Categories > Anime/Manga > Pokemon > The Spirit of Alola

6. Warm Talks on a Stormy Night

by CJWorthington 0 reviews

Chapter 6 of The Spirit of Alola

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2021-03-30 - Updated: 2021-10-29 - 3039 words - Complete

The smell of rain drifts through the house, pushed by the wind through every crack around doors and windows. The storm began to rage just as we were climbing the stairs into the home, nearly pulling me off my feet, and it would of, had it not been for the male Professor's firm grasp on my arm. Unfortunately, I'm rather thin, so it doesn't take much force to knock me down.

"There's a chair right behind you, if you could sit down for me, please," Kukui says.

"Thank you," I answer, reaching my pained right palm out behind me to feel for the mentioned seat. "Do you have a phone I could use so I can call my wife?"

"Of course, one moment," I hear him walk away and the sound of a phone being removed from its stand.

"I'll just take this little guy," He says as I feel the sleeping Pyukumuku's weight being lifted from my left hand, and the phone is placed in its stead. I hear the small creature splash gently into a container of water nearby.

"Thank you," I say with a nod.

Running the fingertips of my uninjured hand over the numbers, I read the raised sequence of the Braille numbering system, a small prick of gratitude that this phone came with the feature. Then, using that, I enter my wife's digits. The line rings and rings, but she doesn't pick up.

"She must still be asleep," I decide hesitantly as I hand the phone back. "That's a little odd. What time is it?"

I hear a pause in movement. "Five-thirty in the evening." Kukui answers.

"Ah, so I must not have been out for as long as I thought."

"Being lost does tend to skew time." He replies knowingly.

"You're not wrong there!" I say with a laugh.

"Okay," the young man says, his voice growing closer now after opening a closet and shuffling the contents inside, from deeper within the house, "Let's get you fixed up quickly. Then we can escort you home. Do you need anything for your headache?"

"N-no," I stammer in surprise.

Is it that obvious? I question myself. I usually try to keep the constant pain in my head a secret from strangers, as the story behind it is rather long, complex, and embarrassing for me. I'll go so far as just to pretend that the usual slight throbbing doesn't even exist.

"Did you hit your head while you were lost? A head injury is nothing to ignore." He continues, his voice now serious.

"No, no," I laugh, trying to diffuse any more questions. "No bumps on the old noggin overhear. Just a headache from this morning, that's all."

"Hmm. I'd still like to give it a quick check, if you don't mind. My dad would never forgive me if I missed something like a concussion." Kukui says, sounding unconvinced.

I sit still for a moment as he parts my hair and pokes my head, asking the standard questions. Then, there's a click of a flashlight, a pause, a small chuckle, and I know my kind host has just tried to check the pupil dilation of a blind man.

"See anything interesting?" I joke.

We both laugh at the simple mistake. He finishes with my giving his hands a squeeze, then some other similar tests.

"All good there." He comments, sounding satisfied. I hear his feet carry him further into their home, a cupboard opens and closes, then his footsteps return.

"There's some headache medicine on the table if you change your mind." He says, the sound of a rattling bottle being placed on the table preceding his words.

"We'll start with that cut on your hand." He continues, moving swiftly on. "Is that okay?"

"Yes, that would be just fine, thank you," I answer.

I feel a rush of wind as the front door opens back up. Burnet's voice comes from the source, strained as she pushes the door closed.

"My, this storm surge is coming in fast, like a Quick Attack!" She says, sounding slightly out of breath. "I've got all our things locked up and safe, and the shed has been secured. Did you guys need any help with your home?" She asks.

"No," I answer, wincing at the cold sting of Kukui's treatment of the deep cuts on my right palm. "We only brought a few necessities with us when we came in this morning, so we don't have anything to put away yet!"

"Nya nya," Hop mewls. I hear soft paws walk over to the left of me and scratch at a closed door.

"Hop, don't do that. We are guests here!" I chide. "It's rude to snoop in people's homes."

"Come here, sweetie," Burnet says softly. "Our son Lei is in there sleeping. You can play with him later." The Delcatty ignores the call from Burnet, and I hear the curious cat snuffling noisily at the crack under the door. "I wonder if it can smell him." She comments to us.

"Hop loves to explore and find new things, so I wouldn't be surprised if she could. She also hates closed doors but needs to learn to let it be when we are at someone else's home." I direct my last comment a little more loudly to the still pestering cat, flashing a bit of annoyance at her. She snorts irritably, but I then hear her pad quickly towards me.

"Nyaaa," She purrs, placing her head in my lap ostensibly in a ploy of affection. I give her chin a scratch anyway. She presses her head into my stomach, and I find myself, as usual, unable to be mad at the naughty little Pokèmon.

