Actions

Work Header

The Shape Of Bugs

Chapter Text

If I spoke about it, if I did, what would I tell you, I wonder?

Would I tell you about the time? It happened a long time ago it seems, in the last days of an ill-tempered king’s reign.

Or would I tell you about the place? A vast, tropical archipelagic region on the coast but far from everything else.

Or… I don’t know. Would I tell you about her? The queen with her head in the clouds?

Or perhaps I’d just warn you about the truth of these facts. And the tale of love and loss. And the terrible organization of monsters who tried to destroy it all.

-Professor Kukui

 

You are dreaming of the redness and the leafy trees of the autumn forest and most of all, the lulling sound of Bug-type Pokemon relaxing you. The buzzing of wings, the cricketing, the chirping and the clicking of bugs soothe you with peaceful sleep while you rest on a spiderweb built by a giant Ariados, until… The sirens in the street outside wake you up. Startled and overwhelmed by the loud noise, you quickly cover your ears until it fades away, it’s too early to be overstimulated, you think. You’re shaking, your heart is racing and your breathing is ragged, you have an extreme sensibility to sound so you hate loud noises, you always did. Now you will be unable to go back to sleep due to overstimulation. Great. You turn on your phone and thank Arceus it’s almost time to get out of bed and go to your new job.

“Chaaaaa~” you hear your best friend and long-time Pokemon partner Cherri the Pikachu yawn. Seems like she is up as well and ready to go.

“Good morning, girl…” you sleepily tell her, pushing the sheets back and sitting on the bed.

“Pikachu…” she replies as if saying “good morning” back.

“It’s almost time to go, buddy, let’s go make breakfast.” you say, getting out of bed and picking up a pokeball. You open your bedroom’s window to let the bright sunlight in and you toss your pokeball to let your Incineroar out. He yawns, and when he sees you, he smiles.

“Morning, sweetie. I need you to help me cook something. Will you help me?” you request. Incineroar nods with a quiet growl and, with his help, you heat some oil on a pot and get the now giant balls of raw malasadas you left to grow from your pantry. Leaving them to rise overnight was a great idea after all, they’re huge and will make for a great breakfast and snacks while you work. You’ve got plenty to share so you suddenly think about your little friend Hau’s catchphrase about malasadas clearly: “Malasadas taste even better when you eat them together with someone else!”. You fry and fill the malasadas with bright red filling with him in mind, adding your share of love to them, but truthfully you don’t want to see anyone right now so you just hope you’ll run into him. Meanwhile, Cherri goes to your generator and, under your usual orders, applies electricity to your motel room by shocking it.

“Good job, honey.” You tell her with a smile, offering her a sweet malasada, her favorite.

“Pikachu!” she chirps happily, her big beautiful blue eyes shining.

“How’d you sleep, by the way, buddy?” you ask.

“Piii, pikachu!” she replies happily, digging into her malasada.

“Good. Me too.” you reply curtly and straightforwardly. You return Incineroar to his pokeball and open your neatly tidy closet and pick your clothes for the day: a ruby red blouse, white pants checkered with scarlet rose petals, red boots that you leave next to a chair and a red scarf, all relatively loose and comfortable for you. You leave to the bathroom to change and and brush your teeth, then you tie the red scarf around your neck and your hair in a ponytail with a green garden pattern Vivillon hairpin. That thing is your lucky scarf and you don’t leave home without it, you’re even known for wearing it every single day of your life ever since you got it. You then polish your red boots and wear them. You then go to your calendar and tear the note to the next day to read the Thought of The Day:

“Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug” it says. You crumple the note and throw it into the trash, not giving it much thought.

Upon finishing her sweet malasada, Cherri calls your attention. “Pika, pikachu?” she says, pointing to the spiderwebs forming on the corners of the roof.

“What, the spiderwebs? No, I’m not removing those, Cherri, you know I like them! Now let’s go, girl!” you say. Cherri runs to you and climbs onto your shoulder, slightly worried that you are not concerned with the fact that those spiderwebs just mysteriously formed on your motel room. You put all the malasadas in a big plastic container and put it in your backpack along with some art supplies, you plan to paint after work as you have a fondness for art and drawing, it’s a childhood talent you have. Upon leaving home, the roadside motel at Route 8 at Akala Island, you check your phone again and see you have plenty of time so you decide to go train your Pokemon. You put your earbuds on and entertain yourself with some music, all the while not noticing the workers rebuilding the storage room next to the motel, some pieces of wood in it with noticeably big jaw marks. Riding a Charizard from your Ride Pager, you fly to your special training spot: Ula’ula Meadow at Ula’ula Island. You let out some of your Pokemon and train them how you always do. However, not even five minutes into your private training session and you are greeted by Hala, the old Island Kahuna.

“Ho, hello, Y/N!” the old Kahuna greets you cheerfully, you jump and immediately feel bothered, you absolutely despise being interrupted. “The sirens woke you up, I presume?” he asks. Your expression shifts from bothered to surprised.

“Uhh, yeah! How’d you know?” you ask.

“Well, you are not the only one, see? It was a fire at the Malasada Shop at Royal Avenue. Hau, he-“

“Y/N!!!” you hear the unmistakably lively voice of the boy Hau, Kahuna Hala’s grandson, interrupt his grandfather. Well at least you did have subtle plans to see him anyway. He runs to you with a huge smile, clearly intending to hug you but you flinch.

“May I?” he asks. You never really liked physical contact of any form and the way you were taught to just accept it through life was kind of unfortunate. However, you and Hau knew each other for quite the long time and you appreciate that he respects you so you allow him to demonstrate affection. You nod with a small smile and spread your arms to accept his hug. You greatly appreciate how Hau always asks for your permission to demonstrate affection, how he’s relatively quiet around you because he is aware of how loudness can make you uncomfortable and thus respects your boundaries. Hau is relatively young compared to you and had started his island challenge not too long ago. When you moved to Alola and had finished your own island challenge 10 years ago, there was this cute determined little boy who had found a big sister figure in you of whom he respected and even idolised. Truthfully, you never liked children as they made too much noise and disgusted you but, as Hau came of age and became much more aware of you, you ended up finding a little brother figure in him. When you started cooking, a thing you enjoyed doing ever since you were a teenager, you cooked malasadas for you and him to share and he absolutely loved them.

“Oh, it’s so good to see you!” he says.

“Likewise, Hau.” you say, smiling a little. You were still a little annoyed for being interrupted on your private training session.

“Well, it was a pleasure to see you, Y/N, but you seem busy right now and we just happened to run into you so we must be going now.” Hala says. You smile pleasantly; Good, they respect you. But first:

“Uhm, Hau! I have something for you!” you say, pulling out your homemade malasadas and offering him some. This was in your plans after all, so you might as well.

“Ooh, big malasadas!” Hau says excitedly says jumping up and down. “Thank you so much, Y/N! Let’s eat ‘em together!”

“Oh Hau,” called Hala. “We must be going now! Y/N is clearly busy and you must keep training to improve your skills so you can master your island challenge!” he declares.

“Awww…” he says with that sweet smile. “Hey, Y/N! You wanna play Pokemon Trivia-Guessing?” he asks with a smile.

You grin, nodding and, at the presence of a challenge you love doing, you forget about your training. “Of course, I’d like that!”

“Awesome!” he says. “Ready?” he asks.

“I was born ready!” you say confidently. Hau had great admiration for and looked up to you because you knew so much about Pokemon and there was this game you two loved playing together which was trivia-guessing about Pokemon and you never got one answer wrong which fascinated Hau.

“Okay, first question! Which Pokemon is known as the Snowstorm Pokemon?” he asks.

“Vanilluxe.” you answer without hesitation.

“Correct!” Hau says excitedly. “Okay, okay, second question! Which are the only Pokemon that can learn the move Electro Web by leveling up?” he asks.

“Joltik and Galvantula.” you answer, again without hesitation.

“Correct again! Third question! Prior to Unova, what was the only Pokemon that could learn Twineedle?”

“Easy, that’s Beedrill!”

“Correct again! Wow, Y/N, that’s so amazing!” Hau exclaims with sheer joy and admiration, causing you to smile confidently. Then, he and Hala leave waving goodbye and you wave back without making eye contact. You are left alone again and check your phone.

“Late. Sorry, y’all, but I gotta go. My job needs me!” You tell your Pokemon as you return them all back to their pokeballs and grab your stuff, Cherri climbs on your shoulder. As you leave Ula’ula Meadow, thoughts race through your mind and you start talking to yourself, walking and gesticulating to yourself with wild movements, moving your mouth but not speaking at all. The next thing you know, you stop only when you notice scarlet red bromeliads in front of you.

“Cherri, look! Bromeliads! And they’re red, too!” you exclaim excitedly.

“Pikachu!” Cherri chirps happily on your shoulder.

“Did you know that they attract bugs? And that they like moisture?” you explain to Cherri about one of your special interests.

“Pika, pika pikachu…” she says as if telling you that this is the millionth time you told her that.

“I know! This is probably the millionth time I’ve said this but I just can’t help myself!” you say a little too loudly.

“Pika!” she seemingly agrees, imitating your excited tone.

You smile before fishing your Ride Pager from your bag to call a Charizard and finally leave to do your job.

