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 A Mildly Curious Meetings

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PostSubject: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:27 am

Alki looked up at the large, impressive building. She could feel the liveliness and spirit of the place before she even entered. She could hear the pounding of the water on beach, and she knew that she was close to the vast waters she'd heard about. She'd never seen them though, the ocean had always been a myth to her. For the longest time, Alki didn't think she'd ever get to see them. But there she was, meters away from the ocean.

  Alki observed the Skitty beside her, this Skitty who was her team leader, her friend, her sister, and so much more. Right now, she was all of those things, and she was also filthy with swamp muck and swamp water. So was Alki, for that matter. Navigating the Cattail Marsh would do that to a Pokemon. They'd gotten more than a few questionable looks from the Pokemon passing by. At least, that's what Alki felt. She just wanted to be clean and normal and not feel weird or dirty. That's all. An inn was bound to have some sort of place to bathe, right?

“Darcy… thank you for what happened in the marsh. I appreciate you… well, I appreciate you letting me stay the night. And what you said… what we both said… I'm thankful for all of that, y’know?” Alki began. She couldn't say it enough, she'd felt something change, something inside of her. Her self esteem and happiness and confidence, it all seemed just a bit better, just a bit stronger when Darcy and Goro had been around her, and she still felt like that. She didn't think that feeling would be going away anytime soon. “But… if I could ask for one thing more… c-can we go inside? I just… well, people have been looking at us weird and I'd like to get clean as soon as possible, y’know?”

Alki scuffled her foot on the ground, drawing lines in the dirt. She still felt a bit guilty about what had happened. It had been a near miss. Sure, one that had worked out in the end, but even if Alki had stopped Darcy’s crying, she was still the one who had caused it in the first place. Seeing her friend like that made her realize that she would never, ever cause Darcy that sort of anguish and pain again. Not if she could help it. Their friendship had strengthened in the marsh land, but losing their friendship had been a very real possibility, and she didn't want to risk that ever again.

Alki bounced towards the door, ready to enter. So why didn't she? The muck was really starting to annoy her, and she'd heard that there were baths in here. But there were also people, people she didn't know, from a completely different town than Grassveil, people who might not like her or might look at her funny, or maybe they'd tell her to go away because she was dirty. There were so many things that could go wrong and suddenly, she was very, very fine with waiting outside. She noticed her breathing had suddenly turned quick and panicky, and her heart seemed ready to beat out of her body. The voices from inside sounded so loud, but nothing had changed, really, had it? Nothing except that Alki was suddenly experiencing some bad panic.
“Darcy, p-p-please… you go in first? She mumbled, almost a whisper. She needed a bit more confidence than she'd gained before she'd go into this building first. Baby steps were important. “It's j-just… a lot of Pokemon… I'll follow you… S-Sorry…” She said, her body beginning to shake. She desperately wanted to calm down, but at the same time, she didn't want to run around all filthy like… she remembered a certain Pokemon in Shadowhue Forest had rather disliked dirty things. He'd probably have a rather strong feeling of disgust if he saw Alki in her current state. Alki stood to the side and waited for Darcy to enter, panicked, yet at the same time curious to see what was inside.
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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:08 pm

Her eyes wide, Darcy gazed up at the impressive building in front of them, too.  Lit by late afternoon sunlight, its enormous size almost reminded her of the Grassveil Guild, built to accommodate Pokemon that were much larger than herself.  But the design wasn't quite the same.  This building seemed less formal, somehow.  Like it was simply a vast, comfortable house, expansive and luxurious enough to house dozens of Pokemon...

Alki's voice quickly captured the Skitty's attention though.  She smiled, taking a few steps closer and sitting down as the Igglybuff reminded her of last night.  "I...  I-I'm really thankful too, Alki," she said.  "I'm just...  I'm just happy that you're still here with me.  It means a lot."

The Igglybuff bounced up onto the comfortable-looking porch that led to the front doors.  Darcy joined her, hopping up the steps and pausing in front of the door that loomed over of them both.  Alki seemed a little too nervous to head inside on her own, but...  It was easy to see why she was self-conscious this time.  The two of them were mangy and deeply soaked with mud after trecking through Cattail Marsh.  That was why Darcy's sister had recommended visiting Steamrise Inn when they stopped by her house.  They had a bathhouse here, somewhere they could both get clean.  With hot water, even!  The Skitty didn't think she had ever taken a bath with hot water before.  Getting to experience that kind of luxury had left her tail wagging ever since saying goodbye to her sister.

...But of course, that meant they'd had to walk through Rainfront Town while they still looked filthy and out of sorts.  Even Darcy couldn't help but notice the strange looks they had been receiving.  

She gazed up at the door once again.  Over the regular crash of waves against the beach, she could hear voices inside.  Other Pokemon, probably travelers, laughing and talking with one another...  It put butterflies in her stomach, too.  Getting to meet them all sounded like so, so much fun, not to mention the bathhouse or the beach or getting to share a room with Alki...  But she hoped that they wouldn't be too far out of place, a couple of muddy, clueless Pokemon barging in on everyone else...

