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 Reunion

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Eventine

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PostSubject: Reunion   Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:08 am

First topic message reminder :

Continued from this thread!:
 

The outskirts of Grassveil Town were a beautiful place.  They lived up to their name, perhaps even more so than the town itself--anywhere you looked, your eyes would be greeted by bright, vibrant green, be it in the form of grass or trees or bushes.  It was a paradise for Pokemon native to meadows or forests, so it was no surprise that Grassveil Town had grown so large, nestled right in the center...

But to a certain Skitty, neither Grassveil Town nor any of the other fields and forests surrounding it were as beautiful as the little forest trail she was trotting along today.  Every tree she passed and every boulder the trail wrapped around made her more and more excited than the last, until she was practically prancing forward, unable to keep still or to stop smiling and pointing out every little detail she recognized to her traveling companion.

"We're close now.  Really, really close," she said while purring and rubbing up against a tall oak tree.  "This tree is how we know where to turn!  The path doesn't go straight to our house, so we'll have to walk through the grass for a little while.  Sometimes visitors have trouble finding it, so when we know someone new is coming my sisters and my little brother and I will play out here and wait for them to walk by..."

She trotted forward again and gazed to the right of the path, down a long, narrow field bordered by more tall and shady trees.  The Skitty's excitement seemed to reach a peak, walking in circles and almost breaking into a run to chase her tail while she waited for her Igglybuff friend to catch up.  "I think you're going to love it here!  I have sooo much to show you," she said.

She forced herself to come to a stop, sitting on her haunches and regarding Alki with a big smile, though her tail continued wagging back and forth.  "And I think you'll like everyone.  They all really love getting visitors.  Just, umm..." she said, her voice faltering a bit and her tail slowing down.  "If they ever get too overbearing, and you need some space to yourself, tug on my fur, alright?  You've always been kind of shy, and, umm...  Well, we don't get visitors very often.  My little siblings don't always, umm...  Know when they're crossing boundaries."

She gave Alki an apologetic glance, her tail coming to a stop altogether.  "And...  My mom and dad will probably want to talk with you a lot, too," she said.  "...I've never been here with a teammate before.  I've...  Well, you know I've had a few teammates before you, Alki, but...  None of them have stuck around long enough for something like this.  And...  I think that might have been a good thing, 'cause..."

She looked up again and shook her head, suddenly blushing.  "Well, don't worry about it.  Just let me know if they ever get too weird, okay?  I'll make sure they give you some space."

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PostSubject: Re: Reunion   Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:23 am

Alki’s pained expression had been visible to the family gathered around them. When she looked up they’d been leaning into her, their eyes downcast with doubt and worry. Her own breathing was a tad uneven, bumpy with exertion. Her own hands were shaking and perspiration lined her fur. She’d done a lot more with Heal Pulse than she’d ever done in the past. Yet even with that knowledge of her new upper boundary, she couldn’t be happy with it. Her best hadn’t helped. The Delcatty had stood up momentarily, before falling to the ground again; aside from Alki’s aching muscles and numb foot, she would have nothing to show for her work.

“I… I’m sorry...” She said again, closing her eyes as she exhaled, ragged and out of breath. The disappointment in the air couldn’t be more apparent to her. It hung thick and it took quite a bit of effort to suppress another whimper, both from pain and embarrassment. Her feet were still numb, she could barely feel them. Then there was the issue of the Skitty and her father, who was approaching her, laying close to the floor just like Darcy had done so many times at the guild. Alki met his eyes, wondering what he would say. He seemed disappointed, the slight dullness in his eyes and the small frown he wore on his face told her that, not to mention the way his ears seemed to droop, just like Darcy’s.

The girl opened her eyes and met his gaze, before flickering back to her small, pained feet. She certainly had things to apologize for. She hadn’t sent any money here. If she had, perhaps things would’ve turned out different for Darcy’s family. Her abilities had clearly left a lot to be desired. If a real healer had come and used Heal Pulse or some other sort of healing move, they would’ve been more helpful. Instead, Thia and Rosa and Darcy were stuck with her inexperienced and weak abilities. Alki bit her lip, keeping the apologetic reply in her mouth. “Ok...” She mumbled, still gazing down at her feet instead of at Rosa.

Darcy sidled up beside her, attempting to comfort her further. She hadn’t helped as much as she should have. She could probably do more. Perhaps if she went at it for only a few minutes longer, like those Pokemon in hospitals or clinics could do, then she’d be healed. Thia began to thank her, telling her how good it was that Alki had been with Darcy all this time, how good she felt even though anyone could tell that everyone in the room was disappointed, and worst of all, how they should go up to their room.