You arrive at the Aether Foundation just in time. It’s your first day and being on time is one of your best qualities. You did use to be Alola’s first Champion  but some time ago, somebody took your title and you were left unemployed. To make ends meet and not stay still doing nothing, you decided to get a job as a cleaner at this place called the Aether Foundation, an organization that apparently focused on taking care of and protecting Pokemon. You decided to get this job because you really like things neat and tidy, things that were even slightly out of place made you flinch more than a Fake Out attack and made you want to wipe it clean faster than a Swablu with its cotton wings. You are greeted by a woman in white and pink with big mauve hair, Peridot green eyes and light pink glasses who introduces herself as Wicke. She shows you the whole foundation from top to bottom but because you are very uninterested in it, you can’t really pay attention to how boring her explanations are and your attention spam shuts down so you more precisely sit through it because, really, all you have to do is clean and nothing else, no big deal (at this point, you were honestly half-tempted to just say “Hey, it’s okay, I can handle myself. No need for this”) but you decide to be polite. However, when you two arrive at the research labs at the lower floor, you get interested. There are actually interesting things there, like people doing experiments with chemicals, Pokemon anatomy and lots of books with all kinds of research and specific types of Pokemon, including region variants. But the thing that really catches your eye is a cute cosmical nebula-like Pokemon that’s walking around.

“Hey, what’s that?” you ask Wicke.

“Oh” she says. “That’s Nebby, our Cosmog. It is an Ultra Beast, see?” she explains. You automatically decide to take it from here, you know a lot about these “Ultra Beasts”, “UBs” as you call them.

“Whooooaaaaa, UBs! These things are amazing! They’re, like, different species of Pokemon, I mean they can’t be really Pokemon because they can’t be simply caught and apparently live in another dimension but they’re so cool because they possess power that transcends humans' understanding of the world! They also all have the same ability: Beast Boost! And they pop out from those things called Ultra Wormholes and-“ you rant and rant, completely unaware of how loud you are getting but are interrupted by Wicke putting her finger on her lips, as if signing for you to keep it down.

“Miss Y/N, please, this is a workplace and the employees are trying to take care of their duties. Let us respect and kindly keep it down as to not bother them, yes?” she gently solicited. You look around, seeing that all the employees staring at your direction. Your whole face flushes red with embarrassment. When you get excited, you turn very loud because you are very passionate about what you love and know so you tend to get carried away, thus you are unable to control the volume of your voice when you do. You decide to voice your regret, just to be safe.

“U-uh, sorry, everyone! Don’t mind me…” you declare absentmindedly and Wicke sighs with a comprehensive smile. She continues to show you around and, when you two get to a mansion of some sort within the facility, you are met with the president of Aether, and her children. She is a fair lady with big flowing cocoon-like blonde hair, emerald green eyes and a white, yellow and black dress, tights and high heels. In her chest, there is a big black and green crystal ornament. She politely greets you and introduces herself as Lusamine, the president of Aether Paradise. She then orders her children Lillie, a young shy-looking girl in white who looks the same age as Hau, and Gladion, a young boy looking a little older than Lillie wearing ripped red and black clothes and looking at you with a stern, cold frown, to introduce themselves to you. They clearly are a family, as they have the same hair and eye color but truth is you only noticed because Lusamine addressed them as her children. Nevertheless, you introduce yourself and Cherri to them but are a bit uneasy about the boy Gladion, who is looking at you sternly. You’ve learned to pick on facial expressions a long time ago and the difference on how approachable they seem to be is clear. Just then, a man in white and green with bean-shaped light green sunglasses walks in.

“Pardon the interruption but I, Branch Chief Faba and Aether’s last line of defense, require the president’s attention. It is extremely important.” he says. You see him twirl a regular red-and-white Pokeball in his pocket.

“Is it the Type: Null again, I presume?” Lusamine says. Type: Null? You’ve never heard that name before. You are too focused on them to notice how Gladion winces at the mention of that name.

“Wicke, I order you to come along.” the Faba fellow says.

“Oh, very well, Branch Chief Faba.” Wicke mumbles. “Do not worry, miss Y/N. William from our security staff will be summoned to help you with the rest. My apologies and excuse me.” she says with patience and you understand.

“Children, miss Y/N. Excuse me.” Lusamine says politely, leaving with Faba and Wicke. In a few moments, an Aether Foundation Employee which you guess to be William guides you back to the conservation area, where your cleaning supplies are waiting and you start cleaning with him. By the time to leave, it’s past afternoon and the sky is painted by lovely shades of pink, yellow and blue with purple clouds. You think it’s the perfect time to paint so you get on your Charizard you call on the Ride Pager and fly to Mount Lanakila, a great spot to see the sky and everything else. You set your stuff and start painting the afternoon sky. Halfway through your picture, however, your eyes are covered from behind by a pair of hands and you jump, surprised.

“Guess who?” a man’s joyful voice says from behind and, for a moment, you fail to recognize it.

“Uhhh…” it takes a moment for you to process the voice. “Professor Kukui?!” you say.

“Yeah, it’s me!” your close childhood friend declares before taking his hands off your eyes and you two wrap your arms around each other. You softly squeal feeling Kukui rise you off the ground then put you down and, on your shoulder, Cherri slightly topples.

“Hah hah, it’s been so long!” Kukui laughs heartily. “So, how’s my former Champion doing today?” he asks with a smile.

You look away to your side. “Huh, I’m fine. Got this new job as a cleaner at the Aether Foundation, you know?”

Kukui keeps on smiling. “Awesome! Always great to be on the go, yeah? How about your own little champ there?” he asks, referring to Cherri and reaching out to pet her.

Cherri lets out a contented sigh as Kukui pets her. “She’s doing great” you say.

“And you’re still painting, yeah?” the professor inquires.

“Yeah, of course, what else am I good for?” you mumble, looking to the side, your face falling into a sad frown and your friend clearly sees and understands why.

“Oh come on, cousin!” Kukui cheers, intending to comfort you. “You’re still one of the best battlers I’ve ever seen and losing some stupid title doesn’t change that! Don’t you remember all those awesome move combinations you pulled off way back when?” he inquires.

He is telling the truth and you smile, clearly remembering all the amazingly wonderful move combinations you pulled off with your Pokemon with every detail. You were an artist, so you were always focused in winning with style, beauty and grace. You even considered participating in Pokemon Contests in Hoenn and Sinnoh due to your friends’ suggestions and motivations but that would cost a lot in every sense of the word.

“Oh you’re right.” you mumble, still smiling while recalling those great memories.

“That’s right, isn’t it?” Kukui asks with a bright smile. “Your memory is exceptional, cousin, but what matters most is the present and the future, yeah? Anyhow, it’s been so long and there’s a lot to catch up to do so here’s the deal: Come have dinner with me at my house!” Kukui suggests. You are surprised by the invitation, he is right, there really is a lot of catching up to do but you’re painting right now…

“There’s only gonna be you, my wife and me. And Cherri, of course. No one else.” Kukui complements, well aware of how you don’t like interacting with too much people.

“Oh! Sure, why not?” you answer with a smile. Kukui returns the smile.

“Awesome!” and with that, you two are on your Ride Pager Charizard, flying off to Hau’oli Outskirts. At Kukui’s house-slash-lab you meet up with his wife Burnet and you marvel at how cute they are together. You love spending time with those close to you but not strangers. The three of you have dinner together, with chocolate from a red skull-shaped box for desert, and you tell them about your new job, how you’re still training your Pokemon and how you don’t want to meet new people. They both smile all the way, clearly understanding you, an act of which you appreciate. The truth, however, is that you’ve been feeling very lonely, as if something or someone very special is missing in your life. Every time you’re in a room full of people, you feel lonely, you don’t want to interact with anyone, you only feel fully comfortable with your Pokemon. You also tell them about those strange dreams you’ve been having of bugs, of redness, of forests and the big red Ariados you always see and how it welcomes you with a warm but strange four-armed embrace. Excusing yourself, you decide to entertain yourself with a video on your cellphone. Kukui turns the TV on and calls you, you pause the video you’re watching and remove one of your earbuds.

“Hey, Y/N! The Red Kricketune is on! Wanna watch it?” he asks. You gasp excitedly, you love that TV show, or at least your inner child does. The three of you watch it together, with you saying a few lines exactly how they are before a certain character says it. After a while of doing so, you suggest something:

“Hey, wanna see how I can say all the lines they’re saying from the top of my head?” you ask.

“Ohhhh, Y/N, if there’s something you’re good at is remembering everything you like from the top of your head! And I love it, yeah! Go right ahead, cousin!” confirms Kukui, looking excited to see your talent.

“Now that I’d like to see.” said Burnet, sounding intrigued.

And so you do, you say the character’s line exactly how they are said without a slip or hesitating. When it’s over, Kukui and Burnet are completely stunned and slack-jawed, that was unbelievably incredible, it must have been ages since you last watched that show and you still remember its lines perfectly from the very top of your head. You say goodbye and leave to go home and sleep at the motel at Route 8. Tossing another pokeball from your bag, you let out your Primarina and order him to fill up the water tank so you can take a shower, which you do and put some comfortable red night clothes on to go to bed but then… You realize it’s a full moon-lit night.

“Pika pi?” Cherri asks.

“Cherri… It’s that time, again.” you reply blushing a little, seemingly a little embarrassed.

“Pika, pikachu.” Cherri replies understandingly, as if saying “Alright, fine”. You smile.

