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

11. The Meeting of Many

by CJWorthington 0 reviews

Chapter 11 of The Spirit of Alola

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2021-03-30 - Updated: 2021-10-29 - 4349 words - Complete

Burnet proves to be a very speedy shopper. She pulls me expertly from one shop to another as we pick up supplies for the crew tonight, plus a few items for the house. We've loaded the bags up on our Pokémon with extra dishes, food, and a few things to fix the fence around the house. I've already ordered a load of lumber to begin making the repairs, but that wouldn't be coming for a few weeks yet.

"We'll be replacing the whole thing eventually, but I want to make a few repairs, so no one else falls off the ledge again," I say to Burnet as we leave with nails, a sturdier tool kit, having decided it was time to retire the old one we currently have, and a few smaller bits of wood to cover the missing pieces, until the lumber arrives. I place this new set of supplies in Sugar's packs.

"What else is there?" My neighbor asks.

"Hmmm," I pull out the list again and run my eyes over it. "I need to restock some medicine and some milk. But that's it." I check my phone clock and realize we are making great time.

"We should grab the milk last, so it doesn't spoil," Burnet says.

"Oh, I have a Pokémon that will be able to help us keep it cold, so there won't be any issue with that," I respond.

"Let's see," She starts, placing a finger up and counting as she goes. "You left your Delcatty at home. Rapidash is a fire type, and Luxray can learn Ice Fang, but that won't do much to keep it cold." She says, running through the list. "So, who is it?"

I shake my head mischievously and turn away. "Let's head to the Pharmacy," I say, grasping onto a fun chance to tease the younger Professor.

"Wait, hold on, who is it?" She calls, but I keep walking, seeing the store I want down the road.

"I'll give you a hint; it'll be a Pokémon you don't expect," I call over my shoulder.

She catches up to me and starts making guesses. "You're not from Alola, so I could probably rule out any Pokémon from here exclusively. We have no way to transport water breathers right now, so it won't be a marine-dwelling Pokémon. Maybe something from the Vanilluxe or Mamoswine line?" she queries but stops as I shake my head. We continue our shopping as she ponders her mystery.

"An Aurorus or Avalugg would certainly be a surprise, but a Beartic would be fascinating too. Or," She says, suddenly excited, "Maybe it's something super rare, like an Articuno or even a Suicune!" She giggles, already guessing my answer to this. Then she continues with a far-off, dreamy gaze, "Oh, I would love to see one of those in person someday."

This one gets me laughing so hard that I nearly drop a large, rather heavy stone mortar and pestle I was examining.

"I definitely don't have an Articuno," I say after I've placed the fragile items down and stopped laughing long enough to respond.

We wander about a bit more, picking up some wraps and medicine for the Pokémon.

"I've got it!" She yells at me a few minutes later from across the store.

The elderly couple near me then looks over in curious surprise. I bow and apologize to them, but they wave it off with a laugh, commenting on how it's nice to see young people having so much fun. I exit the aisle and hunt down the eager woman, only to find that she was looking for me too. We painfully smack into each other as we both turn a corner.

"I've figured it out," She says triumphantly, still rubbing her nose. "It's a Glaceon! Or maybe Vaporeon. I know it is! It has to be!"

"And why is that?" I ask, confused by her confidence, rubbing my own sore forehead.

"It's Bead! Kabir mentioned that you had an Eevee as a child. There's no way it hasn't evolved by now, so it must be a Glaceon or Vaporeon."

"Wrong again," I say, laughing at her fallen smile when she realizes she's incorrect once more. I pull out a Pokèball and release Bead.

"Fee?" He questions, unsure of why he's been released inside a store.

"This is Bead, and as you can see, he's a Leafeon. Bead, say "Hi" to our new neighbor Burnet. She's a Professor and rather excitable!"

"Lee fee!" He chirps happily, eager to accept a few scratches from the woman in front of him. I then call him back to his ball and continue shopping. She gives up for a while and does a bit of her own shopping, but I can tell her wheels are still turning.

Finally, we leave and head to the dairy shop, having distributed our purchases evenly, weight-wise, so as not to offset the balance of the kind Pokemon carrying our things.

