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<p>The last few days before the contest were the most exhausting days Sonia could remember - but perhaps that didn’t mean much, coming from an immigrant. As much as they were filled with hard work, the woman was also immensely happy. Her face was adorned with a genuine smile that just wouldn’t go away, and she felt like a horde of Butterfree had made a nest in her belly, from all the excitement. Finally, after seeing Shae, who turned out to be last year’s champion, perform back at the Ashfield festival, Sonia was getting her very own chance to do a show and in front of all these people… Until recently, she had no dreams. Now, she felt like one was coming true.
<p>She had everything planned out with detail by the time they arrived at Isbrand lake. The trainer and her Sylveon worked hard on their routine, repeating it countless times even when there were no issues with it. Practice made perfect, Sonia believed. With all that preparation, the one thing she worried about is stage fright. Thinking about all those people watching filled her with anxiety and second guesses. One mistake could turn into the biggest humiliation of her life, that she would remember, at least. The pressure of a public performance was a heavy burden on her shoulders, but she told herself that feeling this way was normal. After all, she was determined to take part in this contest.

<p>The time had finally come. Sonia was standing by the only entrance to the lake, which had been surrounded by a fence, just like other participants before her, waiting for the right moment to step onto the frozen stage. Her black hair was tied with small ribbons into two high ponytails on the sides. It contrasted with her white, woolen coat with large round buttons. There was a belt wrapped with a ribbon on her waist, slimming her figure and adding another detail that resembled her Pokémon's appearance. Her skinny jeans were tucked into the ice skates. She had been anxiously awaiting her turn, staying only a single step away from the wall's end. Her legs had been shaking so much that she could barely feel them anymore. The stress was getting to her: her mind was blank and her hands cold - though the latter was also thanks to the weather.
<p>Kaname was taking it all better. Or at least he would be, if it wasn't for the gift of empathy and emotion sensing that Fairy-types like him were cursed with. Usually being able to read Sonia without even looking at her or hearing what she had to say was rather convenient, but at this moment, he was starting to doubt himself too. He was grinding his teeth and tapping the snowy ground with a paw, embarrassed to be feeling so vulnerable.
<p>She heard her name being called by the judges. There was no backing away now.
<p>Before they finally entered the stage, Sonia glanced at her partner, reassured to have her best friend beside her. The two looked into each other's eyes as the girl whispered weakly, "Everything will be fine, Kaname. We know what to do. We've got this. Just relax and have fun!"
<p>Whether she was comforting Kaname or herself more, was a mystery that would remain unanswered, as they then took that first, hesitant step onto the lake. The sensation of standing on ice had grown familiar to them in the recent days. This was it. Sonia and Kaname, positioned side by side, each took a deep breath, before the girl called out, trying for as much of a cheerful tone as her stress would allow, "Let's start the show! Kaname, Fairy Wind, please! Fill the air with your pixie dust!"
<p>Sliding onto the ice, the Sylveon moved in an arc until he was in front of the trainer. His ribbon-like feelers danced behind him as he moved. He halted, looked over the crowd's faces with a friendly grin, before he focused, with his eyes closed. The feelers moved up higher, tensing up as he used them to point forward. In that instant, the air around him began to sparkle, more and more, as a pink powder formed, flowing around him in a circle. Suddenly Kaname opened his eyes and lightly tapped the ground with both of his front paws at the same time. Wind blew and the pixie dust was spread over nearly half of the lake, glittering and hiding the trainer and her Pokémon from the audience's view.
<p>Sonia smiled to herself. Not being able to see the crowd filled her with some confidence. All she had to do was repeat what they had practiced... She tried not to think about anything or anybody else. Only the show mattered. For the next few minutes, the world had to be reduced to only this lake and the only living beings were her and Kaname...
<p>With that reassuring thought, Sonia slid past Kaname in an arc on his right side, just like he had a few seconds earlier, and continued into the cloud of Fairy Wind that persisted in the air. Her movements were fluid and gentle, pushing the icy layer away with one foot, then the other, her arms swinging slightly with each step. When she finally emerged on the other side, Sonia's eyes were closed. She didn't need her vision to make it past, she knew exactly where to go. As soon as she was in the open again, the brunette ran a full circle in the center of the stage. Before she returned to the start of the circle, Sonia lowered her body, preparing to kneel down as she began to slow down. When the was finally in place, her left knee immediately touched the ice, stabilizing her position. Then she raised her arms, opening them as if inviting someone into a hug.