"I'm sorry if this sounds rude, but your Delcatty doesn't seem to be a very good sighted guide. Is it still in training?" Kukui asks, finally finishing my hand. He rolls my short sleeve up and gently presses the swollen gash on my shoulder.

"Hop is my wife's Pokémon," I say with a laugh, rubbing my freshly bandaged hand over the still purring cat's head. "My PokèAssist is Tinsel, a Sylveon. She's still at home with my wife."

"Tinsel? What an interesting name. But then, why were you on the beach without a guide in a new place? You don't seem to have a cane with you, so-" Burnet says behind me, dropping her words off to allow me a response.

Her voice is lower to the ground now, so I guess she must have quietly pulled a chair out from under the table and sat down, the noise of it having been washed out by the sound of the storm.

A pregnant pause stretches out between us as I sit with my head bowed and my neighbors wait patiently for an explanation as I think of what to say.

"I don't much like using my cane, so I didn't think to bring it with me. I also didn't mean to leave home with Hop, actually," I comment, twiddling my fingers together and shifting uncomfortably in my seat.

Being blind isn't really a difficult topic for me to talk about, but discussing an issue that arises due to my disability tends to be rather awkward. Still, these new neighbors were kind and caring, and I wasn't able to see a way to not tell them what happened without seeming rude.

I take a deep breath as embarrassment floods through me and continue, "I was only trying to find the benches outside my home so I could enjoy the new environment a bit. However, I couldn't find them and slipped down the rock wall instead, not realizing the fence was broken. Hop must have been worried, so when she saw me at the bottom of the wall, she followed me down, but she couldn't climb back up to get help."

"Well, that would explain your injuries. The wall by your home is rather tall. It's a wonder they aren't more severe." Burnet comments softly, her own embarrassment showing in her voice as she realizes why I've started fidgeting.

There's another pause as we all sit in silence, the sound of the storm pulling our thoughts to the outside world rather than the awkward environment inside.

"I have another question, though." I hear Kukui say, gathering everyone's attention, his own curiosity too strong to prevent his inquiry. He had placed one of my feet onto a chair and was now spraying a cold and stinging medicine on the bottom of my foot after having gently cleaned it off with a warm liquid and soft rag.

"Aren't Psychic Type Pokèmon usually the top choice of PokèAssist for the blind? You said your's is a Sylveon, but that's a Fairy Type." The young man asks.

"You're correct. Psychic Pokèmon are uniquely equipped to helping the blind, but Tinsel chose her role." I answer this line of questions, finding it not awkward for me, as most people find the situation odd and quite interesting anyway.

"This sounds like a story," Kukui says, pausing in his work and encouraging me to continue as he gets the all-clear from my more confident tone.

"Yes! It is a rather good story," I say with a mischievous grin. "Would you like to hear it?" I ask temptingly, suppressing a laugh.

"Do you really have to ask?" He says with a chuckle.

"Alright, I'll start at the beginning."

"Sashi, that's my wife, and I were born just a few months apart in the same town. Our parents were friends before our births, so we, of course, grew up together."

"So you two have known each other since birth? Oh, how sweet!" Burnet jumps in.

"Hun, hush. Let the man tell his story." Kukui chastises, though he sounded like he was chuckling a bit too.

I continue:

"Sashi has a twin sister, Anya. When they turned five, their parents got them both a Pokémon egg. Sadly, Anya dislikes Pokémon. A fair amount. She always has, and probably always will, so she refused to take it. Her parents knew she didn't like them, but they had hoped that Anya would grow to love Pokemon like Sashi and her older siblings do if she were to raise an egg with her sister.

"After Anya's very firm refusal, they decided to give the egg to me instead. My father was delighted about the idea of me taking care of a Pokèmon egg, so he happily accepted.

"Even when we were young, Sashi and I were close, so us having eggs to take care of together only brought us closer. By then, we were inseparable. Wherever one of us went, so did the other. At times, even against our parent's wishes." I add with a chuckle. "That often got us in trouble, but my dad would comment that, "At least we always know where to find them."

"One day, Sashi's mom went to a craft store, and Sashi went with, so of course, I followed too. We had our eggs with us inside the store, Sashi holding her's in her arms and mine stowed safely inside a backpack. At one point, Sashi noticed the bag my egg was in had started glowing. Then her's started letting off a light a few seconds after that too. Now, you two should know well enough that a glowing egg means it's about to hatch, right?" I say, and my two new friends answer my question with a quick confirmation.

"And hatch they did. Two Eevees. And mine was so excited to meet me that it launched itself into my stomach and knocked me over into a stand. We sent everything in the stand and me, flying all over the store. After making sure I was alright, Sashi laughed about the tinsels and beads that had scattered about the ground."

"So, that's where Tinsel's name comes from, isn't it?" Brunet interrupts happily.

"Yes, and Sashi named her Eevee, Bead."

"Aww, how cute!" the woman coos.

