily took them the food, setting it down next to them. They ate happily, even Gemma, as normally her species would gemstones, but we didn’t have any on hand, so she ate whatever. Blu normally didn’t like rice, but she ate whatever was placed in front of her, and she was smart enough to know our desperation.

The rice was delicious, as it had the perfect amount of salt and vegetables and chicken mixed in, as well as it tasting like the chicken broth it was cooked in. Mmm… this is good! I noticed my headache was gone while we sat and ate, normally, migraines would make me lose my appetite. “My headache is gone,” I commented, taking a sip of the hot coffee.

“Hey, that’s great!” Naomi smiled, licking her hand and fixing my hair.

“Thanks, Mom,” I teased, chuckling.

“It was bothering me,” she pouted.

“Well, I’d love to take a shower anyway.” I shrugged.

“There isn’t any hot water, from what we could tell.” Le shook her head. “I got a nasty surprise trying to take a shower… it was so cold.”

“The pipes are probably cold and nearly frozen…” I sighed. “Fine, fine. I’ll have to take a quick shower, long enough to at least wash my hair.” I still felt like I was about to boil and was burning up. I lifted my sweatpants and looked over at my knee, as it was still somewhat swollen.

“Your forehead is hot. Maybe you need a cold shower anyway.” Naomi touched my forehead gently. “Low grade fever, I say your temperature is around 99 degrees. It’s nothing too serious, it could be that you’re catching something, a summertime cold, maybe.”

“So, it has nothing to do with my knee swelling?”

“No, I think that happens to be a coincidence.” She shrugged.

“I suspect you’re right,” I muttered.  

“I wish you luck taking a shower,” Le mumbled.

“Uh-huh…” I muttered under my breath, finishing off the rice and coffee.

I helped clean up all the dishes, as all the Pokémon had eaten their fill and had all fallen asleep near the couch, all sleeping with satisfying looks upon their faces.

I made my way towards the bathroom, dreading having to wash in cold water. Then an idea popped into my head. I wonder where the hot water heater is. Huh, what’s that? I looked around and found a door that stood out and looked different than the others. I opened it and lo and behold, the hot water heater was sitting right there, only about a foot away from the door. I opened the panel and saw that the pilot light was out. “LE!” I hollered.

“WHAT! Are you naked?” she snapped and immediately ran to the hallway, Flower tailing her, but turned her back towards me out of respect, because she thought I was naked.

“No! I’m not,” I sneered, scowling. “I found the pilot light burnt out, that’s why the water is so cold.”

“Oh…” She turned around, her blue gaze steely and eyes piercing me. “Well then…” She relaxed a little, but I could tell she was stressed out, but I wasn’t sure why.

“Are you all right?” I asked, grabbing an emergency lighter I kept in my breast pocket. I pushed down on the trigger, the tiny flame roaring to life. I sighed in relief because it still worked. I carefully lit the pilot light, the small flame steadily burning. I waited a few seconds to make sure it didn’t burn out.

“Well… remember, I have Graves’ disease? Well, I don’t have my medicine for it, obviously…” Her hands were trembling a little. “And doesn’t Naomi take birth control to help with her horrible endometriosis?”

“Oh.” My face dropped. “First Martha and now you, and Naomi… What are we supposed to do?”

“I-I don’t know…”

“Maybe it’s not a bad idea to carry your medicine on you, in one of the pockets of your uniform. You never know when you’ll get stranded or lost.”

“Yeah… you’re right.” She sighed, her eyes watering a little. “I think I’ll go lie down now. Let me know if lighting the pilot light helps, as I really want a hot shower…” She looked cathartic, like she was about to cry from frustration and stress.

I put my hand on her shoulder and nodded. “Will do. You have a nice rest.”

“Thank you, Nanu…” She yawned.

“Any time.” I watched her walk off as I really did make my way to the bathroom.

Not unlike the bedroom, it was a bright and very light shade of pink and was nearly white. The tiles were light brown in colour, with tan grout between the tiles. Hanging on the wall was I determined to be a piece of dried red coral and was the first decoration I had truly seen in the cabin. A large mirror sat above the sink. The countertops were granite, charcoal in colour with white flecks of feldspar in it. Sitting on the countertop was a large conch shell and a white toothbrush holder. The shower curtain and the bathtub were a light pink, not unlike the walls.

I turned the water on and noticed it was warm, just the right temperature for a bath. Luckily, it looked like there were plenty of bottles of soap, shampoo and conditioner sitting on a shelf beside the bathroom. I stripped down, sat down in the bathtub and started to relax, closing my eyes.

I must have lost track of time, because I heard knocking on the door and Naomi’s voice. “Nanu, are you done in there? I have to go pretty badly.”

“Sorry! I left the door unlocked…”

“Are you sure?” she stammered, jiggling the knob and opening the door.

“Yes, I’m positive,” I replied. “I honestly don’t care, since it’s you.”  

“Well, okay.” She sighed, walking towards the toilet.

I completely ignored her and let her do her thing, but I did watch her leave. I shivered a little, as the water was getting cold. “Maybe it’s a good thing Naomi knocked on the door…” I stood up, grabbing a bright red towel and drying off, but stood next to the mirror and looked at the scar on my chest. If I didn’t have a bullet-proof vest on that day… I would have died in vain. Sadness and tiredness washed over me, making me feel lethargic. I managed to partially dry my hair off enough that I didn’t feel quite so cold. I put my clothes back on, realising they were dirty, but I didn’t care, as I wasn’t sure if there was a washing machine or not. I heard another knock on the door.

“Hey, are you done? I have to pee pretty bad…” Le said.

“Yes.” I opened the door. “I’m not naked.”

“Did you have fun pleasuring yourself?” she teased.

“S-shut up!” I blushed, leaving the room.

“That looks makes me think you did.” She giggled and quickly shutting and locking the door before I could react.

I sighed, shrugging. Well, she is being playful. I’m glad she’s feeling better.

I made my way back to the living room, I saw that the others, except Martha, were playing go fish, a children’s card game. “Hey, you guys are playing go fish, are you really that bored?”  

“Yessss…” Naomi groused then sighed through her teeth.

Le was behind me and walked back up towards the table, sitting down. “Yep.” Le simply nodded.

“Sadly.” Ruben shook his head in contempt. “Do you have an eight?”

“No, go fish,” Naomi replied.

“Why would an old fart like me play that?” I sighed, placing my head in my hands. “How much cash do ya’ll have on you?”

“Wait… why?” Le cocked her head, looking at me quizzically.

“Uhh… I was wonder if you guys wanted to play poker,” I answered, shrugging.

“Well, it would be better than playing this silly kid’s game anyway,” Ruben agreed, slapping the cards he had in his hand onto the table. He grabbed his wallet, unfolding it and grabbing a $20 bill. “I only have twenty…”

“Fine.” Naomi set her cards down while grabbing her wallet, unzipping it and grabbing a $50 and a $10 bill. “I have sixty here.”

“I concede defeat.” Le neatly stacked her cards, setting them down on the table. She grabbed her wallet, unhooking it and grabbing several $1 bills. She counted them quickly and it added up to $23. “Well, I have twenty-three here…”

I went ahead and grabbed my wallet, unfolding it and grabbing two $10 bills, one $5 and seven $1 bills. “Aw… looks like all I’m carrying is thirty-two.”

Le was a math wizard and calculated the total in her head within about 5 seconds. “That’s $135, not really a high-stakes poker, but it’ll work. What can we use for chips?”

“Hmm…” I rubbed my chin. “Good question.”

“I saw a snack mix in one of the cabinets,” Martha spoke up after being quiet for so long. She was sitting on the couch, brushing and petting Firium. “As long as ya’ll don’t eat the pieces, of course.”

I noticed that I was still hungry and shook my head. “I think I would just eat them.” I shrugged.

“Well, suit yourself.” She smiled satisfyingly when she made that pun.

“You’re my ace of spades.” I smirked, chuckling a little.

“You’re a diamond in the rough,” she shot back at me, a small smirk upon her face.

“That’s… punny.” Naomi giggled.

“Hah!” Ruben laughed hesitantly.

Martha got up, easily picking up Firium and setting him down on the floor. “Sorry buddy. I need to show Nanu something. Okay?”

He looked at her curiously, twitching his tail and mewing. “Meow.”

She turned her attention to me, her hazel gaze staring straight at me. Normally, she wouldn’t stare at me like that, as it kind of shocked me to see her like this, but brushing and petting Firium probably calmed her down. She walked towards the kitchen, opening the cabinet and grabbed the bag of snack mix. “This is what I was talking about.” She walked back over towards me, holding out the bag for me to grab.

I softly grabbed it, looking at the bag and noticing the expiration date. “Well shit, it expired five months ago.”

“Oh.” Martha deadpanned, sighing. “I’m sorry about that.”

“It’s okay, you didn’t know. Thank you for finding it, though.” I held out my hand and let her high-five me. “You’re feeling better.”

“It’s a false bravado… but I do feel better. You helped me to make me feel better. I’m sorry… I just wish I wasn’t so quiet and anxious all the time. I do sometimes wish I was more assertive, like you.”

“Yes. I think I got my hot-headedness from my mom. I’m not afraid to admit it.”

“I noticed that. Libelle is an amazing person. She seems so young, too.”

“My mom had me when she was only 16. She married Cuthwulf in order to hide the fact that she was pregnant with me. Yes, it was a shotgun marriage. She told me she never did love my dad. I hated that part of her, but I’ve learned to forgive her, as it wasn’t her fault. She truly loves Jonathan and I can see that.”

“No wonder she seems so young!” Le blurted.

“I never knew that.” Ruben chuckled.  “No wonder she has the mindset of a child sometimes. Did you know that, Naomi?”

“Yes, I already knew that. He told me before I even met her.” Naomi smirked.

“Oh, I wonder why I didn’t know.” Ruben shrugged.

“I thought I did… odd.” I rubbed the back of my head.

“I think it was too long ago and the thought hasn’t crossed my mind until now.” Ruben put his hand on his chin. “Oh well… how is she doing? How is your dad doing?”

“I try and call my mom once every few days, but I haven’t been able to lately and I’m going to assume she’s worried about me. Last time I called her, she was fine, and she obtained an egg, which she thinks might be a Drampa. My father, I try and call him once a week, since every time I try and call him, I wake him up and he sounds groggy and his speech is slurred from me waking him up. But, he’s good too and recently managed to snag a 1970 Dodge Challenger and has since remodelled it. I haven’t gone by to go and see it in his garage yet, but those cars are cool.”

“Wow, that’s incredible! I love classic cars. I am jealous of your dad.” Ruben chuckled, nodding.

“I remember your bright blue 1970 Ford Mustang, you had it for 15 years before it went caput. I was so sad to see it like that.” Naomi sighed, closing her eyes.

“I know, me too. It was my first car and my dad bought it brand new too. It would probably be worth about $54,000 these days…” I chuckled nervously. “I sometimes still wish I had it, but my dad held onto it for sentimental reasons, as it was his first car that he bought brand new with his hard-earned money. He tried to fix it, but it by then, it was too late.”

“Fifty… four?” Naomi’s eyes widened.

“…Thousand?” Le finished.

Martha and Ruben said nothing, and both had blank looks on their faces

“Yes, it’s worth six figures.” I nodded. “It’s not a common classic car, obviously, and as far as I know, it’s the only one in Alola.”

“Isn’t that car from Unova?” Ruben asked.

“Yes, my dad basically flies to wherever, buys the car, picks it up and drives it onto a ferry and rides the ferry back to Alola. That ferry ride takes about a week. I honestly not sure how he does it. I would get so tired of being on the water.”

I swore I saw Naomi’s face turn green, as she didn’t like riding on boats, despite being one with the water, but swimming was different than riding.

“Are you okay?” I asked her.

“Oh… yeah. The thought of riding a boat for a week makes me sick as a dog!”

“Yeah, me too… I’m not afraid to admit that.” I walked over towards Naomi, sitting down next to her and setting the snack mix on the table.

“Nanu… how about a story about how you met Flare?” Le asked. “I don’t know that story either.”

“Fine… it was shortly after I became an officer and before Ruben and Martha joined us.”


 

Flashback, July 6, 1990

“Some treasure hunters on Treasure Island have been tipping us off about poachers on the island.”

“Treasure Island, huh? Haven’t been there since I was a child. I can only guess why they’d be there, seeing as how no one lives on there.”

“Yes… there’s a laundry list of crimes.” Naomi handed me a piece of paper and sighed. “Yeah… that there is a list of everything illegal going on there.”

“Let’s see… illegal fishing, illegal shrimping, overharvesting of oysters and clams, collecting coral and sponges, littering, slash and burning of rare plants, overharvesting of fruits and berry plants, trapping and snaring of Pokémon for their meat, shooting at unarmed treasure hunters, attempted assault of minors and adults… You weren’t kidding. How do we go about catching them?”

“First thing we have to do, is destroy whatever snares and leg hold traps they have put out, picking up their litter and recycling it, check up on the plants to make sure they haven’t destroyed them from overharvesting, fish out fishing line and netting, make sure there aren’t any Pokémon or fish caught in them.”

 “Sounds like a Brobdingnagian task. Are you we’re even up for it?”

“Yes, but here comes the hard part: sometimes you must put Pokémon out of their misery, if their injuries are untreatable. A simple bullet to the skull dispatches them quickly and they don’t feel anything…” Her eyes clouded and I could tell she had to do that.

I felt bile rise in my throat and I gulped. “You… had to, right?”

“Yes. I told you about my uncle and I stumbling upon a poacher’s camp? Some of the Pokémon’s injuries were so great that we had to put them down… the fear in their eyes is something that haunts me every night. They accepted their fate and seemed to be wanted to put out of their misery. In total, we shot an Oricorio, two Meowths, three Pikipeks, a Toucannon and a Fletchling.”

I looked at her, horrified. “I don’t get why people think they’re entitled to do that,” I sneered. “Pokémon meat doesn’t’ even taste that great anyway.”

“It’s called bushmeat and sadly, people seem to have this justification that helps with their libido and other bullshit. Sadly, a lot of undercooked meat is riddled with parasites and some people just die a slow death, not even know they’re dying, and they think they’re just sick with the flu or a cold. I’ve done my research about these people. They’re sadists and don’t seem to care about their victims. Don’t get me started on what other shit I’ve seen…”

“Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse.”

“Some of them are zoo…sadists,” she hesitated, clenching her fists until her knuckles were whitish tan.

 I stared at her blankly, shocked at how deranged some people were, baring my incisors. “Wow.”

“Yes. I’ve made it my mission to destroy these people, stomp them out and hopefully arrest them, but if they fight back, it’s our legal obligation as we have a right to defend ourselves.”

“Oh yes, I remember you telling me about that.” I nodded, putting my hand on top of my Beretta.

“Ōma’oma’o Island was sacred to my ancestors. Then Unovans, Galarians, Kantonians all destroyed it, no offence, and changed its sacred name. I prefer the name Ōma’oma’o Island, but I figured you wouldn’t know what I meant.”

“None taken.” I shook my head. “Yes, I knew what you meant. I’ve heard it’s older name.” I shrugged, sighing.

“Anyway… Your uniform should come soon, but if you want, you can wear my uncle’s in the meantime.” She walked over to a cabinet, unlocking it and grabbing a neatly folded uniform. She unfolded it, revealing its full glory. It was dark blue in colour, nearly black, silver buttons, two large breast pockets, a gold badge on the left side, and a silver nameplate that said ‘Captain Onaona’ on the right side and a golden patch stitched on the sleeve on the right, with a stylised Toucannon on it. On the patch, it said ‘International Police’ on top of the Toucannon and ‘Alola’ beneath it.

“Wow… are you sure?” I asked as she handed it to me. Slipping it on, I noticed it was two sizes too big.

“Yes, I’m sure…” She smiled, nodding, hiding her sadness.

“If it makes you feel better, I’ll take it off…”

“No, no. Let’s just go.” She turned around, attempting to hide her feelings.

“Let me call my mom first. She needs to know I’m leaving for… how long will we be gone?”

“Maybe a week or so, but I could be wrong.”

“A week? Well, I guess I’ll have to pay my mom for watching Acerola…” I mumbled as I walked off towards the phone. I picked it up and dialled mom’s number and I sadly, got her answering machine. Well crap… I sighed. “Mom, Naomi and I are going on a mission and she thinks we’ll be gone for a week. I was hoping you can watch Acerola while we’re gone. And if you want me to, I can pay you whenever I get back. I’m sorry for the inconvenience Mom. I love you and I’ll see you in a week. Bye.” I hung up the phone, sighing again because I hate putting pressure on her like that.

“Are you okay?” she asked while walking back towards me. “You seem stressed out.”

“I don’t like putting that sort of pressure on my mom like that.” I frowned.

“Do you think she’ll be okay with watching her for a week?”

“She’s kind and patient and she rarely does snap like that, but what you saw the other day was one of her idiosyncrasies. She rarely gets angry. I just don’t like putting pressure on her like that without giving her a few days’ notice like that, it just seems unfair to her.”

“I get what you’re saying, but we need to do this asap, before it gets out of hand. I don’t want to see someone end up dead. Just curious… have you ever been camping? Because no one lives there, there are not any buildings of any kind there. We cannot leave any traces, just our footprints.”

“I went camping when I was a child, but not lately. Do you have tent? Do you have any sleeping bags? How do we even get there?” I shrugged.

“Yes, and yes, and my uncle owned a sailboat called the Ocean Maiden. She is beautiful, white sailboat with navy blue sails and wooden decking. Before you ask, she does have a motor. Uncle said I can use her whenever I wanted to. I just wish I didn’t get dizzy when boating…”

“It’s been so long since I’ve been boating, but I remember how to drive a boat, thanks to my grandparents.”

“What happened to their boat?”

“Well, it belongs to my dad now. I sometimes I wish I owned it. My dad might be on it right now.”

“Are you offering to drive it for me?” She cocked her head.

“Yes, I’m offering to drive it for you. It’s hard to steer anything if you’re dizzy.”

“Well, I appreciate that. Thank you.”


 

“Treasure Island is just as beautiful as I remembered it was.” I looked around.

There were flowers such as frangipani, birds-of-paradise, hibiscuses, heliconias, proteas, gingers, orchids, bougainvilleas, calatheas, Ohia trees, and other flowers I wasn’t sure of. There were even banana trees with tasty and ripe fruits on them, while brown coconuts littered the ground, Rhipsalis hung from various trees too. The only berry trees I spotted were mostly Oran, but I did see some Sitrus and Hondew. The wind carried various scents, such as flowers, the ocean, rotting leaves as well as Naomi’s scent, since I was simply following her. The terrain was rough and bumpy, as there were rocks and tree roots all over the ground. Crystal clear, fresh water flowed from mountains, so clear that I could see Magikarp and Goldeen swimming along the bottom.
Several Wingull, Oricorio, Fletchling, Pikipek, Trumbeak and Toucannons flew in large flocks, picking off random fruits and berries. Huge, long-necked Alolan Exeggutors lumbered around, their stomping foot beats crashing. Spinarak, Crabrawler and Wimpod scuttled around, scurrying off when we walked past them. Cutieflies, Ribombees and Ledian buzzed past, their wings just blurring, while Butterfrees floated past with their slow wingbeats. Even a few Comfey floated around us, soothing us with their fragrance.

I was exhausted from carrying a heavy backpack, but I wasn’t a weakling. I may have been lanky as all hell nor a gym monkey, but I was stronger than I looked.

Blu and Dale tailed us, conversing in their own language. I think I got the gist of what they were saying, as they too, seem to be admiring the scenery and all the flowers.

“Isn’t it though?” She smiled. I was envying her, as she was able to carry the heavy backpack like it was nothing.

“I can see why this place was sacred to the Native Alolans.”

“Yes. My uncle, mom and dad would all come here thrice or four times a year to come camping, so I know the way and I know where everything is. We shouldn’t have done this, but we did scratch our names in some trees, to help guide us in case we got lost. Although, it is nearly impossible to get lost, since the island is only about 80 square miles; however, some trails are very windy and confusing, and the inexperienced can get lost.” 

“Huh. I’m glad I have your guidance, as I haven’t been here since I was 10 years old, with Mom and Jonathan.”

“Wow! That must have been quite the experience.” She stopped walking and pointed to a tree we were standing next to. “It’s Uncle’s and my name.”

Sure, as day, was faded scratch marks, made by a sharp knife, as some of the bark had grown since then but it was still legible. The names ‘Naomi & ‘Iwalani’ were etched into the tree, surrounded by a crude heart shape.

“I carved that out about 10 years ago. I’m shocked that it’s still there, considering how much this Koa tree has grown since then. I haven’t been to this area in a long time.” She reached up and touched the tree, rubbing the etching and sighing cathartically, trying not to cry.

“Do you want to talk about it?” I asked politely.

“Not really… let’s just go. We’re almost at the place where my family and I liked to camp.” She turned around and slowly stepped.

“Well, okay.” I shrugged, trudging along.

We were quiet the whole time as I followed her, Blu and Dale walking beside us. Blu wagged her tail in anticipation while Dale just trilled his lips, sighing.

“Hey, we made it!” she said happily, walking faster.

“Hey, this is nice.” I picked up my pace.

The campsite was a beautiful copse, with a mountain brook running in the middle. It was surprisingly flat and grassy, with no rocks or tree roots. Several banana trees grew on the opposite bank, their bright fruits tempting. I could hear the bubbling over smoothed limestone rocks, and the roar of the distant ocean, too.

I finally got to take the heavy backpack off, setting it down and collapsing in the soft grass.

(“This place is beautiful,”) Blu mewed, wagging her long tail.

(“You aren’t kidding, Blu. Incredible place,”) Dale neighed.

(“All the colours. I’ve never seen so many colours at once.”)

(“Me neither. Ula’ula Island is beautiful, but I don’t think anything can beat it.”) Dale nuzzled Blu.

(“Meeeow. Too true, Dale.”) Blu nodded.

“I wonder what they’re saying?” Naomi asked as she set her backpack down, sitting down in the soft grass, collapsing.

“I have a feeling they’re talking about beautiful this place is.” I folded my arms under my head and lied down, looking up at the fluffy, white clouds.

“I think you’re right. Glad we aren’t the only ones that think this place is beautiful.” Naomi copied me, but she closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, then exhaling deeply. She repeated it five times and then stopped, falling asleep from exhaustion.

“Naomi…?” I poked her, but no response. I sighed and decided to close my eyes and deep breathe like she did. It helped me to relax and I soon fell into a dreamless sleep.

I woke up to something wet hitting my face. At first, I thought it was Pokémon peeing on me, but no, thank God, it was just a soft rain. I snapped open my eyes and looked around. Dale and Blu were already lying down under the trunk of tree, with their eyes on us.

Well, they can sense stuff before we can, I thought to myself. I sat up, poking Naomi. “Naomi, wake up.” I shook her. “WAKE UP!” I yelled.

“Wha…what? Huh?” she said groggily, sitting up. She then noticed the rain. “Oh crap, it’s raining!” Her eyes widened as it started to rain harder.

I quickly grabbed her hand, lifting her and picking her up, running to the protection of the trees. It only took a few seconds to clear the copse, nearly tripping. I set her down, apologising for picking her up like that, but she didn’t seem to care, as she was groggier than I was.

Blu and Dale seemed happy to see us, both wagging their tails happily. Naomi and I petted them, comforting them.

It didn’t rain for long and it passed within 10 minutes. The sun started to shine and heat up the island, causing the air to become humid and saturated. It was hot but, I sadly, couldn’t sweat.

“Oh God… Naomi, I’m burning up.” I panted, flapping my t-shirt to try and cool myself off.

“You aren’t kidding. I love the rain, but I had it when the air is saturated with humidity… but, we have to get the tent up before it rains again.”

 “Shit, you’re right.” I sighed, shrugging. “Let’s do this.”

“Do you know how to set up a tent?”

“No, I’m sorry, but I don’t know how. Jonathan would always help with that.”

“Fine… I’ll show you. Watch me, all right?”

“Yes ma’am.” I nodded.

It took about 20 minutes to set up, because she took it down and let me do it. Luckily, it was fresh on my mind, as I was able to set it up by myself, with her watching me and not breaking her gaze. She seemed pleased when I finished.

“Great job, Bellinor.” She put her hand on my back, patting me.

“Uhh… thank you.” I smirked.

“Let’s rest now and hope that it doesn’t rain again.” She sighed. I could tell she was still tired and getting moody. She grabbed a neatly folded blanket from her backpack, unfolding it and lying it down onto the bottom of the tent.

“Ugh, I honestly need a cigar, to be honest.” I grabbed a blanket from my backpack, lying it down next to Naomi’s, sighing.

“It’s honestly too hot to do anything,” she groaned, using her hand to wipe the sweat beading on her forehead.

“What about swimming?” I asked, placing my hand on Sharpedo’s Poké ball.

“Oh, you’re right. Shall we go swimming?”

“I don’t see why not. Which way to the ocean?”

“Hmm… it’s about 2 clicks to the north.” She pointed. “I want to practice Tectonic Rage with Dale, too.”

I felt my stomach gurgling. “How about some lunch first?” I asked, thinking about the MREs she brought with us.

“Sure. We have plenty of MREs. Which one would you like?” she asked while unzipping her backpack.

“Whatever your hands grab first.” I winked.

She reached into her backpack and grabbed the first MRE, which was ramen with shrimp. “Are you allergic to shellfish?”

“Not that I know of. It’s been so long since I’ve had shrimp, though.”

“Luckily, I’m not. It’s just fish I have an intolerance for. We’ll need to make a fire. Shall we hunt for some sticks?”

“Okay. I’ll look for the driest wood I can find.”

“Let’s go.” She nodded, holding my hand.

“Okay.” I nodded, smiling.

Naomi put a small pack on Dale, so we could pack sticks and carry more than what we could fit in our arms.

Blu and Dale followed us but seemed to be chatting amongst themselves.

Dale’s ears flopped forwards, listening intently. (“But… can I do that move yet?”)

(“It took be several weeks to master Black Hole Eclipse.”) Blu walked up to Dale, wrapping her long tail around his muzzle, playfully. (“I’m sure you can get the hang of it. Where did Naomi even get her Z-Ring?”)

(“She got it from her uncle, who was a Trial Guide back when he was a child, and he passed it down to Naomi when she turned 6 years old, and she’s had it ever since. Where did Nanu get his Z-Ring?”)

(“It was his mother’s when she was a child, when she tried out her Island Challenge. I was her partner back then, back when I was a Meowth. Libelle was pregnant with Bellinor and she was tough as nails, despite having morning sickness, moody and carrying a child. I protected him after he was born, as I drew a liking to him. When he grew up, Libelle let him keep me, and that’s when she gave him her Z-Ring.”)

(“When did you evolve?”)

(“I evolved when Libelle and I were in a pickle. During her Island Challenge, when she was challenging Poni Island’s Kahuna, Lilac, whom specialised in Fairy-types, as you know, I’m weak against. Her Shiinotic almost used Twinkle Tackle, but I was able to evolve and use Black Hole Eclipse, which earned Libelle a Fairium-Z Crystal. She keeps it in a box with a glass case in her living room, with all of her other artifacts.”

We were quiet the whole time, just listening to Blu’s mewing and Dale’s neighing.

“They seem lost in conversation,” I pointed out to Naomi, breaking the silence.

(“Let’s help them get some sticks,”) Blu mewed.

(“Okay. I’ll follow you,”) Dale neighed.

I watched the two run off with into the forest together. I figured maybe they were going to help us find sticks.

“Be careful of snares and poacher’s traps!” Naomi quipped a warning.

(“We’ll be careful. Right, Dale?”)

(“I can’t really see between the bridge of my muzzle, as it’s my blind spot. Can you help me keep a lookout?”) 

(“Of course.”) Blu wrapped her long tail around his shoulder.

I watched the two disappear into the forest, only their rumps showing as they ran off. I smiled because it looked like they were having a great time.

Naomi and I managed to gather several dry sticks and a few logs, while Blu and Dale found some as well, putting all of them into the pack. We all walked back to camp, lighting the fire using a multi-purpose lighter. I grabbed a pot and scooped up some water, filling it about half-way. Naomi happened to find two stumps too, I helped her carry one back, and we set those down so that we could sit down.

I stared at the water boiling, bubbling up and making bloop noises. “Naomi…”

“Yes?” she questioned, cocking her head.

“I have a weird gut feeling, to be honest, but I don’t know what it is.” I watched her stir the food in and watching the noodles circling around the pot.

“Oh. I’m glad I’m not the only one that was thinking that.”

“I have a feeling we’re being watched. Do you feel that as well?” I narrowed my eyes, listening the sounds of the forest intently.

“Strange… I have that feeling too. I think there is someone nearby. I can tell. I don’t mean a Pokémon; I think it’s a person,” she shuddered, squinting and clenching her fists. “I’ve been trying to shake it off for hours now, even while we were napping and hiding from the rain. When we were looking for sticks, I thought I heard a twig snap behind me.”

“That could have been anything… but I heard it, too. My hearing is so sharp that I can hear the roar of the ocean, even though it’s 2km away.”

“I can hear it too, mainly because the island slopes and the trail is windy, and there is no way to walk off-road, unless you want to climb over millions of rocks, so the walk is about 2km. Also, the waves crash very high is certain spots. In fact, there’s a blowhole too, but it’s only active during high tide.”

“Oh, I see. So, the ocean is closer than I thought.”

She grabbed my wrist that had my watch on it, looking at the watch. “It’s 2:10, it’s high tide right now.”

“When does the tide ebb?”

“It’s at its lowest by 19:58, which is the best time to look for clams and oysters, but I’m not sure if you’re a shellfish fan.”

“My mom forced me to eat oysters when I was a child and I’ve hated them ever since, but since that was so long ago, I am willing to try them again.”

“We can go and search later. It looks like our ramen is done.” She stood up, grabbing two bowls and forks, and pouring equal amounts of ramen in each bowl.

“Thank you, Naomi.”

“No, thank you for being patient and waiting. I can hear your stomach.”

“Ah-hah… yeah.” I rubbed the back of my head.

We ate in silence, while Dale and Blu seemed to be lost in conversation again.

(“That smells so good.”) Drool formed around Blu’s mouth. (“I normally can’t stand noodles, but…”)

(“I don’t even like shrimp, being an herbivore, but you’re right… it does smell good.”) Dale looked at me straight in the eyes.

“Do you guys want some?” I looked straight into the pot and noticed there was plenty of ramen left. I was full by then and my stomach couldn’t handle anymore. I looked over at Naomi, whom looked like she was about to have seconds, but restrained herself from getting more.

She sighed, shrugging. “Fiiiine… I’m willing to share.”

We both set our bowls down in front of their faces and watched them eat the ramen, despite neither of their species not really eating noodles. They both seemed satisfied, lying down in the shade and resting.

Well… that’s not a bad idea, I suppose, but we should probably get a move on, I thought to myself. “Shall we go now?”

“Yes, let’s go. We can be on the lookout for traps and such.” She nodded.

“Okay.” I nodded, but before we could react, I could hear a yowling sound. “Did you hear that?”

“No… what is it?”

“It was a yowling sound, it sounded like it came from that way.” I pointed to the west. “Naomi, we should go check it out! Let’s go!” I grabbed her hand, lifting her from her seat.

Her eyes widened, shocked at my random strength. “Okay. I’ll follow you.”

We both ran the best we could through the forest, Blu and Dale at our heels. What we came to when we finally arrived, shocked me.

It was a shiny Growlithe, trapped in a snare, with his leg nearly chewed off.

Oh. My. God. My jaw dropped.

“What the fuck is this?” Naomi gasped.

Chapter Text

Chapter 14

Face twisted in anger, Naomi had her hand on her gun, like she wanted to shoot him, but I stopped her from doing so.

“Naomi, what the hell are you thinking?” I hissed, slapping her hand from her holster.

“Look the pitiful thing, do you think it enjoys being snared like that?”

The Growlithe’s face was twisted into a snarl, fangs bared and growling deeply.

Blu and Dale kept their distance, curious but confused on what was going on, but they also seemed concerned.

“Shut up! I’m going to help him; I don’t care what you say, I feel like it’s my duty!” I carefully walked over, careful not to get near his snapping jaws.

 (“I HATE HUMANS! GO AWAY! JUST LET ME DIE HERE!”) Growlithe snarled, with raised hackles.

“I’m not going to feel bad for you, if you get bitten!” She rolled her eyes, scoffing.

At this point, I didn’t care about her passive aggressiveness, as I tuned her out, while slowly approaching still. I narrowed my eyes, thinking of a strategy. I was nearly at the base of the snare, when suddenly the Growlithe lunged, biting me on the crotch, so hard that I yelped; Blu tried to come over and help, but it had been too late. I noticed a bloody patch starting to form on my pants. Ow… this turd bit me on my crotch, hard! I clenched my jaw, trying not to let the pain overwhelm me. “Son of a bitch!” I said through clenched teeth, collapsing on the ground.

Naomi gasped, shocked. “A-are… you okay?”

“Does it look like I’m okay?” I snapped.

“Let me help!” She rushed over, grabbing the Growlithe by the scruff of his neck; which caused him to let go of me. She grabbed her taser, set him on the ground, which confused the Pokémon.

I looked at her in shock, slowly crawling out of the Growlithe’s reach. You’re not going to tase him, are you?

She fired the two electrodes, which landed on his rump, and pulled the trigger, causing him to convulse, and collapse into the dirt. She had a satisfied look on her face, as if she accomplished something.

“Why… did you do that?” I asked curiously, but still had my jaw clenched from the pain.

“Well, I had to.”

“Why do my balls take the brunt of all of my injuries?”

“Because, I told you, that’s the most vulnerable part of your body,” she scoffed.

“I wonder how he knew that.” I shrugged.

“Well, he’s certainly not stupid, unlike you, for just charging in like that before I could grab my taser!”

“Whatever! Let’s just make a makeshift muzzle.” I reached into my back pocket, grabbing a handkerchief.

“I’ll do it. I don’t have balls in case he tries to do that again.” She shot a death glare at me and snatched it before I could even react.

I just snorted and rolled my eyes, watching her make her move. Just wait until he tries to bite you, you arse.

She was a lot quicker than I thought, managing to wrap the handkerchief around his muzzle, before he could even get one growl out.

The Growlithe looked confused, trying to paw the handkerchief off, but it looked as if Naomi had tied it perfectly, using a boater’s knot, the buntline hitch. She tied it in just a way that he could still open his mouth slightly to drink, but not bite. (“JUST LET ME DIE HERE!”) he snarled deeply in his throat.

Naomi started to pet him softly, reassuring him. “Growlithe, it’s okay, we’re going to get you out…” she said in a soft voice, in a motherly tone. She looked at me and gestured for a knife.

I nodded, grabbing my favourite pocketknife from my pocket. “I’ve had this since my childhood, please be careful…” I looked at it. It was a Galar Army Knife that came straight from London* itself. It was dark blue in colour, with two knives, a pair of tiny scissors, a file, a corkscrew, a can opener as well as a toothpick and tweezers.

“Wow, it’s beautiful…” Naomi said breathlessly.

“Yes, Molayne recently repaired it for me, it’s also been sharpened by him for me, too.”

She flicked open the blade, and with one shove, it instantly cut the thin wire. She barely moved out of the way, because the wire had snapped and nearly hit her on the temple. “T-that was close…” She stood up and walked over to the wire laying on the ground. She grabbed it and walked closer to me.

“Are you all right?” I asked.

“Yes, I’m fine… but look at this: it’s copper wiring!”

“You’re right.” I noticed the shiny, reddish-brown wiring. “It has a melting point of 1084.62 degrees Celsius. Growlithe’s fire is only around 600 degrees.”

“Yet your knife cut through it quite easily.” She handed my knife back to me.

“Copper is malleable and Molayne covered the blade with a diamond dust. How he did it, I have no idea, but you must be careful. It can easily slice your finger off.”

“Oh, no wonder.”

(“We’ll take care of you, Growlithe.”) Blu approached carefully and started to lick his half-chewed leg.

I didn’t realise how disgusting it was until I really, truly looked at it. His leg was down to the bone and I could see the flesh around it was black, as gangrene had already set in. “We have to get him to a Pokémon Centre soon. He’ll go into a dangerous septic shock, if he hasn’t already.”

I heard a strange shuffling sound, so I looked up and saw a familiar face. “D-d-d…dad?”

“Bellinor?” he gasped. Dad was a tall man, at 6’6”, with beautiful, steel-grey eyes and shiny, black hair in a braid, a beard in a braid and a black moustache. He was wearing a black t-shirt and khaki shorts. He was wearing black sandals with white socks. His steel gaze not leaving ours.

“Your… DAD?” Naomi blinked. “I’ll be damned! Here, I thought I’d meet him somewhere else! Here, of all places!”

“What brings you here?” I asked.

“I took a sabbatical for two months. I need a break and I wanted to relax.” He sighed, eyeing my crotch. “I’m sorry your balls got bitten, I saw it happen, but I didn’t react in time.”

“Thanks, Dad,” I muttered under my breath. “I was going to ask why you’re taking a sabbatical, but I see you already answered it.”

“Haha, yeah,” he chuckled. “Who’s your girlfriend?” he asked.

“I’m Naomi Onaona, charmed.” She bowed slightly as they shook hands.

“You’re the Captain’s niece?” he asked. “I knew Captain Onaona before he died. I was at the funeral. I saw you there.”

“You did?” she gasped, shocked. “I-I can’t believe it…”

“We weren’t close, but I was friends with him. I had known him for years now, since before Bellinor was born.”

“I can’t believe my ears.” I looked at him in disbelief.

“Wow…” Her eyes started to water.


Dad left with the Growlithe, whom I had named Flare. His fate remained unknown, since he was in septic shock, but I wasn’t sure. I was pleased to see my dad, even if it was only for a few minutes. Naomi had to put pressure on my wound, and it stopped bleeding after about five minutes and she, much to my embarrassment, bandaged me up. I felt weak from losing so much blood, so we decided to just sit down and watch our campfire burning.

Naomi stared at our campfire morosely, her eyes were watering. “You got me… I want to talk about it.”

“I’ll listen.” I nodded.

She started to cry. “My uncle was my best friend. I miss him so much. He was there during my dad’s chemo, he was there when my mom fell and broke her leg, he was there during every birthday… He’s the one that taught me how to shoot a gun, how to investigate a crime scene, how to play soccer and baseball, his two favourite sports. He… was just there. He gave me his old Z-Ring and Groundium-Z Crystal too and showed me how to use Tectonic Rage. He was like a brother to me… albeit much older than me, since my mom had ovarian polyps and couldn’t have anymore children, that’s why he felt like a brother to me,” she said in between sobs, leaning towards me, she grabbed my shoulders tightly.

“Here, here…” I let her sob into my chest. I patted her back and started to sing in German.

“Weißt du, wieviel Sternlein stehen

an dem blauen Himmelszelt?

Weißt du, wieviel Wolken ziehen

weithin über alle Welt?

Gott der Herr hat sie gezählet,

daß ihm auch nicht eines fehlet

an der ganzen großen Zahl,

an der ganzen großen Zahl…”

(“Do you know how many little stars are in blue heaven’s tent?

Do you know how many clouds trail

All over the world?

The Lord God has counted them,

So that none of them are missing

Among this great vast amount

Among this great vast amount…”)

It took her a few minutes to stop sobbing and she let go of my shoulders and then dried her tears. “Y-you… know German?” She sniffled, wiping the snot and tears off her face with her sleeve.

“Yes. I am fluent in German, whether you believe me or not.”

“Of, course I do! Your German is perfect and smooth.”

“It’s all thanks to my mom, because that’s where her family was from, Germany**. It’s why she has a German-sounding name, too, and why she pronounces it ‘lih-bell-uh’ instead of ‘lih-bell’.”

“Oh, I see. In German, the E happens to be pronounced like an A, right?”

“That’s correct.” I nodded. “Very good.” I felt sadness was over me all the sudden. “My grandparents, my mom’s parents, taught me too. They died when I was only 10 years old…” I looked at her solemnly.

“Would you like to cry it off?” she asked. “Please don’t be scared to cry… men need to cry too.”

“Yes…” I sighed through my teeth. “Okay.”

She held out her arms and I collapsed into her chest, sniffling and smelling her sweat-smelling scent of her skin. “I miss all of my grandparents so much… they were such sweet and kind people…”

“It’s okay…” She rubbed my back, comforting me like how I was comforting her just a few minutes ago. “I think they would be proud of you… Bellinor. Listen to me: I’m going to step down as Captain, I want you to be Captain Nanu. How does that sound?”

“You’re what?” I looked up at her, skeptical. “No, no, no… I can’t possibly be a captain. I don’t know the first thing about it!”

“That’s why I’m willing to teach you captain’s duties, but it involves a lot paperwork and brown-nosing. You must please the higher-ups, because if you don’t do an excellent job, your job is on the line. But, just trust your instincts. The higher-ups live on Akala Island. The even higher-ups live all over the world. Their names are Logan Kenda, Jake Thompson, Cecilia Harris, Greg Dade. I was hoping to join the ranks of them, but I haven’t been an officer for as long as they have…”

“I see…” I sat back up and wiped the tears from my eyes. “My grandparents would definitely be proud of me. But… this is the quickest promotion I’ve ever gotten. It took well over a year to gain Geoffrey’s trust and that’s when he promoted me to a manager. I admit, I miss my old job, but I am enjoying this one, so it doesn’t rub the wrong way.”

“I miss my old job too, it was a retail job at the Thrifty Megamart, before Tapu Bulu destroyed it. Luckily, everyone escaped before then, but vandals ransacked the place and grabbed as many products as possible. That’s why it looks deserted, dusty, full of cobwebs and shelves falling apart. I’ve heard Ghost-types have taken over it now. I just loved the black sand and loved looking out on my breaks and seeing it.”

“That black sand is unique and the only place in Alola that are like that, in fact. Do you know why it’s black?”

“It’s because it’s volcanic, right?”

“Yeah! That’s right.” I nodded.

“Anything else you would like to talk about? How come your bar doesn’t have a name?”

“Oh, haha… my bad. The Lean Kitten is its name. I’m sorry for not mentioning it before. I’m surprised you didn’t know that.”

“Well, remember, you did find me depressed and of course, I passed out on the bar stand.”

“Are you a lightweight? The average person usually passes out around 12 or 15 shots, you passed out at half that.”

“I am a bit of a lightweight, but I’ve never had alcohol that strong before either.”

“What made you pick fireball?”

“Well, it’s actually my favourite whiskey. My dad brought home a bottle one night and let me try it. I instantly fell in love. I only had one shot of it, though.”

“Majority of people I know actually don’t like straight whiskey. How come you didn’t get sick all of my bar?”

“Well, normally after a huge case, my uncle and I, as well as sharing it with my mom, dad and cousin, would drink a bottle of champagne, sometimes even two bottles. I’d pass out drunk on my third glass.”

 “So, you really are a lightweight, but are used to drinking. That makes a little more sense. I usually pass out on my seventh glass of wine. I tend to binge drink and I’ll admit that I do have a problem…”

“It’s okay. I think a lot of people have problems. I admit, I’m addicted to… marijuana,” she whispered the last bit. “I’m honestly afraid to admit it. I love smoking marijuana and love edibles, the feeling of getting high helps calm me down after a long day or case.”

