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

24. A Packed House

by CJWorthington 0 reviews

Chapter 24 of The Spirit of Alola

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2021-04-15 - Updated: 2021-10-29 - 2638 words - Complete

The storm rages outside, rain pouring heavily against the roof, wind rattling the windows, and flashes of light followed by loud crashes of thunder pound away at our ears, shaking the very ground we sit on. The lights flicker at the power of the storm but, thankfully, remain working.
Lei has fallen asleep in his mother's arms, the noises nothing for a baby used to this weather to fear. Himiko sits in my lap, not afraid of the storm either, but still crying, saddened by her mother's absence.

"Shh, Himi, it's alright, dear," I say soothingly to my niece, running my fingers through her fine blonde hair, the same hair as her late father's, Kai. "Your mother will be back. She just had to go home for a bit."

This does little to comfort her, though, and instead, I sit and pat her back, humming softly until finally, she cries herself to sleep. The room sits quietly, but for the noises outside as I continue to sing softly to my niece.

My home is crowded. Pokémon fill every corner. Tinsel and Hop had slunk into my bedroom to escape the surge of bodies. Burnet had grabbed the Pokémon from her house, but not their balls, too worried about getting back to my property, and therefore, back to her son. And it's a good thing she didn't stay to find them; the storm picked up quickly. If she'd remained for much longer than she had, she would have been forced to stay in her house, leaving her son with me.

My Rapidash, Sugar, was downstairs, outside of her ball, keeping company to the nervous Mudsdale of Sam's. Thankfully, it had remained calm enough not to cause us issues when we had crammed ourselves in at first. However, despite its stance on protection revealed to us by Kabir, the battle it had with the Tauros earlier that day still had Burnet and I on edge about it. My husband's Gogoat and Milotic remained in the lab as well, too large to fit up the stairs or through the front door.

With all the other Pokémon running about, I felt bad about putting my Luxray, two Ninetales, and Leafeon in their balls, so they roamed about as well. Add two Incineroar, a Lycanroc, Rowlet, Melmetal, RotomDex, Burnet's Munchlax (left out for much the same reason as mine), plus my husband's Raichu, and my house was well and truly stuffed.

I had to open up the second and third spare rooms as well as the attic to ensure there would be space for everyone to sleep, even though they weren't set with beds or furnishings. Our previous home had only been two bedrooms, so our furniture could not fill the copious space my husband and I now owned.

With Burnet and a few of the more active Pokémon's help, we laid down a few layers of fresh blankets for the Pokémon to sleep on tonight. Thankfully, the one thing my household has never lacked is plenty of blankets. We'd be leaving the sleeping arrangements up to the Pokémon when they decide to retire. I knew once Burnet left, I wouldn't have the heart to put my Pokémon away while Kabir's and Sam's stayed out.

Pokémon lounged about, spread throughout the dwellings with us, listening to the storm rage outside. Tempest, the most excited about the storm, had chosen to scamper up the stairs to the attic and watched eagerly from her high place, the electric sacks on her dark yellow face buzzing in anticipation. Other than her, the creatures of my household, as well as myself, weren't so used to such a fierce and fast storm, so we remained on edge, muscles tensed and ears twitching.

Burnet simply sits, eyes closed as she listens to the calamity outside, Lei as unbothered as ever.

"It'll take a bit of time for us to get used to these storms," I say with a nervous laugh, trying hard to suppress a flinch with difficulty so as not to wake my sleeping niece beside me as another earth-quaking boom of thunder crashes through the skies.

"Did you not get storms where you came from?" My neighbor asks, opening her yellow eyes and looking at me curiously.

"We did, but nothing like this. We lived by a mountain range in Johto, which shielded us from thunderstorms for the most part, though we did trade it for copious amounts of snow," I answer, squinting my eyes again at another loud bout of thunder.

"That's a big climate change from here!" My neighbor says in surprise.

"Yes," I say with a nervous laugh. "It was! We had several feet of snow to contend with for most of the year. Spring and summer were lovely, though. It was always so amazing to watch that world of white melt away into the wonderful colors of a blooming, warm season, even as short as that respite would last."