“I-I can help more, Darcy...” She half-whispered. Alki began to focus again on her Heal Pulse. Immediately, pain. More sudden and focused than the numbness she’d experienced before. It shot into both her feet, bringing tears to her eyes as she fell back into a sitting position. Caught off guard, she gasped and blinked rapidly, trying to keep the tears of pain from coming back into her eyes. She rubbed her feet, not noticing her own panting as she gazed at the things. If only she were less of a wimp.

“J-Just gimme a few seconds...” she mumbled, knowing full well that it would take more than a few seconds to remedy her pain. Her eyes were narrowed, struggling to keep her small tears from falling. No, focus on that. Not her feet. She closed her eyes tightly, rubbing them vigorously for a few seconds before reopening them and blinking, as if testing the floodgates. She couldn’t cry in Darcy’s house. She wouldn’t. No, her eyes were behaving now. “I really am sorry...” She mumbled, forgetting Rosa’s words for only a moment, before remembering them again and shooting him a shy glance. “Sorry… err, yeah...”

But if she couldn’t help, there was nothing much to do here. Not until she felt better. Alki stood up, wobbly on her feet. Darcy offered her a ride, which Alki refused. She was a guild-member, and even if she was in pain, Alki wanted to seem like one in front of her parents. She gazed at them, her eyes round both with pain and worry that she had lost points with Darcy’s family.

“I… I can help later, if you guys want?” She mumbled, looking up at the Delcatty, switching between the two, as she was unsure on who to address. “I’ll probably have it in me later...” Then again, the promise of rest sounded quite nice. Alki walked forwards, towards the staircase. The rooms were up there, right? Bouncing was difficult, and the Igglybuff favored her left foot as she walked. She struggled to climb the steps, before looking back at Darcy. She mouthed the words to her: “This way, right?”

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PostSubject: Re: Reunion   Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:40 am

Poor Alki.  A sad, uneasy frown came over Darcy's face at the sight of her sister trying to use Heal Pulse again, the Igglybuff instantly whimpering even more.  And worst of all, she was trying to apologize.  ...Maybe asking her to push herself had been a bad idea.  "Don't worry about it, Alki," Darcy murmured gently as she accompanied her sister to the stairs.  "...You did a good job.  It was more than I could ever do, y'know..."

She stuck right beside the Igglybuff as she led her upstairs, mindful to keep her pace slow.  She wished Alki would have agreed to ride on her back, but whatever she was more comfortable with...  Even given Alki's short legs, it wasn't long before they reached the second floor.  They entered a small, square room, with another small bookshelf on their left and one door in front of them and one behind.  The door behind them was shut fast...  But the one in front was wide open, and it was the one Darcy led Alki through.

...Even in spite of her worries for Alki, the sight before them made Darcy smile.  It was her bedroom.  A grin on her face, she hopped down a shallow flight of stairs into a big, semi-circular room, sunshine streaming in through the floor-to-ceiling windows on the far side that opened out into bushy flower gardens just like the ones in the front yard.  There was even a door leading outside.  Darcy wanted to open it up and show Alki the gardens right away, but...  Well, that would have to wait.

"Here we are.  I think our bed is big enough for all of us.  Does this look okay?" she said as she pranced towards a big pile of blankets and pillows spread out across the far corner of the room.  "I know it's not as tidy as our beds at the guild...  But it's a lot bigger, huh?  What do you think?"

She took a seat amidst the blankets and grinned at Alki, waiting for her to step inside.  ...Of course, the bed wasn't the only interesting part of the room.  The floor was covered by a big, round carpet, just like the room downstairs.  And that was to say nothing of the toybox beneath one of the windows, overflowing with simple plush dolls and a few balls of yarn, or the shelf full of colorful picture books Darcy was sure Alki would love, or either of the closed chests by the door leading outside...  Darcy sighed.  So many things to show her sister.  She shuddered with excitement.  But of course, Alki needed a nap first.  The Skitty herself was feeling quite tired, too...

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PostSubject: Re: Reunion   Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:20 am

“Sure, but only because you don’t know heal pulse,” The Igglybuff scrambled up the stairs, each step a struggle with her numb feet. More than a couple times, she found herself climbing the steps with her arms as well. She should’ve known better than to work so hard. There was only so much endurance her pitiful self possessed. Talent? Power? Forget it. She hadn’t helped Darcy’s mom. If she were a good guild-member, she could’ve done that. Maybe not cured her completely, but she should’ve been able to help a bit, she should be capable of changing something. She should be, but she wasn’t. She exhaled as she reached the air, both from the tingly pain that still plagued her, and her own internal bullying. “If you did know a move like it, you probably could’ve done more.” There was no emotion lacing her voice, bitter, sad, or anything else. It was nothing more than a simple statement of facts. The sky is blue, grass is green, and Darcy’s better than Alki.

