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 A Mildly Curious Meetings

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Mada

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

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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   Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:52 am

Alki couldn’t do much of anything, really, as Clovis seemed rather wrapped up with Darcy. The Igglybuff stood to the side, giving the much larger Piplup room to work at getting Darcy out of the pool. It’s not like she could help. She was tiny, for one, compared to both Pokemon, and she wasn’t exactly the picture of raw strength. This whole situation seemed rather unfortunate for everyone involved, didn’t it? Alki pretended not to hear the casual insult Clovis tossed Darcy’s way. She didn’t really have a right to complain about it, after all. She’d kicked him in the stomach to wake him up, back in Shadowhue. To be fair, she was very afraid, but an insult wasn’t much compared to that… She heard a loud splash come from the bath, making her jump at the sound. She bounced closer. Would she have to use Heal Pulse? Would she get yelled at for doing that? The rules of the place weren’t particularly clear, after all.

Thankfully, as Alki bounced closer, it would seem she wouldn’t have to do anything of the sort. The sound had been solely of Clovis falling into the water. Everything was certainly unfortunate for everyone involved. She hesitantly walked the last few paces towards Darcy, wrapping her hands around the Skitty’s paw. She let go almost immediately though, before searching for Darcy’s eyes. “Is… is it ok, if I help, Darcy?”. Some part of her knew this wasn’t reasonable, of course she should help, Darcy was afraid and even if she wasn’t the best sort of help, it was better than nothing? But at the same time, she felt such a powerful urge, a need, to get Darcy’s approval for this. And while she felt confused, perhaps a bit foolish, she didn’t take it back, and she didn’t grab her paw to help. She needed Darcy to tell her… she lowered her eyes, feeling shame at not being able to summon up the courage to take initiative by herself.
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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:29 pm

Darcy sighed with relief.  Thank goodness Clovis was willing to help.  She gave Alki a grateful glance as she tugged him forward, the Piplup leaning down to wrap his flippers around her paws...

But the instant he grabbed hold of her forelegs, she felt her whole body lurch deeper into the water as her weight yanked Clovis onto the ground.  Darcy watched with shock and surprise for a moment, not sure what had just happened...  But the Piplup's muttered insult answered that question soon enough.  "I-I...  Uhh...  S-sorry..." Darcy mumbled, her voice barely audible.  She looked away and felt more embarrassed than ever.  ...Was he right?  Did she really eat too much?  She knew she wasn't a very good guild member, or even a very good Pokemon in general, but...  Was she really overweight, too..?

Clovis gave one last tug, clearly throwing all of his strength into trying to help her out.  The Skitty still couldn't bring herself to look at him, but she scrabbled against the side of the bath with her hind paws, hoping to be at least a little helpful...  But it wasn't enough.  Her body lurched back into the water once again and the Piplup was yanked in along with her as he lost his footing.

For a moment, her head dipped beneath the water and she lost both of her handholds.  She felt a brief and intense moment of panic.  But thank the heavens, it ended as quickly as it began--she flailed about helplessly in the water, and one of her paws found the edge of the bath again.  Panting, humiliated, and dripping wet, she pulled herself back up to the edge of the bath like before while she felt Clovis right himself in the water behind her, probably ready to swim to a shallower part of the bath and climb out.  The miserable Skitty gave him a glance over her shoulder.  She wished she could swim like that.  But she didn't even dare to try sidling along the edge of the bath, looking for shallower water.  If only she didn't have four legs, holding herself afloat like this would have felt so much less awkward and scary...

...And she hadn't noticed them until now.  But when she looked closely, she saw steps leading into the water at the opposite edge of the bath.  She looked away and stared at her paws, her cheeks burning red with embarrassment.  She was an idiot, wasn't she.

She felt Alki touch her paws for a short moment, but the Skitty couldn't even bring herself to look up at her closest friend.  "J-just...  Just go away..." she mumbled, squeezing her eyes shut and letting herself sink a little deeper.  She didn't want Alki to see her like this.  She had done nothing but mess things up since stepping inside of this building.  First embarrassing the two of them in front of one of Alki's few friends.  Then getting hopelessly stuck in a bathtub, of all things.  And then being so heavy that her weight yanked Alki's Piplup friend in along with her.  All when there were stairs at the other end of the bath, as if taunting her for being so dumb and reckless and useless...

...Still...  None of it was any excuse for being brash with Alki...  The Skitty immediately felt a sharp pang of guilt on top of all of the humiliation dragging her down.  "I-I'm sorry, Alki.  You and Clovis...  Just go ask a bigger Pokemon to come help me, alright?" she mumbled.  "T-then you two should go have fun together by yourselves.  I-I think I want to go to our room for a while.  I-I'll...  Come join you later, maybe..."