“Nothing wrong with marijuana, I just wish they could lift the over-10-ounce ban. I too, love pot brownies, especially the ones my mom makes. She too, sometimes needs marijuana for her chronic migraine pain.”

“I’ll eat any edibles, especially when my endometriosis pain flares up… I must take birth control for that. It helps me overall and I’ve been taking it for about three years now, but there are times I skip it, especially days like these. I can’t be half-assed and I’m not in pain right now.”

“I’m sorry to hear that you have endometriosis. I’ve heard that’s a debilitating disease, so much so that women have to skip school.” I had to stop talking because I thought I swore I heard footsteps.

“Yeah, I—”

“Shh!” I covered her mouth. “I hear footsteps,” I whispered.

The footsteps got quieter as the person walked off. I could tell it was a person the sticks were snapping, and the leaves and gravel were crunching. They were 200 lbs. and at least six-feet tall.

“Six-feet tall and 200 lbs, on the heavy and tall side,” I muttered to myself, but she seemed to have heard me.

“What do you mean by that? How can you tell?” she whispered, shocked.

“Because the heavier or taller someone is, the more of a noise they make. If I didn’t know you and had never met, I could hear you walking and think ‘oh, she’s 5’8” and 120 lbs’. I’ve been practicing this a lot, especially with my mom. She knows how to track people and she can guesstimate how tall or how much someone weighs, just by listening to sticks snapping or leaves crunching.”

“Damn, you’re good at that, huh? Your hearing must be sharp. Can you tell the difference between the way a guy or girl walks?”

“Not usually, but women tend to be lighter than men, so the person’s footsteps I heard is most likely a man.” I nodded.

“Well, I guess one of us should watch over our camp while we sleep tonight. Just in case.”

“I’ll keep watch, since the moonlight has never hurt my eyes. You go onto bed. I’ll be fine, as I’ve had my gun since I was 16 and I’m honestly not afraid to use it. Just if you promise me, you’ll let me sleep for a while in the morning, after the sun rises. I’m not used to being up so early in the day.”

“Yes, I promise. Goodnight, Bellinor. I’ll see you tomorrow morning. I love you.” She unzipped and opened the tent, with Dale following her inside.

“I love you too.” I smiled. “Goodnight, Naomi.”

I sat down and leaned against a tree, with Blu lying down next to me. I noticed fire was out, so I stoked it with more dry sticks and leaves.

The night was quiet, with no footsteps or voices. All I could hear was the howling of Lycanroc, the ocean, the bubbling of the creek and insects chirping and the occasional wind as well. All the constellations were out, as I could name them all, despite the moon being full. I challenged myself to count them all until the dawn sunlight came. I got to about 20,000 by the time my mind started to get tired of counting.

Dawn soon came and I felt so tired, nearly falling asleep.

Naomi was soon awake and noticed that I was near unconsciousness. “Bellinor… you can go to bed now. All right?”

I couldn’t tell what she said as I drifted off.

“Bellinor.” I could feel Naomi’s voice and her hands tapping my shoulder. “I made breakfast.”

“Where am I? Did Naomi drag me into here?” I woke up groggy and tired, confused as to where I was at first. “Ugh, it feels like I have a hangover…” Soon the smell of French toast filled my nostrils and I could feel my stomach gurgling. I slowly got up and exited the tent. 

Naomi greeted me the second I made a step outside, “I made French toast.”

“Yeah, I know. I can smell it. It smells really good, actually.” I felt Blu nuzzle against my legs. “I think Blu is hungry too. Do you want to hunt, Blu?” I asked, reaching down and petting her.

(“Of course, I do! I want some mice! Yum!”) she mewed happily.

(“I’ll go with you, I can help you chase mice from their holes,”) Dale neighed.

“Be careful and watch for snares,” Naomi warned them.

Blu simply nodded and slunk off into the bushes, with only her rump showing as she disappeared. Dale trotted off, neighing quietly as only his tail and ears showed as he disappeared into some long grass.

We sat in silence as we ate, but I ate mindlessly, as the fate of Flare was on my mind. I had no idea what was going to happen to him or if he was even alive. Naomi seemed to have notice my silence.

“Are you okay?” she asked curiously.

“Yeah, I’m sorry. It’s just… Flare. I wish I knew what his fate was. I guess we’ll find out when we finished our mission.”

“We still have to pick up garbage and crap from the island and look for nets and fishing gear in the ocean.”

“Well, where should we start?”

“How about we start by cleaning up fishing gear, nets and traps? It’s not too far, you just must make sure not to hook yourself or get your hands stuck in traps on accident.”

“Okay.” I finished off the last bite. “Let’s go then, let’s look for fishing gear. Do you know where some of it might be located?”

“Some treasure hunters said they found some on the south side of the island, about five clicks from here. Are you up to walking that far? I know you lost a lot of blood last night. Your face looked really pale last night.”

“My face already is pale…” I sighed. “What do you mean it was pale?”

“No, usually there’s a soft pink blush on your face, and right now, it’s not there anymore.”

“I look like that, huh. I guess I never really noticed, as I never really notice what I look like.”

“I’m the same way, because I’m not a narcissist. What do I look like to you?”

“Uhh… well, that’s hard to answer without being cliched, but you’re very beautiful, your eyes are like brown orbs, your hair is as smooth as silk and your hands are as soft as sand and when you blush, it’s freaking adorable.”

A blush crept on her face, turning her cheeks a pinkish-brown colour. “T-thank you…”

“Yes… that’s it. That look right there. You’re welcome. Not only your personality, but the way you look is why I love you.”

“I love you too, because of your personality and you’re sexy too.” She giggled a little.

“T-thanks…” I blushed. “Shall we go?”

“Yeah, let’s go.”


The water was warm but not too hot and the sand was silky and soft between my toes. The sun blazed hot but luckily, there was some reprieve thanks to some fluffy white clouds floating around the deep blue sky.

“Hey, this water feels amazing.” I squished some sand between my toes while shading my eyes, looking out at the horizon. Ula’ula Island was just a dot and its appearance seemed like a mirage.

Blu and Dale had followed us the whole time, as they didn’t travel too far from the camp. They were sleeping in the shade and looked like they didn’t want to move.

“Lovely, isn’t it?” she asked.

“Indeed.” I was about to take another step to look for some netting, when I felt my body give way. I collapsed forwards and fainted.

When I came to, I was coughing up water and I felt Naomi’s lips against mine. The salt from the water burned my throat, making me feel thirsty.

“I told you, you lost too much blood.” She shot me a death glare. “You should have gone with your dad.”

“I’m sorry, I wanted to help you so much.” I coughed, throat hurting.

“I know you wanted to, my love, but you can’t possibly help, when you’re in this condition. We’ll have to call off our mission. I’d be happy to take care of you, at your house. I’d take you to my house, if I didn’t live with my parents… but they said they’d get me a house.” She grabbed my hand and easily picked me up, her strength surprising me for someone so light and skinny.

“N-no… you go on ahead of me. My mom can take care of… me.” I felt my voice cracking.

“Are you okay?” She cocked her head.

“Does it look like I’m okay?” I coughed again. “I need water, it feels like I drank acid.”

“Why did you say that before?” She looked at me with a concerned look.

“I tried to… I just can’t because my throat… hurts.”

“You’re coming with me.” She shot me another glare, smirking. She easily picked me up, which caused me to yelp in surprise. “Just because I’m a girl, doesn’t mean I’m not strong. I can bench-press over 170 lbs.”

“W-what! You’re so strong!”

“I know I am,” she said while grunting, placing me onto Dale’s back. “Grab a hold tight, and he won’t buck you off or run. If you want to get to him to move, you click your tongue and kick his flank softly.” She clicked her tongue and patted him on the flank, which caused him to start walking. My feet were close to touching the ground, as he wasn’t a very tall Pokémon. She started to walk beside him, making sure he didn’t run off too far. Blu followed us both closely.

(“He’s heavier than I thought!”) Dale neighed.

(“Tell me about it…”) Blu mewed. (“I had to carrying him too, while we were looking for that crime scene.”)

(“I’ve never smelled so much blood before. His fear-scent was so strong that I almost ran away.”)

(“It scared me too, I thought something happened to them.”)

“They seem to be in a deep conversation again.” I started to pet Dale’s soft, fuzzy ears. “Your ears are so soft.”

“They are soft.” She smiled, looking at me with a smile.

Little did I know; our happy reverie would be cut short…

Chapter Text

Chapter 15

A ‘pehhww’ sound ripped through the tree leaves, landing right behind Naomi stripping a tree of its bark.

“Ow! Bitch!” Naomi hissed as she started to bleed from her shoulder, she immediately crouched down.

Adrenaline pumping, I completely ignored the feeling of wooziness as I swung my left leg and jumped off Dale’s back. I instantly unhooked my holster, grabbed my gun and cocked it. I crouched down beside her. “Naomi! Are you okay?”

She said nothing, her face twisted as she moaned in pain, jaws clenched, and eyes narrowed. “Ow…” she muttered under her breath while she pressed her right hand on the wound. A thin line of blood dripped from her shoulder, but it wasn’t too serious, as it just grazed. “I’ve… I’ve never been shot before,” she said as another bullet flew passed us.

(“Naomi! Are you okay?”) Blu crouched down, standing defensively. She started to lick Naomi’s flesh wound.

(“NAOMI!”) Dale brayed loudly, as if he was screaming. He narrowed his eyes and twisted his face while clenching his teeth. Before we could react, he started to glow blue. His limbs started to get longer, his hooves heavier, his face larger, while his mane and tail became longer. No longer was he brown and ran, but cinnamon and black and with massive, red hooves. He neighed loudly, showing off his new body. He was a Mudsdale now and a huge one at that.

“D-dale…?” she said through gritted teeth. “You evolved for me…?”

(“Of course, I did! I did it for you, to protect you! Because I love you, Naomi!”) He walked up and started to lick her wound; his long neck easily able to reach the ground.

Another shot tore through the leaves, hitting Dale on the shoulder. Dale screamed, neighing loudly while blood dripped from the wound. He twisted his face in anger and started to stomp off, running quickly towards where the bullet came from; Naomi or I couldn’t stop him as we both heard a sickening crunching sound, sounding like bone being stomped on.

Dale trudged back, blood covering his hooves. He had a forlorn look on his face, as if he had done something wrong. (“I’m…. I’m sorry…”) he neighed.

Blu looked at him, shocked at what he had just done. (“Dale… you did what you had to.”) She bowed down, looking at him with respect.

I turned to Naomi, who still looked like she was in pain, still wincing. “W-what do we do now?”

“We’ll have to clean off.” She looked over at Dale. “We’ll have to bury the corpse, too.”

“I’ll help with that. My adrenaline is pumping, and I forgot that I lost a lot of blood.”

“I still want you to be careful, though.” She shot me a glance. “Let’s go. We can use these sticks to dig.”

---0000—

It took forever to dig a hole to bury the corpse, but luckily, Dale and Blu tried to help too. It was hot work and I felt faint the whole time, but I ignored it. We made our way back to camp and finally washed off, the cooling water felt good after that hot work.

“Let’s go ahead and go back to the mainland, I could take care of you at your house and we could see how Flare is doing.” She grabbed my hand and pulled on me to get up.

“You’d do that for me? What about the mission?”

“Well, I can just get Ruben and Martha to help us, since they’re about to join, or, we could see if can get other Interpol officers to help. Just as soon as we get back to Ula’Ula.” She looked over at Dale. “Can we ride you?”

(“Fine,”) he neighed, sounding like a huff. He nodded as we walked up to him.

“I suppose that’s a yes.” She shrugged and lay her hands down flat, inviting me to hoist me up.

“Okay.” I complied as she hoisted me up. I grabbed ahold of his mane and held on tight, while swinging my leg over his back. I held out my hand and helped Naomi get onto his back. “Hold on tight to my waist.”

“Thank you for the help.”

“It’s my pleasure, thank you for the hoisting me up.”

“Of course, anything for you,” she whispered in my ear. She clicked her tongue and kicked his flank softly, which caused him to start walking. Blu stayed in front, keep a watch out for anything that could happen to us. We were quiet the whole time, unsure of what to say.

“We can just leave the campsite there, especially if Ruben and Martha are going to be returning. There’s no sense in wasting time and energy packing it up. Let’s go ahead and go to the dock.” 

“Sounds like a plan to me. I like your plan.” I nodded.

---0000---

We rode back to the mainland in silence. I felt a bit faint driving the boat, but luckily, it didn’t take long to get home. We also walked to the police station in silence, unsure of what to say.

“What we witnessed and did shall stay with us until the day we die.” Naomi looked at me with a sense of urgency. “We shall never speak of this again. Are we clear? We could get into serious legal trouble with the higher-ups and get our asses fired.”

“Yes… ma’am.” I looked at her in shock, watching her clean off the wound with alcohol.

She bit her lip as it stung. “Do you promise?”

“I promise I won’t tell anyone. But, what will we do… if they find out?”

“We will cross that bridge when we come to it,” she said as she put a bandaid on her shoulder. “We should probably thoroughly clean off your wound too. Strip down.”

“F-fine…” I blushed, taking off my shorts. I saw that my wound had bled some and the makeshift bandage she gave me needed to be changed. “I’m glad he didn’t actually bite me on the balls, but boy, does it hurt.”

She carefully took the bandage off. She grabbed a bottle of alcohol and a small towel, soaking it throughly. “Hold still, this is going to sting.”

“I know it is. I’m prepared.” I clenched my jaw.

She held up the towel to my inner thigh, pressing it against my skin. A jolt of pain surged through me, making me yelp a little. She carefully wiped it down, making sure that wasn’t going to bleed again. “Nice and clean. Let me get you some gauze.” She turned around, looked inside the first aid cabinet, and grabbed some gauze. She slowly and carefully as possible, wrapped my wound.

“Thank you, Naomi. I appreciate your help in all of this. You’re knowledgeable about this.”

“Any time, my dear. It was one of my requirements working here. Uncle said I should learn first aid and CPR. It’s how I was able to save you from drowning. It’s not hard to get certified. I recommend you do the same.”

“Of course, I will. Can we go see how Flare is doing now?” I asked while putting my shorts back on. “I’m really hoping he’s okay.”

“Yeah. Let’s go. Do you know which Pokémon Centre your dad may have gone to?”

“Well, he actually lives outside of Seafolk Village. He has a plot of land and a boat he uses. He has money out my arse, but he doesn’t flaunt it. He doesn’t ask for much. A seafaring wander like him, is exactly why he settled in Seafolk.” I nodded. “It doesn’t take long to get there by boat.”

“So, he lives on Poni Island? That’s different. Its population is so sparse, that I forget people even live there. That island doesn’t even have the budget to have any police officers there, but crime is rare there. I’ve only been there once… it was something petty: it was just a shoplifter.”

“Well, that’s impressive. I’m glad it was something petty and not a murder. So, few people live in Seafolk, so it’s rare to see something like that. Shall we go?” I grabbed the keys to my Mustang.

“You’re not fit to drive, so I’ll do it.” She swiped the car keys from my hand. “I’ll drive the boat too. You just relax.”

“Yes, officer, sir…” I blushed a little.

“Ohoho… that’s it. I would rather be called sir rather than ma’am. I taught you well,” she said with a huge smirk plastered on her face.

I felt my face flush, embarrassed by a woman with so much power. But when will it end? When will I be captain?

She saw the look on my face and my face flushing, grinning mercilessly and leaning in for a kiss. “I love you,” she simply said breathlessly.

“I love you too.” I smiled, feeling the colour drain from my cheeks. “Are you sure you want to drive my car? It’s a stick shift.”

“You think I don’t know how to drive one of those? Pfft, did you think I was raised in a barn?” she giggled.

“Yes, of course I think you were raised in a barn,” I teased, distracting her and trying to swipe the keys back.

“Ah-ah-ah… I don’t think so.” She playfully slapped my hand before I even got them. “You did that on purpose, huh? Admit it!”

“Yes, because it’s my car and I’m super protective over it! It was my dad’s and he got it new, so it’s a very expensive car and even then, it’s still worth a lot of money.”

“Fine.” She plopped them back into my hands. “But can I drive it next time?” She nudged me with her elbow.

“Yes, you can. I don’t care, but I’m going to be a backseat driver because I hate for something happen to it!”

----000---

“Dry… land… dry… land…” Naomi muttered to herself.

“Hey, are you all right? I’m sorry you had to drive the boat for me… I’m sorry I felt seasick the whole time. I’m still feeling faint. The heat and humidity were starting to get me and all I was seeing was tunnel vision and out of my peripherals. I need water just as soon as possible.”

“Let’s see if one of the vendors along here has some water for us.” She looked around.  

Seafolk was a quiet town with not a lot to do, but the people were friendly and helpful. However, the town itself was very beautiful, with various bands of colours of basalt lining the cliffs. There was one large dock, where people could park their boats and walk on, and in the middle of the docks were two large gaps where two large mangrove trees grew. Houseboats lined the docks and I knew my dad’s boat was close. To preserve the rock, the stairs that led up to higher ground were carved into the stone itself. Several trees jutted out of rock, growing precariously and with little dirt.

“What does your dad’s houseboat look like?” she asked.

“Well, you can’t miss it.” I pointed to it.

“Oh! It’s in the shape of a Relicanth! How cool is that!”

She was about 40’ long and 15’ wide and mainly brown in colour, with dark brown boards covering most of her and the windows were in the shape of a Relicanth’s eyes. The bottom of the boat was white in colour, made of fibreglass. In the back of the boat was a large, black motor that could hold 25 gallons, but if that went out, it had dark green sails. The door to the inside of the house was dark blue in colour.  

“That’s usually where he parks it. I knew it’d be close, and we don’t have to pay for any water. My dad may have some water. Well, if he’s home…” I carefully walked towards his houseboat. “Careful, a lot of these planks are rickety and old.”

“Okay.” She kept her eyes on the floor, taking a giant step over a rickety board.

“We’re here.” I knocked on the door. “Dad?” I knocked again, knowing well he slept like a log, not unlike Naomi.

“Bellinor, is that you?” came a groggy reply.

“Yes, it’s me, Dad. Naomi is with me, too.”

Before I could react, he swung the door open, holding out his arm to invite inside. “Please, come on in!” he said groggily, but still managed a smile on his face. His shirt was disheveled and misbuttoned, revealing part of his tattoo of a stylised ten-percent Zygarde, with the Anglo-Saxon runes “Fenrir” underneath it. He told me stories that one of the names given to Zygarde was Fenrir.

We both walked in, ducking our heads to watch the top of the doorframe. As soon as we did, Stoney and Iolite greeted us with wagging tails and lolling tongues. They both sat on their haunches, waiting for us to pet them, but they sat still and didn’t attempt to jump on us.

The inside of his houseboat was beautiful, with walnut veneer floor and white walls with wooden trimmings. On the right side of the boat, was a picture of what I presumed was Sonia, one of Dad’s good friends. On the left side of the boat was a fireplace, something unheard of in Alola, except on Mount Lanakila and Hokulani. Next to the fireplace, was a pile of freshly chopped logs of Mountain Sandalwood. On the ceiling of the houseboat, two beautiful skylights let the sunshine filter into the inside. The couches were grey in colour, with dark grey throw pillows. His bedroom was towards the back of the boat, but it was small and didn’t have much to it, because it only fit his bed, from the last time I had remembered.

The inside of his houseboat was beautiful, with

“Hi Stoney, hi Iolite.” I reached both hands down at the same time and petted them both.

“You guys are so cute…” Naomi reached down and started to pet them too.

“Thank you. I’m glad you like them, Naomi. They’re my children, too.”

I smiled and looked up at Dad. “Dad, how is Flare? Is he at a Pokémon Centre?”

“Yes, the Nurse Joy there is treating him right now, in fact. She must amputate his leg and it’s going to be a long surgery. She had to get a vet from Akala because they can’t afford to hire a full-time vet…”

“Why does Akala Island have a better budget?” Naomi muttered rhetorically to herself, but I could hear every word.

“Good question. I think it’s one of the more densely populated islands.” I tried my best to answer her question.

“You’re right,” Dad chimed in. “Studying population characteristics in college, Bellinor here is right. It’s the most densely populated island in all Alola. It was basically a short course and it was extra credit, so I went for it and got 3.7 GPA, so I guess I did well.”

“What was your major? I’m thinking about going back to school, but I’m so bad at math and science, that I dropped out…”

“Ah, fear not, Naomi. I’m a mathematician, whether you believe me or not. I got my degree in mathematics and I’m a math whizz. Science, I’m not so good at, but Bellinor here is an expert on chemistry and biology. In fact, we’d love to help you out, if you would like. Even my ex-wife was a whizz at chemistry and physics. She just doesn’t show it… it freaks people out.”

“We’re willing to help.” I nodded.

“Thank you! Maybe, just maybe, I’ll go back part-time. I don’t have time to be there full-time. It might put my job on the line and Alola needs me…” She clenched her fists, and I could tell she was thinking about the two murders we had just arrested.

“You know those two murderers you both locked up the other week? They were found guilty of statutory rape, too. Let’s see… their names were—”

“I could care less about their names. They’re pieces of shit and I never want to hear about them again,” she huffed.

“They were found guilty of rape! How low are these guys?” I clenched my fists until I could see the skin turning a paler white than my skin colour. “Dad… the second one broke into Mom and Jonathan’s house… if we hadn’t been there and… and…”

“He could have easily molested her…” Dad looked at me solemnly. Even though they were divorced, they were still on good terms and still cared about each other. “Libelle…” His eyes started to water, even though he was a man that showed no sadness and tried to remain as positive as possible.

“Cuth…wulf? Right? Are you okay?” Naomi asked, shocked at his sudden change in demeanour.

“Yes, I’m fine.” He was trying his best to hide his tears, but it didn’t work, because both of us saw him.

“Dad, it’s okay… we were there at the time and you should be grateful that we were there at the time.”

“You’re right.” He wiped a tear away with the collar of his shirt. “Would you like to walk with me to the Pokémon Centre? It’s just up the staircase.”

“I’d love to walk, but I’m feeling faint from losing so much blood. You were there, so you know what I’m talking about.”

“Oh yeah! I completely forgot about that. Yes, I’m sorry. There has to be a way for you to get up the stairs.”

“He could ride Dale, I don’t see why not,” she piped up.

“That’s not a bad idea, can I please?” I asked.

“You have full permission to ride Dale.”

“Thank you, Naomi. Let’s go.”

---000—

We made it to the Pokémon Centre without any problems and my dizziness soon wore off the second I stepped inside, as the AC was blasting and there were two fans blowing too.

“Ah… it feels so good in here,” I commented, which caught the attention of the Nurse Joy.

“Welcome, how may I help you?” she asked with a smile.

“How’s Flare, Nurse Joy?” Dad asked.

“Oh! Cuthwulf, welcome! Yes, come this way. Who are your friends?”

“I’m Naomi Onaona, charmed.”

“I’m Bellinor Nanu and Cuthwulf is my dad.”

“Oh, so you’re Captain Onaona’s niece? I’m sorry for your loss, I just heard about it the other day. Word on other islands doesn’t spread quickly here, and I didn’t know until I saw it on the news.”

“Thank you…” Naomi said breathlessly, sighing cathartically.

“Of course, honey. Come this way.” She urged us to come with her. “Bellinor, I’ve heard about you. You’re the one that found Flare, right?”

“I found him, yes, but Naomi was with me, so give her credit too.”

Nurse Joy stared at Naomi, looking at her apprehensively. “You were the one that wanted to shoot him yet look at him, he’s doing so much better.” She pointed at Flare that was in a kennel.

“I’m sorry… I shouldn’t have thought about doing that.”

Flare looked up at us, a large Elizabethan collar around his neck. Where there was once a gangrenous leg with bone showing, with no fur, completely shaved and bright pink skin, with stitches holding together skin wrapped around what little bone was in the leg still. He looked at us with curiosity, his tongue lolling and wagging his tail, despite the pained look upon his face.

“You should take Flare with you, Bellinor,” Nurse Joy suggested.

“Yes, maybe I’ll do that.” I nodded. “Thank you for helping him…”

“Of course. It’s my job to help injured Pokémon anyway.” Nurse Joy smiled.

--00—

Present

“Well, that’s how I met Flare and how we managed to save him… but it took a while for him to gain my trust, of course.”

“What a beautiful story…” Martha said quietly. “I’m so glad I got to hear it.”

“I enjoyed that story and thank you for telling us, it definitely helped pass the time! It’s getting boring being here!” Ruben nodded, agreeing with his best friend.

“I liked it, thank you, Nanu,” Le said with a smile. She didn’t say anything witty or sarcastic, which surprised me.

“Of course, guys. I’d be happy to tell more stories, but I’m feeling a bit drowsy.”

“I’m tired too.” Naomi nodded, yawning.

“You’re not the only one… it’s getting late. Shall we go to bed now?” Le pointed to the clock on the wall. It was already 11 o’clock at night!

“I didn’t realise the time… heh…” Ruben looked up at the clock.

“Let’s go to bed now, all right?” Martha grabbed Ruben’s hand.

“Okay, let’s go. Goodnight, everyone.”

“Goodnight!” we all said in unison.

---00—

Dream…

“Brother look out!” a feminine voice said. I recognised it as being Argenta’s voice.

W-what… is this? I thought. Am I seeing one of Argenta’s memories? Why me of all people? Am I in her body? I noticed in my vision I could see long, green claws, a long muzzle and the hatchet-looking thing in front of my face.

“Faba, this isn’t over!” a masculine voice said with anger.

“You monsters!” I could hear Faba’s voice. I instantly recognised the sound of a gun cocking. “You come in closer, and you’ll get a bullet in your brains! You hear me! I’ll end your suffering, you horrid beasts!”

“Why are you calling us that!” Argenta snarled. “You’re the monster! You created us and you shall suffer the consequences!”

“Yes, Faba!” the masculine voice said.

I turned around and noticed the same type Pokémon Argenta was, but he was a different colour than she was. Instead of being mostly grey in colour, he was gold in colour.

He’s a shiny, perhaps, since he’s a different colour.

“Brother, no!” Argenta cried out to him as he jumped at Faba.

Faba pointed what appeared to be a tranquiliser gun at him and fired it. The other Type: Full collapsed on the ground: dead. He twitched a little before succumbing to the poisons in the dart.

“BROTHER!” Argenta screamed bloody murder. “YOU!” she snarled, hackles raised and baring her fangs.

Faba laughed evilly, simply clapping and saying nothing.

I-I get it… I understand… I understand why she hates Faba so much.

“I’m going to kill you, Faba. Just you wait. I’ll kill you when you least expect it!”

---000—

I woke up in a daze, unsure of what had happened. I rubbed my head, as it was just pounding. I looked over at Argenta, whom was just staring out one of the windows. Sunlight was starting to pour through the glass.

“Argenta…” I said quietly.

Yes, Nanu? she asked, coming closer.

“W… what in God’s name was that?”

Did… you see what happened? You saw my brother die before my eyes?

“Yes…” I said solemnly, unsure of what to say. “Is that one of your memories?”

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but yes, it is. I have nightmares of it every night… I have trouble sleeping.

“Oh…” I began to pet her, comforting her. “Argenta… all of my grandparents are dead and everyday I miss them too. My dad’s parents died not too long ago, and my mom’s parents died with I was a child. Seeing their bodies in caskets horrified me and I can’t get over it. I sometimes see their ashy grey faces in my nightmares. I’ll never get used to seeing dead bodies, even though it’s part of my job. That crime scene in that flashback… I still get nightmares sometimes, but I haven’t gotten any lately.”

I’m sorry you get nightmares too… Nightmares scare me to the point I can’t even sleep… it’s why I look perpetually tired all the time, but I try my best to sleep. Isn’t there something called trazodone? I think it helps people to sleep, but I don’t see why I can’t take it, too. I’m scared… I keep feeling my brother is still alive and somehow escaped.

I gulped. What if she’s right? Could her brother still be alive? If so, where would be? I thought to myself. “Argenta.” I gave her a pet on the shoulder. “As soon as we get out of here, let’s look for your brother. There’s just something tickling my brain and it hasn’t stopped bothering me. I think he’s alive.”

Nanu, you would do that for me?

“Of course, I would. It might give you some closure.”

Naomi started to shuffle and wake up, rubbing her eyes. “W-what’s going on?” she asked groggily.

“As soon as we get out of here, we’re looking for Argenta’s brother.”

“She as a… WHAT?” Her jaw dropped.

Le, Ruben and Martha all walked in at the same time, but I could hear them when I was talking to Argenta. They all stared at Argenta with curiosity.

This should be our new mission… I thought to myself.

Chapter Text

Chapter 16

Argenta looked at all of us with curiosity, unsure of what to say. You guys… I could see tears starting to form in her eyes. I can’t believe you guys would help me…

“Of course, we would.” I wrapped my arms around her and let her rest her head on my shoulder, which felt comforting to me. “Something is nagging me though… I saw him collapse and convulse, and I thought he was dead. How on earth did he make it?”

I-I don’t know… something in the back of my head is telling me he’s still alive and only faked his death. He’s smart. He would know what death is, because we have seen it so many times.

“Nanu’s right, but we’re here for you, Argenta,” Naomi said groggily, but started to perk up. “Now, we have to figure out a way to get out of here. Nanu, do you still have that Ride Pager?”

“Hmm…” I stood up and walked over to the thick coat, shoving my hands into the pocket. I felt something small and compact, not unlike a cell phone. “Ah-hah! Here it is!”

Naomi walked over, holding out her hands and letting me give it to her. “Hmm…” She started at it intently. “Flygon, Mudsdale, Sharpedo, Metagross, Dragonair, Stoutland, Tauros, Mantine, Noivern… no Ice-types…dammit!”

“Well, so much for that.” I shrugged. Think… what would Molayne do? Molayne comes up to here quite often, but usually spends the night at a Pokémon Centre, I thought to myself. “Wait! Martha, is there a way to change the frequency of the weather radio and send an SOS signal?” I turned my attention towards her.

“It’ll take me a few hours, but I could try it. Y’all do something else.” She walked over to the weather radio. By some miracle, she happened to have a screwdriver with the right sized bit on it.

“Okay, I can wait. Don’t worry, we can try some other way of communicating.” I reached into my pocket and fished out my cell phone. “No bars and it’s at ten-percent…” I sighed. If I could get one bar…

“So, why are you having me do this?” Martha asked.

“Molayne loves to listen to different radio frequencies, especially those from space, but I figured if you could fix it, and get on his channel, maybe he could help us?”

“We’ll be without a weather report for a while. Are you sure you want me to do this?” She stared at me raptly, but with apprehension.

“Yes, I’m sure.” I nodded, remembering the annoying weather reporters. “The weather reporters are annoying anyway.” I looked over at Firium, whom was still sleeping. “I wonder if Firium could help us…” I scratched my chin, noticing I needed to shave.

Argenta walked up to Firium, purring softly at him and licking him.

“Meow,” he simply mewed, opening his eyes and yawning.

I don’t need a translator for that, because it sounded like ‘I love you’ to me. That was fast, but the two seem so affectionate towards each other. We’ve only been here for three days now, I thought to myself. I started to feel hungry. “Hey Martha, I’m going to make breakfast, do you want some?”

“No, no.” She shooed me with her hands, looking at me vexingly.

“Suit yourself.” I shrug off her annoyed look on her face. She’s determined, I can tell. But I can also tell she needs her medication, too, since she’s shaking like a leaf. I looked over at Le and noticed she was shaking too. Withdrawals are horrible things. I hope I never get addicted to painkillers again.

“I got a splitting headache.” Naomi rubbed her head.

“Maybe you need some food or caffeine. I can make you some coffee,” I offered.

“Yes, I would appreciate that.” She nodded.

Ruben looked out the window apprehensively. “It’s still storming out.”

I noticed some of the snow that had buried the cabin had shifted and fallen off the roof, revealing the grey, dingy world outside. “Molayne says climate change is affecting the weather patterns around the world, including up here on Lanakila.”

“Is that why there’s so much snow?” Le asked.

“I believe so.” I nodded, closing my eyes and sighing. “He also said we’ll have a really strong El Niño this year too, which effects the weather all over Alola and the world too.”

“Molayne is a science wizard, huh?” Le scratched her chin.

“Yes, he is. He has a degree in science and studies all types of science, but one of his hobbies is working with all kinds of mediums. He’s the one that gave me that pearl grip for my Beretta Cheetah, so that just shows the level of dedication he has to various crafts. He also likes to look at various galaxies, nebulae and stars through the Hokulani Observatory’s telescope, when he’s not busy.” I shrugged, making my way towards the kitchen.

“It seems like he is busy, though,” Naomi teased, as she made her way to the kitchen, with a look of anticipation.

Le, Ruben, Naomi and I all sat down at the table, eating breakfast and drinking coffee. All the Pokémon looked at with me, with hungered looks, so I decided to feed them, too.

I could hear Martha’s stomach rumbling. “Martha… please come and get some breakfast, before you get sick from not eating.”

She eventually got up, rubbing her shoulder in embarrassment. “I’m coming…” she said quietly, hanging her head down. “You could hear my stomach?” she asked as she sat down at the table, looking at the already prepared plate.

“Yes. I can tell you’re hungry.” I nodded, watching her starting to eat the half-cooled bacon.

“Thanks, Nanu… sorry for my outburst.”

“You’re fine. I can tell you’re stressed out. I think we all are. I need some alone time as soon as we can get out of here. I know you’re going through a withdrawal too.”

“Yes… I need my medicine soon. The quicker we get out of here, the better.” Le nodded in agreement.

“You can say that again,” Ruben said with a slight annoyed tone. “It’s not that I don’t like you guys, but I really would like to get out of here and have some alone time, too.”

“Oh yeah, that’s something I can definitely agree with.” Naomi nudged me playfully. “I’m certainly getting tired of Nanu here,” she teased.

“Hey!” I poked her playfully. “You suck, Naomi!” I teased her back.

“I know I do.” She had a smirk on her face, but I need deep down that it was a double entendre.

Nice double entendre, hehe… I thought to myself. “Guys, if you want, we could do our own thing, while Martha finishes up fixing the radio.”

“Come on, we want to hear another story. I’m enjoying them!” Le looked at me pleadingly.

I sighed, shrugging. “What would like to hear? You don’t know that much about me, do you?”

“I want to hear about how you met Molayne.” She grinned.

“Wow, you guys can’t take a break, really? Fine, I’ll tell it, but let me go to the bathroom first.”

“Fair enough. I’ll listen,” Martha said as she took a giant bite, finishing off the bacon and taking a huge swig of coffee. She stood up and went back to the radio.

“I’ll make more coffee, then,” Naomi offered.

“I’ll be right back.” I walked off. When I returned, everyone sat down on the couch, sipping coffee and looking at me with anticipation and even the Pokémon were sitting down, staring at me with curious looks. “Wow, I can’t even take a break, huh? Fine, this story is old. Long before I even met Naomi or even Geoff for that matter. I was 18 and it was after my birthday when it happened and had just started college.”


Flashback, August 12, 1986

“Ugh…” I sighed, struggling to remember to balance equations. “Think Bellinor, think…”

“Hey, are you having trouble?” a man around my age asked, walking up to me. “I could help you with that. Balancing equations is hard, trust me.” He was wearing a dark blue t-shirt and grey jeans. He was tall and lanky, with spiky dirty blond hair that ended in a tuft above his head. He adjusted his thick-rimmed glasses that perched upon his nose. He looked at me with friendly, grey eyes. Around his neck was a lanyard, with a Steelium-Z crystal clipped to it, but I could tell it was a replica.

“Yes, I’m having trouble. You think you can help?”

“Molayne, what are you doing?” a masculine voice sighed. “I thought you were helping me.”

“Hush, Kahi. I have a right to help him, too. In fact, I could help you both at the same time. Come on over here.” He turned his attention back towards me. “My name is Molayne, what is yours?”

“I’m Bellinor, but majority of people just call me Nanu.” I held out my hand, watching him shake it. “Nice to meet you, Molayne. Who’s your friend over there?” I asked.

“Ah, that’s my buddy Kahi. He’s the son of the Professor.”

“Wow.” I nodded, looking at the young man.

He decided to walk on over. He was completely opposite of Molayne, being tall and muscular, with tanned skin, black hair and black eyes. Like Molayne, a pair of thin-rimmed glasses was perched upon his nose. He was wearing a white t-shirt and grey shorts. I could see his abs bulging through his shirt. “Hey, my name is Kahi Kukui, what is yours?” He held out his hand.

“I’m Bellinor, but most people call me Nanu. Nice to meet you.” I shook his hand. “So, you’re the Professor’s son? That’s interesting.”

“Yeah! I hope to take over his lab someday.”

“That’s a good goal to have. Now, what do you need help with? I’m good at chemistry and biology, but for some reason, I’m struggling with balancing equations…”

“We can all help each other,” a new and feminine voice said.

I turned to look over at the owner of the voice, and lo and behold, it was a beautiful woman with beautiful platinum blonde hair, tanned skin, large leg muscles, and golden-green eyes. She was wearing a grey t-shirt and black pants. Wrapped around her waist, was a black hoodie with an orange stripe. She also had an emerald green headband and a necklace with a silver chain and a silver ring clasped at the end.

“Aww, Burnie, you’d do that?” Kahi asked.

“Of course, my dear.” She winked at him.

“Bernie? Is that a nickname?” I asked, curious.

“Yes. It’s what my closest friends call me. My name is Ashley Burnet. Nice to meet you, and you are?” She asked while shaking my hand.

“I’m Bellinor, but most people just call me Nanu… and for a good reason.” I started to rub the back of my head.

“Why’s that?” Kahi asked curiously, cocking his head.

“All throughout school, I was called Belly or Bellyache or any variation on those words… kids were mean to me.”

“Oh geez… I’m sorry to hear that. I know how it feels to be made fun of, to be honest… kids called me Mol-payne a lot… all because they thought I was a pain in their butts.”

“You’re not the only one! People called me Whitey, because of my platinum blonde hair! Trust me, it got annoying. Nowadays, it’s racist.”

“I was made fun of because my name is actually quite long, so when I started seventh grade, I told my teachers to shorten my name. It seems to have worked, because the kids moved onto some other poor Native Alolan kid. My full name is Kahikilani, actually.”

“You don’t look Native Alolan, so I never would have guessed.” I shrugged.

“I actually get that a lot, but it could be because my mom is from Sinnoh. She came to Alola when she was a child and has lived here ever since. My father is from Alola but lived in Unova for a long time. My mom was on vacation once in Unova and that’s how she met my dad. The world is small, and it happened to be a coincidence they were both on vacation and both from Alola.”

“That’s amazing, Kahi. The world keeps getting smaller and smaller every year, actually.”

“Yeah! Bernie here is from Unova too, actually.”

“Really?” I looked over at the blonde woman.

“Yes, my parents and I are from Unova, but we came here for vacation. I didn’t think I would end up living here. As a bonus, my dad hates the cold.” She started to twirl her braided hair.

“Hey, you’re not the only one with immigrant parents. My mom and dad are both from Galar. My mom was only a baby when her parents moved to here, though. My dad has a house in Galar and lives there for part of the year.” I started to feel hurt thinking about how my dad abandoned my mom and I, but I ignored it. “Molayne, what about your parents? What region are they from?”

“My mom and dad are both Kalos, but coincidentally, decided to vacation here and they ended up moving, not unlike Bernie’s parents.” Molayne shrugged. “I think it’s how we all ended up bonding with each other… we all have parents that were vacationing at one point.”

“Hey, shall we go out and have some lunch together? After class, of course,” Kahi asked.

“All right. Why not?” I shrugged, even though I wasn’t much of a people person. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to be social every once in a while, I thought to myself.

More and more college-aged students filtered into the class as the professor walked up towards the front of the class. I watched as he wrote several chemical equations down, copying every word that he wrote. By the time I had finished writing down all the notes, the class was over. Many students rushed out of the class, happy to be liberated from such a difficult course.

I stayed behind, waiting for Kahi, Ashley and Molayne. They all approached me, and we left together, walking towards a café that allowed Pokémon. I let Blu out, while Kahi let a Litten out, Ashley let a Dartrix out and Molayne let a Skarmory out.

I looked at everyone’s Pokémon curiously. “You guys have some cool Pokémon.” I smiled, nodding. “Say, have you guys heard about this new Battle Royal thing? I think it’s where four trainers face each other at the same time. I’ve always been too chicken to try it, as I don’t have any friends to try it with… but now that I’ve met you guys—”

“Hey, you’re right! I heard this guy named Masked Royal is the undefeated champion of the Battle Royal. Have you all heard of him?” Kahi asked, looking suspicious.

Don’t tell me: you’re Masked Royal, huh? I can see through your smokescreen here, buddy, and I don’t really even know you yet. I can tell you’re hiding something, I thought to myself.

“Masked Royal is so sexy!” Ashley closed her eyes and sighed softly. “I hope he holds me in his arms!” She kept talking about him, but I started to ignore her.

You got to be kidding me… Masked Royal looks exactly like him, how the hell do you not know that it’s him, or are you just faking it, so you don’t reveal his true identity? I’m not even a detective but I know damn well what’s going on here.

“Earth to Nanu, are you there? We’re next in line.” Molayne waved his hand in front of my face.

“Ah yes, I’m sorry.” I nodded, knowing exactly what I wanted.

“May I take your… ah, it’s Nanu! Do you want your usual?” the cashier asked, with a smirk on his face.

“Yes, I want my usual coffee and sandwich, please,” I said politely.

“One cappuccino with almond milk and tempeh sandwich, coming right up!” the cashier shouted to the person in the back of the café. “That’ll be $6.34, please.”

“On it.” I grabbed my wallet and a $10 from it, handing it to him. I held out my hands as he handed me back $3.66. “Thank you!”

“You’re welcome, Nanu, hope to see you again.” The cashier smiled at me as I moved over. “Tell your mom I said ‘hi’, all right?”

“Will do, Abe!” I turned around, nearly forgetting about my new friends that I just met. They started at me in awe at the unusual food I had ordered. “What?” I blinked.

“What is… tempeh?” Ashley looked at me with a confused look on her face. “I’ve never heard of it.”

“Oh,” I said while grabbing my readied coffee and sandwich. “It’s fermented soybeans. Blame my mom, she’s that loves it just as much as I do. My mom is vegetarian, actually.” I walked over towards a table, sitting down.

“Wow! That’s amazing. I’ve always wanted to try it, so I might as well start.” Ashley looked at me enthusiastically. “But, I’m a huge fan of sushi, it’s my life. That’s why I ordered some,” she said while sitting down.

The smell of fish hit my nose, causing my stomach to flip a little, being intolerant to fish didn’t help, but I ignored it. I didn’t notice what my friends had ordered, but I saw that Kahi had a slice of cheese pizza, Ashley had salmon rolls and an everything bagel with crème cheese on it.

“Hey, I’m vegetarian too. It doesn’t seem right killing a Pokémon or a fish for my own selfishness.” Molayne shrugged.

“That’s something I can agree with.” Kahi glared at his friend, whom had already shoved a roll into her mouth. “Besides, it’s taboo anyway.”

“Hey! I’m trying!” she pouted, mouth half-full.

I took a sip of my coffee, nodding. “I’m intolerant of fish too, so that smell isn’t helping. Yes, I can smell it. My nose is indefinitely sensitive, and I have to try and block out smells, it gets to be a pain after a while.” I looked over at all the Pokémon, they seemed to be happy that they got some malasadas and berry juice. I took a bite, tasting the satisfying combo of tempeh, lettuce, tomato and mayo.