"This is the best place to get MooMoo Milk if you don't have it delivered," Burnet comments as we pull a few bottles off the shelf."

"Delivered?" I ask.

She explains about the Milk that I can have delivered to my home from Akala Island while we check out.

"I might have to look into that, especially if it's the best milk!" I say as we walk out the door.

Burnet stops in her tracks and stares at me.

"Yes?" I ask with mock innocence.

"Just waiting to see your Pokémon." She says, beaming.

"You know, Burnet, I'm starting to feel bad about giving you such a build-up now. You'll be surprised with what I have, but it isn't exactly a rare Pokémon here in Alola." I say apologetically. "How about I show you her counterpart as well to make up for it?"

"Counterpart?" she says quizzically.

Setting the bags down, I pull two Pokèballs from my pocket. And release two Ninetales.

"The Alolan is Sardee, and the other is Garbee." I tell her. "Say "hello" you two."

I don't expect much of a reaction, but I am surprised when she eagerly walks over to them and gives them both pets. "Oh, they are so beautiful! Look at the shiny and soft fur! You've taken fantastic care of these two!"

"Thank you. It means a lot to hear that from a fellow Professor," I say. "As you know, my research is specialized in regional variations, so when I learned that Ninetales had such a profound change in typing, I put a lot of work into getting Sardee here. I actually caught Garbee when I was traveling as a Trainer before Kabir joined me on his own journey. These two have been fantastic study partners." I say, giving them both an affectionate rub on their heads.

"Sardee," I say to the ice Pokémon, "Would you mind carrying the milk for me and keeping it from spoiling?"

"Nine!" She confirms happily.

I reach down and tie the bags over her back, ensuring they were set evenly also so that they wouldn't affect her balance. "We had a fairly long way to travel for food at our last place, so Sardee here came up with the idea to have them tied to her back. She freezes the outside of the bottle but is careful not to freeze the Milk itself. She'll continue to refreeze the bottles until we get home. Plus, her thick fur keeps her from getting too cold."

"Clever," Burnet says, impressed at the white Pokémon.

"Well, it seems we are done with my list," I say, returning Garbee to his ball. "Did you have some other shops in mind?"

We travel up the hill to our home, chatting happily with our respective spouses about the events during the shopping trip. Our neighbors travel by foot in front of us, with Sardee in the lead, Billy and Thunder beside them, while Kabir and I hang back, riding on our horses. Our Rapidashs are walking so close to each other that they nearly touch.

"I'm surprised Rebel let so many people near him today," I say to my husband after he finishes telling me about his time in the city. "He even let a stranger to you pet him! That's nearly unheard of!"

I'm genuinely shocked by the news. If the grumpy horse Pokémon lets anyone pet him, it's only with a perfect treat to tempt him, and he's, up to that point, only allowed people that we knew near him. If they were a stranger to us, they wouldn't stand a chance getting close. "Is the grumpy old horse finally settling down?" I ask the Pokémon jokingly.

Rebel swings his head towards me and glares. He flattens his ears and gives an angry snort, very upset about being teased, but settles back down slightly when Kabir tugs at his reins, though his tail continues to whip back and forth with loud cracks.

"Rebel," I say, reaching a hand out carefully so as not to fall off my own mount and patting his neck a few times apologetically, "Bud, I'm sorry. I wasn't trying to upset you. I'm only impressed to see how much you've matured since we first started traveling all those years ago."

The horse flicks his ears back once more but doesn't try to throw my hand off his neck. He also stops flicking his tail. That's about the closest thing to happiness you'd ever get out of this Pokémon. He would, and has, defended us fiercely when we were threatened, but he does not enjoy physical attention or showing affection.

"You mentioned in town that you actually picked something up in the shops for yourself," Kabir says after it's clear to him that Rebel and I are finished with our squabble. "Did you find yourself a pretty dress, or perhaps a fancy pair of shoes?" He grins, teasing me.

"I did!" I exclaim. I hold up a mock dress, grab his hand, and pretend to run it over the fake fabric. "Don't you see how beautiful it is? And these shoes are so adorable! I absolutely love wearing high heels!"