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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:50 pm

"Pah! Peh! Pfpth!" The piplup sputtered and spat a bit of water out of his beak as he resurfaced in the hot pool water, having been dragged into the supposedly relaxing bath in an altogether unrelaxing manner. Trying to pull Darcy up must have been a mistake- who knew that skitty were so heavy? Or were piplup just small? No, it must have been the skitty's fault. Getting stuck in a bath and then dragging Clovis down with her... how did that happen, anyway? Clovis cast a glance over towards the steps which led into the shallow end of the bath, both an easy way in and an easy way out. It ought not be too hard for Darcy to shuffle towards the steps, right? But she hadn't. Perhaps she was scared? But this water really wasn't very deep. Excessively warm, perhaps, but not deep.

Of course, Clovis and Darcy hadn't been the only ones in the room. Alki too, had seen the skitty drag him down into the water, and must have been struck with some concern as a result. The igglybuff approached Darcy, and after briefly touching her paws, asked permission to help Darcy out, in a sense. But with an ashamed look on what little Clovis could see of her face from his angle, the skitty refused her help, told her to go away, and let herself sink just a little bit deeper in the water. Probably isn't a good feeling, all that getting stuck in a bath and being too heavy to be rescued and whatnot. Despite the obvious embarrassment, Darcy was still willing to give Alki an apology. But she also seemed to have, in a sense, given up on trying to improve her situation. Darcy told the both of them to go and fetch someone bigger. To fetch someone more capable of getting Darcy out, and to go and enjoy themselves without her.

Well now, just what could be meant by this? Clovis wasn't good enough for this, was he? Oh, how he resented the implication! There was no need to involve any unfortunate passerby, right? He was here, and he was a water-type! He could get her out just fine. If he couldn't, well, maybe the skitty really did need to lay off the berries. With a shake of his head, Clovis announced his discontent with Darcy's suggestion. "Oh, no. That's no good. I didn't fall in here just to leave you behind, Miss Darcy. Now, hold still." Kicking his legs to stay afloat, Clovis approached the skitty, and wrapped a single flipper underneath the two front paws with which she held onto the edge of the bath. Hopefully, the skitty was buoyant enough to be carried to the shallow end without too much physical strain, though she would have to let go of the edge first. The piplup gave a little tug, as if asking for Darcy to let go of the side of the bath. If she didn't, then maybe he could tug a little harder?

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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:17 am

“G-Go Away?” Alki repeated, loosening her hold on the Skitty’s paw, unsure of what to do. That hadn’t been the answer she was expecting. Darcy was quite clearly still stuck, and Alki stared at the paw, confusion mounting within her. She couldn’t just disobey now, could she? That wouldn’t be right. Alki looked up at Darcy, searching for her eyes, but finding tears instead. The sort of tears that took a hold of her heart and squeezed, if only because they seemed so, so familiar. The sort of tears that had kept her up at night in her old house, or in the night-time by the pond as she hid from the kids that seemed intent on making her life miserable. Darcy was crying like that too, now, and Alki had no idea on how to make her feel better. The only reason she didn’t still cry like that was because she’d found people who cared about her and liked her. But Darcy had Alki, right there in front of her…

Unless Alki wasn’t a good enough friend? What else could be going on, why else would Darcy be crying like that? Sure, she’d fallen into the bathtub, but that had happened to Alki before too, on a guild-mission no less. Alki didn’t want to see Darcy crying… it was horrible. It was too much like her, and Alki didn’t want anyone to feel like she had. Most certainly not her sister! Alki’s eyes drifted to the stairs that Darcy seemed to have focused on. Alki’s heart dropped ever lower, as Alki realized just how humiliating that must feel.

“D-Darcy, don’t… don’t cry, please, don’t feel bad, I’m… I’ve done much worse in the past, its not… don’t beat yourself up for it...” Alki mumbled, tugging lightly on the paw, if only to remind Darcy that Alki was still there, beside her. She wasn’t one to judge when she’d done so many stupid things in the past, things that had run the risk of hurting her teammates and friends. Darcy didn’t deserve to feel like that. Alki sat herself down next to the Skitty’s paws, patting them softly, and she realized her own large, round eyes were wet as well. She hoped she wouldn’t have to say anything more. No one was looking at her, at least.

The Igglybuff blinked back tears, taking more than a few seconds to compose herself before risking a glance back at the pool. Clovis seemed to be busying himself with continuing to help the Skitty. He told her to hold still, and Alki took a second look back at the stairs. If he couldn’t pull her up, she supposed the next best thing was to lead her to the stairs. Alki patted the Skitty’s paws a few more times. “D-Darcy, I… I think Clovis wants you to let go, t-to, to, um, get you to the stairs...” She said, trying her best to make herself heard, but her voice was squeakier than usual. It wasn’t her place to be giving instructions, but if it was Alki, perhaps the Skitty would be less inclined to cry. Maybe it’d be less humiliating, coming from her than from Clovis. That’s what she hoped, anyways...
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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:30 pm

Darcy kept her eyes shut tight, not wanting to see Alki's reaction.  What if she felt confused, or awkward, or hurt..?  It would all be the Skitty's own fault.  She would need to apologize later, when her emotions weren't running so high, and she was no longer on the brink of crying, but...  At the moment, she just wanted things to be over, with as little fuss as possible...  It hurt to feel so dumb and helpless.  And it hurt even worse to think about the kind of impression she had left on Alki's friend.  She just wanted to be alone, so she could have some time to herself to forget about all of this, to get her feelings under control before she apologized to everyone...