“What’s your Persian’s name?” Ashley asked. “She’s beautiful and seems to get along with our Pokémon.”

“Her name is Blu, and she was my mom’s Pokémon, when she was a child. When I was 10, she gave me Blu for my birthday, so I could start off on an Island Challenge, too. What are your Pokémon’s names?”

“My Dartrix’s name is Phantom, I think it fits her. My mom named her that.”

“My Skarmory’s name is Petrel. I named him that and I found him abandoned by his trainer.”

“And my Litten’s name is Soleil. My dad named him that.”

“You guys have such creative names for your Pokémon. I guess Blu got her name because of her beautiful, blue fur. I think it fits her. But Phantom as a feminine name? That’s interesting, to be honest.”

“Yeah, I mostly just call her Fanny, but I think the name Phantom fits, because she’s going to be a Ghost-type here soon. I have a feeling she’s about to evolve, because she’s been acting strange lately.”

I took another bite of my sandwich, which was half-way gone already. “Would you like to practice battling with me? Maybe Phantom will get stronger and closer to evolving.”

“Well, we can try it.” I watched her shove her last roll into her mouth. “Okay, let’s go!”

I shoved one last bite into my mouth, cleaning off my plate and cup of coffee. “You aren’t done yet?” I looked over at Kahi and Molayne.

“I’m a slow eater, sorry…” Molayne forced a laugh.

“I’m sorry, I have a lot on my mind. You two go on ahead, we can catch up,” Kahi sighed.

“You’re so slow, Kahi!” Ashley glared at him.

“Jeez, sorry! Go on ahead, I don’t care.”

We returned our dirty dishes to the front counter, leaving the two behind. Blu and Phantom followed close behind as we walked outside. We found a fairly flat and plain surface, so we didn’t have to worry about anything getting destroyed.

“Hey, there isn’t anyone to judge. Should we wait for the others?” Ashley asked.

“Hmm, that’s not a bad idea, really.” I walked over to a bench and sat down. “What do you like to do in your free time, Ashley?”

“Well…” she mumbled as she sat down. “I like to cook, draw, play tennis and practice battling with my Dartrix. What about you?”

I stifled a yawn, as I was getting tired and wasn’t used to being up so early. “I may seem lazy, but I usually sleep during the day, but I love the nighttime, especially walking along the beach at night. I also like to this gun range and shoot my Beretta Cheetah, I like to mix drinks, read books and practice Black Hole Eclipse.”

“You haven’t gotten the hang of it yet, huh? Z-Moves take a long time to master. Phantom and I have been practicing Bloom Doom for about a year now, and we’re nearly there, too.”

“People learn Z-Moves at different rates. There’s no wrong or right way to learn them. My mom told me it took her about four months to perfect it. I don’t blame her. I’m struggling, to be frank.” I petted Blu’s head, feeling her silky fur.

“You’re right, there’s no right or wrong way of doing it.” She nodded in agreement, rubbing the top of Phantom’s head. “Can I pet Blu?”

“Yes. She loves to be pet right between her ears. Can I give Phantom some scritches?”

“Of course!” She smiled as she began to pet Blu between the ears.

“Meowww…” she started to purr loudly.

I reached my hand over at Phantom, giving her scritches the top of her head and rubbing her cheeks and neck; her feathers feeling soft to the touch. “I don’t really like bird Pokémon, but my mom’s Toucannon, Seedpiper, helped me appreciate them more. They love being petted there, because they can’t reach there when they’re preening.”

Phantom relaxed, leaning against my legs, nearly touching my crotch. “Coo-coo…” she cooed quietly.

Don’t come any closer… please, I thought to myself.

“Hey, that’s right. What’s up with you not liking bird Pokémon?”

“When I was little, I had a Pelipper fly into me, trying to get my ice cream. All I remember was a ‘smack!’ and I was lying down on the ground, knocked out. I had been freaked out ever since, but my mom taught me to appreciate them, since she has a Toucannon.”

“Oh, I understand, I’ve had Pikipek and Wingull attack me, all because I had food in my hands.”

“Hey, there they are!” I heard Kahi’s voice.

“Hey guys!” Molayne waved as he walked up. “What are you two doing?”

Blu ran towards Soleil, purring and rubbing cheeks, while Phantom flew up towards Petrel, locking talons mid-air.

“We were just making small talk,” Ashley replied. “So, who wants to judge the battle?”

“I’ll judge the battle,” Molayne offered.

“Phantom, ready for a battle?” she asked.

“Come on, Blu,” I urged her to come, but she was already on my heels.

“Ashley versus Bellinor, start!” Molayne commanded.

“Blu, let’s start off with a Water Pulse!”

“Phantom, let’s start off with a Brave Bird!”

A large, bird-shaped aura formed around Phantom’s body as she flew towards Blu, but she managed to dodge the attack, forming water in front of her mouth, slamming it onto Phantom’s back. Phantom crashed into the ground, but quickly recovered.

“Impressive! Using a move that’s not highly effective against a Grass-type. I commend you for doing that, Bellinor. I guess I better watch my back! Phantom, let’s use Leaf Blade!”

“Blu, counter it and use an Iron Tail!”

Blu’s tail began to glow bright white, readying herself as two bright green blades of leaves formed on Phantom’s back. The two powerful attacks clashed, forming a stalemate.

“Blu’s power is amazing!” Ashley gasped, unable to comprehend what was happening.

“My mother had her ever since she was a child. Her power is unmatched and many people I battle end up losing… Show me what you’ve got! Show me you’re worthy of my time!”

“You’ve gotten me fired up, Bellinor! Okay, Phantom, let’s use a Sky Attack! Go!”

“Quick, use another Iron Tail to counter it!”

A bright white aura formed around Phantom as she flew up into the sky, diving bombing Blu, but she got out of the way and slammed her bright white tail into Phantom, knocking the grass owl into the ground. Her claws began to glow bright purple as a dark, claw-shaped aura formed around her paws. Phantom struggled to get up, but when I thought I was winning, she began to glow green. Her legs, tail and wings started to grow longer, while a hood and one feather quill formed on her head.

So… she evolved? She’s a Decidueye now! Impressive!

She managed to free herself from Blu’s grip, flying high and grabbing a feather arrow from her wing, a shadowy aura forming around the arrow.

Is that… Spirit Shackle? I’ve never seen this move before! I thought to myself. I had think fast, or Blu would be in a pickle. “Blu, let’s counter Spirit Shackle with Power Gem!” I commanded.

Blu’s jewel began to glow white, as a blue beam of energy shot from it. The arrow came flying through the beam and easily sliced through it, striking Blu on her back, causing her to collapse into the ground.

I unclipped the Darkinium-Z crystal from my necklace. “I didn’t think we’d have to do this…”

“Meow…” Blu mewed quietly, wagging her tail in apprehension.

I spread my legs, crossed my arms in front of his face; then placed my arms at an angle, precisely at a 70-degree angle; I straightened and crossed my arms in front of my chest. I bent over with my hands on his side, nearly touching the ground. I then steadily stood up and then reached up towards the ceiling. A purple aura surrounded our body. A giant black and purple orb appeared above us. It changed to a swirling red. “BLACK HOLE ECLIPSE!

“You leave me no choice…” Ashley grabbed a Grassium-Z crystal from one of her pockets. “Are you ready, Phantom?”

“Coo!” she cooed softly, nodding.

“Let’s do this! Bloom Doom!” Ashley held her arms off to her side, moving them in front of her, crossing them as she raised them above her head, slowly spreading them out. She slowly crossed them again in front of her chest, squatting and slowly standing up, spreading out her arms again, like a flower. A bright green aura formed around them as thousands of flowers formed on the field, the black hole sucking them all up and rendering it useless.

This caught me off guard, amazed that the two attacks cancelled each other out and were useless. “W-what… was that?”

“Incredible…” Molayne muttered to himself, but I could hear him.

Blu and Phantom looked tuckered out, unable to make anymore moves. Blu gathered up one last ounce of strength, and without me commanding her, she struck Phantom with a Shadow Claw, causing the grass owl to faint.

“Meow!” Blu mewed in joy, prancing back towards me, proud of her win.

“Phantom is unable to battle, Nanu is the winner!” Molayne called out.

“Phantom!” Ashley rushed out to her Pokémon’s side, grabbing the grass owl’s limp body and picking her up. “Are you okay?”

“Pfft,” I snorted. “Another easy win for me.” I started to snicker.

“Hey! What was that for!” Ashley hissed.

“Oh… I’m sorry, I’m really competitive and love to battle, so I’m sorry if that came out as being harsh.”

“It’s okay. I understand.” She nodded.

“I’m training to become a Kahuna and during my training, I’ve had so many battles, that they’ve become boring and such easy wins, so I’m not sure how to react.” I shrugged.

“You’re training to become a Kahuna? What?” Kahi looked at me, shocked, finally saying something after being silent.

“Oh, that’s impressive, Bellinor! I’m glad for you!” Molayne started to clap.

“Oh, that’s great! Congrats!” Ashley bowed slightly.

I felt a blush creep on my face, as I felt flattered. “Heh…hehe… I appreciate everyone’s support. Wish me luck, all right?

“Of course!” they all said simultaneously.

“Anyways, I got to go now, my mom wants me to buy some stuff from the store. She’s lactose intolerant and the only store that has it, is the Thrifty Megamart in the Tapu Village.”

“Okay! Bye Bellinor, it was nice meeting you!” Ashley smiled.

“Nice to meet you, hope I can help tutor you, not cost to you.” Molayne waved.

“Great meeting you, let’s be friends!” Kahi said enthusiastically.

“Of course! Bye, guys!” I waved goodbye, walking towards my car, just in time too, as it started to rain.

The drive to the store was rather uneventful, as it just started to pour down raining and only cloud-to-cloud lightning, which was rather boring to me, as I prefer cloud-to-ground or cloud-to-sky lightning.

I carefully got out of my car and ran into the store, getting my shoes and socks completely soaking wet. The automatic doors opening quickly, cold air blasting from the AC running, causing me to shiver. Painfully slow Muzak played through the loudspeakers.

“Brrr…”

“Hi, it looks like you’re in need of an umbrella, would you like to buy one?” a feminine voice said to me.

I turned around and looked at her. “Oh… yeah, I’d love an umbrella.”

She was beautiful and tall, at 5’8”, with shiny black hair and deep brown eyes that looked nearly black and large, bulging leg and arm muscles. She was wearing white polo, dark blue overalls and blue shorts. Around her neck was a Groundium-Z crystal. She has the most beautiful smile I had ever seen, with teeth that had been recently whitened. Written on her nametag was ‘Thrifty Megamart’ on one line and the name ‘Naomi’ on the other. “My name is Naomi, and if you need help, I’ll be right over here, stocking some vegetable soup.”

“All right, thanks, Naomi. Can you point out where the umbrellas are? I haven’t had a chance to buy a new one… my old one was ripped up by time and weather.”

“Of course! They’re right there.” She pointed to a display near the registers. “They’re in that PDQ over there!”

“Thank you!” I walked over and grabbed a bright green umbrella. “Why are they called PDQs?”

“It stands for pretty damn quick, because we can just take them out of the box just like that and don’t need to set them up, hence the name PDQ.”

“Heh… that makes sense,” I chuckled. “All right, I have to get some stuff for my mom.”

“Cool! Well, I’ll be over here, if you need me.”


Present

“WAIT A MINUTE! That was you, all those years ago? Four years before we met?” Naomi looked at me, shocked.

“Yes, I didn’t know it was you until I remembered just now… I can’t believe I met you all those years ago.”

“Guys, I hate to break up your reverie, but I’ve fixed the radio. You should be able to send signals. What is Molayne’s channel?”

“Molayne’s channel should be 556,” I replied. “If not, try 349.” I walked up to Martha and sat down next to her.

“All right.” Martha messed with the dial on the radio, changing it to 556.

“Moment of truth…” I crossed my fingers. “Molayne… this is Nanu, do you come in? Over.”

“I hear you loud and clear, Nanu! What’s up? Over.” Molayne’s voice came clear over the radio.

“We’re stuck on Mount Lanakila, in a cabin on the summit. We can’t leave because of this blizzard and we’ve been here for God knows how many days. We’ve lost count. Over.”

“Nanu… I’ll send rescue asap! Please give me time. Contact me again, if something happens, over!”

There was silence on the other end, and I knew that he was already on it. I stood up, grabbing an empty glass and tapping it with a fork. “You heard him, right? We’re getting out of here!”

“Mazel tov!” Martha shouted in joy, walking to the kitchen and grabbing the wine bottle from the fridge. “Let’s drink to this!”

Chapter Text

Chapter 17

Argenta, Rusty, Blu, Flare, Gemma, Firium, Dale and Flower looked at us all with happiness. Dale trilled his lips, nickering softly, while Flare wagged his tail in anticipation, Blu and Firium purring softly, Rusty growling quietly, Argenta cooing like a bird and Gemma laughing happily.

Martha opened the bottle of wine, the cork coming off with a pop! sound. “Everyone, let’s drink until we can’t think!” She grabbed five wine glasses for us.

“CHEERS!” we all toasted at the same time.

“Hey, this wine is pretty good.” Ruben looked at the bottle. “’Ula’ula Vineyards, 1985, Pinot Noir’, huh? This is one of the best wines I’ve ever had.”

“I couldn’t agree more.” Le nodded in agreement, drinking the wine quickly. Her glass of wine was already empty, and I knew damn well she wanted a second helping.

“Do you want another helping?” Martha asked, taking the bottle from Ruben’s hands.

“Yes, I do.” She nodded as she handed her glass to her.

“Here you go,” Martha said while pouring her some more wine.

“Thank you, Martha.” She sipped slower.

“Of course! Anyone else want a second glass?”

“I do!” I held up my hand, handing her my empty glass. “This will be my last, I really don’t want a hangover, to be honest.”

“I get it.” Martha nodded, pouring me a second helping. “Here you go.”

“I appreciate it.” I smiled, nodding.

“No problem.” She smiled.

I watched as my friends all had four glasses of wine, but I lost count after four, and started to get tipsy and rowdy off the wine. I was starting to feel a bit buzzed, but not as much as the others, yet remained drowsy, and the next thing I knew, I fell asleep.

--000—

I woke up in a strange place, one that I didn’t know. It took me a second to realise that it was the Altar of the Sunne, a place where Solgaleo, Lunala and Necrozma all gathered.

“W…what? Where am I?” I rubbed my head and realised I was just lucid dreaming. “This is Altar of the Sunne, right?” I looked around.

All around me was a canyon with orangey-brown arches, buttes and mesas. Some plants grew precariously in a tiny amount of soil. Behind me, was a long staircase with hundreds of steps and I wondered how people actually made it up here without vomiting. I looked down and noticed soft grass beneath my bare feet. Looming ahead of me, was a huge cross-shaped structure carved out of stone, with a sun-shaped bas relief in the middle of it. Beside the cross-shaped structure was two statues, one shaped like the moon and the other shaped like the sun. In the middle of the platform, was a stone structure with a diamond-shaped formation in the middle. It was a dilapidated and crumbling place. Fluffy, white cumulus clouds scuttled by in a bright blue sky.

“No wonder people don’t typically come up here, and for good reason, too.” I then noticed I was only wearing my boxers. “Oh, come on, this isn’t funny! If I’m going to lucid dream, at least let me have shorts on!”

“Hush, Bellinor,” a looming voice shushed me.

“What?”

I felt something soft and furry headbutt me in the butt, causing me to yelp. “I’m Zygarde, but I hear you call me Fenrir, no?” It was mostly black all over, with a green mouth, tongue, front right paw, two spots on its chest as well as a green collar with a long, flowing extension. There was even a red spot in front of the collar. Its eyes were white with no pupils.

“Zygarde, huh? I never thought I would get the chance to meet you…” I started to genuflect, but the Legendary stopped me.

“Wait. There’s no reason to bow down to me…”

“Why not? You’re a god or goddess, right?”

A blush started to creep up on her face, turning her face into a pinkish hue. “Oh, stop it. You’re embarrassing me… a lot of people say that, but it’s simply not true. Also, female is my preferred pronoun, so you can call me a she.”

 “A she, huh? I thought the majority of Legendary Pokémon were genderless. Like Argenta… Is Argenta a legendary Pokémon?”

“I can’t rule that out, but the Tapus and I are unsure if she is. The fact that she can speak to you telepathically, perhaps she is.”

“So, why have you come to see me, and why am I only in my boxers? And next time I’m lucid dreaming, can I at least have the decency of having a shirt?”

“Well, usually when people have these dreams, they’re naked… so, it’s best if you don’t complain. Take it up with Arceus next time. She sees all—”

“Arceus is female too? Never would have guessed.”

“That’s because you’re a cynical douchebag that has a hard time believing a lot of things.” She smirked.

“Hey! I take that back, but you’re right.”

“Anyways, I’m here because I want to give you a gift… by the way, I’m the one that made you sleepier than usual just now. You’ll find out you’re your gift is here in a second. Now, wake up!” She headbutted me again, her furry head butting into me, harder than I wanted her to.

I jolted awake, surprised by my strange lucid dreaming. I felt dazed and confused, groggy, but soon gained my bearings. I sighed, shrugging and turning my attention towards Argenta, whom was acting strange the whole time we were celebrating, even though I couldn’t do anything until then; her hackles raised, and pupils enlarged. “Argenta… is there something wrong?” I asked.

“I sense an Ultra Beast nearby. I can feel its aura tugging on my senses. I don’t know the names of any of them, but this one… its aura exudes electricity, though and it’s very strong. This thing eats electricity. If it finds this cabin and eats the electricity, we’re doomed. Quickly! Get some of that firewood into the fireplace. I’ll use Flamethrower to light it.” Her pupils were so dilated that I could barely see her irises.

I turned around and saw that everyone had passed out on the couch, so no one would notice what I was doing. “They’re no help anyway.” I walked over towards the fireplace, grabbing some logs and throwing them into the fireplace. I started to feel a tiny bit buzzed, but completely ignored it.

Argenta walked up and carefully shot a small Flamethrower at the logs, instantly lighting them. “There we go. That should be good!” She looked satisfied as fire started to crackle.

“Thank you, Argenta. I appreciate your help.”

“Of course, anything to please you.”

“Argenta, I’ll tell you something.” I walked closer towards here, getting close to her ear. “No one else but Naomi knows this. Alcohol will actually chill the body and constrict blood vessels. Someone who got really, really drunk at my bar, left one night and didn’t wake up. It was raining hard and he died in the night, dying of hypothermia because of the weather that night. It was cooler than usual, and the rain was colder than average. So, Geoff and I came up with a plan. We watched and made sure our patrons actually left in a cab, not walked up drunk. That is exactly why I don’t let Pokémon drink alcohol, but if they accidentally drank it, I wouldn’t care. If it was on purpose, then I really would care, because it’s abuse.”

“I get it. Alcohol is good in moderation, right? What’s going on with your friends?”

“They passed out, it’s something that alcohol does. They’re probably drunk. I don’t really know how to describe it, especially to a Pokémon. Imagine being dizzy, sleepy and nauseous all at the same time. It’s like having vertigo, but a lot worse. After waking up, there’s this horrible side effect called a hangover, it’s like a really bad headache, like what we call migraines.”

“Oh… wow. I had no idea. Yes, I’ve heard of migraines.”

“Alcohol impairs the body, so it’s best not to drive heavy machinery or vehicles after drinking. Some of the things I’ve seen as a detective… still haunts me. Like my first drunk driving accident I saw. I’ll never forget the glazed look in that dead person’s eyes. And the smell of alcohol exuding from their skin and blood… it still haunts me to this day. That is why I’m always careful after I drink.”

“Please tell me more about what you’ve seen… you think I haven’t seen death? Well, my brother and I saw it everyday. What was the worst crime scene you’ve ever seen?”

“Like I said earlier, the crime scene with Acerola’s murdered parents still haunts me to this day. That must be one of the worst crime scenes I’ve ever seen. I think the second worst crime scene I’ve ever seen was a whole family that died in their homes, although technically it wasn’t a crime scene, as we later found out it was a carbon monoxide leak. Even their Pokémon died, their bodies strewn about in various rooms. The thing is… majority of Pokémon can’t smell carbon monoxide, because it’s an odourless and tasteless gas, and even if they did, they don’t understand what it is. So far, the best bet against carbon monoxide poisoning is a detector and making absolute sure it has batteries in it.”

“What… does it hurt?”  

“It can make a person or Pokémon feel sick. Nausea, dizziness, vomiting, chest pain, but a lot people just die on their sleep. I’ve heard of it being compared to having the flu. Flu is one of the worst sicknesses a person can get, because children and the elderly are at risk. It’s hard to explain something like that to you, but Pokémon can get the flu, too, and younger and elderly Pokémon are more at risk too.”

“Tell me some more stories… I’m curious, Nanu.”

“Well, let’s see…”

“What was the quickest crime you’d ever solved?”

“Well, that’s easy. One time, we got a call for a murder, but the murderer turned out to still be there… completely soaked in blood, drunk and high off cocaine. We found the person guilty within the hour of taking them back to police station. It was a crime of passion and they did it for greed. People are so stupid, and they do stupid things, such as that, not even bothering to leave the scene of the crime.”

“What else haunts you?” she asked.

“Well, there’s another thing that haunts me… it’s the scar I bear upon my chest. It was a shootout in a casino. The shooter managed to kill several people. He was aiming at Naomi, whom was sitting down on the floor. If I hadn’t jumped in front of her, her brains would have been blown out by him. That was the closest I’ve ever been towards death. Mind you, the bulletproof vest stopped the bullet, but the calibre was large, and it still managed to bruise me so bad that I now have this scar.” I put my hand on my chest. “It hurts sometimes, and I also don’t like being reminded.”

“Oh…” She put her head on my shoulder.

I started to pet the top of her head. “You’re a great Pokémon.”

A blush crept up on her face, turning it a light shade of pink. “I overheard Faba talking about jury duty, what is that? I remember him talking about the case after it was closed. He mentioned something about a crime scene.”

“I’ve personally only done it once and that was a long time ago, back in the summer of ’97. Jury duty is basically a mandatory service that everyone has to go to. If they don’t show up, it’s illegal. A person basically has to listen to what the judge, defense, attorney and the defendants and witnesses have to say. After that, a person then must go into a room with other jurors and vote unanimously and determine if the defendant is guilty or not guilty. Also, another thing, a person isn’t allowed to talk about the case until it’s over. Does that make sense? I tried to explain as best as I could. How’d you happen to know this?”

“Because we could hear Faba chatting about his life every once in a while. My brother, my sister and I…”

“Your sister is the Type: Full that the kid Gladion has, right?”

“That’s right. How did you know about that? He was able to escape with her.”

“My best friend, Cassidy, told Naomi and I about Gladion and his Type: Full.”

“Ah, I see. Well… He tried to take me too, but Lusamine and –”

“Hold on. Who’s Lusamine?” I asked.

“Oh. I guess I haven’t told you about her yet. She’s the main boss of Aether Foundation and the reason why you haven’t seen her is because, well, she got sucked into an Ultra Wormhole by a Nihilego. Last I heard, Gladion and his sister, Lillie, were going to try and search for her…” Her pupils started to contract and looked at the ground solemnly. “I suspect that’s why I can sense an Ultra Beast. Maybe they found a way to open up a wormhole…”

“Argenta, I just realised something! I can understand you, but why now, of all times?”

“Wait. You’re right,” she squawked happily. “No more of me having to telepathically speak to you, which I thought I was doing!”

“Hah. That’s a good thing. Maybe I could try it with the other Pokémon.” I looked over at Blu, whom looked at me lackadaisically.

“Old coot, what are you staring at?” she teased me playfully.

“I heard that.” A giant smirk crept up onto my face.

“Oh, shit,” she mewed.

“Who says I’m old? You’re the one that’s old, you old fart, look who’s talking! You’re older than I am. I’m nearly 35, you’re what? Forty-one, I believe. My mom obtained you when she was ten years of age.” I gave her a death glare.

“I know I am,” she meowed while walking up to me, wrapping her tail around my leg. “I’ve been taking care of you too. I watched you from day one.”

“You’re making me want to tell more stories, but everyone is passed out drunk.” I sighed, planting my forehead into my hand, swiping it across my hair. “Aye-ye-ye… haven’t seen them this drunk in ages.”

“What about that one time you pissed yourself while you slept on the couch?” Blu looked at me square in the eyes.

“Shut up! No one must know about that! Naomi would kill me…”

“Know-know a-about w-what?” Naomi asked, her speech still slurred.

I swear she sometimes perks up when she hears her name. Maybe she wasn’t fully asleep, I thought to myself. “N-nothing…”

“Okayyyyy…” She conked back out, like nothing had happened.

“She hates it when I get drunk, yet look at her…” I sighed. “I’m going to give her a lecture when she wakes up.”

“It looks like she’s completely out of it,” Argenta commented, narrowing her eyes.

“Yes, and I’ve had to hold her head as she’s vomiting… not my proudest moment and I’m not afraid to admit that,” I sighed.

“That’s what alcohol does to one’s system,” Dale neighed, walking up to Naomi and licking her, but she didn’t even react.

“Ugh. I hate seeing her like this. Oh, well. Argenta, are you still curious?” I asked.

“Yes, I am still curious. I want to you to tell more stories.”

“Okay… hmm… what would you like to know?”

“Did you ever see Naomi again, at the Thrifty Megamart?”

“Yes. Now that I think of it… I did see her many tines. She worked there for about three years, until Tapu Bulu destroyed it.”

—0000–

Flashback, September 17, 1986

School had taken its toll on me. I was exhausted and depressed, but I carried on. I had three friends to help me with my schoolwork and tutoring, which helped me through.

“I need to get coconut milk from the store. My mom is making coconut crème pie tonight.”

“The store the road sells coconut milk though, why don’t you just go to that one?” Ashley asked.

“Nah. You don’t get it, do you? I think I told you about that girl, right? I said I asexual, but damn, she’s so pretty… when I first saw her, I thought she was a man, because of the way she dresses, but I was wrong. She’s definitely a girl and she’s a beautiful one at that!”

“You’re acting like a horny teenager.” Molayne smirked at me.

“Yeah. I know I am, but I can’t help it. Her eyes are the most beautiful thing in the world… she smells like frangipani flowers and the ocean. She’s like a siren and I’m a sailor, slowly drowning…”

“I barely know you, but I’ve never seen you act like this. Are you sure you’re asexual, or heck, even bisexual?” Kahi asked.

“I’m starting to have second thoughts…” I sighed, setting my pencil down. I felt my heart flutter and face flush and started to get aroused.

“Sounds like you need to try asking her out, horny teenager!” Ashley teased.

“I’ll try it and see what happens! Even if it’s just chatting with her, because something is better than nothing.”

“There you go. That’s the spirit.” Molayne cracked a small smile.

“I wonder if she goes to school here too. From what you described, I’m pretty sure that’s the girl I accidentally shoved into a wall,” he chuckled mirthlessly.

“Molayne! Why did you do that? Bastard.” I glared at him.

“A Minior was falling from the sky and I was trying to get away from it, and I ended up accidentally shoving her into a wall. I’ve never seen so much blood nor have I seen broken teeth and teeth pieces outside of one’s mouth…”

“What about when you lost your baby teeth?” Ashley smirked at him.

“That doesn’t count because they’re supposed to fall out.”

“He’s got a point, but I’m still mad at you for doing that.” I shrugged, picking up my pencil and continuing to twiddle with it, but also looking over at Blu, who was sleeping next to Petrel, Soleil and Phantom.

“You should try and invite her to come. I’d love to apologise to her, because I think she deserves it.”

“Deserves? Molayne, I think she’s entitled to an apology,” Kahi commented.

“I agree with Kahi here! You should try and invite her to come. I’d love to meet her,” Ashley agreed. “You should convince her to come.”

“All right, well, I can try.” I stood up, putting my pencil back into my backpack. “Shall we meet here tomorrow?”

“Yeah, let’s meet here tomorrow! Hopefully, you’ll have that beautiful girl, too.” Kahi smiled excitedly.

“Come on, Blu. Let’s go to the store now,” I commanded, grabbing her Poké ball.  

 “Meow,” she mewed quietly, ready to go back in.

“Return.” I watched as she dissipated back into her ball. I turned my attention back towards my friends. “Bye everyone!”

“Bye, Nanu!” everyone said simultaneously.

---000—

I felt my face flush red and my heart flutter, looking at Naomi. “What do I say? What do I say?” I whispered to myself, asking myself hypothetically.

She seemed to have noticed me staring at her, snapping me out of whatever zone I was in. “What?” she snapped, but felt bad for doing so, as she changed her voice. She turned around and looked at me squarely, her cheek still scraped up and looking a bit pink from being pushed into a wall by Molayne. “Hey, it’s you. What are you doing? Did you not need anything? Why is your face so red? You don’t think I don’t know what’s going on.”

“Naomi, my friends and I were wondering if… you’d join our study group.”

“I can tell there’s something more than that going on,” she said while walking up a ladder and stocking overstock on the top shelves. “I’m no detective, but I can tell… you like me. Is that right?” She climbed down the ladder, her leg muscles bulging and knees popping audibly with every move.

“Oh my God…” I felt the blood drain from my face. “Yeah…” I looked down at the ground.

“Oh, you poor, sweet child.” She started to chuckle hysterically. “I recently broke up with my boyfriend, so what makes you think I’d want a relationship so quickly?”

“Oh… I’m sorry to hear that…” I sighed, turned around and started to feel like crying.

“But… I will join your study group, because why not?” She walked over towards me, putting her hand on my shoulder, spinning me around; her incredible grip surprising me. “Please don’t be hurt. In fact, I’d love to be friends. I don’t have many friends and I’d love to be friends with you but your eyes kind of freak me out.” She started to look at the floor.

“I’m albino. I can’t help it. I was born this way, but I’m used to being made fun of or people pointing out that I’m an albino freak…”

“What! I can’t believe the audacity of people…”

“It’s why I’m not a social person… but I’d be happy to be your friend.”

“Mm-hm… when do you all usually meet? Where do you meet?”

“We usually meet at 4:45 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the cafeteria on Main Street. One of us rotates and buys lunch, but you don’t have to worry about that.”

“Okay! I’m usually off and in class on Mondays, so I’ll see if I can squeeze in a bit of free-time. I struggle with science but I’m good at history and geography. What do you struggle and good at?”

“I’m amazing at science, but not good history or geography. I’d love to help you. And I don’t charge anything, even though my student loans are out my ass.”

“Heh… you aren’t the only one! Why do you think I’m working here?” she said while grabbing some more items and stocking them. “I’m in debt and my mom and dad are trying to help, but it doesn’t seem to matter, they don’t make enough money and I don’t either.” She shrugged.

“I just landed a job at a bar down the street. You’re welcome to come have a drink, it’s on me.”

“Drinking age is 18, right?” she asked. “I’m not 18 yet. I’m still 17 and my birthday isn’t until December 25.”

“Well, you’re welcome to sit at one of our tables. We have lots of mocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. What is your favourite drink?”

“My favourite drink is coffee with two shots of espresso, and with four sugar cubes and some cream, too.”

“I will make you some coffee for you. Like I said, it’s on me. I’ll pay for it later. I have a tab every week and I pay my boss back usually at the end of the week.”

“I’m glad he lets you do that. I only get a 10-percent discount when I buy something from here. It’s still better than nothin’, though.”

“Naomi, get back to work!” a boisterous masculine voice demanded to her, with authority. I couldn’t see him, but I could tell he was a manager.

“I got to go… but I promise I’ll be there this coming Monday. Bye… what’s your name again?”

“It’s Bellinor, but most everyone calls me Nanu.”

“Ah! I’ll see you then!”

“Bye!” I waved, watching her walk off. As soon as she disappeared from view, I mouthed “yes!” triumphantly.

—0000—

Present

“How foolish I was that I forgot about her, so many years ago…” I walked up to Naomi and started to stroke her hair. “Naomi, I’m sorry I forgot about you all those years ago…”

She shifted in her sleep, mumbling my name. “Nanu…”

“Must be your age,” Blu teased.

“Shut up! You’re older than I am!” I teased back.

“Hehe, I’m probably the oldest one of this bunch…” Gemma sniggered.

“I guess I’m not that old…” Rusty commented.

“Yeah. I found your egg back about ten years ago.” I nodded and started to pet Rusty and Gemma. “You guys are my pals and I don’t know what I’d do without you guys.”

“What happened to that Sharpedo from your flashbacks?” Argenta asked.

“Oh! Her name is Aquajet and now she’s a ride Pokémon. Would you like me to try and summon her?”

Argenta just nodded as I grabbed the device from my right pants pocket. “Hmm…” I looked through it and saw “Sharpedo” on the list. Tapping the word “Sharpedo” brought up a list of names of different Sharpedos. “Here she is! Her name is greyed out, which means she isn’t being used!” I tapped on her name as a red beam of energy came from the device as she materialised.

There she was, in all her full glory. She was mainly navy blue and white in colour, with deep red eyes, large triangular teeth, two black gill slits and a tall dorsal and pelvic fins and shorter pectoral fins. On her head and tail, was a large, yellow star-shaped marking. She had various scars across her body and a large chunk of her dorsal fin was missing; I suspected she got it from someone that wanted to eat her fin or a male Sharpedo trying to mate with her.

“Nanu… is that you?” she said, her voice suave and calm. “I missed you so much.”

I started to pet her, going against the nap and feeling her sandpapery skin, which has a similar structure to teeth. “Yes, it’s me… I’ve missed you, Aquajet. It’s good to see you again…”

“Wait! You can understand me?” She looked at me, shocked.

“I had a weird dream and the next thing I knew, I can understand Pokémon, not just mine, but including Dale. I had a feeling that I knew I’d be able to someday, since I’ve been around and with Pokémon for such a long time. I only vaguely remember Blu watching over me when I was a child.”

“Rusty, Dale, Blu, Gemma, Flare, Flower! Do you all remember me?”

“Of course, I do!” Blu padded up to her and began to rub her cheeks across her left pectoral fin.

“How could I forget you, Aquajet. You were our partner for a long time,” Gemma said while climbing up and sitting on top of her head.

“I missed you,” Dale neighed, rubbing his face against her snout.

“Hahah! You’ve been our friend for ages! How have you been, Aquajet?” Rusty asked, his voice sounding gruff.

“Why would I forget a Pokémon I’m strong against?” Flower teased, trying her best to wrap around her massive dorsal fin.

“Who are they?” Aquajet directed her question towards Firium and Argenta.

“I’m Firium. I’m sorry I’m sick, I was wandering around on the summit all alone,” he said as he was sucking the snot back into his nose and sounding clogged up. “I didn’t have a name before, but I like the name Firium.”

“I’m Argenta.” She sat down on her haunches. “I know that look. I’m a Pokémon called a Type: Full and I was made in a lab. But I’m just as much a living, breathing, sentient species like you, Aquajet.”

“Oh honey, you are a beautiful Pokémon and I would never judge for what you look like.” Aquajet looked at her with curiosity, her demeanour calm. “You seem like an interesting Pokémon. I want to know more about you.”  

“Mm-hmm, of course, Aquajet!” Argenta started to nod happily.

“Although… I would love to come back to your team, Nanu. I miss you and I’m getting tired of being a ride Pokémon.”

“Are… you sure?” I asked while grabbing her Poké ball.

“Yes, I am sure. Please add me back to your team. It’s been too long since I’ve been with you guys.”

I grabbed the Ride Pager, looking at her name and clicking on “disable.” I then grabbed her Poké ball, watching as she vapourised into a red beam and disappeared into the ball. “Good to have you back, Aquajet.” I smiled as I let her back out.

I heard a quiet yawn from Naomi, as she began to wake up. “Is that Aquajet?” she asked while rubbing her head, sounding groggy. She quickly realised that it was, indeed, Aquajet. “It is Aquajet!” She slowly got up and walked over towards her and started to pet her.

“Oh Naomi, I’ve missed you…” Aquajet said softly.

“I think she missed you, just look at her eyes.” I didn’t want to give away that I could understand her just yet.

“I missed her too.” She smiled, nodding. She had a pained look on her face, though. “I have a horrible hangover,” she groaned.

I sighed, shaking my head while looking at her sternly. “How many glasses did you have? Wait no, don’t tell me: you had too many. You hate when I get drunk, so I don’t like it when you do. Please don’t binge like that again. You promise?”

“I promise… I’m sorry.” A blush crept on her face.  

“I don’t want you to die, especially up here, on this godforsaken mountain.” I wrapped my left hand around her right hand tightly, while wrapping my right hand around her waist.

She placed her left hand on my right shoulder. We danced a tango, not letting go for several seconds. “You remembered…”

“Why would forget something as simple as dancing with you?” I smirked, leaning in and kissing her. “I could say the same for you, you know?”

“But tango is such as easy dance to do…” she started to giggle, grabbing hold of my neck again.

I looked over at the Pokémon, whom looked at us in awe as we continued to dance the tango. “They seem to be interested in what we’re doing.”

“I figured they would be,” she said, slightly out of breath.

“Wow! Is that Aquajet?” Martha asked, causing us to both jump.

“Yes!” Naomi and I replied at the same time. “Jinx!”

“I said jinx first.” I smirked.

“And y’all are dancing without me?” She turned around and looked at Ruben, whom was still waking up. She grabbed his hand and started to urge him. “Ruben, can we dance too?”

“Uhh… wha— oh, of course, we can!” he uttered groggily. He started to nod and got up, grabbing her hand and wrapping his hand around her waist. “Too bad we don’t have music.”

“Who says we need music?” Le asked groggily, rubbing her head. “My head is pounding. Y’all dance and I’ll be happy to watch.”

“Nah, I won’t stand for that.” Rusty walked over towards her, reaching out his hand. “I’d be happy to dance with you.”

“Rusty, are you sure?” She looked at him curiously.

He simply nodded, helping her up. “Of course. Nanu, show me want to do.”

“I think he wants to learn too.” I smiled, nodding. “Rusty, just watch us and you’ll get the idea of what to do.”

We all danced for several minutes, even Firium, Dale, Blu and Argenta copying us. Our break from the real world was cut short when Argenta started to bark berserkly.

“It’s here. The Ultra Beast is here!” The hackles on her back stood straight up, straighter than I had ever seen before; her pupils were so wide that I couldn’t even see the irises, while her claws dug into the carpet. I had never seen her like this before. “Please open the door!”

“Let me get my coat on!” I snapped, walking towards the coat rack and putting all my winter clothes on. I felt like a toasted marshmallow on the inside.

“What’s going on? Why is Argenta acting like this?” Naomi asked.

A huge boom outside interrupted me before I could even get a word out. I opened the door to the outside, only to be greeted by piled up snow caving into the cabin. Argenta completely ignored this, melting the snow piling up outside with a simple Flamethrower. All the snow had disappeared and I couldn’t see more than a foot from my face, because of the enveloping snow blowing, however; I could see a bright yellow light shining in not too far from where I was standing, despite the heavy snowfall. Whatever this creature was, it was exuding so much electricity that even the hairs, despite being covered up by the clothing, were standing on end, and wasn’t just me shivering either, this was a different sensation. It was like standing near a Von Braun machine.

I felt chilled to the bone, shivering. “I’m freezing my nips off out here, what in the world is going on? What is that creature?” I asked.

Before she could reply, the creature tried to reach for me. Argenta stepped in front of me, pushing me with her head, knocking me down into the snow and winding me; which thankfully, the creature missed reaching me. She snarled at the creature. “That creature is called Xurkitree in the world in whence it came from, but I overheard Faba, Wicke and Lusamine calling it by a code name ‘UB-03 Lightning’.” Her pupils were still dilated and hackles still raised.

I couldn’t get a word out, since I was still winded. “Argenta…” I wheezed, every syllable hurting and burning my throat, the snow and cold making it even harder to breathe without stinging.

The next thing I knew, the Ground Memory went flying out of my pocket. I watched as her fin, ears, crest and eyes all transitioned from a silver colour into an fulvous brown.

The snow stopped falling and I could see the creature more closely and in depth, despite lying down in the snow. It took a lot of energy to get back up, as I still felt winded and a tiny bit of a hangover.

The thing was massive, at least 10’ feet tall, mostly black and white in colour. It was humanoid and reminded me of my rival, Guzma. The main part of its body resembled wiring or cable, with plastic-looking tags coming out of various spots on its body, while the top of its head resembled tree leaves or the shouting speech bubble straight out of a comic book. Its hands resembled copper wiring, being flat at the tips. “Rjidifuend…” it spoke in some sort of alien language, nothing I could understand.

“What is that thing!” Naomi shouted. “And what does it want?”

Argenta snarled at it again, leaping up as her claws started to glow a fulvous brown; as I knew this was Multi-Attack. She struck it hard, which caused it to lose balance, but to no avail, it used its arms to help stop it from falling. It tried to use what looked like Discharge at her, but it failed because of her typing.

“You’ll have to do better than that,” Argenta hissed snappily, avoiding its arms. “I am an Ultra Beast hunter!” she said as a dragon-shaped aura surrounded her claws, striking the Ultra Beast square in the head.

I knew for sure she didn’t need me to command her, since she was doing so well without me and she was protecting me. “You can do this, Argenta!” I shouted.

“Thank you, Nanu!” She started to get fired up.

It shrieked in agony as it was being struck by her claws. “Hdhehekw…” Its arms began to glow purple, trying to strike her.

“Argenta! That’s Power Whip, it’s a grass move!” I warned.

“Thank you for the warning!” Her hackles raised.

“Of course!” I nodded and noticed out of my peripherals that I could see all my friends and Pokémon. Thank you for being here for me and supporting me. I appreciate it.

Argenta did something I wasn’t expecting: learn a new move. Three coloured orbs formed in her mouth; one was orangey, one was light blue and the other was yellow.

“Is that… what I think it is?” I mumbled to myself as she fired all three of the beams. It’s Tri Attack! I thought to myself.

“Fbjddjje…” Its left arm managed to freeze from the attack, but it almost didn’t effect it, because it started to use Power Whip again, despite only having one usable arm.

I tried to shout for her to get out of the way, but to avail, she couldn’t manoeuvre around it in time, causing her to get whipped hard, knocking her to the ground.

“Argenta! Are you okay?” I asked as she easily shook off the attack. I noticed she was starting to pant hard, her nostrils flaring and mouth agape. I was downwind of her and could even smell a soured, sweaty smell coming off her. Who knew her species could sweat! I ought to bring her to Kahi.

Before I could react, I could see a bone flying from out of nowhere, hitting the Xurkitree straight in its face, causing it to fall over.

I looked up into the sky and noticed a Mandibuzz soaring high above us, easily 40’ feet in the air. She stooped with a speed that I didn’t think was physically possible for a bird Pokémon to be able to do. She then opened her wings as she whooshed past me, nearly touching the top of my head, swooping around the Xurkitree.

She was mostly brown in colour, which resembled a Mandibuzz’s colouration; with a dark underbelly, which resembled a Braviary’s colouration. While she lacked the usual tan ruff of a Mandibuzz, she had a beautiful white crest, in the middle of it, was a leg bone from an unknown dead Pokémon. Her claws were a bright yellow, with sharp, black talons that were easily 5” in length. Her tail was long and brown, pointed at the end. Her eyes were bright blue and shining like marbles. She had a two-toned beak, with the upper mandible yellow while the lower mandible brown. She hissed at it, talons ready and her razor-sharp beak ready to peck.