Alki bit her lip, stopping herself from speaking anymore. Darcy didn't like these statements, she'd told her to stop saying those things, way back during their mission in Shadowhue. She'd agreed to that. She didn't want to disregard her wishes when Alki was in her house. “I just wish I'd have helped more.” She let the words linger, unsure what they were supposed to mean. Was her wish that she would've stayed longer, or that she would have done a better job? A bit of both, she concluded, before following the Skitty through the unlocked door.

The Igglybuff's frown lessened as the pleasant sight greeted her. The child's eyes lit up with exhausted joy at the size of the bed. Compared to her miniscule bed at the guild, this was a treasure! The bookshelf in the corner was crammed with colorful looking books, the sort that Darcy had read to her while she was learning to read. A chest was overflowing with toys, and Alki grabbed the nearest one: a ball of yarn. The child closed her eyes, giggling as her earlier worries were momentarily forgotten. She tossed the large, red ball of yarn up, and caught it. Up and down, up and down. She watched a loose thread dangle and wave as it rose and fell. She grabbed it by it's thread, fascinated as the cord in her hand grew longer, and the ball rolled away. The chest was full of toys, and they all seemed so fun! There were so many books, even a couple of larger ones that didn't seem quite as colorful as the others. The Igglybuff grabbed one of those, smiling as she flipped through the pages. She limped from one area of the sunny room to the other, unsure of what to start with. There were even a couple closed chests by the other door. But the longer she limped around, the more the pain in her grew. The bed seemed awfully nice. The Igglybuff scrambled atop it, and lay down amidst the pillows, staring up at the Skitty.

“B-by all of us, you do mean just us, right?” Alki mumbled. Sharing a room with Amber didn't sound pleasant. Her eyes already began to feel heavy, and it was a struggle to keep them open. A yawn rocked her small frame, but she kept on talking. “Thank you for bringing me… I'm sorry I couldn't help more. I'll try again tomorrow, or… or later, but… I really appreciate it.” Alki hugged the pillow she was currently holding, flipping onto her side and letting her body relax. “Thank you so much, Darcy. I won't let you down tomorrow… good night!” She yawned again, and the Igglybuff did not last long at all before she was fast asleep.


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PostSubject: Re: Reunion   Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:34 am

Seeing Alki's eyes light up made Darcy giggle.  It was good to see her cheer up a little after being so harsh on herself.  And it was good to see that she liked the room they'd be staying in, her eyes darting about like she didn't know what to ask about first!  But it seemed that the toybox won the battle for her attention first, the Igglybuff bouncing towards it and picking up one of the smaller balls of yarn...  Darcy climbed into the bed and smiled while she watched Alki investigate the rest of the room, stumbling from the toybox to the bookshelves, and finally to the bed, climbing in right beside her...

...Although she looked away sheepishly when Alki spoke up again.  "Well..." the Skitty said.  No, she hadn't meant just the two of them.  If only they were wealthy enough that they didn't need to share rooms.  But before Darcy could break the bad news, Alki was yawning and hugging a pillow, apologizing one more time, her voice growing quieter and quieter as she settled down on her side...  "Goodnight, Alki," Darcy said, smiling and wrapping her tail around the Igglybuff.  "Thanks again for coming with me.  It really means a lot..."

She stayed there for a long moment.  She didn't want to leave her best friend behind just yet, even if she was sleeping.  ...But there was still the rest of her family to spend time with.  And she needed to tell her parents to save the tea for later!  With how exhausting their trip had been, it would go cold long before Alki would wake up, Darcy thought...  With a sigh, she gave Alki one last nuzzle with her cheek, then rose to her feet and left the room, pulling the door shut behind her as quietly as she could manage...

---

Orange sunlight streamed through the room's windows, the day finally nearing an end.  But the room remained quiet and undisturbed.  The ball of yarn was still strewn across the floor, and the door was still shut.  For hours, it had been the perfect place to sleep...  But finally, a noise broke the peaceful atmosphere.  A scratching sound at the door, and a thin, high voice, just barely audible...  "Hey...  Hey, Darce, you there..?" it rang.  It was pallid and shallow compared to before...  But it was the voice of Amber.

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PostSubject: Re: Reunion   Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:41 am

Alki was not usually a snorer. The little Igglybuff usually slept rather restless and silently, even if her dreams tended to be a bit troubled. Today, however, she slept soundly. Ever since she'd met the Vulpix in the snowy woods, this had been a rare occurrence, but her dreams were relaxing, and not stressful in the least. It was a tad dull, perhaps, but after the day's events, Alki quite liked the peaceful monotony of her dream. Soon, the dream gave way to nothingness, which Alki also enjoyed. She found the stresses she'd been worrying about so much slowly melting away, and as the hours passed, she began to feel better and better.

