Diamond 21: Give me Mischief
Diamond 21: Give me Mischief
"Giovanni, get down from there!" Delia scolded, though Giovanni did not listen, instead going over the brick fence and coming into view in the other side behind the row of metal bars of the gates. Delia sighed hopelessly and effortlessly parted the gates, letting herself in.
"That was open? But you said it was closed!" Giovanni stared in disbelief, feeling ridiculous for climbing over the fence.
"The gates were closed; I didn't say they were locked. Generally, people around here know that when something is closed it should not be opened without permission. Now let's go ask the neighbors when Professor Oak will be back." Though Delia tried to stop him, Giovanni was already going up the stairs and to the front door. "Giovanni Rocketto, get back here!" She rushed after him, despite knowing he wouldn't listen and followed him inside the house.
"What kind of a fool doesn't lock the door when leaving the house?" Giovanni couldn't believe Professor Oak hasn't already been robbed of all his pokemon, research and even his furniture if this was how he did things, though it was understandable that no one would want to steal his couch. If Giovanni had not declared Pallet Town as Rocket territory, the smaller gangs might have fled there, ending the peace of the town, but they dared not venture into the land of Team Rocket.
"You'll regret this," Delia warned with a tone that hinted she held a vital piece of information that Giovanni did not know. But as expected, he didn't listen and ventured deeper into the house.
Delia had communicated with Professor Oak by video phone a few times after the Viridian Gym take over so she knew of a certain pokemon that had fully recovered from the past epidemic. Regardless of that, she had to pause and take note of a specific detail that inevitably caught her eyes, "there's a new couch." Albeit the old rock hard one was still there as well, matching the new one perfectly, at least in color, even if their texture was quite different as Delia found out when she sat down, "it's so soft!"
Meowth agreed and curled up on the edge of the backrest of the comfy couch, the little pokemon liked napping in the highest part of any piece of furniture. Giovanni sat down next to Delia, she hasn't sounded like she was bluffing when she said he would regret breaking into Professor Oak's house, though he didn't need to actually break anything to get in. Either way, nothing had gone wrong so far, "where's the ultimate doom that was supposed to jump out at me?"
"It's here alright, I'm sure; you just haven't crossed the line yet. Professor Oak won't mind too much if we wait for him in the living room, even if I still think it's rude to come in uninvited. He's going to think you're giving me bad habits," she paused, going over her own words in her mind, "you are giving me bad habits. Honestly Giovanni, you're a terrible example to follow."
"But you follow me anyway," he kissed her, taking her by surprise.
"Not now Charmander, what if Professor Oak comes in?" Delia consciously looked towards the window, but found the path in front of the house to be deserted.
"Shall we go to the guest room from before? I'm sure it has a lock," Giovanni suggested, he knew Delia would never agree, though he would oppose no arguments against it in the unlikely event that she did.
"Very funny," Delia pouted, then paused, observing his expression with a hint of surprise in her face, "you weren't kidding?"
"I owe you some attention," he admitted, "didn't you say you missed me?"
"I understand you've been busy restructuring Team Rocket and keeping it stable and I've been wanting to have a real date with you for a while, but that doesn't mean you have to be such a Charmander," Delia laughed, at least he listened when she expressed that she missed him and remembered it.
"Scolding me isn't effective if you look so happy," Giovanni pointed out.
"I'm happy because we get to spend the day together and I can show you around the research lab, this place will look very beautiful with healthy pokemon all around," Delia tried to explain, while in the back of her mind something told her this was no time to relax, but unconsciously she pushed it away.
The scene was interrupted by a low, rough growl. The Chartizard was clearly old, his scaly red-orange skin was lightly wrinkled and his voice was lower than that of an average Chartizard, but his claws and teeth still looked sharp.
"So this is what you were trying to warn me about, I don't see the danger, this Chartizard is ancient, I bet it can't even breathe fire anymore," Giovanni was relaxed, indifferent to the Charizard's presence until Delia pushed him down all of sudden. "Why did you-" he didn't finish the question before it become obvious why she did this, the couch was on fire and it would have been his head otherwise.
"Cloyster, water gun!" Delia sent out her pokemon, who assumed this was a battle against Charizard and attacked. "No! Not on Charizard, on the couch!"
Charizard, despite recognizing Delia as a past student of his trainer, Samuel Oak, was angered by her companion's disrespect and her sudden attack. He began to use flame thrower, trying to hit Cloyster. Meowth, who had jumped off the couch immediately after it caught on fire, was upset that his parents were apparently being attacked and jumped on Charizard from behind, sinking his tiny claws into the larger pokemon's left wing.