I begin pretending to run his fingers over a made-up pair of shoes now, but then Sugar trips on a rock. She stumbles for a moment, moving away from her horse friend, regains her composure, then walks carefully up to him again so that we can resume our joke. I pat her neck and ask her if she's alright. She gives a friendly snort and flicks her head, tugging at the reins held loosely in my hands.

"Everything alright back there?" Kukui asks. Both he and his wife must have heard the small commotion, for they stopped their walking and turned around to face us.

Sardee, the always motherly, white Ninetales, going so far as to leave their sides to sniff at Sugar and me in concern.

"Just fine, guys," I answer. "Sugar just stumbled over a rock, is all."

Sardee sets her soft paws onto my mount's legs and looks up at me, and I give her head a reassuring pat. Consoled, she trots back to the front of the group. Satisfied by the Ninetales' return, the rest of our group turn back around and follow suit.

"Are you okay, Sashi?" Kabir asks with concern, lowering his voice so the neighbors won't hear.

"Of course I am. It's Sugar who tripped. But she's okay, isn't that right, sweet girl." I pat her side again, and she lets out a pleased whinny.

He gives me an unconvinced look but drops the subject with one of his sighs.

"Anyways," I continue, also wanting to leave the topic behind.

I let go of my mount's reins and pull my travel bag off my back. Reaching inside, I pull out a fresh pad. Handing it to Kabir, I say, "Check out what I found in the shops today."

He runs his fingers along the binding, covers, and pages. "That's a quality notebook you have there." He comments, holding it back out to me.

"It's a sketchbook," I correct, pushing it back into his hands.

"Oh?" He flips it open again. "I figured it was a Braille notebook with how thick the pages were. See here; this is the clip that you'd use to attach it to the typewriter."

"Well, yes, it technically is," I admit. "But the pages are completely blank and so sturdy. I won't have any trouble drawing a picture that you can feel without sacrificing the pages behind it, and one that I can look at without bumps or lines marring its surface."

"That is exciting!"' he says. He runs his fingers over the pages some more as if already feeling one of my drawings.

"I also picked up a few more packs of paper for your typewriter," I say. "We'll need to go back into the city together sometime. They had a whole accommodations shop!"

"Really? That's fantastic." He exclaims. "I had assumed we'd need to order my research product from overseas."

"Nope, it's just down the road," I say gleefully.

"Speaking of just down the road, Rebel says we're home." Kabir comments.

I glance up the path. "Oh, I hadn't noticed," I look over at my husband. It always amazes me the psychic connection he shares with Rebel. Of course, not everyone has the ability to connect with Pokémon, but he certainly has a strong relationship with his Rapidash.

I look down at my Sugar and try to imagine what it would be like to connect with her like that. I can understand her in the same way, I can understand any of my other Pokémon, but it's almost like they have entire conversations without ever saying a word when Kabir is with Rebel. He's tried to explain it to me, but it doesn't make much sense.

Sugar comes to a stop, and I dismount, shocked by the sight before me. There's a fair amount of people milling around in the front yard. Some I recognize, but most I don't.

I see the children from the school we saw on the first day when we arrived, who appear to be with their parents. It seems even their siblings have joined, like two young girls with blue hair that I assume must be twins.

Berns is there with his wife and a young son. Sam, our mail carrier, is there with their giant horse Pokémon, Mudsdale. Martin, our guide from the airport, is here, along with the young female attendant that served us drinks at the airport stall. Even Doctor Ōpūnui has made an appearance.

"Wow," Kabir says. "There's quite a lot of people here. Rebel isn't too happy about this." He reaches down from his mount and pats his neck, then slides off his back carefully.

I see Professors Kukui and Burnet walk swiftly over to an older, dark-skinned couple with a few teenagers nearby. They stand chatting with Doctor Ōpūnui and a small preteen aged girl who looks around nervously, clinging closely to the doctor's arm. The two professors eagerly take their son from the arms of the man of the couple and laugh happily at their small reunion.

We call the three Pokémon that were with them over to us, remove the packs and headstalls from everyone, placing them to the side. Then we return Billy the Gogoat, Thunder the Luxray, Sardee the Alolan Ninetails, Rebel the Galarian Rapidash, and Sugar the fire Rapidash to their Pokèballs for a good long rest, thanking them for their hard work.