"Anyways," I continue with a smile. "After that, it was always Sashi, the two Eevees, and I. Then, a few years later, Tinsel evolved into a Sylveon.

"My dad knew that I wanted to be a Trainer when I turned twelve, so he started looking into getting a PokèAssist for me. He began by looking for a traditional Psychic Type, of course. About once a week, the PokèAssist facility trainers would give our family a new Pokèmon for a few days to see which one worked well for my needs.

"On the weekends, when I didn't have a temporary PokèAssist, and since I hated using a cane, Tinsel would take it upon herself to guide me, having watched my friends and family do so many times. My dad noticed this and talked to the coordinator about it, and they both decided to give Tinsel some training to see if this was a job she could handle. She passed their tests with flying colors, so they finished training her and gave her the vest," I finished.

"Well, that worked out pretty smoothly for you, didn't it," Kukui commented, having finished treating my injuries while I talked and was now sitting in a chair of his own in front of me.

"Yes. Like you two were meant-" But Burnet couldn't finish her sentence.

Just then, a booming clap of thunder shook the house and rattled the windows. I nearly would have fallen out of my chair in fright if it weren't for Burnet grabbing one of my shoulders from beside me and Kukui snatching onto my arm from across the table. Hop hissed defiantly at the sudden sound; her back arched against my leg, and her fur raised and stiffened, always the protective type.

We all sat in silence as the rain began, starting first as a small trickle quietly pattering against the roof, barely audible over the gale storm. Then a loud thudding rain, driven heavily against the shingles by the winds outside, started falling. The sound of a baby's cry suddenly added to the cacophony of noise.

"Oh, Lei," Burnet says worriedly. I hear her chair scoot as she stands, her bare feet thudding against the wood floor as she hurries away, then the sound of a door opening. The crying stops, but the storm does not.

"He's awake now," Burnet says, her voice growing closer as she moves towards us with a sniffling child. "Kukui, could you grab a jar of food for Lei? It's about time for his dinner," She asks.

"Of course," He answers.

"Kabir, I know you're probably eager to get back home, but with a storm like this, I don't think it would be wise for anyone to go traveling around in it, even if you are just up the road," the woman states.

I sit for a few moments, listening to the world outside, thinking about how difficult traveling in such weather would be, then say, "Yes. You're probably correct, but I wouldn't want to be a burden on you guys."

"A burden?" I hear Kukui say in surprise, his voice now near his wife. Then, I hear the sound of a metal lid being popped off the top of a glass jar. "How about some berries, big guy? Does that sound good?" He coos at his child.

Addressing me, he says. "You're a friend! And a fellow Professor! You could never be a burden." His words are kind and warm.

"Alright, but I'll need to try and call my wife again if you'd allow me to borrow your phone once more,"

"Yes, of course." I hear the phone being moved off the table near me, and Kukui sets it once more into my hand.

I dial Sashi's number, only to have it go straight to voicemail. I hang up and dial again. But of course, still voicemail. I leave a message informing her of my location.

"No answer then, huh?" Burnet asks.

"No, straight to voicemail. Her phone must have died. She mentioned in the last airport that there had been nowhere to charge her phone."

"Well, it's only been about forty-five minutes since the last time you called. She may be asleep still or just hasn't noticed her phone died." Kukui says.

"Yeah... you're probably right," I hesitate.

"I can run up to your house and check on her if you want." He offers kindly.

I sit for a moment and listen. The rain slams against the roof. Wind rattles against the glass of the windows. Thunder booms overhead and shakes the ground and house.

"No, it's not safe out there," I say finally. "I can't have you risking yourself. Sashi is a strong and clever young woman. She'll be okay on her own for a bit longer. Besides, she has all our Pokemon, so if anything happens, they can help her."

"Well, I'm getting hungry now, watching little Lei here eat. How about I make us some dinner," the young woman says. "Kukui, could you take Lei for me? He still has more to go on this jar."

"Oh yes, come here, big guy!" He says in a goofy voice. I hear Lei giggle happily through a mouthful of his mashed berries.

"Okay," he says, addressing me, "Come with me. We are sitting in the kitchen right now, so I think we should move over to the couch to get out of my wife's way." The Professor's hand grabs my arm, guiding me out of my chair, deeper into the home, and into a more comfortable soft seat. I feel a jolt as he plops himself down next to me on the couch, Lei cooing happily as he continues to eat.

"So, Kabir, I presume you must go by K. Ashoka for your research?" Kukui queries.

"I do!" I say in surprise. "To tell you the truth, I'm rather shocked that you've even heard of me. I haven't published very much regarding my studies yet. Though I certainly have heard of you."

"Really? Sketch me surprised as well! Formalities aside, though, I've been wanting to ask about your paper regarding Suicune ever since I read it." He says eagerly.
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