<p>At the same time as the trainer started slowing down, her Pokémon followed into her earlier footsteps through the mist. But unlike her, Kaname wasn't going to slide out of it - instead, while he was still surrounded by his own Fairy Wind cloud, he took a long leap forward, reaching out with his paws. With his vision limited, it looked like a leap of faith, he could not see where he would end up. But after countless more or less painful attempts, he didn't have to see. He knew. The Sylveon jumped out from the pixie dust only an instant after Sonia had knelt down. The Pokémon hopped straight into her arms and she caught him into an embrace, holding his head and front paws over her shoulder. It was a risky move, with the impact having potential to knock Sonia over, but that was where the Sylveon's feelers came in handy - as he glomped his trainer, the ribbons' tips landed onto the ground around them. They weren't very strong, but enough to keep the balance so they wouldn't fall over.
<p>The two stayed locked in that position for just an instant. Kaname, being the only one facing the audience in this position, used the chance to look in the crowd’s general direction, sending a wide smile and a wink - for a Sylveon, he was rather reserved, as Sonia knew perfectly, but for the sake of the performance, he had to put on a mask. At first he only agreed to do this for Sonia’s sake, but surprisingly enough, he found himself enjoying this. Sonia, too, was getting more and more encouraged by their moves working out. She had been stressed, obviously, but in the end doing this with an audience didn’t make it all that much different than doing it only among themselves. If anything, it had potential to be better - after all, all these people could watch them as they were having fun with their beautiful moves!
<p>Following this greeting, the Sylveon swiftly climbed up Sonia’s shoulder with the lower half of his body and immediately hopped onto the lake’s surface, his paws slightly sliding off the to the sides. In that exact moment, Sonia used her mitten-covered hands to launch herself back up, pushing the ice away. The two stood back to back: Kaname with all four legs spread to the sides to ensure a stable position, and his ribbons up high, flowing on the wind. He appeared bigger than he really was, especially with Sonia hiding behind him like a shadow. But that was only for a moment. They both suddenly turned to look the same way: Kaname to his right, Sonia to her left. They were side by side again. In perfect sync, the performers looked at each other with meaningful smiles. The woman raised her left hand up, then slowly moved it down with her palm open, offering it to her partner. The Sylveon meowed in gratitude and reached for it with one feeler, wrapping it tightly around her wrist. Then the two gazed forward and glided toward the edge of the stage, where they turned and arced along the sidelines. The difference between their sizes was visible, but they were considerate of each other as they moved: Sonia moved her long, by comparison, legs slowly, elegantly sliding her feet to the back and to each side, while Kaname tread next to her with his paws going up and down rapidly, pressing against the ice, sliding and almost immediately pushing the flooring away to gain momentum.
<p>They were still at the edge of the lake, right next to the audience, and on the opposite side of the entrance, when Kaname, who was closer to the center of the lake, started moving away, adding distance between them. The two had to extend their arm and feelers to continue holding “hands”, but soon that was not enough - they let go, the ribbon unwrapped itself from Sonia’s wrist and the performers went separate ways, with Kaname going straight toward the middle and Sonia continuing her dash around the stage.
<p>The Sylveon stopped moving his limbs as he approached the center, letting his body slide on its own as he was halting. As he stood still, he faced the audience, raising all of his ribbons up high, then waving them back and forth, slowly at first, then picking up the pace. Meanwhile, Sonia reached the entrance to the stage. She similarly slowed down and stopped, standing a few meters behind Kaname and facing the same way. She smiled vigorously. Moving around had warmed her up and she was starting to really feel the atmosphere of their performance. Next up was their second combo, the really fun part…
<p>”Kaname, let’s make this stage a little brighter!” she called out to her partner cheerfully, reaching up toward the sky with one hand. The command was, of course, unnecessary, but she believed it would be best to let the audience hear them every now and then. ”Use Wish on the center, please! Make a Cascade of Stars!”
<p>The Sylveon meowed softly in confirmation. The tips of his dancing ribbons gently landed on the ice around him. The Pokémon closed his eyes in concentration. He wasn’t using the move to recover anyone’s energy, but he couldn’t take it easy. The goal was to make the visual effects of Wish last as long as possible… As he was focusing, the air above him began to glow: it was barely noticeable at first, but soon the audience would be able to notice multiple tiny golden stars forming and gathering in one place. With his eyes closed, Kaname continued making more and more until he was satisfied - then there was a cloud of shiny, snowflake-sized stars above him. Sonia, who had been watching the move form carefully, was also pretty certain they were good to go. She moved from her position, calmly gliding on the ice toward Kaname. He heard her ice skates touch the ice and knew it was time. He opened his eyes and in that exact moment the stars started falling onto him, one after another. It was a gentle snowfall of stars that filled the air above him, glowing and illuminating the spot, like a spotlight. That was exactly what Sonia needed.
<p>Kaname stepped to his left to make room for his trainer who came into the spotlight and took a sudden turn to the right, then ran a small circle, letting the sparkling stars fall onto her. As she completed going around the spotlit area, she took off further to the right, away from Kaname. She eventually took a sharp turn and looped by the audience stands near the edge of the lake, then she was on her way back to the center.