...Well...  There was only one way to know for sure, wasn't there?  Darcy took a deep breath and then flashed Alki a smile, her excitement giving her courage.  "Sure, I'll go first," she said quietly as she gave Alki a nod.  "My sister said to go enjoy ourselves, right?  It'll be fun.  Just stay close to me, okay?"

Taking one more deep breath, Darcy stepped forward, using her head to push the towering front doors open...  And what she saw surpassed all of her expectations.  A lofty, open room, dotted with furniture and rugs and cushions occupied by all kinds of Pokemon Darcy had never seen in her life.  Enormous glass windows dominated the far wall, beyond which was the beach, tinged orange by the setting sun...  And as if that wasn't enough, there was a staircase built into the left wall, and hallways at the far corners of the room, suggesting that there was much, much more to be seen.  She was vaguely aware of a counter off to her right, but she was too captivated to pay much attention to it at the moment!  There was so much to take in...

"A-Alki, come look at this..!" she said breathlessly as she stepped inside, tracking mud onto a rug just beyond the door without quite realizing it.  She couldn't help but gaze at her surroundings with wide eyes, oblivious to any odd looks she might be receiving.  This was the biggest, most luxurious building she had ever been in...

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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:09 pm

Truly, Steamrise was a magnificent building, both inside and out. It stood out quite a bit from other buildings in the area, on account of its architecture and size. Near about any pokémon could fit through its ginormous front doors, and the ceilings looked high enough that a whole other building could practically fit inside, if one were creative enough in getting it in. Of course, to a pokémon not even a foot and a half tall, pretty much everything seemed ginormous, didn't it? Thankfully, this pokémon, Clovis, happened to be a fan of extravagance in decoration. Clovis, a piplup, sat peacefully by himself at a table near the building's left wall, idly looking out one of the building's windows, sipping on a glass of iced tea and awaiting the attendance of the waitstaff.

He had come to Steamrise for likely the same reason everyone else had, to enjoy himself with a lovely view and a lovely meal. He was in Rainfront for vacation, after all, what else did he have to do? He didn't intent to visit Cattail again, that was a once-per-trip thing, at best. For the time being, Clovis was perfectly content to spend his time finding leisure in the Steamrise Inn. Being alone at his table, there wasn't much for the piplup to do besides drink tea and take in the atmosphere, but all-in-all, he felt happy to be where he was. No worries, no regrets, just a tranquil evening to himself, free to pursue anything that interested him. Perhaps he'd use all this time to read a book, find some company, or even visit the Steamrise spa- after he ate, of course.

At one moment, after becoming bored with staring through a window and eavesdropping on the conversations of strangers, Clovis shifted his gaze towards the Inn's front doors. While they were pretty and well-built doors, they could only keep his attention for so long while they were closed. It was good then, that the doors opened almost immediately after he had looked at them, revealing a single quadrupedal pokémon, skitty. It was nice to see pokémon that weren't that much taller than him, for a change, but he had no business with her, and stopped staring after just a second, returning to his bitter glass of tea.

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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:17 am

Alki followed her sister inside, the Skitty's words slowly eroding the self consciousness that had been eating up at her. That's right, Darcy's sister had told them to go have fun. That much was true, and from what little she'd seen of Darcy's sister, she seemed like a nice Pokemon. She wasn't even that upset at Alki ditching her. By the time the two guild members had to leave, Alki had found herself hoping she'd see the Delcatty again soon.

    As Darcy opened the door, excitement accompanied her nervousness. Sure, it was huge, and probably filled with Pokemon, but she couldn't help but wonder what exactly was inside. After all, with how vast the building was, it had to be filled with something.

   But as Alki stepped inside, the panic pushed all possible excitement away, and if not for the fact that she'd be leaving Darcy alone again , Alki would have simply turned around, and run away from the building as fast as possible. It was one thing to have the building filled to the brim with Pokemon, but when almost every Pokemon in the room was at least twice as big as her, well, that was another thing altogether.

       Of course, to a Pokemon as small as Alki, a lot of things seemed gigantic, so maybe it wasn't quite so bad. What she was certain about, was that she hated just how small and tiny and helpless the place made her feel.

   Even though she knew she'd never been to Rainfront, and she knew that she'd never known anyone who has come from this town, the Igglybuff found herself searching for a familiar face in the gigantic crowd frantically. To her relief, surprise, and excitement, she found one, in the form of a Piplup, who seemed to be sipping on a glass of… something. It looked gross to her. She waved at Darcy, as she began to bounce towards the Piplup.

   Once there, however, she hardly had a clue about what to say. She stood there, looking up at the posh Piplup. The setting here was quite different from the scene in Shadowhue Forest. The Piplup seemed like he belonged amidst the grandeur and splendor of the inn, and Alki found herself envying him, at least a tiny bit.

“This is really different from Shadowhue, huh? It's a lot nicer…” She mumbled quietly, making her best attempt at small talk. All the while, she racked her brain for the memory, any memory of this Pokemon's name. It started with a C, she was sure of that much. Clyde? No… that definitely wasn't it. But it was close… she just needed to think! She'd tried her best to forget what had happened there in the forest. Getting poisoned was painful, and certainly not a memory she was fond of.


Clovis! The Piplup’s name was Clovis! And she seemed to recall another, rather unfortunate character trait of Clovis: He really didn't like dirtiness and filth. And looking down at herself, she had a feeling he wouldn't really like to be around her at the moment.