“I’ll be right back” You say. You get a soft, silk hammock from your closet and leave the motel while Cherri goes to sleep. You walk down the street to Route 5 and eventually reach Lush Jungle where you always go on these occasions and walk to a clearing in the middle of it, a place without many trees but lots of flowers, tall grass and two conveniently forked and tall trees, where the soft light of the moon shone bright, creating a private little space. You walk to the clearing and hang your hammock on the two forked trees, laying down on it and closing your eyes, breathing the fresh night air in and listening to the sound of the Bug Pokemon. You grab the hems of the hammock to close yourself in it and, feeling completely free and relaxed, like you’re home, you slide your hand to your nether regions and start pleasuring yourself, at first with soft, fleeting touches to your inner thighs. You rock yourself to your touch, making the hammock creak as you sigh. Then, one hand goes to your chest to caress one of your breasts, lightly playing with the sensitive nipple as you moan softly while your opposite hand goes from your inner thigh to your labia, which you tease by gently sliding your fingers up and down through the slit, just barely touching your partially exposed clitoris. You spread your legs a little more and then your wet folds apart with your fingers and finally start rubbing your sensitive clitoris, moaning and gasping as tiny sparks of pleasure course through your pelvic area, your toes curling. You feel so good, you feel so comfortable being like this, stroking and touching yourself under the silvery light of the moon. The fresh air, the sound of the (mostly Bug) Pokemon living in it, the atmosphere, the vegetation, the fruit, the flowers. All of these things make Lush Jungle feel like your own home, a place where you feel relaxed and free in, even if what you do is something so secretive and private as masturbating, but you don’t really know why. At this rate, you’re panting and gasping, doing your best not to moan too loudly and disturb the Pokemon, your middle finger goes to your soaking wet entrance and you wince as you hit your own G-spot, feeling your inner wet walls pulsate from time to time under your own skillful touch, then you add your index finger, all the while rubbing your clit with your thumb. The pleasure just keeps building up inside of you and soon it becomes too much, you pick up your pace and start climbing the mountain, coming undone, your climax approaching. It’s so good, you’re moaning and gasping, your hips bucking against your hand, you’re so close and so wet until…! You feel the waves of euphoric pleasure crash into your senses. You cum all over your touch, feeling you juices gush into your hand, wincing and gasping, riding out your orgasm, your whole body on fire. When the amazing feeling starts to fade, you sigh, being left panting, sweating and tired but satisfied and completely blissed out. You would love to stay overnight and sleep where you are but you decide to leave and go back home, you didn’t bring your cellphone and Cherri might get worried.

The next few weeks go pretty normally. You wake up, make malasadas, get dressed and changing the pants you wear every week, train your Pokemon, go to work, clean, listen to music, leave work, read, pass the time, paint, bathe and masturbate in Lush Jungle once every full moon, in that order.

That’s pretty much that… Until one faithful day. You are sweeping the floor on the Conservation Area at the topmost floor and, just then, an emergency alert alarm rings loudly through the entire facility, startling you half to death and making you drop everything you are holding. Amid your overstimulated panic, you see the president’s daughter Lillie running through the halls with a bag of some sort slung across her shoulder with what appears to be little sparkling blue “ears” slightly sticking out from it. Could they be…? You barely have time to finish thinking when you see three Aether Foundation Employees running in Lillie’s direction yelling things like “stop right there!” and “halt, thief!” and “get back here! This is research material, young lady!”. You witness Lillie trying to outwit the employees with curiosity. Eventually, much to Lillie’s dismay and misfortune, the Aether employees corner her between you and them.

“Hey, aren’t you-?“ you mumble, confused.

“E-excuse me, please!” she pleads, looking anxious. You are too confused to move so you don’t comply.

“There’s no way to run now, Lillie!” you hear one of the Aether employees say.

“Y/N! Catch her and bring her to us!” another yells to you.

“P-please, excuse me! I cannot let them catch me!” Lillie begs desperately. Overwhelmed by so much being asked of you, you find yourself unable to respond, feeling terribly pressured. Just then, Lillie’s bag starts glowing all of a sudden and, before you know it, you feel the ground vaporize below your feet. Next thing you know, you, Lillie, Cherri and whatever was in Lillie’s bag that teleported you to where you are right now are somewhere that’s definitely not Aether Paradise. You open your eyes and clear your vision.

“Ogh…” you groan, regaining your senses.

“Pika pi!” you hear Cherri cry, sounding concerned.

“Oh hey, Cherri…” you mumble to your Pokemon partner. “Don’t worry, I’m fine, dear.” you reassure her. “Are you okay?” you ask her.

“Pika!” Cherri says, positively nodding her head.

“Oh, thank goodness! I thought you two were seriously hurt for a moment!” You look up and see Lillie standing with that mysterious bag still on her shoulder, looking worriedly at you and Cherri.

You quickly rise to your feet. “You!” you angrily growl at Lillie. She flinches.

“What the hell did you do?! What is this?! Why did you get me out of work?!” you angrily snap at her. You were just taken away from your job by her, you had nothing to do with her situation in the first place, it’s all her fault you are stuck where you are with her right now and you weren’t with patience to endure any more unpredictabilities.

Lillie lowers her head. “I-I’m sorry…” she mumbles, looking hurt but you don’t care. “I didn’t mean to, Nebby just-“

You fume and keep yelling. “Sorry my ass, kid! I wasn’t supposed to get stuck here with you! I was doing my fucking job and you- Wait, did you say ‘Nebby’?!” you inquire, the name sounding familiar to you.

“Yes, that’s right…” she answers softly, still looking down sadly. “I took it because if I didn’t, terrible things were to happen to it and-”

You sigh impatiently and cross your arms while she speaks. “And then you tried running away with it and it teleported us here with its powers because it was feeling stressed. Yes, I suspected it all along…” you interrupt, showing your knowledge of the Ultra Beasts. You then take a look around.

“Ooookay, now where are we…?” you mutter to yourself, not really expecting an answer.

Lillie speaks from behind you. “I-I don’t know, maybe we-“

“I wasn’t talking to you.” you snarl, aggressively interrupting Lillie and glaring at her. “Also, quiet. I’m trying to figure a way out of here…” you continue, caring little about how Lillie feels but being honest nonetheless. Just then you come to realization that this is nowhere more nowhere less than Lush Jungle, except it appears to be a much deeper part of it and much farther than you’ve ever went. “This is Lush Jungle!” you howl, not noticing you startled Lillie with how loudly you said that. Right after that, however, the whole forest mysteriously darkens all of a sudden, like it’s closing in on the three of you.

A man’s voice chuckles. “Heh heh heh heh… That’s right.”

You and Lillie jump and you feel your stomach fall to the floor, the forest keeps on darkening, slowly but surely.

The voice keeps speaking threateningly. “Except… Y’all are in my territory.”

You try to keep it cool despite the anxiety. “Wh-who’s there…?” you whisper, Lillie runs to your back, Cherri jumps off your shoulder and puts on a battle stance, her red cheeks lighting up with sparks.

“Sh-show yourself, I’m not afraid of you!” you challenge, wondering later if this was a good idea.

The voice laughs maniacally. “Grah hah hah hah hah!!! Not afraid, huh?!”

You shudder with fear, hearing Lillie whimper behind you. The forest is now shrouded in darkness, the only source of light is Cherri’s sparking cheeks.

“Well… Say, are you afraid of spiders?” the voice inquires, sounding closer now. You hear soft quadruple footsteps walking towards the four of you.

“U-um…” you mumble, not sure about how to answer. Behind you, Lillie looks behind her and sees a gigantic figure approaching the two of you. A big, malicious sharp-toothed grin and two pairs of purple eyes, the lower pair much bigger than the upper pair, glow in the darkness. She panics, urging you to look her way.

“How about…” the voice starts and you turn to look at where Lillie is pointing in fear. Suddenly, light returns to the forest, revealing the mysterious speaker.

ME?!” he screams. Your eyes widen, your heart stops, your stomach and your jaw drop at such a sight. The creature you see in front of you is not human at all, he appears to be some kind of Ariados monster. His entire body is amaranth red, and waist up, he looks humanoid but possesses the bulbous abdomen of an Ariados waist down, with two pairs of yellow and purple pointed legs on each side and another pair of long, pointed growths on the back. His messy but silky-looking hair is mostly white with a black undercut and in his forehead is a long sharp horn. What catches your eye most of all is the two pairs of human arms he has and, right now, the upper pair is raised as if to make him look bigger and more intimidating while the lower pair’s arms are landed on his waist. Black stripes are located on his lower arachnid half, under his second pair of arms and on both sides of the crook of his neck. In his chest, there is a yellow skull-like emblem shaped like the letter “S”. The monster is looking at you with two pairs of eyes, the lower pair is bigger and more human-like than the upper pair, which appear to be bug compound eyes, and he is grinning wickedly with big, sharp, shiny white fangs. You are so incredibly frightened by him that you don’t even notice how you and Lillie are surrounded by smaller creatures like him, all Bug-type Pokemon beasts and they all have the weird skull-like emblem somewhere in their body. There’s nowhere to run.

To be continued…

Chapter Text

Your eyes widen and your jaw drops while your heart is pounding quickly in your chest. You, your partner Cherri and Lillie are standing in front of a humanoid but monstrous Ariados. You are willing to bet your eyes are sparkling with stars right now, you have never heard of this creature before, much less this secluded part of Lush Jungle. To think you thought you knew every part of this tropical Alolan forest. You don’t even know what he is, last time you checked this world was only inhabited by Pokemon. But is he even a Pokemon?

 

“Hah hah hah! Well, well, well, look what we have here!” the monster laughs maniacally, his voice echoes through the forest, making a few trees shake with an unpleasant sound, his lower pair of red arms cross while his upper ones land on his waist. “Looks like a couple o’ humans just fell into my spiderweb!” he cackles, grinning wickedly and showing a set of polished white blades that probably shine more than your eyes right now.

 

The whole forest erupts into a loud, cricketing mess of bug noises mixed with human laughter and agreement coming from the beast’s minions. You quickly tap your ears, the noises overstimulating and rattling you all at the same time. It’s like the noise is literally ringing inside your head, unpleasantly shaking all your senses and then you realize, just now, that the monster is not alone: he’s got a whole gang of other bug monsters like him surrounding you, Lillie and Cherri. Such a realization does not help with how surprised and cornered you are along with her and you. Intrigued, you frantically look around you, taking in the looks of the all the monsters surrounding you.

 

“Whoooaaaaa!” you think to yourself with this silly grin on your face.

 

“Heh, I really don’t get ya humans but this’s gotta be a change o’ pace. I mean, it ain’t everyday one or more o’ y’all come wonderin’ straight to me for a beatin’!” the red monster growls, smacking his upper fist with his upper palm while his lower hands curl into fists.