“What’s your name?” I asked her.

“My name is not important right now!” she hissed at me.

“Hdjdjdsk…” It seemed distracted by her, long enough that Argenta could a break from it.

“What are you doing up here?” I asked. “And are you part Braviary?”

“I could say the same to you!” she called back, eyeing me like I was dying. “And yes, I am!”

“I’M NOT DEAD!” I sighed.

“Oh, but you’re so close… you’re so sickly and pale-looking…”  

“Shut up; I’m albino!” I growled, giving her a death glare that would send her to the grave. “And I’m not sick either!”

“Ooh, you’re feisty, eh! Heh, I like you,” she said while manoeuvring around the creature’s grasp.

“That’s my trainer you’re talking to!” Argenta growled slightly.

“Don’t you dare talk to Nanu like that!” Blu hissed, her hackles raised and with slitted eyes.

I never noticed her at my heels, sitting on her haunches. “Thank you, Blu.” I started to pet her. “Thank you, Argenta.”

“Of course, Nanu.” She started to purr, standing up in a battle stance.

“No problem, Nanu.” Argenta’s hackles relaxed, smoothing out.

“Heh, your Pokémon love you, huh?” the Mandibuzz-Braviary hybrid asked, but she sounded curious.

The Xurkitree tried to use Discharge on her, but Argenta leaped in front, absorbing the attack with her crest, landing back onto the ground with an audible thud.

“You saved my feathery butt there, strange Pokémon! Argenta, is it?”

“Yes, I am Argenta. What is your name?” she asked.

“I go by the name Lolani,” the hybrid replied. “My father named me that, but the thing is, I believe I’m female and male at the same time, actually.”  

“A… gynandromorph?” I blinked, looking at her/him with curiosity. “I’ve only heard of this in my biology textbooks, but I never thought I’d see the day where I would actually see a gynandromorph.”

Naomi walked up to me, standing next to me closely. “What’s a gynandromorph? I don’t remember seeing that while I was in school.”

“You probably skipped over it, as it was in the glossary of our biology textbooks and it was towards the end of the book. It’s a rare phenomenon where a Pokémon has a male and a female characteristic. Not only is she a hybrid, she’s a gynandromorph. Remember that Braviary is male only and Mandibuzz is female only.”

“Are they similar to hermaphrodites?”

“They can be hermaphroditic too, but it’s impossible to know if she is, unless one was to dissect her, but that wouldn’t be right,” I explained while watch Argenta and Lolani fight the Xurkitree. I looked down at Blu, it looked like she needed some action too.

“I can battle too, right?” she asked, retracting her needle-sharp claws.

“Of course, you have my permission.” Before I could finish, she immediately leapt into battle; claws glowing bright purplish-black. “Give it your all!”

I watched as the Xurkitree was getting weaker and weaker by the second. It couldn’t fend off three attackers at once. Despite being weak against Electric-types, Lolani still managed to use Bone Rush on it, hitting it square in the head with a mighty “thud!”.

Dale, Firium, Flare, Gemma and Rusty all walked up, standing by Naomi’s and my side, while Flower and Aquajet floated towards us. They looked at us, like they wanted to battle, too. Naomi and I nodded, letting them go ahead and battle.

Just when I thought the Xurkitree was getting weak, it stood back up, quickly recovering and trying to use Discharge on Lolani, but to no avail, as Dale kept absorbing the attack with his body, rendering the attack useless. Dale stood up on two legs, an orange aura covering his body, charging full speed at the Xurkitree, easily knocking it back several feet and causing it to go flying into a giant rock, knocking it out.

Flare, Firium and Argenta all had flames and Dale, Rusty and Lolani all had orbs forming in their mouths, Blu’s and Gemma’s gems glowed white, while water formed around Aquajet’s body and even Flower joined in, petals forming around her body. All the attacks combined, causing a huge explosion around the Xurkitree.

Despite having no eyes, I could tell that it had fainted. It just simply twitched and stopped moving. I heard all the Pokémon and my friends sigh collectively.

It started to snow again, and it started to fall quickly, and started to collect on the Xurkitree’s head.

“Argenta, Flare, Firium, Aquajet, Dale, Rusty, Lolani, Blu, Gemma, Flower… thank you all for helping defeat this strange Pokémon,” I complimented them as they started to walk back towards me. I reached down and began to pet them all, even my friends joined in and started to pet them.

I looked up at the snow falling quickly and then over at the chimney, watching the smoke wreathe from it. “Come on, let’s go back inside, where it’s warm at least.” I looked over at Lolani. “You’re welcome to come inside, where it’s toasty and warm. I know you have feathers and all, but don’t get you get tired of the snow?”

She looked at me with curiosity, cocking her head and nodding slightly. “I love it up here. I love the solitude and snow, but I would love to have a break every once in a while, and a nice meal for once, not just bones and frozen flesh. You have food for me, right?”

“Of course, we do. We have lots of food. We’re waiting to be rescued by my best friend, Molayne. Whether or not you want to come with us after he rescues us is up to you.”

“Well… maybe a chance in scenery would be nice for me anyway,” she said while swooping past me.

I held out my left arm and let her land on it; her talons digging into the fabric, despite it being several millimetres thick, and into my skin. It didn’t hurt but it felt strange to me. She was heavy, but I didn’t mind.

We made our way back inside the cabin, Blu, Flare, Gemma, Firium all at my heels, while Dale and Argenta stayed towards the back and Flower wrapped herself back around Le’s neck.

“I think you made a new friend,” Naomi commented as she walked up to me, placing her hand on my right shoulder.

“She’s beautiful,” Martha observed her with curiosity.

“I will second that,” Ruben agreed.

“Of course, she is. She’s part Mandibuzz and part Braviary. That’s a pretty cool combo, wouldn’t you say?” Le directed her question towards me.

“Yes. Hybrid Pokémon are rare,” I replied as I started to talk my boots off. I watched as everyone nestled down.

Just when we thought everything was right, it all changed… and quickly, too.

I turned around, looked out the window, and there before me, was another strange Pokémon, and I didn’t know what it was, and I assumed it was another Ultra Beast.

“Oh, shit,” everyone said simultaneously.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 18

Argenta hissed, barking berserkly. Her pupils were already dilated and fixed on the strange creature. “It’s another Ultra Beast! This one I don’t know the name of!” I could smell a fear scent coming off her, this scent slightly different than her sweating.

I opened the door, letting Argenta out, so she could confront it.

It was mainly purple in colour, with lighter purple stripes. It was tall, nearly as tall as the Xurkitree. Its top half was thin and had long, spiky wings, while its bottom half was large and rounded. Both of its shoulders and above its eyes had grey spikes as well as a spiky crest on its head, while its abdomen had a massive, hypodermic needle-looking stinger ad the end with two smaller ones off to the side. It had fuchsia stripes on its abdomen, wings, chest and crest. Its eyes were cyan and resembled a visor. Every time it flapped; I could hear liquid sloshing inside its abdomen.

“Wait. Please don’t hurt me.”

“Huh?” I blinked, wondering if the voice came from the Ultra Beast.

Argenta sat down on her haunches, cocking her head and restricting her pupils. “Who goes there?” she asked, her fear scent disappearing.

“I am Vod’dan and I come from a town in an alternate universe, which is called Ultra Megalopolis.”

“Wait! There’s an alternate universe? I suppose that makes sense, seeing as that’s where Argenta said Xurkitree comes from. What species are you?”

“I am called a Naganadel where I come from, but my trainers have met some people in white that call me ‘UB: Stinger’.”

“Aether Foundation!” Argenta barked, hackles raising. “Evil people that’s intent on destroying Pokémon not native to Alola, such as my species.”

“Wait, but aren’t Yungoose and Gumshoos not native to Alola?” I looked at Argenta. “I believe Rattata, Ratticate, Vulpix and Ninetales aren’t either.”

“That’s different. Those three species of Pokémon have been in Alola ever since the Johtonians and Unovans introduced them back in the 17th century.” Argenta shook her head, whimpering.

“Why on earth and space would they want to wipe you out?”

“Because they tried to kill my brother, my sister and I. The leader, Lusamine, I’ve watched her put Pokémon (that can be healed) down all the time, for her weird experiments. Hell, she even froze some of her Pokémon to death. Faba nearly killed my brother too. I believe he’s still out there, because I have a nagging feeling that he faked his death, even though I saw twitch.”

“What is this Ultra Beast and why isn’t it attacking us?” Naomi asked, curiously.

“This one is called Naganadel, apparently.”

“Don’t think I don’t know you can understand Pokémon.” She nudged me, narrowing her eyes and smirking. “I overheard you when I was waking up.” She looked over at Vod’dan. “Would you like to come inside, where it’s warm?”

Vod’dan simply nodded, and floated inside the house, nestling in. “This is lovely and it’s nice and warm.”

“And you didn’t think to ask?” I shot Naomi a smirk back at her.

“Hehe,” she simply giggled. “Because I had a dream with Zygarde and she granted me the ability to speak to Pokémon, too.” She looked over at me and then looked at Le, Ruben and Martha, whom all had faces as pale as Luna. “This Pokémon isn’t going to hurt us, guys.”

“It’s not? But that other weird one did.” Martha regained colour in her cheeks.

“Hmm, this one seems okay,” Ruben commented.

“This one is cool looking. Like it came from outer space.” Le nodded.

“That’s because I come from a wormhole…” Vod’dan replied, even though she couldn’t understand her.

“Naomi…” I whispered. “I had that same dream…”

“What?” she whispered, trying to keep her voice down. “I wonder why I didn’t see you, if we had the same dream.”

“Pity we didn’t see each other. Maybe we were there two separate times. Were you at the Altar of the Sunne?”

“Yes. I was. There was nothing there. I was half-naked too.”

“I was half-naked as well.” I rubbed my head. “What else do you remember?”

“I remember a Zygarde being a she and her going by female pronouns. I remember the Altar being dilapidated and disrepair too… it’s no wonder people aren’t allowed up there. Too many people have died or collapsed trying to get up there.”

“Yes, some stupid people have wanton disregard for the law. It makes me sad but if a person wants to die doing something stupid, then that’s on them.” I shrugged. I looked over at all the Pokémon and my friends, whom seemed to all be admiring, chatting and petting Vod’dan.

“Like the idiots that climb the skyscrapers in Unova make me sick. I can’t stand freeclimbing. I can’t believe people even do that.”

“Same. Climbing without gear is stupid.” I heard a rap on the door, something of which caused us to all go silent.

“Someone ordered a rescue, right?” a familiar voice called out to us, the door muffling his voice, but I instantly recognised it as Molayne!

“Molayne, please come in!”

“Molayne’s here!” Naomi’s eyes widened. “That was fast! I wonder how he managed to get up here so quickly!”

Molayne opened the door, with Kahi, Ashley, Gallagher and Acerola and even Fin and Hapu in tow. By everyone’s side was Soleil, Phantom, Leopold, Mimikins, Petrel and Fin’s Primarina, Marina and Hapu’s Mudsdale, Bandida.  

“Dad, Mom!” Acerola ran up to me, giving, or rather, attempted to give me a hug. Her thick coat didn’t allow her to get her as close as possible, but she still managed to hug me. “I missed you.”

“Oh, Acerola. I missed you too.” I took off her winter hat and started to rub the top of her head, messing up her hair. “I came immediately after Molayne contacted me and told me you guys were stranded up here!” I watched her as she ran up to Naomi, hugging her tightly as well.

“Oh, Acerola, I’m so glad you’re good,” Naomi said to her softly and calmly, hugging her tightly.

“Nanu, it’s been a while, no?” Gallagher said, smiling a bit. “I happened to be here, on vacation, when Molayne contacted me.”

“You remember me, right? It’s been ages since I’ve seen you guys.” Fin nodded. “I don’t recall the last time I saw everyone. I’m glad I wasn’t in Galar!”

“It’s been a while, hasn’t it?” Hapu smiled.

“I can’t believe you guys came just for us,” Martha commented.

“It’s a moral obligation!” Molayne replied, nodding.

“Molayne’s right.” Kahi nudged him.

“Duh! Of course, we had to come! Molayne dragged us along with him!” Ashley giggled a little.

“It’s good to see everyone. It’s nice to see Gallagher and Fin again.” I nodded. I looked over at Molayne. “You have a plan, right?”

“Yes. Hapu and I are the leaders of the group. She and I will guide everyone out of here. I brought everyone here, because I had an idea. Each one of you will get a partner, tie some rope around each other’s waists and help each other out and to make sure no one gets lost along the way. Le Fen, you go with Acerola, since you two are similar in stature; Ashley, you go with Naomi; Grimsley, you go with Ruben; Fin, you go with Martha and last but not least, Kahi, you go with Nanu. Does everyone like this plan? Any objections?”

“No, nope, no,” everyone murmured in agreement.

“Good, then it’s settled. We have to go, soon, before it starts to blizzard again. I looked at the weather reports and for now it, it’s clear, but it could easily change with a snap of one’s fingers.” Molayne reached for a backpack, taking it off his back. He pulled out some nylon rope that coiled so tight that I couldn’t tell how long it was. “Let me know when you all are ready, and we can start to make our journey towards the Pokémon Centre, where the weather usually isn’t so bad.”

Gallagher went over to Firium, observing him closely and touching his forehead. “He’s cold and there’s copious amounts of mucous dripping from his nose. He’ll probably freeze to death by the time we get to the Centre… It’s a good thing Molayne thought ahead, because it’s by luck he brought a sled.”

Molayne rubbed the back of his head. “Well, I brought it, just in case one of us gets injured. We can take turns pulling it.”

I grabbed his Poké ball, enlarging it. “Or, I can just return him to his ball.” I tried to return him, but he kept slapping it with his tail.

“I want to stay with Argenta!” he hissed at me, his eyes slits.

“Fine. We can have Argenta pull the sled. Would that be okay with you?” I looked over at her.

“Yes, Nanu. I can pull the sled. Anything for Firium.” She cocked her head.

“Never mind; I have a feeling he wants to stay near Argenta.” I shrugged but smiled a little. I looked over at Vod’dan and Lolani, whom seemed to be lost in conversation, seeing who wants to be bring up the front or the rear.

“Interesting Pokémon!” Kahi walked up to them. “A hybrid too? Those are so rare.” He then turned his attention towards Argenta. “This is a Silvally, right? The kid named Gladion has one too.”

“Silvally?” Argenta cocked her head, gasping.

“Silvally!” I repeated. “Is that what he calls his? Her name is Argenta. I believe the species is called Type: Full.”

“I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to seeing her more in-depth.”

“When we get home, I will take her to you, whenever I get a chance.” I scratched my chin, noticing I needed a nice shave. “Let’s get ready to go.” I looked over at all the Pokémon. “Molayne, mind if I assign the Pokémon different roles?”

“No, be my guest,” he replied.

“Argenta, you pull the sled. Vod’dan, Lolani, Marina, Phantom, Soleil: I want you to bring up the front. Bandita, Flare, Mimikins, Gemma, Aquajet: I want you to stay off to the sides. Flower, you can stay with Le, as I don’t want you to float away, as it will be very windy and very cold. Petrel, Leopold, Dale, Blu, Rusty: I want you to bring up the rear. Everyone clear? I don’t want any complaints, please.”

All the Pokémon murmured, “yes, yep, of course.”

“Good, it’s settled then.” I nodded, touching the top of my Beretta Cheetah. I unhooked the holster and took it out, making sure it was loaded and the safety was on. I hate to admit it, but I am going to miss this place, the solace and the peacefulness is a great reprieve from the murders and crimes. But then there’s always that chance of dying up here alone. I’m going to report Firum’s trainer as missing and see if maybe I can find out more about him. Maybe even see if I can buy this house and use it in the summer, maybe when it’s too hot. I admit, I think I rather enjoy the cold and snow, it’s much better than sweating and getting heat exhaustion, I thought to myself as I was watching my friends get ready to go and walked into the kitchen. I opened one of the bottom cabinets, only to find at least 15 empty thermoses.

“What did you find?” Acerola asked as I was grabbing one.

“Thermoses, and there are 15, plenty of them, perfect,” I replied while handing her one. “Want to help cook some hot soup and fill them up? I have to go the bathroom.”

“Sure!” Her smile was warm and bright.

“Just please don’t accidentally cook the one labelled ‘Blaziken of the Sea’. Naomi and I made that mistake because she misread the label and our stomachs were hurting all night. We don’t want any accidents, all right?”

“I gotcha! I know you’re intolerant to fish. I understand.” She nodded. “I will look in the cabinets!”

I watched as she climbed the cabinets. “Hey now, don’t want you to fall, huh?” I teased. “All right, I’ll be right back.” I rushed off to go to the bathroom. By the time I had come back, smells of soup were already wafting throughout the whole house, which caused my stomach to rumble. I had noticed that Molayne brought in the sled, and Naomi had grabbed several blankets, already wrapping Firium up nice and tightly.

“He’s exhausted. I know I don’t like moving and doing stuff when I’m sick.” Naomi’s voice was full of concern, as she touched his forehead.

“He needs medicine ASAP,” Molayne murmured, agreeing with her.

“That’s the first thing we’ll do, after we reach the Centre,” I commented as I approached. I leaned down, touching Firium’s forehead. I noticed a huge glob of snot dripping from his nose.

He tried to suck in back in, but to no avail, as he started to cough for several seconds, choking on it. “Ughhh…” he moaned quietly.

“This isn’t good…” I sighed. “We need to leave as soon as we can.” I looked up over at Molayne and Hapu.

Hapu was busy helping and tying up rope around Fin and Martha’s waists. Her smile was bright as she was adorable little girl, although she was already 17 and nearly the same age as Acerola, but she was also the youngest of all the Kahunas.

“Are you sure you don’t have to go to the bathroom, Fin?” Martha jabbed him playfully with her elbow.

“Uhh…”

“I’m going to laugh if you pee yourself. I know you’re scared of heights.”

“Shut up! Fine, you’re right. I’ll go.” He looked at Hapu. “Permission to untie this?”

“Yes.” Hapu nodded but had a slight confused look on her face.

“I guess I’ll go too.” She nodded and started to untie the rope.

I had remembered that Martha and Fin were cousins. “Hapu.” I approached her. “Don’t worry about them. They’re cousins and they talk smack to each other all the time.”

“Must be nice having family like that.” She sat down on the couch, waiting for Fin to come back.

“Yes. I know you don’t have much family and I know you only have your grandmother.” I knelt down beside her, getting eye level with her, as she was only about 4’8”.

“I miss her sometimes, when I’m out and about like this.”

“Well, I know we’re not related, but you’re welcome to be part of my ‘family’, if you’d like.” I rubbed the back of my head.

She seemed embarrassed, her face flushing a bright red. “Thank you, Nanu. No one has offered me this beforehand.”

I patted her on the shoulder. “I know I come across as a douchebag and cynical, but I really do sincerely mean it.” I smiled, watching a few tears drip from her face. “I lost all of my grandparents when I was young. My father disappeared when I was four and didn’t see him until I was 16. I know exactly how it feels to lose family.”

“I had no idea…” Hapu looked at me with sadness in her beautiful, silvery-grey eyes that reminded me of my dad’s eyes.

“Your eyes remind me of my father’s, as his eyes are in fact, the same colour as yours.” I watched her expression change from sadness to complete shock.

“Yeah, you’re welcome to our office anytime, Hapu,” Naomi said warmly. “You’re welcome to my house by the beach, too. Nanu and I love to sit outside on my back porch, eat dinner and listen to the ocean waves crash on the beach. It’s calming and relaxing, especially after a long day’s work solving crimes. I miss the ocean, actually. It’s been nearly, what, five-ish days since I’ve last gone swimming.”

“I’ve lost track of how long we’ve been here.” I shook my head.

“Right, well, I’m gonna go the bathroom. I’ll be right back.” Naomi smiled, giving me a wink.

“Father, I finished filling up the thermoses!” Acerola’s voice was full of glee, walking up to me and handing Hapu and I one.

“Thank you, Acerola.” I got up and hugged her. “I appreciate it.”

“Of course, anything for you, Dad.” She smiled.

“Thank you, Acerola. That was a good idea.”

“You’re welcome. It was Nanu’s idea, though.”

I chuckled a little. “I thought I had sworn I had seen them beforehand and I immediately thought we should take advantage of them. I appreciate you, though, Hapu. I know we’re not family, but you can call me uncle Nanu, if you’d like.”

“What? You really mean it?” She stood up, giving me a huge hug, her head pressing into my scar.

I felt my eyes water a little, as it still hurt, but not without her noticing. “You’re pressing your head into my scar.”

“Oh…” she murmured, backing off a little. “I’m sorry. Molayne told me about that.”

“I didn’t know you knew. Speaking of Molayne…” I looked around but didn’t see him.

“Looking for Molayne?” Gallagher asked. “He went to the bathroom.”

“Oh? That’s not a bad idea,” Acerola commented, Hapu already by her side.

“I’m going to go too.” Hapu following her.

Molayne came back, checking to make sure everyone was nearly ready. “Now’s your chance to go the bathroom before we leave,” he commanded. “Otherwise, it’s going the very awkward for your partner, if you have to while we’re hiking. Once everyone’s gone, let me know, and we can start out journey.” He looked at his custom-made watch, that included quartz watch face and tritium watch hands that glowed in the dark. “I can’t believe it’s already 10:30,” he muttered under his breath.

It took about 20 minutes for everyone to get ready to go. Molayne and Hapu helped tie rope around everyone, both of them using a clove hitch and handing everyone ski poles. Acerola helped pass out thermoses. Luckily, they fit in the giant pockets of everyone’s coats.

I made sure that Firium was comfortable and warm before Molayne tied a knot around Argenta’s chest and making absolute sure it wouldn’t choke her. She seemed to enjoy it and knew she was helping out Firium.

We all walked outside, situating ourselves. Vod’dan, Lolani, Marina, Phantom, Soleil all bringing up the front. Hapu and Molayne came after them, Le and Acerola after them, Kahi and I came next, while Fin and Martha were after us and Ashley and Naomi were last. Bandita and Aquajet were to the left of the group, while Flare, Gemma and Mimikins were to the right. Petrel, Leopold, Dale, Blu and Rusty were after Ashley and Naomi, bringing up the rear of the group. Flower wrapped herself around Le, holding on tightly.

I want all the Pokémon out of their balls for a reason! Just in case that Xurkitree attacks us. I have a feeling it might do that again. Maybe I shouldn’t be so pessimistic. I hate to admit, but I really would love to have a cigar right now. I think I deserve one. I wonder if Naomi is feeling the same way, I thought to myself as we began to start walking. I watched as light snow fell, sticking to my sleeves, instantly melting. I bet everyone is going to want a story, to help pass the time. I feel like Martha’s eyes are drilling into the back of my head. But what story do I tell them?

“Tell us a story!” Le begged.

Hah. I knew it! I predicted it. I sighed and nodded. “What story do you want me to tell?”

“Did you ever return to Treasure Island?” she asked, looking over at me and then over at Naomi.

“Yes, we did.” Naomi nodded.

“And did you catch anymore of those criminals? Surely that wasn’t the only one.” Le looked at us curiously.

“We actually caught five more after that.” I nodded. “Along with Ruben and Martha, too.”

“Jake joined us too. I’d never seen Nanu bootlick so much before.” Naomi started to laugh.

I too, started to laugh a little. “I could say the same thing.”

“I remember Ruben brown nosing so much!” Martha started to chuckle.

“Look who’s talking!” Ruben took a jab at her. “You were crying silently in your sleeping bag!”

Everyone was laughing, even the Pokémon, Hapu and Acerola were joining in, too. It was a good reprieve from the tedium of walking down the path.

The wind was starting to pick up, blowing the snow harder, but not hard enough to blind us.

“Our story begins about a week after Martha and Ruben joined…”

—-000–

July 17, 1990

We were on the island again, continuing to search for criminals. We had found two hiding out in a cave near the northwest of the beach. We were relaxing briefly in the water, floating on our backs and drinking coconut juice straight from the fruit itself. Blu, Flare and Dale were all relaxing near the water, playing in the shallows and watching the Pyukumuku scuttling across the beach. We had split from Martha and Ruben, whom had returned to the mainland.

Naomi tossed her empty coconut aside, despite it floating back towards her, and began to swim around, doing a breaststroke, butterfly stroke, backstroke and sidestroke all simultaneously. We were in our swimsuits and I watched as Naomi’s abs, legs and arms bulged with every fluid movement. 

 “Show me what you know,” Naomi told me after she swam back towards me, finishing off with another breaststroke.

“Show you what?” I asked as her fist nearly connected to my cheek. “Oh. That.” I smirked, raising my fist and tossing my empty husk of the coconut I finished drinking from.

“Don’t go easy on me. I want you to bring it on!” she said, fired up. She tossed her coconut away from her again, and watching it slowly float back towards her.

I managed to grab her, lifting her up over my body and slamming her down into the water. “Heh! What do you think of that, huh?”

She chuckled, winded. “N-nice… I think that’s enough…”

I helped her up, as she seemed to be struggling. Oh boy, I was a fool! She managed to grab my arm, twisting it hard enough that it nearly felt like she ripped it out of its socket.

 “Ow! What the fuck, Naomi?”

“Lesson two: never trust your attackers.” A chuckle escaped her lips. “Your attacker(s) can or will surprise you. Make absolute sure that they’re knocked out,” she whispered in my ear, her warm breath tickling my ear hairs.

I cracked a smirk, grabbing her arm and twisting it behind her back. “You didn’t knock me out, you silly girl.”

She managed to free her arm, quickly recovering and trying to land a punch, but I blocked it with my hand. The shock of the blow hurt, but I ignored it.

I grabbed a floating stick, pretending it was a gun. I held it up to her temple. “Lesson three: your attacker(s) will most likely bring a gun to a knife fight.”

She shuddered. “This is arousing,” she said while grabbing the stick and touching my chest. “Lesson four: your attacker(s) will try to grab your weapon. You have to protect it with your life.” She grabbed my neck.

“Lesson five: your attacker(s) will try to grab your neck and snap it.” I smirked, escaping her grip, which was slippery from being wet.

“I say, you’ve learned a lot… good job. Shall we go back to camp and rest now?” She pointed to the greyish sky.

“Yes, it’s all thanks to you, Naomi.” I nodded. “I brought some coffee grounds, if you want to make some coffee.”

“Yeah! Let’s make some coffee. Let’s have it with coconut milk.” Naomi started to get out of the water.

I followed her closely, gathering up several coconuts and handing her some. “I’m so glad the coconuts are in season and they’re so bountiful this year too. I’ve never seen so many coconuts before.”

“You know. You’re right! I haven’t seen this many coconuts either. The weather must have been perfect.”

An Exeggcutor lumbered by, its massive weight causing the ground to shake with its thunderous footsteps. Despite its bulk, it carefully walked around us, avoiding stomping on us. It smiled at us and we smiled and waved back at it. It lumbered into the ocean, soaking its feet in the briny water.

Blu, Flare and Dale were already at our heels. All three of them shook water off their fur at the same time, but it didn’t affect us because we were already wet.

Naomi and I started to giggle, enjoying our mini vacation from the tedium, but I never knew how long it was going to last.

Before we even arrived at our campsite, I could hear voices, and they sounded close by. I told everyone to hush, so I could listen. One of them is a male, about 5’10” and 230 lbs., the second one is male and about 6’3” and 280 lbs., last one is female and about 5’2” and 155 lbs.

“What were you thinking about making tonight?” the first male asked.

“Oh, my dear friend, I’m going to make some bouillabaisse with Oricorio drumsticks and Sharpedo Fin soup,” the female said, her voice suave.

“Yum! You don’t know how much I love your bouillabaisse!” the second male said. “I look forward to it. Sharpedo fins are my favourite.”

As soon as they left, I felt the bile rise in my throat, irritating it. I looked over at Naomi, her normally rosy-brown cheeks were greenish-brown, and she had a horrified look upon her face, gulping audibly, as maybe to try to keep herself from vomiting.

“Nanu… we have to… have to follow them.” Her voice cracked, struggling to figure out what to say. “Before… they kill more Pokémon.”

I gulped loudly, keeping back the urge. “Let’s go. Flare, Blu, Dale, help us hunt them down, but don’t go too close.”

We walked in silence for what seemed like an eternity but was probably around 15 minutes. We could hear them chatting amongst themselves as we approached their camp silently. Naomi taught me to be extremely careful and cautious as to where I put my feet as I was walking, as I didn’t want a stick to snap and alert them. Dale, Blu and Flare were behind us, looking at us apprehensively, as all of us could smell the unmistakable scent of Pokémon meat. It made all five of us sick to our stomachs, even Blu.

“Shh.” I put my finger on my lips, trying to catch whatever they were saying. I motioned Naomi to walk around and approach them from the front. “I’ll give the signal of when to attack. Blu, Flare and Dale, I want you to stay back, of course.”

Naomi simply nodded, slipping into the undergrowth silently. Once I could see her on the other side of their camp, I gave her the signal to barge in and arrest them.

“You’re under arrest!” Naomi and I shouted in unison.

They complied without much fighting, as they were drunk off rum and food and completely out of their minds. They rather enjoyed it, for some strange reason. We all marched them to the docks, which took a while, since they were drunk and stumbling.

By the time we had arrived, Martha and Ruben were there waiting at the docks, already preparing to moor the boat.

“Just in time!” Ruben shouted, waving at us.

“Just in time!” I shouted back

“Heh! You can’t do that again!” Naomi shouted; a smirk plastered upon her face.

---00—

Present

“Heh, very good,” Le commented. “I rather enjoyed that, and I’m not being sarcastic, if you’re going to ask.”

“I believe you, Le Fen.” Ruben smirked.

We all collectively sighed as a familiar red roof came into view. I was shocked that it didn’t take very long to get down towards the main base. Even though we could see it, it was a lot further than we thought it was, as we were still walking for another 30 minutes.

Everyone was chatting amongst themselves and I kept to myself, playing with my Z-Ring.

Hapu looked at me with curiosity, as if she was about to ask me a question. “Where did you get your Z-Ring, Nanu?”

“Oh!” Her voice suddenly startled me. “I got it from my mom, but I’m not 100-percent sure where she got it. I believe she got it from her mother, but where her mother got it, I’m not sure about that either. I believe it’s been passed down for several generations.” I grabbed the thermos from my pocket, taking a sip. “It’s cracked so many times, but it’s not noticeable, as they’re on the side of the band, where it touches my skin. Sometimes, the cracks will pull on my arm hairs, but I usually just ignore it, as it’s been there for a long time. I rarely take it off.”

“That’s interesting, Nanu.” Hapu smiled. “I got my Z-Ring from my mom grandmother, but it was my mom’s, apparently. I don’t remember my mother or my father. They were murdered when I was only two years old.”

I felt my heart sink when she said that, as it reminded me of what happened to Acerola. Acerola, Hapu, I’m sorry. I’m sorry your parents were murdered. I think they were murdered by the same people. I remember seeing it on the news before I even became a detective. The modus operandi was the same, too. I remember being nosey and looking through the files…

Relief washed over me when a certain red-roofed, grey building came into view, obscured by a light snowfall. Everyone began to untie the ropes, cheering happily and running inside the building. Even the Pokémon seemed to happy to be there, too.

Warm air hit my face immediately after the doors open. I sighed, knowing now we were safe… but for how long?

Chapter Text

Chapter 19

“It’s about time I had a nice, hot shower…” I muttered to myself as the water was hitting me, while staring at my scar. I touched it carefully, as to not accidentally hurt myself.

I turned off the water, wrapping a towel around my waist. I opened the bathroom door, only to be greeted by Naomi lying down on the bed, sleeping soundly. By her side, was Flare, Blu and Gemma, sleeping near her feet. At the foot of the bed, was Dale, Rusty and Aquajet, while Lolani and Vod’dan slept on the couch in the room.

I decided to get dressed and go see Firium and Argenta, the both of them in a hospital room. I crept around the room quiet, slipping my clothes on, watching Naomi intently, because she started to twitch in her sleep. Luckily, she didn’t wake up, and I sighed in relief.

“Nanu…” she mumbled in her sleep, which caused me to jump, but she didn’t even wake up. “I love you…”

Aww. I love you, too, Naomi. I’m glad Nurse Joy was generous enough to give us extra clothes, even though it’s two sizes too big. The shirt fit loosely on my frame, but it didn’t worry me any, because I thought it was just the size. Or did I lose weight while we were up there? Is it even possible to lose weight that fast? No… I’m just imagining things, I think.

I made my way to the lobby, only to be greeted by Hapu, Acerola, Fin, Martha and Ruben. They were eating some lunch, of which smelled good, causing my stomach to rumble.

“Hey, Nanu! You should join us for lunch!” Hapu said happily.

“Yeah, you should!” Martha nodded.

“We’re having steak, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes and peas,” Fin commented. “I know that’s your favourite.”

“Heh…” A chuckle escaped my lips. “You’re right. Fine, I’ll eat with you guys.” I sat down next to Acerola.

“We saved a plate for you, in fact.” Ruben handed me a full plate.

I felt my face flush. “Thank you, I appreciate it!”

“Of course,” Ruben replied while nodding.

The plate was still warm as I started to eat. “Mm… this is good. Who cooked?”

“The Nurse Joy cooked it,” Hapu replied, finishing off her plate.

I blinked, shocked that she managed to eat so much food. “You were hungry, huh?” I asked.

“Yes. I know it’s shocking, but I have a huge appetite, as large as a Wailord!” She started to laugh a little.

“Reminds me of someone else.” I looked at Acerola, smirking.

“Hehe…” Acerola began to giggle, finishing off her plate. “Hapu, want to play some cards?”

“Yeah! I’ll play cards with you!” Hapu nodded, grabbing her plate and scooting her chair in. “Sorry Uncle Nanu, I’m gonna go play some cards with Acerola.”

“Sorry, Father! I’ll talk to you later, however!” Acerola grabbed her plate and scooted her chair in.

I watched as the two walked off, chatting amongst themselves. They seemed to be enjoying each other’s company, despite barely knowing each other. Is she falling in love with each other? Legally, they can, since the age of consent is 16 and lesbian/gay marriage is possible here. It’s amazing how much Alola has progressed the past 20 years, I thought to myself as I ate in silence. It’s none of my business, but she is my daughter and I’m nosey, too… no, I shouldn’t, I hate to embarrass her.

Naomi walked into the lobby, yawning and stretching, her shirt dishevelled as well; with all the Pokémon by her side, too. “Is that what I was smelling in the hotel room?” she asked groggily. “It smells so good.”

“That has bones, right?” Lolani asked me.

“Lolani, this is made from the mesenchymal cells. There aren’t any bones in it.” I shrugged. “Do you want some?”

“I want some, yes. It smells amazing.” She started to drool.

“I want some too!” Blu mewed.

“I’ll go get Nurse Joy.” Naomi nodded, walking off. All the Pokémon began to follow her.

“Wow, I’m so tired…” Molayne said while walking into the lobby. His hair was messed up and it looked like he misbuttoned his shirt. “Something startled me awake!”

“So am I…” Kahi moaned.

“Do I smell food?” Ashley asked.

“Hey! You guys should join us!” Fin called out to them.

“Okay!” the four of them said happily, sitting down with us.

Everyone sat down at the table. I finished my lunch, excusing myself, so I could go and see Firium and Argenta. I grabbed an ice cream sandwich, walking towards the back of the building.

On a plain, white hospital bed, Firium was lying down on it, sleeping soundly. He was hooked up to an IV drip, along with a Holter monitor. By his side and curled around him, was Argenta, whom was sleeping as well, her ears twitching every time the monitor beeped.

I felt a hand on my shoulder, which startled me. “Ah!” I turned around. “Oh, Naomi. Hello.”

“Hello, my Bellinor. I wasn’t that hungry, because I was worried about Firium.” Her voice was solemn and full of worry. “I was worried about you, too.”

“Oh… I appreciate that, Naomi. I too, am worried about Firium, but it looks like his breathing and heart rate are good, though.”

“I think Argenta being by his side is comforting him,” she murmured. “I know when you’re by my side, I’m nice and calm, too. Bellinor… those months you were gone, I had never been so depressed before. It felt like I had lost you, but that day you appeared, I had never been so shocked. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest.” She touched my chest, where my scar was, carefully. “It feels like my fault that you just upped and left.” Her eyes began to cloud.

“I sacrificed myself, Naomi. If I hadn’t jumped in front of you, you would have had a bullet in your brain. What would I do then? How would I be able to live without you? I was scared, and that’s why I ran away, as I had never been so close to death…”

“Bellinor…” she said breathlessly, starting to sob, pushing herself into my shoulder.

I wrapped her in my arms, comforting her. “Naomi… I’m so sorry…” I felt a few tears beginning to fall from my face. I let her cry for several minutes, ignoring the snot and tear stain she left on the shirt. “Now, now… it’s okay…” I rubbed her back.

She stopped sobbing, looking up at me. “Everyday I thought… I thought you were gone. For good.”

“Like I committed suicide? Naomi, that’s such a cowardly act. I would never do that to you. How long have we been common law married for? Since 1990, for 13 years now.”

“Yes. That’s why I called you everyday and was pleased you answered, but I was still concerned…”

“I would always answer because I knew it was you.”

“What did you do the whole time you were gone?”

“I kept to myself most of the time, not really wanting to go out in public. I taught myself how to play the ukulele, after looking through some of my grandparent’s old stuff. I even got new strings for it and even got it tuned up. What else did I do? I taught myself all kinds of things, from the therefore mentioned books. I did simple painting, charcoal painting, sketching, graphics on my laptop…”

“Wow! That’s pretty cool. You’ll have to show me some of your art.” She dried her tears with the sleeve of her shirt.

“I will. And I’ll teach you how to play the ukulele too. You’d love it, actually.”

“Yes! I’ve always wanted to learn how to play it.”

“It’s pretty simple instrument.” I smiled, wiping a few tears off with my sleeve. “I also taught myself how to make baked Unova… or at least attempted to try and make one.” I started to chuckle. “Only my mom can make that dessert. She’s had more practice than I have.”

“I’ve heard that’s the hardest dessert to create and bake, ever!”

“Yeah. It flopped, but I still ate it, because it was still edible, and it was tasty.”

“I’m glad you found it still edible.” She started to smirk. “What else did you do?”

“What else did I do? Right! I practiced using Breakneck Blitz, Inferno Overdrive, Corkscrew Crash and Never-Ending Nightmare, with Rusty, Flare, Blu and Gemma, respectfully.”

“I didn’t know your Pokémon knew those Z-Moves! Where did you get the crystals?”

“They were from my mom’s collection, from when she made her island challenge. She was even pregnant with me at the time! She might be small, but damn, she’s such a strong woman.” I smiled thinking about her.

“She’s so resilient to be pregnant with you and do an island challenge at the same time. That’s amazing!”

“Yeah. I can’t believe her,” I said while peering through the window. I plastered my nose against it. “I miss my mom, dad, Jonathan and Sonia.”

“Sonia is your dad’s girlfriend, right? I haven’t seen her in forever!” She too, plastered her nose against the glass, looking in.  

“That’s correct. She lives in Galar, but occasionally, she’ll come to Alola with him. Whether or not, they’re going to marry each other, I’m not sure. He keeps talking to me about it, but never brings it to fruition.”

“I see. It seems like they’ve been in love with each other for ages now…”

Argenta’s ears twitched, slowly opening her eyes and lifting her head. “Nanu! Naomi!” she said excitedly. “Firium, wake up!” She nudged him with snout.

Firium stirred, twitching his ears and yawning. He noticed us and looked up at us. “Nanu! Naomi! I’m so glad you guys are here!” He sounded a lot better than when we left. “This medicine is making me feel better!”

“That’s good! I’m so glad for you!” I smiled. I made my way to the door, opening it.

“I’m so happy for you, Firium!” Naomi said enthusiastically. She was right behind me and I led her into the room.

We both stood by him and started to pet him, feeling him purring softly. We used our other hands to pet Argenta too. The two relaxed, closing their eyes and rubbing their faces against our hands.

“They seem to be enjoying our company, but my hands are starting to get tired, sadly.” I started to yawn.

My yawning was contagious, because Naomi yawned as well. “So are my hands.” She looked at the two apologetically. “I’m sorry, I hate to stop petting you guys.”

“Yeah, I’m sorry too,” I said apologetically.

“It’s okay.” Argenta nodded, cooing.

“I’m okay with it. Just as long as you two stay here for a while,” Firium continued to purr.

“Of course, we can stay. But first, I have to go the bathroom. I’ll be right back.” Naomi nodding, opening the door and leaving.

“I have go, too. But don’t worry, I’ll be right back. We can watch over you guys while you fall asleep.” I smiled, turning around and leaving the room.

I made my way past the lobby, only to be greeted by Bandida, Marina, Mimikins, Aquajet, Phantom, Soleil, Petrel, Leopold, Flower, Dale, Blu, Flare, Gemma and Rusty chatting with each other. I looked over at the table that everyone was sitting at, and it looked like Le Fen, Ashley, Kahi as well as Gallagher finally joined Molayne, Fin, Martha and Ruben at the dinner table. They too, seemed to be lost in a conversation, but I had no idea what they were chatting about, but I could tell they were enjoying some wine. I then noticed that the television was on.

They were watching the Magikarps playing a game against the Electabuzzes, a team from Johto.

“Come on! Let’s go, Oluolu! Kick their asses!” Le said triumphantly at the tv.

“Show those stupid Johtonians that we’re superior to them!” Martha shouted idiosyncratically at the tv.

“Heh! Yeah, you tell ‘em, Martha!” Ruben chuckled.

Gallagher sighed. “C’mon, it’s just a game.” He shrugged.

“If we don’t win this, then we won’t make it to the World Series!” Molayne stared at him. “I’m sorry. I love the Magikarps a lot. I usually don’t like sports, but I’ll root for them.”

“Oh, Nanu! There you are!” Le called out to me, as I tried to slip passed everyone.

I groaned. “Yes?”

“Aren’t you going to come and watch?” Ashley asked.

“No, because I told Argenta and Firium that I was going to the bathroom and coming back.” I forced a smile.

“Suit yourself,” Kahi said playfully.

“I’m going to kill you all, if you drink too much wine,” I muttered under my breath.

“Did you get stopped by them, too?” Naomi whispered to me, leaving the door open to our room.

“Yeah, I did.” I shrugged. “I’ve never seen them so boisterous before.” I closed the door behind us.

“Sports does weird shit to people. Oh, well, it cannot be helped.” She shook her head. “Just wait until they pass out drunk.”

“I’m going to kill them all if they drink too much wine,” I teased while I shook my head.

“Haha. Not if I kill them first.” She smirked evilly, but I could tell she was just teasing. “I’ll meet you back at the hospital room.”

“Okay. I’m not going to take too long.”

“I know that tea runs through you like fast-flowing stream,” she teased, a chuckle escaping her lips.

“Shut up! You don’t have to remind me!” I shook my head. “I could say the same to you, look who’s talking!”

“Hah!” she began to laugh hysterically. “All right, I’m going to for good now. I’ll leave you in peace, while you do your business, but you may want to go to a doctor and have that check out.” She waved, opening the door and leaving the room.