"Wow. Maybe Kukui and I will travel there sometime." The white-haired woman says wistfully. I glance at my phone, clutched in my hands as she imagines the sights I've described.

Burnet notices and says, "Still no call from Anya?"

"No." I can feel my heart pounding, worry beyond the storm gripping into my stomach and tightening my throat. It had been a few hours since my sister had left, right before the storm hit, to answer the call of her hospital in need after a severe accident on Akala. On the back of the Pidgeot, it shouldn't have taken nearly this long to arrive. That's two loved ones whose conditions I know nothing about.

"She was headed away from the storm," Burnet eases. "Besides, Anya is smart. If the weather had become too bad, she would know to land and seek shelter. You said she's lived on the Islands for over five years now. So she'll know what to do if it gets too rough to travel."
I sigh, trying to push my emotions out with my breath, as Kabir does, but the action brings me no respite in fear.

"So, tell me about that Pidgeot Anya uses," Burnet asks with curiosity, clearly trying to change the subject. "I thought she doesn't like Pokemon."

"No, she really doesn't like them. The Pidgeot was her husband's. He would use it to send messages to her while he was out to sea. It was the only thing that returned to her after the accident." I answer.

"Oh, gracious. I can't even imagine." Burnet comments sadly, closing her eyes in shock at the news.

We sit for a while longer in silence. The world outside finally fizzing into a storm of only strong winds and heavy rain, the lightning and thunder moving south.

Burnet's phone ringing sends the room into a jump, snoozing Pokemon and children alike unready for the sudden noise. I walk around with Himiko back in my arms and sing soothingly to the Pokémon around me as my neighbor stands and walks calmly into the kitchen to take the call, away from the noises of the crowded living room.

After some time, the room quiets back down and I place a once more sleeping Himiko, tears streaking her soft young face again, on the couch. I walk to the kitchen entrance and lean against the door frame, folding my arms as Burnet finishes the call and hangs up.

"That was Kukui," she says, relief sparkling in her eyes. "It seems he left his phone at home. The hospital is already busy with the flu right now, but the accident on Akala must have been pretty bad because they sent several patients over to be treated from that. The doctors finished checking the boys a while back, but since the hospital is on lockdown, Kukui wasn't able to get a hold of a phone until just now. He finally convinced the staff to put him and Kabir in the same room for their stay tonight, and he was able to call using your husband's phone." She pauses for a split second to breathe a sigh of relief. "Kabir hasn't woken yet, but they say he's stable."

"He's just resting," I say, hoping my voice sounds more convinced than I actually feel, "it makes sense after what happened this morning." I feel the pit in my stomach drop at the thought of my husband's continued unconscious state, but I work hard to show happiness at my neighbors' good news.

"I think we should call your sister's hospital. I bet she was swept away into working and just hasn't had a chance to call yet." Burnet says, moving the conversation on. She holds her phone in both hands to dial the new number. Instead of staying on the line, though, she hands the phone to me and leans against a counter, watching with a steady gaze.

I take it and listen to the line ring for a long while. Then, finally, someone picks up. "Hello, Akala General Hospital," an exhausted-sounding older woman on the phone says.

"Y-Yes, hello." I stammer, “My name is Sashi Ashoka. I wanted to know if my sister Anya Māhoe had made it there." I say in a rush, my stomach churning and the words tumbling out in a mess.

"Ah, Professor Ashoka, yes, Dr. Māhoe said you'd be calling," she responds after a short pause to decipher my swift words. Eager to get back to her work, she answers quickly. "Yes, she made it. We are rather busy at the moment, so she barely had time to land before we had her in the operating room."

"Very well, right. Good. Thank you." I say, the click of the phone being hung up, cutting off my last words. "She made it," I say simply, turning to my watching guest, bits of my tensed stomach finally beginning to unknot.

"See, she's fine, our husbands are fine, and the storm has died to just wind and rain. I expect that'll continue for a while yet, but at least it isn't as noisy." Though her words sound confident and soothing, her eyes betray her own continued concern, even with the arrival of the good news. I find myself questioning what she's still worried about, not liking to see the sad look in the young Professor's eyes.