 

“Anyway, what’s-“ the monster pauses, noticing how you are not looking at him directly. “HEY, YOU!” he snaps, making you quickly look at him in the eyes but not for long.

 

“Yes?” you answer casually, your tone neutral and your eyes on the yellow skull on his chest.

 

“Look at me while I’m talkin’ to ya!” he snarls, roughly grabbing your chin and forcing you to look at him in his four eyes with his inhumanly large hands. You wince at the sudden contact and rise in his voice, his hands are rough and calloused.

 

“CHU!!!” Cherri suddenly exclaims and, with an agile pounce, sinks her teeth on the monster’s finger. You hear the surprised sounds of the monster’s bug minions gasping and wincing.

 

OW, FFF-!” He yelps. “What the fuck?!” he exclaims, looking at your partner with confusion on his face. He shakes his lower right hand up and down, trying to get the female Pikachu to let go but she absolutely refuses to.

 

“Grah, ya little-!” he curses, rising his other hand with clear intentions of smashing the little electric mouse with it.

 

“NO! CHERRI, THUNDERBOLT!!!” you yell, alarmed. You may be interested in him but you cannot let him hurt your partner of more than a decade and he clearly had no intentions of getting peaceful with you.

 

Just then, Cherri’s red cheeks start sparkling. “Pikaaaaa…! CHUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!” and, with a powerful scream, she unleashes a flare of yellow electricity and you watch the beast’s huge figure get ensnared in trembling bolts of flashing yellow sparks and light with wide eyes and a dropped jaw, Lillie claps a hand in her mouth. He lets out a loud, feral growl as his entire body is filled with a strong, flashing current of crackling, tingling heat and voltage and only when it’s over that Cherri lets go of his hand. The blue-eyed Pikachu quickly runs to you as the beast’s body weakly collapses on the green grass with a loud THUD. The monster pants and wheezes, trembling as smoke flows out of his slightly charred red body, his lower pair of arms are bent in its elbows while his upper pair of arms are slightly spread, one hand, the right one, curled into a fist and the other, the left, weakly gripping the grass below it. The monster’s Bug lackeys all hiss and crawl closer, making Lillie hide more behind you but you struggle away from her unsolicited contact, watching all of them carefully. They are clearly unpleased with the act but Cherri quickly climbs atop your head and her cheeks spark more as she glares menacingly at the approaching beasts. You feel tiny feet move on top of your head as she turns and turns to glower at the Bug creatures, who all flinch and start backing off as soon as she snarls.

 

“Cherri, no, don’t hurt them…” you tell her. But they know what she’s capable of, for her alone just made their master fall with one single Thunderbolt attack. 

 

“B-Boss! Get up!” you hear a Parasect minion exclaim, the Skull emblem located on his “cap”.

 

“You gotta get up, Boss!” you hear a Pinsir minion call, the Skull emblem located on his left side. So they can all talk.

 

“Yeah! We’re countin’ on ya, Boss!” a Fomantis minion exclaims and you wonder what is a Grass-type doing among all those Bug-types.

 

You hear a loud cough and an inhale, a faint light coming from behind you. You turn to look at the Ariados monster who is starting to rise and you gasp upon noticing that the once black stripes on his body are glowing brightly, making his entire being slightly transparent like glass, the sunlight filtering from above the trees must also helping make that effect, you think. He raises his head to look at you with a four-eyed, bloodcurdlingly menacing gaze and you soundly wince with a gulp, your eyes widening in surprise again. When he fully rises to his four arachnid feet, the bioluminescence from his stripes fades completely and his body is no longer charred or smoking, quite the opposite, he’s shining with life.

 

“A…” you stutter. “A-Ariados can’t use Recover…” you mumble, looking confused.

 

His bone-chilling frown curls upwards into an evil, sinister grin once again and his sharp, white fangs show with a wheeze. “HHHHHHH-hah hah hah hah hah!!!” he cackles loudly and his Bug subordinates do the same. You are left staring dumbfounded and confused. What’s so funny…? What are you missing? Are you supposed to find this funny as well? You lost count of how many of those situations you have found yourself in life…

 

“Ya just shock the shit outta ya boy and you’re worried about whether or not I can use Recover?! SERIOUSLY?!” he asks boisterously.

 

Did you just make the situation worse…? Or was Cherri to blame? She was just trying to protect you, like she always did and you had to order her to defend herself. Were you going to die? Cherri jumps off of you and puts herself in front of you and Lillie, shielding you two from the monster.

 

“Chu!” she shouts, protectively spreading her little arms.

 

“Tch, outta the WAY, ya little runt.” the monster snarls menacingly, showing his clenched sharp fangs.

 

“Pi. Ka. CHU!” Cherri says slowly as if saying “Get away. From my. FRIEND!”, glaring at him.

 

You decide to interfere. “DON’T hurt her, you… Ariados, monster, beast, whatever you are!” you stand up to him, quietly but then fiercely. “I, I may not know what you are, but I will not allow you to hurt my best friend!”

 

The monster is taken aback, this made him want to recall when was the last time he has seen a human stand up to their Pokemon like that. His four hands balled into tight fists, his thick black eyebrows sharply knit downwards, his breathing gets ragged and you see cords and veins appears on his face and neck as he tenses and fumes, his nostrils buffing and his entire face turned to a more blood red shade. But the corners of his mouth soon turn upwards into yet another evil but shaking grin laced with malice as an idea seems to come to his mind.

 

“Heh heh, so that’s how it’s gonna be, huh?” he asks. “Hey, you!” he exclaimed to get your attention. You look up at him but your eyes quickly fall to his chest.

 

“What?” you inquire.

 

“Look, short stack, there’s only one way we gon’ settle this shit and it’s with a BATTLE!” he furiously stomps one of his pointed feet into the ground. “I challenge you and that stupid Pikachu o’ yours to a battle against all my Bugs and then ME!!!” he exclaims, his booming voice echoing through the forest.

 

That takes the cake. You adapted and asserted a little more to this situation and thus could process what was going on better. You were very confident in your Pokemon and he just insulted your best friend who just stood up to defend you.

 

You squint your eyes, your own eyebrows knitting downwards as nod positively. “Challenge accepted.”

 

The Ariados monster keeps grinning. “Great! And now that you said it, I’ll make sure ya regret that!!” he laughs. “And if I win… You, ya Pikachu and ya little friend there’re gon’ suffer the consequences of steppin’ into my turf!” he bares his sharp fangs again and you shudder, knowing well where this is going if you lose. He is ONE of those creatures, it seems.

 

But you roll your eyes at hearing him refer to Lillie as your “friend”. “She’s NOT my friend but what happens if I win?” you ask, confident and stoic.

 

He chuckles, scoffing. “Tch! If by any chance ya win, ya boy’s gonna show ya the way outta here and we’ll just go our ways, no hard feelings whatsoever.” he says, eyes closed, shrugging with his upper arms and hiding his lower hands behind his back… Crossing each of his index and middle fingers on both hands.

 

You nod. “Let us start, then…” you say, pulling out a pokeball, pressing its button and its grows on your clenched fist.

 

“That’s what I wanted to hear! You wanna see what destruction looks like?! Here it is in Drider form - It’s ya monster boy, GUZMA!!!” the monster, which you hear refer to himself as Guzma declares emphatically, putting on a show with all his four arms, fiercely pointing, punching, waving and spreading them all the through his little introduction.

 

The battle is nerve-wracking, overstimulating and overwhelming all at the same time but you managed to pull through with everything you can. Adrenaline coursed through your entire being as you watched each and every one of your Pokemon fought bravely and you were proud of all of them for protecting you, from the beginning where you had to stand up against Guzma’s bug minions to the final boss himself. Even when your life is in danger and you had managed to stay League Champion for the longest time, you have oriented your Pokemon to battle with all their might… But unfortunately not enough for you to win. You start shaking violently, your face pales and your knees turn into jelly until you feel yourself collapse on them after witnessing Incineroar, your last Pokemon standing, fall to the ground with prominent black swirls in his eyes, Cherri has been long defeated and is resting in your arms. As you return Incineroar, you feel your heart must have stopped because you can’t hear it beating anymore. All you can hear is the monster’s terrifyingly victorious laughter. You have failed, it’s over, tears bead in your eyes at the realization that you will become this monster’s dinner as revenge for entering his territory.

 

Guzma, the Ariados Drider, soon stops laughing. “Well, I win! And as the winner… I get my prize as part of our deal-“ he starts and, as he does, he lifts one of his upper hands to the length of his head. He then puts this very same hand forward and a thick string of sticky white silk shoots out from the fingertips of his index, pinky and thumb, speedily traveling through air and ensnaring you and Lillie in it. Guzma then suddenly pulls his hand backwards with incredible force, pulling you two off the ground and into his grip. You and her are met with that very same bloodthirsty grin yet again, except it’s a few inches away from your face. You can smell sweat and burnt from all the efforts he put to yours and his battle.

 

YOU!!!” he loudly exclaims and, between his bared fangs, you can see transparent drops of drool sliding out from his lips, some of which are licked away with a big, thick, sticky dark blue bifurcated tongue. You had already accepted your fate but a series of strong, thrashing movement beside you alerted you that Lillie was not having any of this.

 

“P-please, mister Ariados, d-don’t eat us! It was an accident, we did not mean to disturb you! Please let us go, this will never happen again!” the poor little girl desperately sobs, thick tears coming out of the her emerald green eyes. You roll your eyes, she's just now saying these things?

 

The Ariados monster scoffs. “Tch, of course it won’t, kid, because this is exactly what happens to humans that step into my turf! THEY GET EATEN!” he growls.

 

“H-HELP!!! SOMEBODY HELP US!!!” Lillie yells hysterically, seeking the help of anyone who might hear and by extension save you and her and you want to kill this kid, she’s yelling right in your ear and you’re already upset with your loss.