A rush of people come over, introduce themselves, grab our packs, and move them inside the house. They wave off our attempts to help, so we stand to the side and watch in dismay. We've never had so many people, especially strangers, come together to help us.

"I don't remember a single name they just told us," I whisper quietly to Kabir.

He pauses, looking just as confused, and responds, "Yeah, me neither." His unseeing eyes are wide with shock, standing still trying hard to pick voices out, hoping to recognize even just one. "Alright, it's still a no. I'm just as lost as you."

I laugh at his answer, and we both observe the large crowd of people before us, unmoving. I'm not much a fan of so many people gathered in one place, so I don't have any desire to walk into the thick of it to reintroduce ourselves, and tonight is no exception. As well, I'm starting to feel unwell after all the activities of today and find myself hoping the moving will be swift so that I can turn in for the night sooner rather than later.

A shadow passes overhead suddenly. I look to the sky and see a Pidgeot, being used as a ride Pokémon, flying swiftly closer to the ground. It lands, and I reach over excitedly, rapidly tapping on Kabir's shoulder, but am unable to get the words out. Instead, I take off at a sprint towards the figure, dismounting.

"Anya!" I yell, giving my twin a chance to prepare before we meet.

I nearly knock her off her feet when I ram into her, but she holds her ground. We embrace happily, delighted to see each other. Her daughter, my niece, Himiko, looks up at me and smiles. I crouch down to look at the little tyke, then wrap my arms around her as well, more carefully. Finally, I release the toddler from my grasp as she squirms impatiently at the prolonged hug.

Straightening to my sister once more, I look her up and down, seeing she hasn't really changed much since last we met. Though she may have a few more muscles, and her skin is definitely a few shades darker than mine now from her long time spent in the tropical climate.

"I've missed you so much, Sashi," my sister says, pulling me in for another tight hug. Kabir comes up behind us and joins the embrace, as well, more than a head taller than both of us, rocking the group side to side.

"Hello, Kabir," Anya says with a huge smile, then switches it to a severe glare, her voice dropping an octave with it, "Are you treating my sister well?"

"You know I am," He says back, trying hard to suppress his own smile, but a snicker escapes his lips. He was too happy to force himself to not as well. He and Anya laugh at their little joke.

"Sashi, is this the sister you were telling us about?" Burnet asks, coming up behind us.

"Yes, my name is Anya, and this is my daughter Himiko; she's three." My sister butts in before I can say a word. I let her without complaint.

"Aww! Aren't you just the cutest baby girl!" Burnet says to the child, giving her hand a little squeeze. "I'm Professor Burnet, this is my husband, Professor Kukui, and this little one is our son, Lei."

"Hello, handsome," Anya says kindly at the younger child, holding out a finger and letting the baby grab on. "My, you do have a firm grip, don't you. He's a very healthy baby." She comments, nodding to the two.

"Sashi," my sister says, rounding on me swiftly, as soon as the baby lets go. "I heard you were poisoned a bit ago. How are you feeling now?" She's standing close and looking me up and down. She reaches out her hand, feels my forehead, and then squishes my fingernails between her forefinger and thumb.

"I'm feeling quite well, thank you," I lie, pushing her hand away from me and taking a step back to get her to stop. She squints her eyes at me but chooses not to make a scene.

I swear she can smell dishonesty, I think to myself.

"Kabir, how about your injuries? I was told you were pretty banged up from a fall. Are you healing up well?" Anya asks, turning on my husband instead.

"I've healed up quite well, thank you. My injuries were minor, and I am on the mend." He answers, far more patient than me at the sudden examination. He holds up his still wrapped right hand to her. "My hand had the worse of it, and even that is healing well."

My twin grabs my husband's hand, unwraps the bandage, and holds it up to the light, carefully viewing the still healing damage, squishing the edges and his wrist.

"Let the air at your hand, unless you need to use it for something." She says quickly. She then moves on to his arm, having seen him wince at the sudden movement when she was looking his hand over, finally reaching the cause of his discomfort, his shoulder.