<p>In the meantime, the Sylveon jumped back into the shiny spot. He danced in the cascade of stars, hopping up and turning around 90 degrees to his right mid-air, his paws waving in the air and ribbons flowing gently after him, then he repeated the same step a few time until he did a full spin around. At that point, Sonia was back. Again Kaname jumped away, standing a few steps away from the center, where the Wish attack was still working its magic. As she slid behind him, she reached for two of his feelers with both hands, with her right arm extended and her left arm held in front of her. As she grabbed him, the Sylveon wrapped them tightly around her wrists, the Pokémon put more force into pulling her, running his ribbons in a slow circle above him - and thus, having Sonia follow their movements on the icy lake, going around Kaname. One loop around him later, the Pokémon let go all of a sudden, sending Sonia gliding on the ice faster than ever before. Next, she seemed to be going around the Pokemon in a wider circle, but she interrupted it suddenly with a turn straight to the center. The last of the sparkling stars still formed the spotlight. Kaname stepped aside and Sonia charged head on into the beautiful array of stars. Just before she went into it, the woman launched herself up in the air, jumping through the spotlight, with her legs spread to the front and the back a little bit.
<p>Her heart stopped for a moment as she was jumping. This was the part she was most afraid of, because if she couldn’t land properly and elegantly… Well, that would hurt. But thankfully, the practice had paid out and with a thud, she was safely back on the ice an instant later, happily skating ahead. With that, the last stars had disappeared, with Kaname standing off center and Sonia again sliding away toward the edge of the lake. The woman took a turn to the left and looped, then ran back to reunite with Kaname. She stopped by his right side with a quiet screech of her ice skates. The trainer and her Pokémon looked at the crowd, with excited smirks. The woman then raised her arms, forming a V-shape.
<p>”It’s time for our last trick! Kaname, Disarming Voice, if you will! Soothing Melody!”
<p>The Sylveon sat down on the ice, with his pink fluffy tail moving up and down as he opened his mouth, ready to sing. Normally Sonia complained about this move because of the creepy shriek it made, but as it turned out, if Kaname put less energy into it, Disarming Voice is not as powerful and the sound that came with it could be quieter and softer. And so, the Pokémon began using the move repeatedly, almost rapid fire, aiming for the space above them and instead of letting out that nasty low screech, he sang high-pitched, melodic notes. Each time, a pink heart-shaped blast of energy came out, flying a few meters before dispersing into nothingness.
<p>Sonia stood by his side as he sang for a moment, before she took off again - a few steps forward, then a sharp turn to the right, and off she went, circling around the singing Sylveon, with the song’s effects flying in the air like cheerful music notes. After one circle, she stayed behind him and dashed off towards one side, where she looped and ran back, then to the other side, where she repeated the same steps, drawing the shape of an eight in the ice. She danced seemingly autonomously, letting Kaname do his thing, but the melody of Disarming Voice was rather important to her - she coordinated each step to go with the Pokémon’s music, moving rhythmically. For each note, a foot pressed against the ice, letting her slide forward.
<p>She came back to the middle point of the eight, positioned a few steps behind the singing Sylveon. There she slowed down and pushed the ground away with her left foot, spinning around on her right, balancing on the tip of the ice skate’s blade. As she finished her spin, her left foot was back on the ice and Sonia took another few steps, before she looped, and arced widely to change the direction of her dash - now she was coming straight for Kaname from the back. The Pokémon’s melody continued, with the flashy effects surrounding him. He appeared as if he wasn’t expecting Sonia’s approach at all. Just a few steps away from him, the woman fell to her knees, sliding through the last part of the road, gradually slowing down, until she ran into Kaname. She immediately leaned on him, wrapping him into a tight embrace, with her left cheek pressed against his right. The Sylveon sang the last note of his song, the pink energy flew up and Sonia reached for it with one hand and seemed to catch it, clenching her fist around it as it disappeared. Then the two again looked forward, at the audience, with warm smiles, both breathing heavily from the fatigue, and finally bowed their heads, marking the end of their performance.
<p>Sonia stood up, with an uncontrollable grin. She was just so happy to have done this. Whether she would win or not, she had so much fun performing and, now that it was over, she felt like a huge burden was taken off her shoulders. After all, she dared to do a show in front a large audience. From this moment on, she would remember this feeling of satisfaction and look forward to another chance to perform.
<p>”Thank you for your support, everyone!” she called out excitedly, before turning and heading to the exit, with Kaname sliding by her side, his tail wagging energetically. He shared Sonia’s joy, but he couldn’t tell if it was because of his innate Fairy powers, the simple sympathy between two friends… or the fact that he was also enjoying it.
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Jan 17 2018, 06:02 PM
[ooc note: using Jillian's old name for this topic, since this is where she still remembers it. :'D]