“I… I am aware of how dirty I am right now, Clovis. Just so you know. There are baths here... Y’know… before you go and try to rinse the mud off yourself… I seem to recall you trying to do that to me in Shadowhue, if I'm not mistaken?” She said, the tiniest of smiles appearing on her face. That… that would've been an experience. “Is it ok if me and my friend come back to… to hang out with you? Y’know, after we clean ourselves off?” She said, her fears calming down ever so slightly, now that she was talking to a Pokemon that she already knew. It helped that they were a lot closer in size than most other Pokemon there. Her smile took on a coyish nature as she gazed up at the Piplup, hoping he'd agree to chatting with her a bit more. She wanted to get to know him a bit better. He seemed alright, from what she recalled in Shadowhue, but their experience was poisoned by… well, poison, and it would be nice to talk under more normal circumstances.
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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:02 pm

A long moment passed, Darcy still unable to tear her gaze away from the room in front of her or to wipe her awestruck grin off of her face. It wasn't until Alki bounced forward that the Skitty finally returned to her senses.  Alki seemed nervous, but less than Darcy had expected, the Igglybuff giving her a wave and then bouncing further into the room.  Darcy gave her a nod and smiled warmly as her sister approached some kind of bird Pokemon sitting near the left wall...  Perhaps they were friends?

But before she could join them, there was something that needed to be taken care of!  She trotted over to the counter to her right, hopping up onto the small stepladder provided for shorter Pokemon so that she was at eye level with the Steenee working there.  They greeted each other, and Darcy poked her head into her bag, retrieving the little sack of coins that her older sister had given them...  It was uncomfortably weighty, and Darcy couldn't help but wince slightly as the Steenee opened it up and began counting the money inside.  This inn sure was expensive...  It almost made Darcy want to call the whole thing off.  Neither herself or her older sister had money to spare like this.  But she sighed as she glanced back at Alki.  She couldn't just change her mind after getting her friend so excited...

With their room paid for, the Steenee gave Darcy a nod, she replied to with a quick "thank you" before hopping down from the steps and heading towards Alki.  Her mood had been dampened just a little, but it wouldn't do to spend so much money and then not enjoy it, right?

"Hey there.  Do you two know each other?" she said as she got close catching the tail end of their conversation. A grin spread across her face once again at the prospect of meeting one of Alki's friends.  "How about you come to the spa with us?  That'd be fun, and I'd like to get to know you better.  My name's Darcy, and Alki and I are teammates!"  Her matted tail swishing back and forth, the Skitty reached out a muddy paw for him to shake, gazing at the little penguin Pokemon with a cheerful, expectant smile on her face...

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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:55 am

Clovis was running low on tea. He shook his glass around, stirring the ice in an attempt to get the liquid to reach his beak more efficiently, but the end effect was minimal. It was well and truly beyond a doubt then, that Clovis needed a refill. He looked around for a waiter whose attention he could grab, but the only 'mon paying attention to him at that moment was an igglybuff, instantly recognizable by their worst trait- their filth. This was Alki, the igglybuff from Shadowhue. Quickly Clovis adjusted the string-tie style joy ribbon he wore, and leaned his left side forward to hide the tiny plucked patch on his right side. She approached, and spoke to him in the same soft tone as always, referencing their first meeting and, shockingly, acknowledging both the fact that she was dirty and her need to get to get clean, smiling a little as she made another reference to how Clovis had offered to hydro pump her clean back when they had first met. He himself began to smile at the memory; an unfortunate poisoning had mostly ruined that day, but that didn't mean that there weren't a few moments remembered for better reasons.

Alki seemed to be acting different, somehow, but in a good way. She had improved her stutter immensely, and asked him, flat out, if he would want to spend some time with her, and with her friend, whoever that was. I must have rubbed off on her; such a goodly young lass. He couldn't help but feel partially responsible for her improved confidence, even if they hadn't talked all that much. He wouldn't mind doing something fun, after she got herself cleaned up.

Ah, and there was that skitty again- the very same skitty he had watched walk through the doors earlier. She approached Clovis and Alki before introducing herself as Darcy, a teammate of Alki. He didn't need to be told of their relationship at all, however, as it was quite clearly demonstrated by the mud and marsh-stench that the two of them shared. Darcy was particularly cheerful, despite her current state of cleanliness, and asked Clovis if he wanted to come to the spa with them. Truthfully, he had intended to eat first, and he would have invited the both of them to sit down with him instead, if not for the fact that both were in desperate need of a wash. Still, Clovis did not want to lose their company if he didn’t have to. It was always a good time for a trip to the spa.

Darcy sure seemed excited standing there, with her paw held out for a shake. Clovis sincerely hoped that she didn't expect him to actually touch her before she had had a bath. Of course, he wasn't going to outright tell her that he wasn't going to shake her paw either. He raised his near-to-empty glass to just below his beak, and looked away at the celing, pretending not to have noticed the skitty asking for a shake. He began to speak then, taking sips of what was at that point mostly melted ice while he was in between sentences. "You've got it Alki, I'll take the beach and hot meals over darkness and venomoth any day." He placed his glass back down on the table, and looked over at Darcy who, hopefully, had taken the hint and lowered her paw by then. "I do love a good spa treatment; and it's uh, very nice to meet you, Darcy. My name is Clovis." He had a bit of trouble addressing either of them directly while they were all dirty like they were, mostly out of worry that they would get the wrong idea and decide that Clovis' calm demeanor was indicative of little regard for hygene- it wasn't.