“That girl. I outta strangle her,” I said with sarcasm.

After I finished my business, I returned to the lobby, noticing they were still shouting at the tv. I sighed, completely ignoring them and slipping past them quietly. Luckily, they were too distracted by the tv to see me. I felt a presence behind me. I turned around to see Vod’dan and Lolani were behind me.

“Hey. I noticed you two weren’t with the others. Where have you been?” I asked, stretching my arm out.

“We were outside, flying around. The Nurse Joy let us go outside for a while.” Lolani landed on my outstretched arm.

“It felt good to fly around.” Vod’dan said enthusiastically. “I love to fly around.”

I started to pet the top of Lolani’s head, knowing damn well that birds loved to be petted there. The weight of her talons didn’t bother me, as I completely ignored it. “I know that birds love to be petted right there.”

“Yes, we do. I’ve never had a mate before nor has anyone ever touched me up there,” she cooed softly.

I before I made it back to the room, Lolani and Vod’dan flew ahead of me, playing some sort of game. When I made it back, I saw that Naomi was sitting on the bed, petting Firium and Argenta.

“There you are! I was worried about you!”

“…I was thinking about what you said, and I have to say, you’re probably right. I should go and see a doctor about that. I have a feeling it’s… bad.”

“No, don’t think cancer! That’ll just make you feel worse…”

“I’m hoping it’s not cancer. I’m hoping it’s something else.” I felt a shoot pain up my side, causing me to clutch my side and collapse. “Ugh!”

“Nanu, are you okay? Please be okay!” Argenta jumped off the bed, landing next to me with ease.

“Bellinor!” Naomi was immediately by my side.

I collapsed in and out of consciousness, until I couldn’t stay awake…

---000—

“Is he okay?” a feminine voice, which vaguely sounded like Naomi, echoed in my semi-conscious brain.

“I-I don’t know… I can’t say, but he banged his head pretty hard on the floor, when he collapsed,” a masculine voice said, which sounded kind of like Molayne, filled with uncertainty.

I started to become increasingly conscious, and by then, I could tell what voice went with whom.

“He collapses out of nowhere. I tried to catch him, but he managed to hit his head on the tile,” Naomi sighed.

“I hope Father is okay! Him collapsing scared me.” Acerola’s voice was filled with concern.

“I barely know him, but I certainly appreciate him telling me I can call him uncle…” Hapu said doubtfully.

“I’m no doctor, but I gave him an IV drip. I believe he succumbed to altitude sickness,” Nurse Joy commented.

I let my eyes snap open, blinking and gaining my bearings. “Ugh…” It felt like I had a hangover. “W-what… happened?” I rubbed the back of my throbbing and sore head.

“He’s awake!” Naomi’s beautiful, bright smile greeting me.  

“What. Happened?” I repeated, snapping.

“Jeez! Nanu, calm your man tits. You collapsed from altitude sickness. The Nurse Joy gave you an IV drip. She had trouble getting a line in because your veins were too collapsed. You’re dehydrated. Bellinor, I’m disappointed in you. I thought you knew better! You drank too much coffee and wine!” Naomi panted, gritting her teeth, out of breath from her outburst. “I outta strangle you!”

“Naomi! Nanu! Calm down, both of you! I know you’re concerned, but the both of you need to calm down!” Molayne tried to mediate.

I gave Naomi a look of contempt. “Whatever. You’re right,” I sneered. “Can we be alone for a few minutes?” I asked, calming down a little.

Everyone murmured, “Yes, yeah, okay.”  Leaving the room to just Naomi and me.

I sighed when I saw that everyone had left. “Naomi… thank you for your concern. I’m sorry for snapping.”

“I’m sorry for that outburst… I was scared. We were talking about cancer earlier and then you randomly collapsed.” She wrapped her arms around me, kissing me lightly on the lips.

I kissed her deeply, nearly touching her tongue. “I’m sorry for snapping… I’m not sure what’s up with me at the moment. I think I’m just stressed and tired. I need some alone time and lately, I haven’t gotten any of that.”

“People do weird things when they’re stuck with others for a while. It’s something my uncle told me, because he says it happens quite often in prisons.”

“Yes, are you talking about the Striaton Experiment?”

“That’s it! I also learned about it in school and while I was becoming a detective.”

I shuddered. “I don’t like reading about it, because of how violent those people got. Let’s not mention it again.”

“You’re right. Let’s chat about something else.”

“Like, how my side is hurting quite a bit. I’m not sure why, to be honest. The pain is coming and going, and it hurt to pee…”

“Kidney stone? I wouldn’t rule that out. I had one when I was 15. It was the worst pain I had been in. I had never been in that been in that much pain ever since. I wasn’t able to eat for a few days, as the pain was so bad that I was heaving. My lunch, dinner and snack were all pain meds and water. I also wasn’t able to go swimming or play soccer for several days.”

“Kidney stone? I’ll be a son of a bitch… I’ve never known anyone to have one before. I had no idea you had one when you were so young.”

“It’s my fault. I drank too much soda and tea with sugar and not enough water. I recommend you do the same. Buuuuut… have fun passing it.” She nudged me.

“Oh, gee, thanks,” I said sarcastically, rolling my eyes. “I guess I’ll need it, huh? How long did it take for you to pass yours?”

“It took about three days and I had a week of rest during and a but after, because of how much it hurt. I’ve hurt it hurts worse than childbirth.”

“That’s what I’ve heard too.” I looked over at the IV drip, which was nearly empty. “I guess I can take this out soon, huh? It’s nearly empty.”

“Yeah. I can help you with that, if you’d like. Since it hurts to take it out. How do you feel now?”

“Not quite so dizzy anymore, but my side and lower back are hurting…”

“Well, please don’t overexert yourself…”

“At least I’m in our room. I wonder when we can leave?”

“Molayne said we can leave by tomorrow. There’s a freak storm outside. He called thundersnow.”

“Thundersnow? I’ve heard of that. It’s when it snows and there’s lightning all at the same time. I’ve always wanted to see it in action.” I stared out the skylight.

“Your IV drip is pretty much empty.” She pointed to the emptied bag. “I can take that needle out for you. Close your eyes, okay? I know you don’t like needles.”

“Yes, please.” I nodded in compliance, closing my eyes. It stung for a few seconds and I could feel it sliding out of my vein, which weirded me out.

“You can open your eyes now.”

I opened my eyes, noticing her beautiful smile greeted me. I saw a tiny dot of blood from where the needle came out, but I thought nothing of it. “Thank you, my love.” I slowly got up, feel well-rested and not feeling dizzy. “I think those fluids helped.”

“Good! I’m glad. That was in fact, the third bag of fluids she gave you.”

“Oh, wow! How long was I out?” I asked, walking up to the door that led into our room. I peeked through the peephole to make sure no one was coming.

“You were out for more than six hours.” She rubbed her chin with her hand. “I lost track after the sun set and it began to snow.”

“More snow, just what we needed…” I groaned.

“I know we can pass the time.” She winked.

“Want to make out?” I asked coyly.

“Of course, I do.” She smirked.

—-0000–

I quickly fell asleep after making out. As per usual, I had a strange dream, but it wasn’t an ordinary dream. It was lucid dreaming again, and I could see through the eyes of Firium!

“You’re such a good kitty,” as masculine voice said to the Torracat.

“I know I am,” Firium mewed quietly, purring and rubbing his head against his trainer. He looked up at his trainer, wide and puppy eyed.

His trainer was around 60 years-old, average male height, with dark grey hair and green eyes. Wrinkles carved his face like canyons, large and deep. He was wearing a dark green sweater, with a thick, red coat and thick, dark green pants. Thick, black gloves fit snuggly around his hands. Thick dark grey socks and thick boots fit cozy on his feet. He also had an orange hat secured around his head. “Kitty, shall we go get some Tapu Koko from the Pokémon Centre? It’s just a short walk.” His voice was gruff age and I could tell he smoked for many years.

“I want a malasada!” he mewed excitedly.

“You want a malasada, huh? I can tell. Let’s go!” He opened his arms, allowing him to jump into his arms. “You’re my special baby.” He petted him, holding him like a toddler.

“Otis, I love you…” Firium purred as he was being petted.

Otis, huh? I thought to myself. I see Firium is just called Kitty. A bit degrading, but I think it’s adorable. I wonder what else I could find out.

Otis unlocked the door to his cabin, grabbing a walking stick, to help him to go hiking.

The two were silent, until a freak blizzard began to rage as he was about half-way there. Snow blew, buffeting their faces. The snow and ice blew so much that ice crystals started to form on Otis’ eyebrows and lips.

What the? What is going on? Is this how he perishes? Wonder why we didn’t find his body on our way there?

He shivered and couldn’t stop. He collapsed on the ground, unable to move. “Kitty…” he said quietly, his last words. “My chest hurts…” He grabbed his chest, gasping in pain. He gasped several time’s, finally succumbing to a heart attack.

“Otis? Otis? Otis!” Firium mewed frantically, pawing at his now dead body. “OTISSSSSS!” he screeched loudly. Tears started steaming down his face, lying down by his side.

So, he suffered from a heart attack? That would make sense, given his age and the sudden onset of the blizzard!

A few days passed, and he still laid there, not moving. Snot started dripping from his nose and his stomach rumbled.

“I’m sorry, Otis, but I’m hungry and need to find my way back home…” He bit down on his nose, chewing on the froze cartilage. He swallowed it and looked at Otis solemnly. He took random small bites. He looked satisfied and eventually moved on.

Tears flowing from his eyes as he felt horrible for what he had just done. Snot continued to run from his nose and his bell organ started to wane and stopped glowing. His stomach continued to rumble.

He tried to drink some snow, but to no avail, as it made him feel even more cold than he already was. The blizzard stopped and the snow fell slowly, but the wind continued to blow harshly.

Some rocks scraped his whiskers, his forehead and right leg, as he was looking for food, but he didn’t have much luck. He couldn’t find anything to eat.

A shadow followed him the whole way, almost as if it knew he was dying. It soon disappeared from view, when he got closer to his home.

It took a while longer, but he finally made it back to his old home, only to be greeted by Le, Ruben and Martha.

“Isn’t that a Torracat?” Ruben pointed at him.

“That’s a Torracat! He looks sick!” Martha looked at him with concern.

“He looks starving and dehydrated! Here baby… come here.” Le squatted, opening her arms.

“H-humans… in my cabin?” he mewed, full of curiosity. He slowly walked towards Le, tripping and stumbling.

Le managed to catch him, before he completely fell flat on his face. “I got you.” She smiled, stroking him.

He began to purr as tears started to fall from his face. “I don’t know who you are, but I need you…” He fell sleep in her arms.

“He’s crying.” Le started to stroke him.

Ruben opened the door the cabin. “We need to go inside.”

“Come on, let’s go in! The wind is picking up and there could be a snowstorm any second,” Martha urged Le.

“I’m coming.” Le stood up, closing the door behind her, after Martha walked in.

“Hey, there’s food and running water!” Ruben called out. “There’s electricity, too.”

“This poor baby. I wonder what happened? It looks like he’s been wandering around. He has scratches all over his body, too.” Le continued to pet him.

“We’ll never know what happened to him,” Ruben said while setting a bowl of water on the kitchen floor.

Le walked up to the water bowl, setting him down next to it, watching him drink and nearly choke on the water. “Poor baby was thirsty…” Le commented.

“Hey, there’s a thing of bacon in the freezer.” Martha opened the freezer door. “It looks like he’s starving too!”

“Water… hungry…” Firium repeated while his stomach growled. “Bacon?” he questioned, easily able to smell it through the packaging.

Before I could finish the dream, I was jolted awake by Naomi shoving and shaking me with her hands. “Ugh… what the hell was that for?” I blushed the instant I saw that she was only in her underwear.

“Nanu, quick! Molayne said we could leave! The weather has cleared!”

“Wait, what? Is it already the next day?” I groaned.

“Yes, it’s 0800 hours sharp!” She winked. “If you don’t get dressed and ready, I’m going to kick you in the ass!”

“Hey, that’s my ass! Geez, geez…” I said while getting up. I still felt groggy but quickly gained my bearings. I guess my ass is on the line if I don’t start moving, I thought to myself as I watched Naomi quickly getting dressed. Damn, she’s fast, I thought why putting on and buttoning up a shirt.

“You know, I hate to admit, I miss my uniform.” Naomi looked over at me, noticing I was buttoning up my shirt. “That shirt looks good on you, to be honest.”

“Yes, I think dark green fits me. It’s not maroon, my favourite colour, but it’ll do.”

“Well, yellow isn’t exactly my favourite colour either, but I think I like this shade of yellow,” she said while buttoning up a light-yellow shirt.

“I think you look good in that colour, to be honest.” I grabbed a pair of jeans, slipping them on.

“Thank you. I think you look dapper in dark green.” She smirked as she put on a pair of jeans. “You look sexy, I’ll have to admit.” She grabbed the collar of my shirt, pulling me in closer, kissing me deeply. “Your ass is saved, but I’m going to kick it when you least expect it.” She winked.

“I love your spontaneity.” I smirked, returning the deep kiss.

“Nanu! Naomi! You two better be up and ready!” Molayne’s voice echoed through the door.

“We’re coming!” I answered back. I looked at Naomi, staring into her bright brown orbs. “We’re finally getting out here.” I smiled, opening the door.

I was greeted by all the Pokémon and my friends. They all seemed intent on leaving. Even Firium seemed fired up, ready to go and snot no longer dripping from his nose; his bell organ was starting to glow a dull orange.

The two words that excited me the most, was when Molayne called out, “let’s go!”

And that’s where I journey started… or so I thought…

What could go wrong? More snow? I mentally sneered.

Chapter Text

Chapter 20

“Goddammit… I think I cursed everyone…” I muttered under my breath, watching the light snow fall.

Naomi was right by my side, nodding and chuckling mirthlessly. “I think you did!” she teased, keeping her voice low, but no one else seemed to be paying attention. “Everyone’s kind of in their own little world.”

“I’m so glad to be on the back of Bandida.” I heard Hapu say, mounted upon her back.

“I’m glad I could join you,” Acerola commented, sitting next to her.

“Hmm.” I nodded at what Naomi had said.

“I’m glad we aren’t flying. I’m so scared of heights…” Fin muttered under his breath. “We’re so high up already….”

“This is why I didn’t want to fly on Ride Pokémon. There’s always a chance there could be a freak snowstorm, too,” Molayne explained.

“Haha Fin, it looks like you’re about to pee yourself!” Martha teased.

“Shut up!” Fin shot back. “I’ll be okay! I’m trying to get over my fear, trust me.”

“I could help with that.” Martha grabbed his hand, comforting him.

“I’ll help too,” Ruben offered, grabbing his other hand.

Marina slid on her belly through the snow, with ease, like a sled. “Fin, heights are fun! It’s the closest I can get to flying!” she said while twisting her lithe body.

Argenta walked up to me, cooing happily, with Firium perched upon her back. “Looks like Marina is having fun.”

“That does look fun. I wish I could do that.” Naomi smiled, petting her.

“Looks like Firium is enjoying riding your back!” I looked up at Firium.

“I am enjoying it,” Firium replied. “But I think I’m ready to walk.” He jumped off, landing with an ‘mrrroff’. Snot stopped dripping from his nose and his bell organ was glowing brighter. “My lungs are clear, and I feel like I have my old energy back!” He started to pound ahead, with Argenta right on his tail.

“Not if I catch you first!” Argenta barked, easily able to keep up.

“Wait for me!” Dale started to run, his hoof beats thunderous, an orangey aura covering his whole body.

“Not if I can catch up first!” Blu mewed, easily leaping 15’ ahead.

“Let’s race!” Flare barked, running with ease, despite him only having three legs.

“I want to race, too,” Bandida neighed.

“I think she wants to race, too,” Hapu commented, dismounting.

“All right, we can walk.” Acerola shrugged, jumping off her like it was nothing, landing with a grunt of effort.

As soon as the two dismounted, Bandida shot off, her hoofbeats just as thunderous as Dale’s. She neighed happily, running at full speed.

“Wait up!” Soleil roared, running quadrupedally.

“Don’t you dare!” Phantom hooted, easily gliding ahead.

“I guess I’ll join!” Lolani squawked, flying on ahead.

“Me too!” Petrel and Vod’dan said simultaneously.

“Fine, fine,” Leopold sighed, bounding up to the others.

Marina and Rusty sled down on their stomachs, easily able to keep up, while Aquajet, Flower, Gemma and Mimikins all stayed behind, unable to keep up with them.

“I wish I could run as fast as them,” Naomi commented, admiring them.

“Me too.” I nodded.

“I’m getting too old for this,” Aquajet murmured while floating up to me. “I’ve given so many people rides, that I just want to take things slow now.”

“That’s okay,” I said while petting her pectoral fin. “It’s just fun to see them like this.”

“Especially Firium.” Naomi’s smile was huge, and I noticed the gap of where her missing teeth was gone.

“Did you get implants while I was gone?” I asked. “That gap is missing.”

“Yes, I did get some implants. I was fortunately able to pay for them, but they weren’t as expensive as I thought.” She opened her mouth wide enough that I could see into it. “They’re beautiful and I want nothing to happen to them! I’m going to be super careful eating hard toffee and candy. I don’t want them to crack.”

“They’re lovely, so shiny and pearly white! They fit the rest of your teeth beautifully. How much were they? I’d be happy to pay you back.”

“No, no, no… you don’t have to pay me back. Please!” she laughed nervously. “I insist…”

“No, I insist, because I should have been there in the first place. How much did it cost?”

“My insurance paid for most of it, so I only paid about $500.”

I reached into my pocket, grabbing my wallet and peering into the cracking pleather and staring at the worn-down bronze badge, which was now showing silver and some parts. I opened the main pocket, where I kept money. Hmmm… I looked and saw that I only had $30. “Oh.”

“Haha someone doesn’t have much money!” She playfully jabbed at me, easily running away. “Tag, you’re it!”

“Hey, I’m going to catch you!” I quickly put my wallet up, chasing after Naomi.

She was about to get away, when she nearly ran into Dale’s buttocks, stopping inches from it. “Hey, why did you stop running?”

“Hah! I got you!” I jabbed her with index finger. It took me a second to realise that all the Pokémon stopped running. I looked behind me to see my friends catching up. “What are we all staring at?”

“Look! No more snow! We’re getting closer to the base!” Molayne pointed out. “We can probably fly on Ride Pokémon from here on out.”

“N-no! Not me!” Fin’s voice quaked with every syllable, his face turning as pale as Luna.

“I got you, Fin. Don’t worry,” Martha said calmly. “In fact, if you can keep your eyes closed the whole way, I’ll treat you to some ice cream and malasadas, how about that?”

Dale turned around, staring into Fin’s eyes intently, almost as if he were inviting him to ride him. “Come.”

“I think he wants you to ride him,” I pointed out. “You should ride him. He’s smooth and he won’t buck you off.”

“I’ve never ridden a horse before…” He looked up at Dale curiously.

“Anyone else scared of heights?” Molayne asked.

“I am a bit…” Gallagher sighed. “I’m sorry. Fin, I can ride with you, if you’d like.”

Bandida walked up to the Gallagher, bowing slightly. “Ride me.”

“Or I can ride Bandida.” Gallagher nodded.

Molayne and I took out our Ride Pagers, both searching for Pokémon that could fly. Even Hapu and Acerola had Ride Pagers, offering to help. Luckily, we found enough Pokémon for everyone.

I returned all my Pokémon back to their balls, except Firium, as he wanted to continue to ride on Argenta’s back. Can Argenta keep up with Dale and Bandida? They can easily top 35 mph., despite their bulk. It’s amazing how fast they can run!

Lolani offered me to ride her. “Would you like to ride on my back, Nanu?” she asked while I kept searching through the Pager.

“Sure. One moment, though. I have to help my friends.” I nodded. I turned to Naomi. “Hey, what Pokémon would you like?” I asked.

“Hmm… how about Noivern? I’ve always wanted to fly on one!”

“Noivern it is, then!” I tapped on its name.

The beautiful black and purple dragon materialised. “I was summoned, no?” he said in a calm voice, flapping his long, teal green wings. “I am Hurricane and I’m here to guide you on your journey.” He looked over at Naomi with beautiful, lemon yellow eyes.

“Yes, I’m the one that needs you, Hurricane. I’m pleased to make your acquaintance! I’ve always loved Noivern, ever since I was a child! My dream to ride one is coming true!”

“Heheh…” Hurricane chuckled. “Well, you’re in luck, beautiful lady.”

“I’m Naomi.” She smiled, walking over to him.

“Wasn’t your uncle ‘Iwalani?”

Naomi stopped dead in her tracks, her jaw dropping and eyes beginning to water. “Hurricane? No! It can’t be! You were one of my uncle’s Pokémon!” She collapsed into the feathery ruff around his neck, sobbing and soaking it. “Hurricane…”

My eyes widened, as I had no idea what was even going on. “Naomi…”

“Naomi, are you okay?” Molayne looked at her, shocked by the sudden change in demeanour.

Everyone started to gather ‘round, hoping she was all right, murmuring amongst themselves, patting her on the back. Even Dale stood by her side, rubbing his head against her back.

When things finally calmed down, she began to explain, drying her tears. “You see, before my uncle died, he had a Noibat named Hurricane, the Pokémon you see here. I just always assumed that he died, but now I’m finding out that he’s alive. My uncle must have lied to me. Maybe he couldn’t take care of him anymore, so he dumped him as a Ride Pokémon,” she explained while stroking his head. “So, I never thought of him again, as my uncle would always say ‘he went to go live on a farm’. But I went to that said farm and never saw him… I searched other farms too, but to no avail, and that’s when I started to fear the worst: he had died mysteriously, and I never knew why.” She looked at everyone’s, including mine, shocked expressions.

“Wow.” I shook my head. “Naomi, I’m so sorry that happened to you.” I looked over at Hurricane. “I will see if I can get a release form, since I don’t have your Poké ball.”

“Yes. I am tired of being a ride Pokémon, to be fair.” He parted the ruff of fur. Lo and behold, a huge scar was hiding underneath. “Some entitled child thought it would be okay to poke me with car jack. It’s not typically visible, so I forget that it’s there. I’ve had my wing claws tugged on so many times, that I’ve lost count.”

“That’s Pokémon abuse,” Naomi sneered. “I’m going to report that when we get back to the station.”

“I’m with you on that.” I nodded. “They need to be punished and release you.”

“Technically, I don’t have a ball, so Naomi can catch me, if she wants to. There are so many Noivern, that I doubt they’ll miss me.”

“Wait. There’s a law I remembered. If a ride Pokémon is being abused, they have every right to go to the first worthy trainer that they trust. Hurricane, so, do you trust me?”

“I trust you, Naomi.” He simply nodded.

Naomi grabbed an empty ball from her belt, enlarging it and tossing it at him. He instantly vaporised into a blue beam. The ball only shook once, which indicated that she had caught him. “Yes, I caught Noivern!” She grabbed the ball, letting him out.

Everyone started to clap, congratulating her on her capture, cheering her on. They eventually all settled down and resumed searching.

Hapu found a Flygon, a Ground-type, a type that she specialised in. “Flygon is great!” she said happily, smiling, her beautiful grey eyes shining brightly.

“I’ll just ride on Phantom. I don’t think she’ll mind at all.” Ashley looked at her Decidueye intently.

“I found a Pelipper! I’ll just ride on her!” Kahi nodded.

“I’ll just ride Petrel.” Molayne looked at his Skarmory. “He doesn’t mind if I ride him.”

“I found a Charizard! I love riding on them. They’re such smooth fliers!” Le said excitedly.

“I can ride with you, right, Hapu?” Acerola asked. “It’s not that I’m scared of anything… I just don’t like flying all that much.”

“Did your Gengar give you a random flight again?” Hapu asked, narrowing her eyes.

“Yes. I’m tired of him doing that because he scares the crap out of me!” Acerola replied.

“He’s going to get a stern talking to, when we get home.” Hapu sounded half-sarcastic, half-serious. “He doesn’t need to be flying you around like that!”

“Heh… thanks, Hapu.” Acerola nodded.

“I’ll ride with whatever Pokémon Martha finds.” Ruben looked over at his partner.

“Is Garchomp okay?” Martha asked.

“Yeah! Let’s take the shark dragon!” Ruben smiled.

“Is everyone all set?” Molayne asked as he started to mount Petrel.

“Yes!” Everyone replied, while mounting their Pokémon.

——0000–-

Argenta and Firium were easily able to keep up the whole time, having similar stamina as Dale and Bandida. Several times, they passed the two horses, almost teasing them, like it was some sort of game.

It took a while to reach Tapu Village, but the second we reached it, I about cried and kissed the ground. I said goodbyes and thanked everyone, except Hapu and Acerola, since they stayed behind.  

“We’re almost home, Naomi.” I smiled, but my abdomen began to ache again.

“Yeah. Shall we get some lunch first?” she asked.

Acerola and Hapu were in their own worlds until they heard the word “lunch.”

“Yeah, lunch! Let’s go!” Hapu grinned, rubbing her abdomen.

“I’m starving! I could eat a Mudsdale!” Acerola teased.

Looking in the distance, I saw the abandoned Thrifty Megamart and the shiny black sand. “Heh. I don’t see why not.” I shaded my eyes.

“Are you looking at where I used to work, nearly 15 years ago, huh?” She too, shaded her eyes, staring off into the distance.

“Yeah. This place brings my memories back. My mom lives just outside of here. I suspect she isn’t going to like me surprising her. I haven’t seen her in a week, but I doubt she would be worried about me. She knows I get involved in cases all the time.”

“It’s just a 10-minute hike to her house, right?” Acerola asked.

“She doesn’t live too far.” Naomi smiled at the teens. “Let’s go!” She began to walk.

“I’m honestly glad she inherited her parents’ house and moved there, instead of in the city. I know she prefers the countryside more. I’m also glad that the drive from her house to her work isn’t too bad either.” I walked next to Naomi.

Argenta, Firium, Dale and Bandida all tailed us, keeping pace, while Hurricane, Mimikins, Lolani and Vod’dan flew a little bit ahead of us, flying well above the trees. Hapu and Acerola walked together, chatting with each other and ignoring us.

“I remember her living in Malie City there for a while, with Jonathan. What made him decide to move, too?” Naomi questioned. “I know that was a long time ago, but still, my mind has drawn a blank.”

“No, no, I don’t mind the questions. He prefers the countryside too, and he didn’t want to take care of a townhouse that was $3000/month. He just thought it would be easier to just remodel my grandparents’ house instead of paying a mortgage that was 3k a month.”

“That’s expensive! I don’t even pay that much for mortgage on my house! I asked the city if I could pay yearly, and they said I could. I pay about $8000/year.”

“Your house is on the fringes of the city, despite the house being fairly new. I think it’s why your house’s mortgage is so much cheaper. My grandparents, my dad’s parents, could crap money, as they had it up the wazoo. I don’t even know how much mortgage is, since all the payments are automatic, and I don’t have to worry about touching it.”

“You’re lucky, then!”

“I’d be willing to help pay for your house, as I don’t need money out my wazoo. It doesn’t seem right, and I don’t like flaunting it.”

“I appreciate your honesty and I’m glad you have integrity too.”

“Of course.” I nodded. “I don’t like those people that flaunt their money. I could care less if someone’s rich or not; everyone should earn money fair and square and earnestly.”

“Yes. I couldn’t agree more. I’m glad we get money from solving cases and by the government. Alola is so progressive.”

“I’m amazed at how behind other regions are. They’re limping, honestly. Kalos’ laws for guns are so strict and it makes me sad. I hope I never have to go there was an officer again, but rather a vacationer.”

“Yeah, I remember Jake sending me there that one time, and I regretted it. I don’t appreciate having my gun confiscated until we get on the plane.”

“I don’t want anyone to touch my gun, except you.” I winked.

“Heh… nice double entendre…” she giggled.

“I know it is.” I smirked.

“But you have a point.” She nodded. “I can’t believe people ask to touch it. It’s fucking real, for God’s sake.”

“I don’t know how many people have asked me that, too,” I moaned. “People are so stupid.”

“People think guns are toys.” She shrugged. “It’s like Pokémon. Pokémon are not toys.” She looked up at Hurricane. “I can’t believe people abused Hurricane.” Her eyes clouded.

“I can’t believe people like that even exist,” I sneered. “What gives them the right to play God?”

“No one has the right to play God. It’s why I became a detective, to be honest. There were so many unsolved murders that I had to find out what happened.”

“I’m glad I could help you solve them.” I looked up ahead, seeing Mom and Jon’s house in the background.

“Hey, I see it!” Acerola called out.

“Hey, me too!” Hapu smiled, running on ahead.

“Hey, wait for me!” Acerola ran after her.

“Want to run?” I asked Naomi, already picking up the pace. I watched her as she simply nodded, bolting off. I chuckled, easily able to keep up with her, despite not being an expert like she is.

Mom was sitting out on her porch, drinking some tea and holding onto the egg she recently obtained. She appeared to be reading aloud to the egg, stroking it and smiling. She finally noticed the four of us standing on her porch. “Bellinor, Naomi, Acerola, Hapu! Hello there!” She smiled, carefully setting the egg down and standing up.

“Mom!” I hugged her tightly. “I missed you!”

“Well, I missed you, too. And you as well, Naomi.” She let go of me, hugging Naomi tightly.

“Grandmother, I missed you as well. It’s been a while, huh? I’m in school but I didn’t have any classes this week.” Acerola smiled as she got a huge, tight hug as well.

“And Hapu! It’s been a while, but do you remember me? I’ve watched over a few of your Island Trials before. You can hug me, too. I don’t bite.” Her beautiful, green eyes glowed.

Hapu wrapped her arms around Mom, hugging her tightly. “I remember you, Miss Nanu! Thank you for being a referee when mine couldn’t make it! She was pregnant at the time and needed some time off.”

“Of course, my dear little Hapu. I’m happy to have helped with that. I’m glad you invited me to come and referee.” She looked over at all the Pokémon. “I don’t remember you having these Pokémon.”

“This is Firium, Argenta, Vod’dan and Lolani.” I pointed to each one respectfully.

“This is Hurricane.” Naomi pointed to her Noivern. “A long time ago, this was one of my uncle’s Pokémon.”

“I remember Bandida and Dale, of course! Where are you other Pokémon?” She began to pet Argenta on the head. “She looks like Gladion’s Silvally.”

“Oh yes, I love that…” Argenta cooed.

“Mom, you know Gladion?” I blinked.

“Yes! He was wandering around the village with his strange Pokémon, so I invited him to come and have lunch with me.” She got distracted by Firium. “And what a handsome little Torracat!” She bent down and started to pet him on the whiskers. “What happened to him?”

“More please…” he purred.

“It’s a long story. I’ll have to tell you here soon!” Naomi replied.

“Lolani, you are beautiful hybrid Pokémon.” She started to scratch the top of her head, ruffling up her crest.

“Wow!” Lolani squawked, enjoying being petted.

She then looked over at Vod’dan, cocking her head and looking at him with a burning curiosity. “You’re a neat Pokémon!” She began to pet him on the wings.

“Mom, I hate to butt in, but we’re all hungry and would love to have some food.”

“Well, you’re in luck. I got some dinner rolls heating in the oven and I think they’re about ready. I also have some tomatoes, corn, peas, watermelons, cantaloupe, honeydew, cabbage, lettuce, squash, zucchini, peppers, onions, chives, bananas and many more all growing in my garden as well. All of you are welcome to take whatever you want and have them for lunch. I’ll make malasadas, too!” She began to pet Hurricane, Bandida and Dale as well.

“I might as well let everyone out. Go!” I grabbed all the Pokémon’s balls, watching them materialise.

They all seemed happy to be free, running around the yard and playing some sort of game, weaving around the trees and bushes.

Mom got distracted again and started to pet them all. “I’ll catch up, you guys pick your fill in my garden!”

“Let’s go, guys. I want a giant plump and juicy watermelon, with no seeds!” I started to trek towards the back gate, that led to her plowed fields; the three ladies were on my tail. I unlocked the gate, opening it and letting them go through first.

They were mesmerised at the variety of fruits and vegetables my mom was growing. I watched over them, making sure they didn’t trip over any melons or accidentally step on any of them.

“Wow! These tomatoes are such a burning bright red…” Naomi commented.

“I’ve never seen peppers this large before!” Hapu’s voice was full of shock.

“This is one of the biggest onions I’ve dug up!” Acerola had a huge, globular purple onion in her hands.

“Uncle, can we have some of bag?” Hapu asked while approaching me.

“Yes. I’ll be right back. I know exactly where the bags are.” I turned around, opening the back door, only to be greeted by Mom and Jonathan’s horde of Pokémon, whom ran or flew towards me, excited to see me, knocking me down.

Mom’s Pokémon were Seedpiper, the Toucannon, Aumakua, the Sensu Oricorio, Doodlebug, the Flygon, Borealis, the Amaura and Mackerel, the Gabite. Jonathan’s Pokémon were Swift, the Dusk Lycanroc, Smoke, the Salazzle, Alcyone, the Popplio, Spiers, the Vikavolt, Sherly, the Gumshoos and Mana the shiny Ribombe.

All eleven of them were talking over each other and I couldn’t understand a word they were saying, but I knew all them were excited to see me.

“Everyone! Let’s leave Bellinor alone, okay?” Mom called out to them, getting their attentions and distracted by my Pokémon. Mom walked up to me, knelt and helped me up.

I was winded, but quickly recovered. “I’ve never seen them this excited before.” I forced a laugh. “Thanks for helping me up.”

“No problem and I’m sorry that happened. I wasn’t expecting all of them to be in the house and rush out like that. I thought they were in the sunroom.”

“Ah! I’d love to go relax in your sunroom. I’m so glad you happened to be off today.”

“Yes. You know it’s a Sunday, right?”

“No. I didn’t know that because—”

“I heard what happened from Molayne. Your colleagues and you got stranded up in a cabin on Lanakila. I was worried about you, yes, but I knew you could make it out of there. I believe in you.” She looked at me, feeling like her orbs were piercing my soul. “I know you’re a strong man and I never doubted you wouldn’t make it.”

“Heh… thanks, Mom,” I chuckled.

“Miss Nanu, can we have some bags or basket?” Hapu said while walking up to Mom.

“Hapu, you can me Libelle. There’s no need to be so formal around me, but I’m flattered you call me Miss…” Mom forced a laugh. “I’ll get some baskets. You two know how to make a salad, right?”

“I love salads! I’d be happy to help make some salads,” Acerola replied happily, nodding her head.

“Yeah, I want a salad too,” Naomi agreed.

“I’ll be right back,” Mom said as she was walking away.

“All right. I’m going to pick me a huge watermelon,” I said happily, carefully walking around the massive honeydews. “These honeydews look delicious too.” I squatted next to one, grabbing it and carefully pinching the stem. I held it up to my nose and sniffed it. “Mmm…”

“I like cantaloupe more, personally.” Naomi approached me. “But honeydews are good, too. Especially when they’re sweet. Majority of them taste like crap.”

“It’s an acquired taste, I think.” I stood back up, looking straight into her eyes. “But my mom has been growing these for years and they never taste like crap. All the melons she grows are always sweet and juicy. Her watermelons rarely have more than three or four seeds. So, whatever seeds you spit out, keep them to keep the generation going.”

“Oh, I see! How long has she had this genetic line going?”

“It’s been going on for nearly 20 years now.” I smiled. “She takes beautiful care of her plants. She composts and uses the manure from her Pokémon as fertiliser, too. To keep bugs off, she uses Seedpiper and Doodlebug to eat them. To keep the soil from being depleted, she uses nitrogen-fixing plants like White Clover.”

“Your mom’s garden is so beautiful. I always enjoy coming here and picking the biggest, reddest tomatoes and peppers.”

“I hear you.” I smiled, nodding.

Mom came back with some baskets, letting us take as many fruits and vegetables from her garden. We split them equally, sitting down and eating them with glee. Mom even made a drink with water and cucumbers. Naomi and I took turns explaining what happened up on Lanakila and she seemed impressed that we had survived for so long up there.

“So yeah… that’s what happened,” I said while finishing off the drink she made. “I’m just ready to get home, you know?”

“I hear you,” Naomi moaned, exasperated. “I want a looooong nap. I want nothing better do than to just sleep. Don’t want to have to worry about any cases, my phone or anything.

“I feel you.” I nodded, sighing harshly through my teeth.

“Would you like to go home now?” Mom asked.

“Yes, I would, actually.” I nodded.

“I can take everyone home, if you’d like,” she offered.

“I’d love to stay here, is that okay, Grandmother?” Acerola asked, her adorable grey eyes shining.

“I’d like to stay, too. We have nothing to do during our break, actually.” Hapu grinned.

“All right, well, I’m going to put you two to work. I want you make sure everyone is fed and happy, all right?” She smiled while nodding.

We said our goodbyes to Hapu and Acerola; while hopping into Mom’s car, which was luckily, a Ford truck, allowing Lolani, Argenta and Vod’dan to ride in the back with ease. It was a bit of a drive, but she dropped me off at my house first, since mine was closer to her house than Naomi’s.

I hugged Mom tightly, saying a goodbye to her. “Bye, Mom.”

She hugged me so tight that I could feel my spine popping. “Goodbye, Bellinor.” She smiled, getting back into her car.

“I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow, right?” Naomi teased as I got out of the car. She too, got out and hugged me tightly.

I kept her in an embrace for several seconds, not letting go, locking lips with her for what felt like an eternity. “Not sure about bright and early, but I’m looking forward to working on a case with you.”

“So, do I, Detective Onaona,” I teased, smirking.

“Detective Nanu, let’s solve some more cases,” she teased, playfully slapping me the butt, making sure Mom wasn’t looking, whom seemed to be distracted by some novel.

“Hey! Be glad Mom wasn’t watching that!” I blushed.

“Hehe… I don’t care. Anyways, I’m ready to go home. I’ll see you tomorrow.” She pecked me on the cheek.  

“Bye, Naomi!” Argenta, Lolani and Vod’dan all said simultaneously.

“Goodbye, my beautiful Moana!” I waved as she got back into the car. “Bye, Mom!” I watched her car for several seconds, before it disappeared out of my view and merged with the trees.

I let all the Pokémon out, letting them explore and play in the yard. I left the backdoor open, so they could come inside if they wanted to.

“I’m so glad to be home! In my bed! No more couch sleeping!” I rubbed my back and ran to my bed, collapsing right then and there, without changing my clothes. I fell asleep immediately, sleeping a dreamless slumber.

Sun poured through the slats of my blinds, waking me up from my deep slumber. I woke up refreshed for once and made my way towards the kitchen, looking at my digital clock. I heard a knock on the door, wandering whom it might be. I made my way to the front door, only to see Naomi through the peephole.

“Detective Nanu, I’m here to investigate a crime of grave importance!” she teased as I opened the door.

“Of what grave importance might it be?” I teased back, going along with her quip.

“That would be you, silly.” She winked, grabbing my shirt collar, pulling me in close.

“Ohhh, I like where this is going.” I smirked, pulling her in close and kissing her. “Would you like some breakfast?”

Her demeanour changed in an instant and I had no idea why until she mentioned it, “I had a 48-ounce cup of coffee and I’m about to piss myself. I am going to use your bathroom, all right?” she asked urgently, laughing mirthlessly.

“Of course, my dear. I don’t want any accidents,” I chuckled as he ran off to the bathroom. “I’m going to make breakfast!” I called out to her as she shut the door. I made my way to the kitchen, turning on the tv and listening to the morning news.

There are reports of strange Pokémon appearing all over Alola, wreaking havoc and causing thousands of dollars in damage. These Pokémon are extremely dangerous and must not be approached!” the announcer on the tv shouted urgently.

“Ultra Beasts,” Argenta hissed, her hackles raised.

“NAOMI!” I called out to her.

“What! I’m standing right here, there’s no need to shout!” she sighed.

“Oh, sorry. I just assumed you were still in the bathroom. Well, I guess you heard the announcer on the tv, huh?”

“That’s our next case, then,” she stated matter-of-factly.

“That is our next case,” I repeated. “And this one is a little different.”

“I’m looking forward to this.”

Ultra Beasts… wreaking havoc, causing damage on Alola… the words repeated in my head.

Chapter Text

Time for something… new. A different POV than the previous chapters of Nanu’s Revenge.

Chapter 21

Naomi’s POV

Nanu stared at the tv, mesmorised by the Ultra Beasts shown on tv.

To think Vod’dan here is an Ultra Beast… yet, so friendly, and wants nothing to do with destroying Alola.

“Some of those Ultra Beasts I don’t know the name of… but some of them I do.” Argenta’s hackles were raised and her pupils were dilated.

To think I can understand what she’s saying. I began to pet her. “Argenta. What are the names of some of those UBs? I only know of Guzzlord, Xurkitree and Naganadel.”

“The Tentacruel-looking one is called Nihilego, the cockroach-looking one is called Pheromosa.”

“Guzzlord… I hope that I never hear or speak of that Ultra Beast again,” Nanu sneered, groaning, his dark red eyes full of fear and his armpits staining the dark green shirt. I swore I could smell a fear-scent emanating from him.

I shuddered thinking of Guzzlord. “Argenta… a Guzzlord nearly killed us both, until a mysterious Pokémon came and saved us both. We fled before we found out what Pokémon it was, but I remember it being a golden colour. He moved so fast that I couldn’t tell what he looked like.”

“Golden… colour?” Argenta asked, snapping her eyes shut and tears falling down her face. “My brother is a golden colour…” She turned to Nanu and then back at me. “Please, help me find him! I must find him!”

I patted her on her shoulder. “We’ll look. Maybe that should be the first thing we do, actually.”

Nanu turned around, looking at me, grabbing a cup of coffee. “What would you like for breakfast?”

“I want some pancakes, to be honest.” I nodded. “I’ll help you.”

“I know you’re picky with pancakes,” he teased.

“Yeah! I like them kind of burnt…” I zoned out, looking back at the tv.

There was a deadly avalanche today on Mount Lanakila. No one confirmed dead but several people were injured trying to escape the hurtling snow and ice crashing at nearly 100 mph.

My heart sank. “Honey, you heard, that right?” My eyes bored into his red orbs.

He dropped the spatula out of shock but caught it before it could hit the floor. “To think we were just there…” he said solemnly.

“Yes.” I nodded.

“Ah!” he moaned in pain, wincing.

“Can I palpate?” I asked.

“Now’s not the time for a double entendre,” he chuckled mirthlessly.

“Oh, you perv.” I smirked, holding out my hand, squeezing his back and side below the ribs with both hands, and pushing down carefully.

He winced when I got closer to the lower part of his kidney and he nearly bowled over. I had never seen him in this amount of pain before. “That… hurt…” He was in tears by the time I finished palpating his right kidney.

“I hate to admit it, but you have a kidney stone,” I said while shaking my head.

“Wh-where did you learn to do with that?” he asked while recovering.

“Remember, I wanted to be a doctor, right? Well, I wanted to be a general practitioner… but as you know…”  

“Oh,” he said monotonously, wiping a few tears from his face. “You’re not good at science. Yes, I remember quite clearly, ever since I first met you.”

“Yeah… the kidneys fascinate me, to be honest. You know that each kidney has about 1m nephrons, not as many neurons as what the brain has, but that’s still a lot if you think of it.”

“Is he okay?” Argenta asked, cocking her head.