It had been another cold night on island Ula'ula, by Alolan standards. It was only natural in this season. The sun was only up for a short portion of the day, which frustrated Ailani. It was dangerous to be outside when it was dark, as any potential predators remained unseen until they would come into her flashlight's range. She had to realize that with the current state of the world, she should be happy the sun rose at all, but there were still some inconveniences. For example, if she felt like climbing down Mount Hokulani and heading into the settlement that was once known as Malie city, she had limited time to do so.

Fortunately for her, on this day there was no need to visit. The people had plenty of vegetables and cereal stored, and they had gone hunting for meat recently. Besides, with thick wooden walls surrounding it, the village was as safe as it could be. As long as there were no natural disasters the legendaries had planned, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunami... But Ailani was powerless against those.

So she stayed on the top of the mountain, having turned an abandoned PokeCenter building into her home, sometimes for many days in a row. Naturally, during this time she wouldn't see a single human face. But she was far from lonely.

It was another day like any other. Ailani was making use of what little sunlight there was - she stood by the steep edge of the mountain, looking over the sea. The view from the top was really amazing, she could even see the other islands off in the distance... She wondered how they were faring. It had been a while since they had a visitor from overseas. Last time, it was some adventurous adolescents, who actually bothered to climb up Hokulani and challenge her to a battle. The woman smirked at the memory. They were good kids, whom she hadn't seen since. They could be dead for all she knew.

A lazy yawn sounded from her side. Ailani glanced at the Komala, clinging to her arm tightly, with her head rested on the trainer's shoulder. The lazy thing was always sleeping, or at least dozing off, but for most part it was aware of what was going on around her... At least so Ailani thought. Still, Komala was a good companion and fairly strong for her size.

"Getting bored, aren't you? We could do some training before it gets dark, if that keeps you from complaining," the woman said teasingly, petting the tiny bear's head. After all the years they had spent together, she could safely say they had a close relationship, to the point that she could guess what Komala needed. She grabbed the Pokémon with the other hand and pulled. There was some resistance from the sleeping Pokémon's side, but eventually she let go. Ailani shook her head with disapproval before she walked away from her observation point.

She looked around to see what other Pokémon were hanging out nearby. It was easy to spot the large mule, lazily drinking cold water from its contained. Ailani whistled to get Mudsdale's attention. The Ground-type immediately looked up, swiping its long braids back, then obediently coming closer.

"There, you have your opponent, you whiny baby," Ailani mumbled, gently placing Komala on the ground in front of her. Mudsdale kicked the dirt, glaring its opponent in this little spar. There was a barely visible smile on the Pokémon's mouth. It was delighted to have some fun!

"Alright, you two, let's play nice. After this, we'll make dinner! Whoever wins gets two plates."

As long as nothing gets in the way this time," the woman added in her thoughts, remembering the heavy rain that interrupted their last training routine. They were getting frequent these days, to the point that it was worrying... But again, she had limited options against the power of nature.