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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:48 pm

Alki looked between the Skitty and Piplup, knowing full well what the problem was, but unsure of how to phrase it. Darcy was waiting for Clovis to shake her paw, that much was clear, and Darcy always seemed to approach new Pokemon in that sort of light-hearted, easy going way. It would be a safe bet to assume Clovis would shake her hand, but not when the Skitty was mud soaked, wet, and grimy. That went for the both of them. Clovis seemed to be looking away, he either hadn’t noticed the Skitty, or was pretending not to notice. Either way…

The Igglybuff tugged on the Skitty’s fur lightly, not enough to hurt, but just enough to grab her attention. “He… he really hates dirt. And muck… and, well.... It’d probably be for the best if you don’t shake his hand. Y’know?” She whispered, looking at the Piplup nervously. She didn’t want to make things any more awkward than they already were. She cleared her throat loudly, bouncing back a bit, so as to distance herself from the Piplup. ”Well, I’ll take just about a-anything over that poison, but… erm, w-what’s… what’s a spa?”

Alki paused, looking around at the room they were in. She’d been rather focused on the Pokemon when she’d entered. Who could blame her? She was almost certainly the smallest one in the room. But the rest of it deserved mention as well, not only was the ceiling incredibly high up, but the arches, windows, and staircase were all elaborately designed, exuding a sort of fanciness that Alki had yet to see in Grassveil, even at the guild itself.

And to speak nothing of the food and drink that everyone seemed to be consuming! The smells were… actually not that great, considering the muck both her and her teammate were covered in masked the smells rather effectively. But just the sight of them made her mouth water! The little cakes filled with cheese and vegetables, the fresh, green salads topped with berries, the sweet, creamy pies and cakes. And the drinks! Alki was used to just water, maybe it could be colored if berry juice was added to it, but these were something else. Bright reds, blues, heck, there was even a rainbow drink, and Alki wondered just what they were putting into their bodies.

“Y-Y’know… we’ll… let’s get cleaned up first, of course, but… w-what’s… why is the water so… colorful?” Alki scuffed at the ground with her foot, suddenly abashed. She had the least money out of the three of them there, but the food looked so good… “C-Could we… get some food? And… that colored water looks really nice too, after the s-spa?” Alki felt it best not to mention she didn’t have enough money. They’d all get to enjoy, and she’d contribute what she had! Giving a little was better than giving nothing at all…

“Who payed for all this anyways? I mean… it’s really, really nice, and all, but… isn’t it… overdoing it, a bit?” Alki mumbled, looking up again at the arched ceiling, so high above her. “I-It’s just… a lot. Like… it must’ve cost a lot of money, is all...” Alki trailed off, not finishing her thought. She knew that her parent’s house looked like Goro’s shack by comparison, and then there was the fact that there were pokemon like Goro, who were living in literal, run down houses, and Alki couldn’t help but feel like it was a bit unfair, such a huge difference in quality. “Er… nevermind that. Just thinking out loud. Can we get food, though?” She said, beginning to grin as she looked between the Piplup and Skitty. Fair or not, as long as they were in a position to enjoy the inn, she would certainly take full advantage of that position.
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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:22 am

The little penguin didn't shake Darcy's hand right away, instead taking a moment to drink the last of his tea...  And then to greet Alki...  And then to accept their offer, and to introduce himself.  But he never got around to shaking the Skitty's paw.  Maybe he simply hadn't noticed it yet?  She held it there, leaning forward a tiny bit while smiling and calmly swishing her tail back and forth.  It wasn't every day that she got to meet one of Alki's friends.  And he sure seemed interesting.  Between his elegant, neatly tied ribbon, and the air of comfort and confidence in his voice, he seemed to blend right in with the rest of the inn's patrons.  She hoped she could become his friend, too...

But the seconds passed, and while he had put down his glass and returned his gaze to the two of them, he still showed no signs of even noticing the gesture he was being offered.  It wasn't until Alki pulled softly at some of the Skitty's fur and whispered an explanation that she realized what the problem was.

"O-oh," she mumbled quietly while pulling her paw away and sitting down, staring at the floor and feeling her face flush hot with embarrassment.  She swished her fluffy tail in front of herself to hide her muddy paws...  But that probably didn't help much.  Even her tail was matted and dirty.  She flattened her ears against her head and suddenly wished she had somewhere to hide.  She had been too excited to notice at first, but she and Alki looked sharply out of place amidst all of the luxury the inn had to offer...

So she gave Alki an appreciative smile as the Igglybuff cleared her throat and tried changing the subject, glad to have the little penguin's attention drawn away from herself.  It seemed Alki was taking her own turn to be entranced by their surroundings, more extravagant even than the guild.  She seemed particularly interested in the food, and in all of the colorful drinks that some of the bigger Pokemon were enjoying...  Darcy gazed at them curiously, too.  She couldn't remember the last time she had drunk anything other than water.  "Maybe it's berry juice?  Or smoothies?  ...Ohhh, I wonder if they sell milk here..."