I laugh at her last words, hoping the action eases her concerns too, but uncertain of what to say to get her to open up about her anxieties. My own fear of the latter issue of the storm starting to seem foolish. I sigh again, finally feeling the push of breath release some of my apprehensions.

We return to the living room, and I see the children are still sleeping peacefully on the couch. Sardee, my ice Ninetales having taken up babysitting duty in our absence, curled snuggly around Himiko and Bead, my Leafeon, keeping a sleepy gaze on Lei, probably pestered by Sardee until he joined. That wasn't much of a surprise to me. Bead is a bit of a push-over for small chores. He didn't want the large amount of work that his sister Sylveon took on as a PokeAssist, but he did like having occasional tasks.

I head downstairs, and with a bit of help from the two Incineroar that my neighbor brought, we carry the growing crib upstairs, so Lei has a safer place to sleep while the storm slowly dies down. Burnet helps me to put the crib together and then set it up in a comfortable fashion for a sleeping child.

"Hey, Sashi," my guest calls my attention, turning to face me after setting her child down on the blankets inside the crib. "How about I stay here for the night? Would that be okay with you?" She says, finally voicing her thoughts.

I hesitate before answering, looking around at the Pokémon and thinking only of the loss of my privacy for the evening. I had been hoping to spend the night alone, maybe hole up and allow myself to ponder over the events of the day. I know that it's never wise to hold feelings up like that, having been scolded by Kabir many times for doing so, but, as he isn't here, I thought maybe I could allow myself to slip into my old, comfortable ways once more.

"I just," Burnet says, shifting her eyes down, stumbling over her words a bit after seeing my resistance, "I-I'm not certain about spending the night alone..." she looks away anxiously. "Kukui and I have always been in the house together since we married, and I'm just not sure if I'm ready to stay there without him."

I slap myself mentally, upset by my selfish ways.

Of course she's sad, I tell myself. She's not had to spend a night in her home without her husband because of injury or illness like me.

Though Kabir and I are around the same age as these two, we have been married for several years more. That and, as I had mentioned earlier, I'm used to having a place to myself while Kabir stays in the hospital to recover from one illness or another.

"Of course you can stay," I say to the worried woman, trying to look her in the eyes but failing to bring myself to it. I'm so embarrassed by my behavior. "There's the spare room with the bed you and Lei can stay in tonight if you want, or the couch is open too."

"Oh no," Burnet says, looking uncomfortable, "you didn't seem to want me to stay a moment ago. I wouldn't want to be a burden. Please don't feel bad for me. This kind of thing comes with marriage, after all. Right?" I don't like this unconfident side of Burnet. I've only known her for two weeks, but she's seemed unshakable.

"Yes, it does, but that doesn't mean you can't find comfort in staying with a friend," I respond, throwing the word out, for the first time, in hopes of it easing her worries, if even a bit. "Why, I've done that a couple of times myself," I say in what I hope is an encouraging tone.

That's a lie. I've always opted to stay alone, I say to myself with a rush of embarrassment. I know that's unhealthy for my mental state, but it's always easier for me to just hide my emotions.

"Please, stay," I continue after she hesitates. "It would be good for me not to stay here alone too. Besides, if you leave, you'd have to wake Lei, and he seems pretty cozy right now." I say, gesturing to her son, snuggled up against her own Munchlax in the crib, the Fletchling doll still clutched in Lei's tiny mouth.

"Okay. If it won't be any trouble," she says, still unconvinced by my attempts.

"You know what, I think it's about time for dinner. The sun has finally set, and we still haven't eaten anything since lunch!" I change the subject, not wanting to see my guest remain upset. Burnet finally pulls herself from her uncommon despondency, the confident light returning to her eyes at the prospect of a distraction.

"You're right! I bet everyone is getting hungry." She looks around at the Pokémon near her as she says the words, heads popping up and ears perking at the thought of a full belly.

"It's settled then. Let's rustle something up." I walk into the kitchen before any more refusals can be made from the previous conversation. "We can purée another meal for Lei and keep it in the fridge until he's ready to eat," I call over my shoulder, loud enough to be heard but still soft enough to not wake the sleeping children.
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