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

31. Double the Trouble

by CJWorthington 0 reviews

Chapter 31 of The Spirit of Alola

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Published: 2021-10-05 - Updated: 2021-10-29 - 1701 words - Complete

"I see," Doctor Ōpūnui says to me after I finish describing the events of Kabir's adoption. "Familial relations aside, the expertise of Doctor Gomez will be invaluable to the situation that has arisen." He says with cautious indifference.

"What situation is that precisely? Kabir only just fell sick. I'd understand increased concern if his vitals were declining, but they aren't. Have you even looked at his charts? You'd be the first person to bring in an expert in nearly ten years. I'm rather worried about him too, but I think this would be an irrational decision. If you ask me, you aren't bringing a new doctor in for Kabir's sake. So why do it?" I respond, my curiosity and irritation at his dancing around at this specific topic fueling my now rising anger.

"I cannot discuss another patient's medical care with you." He states, looking away, eyes closed.

"Has something happened?" I ask, falling short at his words in my surprise. "Is your daughter okay? I'd heard she has the flu, but I thought she was recovering already." I'm aware that the old Doctor was a widow and had only his two children left, Professor Kukui, his son, and a much younger adopted daughter that I've, selfishly, never bothered to learn about.

"It has nothing to do with my daughter." He says with frustration, and I draw back at the sudden anger that flashes in his eyes.

"Ōpūnui, what in Arceus name is going on? You haven't messed up with someone's care, have you?" I push once more, with a few choice curses slipping out. I don't like this new side of my old mentor, and I defiantly allow my own fury to rise, attempting to overtake his.

Instead of answering, he looks at the watch on his hand. Then he glances at me with a hard stare, telling me with his eyes that he was done with our discussion. "If anyone is going to mess up a patient's care, it'll be you with that attitude you're always flaunting." He pauses for a moment to take a breath, but it seems to do little to calm him.

"I've been idle for too long. I have many other patients to look after today and several important phone calls to make. Nevertheless, it was helpful to receive your expertise on the subject matter at hand. Thank you, Doctor, and good day." He rises to his feet, nods at me curtly, and begins walking off stiffly.

I watch in stunned silence at his swift removal and uncharacteristic anger, and it seems even his own Medical Assistant was unprepared for the outburst. He didn't make to call out to his Comfey, who had stopped in its playing with my daughter at his angered voice. Instead, it flits away from Himiko, glancing in confusion between the young girl, the old Doctor, and me. Then with a final, somber trill to my daughter, the small floral Pokémon zips over to beside its owner's head.

What has got him in such a bad mood today? I ask myself. Even when I was still training, making mistakes, or acting too harshly with a patient, he had always remained even-tempered, and his reprimands were gentle and carefully worded.

"Mommy, why is he scared?" My daughter says, running up to me and pulling at the hem of my dress as I stare at the now-closed hospital door.

I look down at the child in confusion. Scared? Why would she think a man as angry as he looked scared? I question myself.

"It's alright, baby girl," I comfort her instead, picking her up and setting her in my lap. "Mommy said some things she shouldn't have, and it made him very unhappy."

"Are you going to tell him your sorry?" She pipes, tilting her head and looking at me with her ocean blue eyes.

"Later, dear," I answer, smoothing down her fleece-soft hair. "He's very busy right now, and not happy with me. Sometimes you have to let someone calm down before you try to apologize, and I think right now is one of those times. Anyways," I change the subject. "I think it's about time for lunch. What would you like to eat?"

Himiko and I make our way out of town, a bag of food for us in my hands. It was my daughter's suggestion that we bring the meal back to Sashi's home to eat with her, saying that Aunty Shi was really sad and needed someone to talk to. I couldn't argue with that reasoning.

Even so, I find myself, once again, shocked by the young child's innate sense of others' emotions. For one so young, she has always been talented at guessing people's thoughts, staying knowingly quiet in situations which most children her age would not understand.

It doesn't take us long to crest the hill and descend near the neighbor's home. I can see the house my sister and her husband own on their property before us.