...She stared a little longer, and found her mouth watering.  "Umm...  Hazel gave us some money before we left her house," she said as Alki asked about the extravagance they were suddenly in the middle of.  "I already paid for our room, but there was a little leftover.  We could buy something to eat."  She still wasn't keen on spending more money...  But she couldn't deny Alki something like that, not when she seemed so excited.  And besides, the Skitty didn't get to treat herself very often.  For all she knew, she and Alki might never get to come somewhere like this again.  ...Darcy glanced back to her Igglybuff friend, and couldn't help but smile.  This seemed like a good way to celebrate their reunion back in Cattail marsh.

"Well, um...  Could you show us to where the spas are, Clovis?  I'm not really sure what to expect either..." she said, looking up at Alki's friend again.  Another rush of embarrassment surged through her as she met his eyes, not only because of her dirty fur, but about how little she knew about places such as this.  "O-ohhh, and, um...  They have shallow baths here too, right? For small Pokemon?  I don't know how to swim.  Is that, um, a problem..?"

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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:42 am

Goodness, Alki sounded like she didn't know a thing about where she was, asking questions with answers that should have been painfully obvious. A spa was a place to relax and make use of whatever facilities and services it provided, in this case a series of warm, bubbly baths. The drinks weren't merely 'colored water', but rather an assortment of different beverages. Clovis didn't know the exact names of many of the drinks other patrons were enjoying, but he was certain that their drinks were no more similar to simple 'colored water' than his own glass of tea. And there was no way that Alki didn't know what tea was, right? Thankfully, Darcy seemed to be significantly less clueless, identifying, perhaps correctly, some other patrons' colored drinks as berry juice and smoothies. Alki mused a bit about the building's decor, and accused its owner as having 'overdone' some parts of it. Clovis frowned at this sentence, bothered by Alki's notion that the cost and effort put into Steamrise's extravagant architecture was a bad thing. It was pretty as could be, and Clovis could only wish to one day own property of equal splendor. Alki was mature enough to catch her own rudeness, however, and asked that the statement be disregarded.

The piplup shifted around a bit in his chair, mostly ignoring Darcy as she talked about her money; it wasn't really his business. He perked up a bit when he heard the skitty say his name, and looked straight at her as he answered her question. "You know, I haven't really been to the bath house yet, myself." He looked around the room for a second before returning to what he had been saying. "I don't think we'll have much difficulty just following the signs, though." A straightforward and honest answer, but Darcy had another question about the nature of the baths themselves. Clovis could only guess about that part. "I'd be surprised if they didn't, considering they've also got different sized tables and chairs." He gave the table he sat behind two little taps with his flipper.

As the three of them were about to go to another part of the inn, Clovis would have to pay for his tea before leaving. He rose from his chair, and took his bill, a small piece of paper with a price scribbled on it, from the table. From his Poké wallet, he retrieved a small number of coins, about 15% of the drink's total value, and placed them on the table as a tip to his waiter, who would probably collect it after Clovis had left. "You two can look for the entrance if you want, I've just got to pay for my drink." He'd go off to the counter then, and make use of the same steps Darcy had used prior to pay the steenee handling all the money.

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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:58 am

The Igglybuff couldn't help but feel like she didn't belong in a place like Steamrise Inn. Not for any one particular reason, but more so because everything seemed to be pointing towards that conclusion. First, she was easily the smallest Pokemon in the room, and there were quite a few of them there. She didn't even manage one foot, and to her, it seemed as though the ceiling were one hundred feet above her head. Second, she had never, ever been in an inn before, and everything seemed to be too confusing and new for her. And then there was the fact that as she voiced her opinion on this inn, Clovis’ mouth curved downwards into a frown, and Alki stopped speaking with a less-than-elegant conclusion. He knew a lot more about these sorts of things than she did. She'd lived in Pecha Forest for pretty much her whole life, who was she to judge the inn? He was right, she was wrong, end of story.

“It's nice…” She mumbled under her breath, but that didn't seem to really be necessary, as the two older Pokemon had moved on to more pressing conversation topics. Alki began to tune them out, it didn't concern her, and she didn't want to draw anymore irritation from Clovis than she already had. When Darcy asked whether they had shallow baths or not, Alki couldn't help but wonder the same thing, and one more dilemma as well. What was true for Darcy was also true for Alki: Neither of them, apparently, could swim. One was a feline Pokemon, and certainly, a lack of swimming knowledge would be a problem in a deep pool for anyone like that. But the other was a balloon Pokemon, and the balloon Pokemon wondered if her light weight would allow her to float in the water. Even so, she wasn't too keen to figure it out. Sure, she'd spent a few weeks living by a small pond, but that didn't mean she'd ever gone into the pond.

“Well… w-what're we waiting for? This dirt won't clean itself off!” Alki said, a hint of nervousness still in her voice, as she began to lead her friend towards the spa. Clovis was right, it was rather easy to follow the signs. Still, the sheer amount of Pokemon made it difficult for Alki to progress. Not because they blocked her, but the sight of so many large Pokemon was something she really only expected from the guild, and at least some of those Pokemon were a bit familiar, if only because they knew Darcy, and by extension, Alki. Two apprentices were expected at the guild, but an out of place, grimy Skitty and filthy Igglybuff certainly wasn't expected at Steamrise Inn.