 

You look at her dead in the eye. “Oh my God, SHUT. UP, KID.” you say, slowly but lethally and Lillie recoils, sniffling.

 

But Guzma just keeps on laughing at the little girl’s mental agony. “Nah! Scream as much as you want, girlie! Nobody ever comes here, this area of Lush Jungle belongs to ME! ME and my Bugs!” he cackles boisterously, ready to devour you and, while Lillie keeps on screaming, you close your eyes, bracing for it and hoping he does it quickly and painlessly… But it doesn’t happen. Seconds quickly turn into instants, and instead of being met with the stabbing pain from the beast’s sharp teeth burying into your body, you feel wind. A warm, short air current coming and going with a certain rhythm. Definitely not a breeze… But breath. You open your eyes to spot the creature’s huge nose smelling the crook of your neck.

 

“Yeeek!!” you gasp, feeling even more uncomfortable with the even closer contact.

 

The monster growls questioningly and then looks at you. “What’s that smell? What’cha got there?” he asks. You are confused for a second but then you notice that you still have your bag slung across your shoulders and you realise: You really forgot to put it away after arriving at Aether Foundation. The bag that you bring with yourself every day that had your art supplies and… Malasadas inside. Was that what the monster was smelling? Your bag had so many other things, would he be interested in these, you wonder.

 

“I smell food, shortie! What’cha got there?!” he asks again, sounding impatient. Food. He’s referring to the malasadas.

 

“Ma-malasadas…” you mumble.

 

“What?!”

 

“Malasadas! I have malasadas!” you speak up a little louder.

 

The monster looks confused but intrigued. “Show ‘em to me. Now.” he orders.

 

“…How?” you inquire, struggling in the spider web you are trapped in to make a point.

 

The monster rolls all of his four eyes. “Don't move.” he requests in an annoyed tone and, with a quick swipe of a sharp fingernail, he tears a small hole into the cocoon of webs trapping you big enough for your right arm to be released.

 

“Right, thanks.” you nervously say as you slide your bag out from your shoulders and open it, taking the container with your pink cream-filled malasadas from there and showing them to the monster. Without hesitating, he swipes the container from your hands with his enormous lower hand and tilts it towards his mouth, gobbling all the pastries up in one go. You stare at the scene with disappointment, those were for you and your Pokemon. As he munches, the monster’s face lights up, like his four eyes are shining. And they indeed are, inside and out. He has never tasted food that delicious before. Fluffy fried bread, slightly crispy shell, creamy filling of so many different flavors… Sweet, bitter, spicy, dry and sour. It was like all the berries he normally ate were crushed and transform into a scrumptious, silky cream. Those were truly something he would like to eat again.

 

“Uhhh, ahem…” you clear your throat. “How’s the taste…?” you quietly ask, you like hearing the opinions of your clients. Lillie looks at you weirdly, as if questioning why you’re talking to this monster so casually.

 

“Shit’s good…!” he says but quickly realizes what he just admitted. With a wince and a soft growl, just as you are about to ask what was that, the calloused, rough warmth of his hands are swiftly swiped away and you and Lillie are dropped to the thankfully soft grassy floor. You land on your back but slowly rise and seat with a painful groan, only to notice how the monster appears… Less red in the face, like his cheeks are dusted in a slightly paler shade of the amaranth red that paints his entire body, he is looking at the side with dilated pupils and his lower pair of arms are behind his back. Furthermore, he appears to be scratching at the back of his head with his right upper hand. Guzma feels heat rise to his face, his heart pound and a shiver go down his spine as the delightful taste of the malasadas linger in his palate.

 

You look at him with a smirk, intrigued. “Uhhhh… You were saying?”

 

The monster once again looks at you before grumbling, looking at his sides quickly but that malicious grin soon returns to his face once again and you swear you heard a snap of fingers.

 

“Tch! Whether I liked that shit or not is none o’ ya business, shortie.” he says threateningly. Your intrigued smile falls into an indignant frown as your hear him refer to the food you made yourself with the greatest care as “shit". He starts slowly walking towards you but you surely back away from him as he does, your hands shielding your body. You do NOT want him to touch you again.

 

“But what I know is that ya look quite interestin’ with that look ‘o sheer fear on ya face.” he says, quietly but menacingly.

 

You start shaking slightly. ”I’m not scared of you…” you correct.

 

The monster raises an eyebrow. “What? Ya ain’t scared o’ ya monster boy?”

 

You shake your head.

 

He chuckles maliciously. “Then why all the shakin’, doll?”

 

You look at your side. “I just… I really don’t want you to touch me!”

 

The monster appears surprised but keeps that smile on his face. “Tch! For a human, ya seem to have a damn spine! I mean, ya seemed to just go with it when I was about to eat ya and that little kid there, ya just accepted ya damn fate like it’s nothin’ to ya!” when he finishes this sentence, you gasp and your heart drops as your back unfortunately meets the hard trunk of a tree. You are completely cornered, just like a prey to its predator.

 

“I ain’t gonna let this opportunity slide so listen closely.” Guzma leans in and honestly, if looks could kill, you would have dropped dead long ago.

 

“Ya monster boy’s gonna let ya live AND keep my hands to myself with the condition that you’re gon’ bring them malasadas to me EVERY DAY without fail. Have we got a deal?” he proposes, offering one of his four hand for you to shake. You’re pretty sure your eyes are shining yet again; you were going to cook and feed a Pokemon monster! Those were the two things you loved most combined! Honestly, you didn’t care what happens to you but, as much as you really really hated Lillie right now, you couldn’t just leave her here to die, after all you WERE the ex-Champion. Furthermore, you have to save Cherri as well, she’s still fainted in your arms. Lillie is watching you worriedly from behind Guzma and, when you see her, you smile at her and give the a thumbs-up.

 

“Uhhh, sure!” you reply, shaking his huge red hand.

 

The beast’s foul smile appears more satisfied now. “Excellent, shortie!” he exclaims. He then turns his back to you and you are now facing his bulbous red striped rear. You stare at it with clear confusion in your eyes.

 

“Climb up, you two!” he says. “I gotta get ya outta here so ya can fulfill our deal!”

 

You blink as realization hits you. With Cherri still in your arms, you climb the beast’s behind, your back facing his, Lillie does the same. You slightly wobble with movement as Guzma starts walking you to the entrance. You are reflecting now what just happened; you got dragged out of your job so you’re probably going to get fired, you were teleported to a part of Lush Jungle you never even knew of, met an Ariados monster that you didn’t even know existed who forcibly dragged you into a battle in which all your Pokemon were defeated, nearly got killed and you are now indebted with said monster, probably for life as you figure most monsters are immortal. Not only all of this, but you realise were not going to make malasadas for fun and because you wanted to, you had to make them so the monster doesn’t eat you and keeps you alive. And it’s all Lillie’s fault. Your blood is boiling, your hands close in tight fists and your breath is slightly ragged. Your lips start moving on their own as you reenact in your head all the things you want to yell at her once you two are out. You’re so caught up in your thoughts that you don’t even bother noticing how the little girl’s looking at you sadly, still clinging that bag with Nebby the Cosmog inside. Soon, you two arrive at the entrance to Lush Jungle.

 

“Welp, this is it, you two. Get those malasadas comin’, doll. Same time, same place, every day, got it?” he asks.

 

You begrudgingly nod.

 

“Good. Oh, and tiny reminder for ya two short stacks.” he leans in close to the two of you. “Don’t tell ANYONE about ANYTHING or ANYONE livin’ here or what happened here or I’ll chase both o’ ya down and KILL YA. And that’s a damn PROMISE.” it’s all he says, quickly but lethally, before hastily making his way back to the depths of the deep dark woods of Lush Jungle.

 

Once he is as good as gone, you glare at Lillie, who flinches at the look of burning hot rage in your eyes. With the passed out Cherri in your arms, you start walking away from her.

 

“W-wait!” you hear Lillie scream behind you. You ignore her. “I’m sorry!”

 

You angrily turn to her. “Really?! FOR WHAT?!” you ask. You want to hear her say how wrong she is to your face but she says nothing, her head down.

 

“Can’t say, huh?” You say coldly. You take a few steps closer to her. “Hey” you call and Lillie raises her head to look at you, regretfully.

 

You tenderly hold her shoulder. “Lemme tell you a secret, kid.” but then, swiftly like a Quick Attack, you pull her by the collar of her white shirt so she is face-to-face with you, your face contorting into an expression of sheer white, unbridled rage, staring at her with fatal, furious eyes as poor Lillie gasps.

 

“Quiet people PISS ME OFF!!!” you practically growl at her and she looks at you with pure dread. “You SHOULD be sorry, you little… Scamp! Stealing research material, teleporting me outta my job, getting me with that FIEND of an Ariados and, and…” you stop. “And now I’m indebted with that monster because of YOU!” You violently let go of her collar and pick up your Ride Pager. Removing the translucent ball from the device, you call a Charizard that arrives shortly.

 

“Wait!” Lillie calls you. “Where am I supposed to go?!”

 

You look at her coldly, settling safely into the giant flying fire dragon. “You want a ride back?” you ask. She shakes her head.

 

“Good. Then don’t talk to me or my Pikachu ever again!” and with that, you take off.

 

You soon arrive at the Aether Foundation for the second time and make your way to the Women’s Locker Room to put your bag and other belongings away. You then make a quick stop to the second floor to get Cherri and the rest of your poor Pokemon restored to full health. As soon as she sees you, Cherri worriedly asks what happened to you after she lost to the monster.

 

You sigh. “Not right now, honey… I’ll tell you later…” you say in an annoyed, melancholic tone, the post-battle events still clear in your memory. You return to the Conservation Area and spot Ms. Wicke and a few Aether Foundation Employees next to your set of cleaning supplies. One of the Employees spot you and warns Wicke and the others of your presence.