"And your head," my twin questions, staring at his face after giving that scab a quick once over.

Kabir stands in silence for a moment, not answering her question, trying to pretend as if he hadn't heard.

Anya huffs at his refusal but accepts it when she looks around, noticing the neighbors watching in surprise at the sudden change of attitude. Then, rolling her eyes in irritation at Kabir, she sighs.

"Alright, but so you two know, I'm rather upset at both of you." She chides roughly. "You two never even told me what happened. I had to find out from the doctor in town. Do you know how worried that made me when I arrived at the hospital this morning only to have Doctor Ōpūnui questioning me about your conditions? I didn't know what to tell him. I didn't even know you were sick."

"I'm sorry, Anya," I say, genuinely apologetic. "I really didn't mean to upset you."

"Anya," Kukui pipes in, "You sound more like their mother than a sister!" He laughs, trying to diffuse her quickly rising temper with an awkwardly raised hand.

She turns to face him, sighs, and agrees. "Well, somebody has to. These two are always getting into trouble." She turns back around to continue scolding us but stops.

"You live down the road from these guys, right?" She says, returning her gaze to Kukui and Burnet, jabbing her thumb back at us.

"Yes, we're their neighbors," Kukui confirms, squinting his own eyes in suspicion at the small angry woman.

"Very good, this is my card," She says, reaching into her pocket and pulling a small, stiff bit of paper out and handing it over, "If these two Magikarp Brains get into any more trouble, can you give me a call. I live on Akala, and it wouldn't be too difficult for me," She glances meaningfully at us over her shoulder, to quiet a protest from me, "to catch a ride over here." She finishes her sentence by glaring at me again.

"Of course we can," Burnet says quickly but kindly, trying to get Anya to focus on her rather than the two she was so upset at.

"Oh," Kukui says in surprise, showing the card to his wife, "You're a doctor. It's no wonder you're so annoyed!"

"Yes," She states. "I work in the Emergency Room on Akala, but if the need arises, I'll travel to other hospitals on the Islands as well." She says, her voice starting to calm, but only for a moment. "It's rather aggravating to have another doctor know more about an injury or illness affecting someone within your own family." She says, her temper and voice rising once more.

"Is that Doctor Māhoe I hear?" A man calls from behind. We all turn to see Doctor Ōpūnui slowly making his way over to us.

"Doctor." Anya's tone drops, but she speaks respectfully.

"Doctor," Ōpūnui says cheerfully, giving her a slight nod with his head. "How are we doing, folks?" He says, glancing around our crew and making it clear he intends to stay with us for a while.

Anya huffs and storms off, little Himiko trailing behind her with confusion in her eyes. The old doctor's intentions were clear, and my sister was obviously not thrilled about it.

"I see why you called her "Fiery" the other day," Kukui says to his father when she's out of earshot, his eyes still wide with shock at her swift anger. "She must be the "irritable young doctor," you told me about a while back."

"Yes, the one and very same. She's a good doctor. Probably one of the best of her age, but her temper gets her in trouble more often than I would care to think about." Ōpūnui says, shaking his head slowly as he watches her flounce off. "Still, she has a way with words when she's speaking to her patients or their families." He complements.

"Just no tact outside of her Practice," I say with a suppressed laugh.

There's a small pause as more people filter into our yard from the road, introduce themselves, then wander to other groups.

"I have to ask," Burnet says as the people meander off, "Do you know Anya outside of the practice? She seems to dislike people in general, but she really seems to loath you."

"As she should." The doctor answers. "I took her personally under my wing as her mentor when she finished school, so we tend to spend far more time together than is probably healthy." He says with a chuckle. "I think the real mystery here, though, is how you two manage her." He says, turning to my husband and me.

"With headache medicine." Kabir jokes lightly, and we all laugh.

The crowd behind us begins to gather together, staring down the driveway. We all focus our eyes on where the group is looking and notice a crew of carriages is heading up the road towards the house.

"Sounds like the movers are here," Kabir says into the gathering silence.

"Okay, everyone," Professor Kukui yells out, raising a fist into the air, "Let's get this party started!"
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