But Alki didn't leave.  Darcy felt the Igglybuff's hands take hold of her paw again, and the surprise made her look up and blink her eyes open.  Alki was staring down at her, her big, round eyes full of emotion, but...  Not with any of the emotions Darcy had expected.  Alki didn't look sad about being unable to help, or hurt about being asked to leave.

...Her eyes were full of deep, sorrowful understanding.

Darcy blinked again and stared up at her friend.  ...In spite of herself, she was glad that Alki hadn't left.  It was a relief to know she wasn't upset.  And...  Her words were equal parts comforting and touching.  Of course Alki would never judge her, and of course Alki didn't want her to be sad, but...  It was because Alki had felt this way too, in the past. Perhaps at the guild, perhaps at home...  ...It was the kind of thought that made Darcy want to scoop Alki up with a hug, to take her somewhere safe and to tell her that everything would be alright.  ...But...  This time, it looked like Alki wanted to do the same for her...

"I-I...  Alright," Darcy said, closing her eyes and taking a deep, shaky breath.  Perhaps she had been foolish to get herself into this situation, but...  If Alki didn't care...  Well, why should she care either?  She looked up again and gave Alki a small, shy smile.  "...I'm okay.  I won't cry or anything.  I'm sorry for making you worry like that, I'm just...  Well, I'm just glad that you're patient with me."  ...Of course Alki would never be put off by something simple.  Darcy laughed a tiny bit at how embarrassed she had been.  After their experience together in Cattail Marsh, she should have known as much.

...But of course, Clovis' thoughts wouldn't be quite so simple!  He wasn't making fun of her, but he did refuse to follow her instructions after he righted himself in the water and took stock of the situation.  In no time at all he was at her side, placing a flipper beneath her mud-caked paws and tugging while giving her an expectant look.

Darcy stared back at him with disbelief, a wide, half-confused and half-panicked smile on her face.  Sure enough, Alki confirmed her suspicions--he wanted her to let go of the side of the bath.  He was a water type, so she supposed it made sense.  But all the same, she found herself protracting her claws and tightening her grip.  She...  She couldn't touch the bottom!  He had caught that, hadn't he?  She felt too shy to say it, but Clovis was so small..!  Would he really be able to carry so much deadweight..?  "I, uh, well, you know, I'm no good at swimming," she stammered.  "I think, maybe, I-I might be too heavy, and--"

Before she could finish her sentence he tugged a little harder and her wet paws lost their grip on the slick marble floor.  She squeaked with panic and did the only thing she could think of--she threw both of her paws around around the Piplup and squeezed for dear life.  Closing her eyes and holding her breath out of fear, she hoped that hadn't taken on a task he wouldn't be capable of finishing.

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PostSubject: Re: A Mildly Curious Meetings   Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:43 am

Of all the places to cry, a bath would probably have been one of the better ones--it's difficult to tell the difference between tears and pool water. For a moment there, during Alki and Darcy's little emotional trip, it seemed as though one of them had come pretty close to crying. Clovis hadn't paid too much attention to what they had said, in truth, as the matters of patience and whatever Alki had done previously weren't really his business nor very interesting to begin with. If Darcy wanted to get out swiftly and with dignity, Clovis figured, it would behoove her to stop chatting with her companion and holding still on the bath's edge without trying to help herself.


With his flippers wrapped underneath the skitty's forelegs, Clovis gave a series of tugs, ignoring Darcy's claim that she was too poor of a swimmer and too heavy to be taken through the water and towards the stairs. It wasn't as if he would actually have to carry her, right? In the water, all he would really need to do was keep her steady as she floated naturally. With one tug, another tug, and a particularly forceful tug, Darcy's hold ceased. Perhaps she had let go willingly, or perhaps she had lost her grip-- her reaction seemed to imply the latter. Darcy flung her paws around the piplup in a desperate manner and held on tightly, weighing him down in the water by extension. With his eyes wide open, Clovis let out a gasp at the tightness of how she clung, suddenly having to kick his feet and wave his arms around quite a bit faster to accommodate for the skitty's added weight. An element of the skitty's natural flotation remained, of course, and by leaning his head and body parts backwards, Clovis attempted to distance himself from Darcy while she held onto him, so as to avoid being dragged down.


Splishing and splashing, the piplup exhausted himself with trying to move and keep both heads above water. He had been in something of a similar situation before, and there was less distance to cover here, as this time he was contending with a pool rather than an ocean, but those oshawott had been a lot less frightened, and a lot less heavy, too. In a series of wearing, difficult swimming strokes, Clovis carved his way through the few yards of thick, warm bath water with the skitty sort of in tow. When he reached the steps, he'd attempt to release the skitty as early as possible to to rid himself of her burdening weight. "Alright, alright..." he panted.

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