"Anya," The call of the female neighbor catches my attention as we pass by. I turn around and see Professor Burnet making her way towards me quickly, out of her garden. Her son Lei was held in her arms, babbling happily.

"Hey, I'm sorry to pester you, but I was hoping we could talk for a moment," She says, stopping in front of me.

"If this is pertaining to yesterday," I start, suppressing the urge to roll my eyes. "I apologize for my actions. I know I had said some harsh and uncalled for statements." I say, answering her swiftly, not as eager to talk, and hoping to diffuse the conversation.

"No, it's not about that, but thank you anyway." She answers, clearly catching onto my unconvincing apology with a sigh and a slightly frustrated shake of her head. "It's about Sashi. I'm worried about her."

"Oh, are you now?" I say, holding a snarky retort back with effort.

She's just worried. Give her a chance to explain what she's noticed. I think, growing irritated at myself but unable to calm down.

"What, pray tell, has your stomach in a knot?" I say instead.

"Do you mean to tell me that you, her own twin, haven't noticed anything odd about Sashi? Maybe her despondency, frequent distractions, dark circles under her eyes, or the sudden loss of weight? I've barely known her for two weeks, and even I can see that something is seriously wrong." She matches my attitude with her own, clearly telling me she will not be deterred by angering me.

"Of course I've seen it. I didn't agree to stay only to babysit her husband. I noticed something was wrong the minute I saw her when I arrived a few days ago." I snap back at the younger woman's defiant glare.

"And what do you plan on doing about it? She won't listen to me, but she might to you."

"I couldn't even get her to come into town for lunch with me. So what do you expect that I do?" I flash back in anger.

She takes a step back and sighs, her irritation dropping away swiftly. "I'm not sure at the moment."

Now it's my turn to step off. I close my eyes and force down my own annoyance with difficulty. "You are correct, Burnet. Something is certainly amiss with Sashi, and I am not sure what action to take to help her." I pause for a moment to allow the emotions to ebb more, then continue with a genuine apology this time. "I am truly sorry for my outburst just now."

"It was an understandable reaction. I came off as harsh myself, so we are both at fault here." She opens her mouth to say more but pauses as her phone begins to ring in her pocket.

"You gonna get that?" I ask, looking at her when she doesn't immediately move to answer.

Looking at the caller ID, she pauses and tilts her head in confusion. "It's Doctor Ōpūnui. Why would he be calling?"

I feel a new flash of irritation cross my mind as she mentions the older man, and I turn around, making to leave, but stop short at a squeezing grasp on my arm. I glance back and see a look of surprise and horror on her face. Then, without a word, she puts her phone on speaker, so I can hear what the old Doctor was saying too.

"-not sure what has happened. His brain functions have not changed, and the concussion he received last night would not be enough to warrant this reaction. Burnet, I am sorry it has taken me this long to get a hold of you, but please know that I am doing everything that I can to figure out what has happened to your husband." He sighs with a slight catch. His voice is now evidently fearful for his son's sudden change in condition. But that's not what grabs my attention the most.

"You mean to say Kukui is still at the hospital?" I ask in surprise at the news. "That's impossible."

"Doctor Māhoe? Why are you with Burnet?" But then he grunts in frustration. "Never mind that. I guess it was only a matter of time that you found out about this. That's why-"

"Answer my question, Doctor," I growl, cutting off his words. "Is Kukui at the hospital?"

"Yes, he's right in front of me as we speak. Stable but unresponsive. Whatever this is, it must have happened overnight."

"Again, that's not possible. He was at the house this morning when I came back from an emergency call to Akala. I saw him with my own two eyes. Burnet, you were with him."
Instead of confirming his presence, she glances up the hill towards Sashi's home, a look of fear rising swiftly in her eyes.

"Where is he?" I ask her, taking another step back, picking Himiko up and readying to run, already guessing the answer.

"He went to her house to give Sashi lunch, and he said he would make sure she actually ate. That was almost 20 minutes ago. No one has gone down this road since."
Sign up to rate and review this story