A soft, nervous scratching met the Igglybuff. At first, she thought it was simply part of another dream. A new one, but dreams didn't have to make sense. But the scratching continued, and louder. The scratching echoed in her mind, and as she opened her eyes just a crack, she met the blinding light of the sun. For a moment, she found herself confused. That certainly wasn't the pale, morning light she was used to seeing shortly upon waking up. It seemed more like afternoon. Alki sighed and propped herself up, letting her feet dangle over the edge of the bed. She hadn't slept nearly as long as she thought. It had still been rather pleasant. It took some time to get her eyes readjusted to the light, but once they were, she hopped out of bed and approached the large door.

“I'm coming, wait a second.” She said, perhaps a bit early. If the Igglybuff had waited for just a second, perhaps she would've noted the squeakier tone of the voice, as well as the nervous nature of it. But she didn't wait, and now that her own words were out, it was too late to take them back. But even as she opened the door, she knew that Darcy would not be the Skitty to greet her.

The Igglybuff sagged, her eyes nervously flickering between the Skitty's paws and her face as she opened the door. “H-Hello, Amber.” She squeaked out, pushing the door back and forth between her hands. “I just woke up, and… well, I don't know where Darcy is.” She stopped playing with the door, focusing instead on the rug beneath her feet. It was very soft. Cozy and warm, it was a far cry from the dirt floor of her childhood home. She kicked up the edge, folding it above her other foot. She stopped, unsure whether closing the door would be appropriate. It was Darcy's sister, after all. Alki wanted to be Darcy's sister. That probably meant she'd have to at least try and get along Darcy's siblings.

“Are you mad at me?” She said. The words rushed out of her mouth, and Alki found her gaze settling on the Skitty's face. “I didn't mean to make you mad, but I'm sorry if I did. Is… um, is there anyway I can make it up to you? I don't want you to hate me…”

Alki searched the Skitty's expression for any sort of sign that she was content with Alki. Or at least tolerating the Igglybuff. The explorer began to fidget with the door again, letting it sway back and forth. The ball of yarn was nearby. Alki slowly moved her gaze from the Skitty to the ball. It was taking too long. Where was Darcy? Alki needed her. She bit her lip and did her best to still her racing heart, but Alki could already began to feel the clamminess in her hands, and her feet were still a bit numb, and somehow getting number even if she wasn't using Heal pulse. Or was that just imagination? Alki awaited an answer as patiently as she could. Hopefully Amber would say something soon. Preferably something positive. Anything would be preferable to the tension she was currently experiencing. Alki came to a rest and squeezed her eyes shut. Her hands tightened their grip on the door. All of her muscles seemed to tense up in anticipation. The answer would come soon.

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"Seeing is believing, and all I'm saying is, I've never seen George Washington." -A classmate
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PostSubject: Re: Reunion   Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:45 pm

The Skitty recoiled as Alki opened the door.  She looked away an uneasy frown came over her face, trying to hide her tear-stained cheeks but not doing a good job of it.  But as the apologies spilled out of Alki's mouth, Amber sighed and made herself look down at the little Igglybuff.  "...N-naw, Alki.  I'm not mad..." she said, taking a deep breath.  "It...  It isn't your fault if you have cool parents.  I'm really sorry for getting so upset earlier."

She stepped inside and pushed the door shut behind her with a paw, casting Alki a sad, apologetic glance.  "...Is it okay if I hide out in here with you for a while?  If Darcy's not in with you, she's probably with Heather and Kyra, and...  And I don't feel like being with so many people right now.  ...B-but I don't wanna be alone, either."

She settled prone on the rug, her gaze locked on the ground.  "...Sorry.  You're probably a better partner for Darcy than I could ever be anyway..."

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PostSubject: Re: Reunion   Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:56 am

Alki's fidgeting lessened as the smaller Skitty explained herself. She claimed she wasn't mad. She certainly didn't seem very mad anymore. She had been angry, but that was not the case anymore. Now, the Skitty only seemed anxious and miserable. The way she seemed to sag, and the redness in both her eyes and her face provided a stark contrast to the light the sunset cast through the wide open windows. Even if Amber claimed to no longer be upset, Alki still felt some guilt. She couldn't have helped it, but it was her own presence that had made the Skitty so dejected. The Igglybuff gazed at the floor, thinking. She stepped to the side, pulling the door open wide along with her. She twisted her mouth into a small, apprehensive frown as the Skitty spoke, but said nothing. She didn't want to make the situation worse, and a misplaced word or two could send the Skitty into a fit of melancholy, or a fit of anger.