Charizard roared loudly and tried to get the little Meowth off his wing, ignoring Delia's attempts to apologize and calm him. At the same time she tried to put out the fire that had invaded Professor Oak's living room.
Giovanni joined the battle too, sending out one of his pokemon to fight, "Golem, earthquake!" The house shook harshly, pictures on the walls fell, lamps and vases were knocked over and the fire remained unaffected, though Charizard lost his balance and fell forward.
"You're not helping!" Delia yelled, now the living room was an even bigger mess.
"We can't fix this mess until we knock out that Charizard!" Giovanni argued.
The little Meowth, dizzy from being shaken around, took the opportunity to run to his daddy. The tiny feline pokemon attached himself to Giovanni's right leg hugging it with his paws and wrapping his tail around the man's ankle. Meowth stayed perfectly still that way, with his eyes closed, firmly holding on for dear life, that big fire pokemon was scary.
"You made it so we have no choice!" Delia retorted, "go Kingler, let's finish this quick, attack together, Kingler water pulse, Cloyster water gun!" The simultaneous attacks were enough to knock out the old Charizard and from there, putting out the flames was easy since they weren't constantly relit.
"That takes care of that," Giovanni seemed fairly satisfied with the outcome despite the mess.
"Look at this place!" Delia was furious, "how am I going to face Professor Oak ever again? The new couch is charred! The only thing that survived unharmed is that old couch that's as hard as an Onix!"
"If you had told me about the Charizard from the start-" Giovanni began to defend himself, but was interrupted.
"You're so stubborn; you shouldn't have insulted Professor Oak's Charizard!" Delia took a deep breath, "alright, calm down, we can solve this. Team Rocket has done cover ups for more serious things, right?"
Giovanni decided that it was best not to reply to that.
"Okay, a plan, we need a plan, we need time. Right, time, I'll go out in case Professor Oak comes back and distract him, meanwhile, you can fix this," Delia insisted, her voice urgent and her expression stressed.
"Is this really necessary?" Giovanni didn't think so; it was Oak's own fault for leaving the door unlocked.
"I'm sure Professor Oak didn't write everything he knows about Mew in his files and there's really no way for us to determine exactly how much he knows. Taking that into consideration, it will serve you well to stay on his good side so that he feels encouraged to tell you everything. You can't force it out of him because there's no way to know if he's telling the truth anyway. The only thing you'll have to confirm that he's being honest is trust and this disaster zone does not inspire trust," Delia reasoned, stopping to catch her breath at the end of her long and hasty explanation.
"Neither does Team Rocket," Giovanni pointed out.
"Professor Oak helped Team Rocket in the past, who is to say he won't do it again? Unless you trash his living room for no reason, that would certainly be a good motivation not to help," Delia countered.
"It was his own pokemon that-"
"Stop being stubborn, please, just fix it!" Delia pleaded. "This isn't what I had in mind for today."
Giovanni looked confident despite everything that had happened. "Do you think I can't do it? Give me twenty minutes."
"I'm counting on you," focused, hopeful, but a little disbelieving, Delia rushed out of the house, down the stairs and out the front gates.
xoxox xox xoxox
Outside, Delia found Professor Oak just in time, walking up the street towards his residence. She smiled casually and greeted him, "good morning!" He must have seen her emerge from beyond the gates to his house, though from this angle he couldn't have seen that she had been inside the house. "I came to visit, since it's been such long time, I knocked on the door but no one answered."
"It's good to see you again in person! I went to make a little house call, there are no pokemon doctors in this town so sometimes I have to step in," Professor Oak's expression had been tired, but he was once again his usual cheerful self after seeing Delia. "We can go back to the lab now and catch up."
Delia stalled trying to sound natural, "where was your house call, is everything alright?"
"Oh yes, everything is fine, Mrs. Alderaan's Bellsprout had the hiccups and she was worried, you know how she can get, always worrying about every little thing. Then she goes on and on about the latest thing Bellsprout did that she thought was cute. It took me a while to reassure her that Bellsprout was fine and convince her I was busy and couldn't stay to listen to her stories all day." Professor Oak had stopped in the middle of the road, he had attempted to resume his walk to his house, but when Delia didn't move, he paused as well.
"Poor Mrs. Alderaan, maybe we should go back and reassure her some more," Delia suggested with well acted concern and a look of innocence in her eyes.
Professor Oak laughed, assuming she was kidding; Delia should know very well how Mrs. Alderaan was with her long stories and abundant worries.