To think I had the same dream as Nanu… Zygarde coming to me and allowing me to understand Pokémon, I thought to myself. “Yes,” I answered. “He’s going to be in a lot of pain the next few days, until he can pass that kidney stone.” I saw him trying to reach for the coffee cup, but I swiped it from his hands before he could even get to it. I saw that he had only made enough for himself, so if he wanted more, he would have had have made more. “Water and juice only.” I smirked, taking a sip. “Caffeine and sugar exacerbate kidney stones.”

“Hey! That was my coffee! You don’t even like it black anyway!”

“Aohe pilo uku [nothing wrong in the pay].” I took a sip.

“Don’t give me that Alolan proverb crap. I need my coffee!” 

“No, silly. Caffeine makes kidney stones worse. You’re going to have a field day trying to pass it.” I took another sip, smirking and feeling petty.

“All because I’m a male,” he grumbled under his breath, continuing to make sure all breakfast. He eventually calmed down and we both sat down at the table, eating silence and listening to the tv.

I had a giant smirk on my face the whole time as I drank the coffee he so desperately wanted. I can’t believe I did something so petty. I guess I ought to watch my back, in case he does something back at me. I know he loves to mess with me.

“We should leave immediately.” He broke the silence.

“I couldn’t agree more.” I rested my head on my hand, watching the destruction on tv. I yawned, feeling a bit exhausted after that long week we had on Lanakila. “I just want to sleep at this point.”

He looked at me and nodded, while yawning as well. “I hate to be such an asshole though and completely ignore this, but I feel like it’s my duty.” He took one last bite of pancake.

“You’re wearing the same clothes as yesterday, even. You must have collapsed last night.” I finished off the coffee. I hid my pizza ughh face pretty well, as he didn’t seem to notice.

“You’re right. I need to change. I’ll be right back, then we can go hunt for the Ultra Beasts.”

“All right. I’ll wait in my car.” I unhooked my Beretta Cheetah from my holster, making sure the safety was on and a bullet in the chamber, just in case. I started to go towards the door, opening it.

“Why do you do that?” Argenta asked curiously, while on my tail.

“Oh, an extra precaution. I don’t want my gun to go off while I’m walking or driving.” I shrugged. “It’s a safety thing that my uncle taught me.” I held the door open for her, letting her come outside.

“I see. Thank you for leaving the door open for me.”

“Of course. Now, where are all the Pokémon?”

“They’re all out in his back garden, I believe,” she replied.

“Well, maybe it’ll be better to just walk.” I crossed my arms. “What is taking him so long?” I muttered.

“I’m right here,” he huffed. “You’re so impatient.”

“Whoops. I’m sorry, I had way too much coffee!” I turned around, looking at him. I blushed and my jaw dropped when I saw that he was wearing his uniform, with his Davy’s grey jacket all nicely buttoned up, ironed and straight, while his quartz grey slacks were nicely ironed out. Instead of his usual sandals, he was wearing his dark grey ankle-high boots. Even his Z-Ring was shining brightly in the sunlight. I noticed that he had plastered on some sunscreen, as his arms were a bright white.

He slipped on a pair of sunglasses and I could see the sun reflecting off them. “Shall we go now?” he asked, grabbing his police hat from under his arm, slipping it on.

Oh. My. God. He is so sexy in that! He’s so dapper, too! I thought to myself as I felt my face flush. “What about Lolani, Argenta and Vod’dan? They don’t have Poké balls.”

“You’re right.” He looked over at me. “If I use my own, then they’ll just be sent to Kahi’s lab.”

“Well, my team isn’t full, ya know,” I giggled. “They are welcome to join my team.”

“I am all right with that,” Lolani said while swooping past, landing on top of my car.

“Me too!” Vod’dan hovered above me. 

“I guess you can count me in, too.” Argenta nodded.

I grabbed three empty Poké balls, enlarging them and setting them on the ground. I watched as all three of them tapped the balls, vaporising and disappearing. “Welcome to my team, guys!” I called out as I let them all out, watching them materialise.

“Wow Naomi, that has to be a record for the most Pokémon caught by someone all at once!” Nanu smirked. “Congrats!”

“Thank you, sweetheart!” I walked up to him, hugging and kissing him.

“You’re welcome, my dear.” He hugged me and locked lips with me.

“Let’s go!” I grabbed everyone’s balls and returning them.

“Yes.” He nodded and returned all of his Pokémon as well.

—-000—-

“Oh boy, what a mess,” I said while looking at an Ultra Beast before us.

It was mainly red in colour, resembling a giant mosquito. It had large, bulging, muscly arms with white veins and huge, human-like hands. Projecting from its face, was a long, sharp proboscis that was needle-like.

“You said it! What the hell is that thing?” Nanu glared at it.

“That would be UB-02 Absorption,” a familiar masculine voice said.

We both turned around to see Logan Kenda and his partner, Amaud Delcroix.

Logan was a tall man, at exactly 6’ tall, with slick backed, deep brown hair and blue eyes. He wore a dark blue uniform with dark grey slacks and shoes. Perched upon his nose was a pair of thin-frames glasses. “Onaona, Nanu. Please to make your acquaintances.”

Amaud Delcroix was my height, at 5’8”, with dark green eyes and spiked dark blonde hair. He wore a black jacket with black slacks and dark grey shoes. “Naomi Onaona, Bellinor Nanu. I’m please to be in your presence.”

“Likewise,” Nanu and I said in unison.

“We came here as quick as possible, after we heard the news.” Logan looked off in the distance, watching the UB destroying some people’s bicycles. “Émile, Cassidy, Jake, Makayla, Clay, everyone is on there way right now.”

“You can’t this one lightly. This one’s muscles can pulverise a dump truck.” Amaud looked at us both and then looked at the UB. “Hopefully, everyone can make it before these Pokémon destroy Alola.”

I went ahead and grabbed Argenta’s Poké ball, letting her out, watching her materialise.

She immediately started barking, leaping into action before I could command her. “A Buzzwole!” she bowled straight into it, her claws glowing a turquoise green as claw-shaped aura formed around them.

I grabbed the Fire Memory, but before I could react, it flew out of my hands. I watched as it was inserted into the round thing underneath her ears. “Uhh—”

Her fin, the round thing, eyes and crest turned a bright jasper red. She roared, her claws glowing a bright red as a bright orange aura formed around her. She was easily able to avoid the giant Bug-type’s attacks. Her crest and tail glowed white, hitting the Buzzwole twice. We all watched as she expertly avoided the attacks, her lithe body able to slip out of its grip.

“We’re going to go help the citizens, but we’ll be nearby, if you need us,” Logan said, turning around and starting to walk off. “Go, Foxy!” He grabbed his Delphox’s Poké ball.

“I’m going to go assess the damage that this Ultra Beast made.” Amaud looked at us, turning around and running off. “Go, Gale, we need your help!” He grabbed his Togetic’s Poké ball.

“Do you need help?” a Pokémon’s voice said, causing all of us to turn around. “Sister… is that you?” The Pokémon resembled Argenta but was golden in colour. His feathers, crest, edge of tail fin and the scales on his fin were all light golden in colour, his mask and tip of crest a darker golden colour, while his ears and nostrils ocean green in colour. He was slightly taller than she was, with three claws on his front feet instead of four.

“Brother!” Argenta turned her attention towards her brother, while twisting out of the way of Buzzwole. She shoved her head into his shoulder, tears flowing from her eyes. “Brother, I always knew that you were alive! You’ll have to tell me how you escaped, but first, let’s first defeat this Buzzwole!”

Tears flowed from her brother’s eyes but quickly stopped crying, turning his attention towards the Ultra Beast. “Yes, let’s defeat this UB, and then I’ll tell you how I escaped!”

“Argenta was right…” I said breathlessly. “He was alive this whole time.”

 “I don’t believe my eyes.” Nanu’s eyes were wide as pie pans.

“Wow…” I wasn’t sure what to say, watching the two of them easily defeat the Buzzwole, which fainted after a few hits of an Aerial Ace and Flamethrower.

The UB fell to the ground with a massive thump, shaking the ground briefly. It twitched a few times and eventually stopped moving.

We all collectively sighed while Argenta and her brother were reunited. The two rested their heads on each other’s shoulders. The two didn’t move for several seconds and the two started to cry.

“Brother…” she said breathlessly.

“Sister…” he sighed.

I walked up to the two and started to pet Argenta. “Argenta, you were right. Your brother was alive this whole time.” I smiled as she rested her head on my shoulder.  

Nanu approached her brother, looking into his beautiful silvery eyes. “I’ll be damned.” He held out his hand.

Her brother looked at Nanu cautiously, but soon gave in and let Nanu pet him. “Were you the ones that saved her from Faba?” He cocked his head.

“Yes. I’m the one that saved her and befriended her.” Nanu nodded. “But Argenta was all right with going with Naomi.”

“Naomi is a great Pokémon trainer. She saved several Pokémon from poachers several years ago.” Argenta nodded.

I blushed, feeling my cheeks getting hot. “Thank you, Argenta. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

“Shall we go somewhere quiet?” Nanu asked.

“Yes.” Her brother nodded. “Let’s go to the beach.” He started to face towards the east, which is the direction where my house was.

“Actually, we could go to my house,” I offered. “It’s just a short walk. Shall we go?”

“Let’s go.” Nanu nodded.

We walked towards my house in an eerie silence. Fluffy white clouds scuttled across a deep blue sky, while Luna poked herself through the clouds. The sun shined bright, causing all of us to sweat.

I broke the silence as soon as we got to my house. “Here we are!” I smiled, grabbing my keys, or at least I tried, because Nanu swiped them from my hand before I could react.

“Nuh-uh-uh. You stole my coffee this morning, so I’m going to steal your keys.” He jingled them, unlocking my front door. His arms were longer than mine are, so he decided to hold them up above his head. I didn’t feel like jumping to grab them.

Argenta and her brother sniggered under their breaths, amused at our pettiness. However, neither of them took any sides, so I had no help there.

Cool air blasted as soon as he opened the door, which felt good. The smell of flowers, air fresheners and clean linen hit my nose. I sighed happily, happy to be back in my house. “Please, make yourself at home,” I offered, yawning.

“Thank you, Naomi.” Argenta nodded, sitting down on her haunches and then eventually lied down on her side, falling asleep, overcome with exhaustion.  

“I appreciate it, Naomi.” Her brother lied down on his side too, falling asleep as well.

“Of course.” I looked at Nanu. “I’m going to take a nap, if you want to join me.” I winked, grabbing his jacket collar, kissing him deeply.

“Ohh. Of course, I do.” He locked lips with me. He grabbed my butt and picked me up, which shocked me. “I gotcha!” he teased, carrying me to my room.

“Oh, so you did, huh?” I said slyly. “I’m going to get you back, you know?” I rubbed his his chin, feeling his stubble. “If you don’t shave, then I’m going to pluck each individual hair out myself.”

“Ouch,” he chuckled. “I’d love to see you so that. I’m thinking of just letting my beard grow out, would that bother you?”

“I haven’t seen you sport a beard in several years…” I giggled as he set me down on the bed. I collapsed into my pillows, not really feeling like moving or getting undressed.

“You would like that, huh?” he asked while unbuttoning his jacket, revealing his ruby-coloured undershirt, which I hadn’t seen him wear in ages. “Aren’t you going to get undressed?”

“Maaaaaaybe.” I shrugged, giggling. “But I’m really tired and too lazy to undress.”

“Fine, then I’ll have to do it.” He smirked, reach out for me and tickling me.

“Hey! Hey!” I started to laugh uncontrollably, shocked by his spontaneity. “Fine, Fine! You got me! I’ll undress!”

“You better, Officer Onaona, or they’ll be consequences,” he sniggered.

“What are you going to do, Officer Nanu, arrest me?” I quipped, unbuttoning my shirt.

“Precisely.” He winkedHe winked, pupils dilating.

—-000—

I fell asleep on his chest, relaxing and sighing softly. He didn’t sleep as heavy as I did, so I was really careful not to disturb him. His chest was warm and felt good to lie down on top of.

I dreamt of nothing and by the time the two of us had woken up, it was already after 1pm. We were both shocked that we had slept for so long.

“Come on, we should probably check on Argenta and her brother,” I said while getting up and stretching.

“You’re right, we probably should.” He nodded, getting out of the bed. He winced in pain, nearly bowling over.

“Honey, are you okay? I wonder why that stone hasn’t passed yet!”

“Maybe we shouldn’t have made out and did it.” He bared his teeth as sweat started to form on his forehead. “I feels like it’s my fault for initiating it.” His face started to turn green from the excruciating pain.

“No, if you want to blame someone, it would be me.” I shook my head. “Run to toilet, if you need to.”

“I know, I know, the carpets are new, and you don’t want anything to happen to them…” He ran off towards my bathroom and barely made it before he vomited.

“You make me sound like so sort of bad guy now. I don’t care about the carpets at this point.”

I could hear him breathing and panting hard. “Oh, God… the pain…” he moaned.

I walked into the bathroom, helping him up and carrying him to my bed, carefully placing him down on it. I felt him shake uncontrollably and saw that his eyes were glazed over and tears from them. I’ve never see you like this. You’re such a strong person, only to be reduced to this half-person, I thought to myself. “I’ll get you some Feraligade and some Antagard,” I offered while slipping my robe on, as I had forgotten that I was naked.

“Thanks… Naomi…” he wheezed, squeezing his eyes shut, moaning in pain.

“I’m so sorry you’re in such horrible pain.” I opened the bedroom door, greeted by Argenta and her brother.

“I heard a noise, is he okay?” Argenta asked, sitting on her haunches and cocking her head. “I was hoping to check up on him.”

“He’s… not dressed at the moment,” I chuckled. “Give me a minute and then you can check up on him. He’s in excruciating pain right now. I think he might want to be left alone, for now.” I made my way to the kitchen, the two of them following me.

“Fair enough.” Her brother nodded.

“Okay. Makes sense. I can sense a high amount of pain aura coming from him. I’m concerned.” Argenta looked down at me with sadness.

“I’ve never seen so powerful aura before.”

I reached out to try and pet him, but he shirked back a little, but after a few seconds, he let me pet him. “Do you trust me?” I asked. “And do you have a name other than ‘brother’?” I asked as I was opening my nearly empty fridge.

“I was thinking of the name Crisipo. I like the way it sounds,” he started purring.

“That’s a pretty cool name.” I nodded, staring at the empty crisper drawers and shelving inside the fridge. All that was left was a few water bottles, a jar of pickles, a bottle of ketchup and blackstrap molasses, and a few bottles of Feraligade. “Oh, this is what I was looking for.” I grabbed it, shaking it to make sure it was well-mixed. “You two stay here, I’ll be right back.”

“Okay,” the two said in unison as I walked off.

I made my way back to my bedroom, where I found him half-dressed in boxers and to already be passed out, from the excruciating pain. “I’ll let him rest,” I mumbled under my breath, setting the Feraligade on the nightstand next to my bed. I went into my bathroom, quietly searched the cabinets and found some Antagard, setting it next to the drink.

Hmm, I need some stuff from the store. Will he all right alone, without me? I thought to myself, making my back towards the kitchen, looking around and whatever I might need, jotting stuff down.

“What are you doing?” Crisipo pondered curiously.

“Well, I’m making what’s called a shopping list. You saw how empty my fridge is, right?”

“Yes, I did. It looks like you need to stock up on some stuff.” Argenta nodded.

“He’s sleeping right now; would you like to stay here?” I asked.

“I can stay here,” Crisipo offered. “You can go, Argenta.”

“Okay. I’ll go with Naomi. Will Nanu be okay without you?”

“I think he’ll be all right without me.” I smiled. I patted her on the shoulder. “Remember that sled you pulled? Would it hurt you to carry a bag called a satchel?”

“No, I would be happy to carry a satchel,” she squawked.

“Okay. Let me get dressed and then we can go to the store.” I smiled. “It’s just a short walk, if you’d like.”

“Okay! I’d love to walk!” she cooed happily.

“All right, all right. Give me a minute to get dressed.” I smiled, chuckling.

—-000—

“I like this ‘satchel’ bag thing.” Argenta nodded, cooing happily as we walked down the street.

“I’m just glad it fits.” I smiled, petting her on the shoulder. “You like to run, right? Do you think you can keep up with me?” I started to stretch my legs out.

“Oh, you bet I love to run!” she squawked, picking up her pace.

“One. Two. Three. Go!” I bolted immediately after saying the word ‘go!’. My long legs easily kept stride with her. I watched as my beautiful, long-flowing black hair tailed behind me.

Despite having two different feet types, she managed to easily outpace me and she beat me to the store. “I beat you!” she teased.

“So, you did,” I commented, panting slightly and feeling sweat slowly flowing down my face and abdomen. I wiped the sweat off my forehead using the tie I was wearing. “Congrats.”

“Thanks, Naomi!” she squawked happily. She noticed I was wearing the tie. “Why do you wear men’s clothes?”

I petted her on the head. “Well, they’re more comfortable to me, fit looser around my bosom,” I laughed sheepishly. “And just generally feel nicer on my butt, too.” I patted my back pockets, while feeling for my wallet. “And it can hold my wallet, without having to carry a purse.”

“I see…” She nodded, carefully walking up to the automatic door.

“It’s okay, the door will open automatically. See?” I waved my arms in front of the sensor, watching the door open wide open, a blast of cool air flowing through. I sighed in relief, as it felt good.

“Does the store allow Pokémon?” she asked, looking around for other Pokémon.

“As long as you don’t take a dump on the floor or knock any displays over, you should be all right.” I smiled.

“Gotcha! I’ll be careful!” She stayed close, however.

“Hey, that lady looks like a dude!” a little kid blurted.

“Shush, little Timmy, people can dress however they want,” the mom said to their child.

I felt like I was sweating bullets and I laughed nervously, forcing a smile, remembering I was wearing a tie as well.

Argenta and I gathered as many items on my list as possible, a few items they were out of, so I was going to look for them later. All together, the items came to a little over $80. I carefully put all the items in the satchel, trying my best to avoid spending an extra 5 cents on plastic bags.

By the time I had gotten home, it felt like my muscles had all been pulled out of their sockets. Nanu was lying down on my couch in only his boxers, mindlessly staring at the tv, watching some weird Kantonian game show with wacky rules, with one of my Wishi Sweets dangling from his lips.

“Look what the cat dragged in,” I teased, sitting down next to him, rubbing his head. “Are you feeling any better?”

“A bit.” He smiled, nodding weakly, looking like a former shell of himself.

I’ve never seen him this down or in this much pain before; he’s usually so lively and talkative towards me. I sighed. “Okay, that’s good. I’m going to be cooking dinner for everyone, let me know if you need anything.”

“Okay. I appreciate it Naomi and thank you for letting me crash here.” He nodded.   

I went ahead and let all the Pokémon out, letting them watch over him and so they could have their dinner and so they could meet Crisipo. Blu, his partner ever since he was conceived, stayed by his side without moving.

“Is he all right?” the cat asked, rubbing her head against his chest. “I’ve never seen him like this before and the pain emanating off his is extraordinary.”

Nanu chuckled softly, rubbing her head. “I’m just in a lot of pain right now.”

“Yeah, I told you to lay off the coffee, did I not?” I narrowed my eyes, setting a dish of food down next to Blu. “I also told you to lay off the bacon and eggs, too.”

“I concede defeat,” he sighed, shrugging. “You’re right, I probably had way too much coffee, bacon and eggs.”  

“Mm-hmm. Those make kidney stones worse. If you ever get a kidney stone again, I’m going to kick your ass to the ground, all right? I assume you drank all of the Feraligade, right?”

He chuckled at my hollow threat. “Yes, and thank you for the Antagard, too.”

“Of course. Do you want anything?” I asked. “Any soup and crackers, perhaps?”

“I would love to have some soup, Naomi.”

“Coming right up.” I quickly walked back towards the kitchen, ambling around all the Pokémon. I went up to my stove, turning it on and grabbing a can of chicken noodle soup, making absolute sure it didn’t have tuna in it. I had been paranoid ever since Nanu and I accidentally ate that soup. I’ll never make that stupid mistake again.

It didn’t take long for the soup to boil, so I immediately took it off the stove, so it wouldn’t get so hot that he couldn’t eat it. The smell got to me and I couldn’t resist making a bowl for myself, too. I grabbed a package of crackers and made my way back towards the living room, making complete sure I didn’t accidentally trip and make a mess.

I had then remembered that bloodstain was still there on my carpet, albeit light in colour, as I had tried my best to completely wash it out, shortly after I had gotten home yesterday. My tongue still hurt a tiny bit, but it all seemed like that was in the past now, but thoughts of the blood seeping from my mouth still flicked in my mind. Out of all the sports I played, I never bit a piece of tongue off or had any of my teeth knocked out, but the thought of my friends being tortured scared me. Even though it turns out they were just being psychologically tortured, being trapped in that fucking cabin for more than five days. If that isn’t torture, then I don’t know what is.

“Are you okay?” Nanu broke the silence, snapping me out of my thoughts.

“Oh, sorry. Here’s your soup, sweetheart.” I carefully set it in his lap, careful not to burn his crotch with the hot soup.

“If you burn my dick off, I’m going to personally shoot you.” He smirked, teasing me, going back to his old self.

“Ohh, I’m soooo scared. You shouldn’t even be in just your boxers, you lazy douchebag,” I quipped. “I’d like to see you try to kick my ass.” I flexed my arms, showing off massive biceps.

“Oh, just wait and see. I’ll kick your ass in a battle.” He started to chuckle. “Anyway, thank you for the soup and crackers, I appreciate it.”

“You’re welcome, sweetie.” I put on an angelic smile, sitting down and eating the soup.

We both ate in silence, staring at each other. I could tell he was scheming something, and I knew I had to watch my back. The news showed more Ultra Beasts wreaking havoc upon Alola and that was the only thing that they were showing.

Argenta and Crisipo both ran into the living room, their pupils dilated, and hackles raised and baying like dogs. “Ultra Beast!” the two said in unison.

“And it’s here, near your house!” Argenta snarled.

“And it’s coming this way!” Crisipo finished.

Oh great, just what we needed, huh? I thought to myself. I wonder what Ultra Beast is wreaking havoc near my house now…

Chapter Text

Chapter 22

Naomi’s POV

 

I sucked the soup down, finishing it off before it completely cooled down. I coughed at the heat. “Ugh… hot.”

Nanu extinguished his cigar by shoving it into the plate that his bowl was sitting on, smoke slowly wreathing from it. “Naomi, you idiot. I told you specifically not to eat so fast.” He glared at me, his bright red eyes piercing my soul.

I’m going to get you back for stealing on of my cigars. You still owe me a bag of rambutans, too. I coughed a little, clearing my throat. “I’m sorry… I’m trying so hard not to go back to my younger days, where I literally sucked food up like a vacuum.” I shrugged.

“I’m sure the UB isn’t even here yet.” He shrugged, shaking his head. “Take your time. I don’t want you to puke, too.”

“Well, you’re wrong! Hurry and eat already!” Crisipo snarled, voice full of aggression.

I stood up, looking aggressive. “You’re an aggressive one, huh? Crisipo, calm down. Let him finish his lunch, all right? We’re all very hungry and this is the first time we’ve had something this substantial in days.” I glared into his bright silvery eyes, putting my arms on my sides. “He’s not feeling good, so he’s entitled to eat slow.”

Crisipo turned around, grumbled incoherently, lying down and looking defeated. “Whatever.”

“Honey, please take your time, I insist. Don’t let Crisipo stop you from eating. I’m sure everything is fine, for now, but I’ll be on the guard.” I stared out the window, watching. But I didn’t see anything. Still, I guess it can’t hurt to be on guard. I sighed.

“Naomi, if you’d like, you can go on ahead. I’ll catch up. I have to get dressed anyway.”

“Are you sure?” I asked, rubbing my chin.

“Yeah. You go on ahead. I’ll be all right.” He smiled, but I could tell that smile was hiding his pain, as I wasn’t that stupid.

“I know you’re wearing a mask of false bravado. I know well that that smile is hiding your pain. I’m a detective for a reason.”

His amaranth purple eyes clouded, and he sighed deeply. “Yes, I’m still in a lot of pain. But I’m trying to ignore it.”

“I know what you mean. It’ll get better, I swear. Like I said, I had one when I was a teenager.” I started to rub his hands. “We can let this Ultra Beast crap go, for now. Kenda said that everyone is on their way, so maybe they’ll come up with something.”

“How ironic that earlier I said I couldn’t just ignore it… and that’s what we’re doing.” He took a huge gulp of soup, smiling slightly at me.

“I know, but I can’t leave you alone, especially the fact that you’re in such excruciating pain. Like I said, take your time and don’t worry about Mr Impatient over there.” I turned my head and looked at Crisipo, glaring at him intently.

“I except some sort of apology, Crisipo. You should be thanking me for saving your sister here.” Nanu finished off his soup, setting it aside. He stood up, nostrils flaring and glaring at him.

“Nanu… I’m sorry.” Crisipo didn’t sound sincere, but I accepted it anyway.

I stood up, sighing. “Thank you for apologising.” I shook my head. “Even if it was half-assed. You never snap like that again, please. Especially under my roof.”

“Please don’t kick me out…” Crisipo sounded defeated.

“I won’t kick you out, but if you snap at my fiancé again, I’ll make your nightmare come true.” I smirked.

“Naomi, aren’t you the one being aggressive?” Argenta asked, her eyes wide.

I formed my hands into fists, cracking my knuckles. “No, no. I wouldn’t really kick him out. Nah, I’ll find him something to do. He could go stay at my mother-in-law’s house and help her out there. She always needs extra paws and hands.” I started to laugh, still feeling petty.

“Fine.” Crisipo stood up, looking straight at Nanu. “I’m sorry for snapping at you, Nanu,” he cooed happily. “I promise I won’t snap at you again.”

“Thank you for the sincere apology.” Nanu smirked coyly, looking proud, voice suave. “Now that we’re done eating, let’s go hunt for that Ultra Beast.”

“I agree. Let’s go! I’ll wait for you outside. Please don’t overdo it and put yourself into even more pain. I don’t want to you go vomiting again and going without eating.” I waggled my finger, sighing.

“I know, I know. You’re worried about me, huh?” he asked while standing up, setting the plate down. “I’ll be there in a minute.”

“Of course, I’m worried about you, I’m your fiancée for a reason! Don’t worry about the dishes. I can get them later,” I offered, walking towards the door and waving. “I’ll see you in a few minutes. Don’t take too long!” I called as walked through the door, leaving it propped open.

The two Type: Full walked through the door, thanking me for keeping it open for them. They seemed to be on high alert, as they were able to sense UBs nearby, their baying echoing off the trees that surrounded my house. The other Pokémon soon followed us to the outside, looking around for the Ultra Beast.

It didn’t take long for Nanu to come outside, as he had just thrown on a casual shirt and shorts. He looked sexy in his Alolan floral shirt, pink with white flowers, while his shorts matched his shirt. Slipped through the short’s loops was his belt, which kept his holster. The pearly white grip was shining brightly in the sunlight. He was wearing my clothes, but I didn’t care, if he didn’t give me lice. He slipped on a pair of sunglasses, as the sun was extraordinarily bright out today. “I’m ready. Let’s look for this thing.”

 “There!” Argenta howled.

“Where?” I blinked, unable to see it.

“It’s a Kartana!” Crisipo snarled, lips curled back, and fangs bared.

“Kartana?” Nanu asked as he was being shoved out the way by Argenta, knocking him flat on his butt, onto the ground. “It’s so tiny!” he moaned in pain, winded.

I had a good look at it. It was barely a foot tall and easily small enough to disappear without a trace. It was mostly orange, yellow and white in colour, its body resembling origami. Its arms resembled unsheathed katanas, sharp as needles at the tips. A strong, red aura emanated from it. It was human-like, which freaked me out a little.

“Its arms are sharper than diamonds! I’m sorry for having to do that again!”

“Thanks… Argenta,” he wheezed, slowly getting up.

Blu looked at the Kartana apprehensively, tail twitching and hackles raised. “No one messed with my partner and gets away with it!” Her lips were curled to bare her half-inch canines. Her claws began to glow purple, while a dark purple and black aura surrounded her claws.

“Fhdhjsjs…” the Kartana spoke, in a strange alien language, easily able to duck out the way of Blu’s Shadow Claw.

Dale stomped up, snorting, eyes full of rage. “No one gets away with hurting my partner’s mate!” he whinnied as an orangey aura surrounded him. He tried to ram into the Kartana, but barely clipped it, knocking it several feet through the air.

Hurricane also stepped in, hissing and baring his fangs. A blue aura surrounded him, flying so fast that I could barely see him, knocking into the Kartana, however; the Kartana sliced his wing, leaving a blood trail behind. “Shit!” he sneered; his voice full of venom. “That hurt!”

The other Pokémon stepped up, trying their best. Aquajet, Lolani, Gemma and Rusty all tried to use Dark Pulse, which didn’t do much damage to it. Vod’dan tried to use a Dragon Pulse, but no luck. Firium and Flare both used Flamethrower, which appeared to do more damage, which gave me a thought.

Hmm… I wonder if it’s a Steel-type? I thought. “Do you know what type it is, Argenta or Crisipo?” I asked.

“Faba said that he believes they’re part Steel, part Grass-type,” Crisipo answered. “Can I have the Fire Memory?”

“Yes, you can.” I dug it out of my pocket, but it instantly flew out of my hand. I shrugged, watching as his fin, eyes, crest and round thing under his ears turned a brick red.

“Can I have the Fighting Memory?” Argenta asked.

“Of course, you can.” I nodded, holding it up, watching it fly out of my hand.

“I appreciate it, Naomi!” Argenta nodded as her fin, eyes, crest and round thing under her ears turned a sandy brown colour.

“Thank you, Naomi.” Crisipo bowed slightly, flames surrounding his body.

“My pleasure!” I nodded.

Before we could react, clouds started to roll in, bringing cold and heavy rain, lightning and thunder with them. Lightning crackled against the sky, a booming thunder that rattled the windows of my house. It began to pour down in sheets, causing our clothes as well as my hair to plaster against our skin. The Pokémon didn’t seem to care much about the rain, trying to strike the Kartana; despite hating the water, Blu, Flare and Firium persisted, but was barely able to touch the Ultra Beast, as it was able to quickly move out of the way.

I felt chilled to the bone, trying to ignore the nagging, drenched shirt and jeans that were plastered to my chest and legs. If I don’t get some sort of shelter, then I’m going to get hypothermia. This rain is colder than usual, I thought as I noticed rain dribbling off my eyebrows.

Nanu looked over at me, carefully walked over towards me, his amaranth purple eyes clouded, and his shirt plastered against his skin. He seemed to have the same thoughts as me, as he wrapped his body around mine. “Naomi…” His warm breath was in my ear, tickling it. “I’ll try and keep you warm.

“I’m freezing my nips off out here. Why is the rain so cold?”

“Good question.” He looked up towards the heavens. “It does seem colder than usual.”

“We need to go back inside the house, but we can’t exactly leave them behind.” I shaded my eyes, as the rain was starting to coalesce around my eyes, making it hard to see.

He sighed, shrugging, covering his eyes so they he could see. “I hate to leave them alone like this. They’re having trouble keeping up with the UB. And look, they’re sliding in the mud, too.”

Blu looked as though she was on her last gasp, having scratches all over her body. She was panting hard, blood dripping off her face, pooling and washing away. She could barely move as she struggled to walk towards us, but she ended up fainting, eyes swirled.

“Blu!” Nanu let go of me, running up to her, scooping her up. “Blu, please be okay!” He held her close to his body, letting her lean her head against his shoulder; however, she was breathing slowly. “Naomi, we’ll have to go to the Pokémon Centre soon…” He grabbed her Poké ball, watching as she vapourised inside of it.

“Those are some nasty cuts she has. We’ll have go get her treated, so she doesn’t get at infection.”

He sighed. “I can’t believe she actually fainted…”

“It’s the first time in all my years of knowing her, that I’ve actually witnessed her fainting. Normally, you two perform Black Hole Eclipse before she faints.”

“Yes. But there are too many Pokémon battling at once.”

“That Kartana is so nimble. I’m amazed that it can avoid so many attacks at once.” I gritted my teeth, trying to think of what to do.

“Its blades are nasty too. Look at the damage it’s done to everyone,” he pointed out. “I hate to get cut by it, too. It looks like it could chop limbs off.”

“Luckily, the damage it’s done to everyone isn’t permanent, since they’re just attacks.” I watched as Crisipo and Argenta teamed up, using Flamethrower at the same time.

The Kartana wasn’t able to avoid their attacks, collapsing in the mud. Dale ran up to it, using Stomp, further squishing it into the squelchy earth. It stopped moving and twitched a few times, as it had finally fainted. We all collectively sighed, everyone lining up to us, wondering what to do.

All them had nasty cuts and scratches all over their bodies, bloodying the earth below. Dale had taken the brunt of the damage, having a deep gash on his muzzle, while Gemma only had some tiny scratches on her ears.

“Luckily, the Pokémon Centre isn’t too far,” Nanu said while returning all his Pokémon, watching the sky as a huge streak of lightning cracked through the clouds.

“Come on, let’s go.” I grabbed everyone’s Poké balls, watching them vapourise.

The rain continued to pour down in sheets as we walked to the Pokémon Centre in silence, Crisipo tailing us quietly. I shivered the whole time, chilled to the bones. We didn’t have time to change, as this was an emergency.

We were greeted by warm air and the Nurse Joy as we were walking through the doors. She has a shocked look on her face, noticing the clothes plastered to our frames. “Are you okay?” she asked, curiously while grabbing a tray with divots in it.

“Our Pokémon need to be healed.” I grabbed everyone’s Poké balls, handing them her.

Nanu nodded, copying me. “Please.”

“What about this one?” She pointed to Crisipo.

“He doesn’t have a ball, but he needs to be healed too.” I looked over at him. “Please go with her. I’ll make you a malasada, all right?”

“Yes, Naomi,” he said quietly, walking up to Nurse Joy.

“Of course! They should all be healed in 15 minutes.” She carefully set all 11 Poké balls in the tray. “Feel free to have a hot drink and some dry clothes. Feel free to stay as long as you need, as the rain is the worst I’ve seen in ages.” She turned around and walked off.

“Thank you,” Nanu and I said in unison.

“You’re welcome!” she called out to us.

“I have to go to the bathroom.” I looked at Nanu. “And some warm clothes and a drink would be nice. I’ll be right back.”

“I have to go too.” He nodded. “I’ll be right back as well.”

“If you’re going to pass that stone, good luck.”

“Gee, thanks!” His voice was dripping with sarcasm.

“You’re welcome sweetie.” I nudged his shoulder with my fist.

“I’m going to get you back for being so petty lately.”

“Oh, shit. I’m soooo scared of your empty/hollow threats! Pahhh!” I giggled, running into the bathroom before he could catch me. “Can’t catch me in here!” I called through the door. “Hah, sucker,” I whispered to myself.

“Just you wait. I’m still planning on getting back at you!” he called from outside the door.

I quickly finished, but I wanted to take my pettiness even further, getting a justice boner. A hot shower would be nice. I went up the shower that was towards the back of the bathroom.

Lining the shelves were fresh, clean brighter-than-bleach towels. Inside the shower was fresh bottles of soap, shampoo and conditioner. Dangling some hangers was a pair of clean bright blue jeans and light green shirts. I went up and sniffed them. Mmmm… fresh linen. Nanu is going to kill me, but anything to get back at him. Even though I don’t like women’s clothes, I’ll wear them.

I walked on up the shower, turning the water on. I took off my soaking wet clothes, letting them hang form the curtain rod. The water felt relaxing as it dropped down my body. The warmth was perfect, as I liked it nearly scalding, water that would probably nearly burn the average person.

I quickly washed off, but took my sweet, sweet time, my justice boner raging. I felt so petty, but I didn’t care. He’s going to strangle me in my sleep, I just know it. I stood in silence for several minutes, watching the water drip off my hair and arms. I was completely relaxed and completely oblivious to anything outside the bathroom door.

Oh! I bet my Pokémon are healed by now, I thought to myself as I got out of the shower, quickly drying off. I dried off my hair with the towel, watching it frizz. I slipped on the clothes, but I noticed they fit tightly around my body. This is why I don’t wear women’s clothes. They’re too tight around my butt and breasts. Ugh. I made my way towards the lobby, bumping into Nanu.

He was wearing a pair of bright blue jeans and a light blue shirt, nice and buttoned up and ironed. “What the heck took – Meine Güte! Damn, Naomi!” he exclaimed as his jaw dropped. His pupils dilated and I swore I could see him drooling.

“Wait, you like me in these clothes? They’re so tight. I feel like my chest is being squeezed.” I grabbed the collar of the shirt, pulling on it. “I’m glad you like it, because I don’t.”

“Goddang, you’re so sexy.” He smirked and started to chuckle, pulling me in close. He wrapped his arms around me, kissing me deeply. We started to dance a tango, easily keeping in step with each other. “Mmm… you smell like mangoes and dragon fruit.” He sniffed my hair, inhaling the scent deeply, his warm breath against my skin.

“And you smell like you bathed in a pit of cologne.” I sniffed his shoulder. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

“No wonder it took you so long to pee, you took a shower.”

“I know. I wanted to get back at you for stealing one of my cigars.”

“Well, I took a shower too, to get back at you for stealing my coffee.” He smirked and started to laugh loudly.

“You enjoy schadenfreude, don’t you?” I asked, smirking.

“I enjoy seeing your pain and misery sometimes, Naomi.” He grinned evilly. “Especially if it’s for something as petty as what you pulled off.”

“Well, aren’t you wicked?” I smiled.

“I like to dance with the devil sometimes…” He leaned in and kissed me, wrapping his arms around me tightly, pressing me against his body.

“I know you do sometimes.” I felt like I was being constricted, but it felt good to be against him.

“Would you like some warm Moomoo Milk?” the Nurse Joy asked, approaching us, carrying the tray of Poké balls, with Crisipo on her heels. She stopped in her tracks when she noticed how close we were to each other. “Oh, did I walk in on something? I’m sorry for—”

“No, no,” I interrupted, releasing myself from his embrace. “We just really love each other and he’s my fiancé, too.”

“I really love Naomi very much and I’m proud to say she’s my best friend. No, we weren’t doing anything naughty, if that’s what you were insinuating.”

“I know what we were doing could be misinterpreted, but I would never do anything of the sorts, especially in public,” I laughed mirthlessly, forcing a smile. “We just enjoy each other’s company.”

“No, no. I didn’t think you were doing anything inappropriate. In fact, I find it adorable how close you two are.” Joy smiled, nodding and closing her eyes in happiness.

“Showoffs…” Crisipo muttered under his breath, sighing heavily.

“We’ve been best friends for 13 years now,” I sighed happily, smiling. “It was love at first sight.” A tear fell down my cheek, falling to the floor. “I don’t know what I would do without him, to be honest.”

“I had been asexual the whole time, but the moment I saw her, I thought she was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on…” His eyes were starting to water and he sniffled.

“You two have to be the most beautiful couple I’ve seen walk through these doors,” Joy laughed, sighing happily. “Anyways, have some free Moomoo Milk.” She pointed to the café in the corner. “Here are your Pokémon.” She held out the tray. “I’ll be over there in a second.”

We grabbed our Poké balls and thanked her, following her to the café that was in the corner, while Crisipo laid down off towards the left of us, resting. She stood behind the counter, grabbing a half-gallon of milk, pouring it into a milk steamer. We both sat down on some barstools while watching her.

“Why did she suggest only Moomoo Milk?” I asked, turning my head and looking into his eyes.

“I told her that I had a kidney stone before I went to go take a shower. She said that Moomoo Milk may help me to pass it, actually.”

“You still haven’t passed it, huh?” I stared at him dead in the eyes. “That’s too bad.”

“Here you go!” Joy set the two steamed cups of milk on the counter, smiling.

“Thank you!” we said simultaneously.

“No problem, it’s my pleasure. Would you like anything to eat?”

“I’m not hungry at the moment, so I will pass. No, thanks.” I shook my head.

“Same, we had a huge lunch before we got here.”

“I’ll leave you two alone.” She walked off, giving us the space to ourselves.

“So, what all did you do while I was gone? I meant to ask you that, but I forgot. We got distracted by Argenta and Firium that night.” He grabbed the cup, bringing it to his lips and taking a sip.

I grabbed the cup, putting to my lips and blowing on it, steam blowing into my eyes, warming my face. The frothy sweet, creamy, hot and steamy scent tickled my nose hairs. It smelled good and fresh, straight from the Miltank. “Well… here’s the thing. I was buried in paperwork the whole time you were gone, with no end in sight. I was doing twice the amount I had been doing. Other than being drowned in paperwork, I went swimming and scuba diving for hours, until I ran out of energy or oxygen, respectively.”

“Of course, you’d be in the ocean, Moana.” He smiled, calling me by my nickname.

“The ocean is my home away from home, Triple Sec.” I took another sip. My cheeks felt warm and I felt relaxed and calm.

“Ohhhh… I haven’t heard you call me that in ages.” His face flushed pink.

“Hehee…” I giggled, smiling. “I’m the one that called you that, too. It’s the perfect nickname for you.”

“Oh, you pervert.” He caught my double entendre. “Don’t think you can slip your jokes past my radar.”

“Oh crap, you’re good at recognising my jokes! I guess that’s what happens when you live with someone for years.” I smiled, sniggering. “You’re too good at this. And I thought I was the observational one.”

“I’ve lived with you and known you long enough that I usually know where you’re going with these jokes.” He cracked a warm smile, his purplish-red eyes glowing. “It’s why I love you, to be honest. You’re such a kind, caring, loving and funny person, even if you are petty.”

I cracked a smile was well, putting my hands on my cheeks, leaning against the table, taking another sip of the now lukewarm milk. “You’re not going to let me live that down, are you? I love you because you’re funny, quiet, respectable person, even if you are a bit of a douchebag.”

“I certainly try not to be a douchebag, even if I come across as one. No, no. Time and life both have made me cynical. I felt as the though the world didn’t care about me, until you came into my life.” He took a big gulp of the milk, finishing it off. “Ahh, that was good.”

“No… I know exactly what you mean. You can say I’m a bit cynical too, ever since I lost my uncle.” I shook my head, taking a huge gulp of the cold milk, swallowing hard and squeezing my eyes shut. “I don’t like being reminded of his death. When his body was fished out of the lake for me to ID him… that was the most haunting thing I’d ever seen. His clouded-over, grey-brown eyes still reoccur in my nightmares. I’m sorry, I forgot to mention it, as I hadn’t seen you in so long…” My eyes began to water.

Before we could chat further, a degrading and demanding voice called from behind us, causing us to turn around. “Is it you that’s been defeating my Ultra Beasts?” she snarled.

She was tall, but with her wearing stilettos, I couldn’t tell exactly what her height was. Her hair was blonde with silvery streaks running down the length of her hair. Her dress was white in colour, fading to a light yellow towards the bottom, with a black diamond in the middle. She was also wearing white leggings with black stripes running down the sides of them. She had an aura of aggression and entitlement on her.

I blinked the tears out of the way of my eyes, confused. “Just who are you?” I asked.

“I’m Lusamine and my UBs have told you that you’ve been defeating them. I’m here to tell you to stop hurting my children.”