 

“Miss Y/N! You have returned!” Wicke exclaims, a slight tinge of worry in her voice. You put on a sad, regretful expression, expecting to get fired.

 

“I have, of course. Ms. Wicke, I’m incredibly sorry for the mishap, it wasn’t my fault! Please don’t fire me! It won’t happen again, I promise!” you plead.

 

Wicke’s usual smile drops into a serious frown. “That is up for the President to decide, Ms. Y/N. Who, by the way, wishes to see you.” she tells you straightforwardly.

 

Your face turns even more miserable. So the President wants to fire you personally. Great. Your head drops.

 

“Sure… Lead the way…” you request, knowing well that arguing against this will only make you embarrass yourself even more. Wicke starts walking and you follow suit, wishing yourself good luck in the future.

Wicke guides you to Aether President Lusamine's office room. It is a big, white room with a huge, professional-looking table at the center with several phones on it, one of which she is talking in right now. You observe a total of 16 screens on the walls, security camera screens. At the very corner, a lone trashcan is sitting and large windows with view to the whole facility adorn the opposing walls. That green guy with strange bean-shaped glasses, Faba, is there as well. He observes you come in with the secretary twirling a standard red-and-white pokeball in his hand.

 

As Lusamine finishes the call she turns to you. “Ms. Y/N, it is nice to see you again.” she says with a small smile, sounding concerned. “We were quite worried about you. Please, take a seat.” she requests, gesturing to the chair in front of the table. Looking at the floor, you shyly obey, walking up to it, pulling it to a close distance to your feet and slumping into the white, cushioned seat. Once sat, you entwine your fingers atop the table’s cold surface and stare at them.

 

“Very well. First of all, I would like to apologize for my daughter’s behavior.” Lusamine sighs, sounding disappointed. “Four of my employees have reported seeing you and her… Simply evaporate into thin air a few hours ago, after she stole our Cosmog. Is that right?” she asks.

 

You nod positively. “Y-yes, it’s all true.” you reply truthfully but bleakly. “It teleported us to Lush Jungle, I place I knew quite…” you pause. “Well…? So I was able to come back without much effort. Sort of.”

 

“Are you alright?” she asks again.

 

Your face scrunches up slightly with disgust and your eyes roll. “…Kinda.” you mumble, shrugging. The Ariados monster was clear on his request to make you not tell anyone about him, his team or his territory. Besides, Lusamine would never believe you about him so you didn't even bother. If you did, she would laugh at you for sure. At the very back of your mind, however, you wonder why she didn’t ask about her own daughter.

 

“I am awfully sorry for this. My daughter has been quite troublesome lately. None of this is your fault, Ms. Y/N.” she sighs, sounding regretful.

 

You perk up. “So I’m not fired?” you ask, eyes slightly widening slightly.

 

Lusamine giggles. “Of course not! Like I said, none of this was your fault so you get to keep your job.” she replies.

 

Your face lights up into a cheerful grin. “Ah! Hah hah!” you laugh triumphantly. “Glad to know!”

 

Lusamine giggles slightly at how endearingly happy you are but then her face soon falls with worry. “And Lillie? Do you know about her?”

 

Your own face falls as well. “Ahhh well,” you begin, rolling your eyes to every direction but Lusamine’s eyes. “I did offer her a ride back but she didn’t want to come. Apparently she really didn’t want to be here.”

 

“I see. My little Lillie… So young and yet so troublesome…” she sighs. “Miss Y/N, would it be a burden to request that, once you learn about her or the Cosmog, you will let me know first?” she requests.

 

You nod positively. “Of course, miss Lusamine. You can count on me.” you reply sternly.

 

The Aether President smiles satisfactorily. “Thank you so much, miss Y/N. I could not expect more from the ex-Champion.” she praises and you smile again. “But enough about my daughter, let’s talk about you. I wanted to talk to you for a while and now seems like a good opportunity.” she complements, picking up a file of some sort.

 

Your smile falters slightly. “Uhh, what did I do wrong…?”

 

“Nothing, my dear. I just wish to know more about you.” she tells you tenderly. "I like getting acquainted with my employees so I can make my foundation a more comfortable workplace for them, see?” Lusamine says tenderly, reaching out a hand to touch yours with motherly care. But that completely throws you off and, as soon as her hand touches yours, you quickly flinch away from her touch with a gasp.

 

“Noooo touchy!” you exclaim, putting your trembling hands with the thumbs, index and middle fingers highlighted and bent in front of you, resembling a martial art stance. Lusamine reels back slightly as you do, worried that she might have scared you and blinks.

 

“Oh, did I scare you? I’m sorry, dear.” she thoughtfully apologizes.

 

You smile understandably. “That’s ok, you didn’t know.” you say. You have to tell everyone that touch you that you despise unwarranted physical contact but you have learned to live with that.

 

You raise an eyebrow with a smile. “So, uhhh, what is this all about? I may not be Champion anymore but now you want a private interview?” you inquire with this silly smile on your face. Or at least you thought you were being playful.

 

Faba knits his eyebrows together. “This is about making this environment more comfortable for you, miss Y/N.” he replies for Lusamine, his tone stern. “Because, you see, we’ve read your record and there are some things we would like you to clarify.”

 

“Go right ahead!” you say, still smiling.

 

Faba opens the file with your record on the table. “We’re not making small talk here.” Faba remarks with a sparkling red seriousness in his eyes that appears inconsistent to the green of his glasses. “Miss President, if you will.”

 

Lusamine straightens herself. “Thank you, Mr. Faba.” she tells him, then turns to you. “Now, you come from Kanto, yes?” Lusamine asks.

 

You nod positively.

 

“Viridian Orphanage in Viridian City. Is that where you were born?” she asks.

 

“No! I was born in Viridian Forest!” you answer with a finger pointing to the sky.

 

Lusamine and Faba both look dumbfounded. “Excuse me…?” Lusamine inquired.

 

“Yeah, it was there!” you exclaim, then you look at your side with a slight recoil in the chair. “Well, at least that’s where they found me, heh.” you explain with one single coy chuckle at the end.

 

Lusamine smiles understandingly. “Ohh, you were found in Viridian Forest, then?”

 

“Yes, ma’am! They found me crying, wrapped in big red leaves when I was just a little baby.” you clarify, dramatic at the end.

 

Lusamine giggles, once again delighted by how literal you were. “I see. Well, I suppose you never met your parents, then.”

 

“No. Not at all…” you answer sadly. You always wanted to know who your real parents were but, as you grew up in the orphanage, you wondered if they’d be worse or better than the caretakers there.

 

“And yet you fared so well by yourself?” Lusamine asks, intrigued.

 

“I have, yes. I am quite… Independent.” your sad smile turns cocky as you say that. You don’t notice but Lusamine’s eyes falter. Cherri affectionately paws at your arm and you smile at her, reaching out a hand to pat her in the head.

 

Faba looks at Cherri and how content she is under your touch. “This Pikachu you got there.” he starts. “How long have you been with her?”

 

“Oh!” your smile soon turns brighter and more content at this question. “Well, this girl here’s my starter!” you exclaim as you rub Cherri’s head, she purrs under your touch.

 

“Starter? Aren’t you expected to get Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle as your starter Pokemon as a Kantonian?” Faba inquires.

 

“Yes, but I didn’t want any of those! You see, at the orphanage, I… Well, I barely participated of any activities because they didn’t interest me. I learned about Pokemon all on my own, including how to catch one!” you ramble, starting to get loud again. “So, when it was my time to choose my own Pokemon, I didn’t want any of the three starters so I kinda just… Left the building, see? I wanted my first encounter to be fate! So then I went to Viridian Forest and that’s where I found Cherri! She was being picked on by other Pokemon and I saved her! Just from the sight of those beautiful blue eyes, I knew… I wanted this girl to be my first Pokemon, my best friend, my partner Pokemon! It was love at first sight!!!” you ramble and ramble with a bright smile all the way, caressing Cherri. You were being very melodramatic when you said you wanted your first encounter to be fate but how it had happened really made it seem like it. During your time in the orphanage, specifically when it was time for you to pick up your first Pokemon, you did not want any of the three starters from Kanto and the kids laughed at you and the teachers actually said to your face that you didn’t want any of the three starters because you never paid attention to the lectures and therefore must not have known what even a starter was. But you did know and was quite hurt by their words. You left the building to Viridian Forest, the one place in which you felt comfortable in because of all the (mostly Bug) Pokemon there, the creatures that never judged you, that understood you. You walked, appreciating the scenery of scarlet, vermillion and yellow Autumn leaves falling and delighting yourself with the pleasant sound of stepping on crunchy leaves when you saw this little Pikachu getting attacked and picked on by several other Pokemon there and, without hesitation, decided to help it. Since they were all Bug-type, all you had to do to shoo them off would be throwing rocks at them and yelling, which sent them running right away. When the Pikachu was ready to take off, you simply lowered your arm and looked at it in the eyes to calm it down. That was honestly the longest you had managed to look at something in the eyes, really. When it looked at you, it was very clearly scared and you noticed that its eyes were blue instead of the usual brown of the average every day Pikachu. Its tail was covering its body in defense and right then, you saw that the Pikachu was a female. You spoke with a calming, tender voice and, you didn’t know if it was the her body language or expressions but, when the Pikachu spoke, you somehow understood her.

 

“Were they picking on you because you have blue eyes?” you remembered asking her.

 

“Pika pika…” she replied, her ears drooping.

 

You thought you have found the perfect starter for you when she opened herself to you, she was just like you. After that, the electric mouse warmed up to you and you left Viridian Forest with a female blue-eyed Pikachu on your shoulder that you nicknamed “Cherri” that impressed everyone at the Viridian Orphanage. Most people couldn’t understand what a Pokemon said when speaking because Pokemon could only speak through their names but you understood what that Pikachu said perfectly for some unknown reason and no one, not even yourself, could figure out why. You understood her and she understood you. She never ever left your side ever since.