"Sure, I don't mind." She said, her voice as silent as the younger Skitty's. "Hide out all you want, it's no big deal." Alki sat down beside the Skitty, although she was careful to not touch her, or lean on her. She'd gotten used to doing that with Darcy. Amber might not like that as much, though. They didn't really know each other. Not like Alki knew Darcy. The Igglybuff pulled her bag close to her body. The downcast mood of the Skitty seemed to be extending to the Igglybuff, and as the Skitty finished, Alki remembered the times she'd been a poor teammate as well. Sure, both Alki and Darcy were apprentices, but that didn't change the fact that Alki had performed rather questionable actions from time to time as well. The mission with Plusle and Minun had succeeded, but that was no thanks to her. Alki had decided to run away from Morty when he had joined, and she'd ended up dragging Darcy along for a ride. Even when they weren't on missions, Alki had a bad habit of putting Darcy in uncomfortable situations. She was small, but for Darcy, she was a very large amount of trouble.

Alki cast a sideways glance at Amber, doing her best to be discreet. The Skitty's tail drooped, and wasn't nearly as energetic as Darcy's often was. She still sagged, as if she were carrying an enormous weight, and her eyes were fixed firmly on the ground. Amber reminded the Igglybuff of herself, and even if Alki was younger, she still couldn't help but feel pity for Amber. She didn't want anyone close to Darcy to feel like she often did. Alki's grip on her guild bag loosened, and she allowed it to fall to her side.

"Hey, Amber, it's... like Darcy said, it was out of necessity. I'm sort of a shi.. terrible teammate." She mumbled, taking some time to pick out her next words. "I'm... well, I needed a place to stay, I guess. Darcy took me in. I haven't been a great teammate so far though. Don't be hard on yourself. Please don't be sad, it's..." Alki paused, wondering what to say next. Her advice probably wasn't the best for Amber. Their situations were different. Totally different. Suggesting she run away from two nice parents was not the advice she should be giving. "It's weird. I'm sure Darcy would be happy to have you. She... well, it'd be nice to have more teammates. I could put in a good word with your parents?"

Alki trailed off, staring at the floor, her reserve of words exhausted. The Igglybuff's advice had sounded so much better in her head. She hoped that the Skitty would like her attempt. With nothing more to add, the Igglybuff picked her bag back up, cradling it as the soft, orange, evening light cast shadows across the room. "I hope you feel better, Amber... I'm really sorry." She mumbled, observing the Skitty out of the corner of her eye as she waited for a reaction.

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PostSubject: Re: Reunion   Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:14 am

The Skitty didn't seem to feel any better as Alki began her mumbling.  But as she explained her situation, one of the Skitty's ears perked up, and she met Alki's eyes, a curious, unhappy smile on her face.  "T-thanks, Alki.  But...  No, please don't do that..." she said, looking away again, her lips trembling like she might start to cry.  "...I've never told this to anyone before.  But to be honest, joining the guild sounds really, really scary to me.  I'm not sure that I could do it."

She stood up and paced over to the ball of yarn, uneasily rolling it back and forth beneath a paw.  "...One time, a couple of years ago...  I went too far from home and got lost in a mystery dungeon once.  Like the ones you guys go to," she said.  "...I was having a lot of fun.  There was so much to explore and it seemed a lot bigger than the forests around here.  ...But I heard a weird noise, and I pushed through some bushes to see what it was, and...  It was a Beedrill nest."

Her claws sank into the yarn, and her fur prickled a little.  "...I got too close, and they saw me, and got angry.  I ran away, but they were faster than me, and I got stung really, really badly.  I found a hole in an old tree after a while and hid inside until they went away.  But I don't know what would have happened if I hadn't been able to get away.  I...  I still have bad nightmares about it sometimes.

"But...  But when I see how sad mom and dad are, and how Darcy is trying to help, I feel like I have to do something!"
she said, batting the ball of yarn away and sitting down as fresh tears began to pool in her eyes.  "...I-I hate it, Alki.  Part of me is a little happy that mom and dad won't let me go.  But I make myself ask them all the time anyway.  I want to help, but I don't know how.  I can do my chores, and help water the gardens, but dad has been selling parts of his book collection and Darcy doesn't even get to live with us anymore.  I-I want things to go back to how they were..."

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PostSubject: Re: Reunion   Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:02 am

The igglybuff listened as the skitty begged her to not help. Alki found this strange. After all, if someone as tiny and pitiful as her could get by at the guild, then surely, a larger, older Pokemon would be much more capable. There was no way such a request could go too wrong. At worst, Alki would lose a bit of brownie points with Rosa and Thia, and while that was certainly bad for the explorer, the skitty had nothing to lose.

Alki cocked her head, not bothering to hide her curiosity and confusion. The skitty was upset, but hadn’t she been bothered that Darcy wouldn’t take her along? That was why she’d been mad. Now, she didn’t want to try and get to the guild? The explorer began to wonder if she should ask Amber about this, but the skitty got up and began to pace, her agitation seemingly growing as she spoke. Alki settled down, her eyes tracking the skitty as she listened.