Alki dipped into the nearest Spa room. She was unsure if it was really meant for Pokemon their size, but it was a welcome reprieve from the sight of the Pokemon out in the hallway. It was so loud, too! Alki breathed out a sigh of relief, before turning to her friend, a bit of color returning to her  previously-pale face.

“This… I hope this is the right place. I mean… if there is more than one spa, I mean. Isn't it a bit hot?” Alki asked, looking around the room for the source of the heat. Soon enough, she found it was coming from the water ! Alki walked towards it, before sitting down on the rim of the pool, and dipping the tips of her feet into the warm water. “It's warm…” She said, the awe clear in her voice. She looked around, as if to make sure no one was looking, and quickly breathed out a small stream of fire onto the water. It grew even warmer, and Alki giggled. “Come feel the water, Darcy! Let's wait for Clovis here!” She said, as her body began to grow warm and comfortable. It was certainly relaxing, this spa. She began to rub the dirtier parts of her body with water, trying to get the grime off. That was why they were visiting the spa, after all. “This is really cool, I mean… I do think they could've been a bit more modest with the inn, but… the fact they have hot water like this speaks for itself!” She exclaimed, lowering herself deeper into the water, but making sure to not let go of the rim. She didn't want to test out if Igglybuff could float, or if they sank, but she certainly did want the rest of her body to experience the warmth of the water, not just her feet. “I don't really know how to swim either, though, and… well, I can't bounce through water. I think this is shallow enough though, right? I really do hate being so small, sometimes...” She said, the last sentence under her breath. She watched the entrance, waiting for Clovis to arrive. She'd certainly feel safer with a water type nearby...
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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:13 am

Darcy sat quietly as the Piplup spoke, still feeling somewhat shy and out of place, but she found herself reassured by his words.  The inn seemed to be built with both large and small Pokemon in mind, so of course there would be baths for herself and Alki too, right?  A smile returned to her face, and she nodded as he told the two of them to go on ahead.  "Okay!  We'll see you there, Clovis!" she said.  Alki seemed excited too, offering to lead the way in spite of how nervous she must have been...  Darcy gave the Igglybuff a pleased nod and hummed softly to herself as they left Clovis' table behind and headed deeper into the inn.

The hallways they walked through were just as luxurious as the room they had left, spacious and airy enough for even the biggest of the inn's Pokemon, and carpeted with thick, fluffy rugs that Darcy hoped her paws wouldn't sully too badly.  As the sounds of the lobby faded behind them, she couldn't help but stare wide-eyed at every window and doorway that they passed by.  There were signs placed throughout the halls like Clovis had said, guiding them towards the right place, but Darcy still felt she could get lost in this building if she let herself.  It seemed at least as large as the guild...

Alki peeked into one of the rooms the signs had led them to, and Darcy followed right beside her, the two of them greeted by a wave of pleasantly warm and humid air.  This room felt similar to the lobby.  Spacious, and furnished with comfortable looking rugs and cushions and chairs...  There were even windows here, too, offering a view of the ocean just as gorgeous as the windows from before, as well as keeping the room warmly lit by light from the late afternoon sun.  But what was special about this room were the baths.  There were several throughout the room, Darcy noticed with a smile as she stepped further inside.  Maybe some were meant for small Pokemon like herself and Alki?

She giggled as she watched Alki inspect one of the baths, dipping her toes into the water and playfully puffing a short stream of fire.  The Skitty put her bag down near the door and eagerly hopped forward until they were side by side, peering into the water.  She could feel the heat rising off of it.  She could even see steam if she looked closely.  With a wide grin on her face, she gingerly dipped a paw inside, laughing and almost immediately pulling it back as all of her hopes were confirmed.  "Yeah.  I've never seen anything like this before," she said.  "I wish I could bring my whole family here.  Every sunset, we would always visit the stream by our house to clean ourselves off.  I'd love to see what Kyra and Amber and Heather would think if they got to come here instead..."

The thought made her feel warm inside, albeit a little homesick at the same time.  ...But being there with Alki was just as good.  Darcy settled prone on the ground, feeling a strong wave of fondness and appreciation as she watched the Igglybuff lower herself into the water, clinging tightly to the edge of the bath the whole time.  "Umm...  It's hard to tell how deep it is, isn't it..." the Skitty said, peering into the water.  She could see the bottom, so it couldn't be too deep, but it was still difficult to judge...  "I'll climb in and check.  We can try one of the other baths if it isn't a good fit, Alki."

Carefully, the Skitty turned around, dipping her tail and her mud-soaked hind paws first as she began lowering herself into the water.  She had to suppress a purr as she felt it wash over her, warming up her tired body like warm blankets on a cold winter morning.  This would be a good evening.  She hoped Alki would be able to enjoy it too...  "And, umm...  It's okay to be small," Darcy said, giving her little sister a reassuring glance.  "It means that you get to ride on my back, right?  I would be sad if we couldn't do that anymore...  And it means that we can share a bed, and that you'll always be able to fit inside of someone's house if you want to visit them."