“You have some nerve showing up here.” Crisipo got up from his nap, curling back his lips and baring his fangs.

“I’m not simply here to just… chat.” Her voice was full of venom. “No, I’m here to kill you.” She looked at Nanu, her eyes full of rage and her face redder than a tomato.

I made absolute sure she wasn’t watching me, turning around slowly, as she seemed to be oblivious to me. I unhooked the holster, grabbing my Glock 19, making absolute sure I didn’t accidentally let it go off, as Glocks didn’t have any safeties, unlike my Beretta Cheetah. I kept the gun pressed against my breasts, making sure that I was hiding it. I could see Nanu was looking at me out the corner of his eye, flashing a microexpression, a small smile, one of which much of the human population can’t see. You have a plan, right? I thought to myself. I watched as he used his hidden hand to unhook his holster, slowly sliding it out, turning the safety off.

“You have so nerve threatening me.” His voice quavered but was full of false confidence. “You think I’m scared of your hollow threats? So, so you know why I got the name Triple Sec. no, it’s not some lame innuendo. This is why they call me Triple Sec!” he shouted aggressively, getting off the barstool, turning around, cocking and aiming his gun straight at her; all in less than three seconds and with only his left hand.

I stood up and jumped off the barstool. “No one threatens my fiancé and gets away with it! You want to dance with death, then you’re the last thing you’ll see. Glocks don’t have safeties, so this one trigger pull could end you!”

“I outta call the police on you two for pulling your guns on me and threatening me.”

“Are you stupid? We are the police!” I sneered. “You have some balls coming in here, prancing around with your arrogance, thinking we’re subservient to you. No, that’s not how the world works.”

“I need you to prove that you are police,” she guffawed. “I’d like to see you prove it.”

“My badge number is 59483,” I stated proudly. I manipulated my right hand into my back-right pocket, while still keeping my gun pointed at her. I managed to reach for my wallet, grabbing it, opening it up to reveal my badge, tossing it. “Keep your hands up.”

She kept her hands up, looking carefully at the worn-down badge that was once bronze; now showing silvery in many areas. “Good. Now, albino, I need to see yours.”

He grumbled under his breath. “I have a name, you know.” He manipulated his right hand into his front right pocket, grabbing the wallet and dextrously opened it up to where his badge was, tossing it at her. The whole time he did this, he still had his gun pointed at her.

She looked at the worn-down, silvery and bronzed badge. “Very good. I’m impressed that you two are police officers. However, I shall report you to the highest authority.”

I briefly flashed a look up at the CCTV in the corner of the room. “Who is Émile, Cassidy, Logan, Delcroix or Jake going to believe? You or me? It’s your word against ours. Before you can say we can manipulate him, we can’t. We don’t have that ability. Everyone is smarter than that. They can read microexpressions, for crying out loud.”

“This ends here,” a feminine voice said from behind Lusamine. “No, don’t turn around, or I’ll shoot.” The voice was coy and suave. I recognised it to be Cassidy.

“We heard the whole thing,” Émile tsked.

The two stepped into view, holding onto their guns off to their sides. “Moana, Triple Sec,” the two said simultaneously.

“Looker, Cass,” Nanu and I said in unison.

We all bowed our heads in respect. I relaxed a little, letting go of the trigger. Big mistake! Before I could react, Lusamine kicked my wallet, hard, causing my gun to go flying out of my hand. Which in turn, caused a domino effect, with the trigger going off, the bullet ricocheting off the metal barstool’s legs. All of us ducked down, trying out best to avoid the ricocheting bullet.

The next thing I knew, I could see the recognisable crimson liquid pooling on the nice jeans, the liquid that everyone loathed and grossed people out. I gasped, ignoring the pain. No, it’s just in my thigh. I think I should be okay. I’ve been in worse pain than this. That kidney stone I had 19 years ago and my endometriosis… I shouldn’t have… let my guard down like that. Who knew she was going to do that? That was the first thing my uncle taught me. ‘Never let your guard down, your attacker(s) will see your weakness and attack you.’

Time seemed to have stopped as all my colleagues gathered around me. I stood up, ignoring the pooling blood on the jeans, sighing.

“Don’t think I’m going to die that fast,” I uttered through gritted teeth. “I’ve been in worse pain than this.” I looked over at where Lusamine once was, and she was gone. “She’s gone! We let our guard down!” I pointed to the empty spot where she once stood.

“Make it my mission to find her,” Nanu snarled, his fists clenched so tight I could see the knuckles sticking out. “No one shoots my partner and fiancée and gets away with it…”

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 23

Naomi’s POV

 

I winced from the pain of an alcohol-soaked cotton ball being pushed into the bullet wound on my inner thigh. “Ow!” I hissed, moaning.

“Oh hush, be glad it’s stopped bleeding,” Nanu shushed me. “Be glad it’s lodged into your adductor longus and not your femoral artery, as you would have bled out instantaneously. I think it ricocheting off the wall helped it to not be quite so damaging. Be glad it’s stopped bleeding, too.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re the one helping me. I don’t want anyone except you to touch my inner thigh.” I felt my face flush, embarrassed thinking about someone else seeing me like this. Then again, Cassidy and Émile are my friends, but if anyone else were to help me… Well, at least I’m at home, that’s for damn sure.

“No need to be embarrassed. I’m glad I can help you. You’ll probably need surgery to remove it, though. It can easily dislodge and travel around your bloodstream, causing an aneurysm.”

“Yep. You’re right. But for now, it’s my little buddy.” I winced again as he poured alcohol on the outside of it. “Ow! You can stop it now!”

He smirked. “I don’t it to get infected, now do we, huh? I’d be happy to take a pair of long tweezers and grab the bullet myself, but I’d rather leave that to the real doctors. I could injure you even further,” he chuckled.

“You’re still feeling petty, huh?” I asked, twitching my left eye. “Don’t think you can get away with it either.”

“Of course, I am. I’m just trying to think of some way of getting back at you.” He grabbed a huge bandage from my medicine cabinet, carefully plastering it onto my skin.

“I’ll be prepared, then, Mr Pettiness.”

“If I’m Mr Pettiness, does that make you Mrs Pettiness?”

“I suppose it does,” I said while putting my jeans back on. “Anyways, thank you for tending to me. I appreciate it and I wouldn’t want anyone else to touch me.”

“No problem!” He gave a thumbs up as he was shutting the medicine cabinet door. His eyes started to bulge as he moaned in pain. “Oh, God! It’s like my insides are being ripped apart!”

“I told you ‘good luck passing it’. You’re going to be in a world of hurt.”

“All because I have a dick, right?” He shook his head.

I pointed upwards with my index finger, giggling. “Precisely!” I flicked his nose with index finger lightly.

“Watch it, or I’ll shove my finger into that bullet wound of yours,” he teased, voice dripping with sarcasm.

“Ohhh, I’m sooooo scared. Not!” I giggled, smiling. I felt my stomach gurgle loudly. “I’m hungry, what about you?” I asked while opening the bathroom door.

“Ehhh. Not really. I think I’m about to pass this stone. You go on ahead. Maybe I’ll be hungry later.”

“I better feed everyone. I’m sure they’re hungry too. Anyways, good luck!” I turned around, waving, leaving the room to himself. I made my way towards the kitchen, noticing all the Pokémon staring at me like I was a piece of meat.

“Is he okay?” Blu asked, as I heard a loud moan of pain coming from the bathroom. “That sounds so painful.” She gritted her teeth, grimacing.

“I sure hope so. I had a kidney stone when I was 15, and it was the worst pain, I had ever been in. It’s like trying to blow a marble through a straw,” I sighed.

“That sounds incredibly painful,” Argenta whined.

“Is it possible for Pokémon get these… kidney stones?” Crisipo asked.

“Yes, but it’s very rare. You would have to eat straight salt and minerals or saltwater without drinking much freshwater.” I looked straight into his silvery eyes. “Please don’t do that.”

“Okay, but you know water is vital to us. Even to us Fire-types,” Firium mewed, retracting his claws and sheathing them.

“What does saltwater taste like?” Lolani asked as she stared out at the window and watching the waves rolling, sitting on the bay window’s bench. “If the weather was clear and no clouds, I could make out the ocean from my lofty, mountainous perch. I could see for miles, in fact.”

“It tastes nothing like bones, Lolani!” Dale teased, staring out the window as well.

“But in all seriousness, it tastes like meat, but the saltiness is much worse,” Flare answered, jumping up onto the bench, sitting on his haunches, licking his right front paw.

“It certainly smells good. Like a mix of meat and dead things,” Lolani cooed happily.

“Hmm… let’s see. I believe Nanu said that it is bacteria giving off that odour. Something something science-y that I don’t really know. But the stuff fascinates me regardless. The fact that we can’t live without bacteria is amazing too.”

“Is that why it smells so strange?” Dale murmured. “I thought it always smell kind of like rotting grass.”

“Precisely. What it is even more amazing is when there’s a huge bloom of phytoplankton and the ocean glows whenever the waves crash. It’s a beautiful spectacle.” I nodded, noticing no more moans of pain coming from my bathroom. “Heh, I wonder if he finally passed it?” I saw him wandering through the hallway out of my peripherals. “Speak of the devil.” I turned around, looking at him. “Look what the cat dragged in.”

His face and the collar of his shirt were completely soaked in sweat. He was panting hard, moaning in pain a little, but had a satisfying look upon his face. “I finally understand how you felt.”

“Now do you take me seriously?” I begged.

“Of course, I do now. I’m just glad this is finally over.” He wiped the sweat from his brow. “That was the worst pain I’d ever been in.”

“Do you promise to drink more water?” I asked.

“I pinky promise.” He held out his right pinky finger.

I wrapped my left pinky finger around his. “Good. I never want to see you like this again.”

“I can’t believe such a tiny, two-millimetre thing can cause so much pain. I just hope I never go through it again. I wouldn’t even wish this pain upon my worst enemy.” He shook his head. “As cynical and antisocial as I am.”

“I know. I wouldn’t either. It’s a pain I never want anyone to go through, except those two.”

“The men that beheaded Acerola and Hapu’s parents and nearly killed the latter’s grandma? Yeah, I think I’ll have to agree with you there.”

“I forgot that you figured out it was them that beheaded Hapu’s parents, too. Same modus operandi, same type of weapon.”

“You know, I scoured those files for hours on end, trying to see which ones I could solve and give closure to.”

I smiled. “I appreciate that very much. I never doubted you for one minute that you wouldn’t be able to solve those cold cases.”  

“Of course, my dear.” He smiled. “Anyways, since my stone has passed, I’m starving. But, you don’t mind if I change, do you?”

“Yes, smelly sweaty boy.” I smirked, looking at him straight in the eyes. “You smell like fear and pain.” I swore I felt and smelled a fear scent emanating from him. Ever since I had that weird dream, I can sense stuff that others can’t. Thank you, Fenrir.

“Yeah, I get that.” He waved his hand, turning around and walking off. “I look forward to whatever you’ll whip up. I saw that you were busy picking stuff out at the store.”

“Heh… how does a vegetable lasagna sound?” I asked, calling out to him. “I know that’s one of your favourites.”

“I’d love a vegetable lasagna!” he called back at me.

“One giant vegetable lasagna coming right up.” I smiled, looking at all the Pokémon. “You guys can have some too, whenever I finish.” I grabbed a 15x15” casserole dish.

“Naomi, can you tell a story while you’re cooking?” Argenta asked. “I’m wondering what you first thought of Nanu, the first time you met at the Thrifty Megamart!” she barked happily.

“Oh yes, I must learn,” Lolani squawked happily.

“So, do I!” Vod’dan agreed.

“Fine, fine. I’ll tell you how I felt when I first saw that beautiful man…” I felt my face flush, watching him walk back into the room. “Here goes.”

---000—

August 12, 1986

I watched as a light-skinned, white-haired and red-eyed man walked through the automatic doors, shivering and teeth chattering. I knew deep down he needed an umbrella, as the rain was unseasonably cold. His jacket and khakis were completely soaked in water and his shoes were caked in chestnut brown, squelchy mud.

I approached him carefully, as I wasn’t sure how he’d react to an employee approaching him 20 seconds after he walked in. I put on my best customer service face, smiling brightly and smoothing back my bangs. “Hi, it looks like you’re in need of an umbrella, would you like to buy one?” I asked, facing flushing a rosy pink. Oh God, he’s sexy… but his eyes scare me, to be honest, I thought to myself.

He turned around and looked at me. “Oh… yeah, I’d love an umbrella.” He was handsome and tall, at 5’9”, with whitish-grey hair and deep purplish-red eyes and lanky frame. He was wearing maroon polo, dark tan khakis. Around his neck was a Darkinium-Z crystal and on his left wrist was a Z-Ring, completing the collection. When he smiled, his teeth were white but were tinged yellow from years of drinking coffee and he had bags under his eyes, possibly from lack of sleep or stress. I could see him trying to stifle a yawn and I could see that he was staring at my body, possibly confused about my gender, which didn’t surprise me in the least bit, as I easily passed off as a man.

If you came for more than just an umbrella, I’ll kick your ass, you pervert… I thought to myself. “My name is Naomi, and if you need help, I’ll be right over here, stocking some vegetable soup.” I pointed to the shelf where I was stocking.

“All right, thanks, Naomi. Can you point out where the umbrellas are? I haven’t had a chance to buy a new one… my old one was ripped up by time and weather,” he said mirthlessly, voice dripping sardonically.

“Of course! They’re right there.” I pointed to a display near the registers, a simple but effective umbrella stand, complete with graphics of people holding the umbrellas. “They’re in that PDQ over there!”

“Thank you!” He walked over and grabbed a bright green umbrella. “Why are they called PDQs?”

“It stands for pretty damn quick, because we can just take them out of the box just like that and don’t need to set them up, hence the name PDQ.”

“Heh… that makes sense,” he chuckled. “All right, I have to get some stuff for my mom.”

“Cool! Well, I’ll be over here, if you need me.” I smiled, walking back over to the shelf I was stocking. Ruben would kill me if he found out… but wow this guy is hot, even though his eyes scare me. Wait! I swear I’ve seen him at school! I got to ask, but maybe next time he comes here. I wonder what he thinks of me! I thought as I watched him grab dark chocolate tablets with no milk and 78% cacao in it, and a can of full fat coconut milk.

“What else does my mom need?” he mumbled under his breath. “I could always come back, if I have to.” He only had the two items as he walked up to the register.

“Naomi!” my manager, Rick called out to me. “Quit ogling the customers and get back to work!”

Shut up! You probably just gave me away! I looked over at where the man was, but I saw that he had already exited out the door. “Hmph,” I grumbled irascibly. You’re going to pay for embarrassing me like that, you twat.

—-000—

A few days later

“Careful going up that ladder,” the man said in suave tone. “I’d hate to see you fall, especially the fact that it’s taller than you are.” I recognised the voice to be that man’s. Sitting beside him, was a beautiful, light-blue haired Persian. “Naomi… Ohna-ohna?” he read my new, bright and shiny nametag, aloud.

He surprised me, causing me to turn my head around. “Oh!” I blurted. “My surname is Oh-now-nah. It’s you, white-haired man. Did you need help, per chance?” I chuckled nervously, blushed, feeling a bit sweaty from nervousness.

“Yeah, I really need some more of that dark chocolate tablets that are 78% cacao, but there aren’t any on the shelves. You wouldn’t happen to have any on the back, would you?”

“Oh! Give me one second. I’m almost off work, so I bet I sneak off.” I climbed down the ladder, carefully folding it and leaning it against the wall, making sure no one tripped over it. “Give me one second!” I held up my index finger, running off to the storage area.

The storage area was huge, with forklifts, ladders, overstock items and larger items that couldn’t fit on the main floor, such as ranges and fridges. There was only so much that the main floor could fit. One could get lost in the back, as it had many items to look at, but I didn’t want to get distracted.

I knew right where we kept the extra food items that couldn’t fit on the highest shelves on the main floor. “Do-do-do… fooootlaaaax,” I sang as I looked around. “Kick off your Monday shooooessss…” I kept looking around, for a few seconds. That’s when I saw it neatly stacked in a case on metal shelf. “Found it!” I grabbed the box and ran.

When I came back, his was twiddling his thumbs and digging the dirt from under his nails but had a hopeful smile on his face. “Oh hey, you’re back! You found them!” he said with happiness. “My mom can make more of her brownies tonight, for the bake sale at the Malie Library tomorrow. She only needs to make three more batches, and this is the only store that sells this chocolate. My mom is lactose intolerant and will bowl over in severe pain if the amount of milk is high enough. My mom and I thank you so much for this!” he explained enthusiastically. “I can have this whole box, right?” He handed it to me.

“Yessiree, you can!” I took my 2-inch box cutter, expertly slicing open the box with three, swift cuts, popping up the box, which housed two smaller boxes of the tabletted chocolate. “Bake sale, huh? Luckily, I’m off tomorrow, since I have school later in the evening. I’ll try and swing by. I want to buy some of your mom’s brownies. I wish you luck selling them! Hope you can sell a lot!”

“Yes. We desperately need to sell as many baked goods as possible. We need new books, as many of them are falling apart,” he sighed, petting his Persian’s head. “Well, if you swing by, I look forward to seeing you there! I got to go. My mom is expecting me any second now. Bye, Naomi!” He waved.

“Bye… white-haired man and Persian.”

“The name’s Bellinor. Bellinor Nanu. My Persian’s name is Blu.”

“Aww… well, that’s a cute name for her. Anyways, good luck with that bake sale! I’ll try to swing by tomorrow!” I waved, watching them walk up to the cash register to check out. I think… I think I’m in love… I blushed, feeling my cheeks getting warm. But Ruben would kill me… even though he said he was okay with having an open relationship. Maybe… now’s not the time.

 ---00—

I walked through the Malie Library, looking at all the books that lined hundreds of shelves, each shelf had at least 30 books all lined up neatly. Hanging from the rafters were Pothos, Rhipsalis and Burro’s-tail, all longer than my hair and nearly touching the tops of the shelves. Perched up on one of the highest shelves, was a sleeping shiny Toucannon, with a bright pink, purple, blue and dark blue beak. Sitting outside the main lobby was a table covered in various baked goods, such as carrot cake, cookies, brownies, fig bars and date bars, all wrapped in saran wrap. The scents of all the baked goods wafted throughout the library, making me feel hungry. I stood in line, noticing several people in front of me.

“Oh. I shouldn’t have skipped breakfast, huh, Dale?” I looked down at my small but mighty partner.

(“DUH, Naomi,”) he brayed. I swore he said ‘duh’ to me.

“But… I wanted some baked goods so much.” I looked over to see Bellinor and a lady sitting in some seats. Sitting on the table was a box with a lock on it, a makeshift cash register.

“Welcome to Malie Library,” a feminine voice said calmly, at me.

“Who? Me?” I turned around, looking at her, noticing I was next in line. Where the hell did all those people go? I swore there were several people ahead of me. Did I seriously blank out for that long?

“Yes, you. You’re next in line, honey.” She was short, at only 5’3”, resembling Bellinor, but with blonde hair and deep green eyes, resembling emeralds. Her arms and legs were long, and she was on the bulkier side, made of pure muscle, not unlike me. She was wearing a beautiful dark blue dress and blue shorts, and even her earrings were deep blue, too. Around her neck was a beautiful, Flyinium-Z Crystal, which sparkled in the halogen lighting. She had a beautiful, pearly white smile. “I’m Libelle and I’m here to serve you!”

“Mom! That’s the girl I told you about. She helped us save our brownies!” Bellinor pointed out.

“Oh! So, it was you that found the box of chocolate tablets, huh? My stomach and I thank you very much. Those brownies turned out amazing.” She grinned. “What you and your Mudbray like?” she asked.

“He can be a bit of a brat, but you don’t mind if he looks, do you?”

“No, no. Just as long as he doesn’t mess up anything.” Bellinor nodded.

“I don’t want to have to clean up crap off the floor.” His mom shook her head. “Nor do I want several items stolen by him.”

“You here that, Dale? I’ll banish you to your ball if you don’t listen.” I glared at him.

(“Yes, Naomi…”) he neighed quietly, nodding. He sniffed a few of the date bars, grabbing it dextrously with his lips and placing it into my hand.

“Looks like he wants this date bar. I’ll take two of your brownies and two of your chocolate chip cookies.”

“That’ll be $8,” he stated with confidence.

“Wow, okay.” I grabbed my wallet from my back pocket, opening it up to only find $7. “Dammit,” I cursed. “I only have $7…”

He reached for his wallet, grabbing a $1. “Here. Now you have $8.” He smiled; his voice suave.

“What…? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat! No, no no! You didn’t have to do that!” I gasped, shocked, jaw dropping and nearly falling off my face.

“Of course, I did.” He nodded, his voice quavering. “You’re a beautiful girl and I could never just leave a beautiful lady like yourself without help,” he hesitated, his cheeks flushing a bright pink. He rubbed the back of his head nervously.

“Aww. That was sweet, Bellinor.” His mom smiled wide. “Here you go. This batch of brownies is on me, since you saved us. Bellinor told me that you had to go into the back to find the chocolate. I ended up with too many brownies. Please, eat them to your heart’s content or see if someone in your family wants them.”

“W-what…” I blinked, confused as she handed me a paper plate covered in brownies wrapped in plastic. “No one has ever been this generous to me…”

“He would not shut up about you last night.” She stifled a snigger, twisting her lips and hiding her embarrassment. It didn’t work, as her cheeks were rosy red by the time, she started flat out laughing. “It was adorable, honestly!”

I chuckled nervously, rubbing the back of my head. “Oh… I’m flattered.” I began to sweat nervously. “I…I better go. My work is expecting me soon.”

“Bye, Naomi! I look forward to dropping by Thrifty again soon.” He smiled, waving.

“Have a wonderful day, honey.” She waved as well.

“Bye Bellinor, bye Libelle!” I waved back. I felt awkward the whole drive back home.

—00—

A few years later

I walked up to my work building, only to see people screaming and trying to escape. Many people were shaking, scared or vomiting from fear. There was mass chaos as the Thrifty Megamart was lain waste to the wrath of Tapu Bulu. My jaw dropped, unsure what had just happened.

That’s when I heard a familiar, yet gruff voice. “Naomi.” My uncle put his hand on my shoulder. Uncle was short in stature, with long black hair in a ponytail and dark brown, almost black eyes; around his neck was a Grondium-Z Crystal, but it was replica and on his wrist was a replica of a Z-Ring. Time and the sunshine got to his face, carving out canyons and moles that were possibly cancerous. Clasped in his teeth was a toothpick, something he often chewed on, as he couldn’t have cigarettes anymore. He fiddled with it with his tongue. “How would you like to become a detective? I will help pay for you get a house and help back your student loans.”

“Wait. You’re serious, right?” I stared into his deep brown eyes.

“Yes, Naomi, I’m serious. I’m not being sarcastic,” he chuckled. “Being a detective is no laughing matter. Naomi, I’ve seen you when you play Bullshit with us. The fact that you can read microexpressions fascinates me and the fact that you can tell when one of us is lying… I think you’d make an excellent detective. So, let this be your first crime scene…”

---00---

Present

“I remember like that was yesterday,” I said while taking the lasagna out of the oven. “That was my first crime scene too, of sorts. Even though my uncle and I knew whom the culprit was, it was excellent practice.” Before I could start cutting the lasagna into squares, there was a knock on the door.

“Were you expecting anyone, Naomi?” Nanu asked curiously.

“Umm… no, but it might be Émile or Cassidy,” I answered, setting the lasagna down on the stovetop.

“I’ll answer it,” he spoke up, cutting in front of me, before I could walk away. “You stay back, just in case it’s Lusamine.” He slowly approached the front door, keeping his hand on the strap of his holster.

Blu, Argenta, Flare, Firium and Crisipo’s hackles were all raised as they snarled throatily. Even Lolani, Vod’dan, Dale, Hurricane, Aquajet, Rusty and Gemma all seemed to be on edge too. All of them were murmuring amongst themselves, and I couldn’t tell what they were saying, as their voices all seemed to merge together.

I touched the top of my gun, keeping my hands on the strap of the holster. “Fine.” I stayed a few steps behind him, watching him as he looked through the peephole.

“Who’s there?” he asked.

I poked my head through one of the curtains, staring out at the window. I saw Émile with another man. “Hey, it’s just Looker and someone else,” I blurted.

“Oh. Phew,” he sighed in relief, opening the door.

“Howdy, pardner!” the other man with Émile said in a thick Unovan accent. He was a huge man, at least 6’3”, with brown hair, sideburns and eyes. Perched upon his head was a large, pearly white cowboy hat, with a yellow stripe and a teal gem on the front. He was wearing a sleeveless jacket, with small ribbons on his chest, as well as a hazel undershirt, and baggy, brown and teal pants, with a belt with a yellow buckle. Wrapped around his wrist was a bright gold watch, worn down and showing silver on the bottom of the band. Tucked into a holster on his right flank, was a Smith & Wesson Model 642, with an aqua blue grip.

A true cowboy in his own right, it looks as though he came right out of Paniola Town, even though he’s from Unova, I thought to myself.

All the Pokémon calmed down, noticing that we were calm as well, since we knew Émile.

“Clay, I told you to speak without an accent,” Émile complained, shaking his head.

“Sorry! I forgot that my accent bothers the majority of people…” he apologised. “Anyways, my name is Clay, but my codename is Yanick. May we come in? And what’s that smell?”

“Well, since you’re with Émile, you can come in.” I smiled. “Welcome to my home, Clay and Émile. I hope you like it here and make yourselves at home. And what you’re smelling is a lasagna I just took out of the oven.”

“Yes, please. Make yourselves at home. Clay, I’m Nanu, but my nickname is Triple Sec.”

“Thank you, Naomi, Nanu.” Émile smiled.

“I appreciate it, Naomi and Nanu.” Clay nodded. “You have a beautiful home.”

My face flushed, giggling. “Thank you, Clay. It was recently remodelled a few years ago.” I smiled.

“Yes, it was me that paid for most of it. I’m quite proud of the fact that I helped. Anyways, how’d you know where she lives?” Nanu asked, looking coy.

“We dropped by because we got wind of Lusamine being on the edge of Po Town,” Clay explained. “And Jake told me where you lived, Naomi. Anyways, thanks to Émile’s cunningness and disguise, he was able to get close to her.”

“Oh, stop it, you’re flattering me, Clay,” Émile chuckled.

“Where’s Cass?” I asked.

“Cassidy is busy doing a stakeout. You know, she’s the expert of disguises. She can get away with it for as long as she needs to.” Émile smirked, nodding. “I’m proud to say she’s my partner in this, even though she’s normally in Kalos.”

“That’s right! She was under a witness protection plan, wasn’t she?” Nanu rested his chin on his hand. “Kenda and Delcroix watched her 24/7, as their office was right next door, huh?”

“That’s correct. I was somewhat in it too, as they would often report back to me. But I didn’t get to see her until Jake, and I were recruiting more detectives for Kalos. It pays to be a First Grade Detective, as we have the power to hire more employees. She surprised me, because I almost didn’t recognise her in a beret.” He smiled, eyes watering. “I’m going to propose to her… soon. Don’t tell her I said that.”

“Yes. I love being a First Grade Detective. It really does help, to be honest.” Nanu nodded. “And I pinkie promise I won’t tell her you said you were going to propose! I just always assume you already had.”

“Heh…” he just let out a short chuckle, straightening his collar.

“Indeed,” Clay agreed. “It’s a shame my partner, Roger, can’t be a part of this. He had business at home, in Driftveil, to take care of,” he sighed. “I miss him already. He’s amazing to be around.”

“He sounds like an amazing partner.” I smiled, wrapping my arms around Nanu. “Just like Belly-nore here.” I jabbed him with my elbow, poking fun of his name.

“Is that you getting back at me for messing with you earlier?” His voice dripping with snarkiness. “Momo.”

 “Yes, it is.” I smirked. “And wow, you haven’t called me that in a loooong time.”

“You two make a cute couple. When are you going to propose?” Émile asked, cocking his head.

“Yeah! What Émile said!” Clay clapped happily, smiling.

“Heh, I already did,” he replied, smiling. “But when we’ll get married, I haven’t got a clue.”

“Of course, there’s no rush. We’ve been common law married for more than a decade now.” I smiled, nodding. “Anyways, would you like to have some vegetable lasagna?”

“Yes, please. We’re hungry and we haven’t had anything substantial in quite a few days. We’ve mostly been eating fruits and whatever we gather in the forests.” Émile nodded.

“Sucker over here is allergic to shellfish. Which is a shame, because they’re so tasty.” Clay poked his shoulder with his thumb.

“Hey, that’s my shoulder,” Émile moaned. “And I can’t help it! I break out into hives and turn into a balloon and my throat closes.”

“That definitely is a shame, because buttered and sautéed oysters are delicious! I was raised on them, since my family is one with the ocean.” I stuck my tongue out. “Anyways, come sit at the table. I’ll serve you, since you’re my guests.”

“Thank you!” the two said in unison, laughing happily.

--000—

“Goodnight, Naomi.” Nanu kissed me on the cheek, his chin scratching me. “I love you.”

“I love you too, honey.” I nodded, smiling, pecking him on the cheek. I quickly fell asleep, dreaming of nothing in particular that night.

I woke up the next day, feeling refreshed and energized. Daylight flooded through the slats on my blinds, casting a yellowish glow throughout the whole room. I noticed that Nanu wasn’t in the room, so I made my way towards the kitchen, even though I was only in my underwear. “Nanu?” I called out.

“I’m in the kitchen! I knew you’d be up soon, so I’m making you breakfast.”

“Oh! There you are.” I smiled as I walked into the kitchen.

He was standing next to the stove, cooking French toast and bacon, in only his boxers. “Morning, beautiful.” I turned around to look at me, his chin covered in more hairs than yesterday.

“Morning, handsome.” I smiled, nodding. “You decided to grow out your beard, huh?”

“Yes, that’s right!” He nodded. “Wow, you look so sexy in only your underwear…” he stifled a chuckle.

“Hey! Look who’s talking. Stop thinking with your second head!” I shrugged.

“Oh Naomi, you perv. You know I can’t help it. You’re so damn beautiful.”

I blushed, my cheeks getting hot. “Uh-heh…hehheee… Where are all the Pokémon? I’m going to go get dressed while I’m waiting.”

“I believe they’re all outside, enjoying the beautiful sunshine. Remember, it was raining almost all day yesterday.”

“Yes, it looks like another beautiful day!” I nodded, looking out the window overlooking the ocean. “Anyways, I’ll be right back.” I turned around, walking off.

“Okay! I’ll be making coffee, too!” he called out to me as I walked through the hallway.

“No more black coffee!” I called from my room, putting on the clothes that the Nurse Joy gave me, because I knew he liked me in this. When I returned, his eyes lit up and he smiled brightly. “Now, you wear the clothes that the Nurse Joy gave you!” I smirked.

“Fine, fine. Breakfast is ready anyway. I’ll be right back.” He quickly walked off.

I got our plates ready by the time he came back. I ogled him with glee, since he looked good in a light green shirt. “Hey, handsome.”

His cheeks flushed bright red, snorting. “Thank you. And thank you for serving us breakfast.”

“Of course!” I nodded.

We ate in silence, watching the tv and more UBs and their destruction of Alola. We both moaned, collapsing in our seats, as we were tired of seeing the UBs on tv. We were almost finished with our breakfast, when Crisipo ran into the house, terrified.

“Quick! There’s a strange Pokémon outside and Lusamine is back!” he barked. “This isn’t a UB, either!”

We looked at each other in disbelief, both immediately running from our seats and running towards the beach, where the other Pokémon were.

There, lying in the sand, was a hybrid Pokémon that resembled a mix between a Dusk Lycanroc and Alolan Persian. He was mostly blue-grey in colour, with a white ruff and long, white, bushy-furred tail. His front paws were bright white in colour, while his back paws blended in with the blue-grey fur. Several black rocks stuck out from his white ruff. Several scars lined his face, neatly etched in three parallel lines.

“No one touches my son!” Blu hissed, her hackles raised, and pupils dilated. She unsheathed her claws, retracted them as far as they could go.

“Ob…Obsidian?” Nanu blinked, his mouth agape, with a shocked look upon his face.

“Wait! This is Blu and Swift’s son, right? Obsidian!” I blinked.

“What a shit Pokémon. He’s so weak,” a familiar, yet condescending voice stated venomously.

Nanu and I looked ahead, and there was Lusamine, standing in all her glory. We both looked at each other, confused, shrugging, unsure of how she found us. He put his hand on top of his holster, carefully unbuttoning the strap.

“Oh, it’s you, Albino and Turd.” She started to laugh uncontrollably.

“Oh, I’ve been called worse, Piss-stained Head,” I quipped snarkily. “You think your racist comments effect me, but they really don’t.”

“Seriously? That’s weak.” Nanu shrugged, shaking his head.

“You think this is weak?” She shook her head, holding out a Glock 19. “I already stole this from the black-haired, blue-eyed girl that was spying on me. Such a shame. She was beautiful and I’m glad I sent her into the Haina Desert. She’s going to have fun there,” she giggled sadistically, pointing the gun at me.

Nanu snarled, baring his left canines, left eye twitching. His face read ‘I’m full of rage’. He grabbed his gun in less than three seconds, turning off the safety, aiming and pointing it straight at her. “No on threatens my Naomi and gets away with it. You will know how I got the name Triple Sec, by the time I’m through with you!” I had never seen him so defensive of me or that angry, as he was usually a calm person. But something in him just snapped.

I too, unhooked my holster, grabbing my gun, resting my finger outside the trigger guard and aiming straight at her. “You dare threaten me! You want to dance with death, then I’m the last thing you’ll see!” I growled, baring my right canines.

“Yes, yes. You’re incompetent detectives! But I’ll be back!” She managed to kick up a huge clod of sand, throwing a smoke bomb, disappearing again.

“Goddammit!” we both said in unison, putting our guns back into our holsters.

“I’m going to track you to the ends of the earth, Lusamine, even if I die trying.” His clenched both fists so tight, that I could see the knuckles poking out from the skin.

“Count me in, too.” I nodded.

Chapter Text

Chapter 24

Naomi’s POV

“Ugh… she thinks her shit doesn’t stink! Well, is she wrong!” I growled, clenching my fists until the knuckles showed through the skin. I turned my attentions towards Obsidian. “Is he okay?” I asked, putting my Glock back into its holster and petting the top of Obsidian’s head, feeling his silky fur; he didn’t seem to mind that I was petting him, as he didn’t object.

“Uh… uh… where am I?” he muttered incoherently, stumbling as he stood up. He coughed a little, as he had sand stuck to his lips and teeth. He saw Blu, his mother, and I could tell that relief washed over him. “Mother…” He sat down on his haunches, his tail wagging a mile a minute. “Mother, I missed you so much!” He ran up to her, shoving his face into her shoulder.

“Obsidian, my son… you’ve grown since I’ve last seen you!” Blu’s eyes started to water, as tears began to fall from her face. “Here, I thought you were kidnapped, captured or worse, dead…”

“Mother… how I missed you… I avoided all those trainers on purpose! I trained for weeks and years and evolved… I lived on top of Mount Lanakila, in the coldest places, out of reach of most humans! But… but… I saw you! I saw you, and Nanu and…. And…” Tears began to fall from his face, shoving his face into his mother’s breast.

“I haven’t seen you in over 120 moons, my son… how did you find us?” Blu sniffled, trying to wipe the tears off her face with her paw.

“I tracked your scent. I followed your scent to Tapu Village, where I found father. He, too, thought the worst… Libelle and Jon were so happy to see me. I even got to meet Acerola and Hapu. They loved me as well, and I was happy to play with them. Then I followed your scent that was faint but noticeable. I could tell that you had been in Libelle’s truck. At one point, I lost the scent, but I found it again, exploring Malie City. To avoid detection, I roamed at night. The scents went everywhere, but it eventually led to me to here. That… Lusamine, she attacked me with a Pokémon I had never seen before. She called it a Nihilego.”

“That’s an Ultra Beast, Obsidian,” Argenta interrupted. “I’m sorry for interrupting.”

“No, no, you’re fine, Silvally.” Obsidian grinned the best he could.

“Silvally is my sister, but we aren’t blood related, as we were created in a lab. My name is Argenta.” She nodded. “But how did you know about her?”

“Sister, huh? I saw a kid with her, and I heard him call her ‘Silvally’. He was training up on Mount Lanakila.” He cocked his head. “But what he was doing up there, all alone, with only a few things of food and no water, is beyond me.”

“That kid is incredible. I wish I could meet him.” I shrugged. “Anyways, Obsidian, is it? Are you hungry? Do you need anything?” I could hear his stomach rumbling.

“I’m always hungry… what’s your name, Naomi, right? I think Libelle and Jon were talking about you!”

“I’m Naomi, and I own this tiny section of this beach and that house up there, up those steps, overlooking the ocean.” I pointed to my house.

“You have a beautiful home and beach, Naomi…” he complimented me. “I’m allowed to stay, right? I see there are 12 of you already.”

“Obsidian.” I squatted and held out my left hand, carefully, as to not scare him, but he went ahead and headbutted my hand anyway. “Any Pokémon, or even people, is allowed in my home and on my beach, for as long as they don’t ruin it. I take pride of my stretch of beach and I work hard to keep it clean, but I let the Pokémon eat all the dead stuff. You are welcome to stay as long as you’d like. And you’re my partner’s Pokémon’s son, so you’re like family.” I smiled.

“I’m sorry haven’t gotten to meet each other… And Mother…” he said while looking into Blu’s eyes. “I’m sorry for run—”

“No, sweetie… you’re fine. I was always holding out hope that you were still alive; somehow, someway…” Blu interrupted him.

“Anyways, little one… you can come out now,” he barked happily.

Something shuffled in his fur, tumbling out of the ruff on his neck. A tiny and feeble creature, mostly light tannish grey in colour, with a light brown head, curly tail with a tuft on the end, and small, rounded ears and a bright blue gem on her forehead. It looked like the little Pokémon was part Litleo, Meowth and Rockruff. “Is it safe, Daddy?” the small Pokémon asked in a tiny yet confident voice.

“Yes, it’s safe, Kopaku,” Obsidian replied.

“Is this… your daughter?” Nanu asked, his eyes a little bit wide and full of curiosity, a small smile plastered on his face.

“Yes, this is my daughter, Kopaku.” Obsidian’s tail started to wag. “My mate, Lono, both tried so hard to have offspring… but she could never get pregnant or they ended up stillborn. We tried many times, too, but she finally had a beautiful daughter, Kopaku, or Koko. My mate, she disappeared in an avalanche. I suspect she’s…” His eyes started to water, squeezing them shut, hard. “I tried so hard to look for her! But I never had any luck…” He looked at the ground solemnly.

“Obsidian… I’m so sorry to hear that…” I said quietly.

“Obsidian… I—” Nanu started, but hesitated. I could see that his eyes were starting to water, and I could tell he was thinking of me. “–had no idea… Your daughter is very beautiful, however.” He squatted, sitting down on the sand. He held out his hands, letting Koko sit on his lap.

“Obsidian… I’m sorry to hear that.” Argenta looked at him, tears started to form in her eyes, sitting on her haunches, next to Firium. “I love you, Firium. What would I do without you?”

Firium nestled next to her, shoving his cheek against her flank. “Argenta… I love you. I can’t live without you…”  

I felt my heart sink as tears started to form in my eyes. I collapsed on my butt, sitting down on the soft sand. All the Pokémon’s auras coalesced into one, mudding up the atmosphere, and I could sense that everyone was saddened by his mate’s probable demise. “She’s beautiful… was your mate a Pyroar?”

“Yes.” He nodded a little, blinking to wash the tears away. “She as a beautiful Pyroar. I believe I’ve heard people call different-coloured Pokémon ‘shinies’. Her fur was a beautiful golden colour and her eyes were redder than blood itself.”

“Wait a minute…” Lolani squawked. “You said she was a golden-furred Pyroar, right? I thought I swore I saw her upon my mountain. I saw her go into a cave! I suspect she’s still alive, because that cave is extensive, from what I’ve heard many other Pokémon say. I don’t go in there, because I can’t see in the dark as well as I used to.”

“You… you really think she’s still alive? What is your name?” Happiness flooded from his words.

“I am Lolani and I lived on Mount Lanakila for over 500 moons, over 30 years, as what humans call it… I hold Lanakila in high regards. Tapu Bulu sent me to protect her and clean up the ‘leftovers’: bones, marrow and frozen flesh that other creatures can’t eat, as Tapu Bulu believe it’s murder if a Pokémon kills another Pokémon, so that’s why I stuck to eating dead things. I know better than disrespect a deity. Yes, I believe I saw your mate!” she squawked. “I know every Pokémon that lives up there. I saw many trainers and Pokémon come and go, to finish their trials, and I remember them all. My memory is astounding. I even saw you a few times, as I was gliding and flying around my territory. I’m not a very social creature, as I normally kept to myself, so that’s why you probably never saw me; no, I never even found a mate for myself, I was too much of a hermit to even care. Even if you did, I was most likely a tiny dot in the sky. I can fly so high that I can see the Earth curving. But it’s hard to breathe up there and it’s so cold… so I can only do so for a few seconds. Then, I love to stoop, and I fall so fast…”

We all looked at her with a collective fascination, as I never knew this about her, despite her being my Pokémon.

“Hmmm…” Obsidian had a look of curiosity on his face, cocking his head.

I turned my attentions back to towards Obsidian. “Are you coming up with a plan, perhaps? I know that look.”

“Yes. I’m wondering if Lolani would love to come with me to Lanakila.” He looked straight into her eyes. “If that’s all right with you… I need your eyes, as my eyesight is sort of blurry in my left eye. I have trouble seeing up close sometimes.”

“Yes. I would be happy to go with you and find her. My eyesight and sense of smell are really sharp,” she replied. “I would be honoured to help you look.”

“Will you take care of Koko while I’m gone? She still needs milk and she’s eaten a little bit of mice… but she’s still too tiny to capture them herself.” He looked into his mother’s eyes.

“Yes, I will take care of him,” Blu replied. “I will go hunting as soon as I can.” She picked up Koko by the scruff of her neck, despite her whining and crying, setting her down next to her belly. “I’m no mother anymore, but maybe my belly will help keep her safe.” She curled up next to Koko.

Hmm… maybe she’ll get the instinct to produce milk again, I rhetorically asked myself.

“Thank you, Mother.” He bared his teeth in happiness, wagging his fluffy, white tail. “Hmm… but the thought of being captured…” He shrugged.

“My team isn’t full, Obsidian.” I grabbed a Poké ball from my belt, enlarged it and set it on the ground. “You’re welcome to come with me, for the time being. I can release you when you get back. I’m pretty sure no one can catch you if you already belong to someone.” I put my hand on my chin, tapping my fingers on my cheek.

“That’s correct, Naomi.” Nanu nodded. “See, it’ll be all right. Just as long as no one destroys his ball.”

“Okay! I’ll go with you, Naomi!” He tapped the ball with his foot, vapourising into a blue beam.

I grabbed the ball, tossing it. “Go, Obsidian!” I watched him materialise. “Obsidian, Lolani… do your best! I wish you guys luck!” I said excitedly while I stood up.

“Good luck, Obsidian and Lolani!” Nanu smiled, standing up, giving them a thumbs-up.