The story that the skitty launched into had not been expected. Getting attacked by any feral would be terrifying, Alki still had never kept her calm when confronted by feral. But by a whole nest of them? Not to mention Beedrill were scary as far as Pokemon went, especially a whole nest of feral beedrill. Being poisoned was a horrible experience, Alki knew that first hand.

She felt herself loosen up as the skitty finished her story. Alki had been so mesmerized by the story, that she had not had time to think up a proper response. She found herself remembering a meeting she’d had in Grassveil town. That would do. Maybe those words would help Amber, even if they hadn’t helped Alki.

“Well, there’s more… uh, stuff to do in Grassveil. Aside from being a guild member. There’s… um… police. They’re a lot like the guild, though. Less ferals, though? Shops? I don’t know… there’s… other stuff.” She said. The message was out, even if she wasn’t nearly as eloquent about it as before.

The Skitty was crying. Her lips had begun to tremble already, and now that her words were out, the tears in her eyes were unable to be mistaken. Alki looked up from her rambling, wondering how she could comfort the skitty. Clearly, she was worried about her family. Family was important to her, even if Alki wished she could forget her own. “I’ve… I’ll help too. If… well, I didn’t know about any of this. But, uh, I can send some money too. I’ve got a couple… erm, odd jobs coming up, aside from the guild, that might bring in a good amount of money. I’ll bring it over, as soon as I have it. I… promise things’ll get better, Amber. I’ll do my best.”

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PostSubject: Re: Reunion   Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:16 am

Amber sniffed and turned to face the little Igglybuff as she spoke.  She wiped at an eye with the back of one of her paws, trying her hardest to stay composed, but a few shaky gasps escaping her throat regardless.  The claws of her free paw sank into the carpet as Alki tried to suggest some other options.  None of it seemed to console the Skitty, her eyes squeezed shut and her whole body tensed up like it might shatter from frustration and sadness at any moment...

...But then Alki said something strange.  Something that managed to pierce through the stormy rainclouds that seemed to fill Amber's head.  "A-Alki, no, c'mon..." the Skitty said, letting out a tiny half-sob, half-laugh as she blinked her tear-filled eyes open.  "I-I mean...  That's really sweet of you to say.  ...But you have your own family to worry about.  'n' I appreciate it a lot, but I don't think I want you to give up the money you earn just to make me feel better..."

She shuddered and wiped tears from her eyes again, but she seemed steadier and more stable.  She walked over to Alki's side and settled prone on the carpet, staring at her claws, falling silent except for the occasional sniffle.  "But...  But, you know..." she said after a moment.  "...Odd jobs...  I'm not anyone special, but...  I would be really, really happy if you let me come help you.  ...I think mom and dad would let me do that..."

She turned her gaze to Alki, her glistening eyes suddenly carrying a trace of hope.  "What kind of jobs are they?  I, um...  Do you think they could use an extra set of paws..?"

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PostSubject: Re: Reunion   Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:09 pm

“Oh, my family?” Alki managed a small laugh, letting her eyes fall onto the nearby bed rather than Amber. The igglybuff’s voice took on a higher pitch of panic, and no matter how hard she tried to push it down, Alki still heard a tinge of fear in her own voice. “M-My family’s fine! They’re rich, y’know. So… I’d, um, I feel y’all could use it more.” She said, trying to push the panic in her voice down. “I-It’s really no problem, Amber! Really!” She said, punctuating her insistence with a nervous laugh. Amber was pushing all her buttons, and Alki didn’t have the answers. She kept the small smile on her face, if only to try and sell her act, but she knew she’d done a horrible job of acting. She’d just have to fix that, wouldn’t she?

“B-But yeah… m-my family told me they didn’t need money,” she mumbled, looking up at Amber with what she hoped were calmer eyes. “I really want to help you guys, right? Darcy’s done a lot for me...”

The Igglybuff sighed, hoping that Amber would buy her act, but somehow, she doubted it. Amber trotted over to her side and let herself fall prone next to Alki. Of course, Amber had done nothing but ask Alki the worst sort of questions, and the next one was no exception. What sort of odd jobs did she work on? Her jobs certainly were odd, but somehow, Alki doubted that they’d be appealing to the Skitty. To either of the Skitty. She couldn’t tell either of them of what her real job was. That was her secret to keep, and it didn’t just affect her. She wasn’t about to mention the phantoms, especially before they’d actually pulled off a ‘heist’, as Synd’r called them.

But that left the question: What was her job? Something vague enough that she wouldn’t mention it to her siblings, or to her parents. How was she supposed to know what odd jobs were available? She really should’ve thought of a better excuse.