Ailani let the Pokémon be as she walked off to retrieve Komala's log. The Pokémon preferred holding her arm instead, but the trainer was generally against the idea of her arm being used for battles, so the log came in handy as a weapon. The woman found the piece of wood standing by a small table, so she rolled it towards Komala and sat by the table, grabbing a book that had been laying on top of it. Komala and Mudsdale didn't need her instructions for the spar, so she could as well read in the meantime. As she opened the book, the heavy thuds of a charging Mudsdale sounded from the side...

A day like any other, really. It didn't seem like anything out of ordinary was going to happen.
Jan 14 2018, 11:47 AM
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<div class="simpappname">Jillian Cole</div>

<div class="simpappinfo">33 - FEMALE - BISEXUAL</div>

<div class="simpappdesc">Appearance</div>
Despite being well into her thirties, Jillian might look younger at first glance, and that is because of her low height - she stands at only 5'2''. She is of mostly slim, apple-shaped figure, although she has some belly and arm fat that she is more conscious about than she would like to admit. Her face shows delicate lines, with a mature, straight expression and her skin has a light tan.

<p>Jillian is quite proud of her hair - waist-length, light brown, and wavy, with bangs brushed to the side. Her focused eyes are of a similar color, slightly fading into hazel. She has small lips, that she tends to bite when nervous or concentrating, and a pointy nose. When choosing her outfits, Jillian tries to mix comfortable with elegant: often choosing loose-fit tunic shirts or pretty blouses to go with shorts or leggings.

<p> Faceclaim: Mugino Shizuri (Meltdowner), A Certain Scientific Railgun
<div class="simpappdesc">Personality</div>
<p>After growing up in the disaster-stricken Alola, Jillian learned the importance of survival and acquired many traits that make it easier. She is practical and goal-focused, with little attachment to trivial or superficial issues. Jillian is the kind of person who does what needs to be done, even if it's morally ambiguous. She is usually seen with a straight face, as she shows little emotion. She may appear cold, but a more accurate description would be that she is simply good at controlling her feelings, because they tend to get in the way when tough decisions need to be made.

<p>Her philosophy is that her own well-being is the most important, making her rather selfish at heart - but her actions are not always so. After all, having worthwhile connections makes life easier. She has gotten used to people coming and going in her life, often losing friends who were defeated by the rough world of the suffering universe. That is why she doesn't get very attached to people - who knows how long a friendship can really last before someone gets devoured by a hungry Bewear. While she remains emotionally distant, Jillian will still reach out to others if she finds it beneficial to herself, but ultimately she believes she only has herself to count on. When addressing other people, she often speaks in a judgmental, opinionated way, even if she doesn't have ill intentions regarding them. It is only one way for her to keep her distance. As reserved as she is, Jillian is not the best at making genuine friends, even if she wanted to.

<p>Jillian is also a cunning planner, who thinks her actions through and follows reason above all else. She has no issues with lying and manipulating, believing that virtues like kindness and honesty have no more place in the broken world. What she holds in high regard are knowledge and power as she is eager to grow as a person for the sake of safe and comfortable life for her and whatever people and pokemon she is currently surrounding herself with.

<p>After coming to Terrene, her core personality remains unchanged, though her memories are almost completely wiped, to the point that Jillian doesn't even remember her own name (Ailani) nor how to read. Her one clue about what could be related to her past is a novel book that was warped with her from the Suffering Universe - a light-hearted story about a trainer traveling the world, long before disasters struck. The woman eventually starts using the author's name, Jillian Cole, as her own.

<div class="simpappdesc">History</div>
<p>Although Jillian, formerly known as Ailani, was born into the chaotic reality of the Suffering Universe, she had it easier than most, as her homeland, Alola, was seemingly being protected from many of the evils of the world. People talked it was the guardian deities shielding the lands. Even if that was the truth, the Tapu’s could not save Alola completely, as the occasional earthquakes or tsunamis or acid raids surely destroyed a lot of the human civilization. Jillian was born in Malie city, although decades of chaos had made it more of a village. With little access to technology or the world outside of their community, the people of Malie city learned to rely on themselves and their Pokémon for survival. Fortunately, Alola had always been among the “wilder” regions, so adapting to the new life came easy for them.