She lowered herself as deep as she could, trying to reach the bottom with her hind paws.  "It's probably hard sometimes...  But there are good things about it too.  And...  Ummm..."  She could feel the bottom of the pool with her tail.  But try as she might, her hind legs met nothing but more water...  She scrabbled against the side of the bath, ready to climb out, but it was polished smooth and she couldn't find any purchase.

Her body tensed up with a pang of anxiety.  "U-uhhhmm... I-I can't reach the bottom..." she said, her voice shaking a tiny bit as she cast a glance down at the water.  

Her grimy, mud-coated paws clung tighter to the rim of the bath.  She thought about trying to haul herself out with just her forepaws...  But Skitty weren't built for climbing.  It would be hard.

...And she was afraid of losing her grip.  Without proper hands or arms, it was awkward enough just to hold on.  What if she slipped..?

"U-umm, you can hold on just fine, right, Alki?" Darcy asked with a nervous laugh.  "...I-I think I might need Clovis' help to get out.  But he should be here soon.  Right?"

She fell silent and flattened her ears against her head, feeling not only a little scared, but also intensely foolish.  She should have checked all of the baths and found the most shallow one, rather than climbing straightaway into one that might have been too deep for her.  She hoped Clovis wouldn't take too long...

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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:07 pm

As Clovis left the two pokémon at his table, he heard them say that they would be heading over to the spa, like Clovis had suggested. He made his way across the lobby, and towards the counter, where a steenee stood with a collection of paperwork, writing utensils and a cashbox. She was tall, that steenee was, and so too was the counter she stood behind- but the management of Steamrise had taken notice of the possibility of height differences, and placed a stepping stool in front of the counter, so that shorter pokémon could reach. It was a useful tool. But it was a little embarrassing to have to use. Clovis was a piplup, and even if he was one of the larger and, ahem, healthier examples of his species, he was still tiny compared to most older pokémon. Physically having to look upwards to meet the eyes of others wasn't something he enjoyed doing... Still, he didn't need physical stature to convince himself of own worth. The only worth he needed convincing of was the worth of the terrifyingly overpriced tea he proceeded to pay for, from atop the stepping stool...! I know tea isn't this expensive to make, my money must be going towards maintaining the atmosphere. Either way, he paid for his drink and stepped down, back onto the lobby floor.

With that settled, it was time to reunite with Darcy and Alki, who by then would probably have found the bath house's entrance. He crossed the lobby, and went through one doorless archway, leading to a hallway that, while probably large to a lot of pokémon, was doubly large to Clovis, who couldn't manage a foot and a half. It was exquisitely designed with fluffy carpets that always felt good on the feet. It was helpfully labelled with signs directing patrons to wherever they wanted to go. But its size, its magnificent size, was frankly a feat all its own. The little piplup followed the very informative signs, across the very large hallways, until he reached the very definitely definite location of the Steamrise bath house.

Without entering any of the individual bath rooms, Clovis could see neither Darcy nor Alki. There were multiple doors within the spa leading to different rooms, so it was possible that the two had already entered one of them. One door was clearly marked with a masculine blue symbol, while another was marked in the same place with a pink, feminine symbol. Naturally, this presented a problem. That being, he clearly wasn't allowed to bathe in the same room as the other two pokémon. Bathing by himself was fine, of course, but he'd at least like for the two of them to be aware that he wouldn't be bathing with them.

He pushed the feminine door open with his flippers, and felt a sudden spike in both air temperature and humidity. From where he stood, he could see large windows, revealing the natural landscape outside, many baths, radiating steam, and two pokémon, Alki and Darcy. The two of them were simply floating in water, holding onto the bath's edge, and probably enjoying themselves. He intended to tell the both of them about how he would have to use the gentlemon's bath instead of the ladies', and stood in the doorway, with the door half-open, waving at the two of them. "Darcy!" He called. "Could you spare a moment?"

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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:53 pm

Alki closed her eyes, the heat of the pool calming her nerves, allowing her to forget her troubles and worries in this new place momentarily.   “I-I’m sure your family would be impressed, I mean… it’s hard not to be, with this place.” She said, opening her eyes and observing the surroundings for the umpteenth time. Everything was so lavish and fancy, from the marble walls to the tiles on the walls, and probably floor, of the pools, to the large wooden doors that separated the hallway from the baths. This was more wealth than Alki had seen, and perhaps would ever see in her life.

She closed her eyes again, staring at the edge of the pool, where her hand was holding on. Should she take a risk? Surely she could float? Igglybuff, and even Jigglypuff were known as “Balloon Pokemon”, and a balloon was certainly lighter than water… Alki let go of the rim, tentatively and slowly, ready to regrab the ledge at a moment’s notice. But there was no need, because she floated! She looked down at her body, barely submerged in the water. She dipped lower, halfway submerged, before she bobbed up again, like an apple in a barrel. She submerged herself completely, and still, she bobbed up, and this merited laughter. Not just a giggle, instead, she closed her eyes and laughed like it was the funniest thing she’d ever seen. It certainly wasn’t, but the mere absurdity of her floating , and in such a nice pool too, had her nearing tears of laughter, especially with Darcy right next to her. A few seconds passed, before she responded to Darcy’s statements regarding the Igglybuff’s size.