“Um, well, they’re… well, it’s hard, y’know? I sorta just offer my help if anyone needs it, at the, uh, market. Y’know, sometimes vendors want extra help, right? I… well, I sorta don’t have anything regular. Sometimes nobody needs help, sometimes plenty of people need help, right? It wouldn’t hurt to go and ask, sometime, I guess.”

Alki felt a touch of relief. That was a better lie. Hopefully the Skitty would be fine with that explanation. If she wasn’t… well, she’d just have to think of an even better lie next time. With any luck, she’d get through the day just fine. Now she knew better than to just hope nobody would ask her these things, though. She knew she needed better answers for next time. But for now, trying to diffuse the situation was all she could do.

“Um, Amber, I’m… well, I’m sorta hungry. Is there any food?” She turned to face the Skitty, smiling as calmly as she could. Changing the topic seemed appropriate right about now. With any luck, the Skitty would be alright with that.

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PostSubject: Re: Reunion   Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:39 am

"They're rich?" Amber said with a small, curious smile, the shakiness in her voice steadily fading away.  She stood up, taking a long moment to stretch out her body, then began leading the way to the door with her usual bounce back in her step and her tail held a little higher than before.  "...Well, then if you really want to, I guess you could help.  But..."

She placed one paw on the door and paused, looking at Alki over her shoulder.  Her tail flicked restlessly, and her eyes glimmered with something between excitement and shyness.  "A-Alki, Alki, I have an idea," she said.  "Do you think I could go with you next time you head to the market?  And then...  And then, maybe we could have a sleepover at your mom and dad's house?"  She pushed the door open and began leading the way downstairs."Y-y'know, if you want to.  I don't get to go into town all that often, especially now that mom's hurt, and...  I-I kinda, think it would be fun to be friends?  Maybe? We'd get to help mom and dad and Darcy together..."

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PostSubject: Re: Reunion   Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:27 am

Alki didn’t mind Amber at all, really. She’d been a bit angry earlier, and that anger had meant stress for the Igglybuff, but beyond that, she was quite alright. Almost like a miniature Darcy, and that image was only reinforced after their little chat in the small, twilit bedroom. There were a lot less pleasant experiences she could’ve woken up to. Really, it wasn’t the Skitty’s fault. It wasn’t her fault that she didn’t know Alki was lying, it wasn’t her fault that she didn’t know what Alki really was. That didn’t mean her words were any gentler on the Igglybuff. Did she have to be so forward? A sleepover?

The Igglybuff, caught mid-bounce, fell to the ground awkwardly, and tripped over her still-numb feet. Caught by surprise, both from the Skitty’s words and her sudden, ungraceful fall, the Igglybuff found herself cursing much, much louder than she meant to. “SHIT!” Her tumble to the floor did not help her sore body. Alki began to rub her foot, trying to get the pain that had suddenly reappeared. Had she twisted it?

That wasn’t the important part. How loud had that been? Really? Alki pushed the carpet back into place, tested first her left foot, then her right, as she got up. Had Darcy heard? Had her parents heard? She cursed again, under her breath. Did Amber know what that word meant? Alki looked out the window, at the quickly disappearing light. She pleaded in her mind to… something, anything, that her luck would hold, and that Amber wouldn’t know what that word meant, and that no one had heard.

“Um… s-sorry. That’s… err, I don’t… know… if I can. See, it’s… um, complicated. Me, and my parents. It’s… well. Personal. Sorry, Amber. It’s… personal.” Alki bounced towards the door, following the Skitty. “It’s… I’d rather not share.” The Igglybuff didn’t see fit to mention that she also happened to be fresh out of excuses. But Amber seemed nice. No way she’d call her out on that, right? “We could hang out at the guild, though? You wouldn’t have to come to any missions, just… visit us?” She managed a smile, a steady one, as she hoped to Arceus that her vulgarity had gone undetected.

“A-Anyways… food, right? I… r-really hope they’re downstairs, already? Ya think they started without us?” She laughed, trying to push the subject away from herself, her family, or her job. She hoped that the Skitty wouldn’t be too upset with her. In her situation, she was sure Amber would do the same. Right? Alki bounced around the Skitty, and down the well-decorated hallway, dreading what she might find. This house was much fancier than anything she’d ever seen. She hadn’t known that word for very long, but she understood what it meant. As much as she hated to admit it, Alki had a sinking feeling that maybe... no, probably, they wouldn’t be happy with such a word.