 

“Pikachu~” Cherri chirps happily when you finish.

 

You are too caught up in the joy of having Cherri in your life to notice how uncomfortable you made Lusamine and Faba with how loud you were.

 

“I see… So you have no family, then?” Lusamine inquires once again.

 

“My Pokemon are my family, ma’am.” you reply, derisively looking up at the word “family”. Cherri looks at you with a smile.

 

Lusamine’s eyes falters once again. “And… Your clothes. You always come here wearing red instead of our white.”

 

“The application rules clearly stated that janitors can wear what they please.” you correct, the image of your job application stating the rules you had to follow to work as a janitor clear as the surface of a diamond in your head.

 

“That is not what I meant, my dear.” Lusamine retorts. “I’m mostly referring to your style. It is a bit wanting, is it not?

 

You smirk and raise an eyebrow. “Wanting? Nah, I love these kinda clothes. They’re very comfortable for me, they’re easy to wear and I love the color, miss President.” you answer, confidence still bright in your face.

 

“Are you sure? Trust me, children would all be much happier if they'd only listen to the adults around them.” Lusamine adds.

 

“Hah hah! Not me, miss Lusamine! You see, I’ve had enough of listening to grown-ups!” you laugh loudly with a puff of your chest and crossed arms.

 

As the President’s expression keeps on wavering, she opens up another part of the file. “Alright. Anyway, miss Y/N, it seems your record also has something extra in it. A mental health report.”

 

Your current pose undoes itself completely and your smile falls like a drop of morning dew in a leaf. They probably found out about your disorder. Cherri looks at you worriedly. “Oh, right, it does…”

 

Lusamine analyses the report before turning to you. “You are autistic, aren’t you?” she asks.

 

You recoil a bit on your chair. “Yes, miss Lusamine. Well, most precisely it’s a low-functioning form of Autism called Asperger’s Syndrome.” you reply quietly, your hands returning to the top of the table and entwining again.

 

Lusamine hums, agreeing. “And how exactly is that to you? If you do not mind me asking.”

 

You’ve been through so much on your life as an “Aspie”. Honestly, you have been harassed, attacked and pressured about it all your life, which made your mental health decline. You remember with an almost green, nauseating clarity all the horrible things you went through during your childhood in the orphanage, remembering with fear, adult monsters that made the Drider in Lush Jungle look like a big brother for being so impenetrably oppressive. During your early days, you were incredibly intelligent for your age, precocious in everything you did. You had learned to speak before the other children and had a massive talent for art, which you preferred to spend your time developing rather than mingling with others. But you also had a really hard time paying attention to lectures and had a tendency to simply sneak out of class when you weren’t interested in listening to them (or anything at all) and, during music lessons, the noise bothered you to no end but on the other hand, you loved listening to music (and identifying every single instrument and how many of them there were in a song). As a result, more often than not, the teachers and caretakers there found themselves wasting their time looking for you, catering to your needs and just putting up with you, you were quite the burden. Even when wearing the same green uniforms as the other kids there, you always stood out. The darker part lied on the fact that no one, especially the children, understood you and, although you had come to build small, fleeting friendships with a small minority of kids who found you and your quirkiness quite interesting, you were called names like weirdo, freak, monster and whack-o and were the target of teasing like:

 

“Only your mother could love you!” followed by “No way, she doesn’t even have a mother!”

 

“Nobody likes you, whack-o! Even the teachers get in trouble because of you!”

 

Every time you said something that didn’t make that much sense you heard: “That must be why your parents abandoned you.”

 

Every time you didn’t know something that was already show in class, it was: “Of course you don’t know, you don’t pay attention…” with pure coldness and irony.

 

Whenever you expressed yourself by quoting a character from a TV show, it was: “Why do you talk like [character]?!” with annoyance and contempt.

 

In a group project assignment, you heard one kid say “I would rather get a Magikarp instead of you, weirdo.” when you were partnered up with them.

 

You were also pretty sure you must have been the kid who got punished the most there.

 

You may have had a better ability of believing in what you wanted to believe in and was much more okay with people’s opinions today but your special interests were also made to bully and harass you since you were so protective of and passionate about them:

 

“Hey, Y/N! The Fairly Odd Fairy-types suck!”

 

“El Hawlucha del Ocho was created by Giratina!”

 

“Undermon is for retards, no wonder you like that stuff”

 

But you were precocious and discovered masturbation. It was one of the few good things you had and worked as a coping mechanism for all your stress so you did it quite often. You found sexual pleasure by grinding in between bars to your climax even before you knew what a clitoris was. Unfortunately, for your (future) embarrassment, you did it when you were bored and thus publicly, without even the slightest idea that it was something to be done behind a locked door but you learned to seek privacy with time and tons of scolding because you had a hard time listening. So you loved yourself in the privacy of your dorm room. And that was good, really, another excuse to be alone, and you thanked Arceus no one of the kids were used to seeing a girl pleasure herself to even realize what you were doing as you came of age.

Enter Cherri, the only living being who never judged you or berated you for being different. She was your one and only true friend. After acquiring her, you were officially a Pokemon trainer, ready to go on an adventure throughout the Kanto region and, while your life and mental health may have taken a leap for the best after that, unfortunately, since you didn’t have a home to stay on during your travel, you still had to keep coming back to the orphanage with the use of Fly to have a roof to sleep under since the Pokemon Centers were always so inconveniently full. Furthermore, since you still technically “belonged” to the orphanage, the matrons took the prize money you won from your victories with other trainers, only giving you a third of what you won and, if you even slightly opened your mouth to defy that or complain, you already knew what was coming for you so you remained silent. Besides, according to them, you would never do well by yourself out there.

Because of your heightened emotions, you overreacted a lot and had a tendency of believing everything people told you was true, which was the perfect opportunity for the cattier children there to torment, bully and mess with your emotions. One time when Cherri’s pokeball went missing, they went to you and said:

 

“Yo, weirdo! Your Pikachu is dead!”

 

Which you believed and went crazy looking for her, bawling your eyes out while they just laughed their behinds off at your misery and anxiety. Those events resulted in you permanently leaving Cherri out of her pokeball and thus never out of your sight, anxiety and intrusive thoughts that haunted you every day. You remember going, in tears, to a caretaker for help but, when you vented about the whole Cherri situation to them, they laughed at you and told you to get over it, that you were being selfish, that what you were crying about was not something to cry about, it wasn’t important and to not waste their time with useless little tantrums. You couldn’t even stand up to them by shocking those bullies because doing so would result in punishment again. And that was how you learned to run to your dorm room and cry while cuddling Cherri, your one and only friend. In many of these occasions, you found yourself with the wish of just sprouting wings and flying as far away as unreachably possible from there.

 

As you grew up, it became more and more evident that you were indeed different but literally no one in the orphanage came close to even cogitating the possibility of you being in the Autism Spectrum. You weren’t mentally deficient and in need of special cares to them, you were just dumb, retarded and incredibly stubborn, an anti-social, incorrigible little monster who liked isolating herself. They couldn’t stand the thought of having an autistic kid at their perfect little Home, a lost, defective, half-witted runt. It was one excuse after another:

 

“If she was autistic, she would never be able to talk as early as she did!”

 

“If she was autistic, she would be much dumber!”

 

“If she was autistic, she would be much weirder!”

 

“If she was autistic, she would be much more gifted than this!”

 

Really, that was a place for kids with a future, who could survive in a world that was NOT friendly to people like that, who would leave that place when they turned 10 and could find a job once they turned 18. It was only (and finally) when you were on your late teens that a psychologist was called to the orphanage and diagnosed you with Asperger’s Syndrome. You remember the patience the psychologist had with you, it was the one of those rare times that someone treated you with kindness. At this point, things got a little better for you because some of the adults were open-minded and decent enough to look up the disorder and help you and you even felt special but it definitely didn’t get perfect. No matter how many times the psychologist tried to convince the matrons that Asperger’s Syndrome is something you live with rather than heal from, some of them only put even more pressure on you to change, heal or get over your disorder.

 

“Stop talking to yourself!”

 

“Pay attention!”

 

“Stop talking so loud!”

 

“Arceus, it’s not that hard!”

 

“Stop repeating yourself!”

 

“How come you can do this but not do this?!”

 

“How come can you understand Pokemon but not this simple lecture?!”

 

“How the hell do you know every single phrase this character says from the top of your head but can’t study?!”

 

And worse:

 

“Autism Spectrum is not a real disorder” or “Everybody does a bit of what you do, get over it”.

 

And they did it loudly and unpleasantly and, since nobody had the patience to stand you anymore (and they made it clear), they eventually hired the psychologist to help you. You stood more time in class finishing assignments made specially for you, venting sessions, sessions to finishing homework you couldn’t do yourself and many other special cares. But you were only doing these to most precisely get through school, you learned everything you knew about Pokemon yourself and it was a lot, even by the orphanage’s standards, for you always liked reading and checking everything with Dexter, your Pokedéx. As you did, all those things the teachers tried to get in your head for the longest time started to get more and more clear and you were learning. You were an amazing trainer and had a clear talent for it, it was your special interest. You won every battle, every challenge and collected every badge necessary before the ultimate challenge. Cherri, despite being a Pikachu, a Pokemon known for its low defenses and HP, was not only your best friend, she was the powerhouse of your team. Facing the gates of the Indigo Plateau, dressed completely in red, you heard a disgusting but familiar voice before your entrance. They belonged to one of your tormentors from the orphanage who demanded a challenge from the “weirdo”. Without one least bit of hesitation, you accepted his challenge and completely wrecked him and his Arcanine with the biggest smile on your face that quickly turned into a look of fear the second he yelled that Cherri was going to be dead, for real now.