"Also, it's been such a long time since I've seen her," Delia continued, indicating that she was not joking, "let's go say hi, then we can catch up and talk about pokemon," she started down the street towards Mrs. Alderaan's house, hoping that Professor Oak would follow.
"Wait, Delia, you're serious about visiting her? She's a nice lady and all but... well, you know how she gets," the entire town knew to avoid getting her started on one of her stories.
"Come on, it's been ages, I don't want her to think I've forgotten about her," Delia smiled sweetly.
"Well, good luck, I'll be at the lab as usual, come by whenever you can," Professor Oak once again continued his walk up the street, thinking to himself that Delia would most likely regret her visit to Mrs. Alderaan, until once more she stopped him.
"Wait! You have to come with me because... Because Mrs. Alderaan might have forgotten about me and I don't want her to think I'm just some crazy stranger pretending to be her friend," Delia insisted.
Professor Oak had been her teacher and occasionally her father figure for a long time and wouldn't fall for her act so easily. "You're hiding something, aren't you?"
"Who, me?" Delia shook her head vigorously, "of course not!" She knew she was messing things up, but even with their best act neither she nor her friends from their days as Professor Oak's students could get away with any kind of mischief undiscovered for too long. Professor Oak wasn't harsh when he caught his students getting into mischief, as he viewed it as only innocent curiosity, but the fact that he would always eventually figure out there was something going on ended up making them doubt their acting abilities, thus affecting them.
"Hmm..." Oak scratched his chin, his expression focused, "I really have no idea what it could possibly be." It couldn't be childish mischief; Delia hasn't gotten into anything like that in years. It couldn't be a surprise celebration; there was no occasion, no birthday, anniversary or holiday. "Alright, I give up, but are you sure about visiting Mrs. Alderaan?"
"Well..." as Delia continued to stall, a motorcycle zoomed by next to them, disappearing at the end of the road after turning behind the hill and presumably going around it further down the road.
"I wonder who that was," Professor Oak observed, "earlier I saw a limousine from Mrs. Alderaan's living room window. It's so unusual for Pallet Town to have visitors and so many on the same day."
"I saw the limousine too, why do you think it was here?" Delia tried to continue the conversation as long as possible.
"I really don't know," the attempt was unsuccessful.
Taking a deep breath, Delia knew she had no choice but to bring up a topic she hoped she didn't need to use. Professor Oak might end up talking for far longer than the time needed to cover up the incident in his living room. "Remember that little Meowth that hatched out of the egg I was taking care of?"
"Ah yes, you mentioned Giovanni was taking care of him," Oak recalled, his curiosity became evident.
"I was worried he wouldn't have the patience to deal with a baby pokemon, but he took such good care of Meowth. He can eat regular pokemon food now, though Giovanni would always feed him, until recently at least. I guess Meowth thought he was being nice when he tried to share his food with Giovanni and shoved a pokemon treat in his mouth. Giovanni was completely taken by surprise and swallowed it!" Delia knew Giovanni wouldn't be happy about his secret being revealed, but she had to keep Professor Oak distracted.
Oak laughed whole heartedly, "that reminds me of when my son used to feed his vegetables to the pokemon and eat their food instead; then he would say it was sharing so it was good. I once tasted pokemon food too; it was a specially prepared kind of food with a high content of vitamins. I was taking care of a Mankey who really needed the vitamins, but the stubborn Mankey wouldn't eat until I tried the food first!"
Delia joined Professor Oak in laughter at the story, encouraging him to continue sharing more tales. The conversation continued until Giovanni arrived, making his way down the street with Meowth still attached to his leg. "Did you have a nice walk?" Delia greeted him.
"Yes, very nice," Giovanni played along, though he was annoyed because he couldn't get Meowth off.
"It's been a while," Professor Oak commented sounding a little uncertain, his expression becoming neutral. He knew who Giovanni was and often worried for Delia, but she was an adult free to make her own choices, plus she appeared to be alright. "That Meowth is certainly attached to you," his previous smile returned to Oak's face with the amusing scene.
"Too attached sometimes," Giovanni tried once again to remove Meowth, but again it did not work and he didn't want to pull the little pokemon away too hard. He didn't want to risk making Meowth sink his tiny claws beyond the fabric and into his skin.
"Shall we go to my place?" Professor Oak finally asked, "I'm a little behind in feeding the pokemon this morning; I hope you don't mind that I take some time to do that."
Delia glanced at Giovanni who discreetly nodded, then smiled in relief, trusting whatever solution he might have come up with. "Yes, let's go."
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. This chapter's general mood is pretty light, but don't worry, all the loose ends will eventually be tied.