“Sure, I mean… yeah, being small has some merits, but… its just, I dont know. It’d be hard to make a name for myself at the guild, being this small. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong… let’s just enjoy the pool, I guess?”  She said, her reply quickly turning much sadder and mopey than she’d initially meant it to. Alki watched quietly as Darcy began to dip into the pool as well, the Skitty much more nervous about the water than even Alki had been. The reason soon became apparent, as Darcy nervously proclaimed that she couldn’t reach the bottom. Understanding, and then a sense of uselessness washed over the Igglybuff. This was certainly a situation where size would be useful, but what could a 2 pound, floating balloon do? “O-Oh. Um… I-I’ll… g-go get Clovis.” She said, as she paddled slowly to the edge of the pool, before reaching towards the ledge to get herself up. As she slowly scrabbled up the edge of the pool, she heard an awfully familiar and fancy voice ring out across the room. Just the voice she wanted to hear!

“O-Oh! Clovis!” She exclaimed, as she tugged on the Piplup’s flipper. Thankfully, she was clean, although she didn’t realize until after she’d touched the Piplup. “Erm… neither of us know how to swim, and… well, I’m lucky enough to float, but… Skitty don’t exactly have that luxury. So could you stay with us, a bit? Darcy needs some help… ” She mumbled, embarrassed in part that they needed to ask the water type for help like this, but mostly, she just felt thankful he was there. She tugged again on his flipper as if to lead the way, towards the Skitty who was struggling not to fall into the pool. Hopefully, Clovis would be able to fix the situation quickly, and spare her sister of any further embarrassment.
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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:14 am

"T-thanks, Alki..." Darcy said, staring down at her paws while her sister climbed out of the bath to go look for Clovis.  At least Alki was able to float.  It was safer that way, and it looked like she'd been having fun earlier, in spite of her worries about being such a small Pokemon.  A deep pool of water wasn't a threat to her at all, so surely she would be able to enjoy herself once they were together in a bath shallow enough for a Skitty...

But she would need help for that.  She didn't look up as she heard Clovis' voice ring out through the room, instead continuing to stare at her dirt-matted paws.  She had certainly not left a good impression on Alki's friend, first approaching him while covered in mud, and now finding herself stuck in a bathtub of all things.  She wished none of it had happened.  Clovis seemed like such a mysterious Pokemon, with the way he was so comfortable in this place.  Certainly nothing like herself...

...And as she continued staring at her paws, she realized that they were still very muddy.  She blushed harder.  He wouldn't even want to touch her, would she.  "U-uhmm...  Right.  I-I can't quite reach the bottom, and I can't pull myself out on my own..." she mumbled, sinking a little deeper so that she wouldn't have to look at him.  "I-I, umm...  I-it would be nice, if you could help me up...  If you want to..."

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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:50 am

Alki noticed Clovis' entry quite quickly, and scurried over to him. She looked much better now, dripping with water instead of muck. She was so clean, for once, that Clovis did not object to her grabbing and pulling on his flipper, however sudden it was. She said his name and tugged on him, before explaining that Darcy could neither swim nor float, and that she needed some assistance from him. That didn't sound very good at all, really. Not just because Darcy was having difficulties, but also because he had come to tell them, explicitly, about how he would not be bathing with them.

Darcy spoke up from in her little pool, and asked for some help herself. She couldn't reach the bottom of the bath, and she wasn't able to pull herself up. Really, this sounded like it was her own fault above all else. But her pleading, humiliated voice was difficult to ignore, as was the igglybuff's grip on his wing. "Alright, Darcy." He let himself be moved over to where Darcy barely kept her grip on the pool's edge, and reached down to grab the both of her paws. Unfortunately for the two involved, however, the weight of the skitty far exceeded that of the piplup. Immediately upon wrapping his flippers around Darcy's paws, Clovis was forced downwards by the inability of his wings alone to support the skitty's weight. He lost his foothold, and was dragged onto the hard ground outside of the pool, temporarily losing his ability to hold the skitty up as he fell flat on his stomach.

Impact with the ground forced a sudden exhale, leaving Clovis with little breath to dish out a brief insult at the skitty for literally dragging him down. "Arceus, girl! What have they been feeding you?" He wheezed, seemingly ignorant of his own pudge. No matter how much he pulled, the skitty just seemed to be too heavy to be lifted up high above the water. In one last attempt to solve the issue from land, Clovis gave a significantly effort-intensive tug. But it was no good. Rather than achieving his goal and getting Darcy high enough to climb out, the pull managed to slide Clovis forwards, plummeting him headfirst into the hot, steam-giving pool that Darcy had been stuck in. He had no grip on the skitty's paw after having his head seemingly boiled by the staggeringly warm bath water. It had been so sudden, and so shocking of a change in temperature, Clovis' face would probably have turned red from burning, had it not been for the feathers covering his skin.

On his way in, Clovis had indeed foreseen what was happening and had taken a quick breath before being submerged. His swimming instincts were still there while he was in the water, but the massive temperature transition between the water and the outside shook him up enough to delay Clovis righting himself. In the seconds it took for him to come to his senses, Darcy certainly would have been through quite a lot...

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