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PostSubject: Re: Reunion   Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:50 am

The Skitty smiled and kept her pace slow, waiting patiently as Alki rose to her feet and bounced forward to join her.  But her smile was replaced with a worried expression, her mouth opening wide as the Igglybuff tumbled to the ground.  "A-Alki, you okay?" she shouted as she bounded forward and gently nudged the Igglybuff upright with her nose.  She sat down and watched with a puzzled look on her face as her new friend explained herself.  Disappointment seemed to watch over the Skitty, but she lit up again when Alki mentioned staying at the guild.  "...Do you think they'd really let me come stay..?" she said with a tiny giggle as she stood back up.  "...I'd...  I'd absolutely love that, Alki.  But, um, yeah.  It'll be dark soon, so everyone's probably about to have dinner."

...And not to her surprise, Darcy stepped into view at the bottom of the stairwell, gazing up at her little sisters.  She smiled, but there seemed to be confusion or apprehension in her eyes, as well.  "Oh...  Hey, Darce," Amber said, smiling sheepishly.

"Hi, you two!" Darcy said as she climbed up the stairs to join them.  "I was just about to come get you both.  Dinner is ready.  And, um..."  She stopped just one or two steps below Alki, tilting her head and giving the Igglybuff a confused glance.  "Are you alright, Alki?  I...  Well, I didn't...  I didn't...  Know you knew words like that?"

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PostSubject: Re: Reunion   Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:54 am

Alki allowed Amber to prop her up. She didn’t need help, but she didn’t exactly want to act mean to the Skitty either. She was a guild member. Not some little kid who couldn’t move properly! Still. She wasn’t prideful enough to refuse her help, especially since she had nothing but good intentions on her mind. “N-No, I’m fine, Amber. Really!” She mumbled, propping herself up. Shit. Did Darcy hear? Alki managed to smile at Amber. “Oh, yes, I’m sure they’d let you stay. I wasn’t a guild member for… well, they’re fine with having pokemon over. Y’know. To visit.” Alki smiled up at Amber, trying her best to comfort the smaller Skitty. She was a bit like herself. At least, it seemed that way. Of course, she had a better family. A better childhood. She’d had a childhood. She wouldn’t turn out like Alki. She’d have no reason to act like Alki. She was still like her, though. Why hurt her? “We’d love to have you over, Amber.”

Things were going fine with Amber, at least. The Skitty didn’t complain when she heard the curse slip from Alki’s mouth. It still would have been preferable to it not being said at all. But who had the power to take back words? Certainly, it wasn’t her. The Igglybuff sighed, kicking up the carpet. It could always be worse. She waited, listening for the stairs. Nobody seemed to be coming up. One… Two… Three… Four… Five. No, no one was coming up. Alki smiled. She’d gotten away with it. Cursing in her friend’s house. That wasn’t anything to be proud of, but damn, if that wasn’t funny! “Yeah, I’d love dinner.” She laughed, cheerful as she pushed past the door.

That cheer lasted for all of five seconds. Things went well, until Alki could hear the sound coming from the stairwell. Like someone was coming up the stairs. Towards her. Alki cursed again, under her breath. Darcy? Her parents? Were they going to yell at her? “Shit, shit...” She whispered it to herself, gazing at the surroundings. She could hide. If it wasn’t for the fact that Amber would see that. It wasn’t like she was about to use a move in Darcy’s house. No, she wouldn’t go that far. But… she had no choice but to face the noise.

An excuse, then. Books? That would work, right? But she hadn’t actually gone to the library at any point recently. Nor the bookstore. Was she even good enough at reading to understand those novels? Well, another excuse. Where she’d actually heard it was out of the question. So… the street? A nameless face in a crowd, and she’d just happened to pick out that word… Yeah. That would work! Alki managed to place a smile on her face, just as the Skitty came into view.

Alki waved at Darcy, grinning as if nothing had happened. Everything was just peachy. What did she have to worry about? Darcy asked her if she was alright, and Alki nodded, slower. She shouldn’t be so excited over tripping and falling on her face. Her smile fell a bit, but she still retained it. Just so. Shy, a bit embarrassed, but not guilty. That was the goal! “No, um, I’m… fine. I just tripped. I… well, sorry. I was a bit loud huh.” Alki paused, thinking for just a second about her next words. They’d have to be good. She’d have to sell them well, if she didn’t want to get into trouble. But if the Skitty found out… well, she wouldn’t lie more if it was a losing battle. But the battle was not lost yet. [color=#ffccff] “What word? I’m… I was a bit loud, but I thought people used that word? I heard it when I was in the market place, well… overheard it. I thought it was fun to say. Shit! It’s nice and quick and… I guess I had it on my mind.” She let her smile transform into one of confusion, but lying to her sister, to Darcy ... well, that wasn’t easy. Did the Skitty notice? She couldn’t help but seem a bit guilty. “I-Is something bad about it?”

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My Character Records! ^_^

I am a slow learner, a stressed out high schooler, and a very impulsive person. Please have a bit of patience with me.

"Seeing is believing, and all I'm saying is, I've never seen George Washington." -A classmate
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