“Goodbye, my son… be safe…” Blu mewed quietly, twitching her tail in anticipation. “Great Tapu Bulu. Please watch over them…”

“Goodbye, everyone! I look forward to being on your team, Naomi!” Obsidian howled in excitement.

“Bye, Naomi! Wish us luck!” Lolani squawked, her crest erect in excitement.

The two turned their backs towards us, Lolani flying off and Obsidian sprinting away, with only their rumps showing. They soon disappeared from the beach, tiny dots on the horizon, eventually banking off towards the west.

“Good luck! Do your best!” everyone shouted simultaneously.

Happy tears started to fall from my face. “Lolani, Obsidian… be safe. Pōmaikaʻi, e ka Haku nui Tapu Bulu…”

“Keep them safe, O Great Tapu Bulu…” Nanu muttered quietly, bowing slightly in respect for the deity, and then putting his hand on my shoulder. “I’m sure your Pokémon will be safe. Obsidian is a trooper, for sure. Lolani looks like she’s tough as nails too, living on Mount Lanakila for so long.”

“Yes, for over 30 years now, huh? That’s insane. I can’t even stay up there for a few days, I can’t imagine being up there for that long. I believe you, sweetie.” I smiled, nodding. I shaded my eyes, looking out over the ocean. “It’s a beautiful day for a swim, don’t you think?” I looked over at him.

“Well, I don’t see why not. The ocean seems calm right now and the tide is high, so I think I’ll go for a swim, too.” He smiled, slipping off his shorts. “Last one in the water is a rotten egg!” He stuck his tongue out as he took off his shirt.

Aquajet, Crisipo and Argenta headed towards us and into the water, disappearing underneath the surf. Dale, Firium, Flare, Koko, Blu, Vod’dan, Gemma, Rusty, Hurricane all stayed near the shallows. Despite not liking the water, Blu, Flare and Firium all dipped their paws in, getting their fur wet.

“Oh, you underestimate me!” I took my shirt off before he could utter another word. I tossed my shorts aside, sprinting faster before he could get one step towards the ocean, sand flying every time I took a step. I barely made it into the water before he could make it in. “Hah! I beat you!” I splashed him with some of the water.

 “Damn, I always forget how fast you are!” He covered his face with his arms, but his face still managed to get wet. “Hey! That’s my face!” he sputtered, laughing. He too, splashed me, hard.

“Hey! I’m gonna get you! You better swim away!” I ducked under, opening my eyes and observing all the Pokémon, coral, sponges, starfish, seashells and sea grass, despite my vision being distorted. My bullet wound stung from the salty water, but I ignored it. I started a breaststroke, easily swimming ahead of him.

“You’re so fast!” he commented.

“And you’re so damn slow!” I quipped.

----00—

“That was a nice swim, I appreciate it, Naomi.” Nanu smiled, carefully putting his shirt back on, trying to keep from getting too wet.

“Of course, I appreciate you swimming with me, even though you aren’t as good as I am!” I teased.

“Oh-hoh-ho… we still haven’t battled, you know? Do you think you can win? Are you scared?” he taunted, voice dripping with sarcasm.

“The thought of battling you makes me nervous.” I rubbed the back of my head, laughing hesitantly. “Anyways, shouldn’t we look for Cassidy in the Haina Desert?”

“Oh yes! We should probably get on that.” He nodded. “But there’s a risk we could get lost.” He looked over at Dale.

“You’re not thinking of sending him to the desert, are you?” I bared my canines and narrowed my eyes. “A big softie like him wouldn’t survive one day in the desert!”

“Naomi, I—”

“Shush, Dale. I wouldn’t want you to go alone,” I interrupted.

“Father! Mother!” a small yet familiar voice shouted. I reocognised it to be Acerola.

“Uncle! Auntie!” Hapu shouted.

Nanu and I turned around to see Acerola and Hapu walking up to us, Bandida and Mimikins in tow, carefully walking down the steps. We both waved back at them, smiling. It took them a few seconds to walk down the steps and towards us. All the Pokémon walked up to the greet them as well.

“Hey, kiddos!” I said happily, smiling. “How are you two?”

“There’s my beautiful daughter.” Nanu smiled. “What’s up, Acerola? And Hapu, my dear?”

I then noticed something in Acerola’s hands. A tiny, red Oricorio had collapsed into her arms. “Is… that Meadow?” I blinked, shocked. “I haven’t seen Meadow in ages. What’s wrong with her?”

“We found her on the way over here. She was lying down flat in the dirt. It looks like another Pokémon got to her.” Acerola held out her hands, letting me carefully pick up Meadow.

“Meadow… Meadow, are you okay?” I asked.

She stirred quietly in my arms, opening her eyes. “Uhh… where am I?” she cooed quietly. “A weird Pokémon I had never seen before attacked me…”

“Ultra Beasts! More than one!” Argenta barked frantically, claws already glowing.

“They’re coming and fast!” Crisipo was already launching himself off his haunches.

“What’s up with them?” Hapu asked, curious.

“You know, I think they can sense those weird Pokémon we’ve been seeing on the tv.” Acerola shrugged.

“That’s correct.” Nanu nodded. “They’re Ultra Beast hunters and that’s why they’re going berserk.”

I watched as the two galloped up the stairs, with only their tails showing. “Uhh—that was fast…”

“Come on, let’s go follow them!” Nanu pulled on my arm, urging me to go.

“Right! Let’s go after them!” Acerola said while already sprinting off.

“Hey, wait for me, Acerola!” Hapu shouted, running after her friend.

They easily kept pace with me, despite their legs being shorter than mine. Nanu lagged behind, as he was no expert on running and I’m sure he was exhausted. Blu picked up Koko by the scruff of her neck, carrying easily carrying the tiny Pokémon, while the other Pokémon followed us, right on our tails. There before us, was two UBs.

The first one was mostly grey in colour, with several parts, resembling a pyramid. Neon blue lines lined each of its corners and it had several eyes in many spots along its body. The second one was mostly white in colour, with a rounded head with several coloured dots on it, while its body was pink, blue and yellow. It was clown-like, with high-heeled boots.

“I’ll admit, the white one’s creepy.” I shuddered.

“Why? Because it’s too humanlike?” he quipped.

“Yes.” I nodded, shaking my head.

“I’m sorry, I agree.” He nodded.

“The pyramid-looking one is Stakataka and the clown-looking one is Blacephalon,” Vod’dan said to us.

“Do you know what type they are?” I asked, cocking my head.

“I believe the Blacephalon is a Fire/Ghost-type and Stakataka is a Rock/Steel-type.” His voice was bubbling with confidence.

“Thanks, Vod’dan. I appreciate your help.” I nodded.

“Likewise. Blu let’s go! Use a Shadow Claw on Blacephalon!” Nanu commanded.

A claw-like black and purple-lined aura formed around her paws, striking the Blacephalon straight in the face, causing it to topple over. “Get out of here!” she hissed.

“You can speak to your Pokémon, huh?” Hapu asked. “That’s impressive. I wish I could understand what Bandida is saying. It would help me to feel closer to her.”

“I can speak to Ghost Pokémon. Does that count?” Acerola giggled.

“Acerola, that’s awesome!” Hapu giggled. “Anyway, we need to find a way to defeat these weird Pokémon.”

“Hmm… Vod’dan here was telling me that the white one, Blacephalon, is Fire/Ghost and the pyramid one, Stakataka, is Rock/Steel.” I looked straight into my daughter’s and Hapu’s eyes.

“Copy that, loud and clear! Bandida, let’s go! Let’s use High Horsepower on Blacephalon!” Hapu commanded.

“Mimikins, let’s use a Shadow Claw on Blacephalon!” Acerola commanded.

“You go ahead and help Meadow; we can fight these Pokémon.” Nanu looked at me.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“She’s your Pokémon, right?” He cracked a small smile. “Even though she’s wild.” He had a coy smirk plastered on his face.

I could tell he was hiding something, and I had a feeling he was thinking of Lusamine. “You’re thinking Lusamine might return, right?” I asked.

“Oh shit, you caught be. Yes, I have a feeling she’s coming back. I’m just protecting you.”

“I gotcha.” I smiled, nodding. “Everyone, listen to what Nanu has to say, all right? And I’ll be back soon.”

However, before I could react, we all heard a thunderous roar that shook the ground and rattled the tree branches.

Out of my peripherals I spotted a large, white Pokémon with yellow, orange and black spots on various parts of its body. It had a huge, white mane and large fangs and long, black-tipped tail. Its paws were black with long, sharp-as-needles claws. Its face was blue, and its eyes were light blue in colour.

“N-n-no way! WHAAAAT!” My jaw dropped. “S-Solgaleo!” I genuflected but kept eye contact.

“Emissary of the Sun…” Nanu muttered, genuflecting.

“Oh my God!” Hapu and Acerola said simultaneously, bowing down.

“Rise, my children… there is no need for you to bow to me.” His voice was deep and thunderous, causing the two UBs to stare at him. “I am Helios and you are not welcome in Alola.” He directed his booming voice at the two Ultra Beasts. He simply roared, which opened a portal.

The portal was mostly white in colour with lightning-looking lines emanating from it. It resembled a wormhole, something I only thought wasn’t theoretically possible. The wormhole slowly started sucking the two Ultra Beasts back into it. They tried their hardest to grip the ground, but no avail, as they were sucked back in, like a vacuum sucking up hair.

“Im-impossible! A wormhole!” Nanu gasped. “I thought they were theoretically impossible—”

“So, did I!” I gasped, watching the wormhole closing.

“What… what the hell was that?” Acerola mumbled under her breath. 

“That’s what I’d like to know!” Hapu whispered, frightened.

“You’re safe now,” Helios said, his voice not as booming or loud. He looked over at Vod’dan. “You’re an Ultra Beast, too, right?” he asked, but didn’t sound angry.

“Yes, I am. But I am not hellbent on destroying Alola, unlike the other Ultra Beasts. And I’ve been lost in Alola for so long, that I’ve actually learned Pokémon language, or whatever you want to call it. I love living here and the sunlight, rain, the stars, Luna and Sun, rainbows… my world from whence I came doesn’t have that. Everything about Alola is so beautiful and it’s so peaceful here, unlike Ultra Megalopolis, where lack of sunlight and constant UB attacks are commonplace. It’s not unheard of for the whole city to go under lockdown when UBs attack.”

I walked up to Vod’dan, softly patting him on his shoulder. “Vod’dan, you’re such as sweet Pokémon. I never knew this about you. But where is Ultra Megalopolis?”

“I came here on accident… I was sucked in through a wormhole not unlike the one you just saw, so, Ultra Megalopolis is through a wormhole…” He cocked his head. “I’d love to go home, but no, Alola is my home now. Maybe if the light were ever to return…”

“Child… there is a permanent wormhole upon the summit of Altar of the Sunne… I can take you there, if you’d like.”

“Whaaat! Is that why people don’t go up there?” I blinked.

“Up where?” Acerola asked.

“Ugh! I forgot! You can’t tell what he’s saying, right? Solgaleo, can you help?” Nanu begged, almost getting down on his knees.

“Child, there is no need to beg.” The huge lion shut his eyes, concentrating. “There is no need for me to take you up there, as I can open up wormholes any time I want to. It is up to you, but it is much safer to go through the one on up on the Altar of the Sunne.”

“Hey, I can understand him now!” Acerola cracked a smile, jumping with joy. “But aren’t people not allowed up there? I thought it was crumbling and out of disrepair.”

“Usually we don’t let people up there for that reason.” I shrugged.

“I get what he’s saying now. There’s a wormhole up there, right?” Hapu asked.

“That is correct, child.” He blinked. “I am here because I could hear the wishes of Vod’dan, as he wishes for the light to return.”

“Oh-hohoho… I’m more than a child.” Hapu cracked a small, coy smile.

“Hmph… heh… I’m over a million years old, so, you are like a child to me.” His laugh was deep, rattling the ground.

“Oh… OH!” Hapu gasped, shocked.

Meadow started to stir in my arms again, waking up and blinking. “I feel so much better now… thank you for comforting me, Naomi,” she cooed happily, spreading her wings, almost flying off until she saw Solgaleo. “E-emissary of the Sun…” She flew up to him, her body looking so tiny next to him.

“Yes, hello child.” He closed his eyes in happiness. “You are tiny, but you are mighty, taking hits from a Nihilego.”

“Yes, my friends, Roc, Night and my mate, Beak, tried so hard to fight off the Pokémon. Roc took most of the damage, though, but he ran off as soon as he saw the two trainers that helped me.”

“Beak is your mate now? I had no idea!” I smiled. “Congrats on that, Meadow.”

“You’re flattering me, Naomi…” she chuckled, landing on my shoulder. “I need to go and find him now, as I don’t know where he is. Goodbye, everyone. Thank you for helping me. And thank you, Emissary of the Sun.”

We all said goodbye to Meadow as she flew off, her tiny body disappearing in the trees.

“I can teleport everyone to the Altar of the Sunne, but I need all the Pokémon inside their Poké balls. It makes the trip a lot smoother.” Helios looked at all of us.

“Let’s see…” I looked over at Crisipo. “You don’t have a ball, huh?”

“Oh, dear Arceus, stop looking at me like that…” Crisipo hung his head down, hiding his embarrassment.

“My team is full, unfortunately.” I shrugged. “Acerola? Hapu?” I looked over at them. “Would you be willing to take him?”

“I can take him, yes.” Hapu smiled, nodding, grabbing an empty ball from her belt, enlarging it and setting it down on the ground.

“Fine, I’ll go with you, Hapu. You seem like a nice kid.” Crisipo nodded, cooing quietly, crest erect. He tapped the ball with his front claws, vapourising into a blue beam and disappearing inside it.

“I’ll keep you safe, Crisipo,” she said while grabbing his ball. “I promise.”

“Koko doesn’t have a ball either…” I shrugged, picking her up and letting her rest against my chest, but she didn’t fight or resist me picking her up.

“She should be okay, she is small enough to carry, right?” Helios asked. “Just keep her close and she should be fine. Go ahead and return all your Pokémon.”

We all returned our Pokémon and looked up at Solgaleo. His body was shining a bright white, the orange and yellow spots on his body disappearing and a light blue third eye appeared on his forehead, resembling a sun.

Before we could react, a bright light surrounded us all, we all were teleported to the top of the Altar.

I rubbed my head, dazed and confused. “W…where are we?” I looked around, noticing it was the same place in my dream. “I-I… I can’t believe we’re up on the top of the Altar of the Sunne!”

I looked around, confused. “This looks like the place in my dream…”

“It certainly does.” Nanu nodded in agreement.

“Except that wasn’t in my dream.” I pointed to a thin, white line shining in front of us. “Is that that wormhole?”

“That is correct,” Helios purred. “This is the Altar of the Sunne. Welcome, my children.”

“Is it over?” Hapu asked, opening her eyes. “Oh.”

“Yes it is, you big baby,” Acerola teased.

“Hey!”

“Hehehe…” Acerola giggled.

“Now, now, no need to fight tsk, tsk,” Nanu tsked.

“Sorry, Daddy. I just love teasing my friend. I think I got it from you and mom. You two always tease each other. I just know it and I’ve seen it.”

“Whoops.” I blushed.

“I’m going to get you back, when you least expect it.” Hapu had a coy smile plastered on her face.

“And I’ll be prepared.” Acerola smirked.

“Heh… that’s my girl,” he chuckled, rubbing the back of his head.

“Is everyone ready to go? You will have to ride on my back. You can close your eyes if you want, but you must keep your hands to yourself and don’t touch anything, got it?” Helios asked, crouching down so that we could get on his back.

“Got it!” we all said simultaneously while mounting on his back.

I held on tight to Koko, making sure she didn’t run off. “Stay in my arms, all right?” I cooed, holding her against my chest.

Helios roared, causing the portal to open even further than it was before. He jumped up high and jumped through the wormhole.

It was like a dream and it was surreal. It was purple and black, with white lines all over. I couldn’t tell what was going on, as I assumed we were jumping through hyperspace, something Nanu and I thought was theoretically impossible, but we definitely proven wrong!

“I-I… don’t believe this…” Nanu stuttered, shocked. “This is incredible…”

“This is so beautiful… we’re travelling at the speed of light, right Dad?” Acerola asked, her eyes wider than pie pans.

“Yes, we’re jumping through hyperspace… I never thought it was possible! This is like a dream come true… I always wanted to go and travel through space. Who knew we’d be travelling through hyperspace!”

“There it is!” Helios roared, jumping through a white hole off to his left.

Before we knew it, when landed in a dark, foreboding wasteland, with no light but that on top of a tower. There were skyscrapers all over the place but no people anywhere.

“Ah, there you are! We heard a prophecy of people from another planet coming on the back of Solgaleo, helping us bring back the light,” a masculine voice said, in a suave tone.

“Phyco, who are they?” a feminine voice asked, higher pitched, suggesting it was a young teen.  

“Who’s there?” I looked around, trying to adjust my eyes to the lack of sunlight.

“Do not fear us. We are citizens of Ultra Megalopolis,” a different feminine voice said, deeper than the other voice, suggesting it was an older adult.

“They’re whiter than the Blinding One’s light! Where in space time are they from?” a different masculine voice said, higher pitched, suggesting it was a young adult.

“I am Phyco,” said the first voice.

“The name’s Zossie!” said the second voice.

“I am Soliera,” said the third voice.

“They call me Dulse,” said the fourth voice. “We’ve been expecting you, actually.”

My eyes finally adjusted to the light, and I could see that their skin tone was a bluish colour and I could tell that they were like that because they had been in the dark for so long.

No. Freakin. Way.

Chapter Text

Chapter 25

Phyco was tall, at least 5’8, with light blue eyes and blue hair. Dulse was the tallest, at 6’2”, with light blue eyes and purple hair. Soliera was at least 5’4”, with light blue eyes and blue hair. Zossie was the smallest and youngest, at 5’1”, with ginger hair and light blue eyes. They all shared the same skin tone, a bluish-grey colour, resembling movie zombies. They were all wearing the same uniform, mostly white with blue socks, upper arms, knees and hips.

I almost fainted from shock, but my body was too stiff to move. “But hey! What do you mean we’re whiter than the ‘Blinding One’s Light’?” I asked. “That’s racist, ya know! I’m a Native Alolan… Our skin tone is dark for a reason, mainly because of the amount of sunlight.”  

“We’re just shocked to see people with such white skin tones.” Dulse shrugged.

“I’m what’s called an albino, meaning I don’t have any pigment in my skin. It’s why I’m so white and my eyes are red. I could say the same about you guys. I thought you were zombies at first…” Nanu cocked his head, looking at them questioningly.

“Hey, don’t be a dick to them,” I teased, shoving my elbow into his side.

“Ow, hey!” He glared at me.

“Oh no, we aren’t zombies. We’re very much alive as you.” Zossie shrugged, giggling.

“Wow! It’s an alien girl! Wow, she’s adorable,” Acerola said with curiosity.

“Wow! Who knew aliens existed?” Hapu looked startled, voice wavering.

“But how do you know English?” I asked.

“Do you want us to speak Veigzix?” Soliera asked, shaking her head.

“Uhhh…” My mind scrambled. “No, thanks! Is that the name of your language? I bet it sounds cool, though I don’t want you to speak it to us. We’d prefer you to speak English. How did you learn English?”

“Many years ago, we had several people, dozens of them, come through that wormhole. They spoke languages we had never heard before. They spoke English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese and Chinese. We had never heard anything like it, but nowadays, we practice speaking those languages every day,” Phyco explained. “But sadly, they didn’t live long without sunlight and heavier gravity. I overheard them talking about how the gravity was affecting them. They died from what they called a ‘heart attack’.”

“I am fluent in German, too.” Nanu looked at Phyco straight in the eyes. “Not quite fluent in French, but I’m getting there.”

“I am fluent in Hawaiian, but most people call it Alolan. But… Wow…” I looked at the aliens, shocked. “Are there more of you? And how did you get your names? They sound like different kinds of seaweed. I’m no scientist and I’m not good at science, but I studied plants for several years now.”

“Well…” Soliera started to explain. “Those people that came from the wormhole said that’s what our Veigzix names sounded like. My Veigzix name is ‘Scoseet’, but they said my name sounded similar to Soliera, so my English name stuck.”

“Our rules of pronunciation are different than those in other languages, but the people that we met says our language is similar to Chinese, but with some differences, which we thought was strange and a coincidence,” Dulse stated matter-of-factly.

“That’s pretty cool. But brrr… it’s cold.” I started to shiver. “Do those suits help keep you warm? Where can we get some of those?”

“We have a machine that can custom-make those. Follow us. We can’t be outside for much longer. Ultra Beasts attack without hesitation.” Phyco’s eyes were wide and full of fear. “Stay close to us.”

“This place is scary,” Hapu shuddered, muttering under her breath.

“I couldn’t agree more… this place is so eerie,” Acerola whispered, nodding.

“Follow me, all right? I’m sorry you’re scared.” Zossie had a huge smile on her face. “I have really good hearing, so I can hear you guys quite well.”

“Oh, shucks, we’ve been caught,” Hapu chuckled hesitantly.

“I’m Acerola and this is Hapu.” Acerola started to smile.

“I’m Naomi Onaona.”

“And I’m Bellinor Nanu, but most people just call me Nanu. I’m sorry we didn’t introduce ourselves before.”

“No big deal, I get it, you’re scared. I know this place must be different to you guys.” Soliera shrugged.

“Amazing how you remarkably look like humans.” Nanu looked at Phyco curiously. “Could it be the result of convergent evolution?”

“What’s that?” I asked, confused.

“Oh, I know what it is, Mom!” Acerola exclaimed. “It’s when two different lineages evolve similar traits. Like bird Pokémon and Aerodactyl. Aerodactyl is a pterosaur but has wings and can fly just like birds.”

“Wow, I’m impressed, Acerola! Where’d you learn this? I assume Nanu helped you, right?” I smiled.

“Yeah, Dad taught me that.”

“Figures!” I chuckled, but suddenly felt a sharp pain in my gut. “Ugh!”

“Are you okay?” Zossie turned around, her smile turning into a frown.

“Mom, it’s your time of the month, huh?”

“Why did you blurt that out, Acerola?” Hapu glared at her. “Isn’t that private?”

“No, Hapu. You need to know this. My endometriosis is probably flaring up… Doctors told me I could never have children because of the scar tissue on my uterus… but once a month, I get flares and it’s the most painful and annoying thing.”

Hapu looked at me glumly. “Oh.”

“Yes, my dear.” I cracked a small smile.

“We can take a look at you. Our medicine is more advanced than those of the human world.” Phyco looked at me concernedly.

Nanu wrapped his arms around my butt, lifting me and picking me off that ground, carrying me. “It’ll be all right. I got you.” His smile was bright and made me feel better.

I wrapped my arms around his neck, feeling his stubbled chin. “Thank you, but you don’t need to carr—” I winced in pain. “Ugh!”

“Yes, I’m going to have to,” he said softly. “I got you, all right?”

“Thanks… sweetie…”

“She’s going to be okay, right? It looks like she’s in serious pain.” Zossie cocked her head, looking at us concernedly.

“She has a fairly common disease that effects only the females of our species. It’s called endometriosis and once a month, she has flares of pain that are so excruciating, that it’s hard for her to do anything, but I remember her telling me that hers is more mild than other people’s, but she can’t have children because of it. It’s another reason why we adopted you, Acerola.” He looked over at her, smiling slightly. “Maybe being in a higher-than-normal gravity planet is causing her flares, because it’s squishing her organs.” His voice was smooth and calm, yet full of apprehension. “I will admit, it is a bit hard to breathe and my chest does feel tight, but it’s not enough to kill us.”

“Oh… I had no idea she had that. Thank you for telling me, in case something happens to her.” Hapu continued to frown. “Anything else she suffers from?”

“I suffer from intolerance to fish, but I don’t eat it, so you don’t have to worry about that.” I felt sweat starting to drip off my forehead, but the next thing I knew, I had fallen asleep.

I woke up in a brightly lit, white room. I tried to sit up but managed to bang my head on something above me. “Ow, ow, ow…” I rubbed my head, muttering under my breath. I looked around, confused. I then saw I had a similar white suit as the aliens that lived there. T-those perverts! I wonder if they saw me naked! I felt my cheeks flush and I felt violated, but I saw that Nanu was sound asleep in a chair next to the bed I was lying down on; he was wearing a white suit, too.

“N-Naomi…” He opened his eyes, looking at me.

“Did those perverts see me naked? Why do I have this white suit on?” I hissed.

“No… I’m the one that put it on you. We had an agreement, right?”

My face fell. “Oh, you’re right. We had an agreement.”

“The suit fits over your regular clothes anyway. They didn’t see you naked, but they do have scanners that can see every organ in your body, including blood vessels and the lymphatic system.” He grabbed a piece of thin material sitting next to him, that looked somewhat like a piece of paper. “It’s amazing.” He looked at it with curiosity. “See right here?” He pointed to a spot on the middle of the paper. “That’s the tissue that’s scarred from the endometriosis.”

I got off the bed, looking at the paper. It looked like a 3D image of the inside of my abdomen, complete with every organ. Where he was pointing, I could see the scar tissue from the endometriosis. It looked angry and red, not the normal pinkish tissue surrounding it. “This is… my uterus? What kind of technology is this? This is amazing! I wonder if they have similar organs to us.”

He grabbed another sheet of paper, but it looked similar to mine. “Zossie was showing me how to use their machine. She was the guinea pig. Their anatomy… it’s—”

“It’s similar to ours,” I blurted.

“Exactly.” He cracked a small smile. “You know what this means, right?”

“They’re humans?”

“Oh no, they are like humans, but with alien technology, but I have a feel they are a type of human. Zossie was telling me that they’re carbon-based life forms, but their blood is made of cobalt instead of iron. I’m no scientist, but I feel like I want to study them, you know? Maybe they could be our allies.”

“Cobalt-based blood? Wow…” I looked at him, eyes widened.

“Yes, cobalt comes after iron on the periodic table of elements. It accounts for their bluish-grey skin too, not only because they have lived in the dark for so long.”

“Do they eat food, too?”

“Yes, but they can go much longer without food, unlike us. They eat maybe three or four times a week. They can store energy better than we can. Naomi, I never thought it was possible aliens existed, but I’m definitely convinced now. They said they want to come to Alola with us. They want to explore beyond what’s in their planet. They said if they don’t know a word, they have this translator that helps them translate every known language in the universe. It’s how they were able to learn so many languages so quickly. I also found out the gravity here is about 28.5% higher than Earth’s gravity, at 12.60m/s^2. I know it’s not much, but it’s enough to notice.”

“So, I guess the slightly heavier gravity was squeezing my organs? How come I’m not in pain anymore?”

“Let’s just say… they’re a lot more advanced than I thought. Not only do they have technology to help translate any known language, but they also have the ability to heal. The reason why you aren’t in pain anymore is because they have this laser that can heal scar tissue.”

“I’m… cured?”

“No, not cured. They can’t do that just yet, but they were able to heal all the scar tissue around your uterus.”

“W…what?”

He simply nodded, smiling. “They said the scar tissue may grow back, but it’ll be many years. Maybe you won’t be in such pain once a month.”

“I… you don’t know how much I’ve always wanted that! Not have to worry about taking birth control. This is amazing.”

“I knew you’d love to hear some good news!” He smirked, wrapping his arms around me, kissing me.

I kissed him deeply, moaning in pleasure. “Mmm… I love it when you kiss me. Even if your chin is completely covered in stubble. I hope your beard grows out soon.”

“I hope so too, it’s been so long since I last had a beard, huh?”

“It’s been more than a decade since you last had one.” I looked around the room, feeling my stomach rumble. “Oh, I guess I’m hungry, huh?” I giggled.

“I can hear your stomach quite well.”

“I know you can, human Persian. Speaking of Persian, where are all the Pokémon?” I touched my side to realise my holster was gone as well. “And my holster? Where is it?”

“Don’t worry— it’s safe with Phyco. He knows better than to touch it and point it at someone, but he’s studying it. He’s interested in our weapons. They’re curious about our Pokémon too. They were shocked to see Vod’dan, because they were telling me that he’s been missing for more than five years now.”

Before we could react, a small, cat-like Pokémon materialised. It was mostly black-and-white in colour, with beautiful, blue comet-shaped markings along its flanks and blue teardrop-shaped markings surrounding its big, black eyes. Along the nape of its neck and back, was thick, light blue fur. Clasped between its teeth was a letter. A small purr came from its throat.

I grabbed the letter, opening it up with my sharp nails, but as soon as I opened it, the strange Pokémon disappeared. “Hmm… it’s in English, phew. I’ll read it:

“‘Dear Nanu and Naomi,
“‘We realise you need some privacy, so that’s why we’ve been leaving you alone, for now; however, we would appreciate it if you could join us at the main dining hall, across the way from the hospital. It’s the second largest room in our spaceship.
“‘Signed, Phyco’.”

“It’s a letter inviting us to have dinner with them.” Nanu looked at the letter curiously. “That English is amazing.”

“I’m impressed by his cursive! Most people can’t write cursive. I wonder how he learned how to do that!”

“Yeah, it’s dying, sadly, which is a shame, because it’s beautiful to look at.”

“It is nice to look at. I’m impressed he managed to pull it off.” I grabbed his hands, pulling him and pressing him against me, kissing him deeply one last time.

“Ohhh… heheh…” he giggled, smiling. “Let’s go. I suspect they’re expecting us at any second.”

“Okay.” I smiled, following him to the outside of the room. I looked around. There was tiles everywhere, all along the floor and ceiling, they were glowing a bright blue. I could smell something wafting from another room, it smelled weird but good at the same time, which made my stomach growl even louder. I could hear Nanu’s stomach growling, too.

“Oh.” He chuckled hesitantly. “Guess I’m not the only one that’s hungry.”

“I’m not sure what it is, but I hope it’s as good as it smells.”

It didn’t take us long to find the dining hall, as the smell of food wafted from it was quite strong, loud enough that we knew we were there. The door was already open, inviting us in. It was a small, but round table, made out of some sort of stone. Sitting on the middle of the table, was all kinds of food, that resembled Earth food. There was food that resembled malasadas, bacon, cake, cornbread muffins, baked beans, waffles slathered in syrup and chicken. Sitting around the seats, was Zossie, Hapu and Acerola chatting with each other, while Phyco, Dulse and Soliera in their own conversation. All the Pokémon were sitting next to the table, eating food from plates; even Dale seemed to be interested in the food that they had. Solgaleo sat down next to Dale, looking more massive and taller in comparison. Even the Pokémon we saw that had the letter in its mouth, was sitting next to Blu, Argenta and Firium.

“What the—” I blurted. “—what is this?”

“Ah! Nice of you to join us,” Phyco said happily. “Acerola was telling me her favourite food back in your world. We have a printer that turns proteins into food. She was telling me your world has something similar, called ‘lab-based meat’.”

“What…” Nanu looked at him blankly. “That’s incredible! It’s not exactly what you described, but it’s close enough.”

“We were wondering what was taking you so long,” Acerola giggled, shoving a huge bite of waffles into her mouth. “This tastes like Earth food!”

“Chicken and waffles are my favourite thing! My grandmother makes it for me every Sunday morning!” Hapu said gleefully.

“I admit, I had never had this before. I like it!” Zossie said happily.

“You pretty much like everything, Zossie,” Dulse teased her.

“That’s true…” Zossie smiled, putting her chin in her hand.

“Glad you could join us,” Soliera greeted.

“Please, sit and eat as much as you’d like!” Phyco nodded.

“Thank you, Phyco,” I said while sat down next to Acerola, while Nanu sat down next to me.

“We appreciate your hospitality.” Nanu smiled, his voice calm.

“Why are you being so calm?” I asked, while grabbing a malasada.

“I guess I’m in such a state of shock. And I owe Molayne $100…”

“Why do you owe him so much money, Dad?” Acerola glared at him.

He let out a sigh. “Mainly, it’s because he was right, and I was wrong. He told me that ‘I bet $100 that aliens are real’.”

“Well, it looks like he’s right. This definitely isn’t a lucid dream.” I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. “Ow! I’m definitely not dreaming…”

“I definitely think this is real.” Nanu nodded. “I still can’t believe that aliens are real, though.” He grabbed a plate, piling on the waffles and chicken. He took a bite and his face lit up. “Mmm… this is delicious!”

I too, grabbed a plate and piled the waffles and bacon. I took a bite and my hunger was instantly gone, because the food was really good, it was sweet and salty, a perfect combination. “Oh, damn. This is incredible. This actually tastes better than Earth food.”

“How is it made?” Acerola asked. “Is it made from mesenchymal cells?”

“Ah, yes. It’s made from feathers, fur, scales or small strips of skin from Ultra Beasts, similar to the mesenchymal cells from them. It’s grown in a growth medium and it self-replicates. Then, we harvest it and put it into our machine, and then it can print anything into any shape. We use the plants that grow around here, too,” Phyco explained. “Vod’dan sometimes gives us small strips of his scales and sometimes Zans gives us small strips of her fur.”

“Is Zans that Liepard-looking Pokémon?” I asked, taking another bite. “She’s really cute.”

“What’s a Liepard?” Zossie asked.

“Liepard is a Pokémon native to the Unova region of our world. It’s mostly purple in colour, with a yellow belly and spots. There’s a thin, pink line that runs from its nose to its ears. It looks somewhat similar to that Pokémon right there,” Nanu replied. “What do you call this Pokémon?”

“We call that Ultra Beast ‘Tzetieren’, or ‘Xeccuds’ in Veigzix. The people that came here before called it ‘UB: Teleportation’. No two Tzetieren have the same pattern around their eyes. She can teleport with just a swish of her tail. She’s handy for delivering letters or small packages.” Phyco smiled. “Like what you guys saw earlier.”

“Yes. Where did you learn cursive?” I asked, cocking my head. “It’s beautiful and I was amazing at how well-written it was.”

“The people that came here before taught us how to write in cursive,” Dulse explained. “It was how they had written their notes.”

“Well, they taught you well.” I smiled.

“Anyways, you said you were missing something for your ship?” Nanu asked, taking another bite of waffles. “What part would that be?”

“We’re missing Necrozma’s energy, but we’re trying to think of a workaround…” Soliera sighed. “We have several ships and we’ve been trying to escape our planet, as the lack of sunlight is taking its toll on us.”

“Our people used to be able to live for 100 years or more… but now, we believe because of the lack of sunlight, we’re only living for about 70 years. Right now, I’m 45, but…” Phyco looked at us solemnly.

“Oh boy…” Nanu rubbed the back of his head. “I wonder if we could get Molayne to come and look at your ship.” He looked over at Solgaleo. “Helios, would you be willing to take me home and go and get Molayne?”

Helios purred happily, closing his eyes. “Yes, my child. We shall leave soon. Let me know when you’re ready.”

“Let me at least say goodbye to my fiancée…” He finished off his food, looking at me. “Hapu, Acerola, Zossie, Dulse, Soliera and Phyco… goodbye. Naomi, my love…” He stood up and wrapped his arms around me, kissing me. “Goodbye. Wish me luck.”

I stood up and wrapped my arms around his waist, hugging him tightly. “Nanu, I love you… please be careful, okay?”

“Yes, I will be careful, for you. Let’s hope this journey is just as smooth.” He cracked a small smile and his eyes were glimmering with hope. “Wish Molayne luck too, let’s hope he makes it as well.”

“I can’t forget my friend, now do I! He’s done so much for us over the years.” I smiled, chuckling.

“I’ll be back before you recite the whole Pokédex,” he chuckled, letting go of our embrace.

“Bye, Nanu! Good luck!” Zossie said happily.

“I wish you luck, Nanu,” Dulse said while smiling.

“Bye, Daddy! Good luck!” Acerola got out of her chair and hugged him tightly.

“Bye, my sweet girl.” He kissed the top of her head. “I love you, sweetheart.”

“Bye, uncle Nanu. Please be careful and good luck!” Hapu smiled.

“Good luck, Nanu!” Soliera and Phyco said simultaneously.

“Bye, Nanu!” all the Pokémon said simultaneously.

“Bye, everyone!” he said while waving and walking off, Solgaleo on his heels.

I watched him walk off, until he rounded a corner and left the ship. I sighed, sitting back down my chair, sinking further into it. Acerola stood next to me, putting her hand on my shoulder. I looked up at her. “Thanks, Acerola. I’m just worried. I hope he’ll be okay.”

“I’m sure he’ll be okay. Can I sit on your lap, Mom?” Acerola smiled. “Just like old times.”

“Yeah, sure.” I nodded, smiling as she sat down on my lap, her weight surprising me. “Oof, you’ve certainly gotten heavier since I last had you in my lap. You’re nearly 18 too, huh? You’re just a small girl, I was always wondering if you were going to get any taller.”

“I am a small girl, but I don’t let my height stop me. I’m a strong young lady mentally.” She wrapped her arms around my neck, hugging me.

I rubbed the top of her head softly. “You’re my beautiful girl and no one can replace you,” I said calmly, her hugging comforting me. “I appreciate your hugs, because they make me feel better.”

“Of course, anything for you, Mom,” she said as she jumped off my lap.

“When did you adopt Acerola?” Phyco asked.

I looked over at him, resting my head on my chin. “We believe she was either three or four when her parents were murdered, and we found her hiding in a closet. About a month later, we went through court and we were able to adopt her. But first, we had to get common law married and live together. It was tough, but we managed it.”

“What was it like, living with him?” Dulse asked, a curious look on his face.

“You don’t know how many times I had to fight with him to keep the toilet seat down… heh… stupid, half-asleep me would always fall into the toilet… heh… what else? Sometimes, I would quite often find him wearing only a robe while in the kitchen, cooking breakfast or making coffee.” A smirk formed on my face as I chuckled hesitantly, forming my left hand into a fist. “He would snore, but luckily, I sleep like a log. I often also found him sleeping in his uniform, on the couch, in the middle of the afternoon. Sometimes he would smoke in my living room, but I didn’t care, because I smoke too, sometimes. Occasionally, he would be up on the middle of the night, working on some project. It was weird living with him, but I love him no matter what, even though he’s lazy majority of the time, but once his mind is set on something, he gets it done, no matter what the consequences are.” I started to laugh hard, tears forming in my eyes. I slowly wiped them away, smiling. “I will love him no matter what he does.”

Soliera started laughing too. “You don’t know what it’s like living with Phyco.” A smirk formed on her face, as she eyed him with an evil glint.

“Oh stop, you’re going to embarrass me…” A blush crept up on his face, simpering. “Please don’t…”

“Of course, my dear.” She smirked, nodding.

“Dulse is a good companion, even though he doesn’t say much most of the time,” Zossie giggled cutely.

“It’s called being stoic,” he quipped, smirking. “Zossie is a lovely companion, her bright and cheery smile makes my day.” He held out his hand, beginning to pet the top of her head. “We like to practice new languages with each other. Could you teach us some Alolan words?”

“Well…” I held out my arms, arcing them to form a rainbow-shape, of sorts. “If you want to say hello to someone, you say ‘aloha’, or ‘Alola’. Either one is acceptable, but ‘aloha’ got corrupted into ‘Alola’, when the non-natives took over the island… They mistook the word ‘aloha’, and thought it sounded like ‘Alola’. Does that make sense?”

Phyco cleared his throat. “Yes, I see where you’re coming from. A lot of Veigzix words that the previous humans that came here confused them greatly. To make it more simple, we usually pronounce it ‘yeegix’, but to the humans, they pronounce it ‘vahy-zicks’.”

“That sounds an awful like German.” I cocked my head. “Interesting, you will have to teach me some Veigzix words too. And it’s cool how you pronounce it. I take it the letter ‘V’ makes a ‘Y’ sound?”

“That’s correct,” Zossie replied. “Our language is cool, but it takes a lot of practice. Teach us some more words, Naomi!”

“Oh… hmmm… let’s see, goodbye is a hui hou, but usually people say ‘aloha’. Yes is ‘ae, no is a’ole, okay is hiki, thank you is mahalo, please is olu’olu. This would be easier if I had some paper.” I shrugged. “Mainly because the Alolan language has something called ‘okina’, which is like a guttural stop and we have a long vowel sound, indicated by a dash above a vowel.”

“Zans, could you grab Naomi a piece of paper, please?” Phyco commanded the Ultra Beast.

She simply swished her tail, disappearing and suddenly reappearing with a sheet of paper. “Here you go,” she purred, handing me a piece of paper.

“Thank you, Zans,” I said as I grabbed the piece of paper from her teeth.

“Of course,” she purred as she let me pet the top of her head.

“What a cute companion you have.” I smiled.

“She’s the best companion, she’s excellent at delivering messages to other people too, like the note I wrote you guys earlier.” Phyco smiled. “But… we have something to show you. I need your help.” He looked at me concernedly, his smile turning into a frown and the glint in his eyes disappearing.

“What… what is it?” I cocked my head, looking at him with concern. “It sounds like it’s of grave concern…”

“Follow us. I assume you’re done eating, right?” he asked.

I grabbed one of the things that resembled a malasada, shoving it into my mouth and quickly eating it. “I am satiated; thank you for your hospitality.” I stood up, pushing my chair underneath the table. “I always thought aliens were out to murder us.”

“Well, you were taught wrong. You are most welcome, my brethren from another planet.” Phyco smiled, twiddling with his moustache.

I watched as everyone scooted their chairs in, got up and followed Phyco down the hall. The halls were eerie and quiet, with glowing blue tiles and wirings of all sorts hanging all over. He led us to a room that was white, with beige walls and a bed in the corner.

There, sitting in the corner, was the shock of my life. It was a lady, around my age, with dark black hair and dark blue eyes. She was wearing a Davy’s grey International Police uniform, with a Toucannon badge on both arms and a name plate that said ‘Lieutenant Bouchard’ on it. Underneath her uniform, was a navy-blue undershirt. She was wearing khakis with a police belt. Attached to her police belt was a Glock 21, a nightstick, the older model of taser, the M-26, a pair handcuffs and an older model Motorola radio. Her eyes were full of fear and they were bulging, as she rocked back and forth, repeating, “faller…”

“Phyco,” I said monotonously, baring my upper incisors. “You better explain, right now, why my missing Lieutenant is doing here on your planet.”

“We found her by random when we were making sure the city was safe from UBs…” Phyco hesitated.

“Mom, what is this? I don’t remember her.” Acerola looked at me, shocked.

My eyes clouded. “Because Nanu and I never discuss this, no matter what. It was a secret we were going to take to the grave, but now the grave as been uncharnelled.” I laughed hesitantly. “I appreciate you bringing this up, Phyco,” I snapped, grinning mirthlessly. “Just wait until Nanu sees this. You better make sure your ass is attached to your body. I never wanted to bring this up again. I never thought I would have to, really.” I clenched my fists so tight that I could see my knuckles popping from under the skin.

“Mom, calm down, please…” Acerola said quietly.

“No, no. I mustn’t. No, I think it’s time I told the truth… she’s repeating the word ‘Faller’, because we call people that travel through Ultra Wormholes that. The Ultra Beast that swallowed her, Guzzlord. We didn’t have a funereal for her, because this is classified. It’s buried deep within our files in our station. It’s locked up tight, with five locks. What you’re seeing right now, you tell no one. I fucking mean it, too. I’ll have your asses thrown in jail.”

“Nao…Naomi…” the Lieutenant stated quietly. “N-Naomi…” she repeated.