 

“Not so fast, yeah!” a voice called out from somewhere. It was the lively voice of the a tan-skinned man in a lab coat but no shirt, glasses and his hair tied into a bun, he was also wearing scarlet khaki shorts and red shoes. He had come to challenge the Kanto League as well and apparently did not appreciate seeing Pokemon get threatened because, hey, outside of the orphanage, you belonged to you. Since your tormentor had no more Pokemon to fight with, he ran off and the young man walked closer to you and introduced himself as Kukui with the rather unusual greeting of “Alola!”. When he said that’s the greeting used in his region, you said:

 

“I suspected from the beginning…”, accidentally quoted a character, feeling your face flush with heat and quickly covering your mouth. But Kukui didn’t face that with the contempt or annoyance that you were used to but rather he laughed, he found that interesting.

 

He rose an eyebrow with a smile. “Somebody here watches the Red Kricketune, yeah?”

 

You smiled with him. “Y-yeah!” I do!” You were surprised by his reaction but, expecting him to turn on you and being absolutely done, your smile fell into an angry scowl. “So what?!” you talked at him.

 

Kukui recoiled slightly but kept smiling. “Whoa, don’t be upset, cousin! There’s nothing wrong with that, yeah!” he beamed and you are surprised again. He really appreciated you and the way you talked. He told you he was going to challenge the League, too, and that he was in an interchange trip with his girlfriend Burnet. After you two challenged the League, you had won against Lance, the Dragon master and became the new Champion of Kanto. Kukui made the question of coming to praise you for how amazing you did and, flattered by his words, confirmed with yourself that he was being genuine and became friends with him. Days passed, trainers kept on coming, you always beat them easily and, at the end of the day, you always had to return to the orphanage because you still didn’t have anywhere else to sleep on and honestly, you couldn’t wait for the day you would have the money to leave that cursed place, especially with the fact that, after you showed them the trophy you won from your victory, only a few wanted to talk to you about it. All the “congratulations”, all the “you did great” didn’t feel right or genuine, even for you, not to mention Kukui saw the whole thing after walking you there. The truth was that, after everything you’ve done and achieved, they still could never believe someone like you would get the title of League Champion. As you and Kukui grew closer, eventually you told him about your disorder and all the shit you’ve been through because of it, which made him feel sympathy for you, for he knew of your disorder.

 

“You must have had it pretty rough, cousin. I’m sorry…” he said. After telling him it was not his fault and that you appreciated his comprehension, you told him you just wanted to leave, to find new opportunities and explore both your horizons and a new place, but with the Viridian City Orphanage taking your money, it would take ages for you to become fully independent, not to mention how much they made you think you still depended on them to do anything. But Kukui begged to differ, you were capable of being by yourself, of being independent and, if you needed anything, you could come to him and Burnet. He  told you that he loved how you used the power of moves and attacks so well and made a suggestion: Leaving Kanto and coming with him and Burnet to Alola. You thought about it; it was a tropical, littoral region and, with Kukui’s friendship and support, you could be yourself and you could explore your abilities there, not to mention you already painted every single scenery in Kanto. Honestly, you were done with Kanto and much more of the orphanage where no one appreciated your efforts and took the money YOU won with YOUR victories away from you and pretty much made your life hell. And so you said yes and, with the help of Kukui and Burnet, got enough money to book a flight to Alola and left Kanto for a new life in which you would thrive. And you did, Alola was an amazing place with lots of water, fauna, flora, Pokemon, very little noise and the Island Challenge, the rite of passage for burgeoning Pokemon trainers. During your own Island Challenge, which you had decided to do with encouragement from Kukui and Burnet, the thing you heard most from the Trial Captains and Kahunas was how amazing and full of skill you were and should consider traveling to Hoenn or Sinnoh to participate in Pokemon Contests because of your battling style. Since you were an artist, you battled with style, grace and beauty with lots of move combinations. But honestly, you were done with traveling, you just wanted to settle down and stay in Alola, the place you were the happiest and you owed it all to Kukui. Honestly, the only thing that kept you from falling in love with the man was the fact that he proposed to Burnet and they got married shortly. You obviously attended, it was the least you could do for the two people that rid you of a bad, unhappy life. Continuing with your Island Challenge, when you were on your way to the next island to completing your next Trial, Kukui told you about his idea of making Alola’s own Pokemon League, which made you quite happy. After completing your Island Challenge, the League was set up in Mount Lanakila and, upon arriving at each of the Elite Fours’ rooms, you were warmly greeted by them. They said they’ve heard of you through Kukui and only had good things to say to you before each of their battles, for you had built quite the reputation. So you easily defeated Acerola, Kahili, Hala and Olivia before moving on to battle your best friend, the man to whom you owed the life you had now: Kukui. You were incredibly reluctant to battle him, but your best human friend told you he’d be more than happy to see you give your all with him, which you did and became Alola’s first ever Champion, getting all the recognition, kindness, praise and glory you deserved. And, even though quite recently you came to lose your title to a trainer that defeated you, you still had quite the reputation in Alola and kept training your Pokemon. And now, here you were.

 

“…I” you started. “I don’t want to talk about it…” you mumbled sadly, your look brimming with fear and trauma. Cherri gives you a look of sympathy, she has witnessed all the fucked up shit you’ve been through and knew well of the chagrin it brought you.

 

“Oh, I understand, miss Y/N.” Lusamine replied. She sighs and reclines on her chair and looks into a watch on the wall. “Well, this is it, my dear. Your shift is over, you’re free to go and we’ll see you again tomorrow.”

 

Your face lights up. “Oh, ok! Goodbye, miss Lusamine! Thank you!” you say, getting up and going to the door with Cherri on your shoulder.

 

“Goodbye and don’t forget about the Cos-“ Lusamine starts but you close the door and hastily leaves. Really, all you want to do right now is go home and rest. You make your way to the women’s locker room to get your belongings and, with a quick look at your bag, your stomach suddenly drops as if a huge bag of ice has been dumped on it as you remember: You gotta get home to make malasadas for Guzma, the Ariados Drider. With your head down, feeling miserable once again, you punch out and leave to the Docks to get the boat to Akala Island. There, as you make your way past all the white wooden crates, the sudden touch of a hand on your shoulder makes you jump out of your skin. When you turn, you see dressed in red and black ripped clothes that do not go well with his green eyes and blond hair, Gladion, Lusamine’s second child. Hidden among the tall wooden containers, he harshly pulls you to hide with him and you yelp.

 

“Gladion!!! What is it?! You scared the hell outta me!” you nearly yell at him. Cherri glared at him.

 

“Seemed like the only plausible way to call your attention and besides, the cameras can’t catch us here so be quiet.” he whispers. ”Now listen, first of all, where’s my sister? Do you know what became of her? Is she okay?” he asks, sternly.

 

You roll your eyes and cross your arms. “At this point, hell if I know.”

 

He sighs, looking disappointed and holding his shaking wrist. “Damn it… Look, I don’t know what my mother told to you to do outside the foundation but I know you know about Cosmog, right?” he asks.

 

Your frown turns onto a confident smile at the blink of an eye.“Yes, I do know everything about it, baby!” you reply with a puff of your chest and a bright smile.

 

Gladion sighs and nods negatively to himself. “Humpf, absolutely no sense to be wary, I see…” he mumbles. And you heard that clearly.

 

Your confident smile falls into a scowl and you glare at him, raising your voice once again. “And just who do you think you are to talk to me that way?!”

 

“Shhh, silence is golden! Haven’t you heard that expression?!” he hisses, then his tone turns calmer but still very serious. “Now listen closely, this is of extreme importance: If you know everything about Cosmog like you claim, then you must know that it isn't even a strong Pokémon, but it has the potential to summon Pokémon so terrifyingly strong that you don't even know. If something like that happened, it would be a disaster for Alola.” Gladion explains but it’s nothing new to you.

 

You keep scowling. “I do know all of that. So what?” you retort, your eyebrows lowering in slight anger.

 

“Protect it! Listen, miss: If you do know where Cosmog is or if you do find anything out, just keep it safe! By all means you must NOT let my mother get her hands on Cosmog! You have to protect it, no matter what!” Gladion pleads with such burning passion in his eyes that almost makes his request seem like an order. You are extremely taken aback and freaked out by this, not to mention troubled. Right there, you decide that you are not having any of this, as you already almost lost your job once and you’re not losing it for real.

 

“I don’t wanna lose my job, kid!” you snarl, glaring at him.

 

He harrumphs again. “Do as you wish. If Alola gets in deep chaos and disarray, have it in your mind that you will be partly responsible.” he says condescendingly, turns away and leaves.

 

You are left alone with Cherri at the Docks, absolutely dumbfounded and confused. You had so much on your head, so much to do, so much to catch up on. You and Cherri look at each other and your Pikachu is just as confused as you.

 

“What the Distortion World was that all about, Cherri?!” you ask her.

 

Cherri shrugs. “Pika…” she replies and you get that as “No idea…”.

 

Mind-boggled and upset, you get on the boat and travel all the way to Akala. You almost wobble all the way home, you were tired in every sense of the word, you had a real Rockruff day. First, you get dragged out of your job by the President’s daughter, got teleported to Lush Jungle of all places, then an Ariados monster boy battled and almost devoured you (although you had to admit that you were quite interested in knowing him better), then you relived some of your worst life memories and now some boy wants you to protect the Cosmog that his sister stole and that you were asked by the President to do the exact opposite. Your pace get frantic, your lips move on their own, your arms flail as you talk to yourself, not giving a damn about what bystanders might think. But then, as you approach your motel home in Route 8, you see a white figure sitting at the porch. It appears to belong to a big round hat and your blood boils as you remember the only time where you’ve seen it. White, almost angelic clothes go with it, and you see blonde hair tied in braids as you approach. You see a familiar big bag in its lap. There’s no mistaking it. You fume with rage as you scream the name of the figure of which you are currently standing in front of right now.

 

“LILLIE?!”

 

To be continued…