<p>One of the most important values that Jillian was taught as a child was survival. All children were taught basic skills, like finding food or moving around in the wilds, but it was still tough. Every day was a fight and one never knew what dangers lurked around the corners or when the next disaster would strike. Jillian quickly got used to people and Pokémon dying around her, and learned to mind her own business. She took the world seriously and worked on ensuring her own safety - and she had a way. It was training Pokémon. Not many people she knew treated their relationships with Pokémon as “training”, they did not have time to worry about competitions or league championships or other traditions from before the chaos struck. But for Jillian, competing and training with her Pokémon partners was an opportunity to grow stronger, which meant living longer, and that was about all that mattered. She became one of the most skilled people at handling Pokémon in Malie and proclaimed herself a Trial Captain - the concept of trial going had also mostly gone extinct, but Alolan people cared enough about the traditions to recognize the title. It still carried some respect, and Jillian believed herself to be a guardian of the city. And she simply loved putting others through a trial of battle.


<p>From her early years on, Jillian spent a lot of time in the Malie library, or rather - what remained of it. She loved reading, especially stories about the world before the chaos struck. She believed it was her duty, especially as a captain, to protect the lore of humanity and teach children about their own history. Together with a pure desire to help out others in her village, this was what inspired her to try to resurrect the tradition of trials and competitive Pokémon training. But as time passed, Jillian had to witness plenty of death - not everyone was suited for this world. Often someone would simply not return from a hunt, other times they would be defeated by wild Pokémon. Over time, she was growing more distant, learning not to get too attached to people. In her last years in the suffering universe, she spent more time meditating and training in solitude, on the top of mount Hokulani, rather than with her people.

<p>It was a day like any other when she was warped into another universe.
<div class="simpappdesc"> RISSI - GMT+1 - SHE/HER</div>

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<div class="tcred"><a href="http://shine.b1.jcink.com/index.php?showuser=1892" target="_blank">♛ Ames</a></div>
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Jan 2 2018, 03:58 PM
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<p>As she was standing in front of the tunnel, Sonia was getting anxious. Caves were not her favorite. It was too dark to see, it was cold and there were no landscapes to admire. And she had agreed to explore these tunnels for barely any pay... In all honestly, she was getting second thoughts. Her initial decision to just go for it was mostly because she wanted to help out. It was something to do and this Omega person seemed like they mattered here in Terrene. It was about time for Sonia to contribute to this world, she believed.

<p>Recalling the noble reasons behind her decision, Sonia stretched. She was supposed to meet someone by the entrance and join forces with them. She could have gone in on her own had she wanted, but Sonia was careful. She knew that places like this were not to be underestimated and it would be irresponsible to charge in blindly without first exploring the area. She arrived at the destined location earlier, willing to wait for her partner, whoever they might be. Bebe had found a comfortable spot in the hood of Sonia's jacket, and she was starting to doze off. It was probably a good idea, the trainer believed, it wouldn't hurt to recover some energy before they dwell into the depths of the underground maze. Kaname, on the other hand, was standing by the entrance, looking into the tunnel, trying to see what kind of dangers lurked in there.

<p>Sonia adjusted her woolen scarf, wrapped loosely around her neck. She was still wearing her white coat as well, unsure how cold it would be deeper in the tunnels. She couldn't wait to meet her partner. Hopefully, it would be someone experienced and cooperative. She could use someone to rely on.


<p>@Kaien Not sure if we should set this before or after the Coordination contest (which Sonia is definitely taking part in lol). A bit of a short starting post, but here goes. :D
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Dec 31 2017, 08:08 PM
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Before leaving Ashfield for her grand adventure, together with Victor, Sonia still had quite some errands to run in the city. In the short time she had been in Terrene, Ashfield had been her home and she was growing attached - even if it was because she lacked knowledge of other places. Being as cautious as she was, Sonia made sure to get enough supplies. She didn't expect the forest to be generous with food or healing items. Besides, this was a good chance to check out some shops around the city. Though there weren't many, Sonia at least made sure to get some warm clothing. The air was getting unpleasantly chilly.
<p>One of the purchases she was particularly proud of was her tent. Sleeping in the dark alleys of Ashfield had become more bearable when she wasn't out in the open. It was night time, and she was sitting in her tent with her two Pokémon partners, looking through her belongings, with the dim light of a nearby streetlamp being the only thing keeping them from the darkness. As Sonia was carefully folding the few items of clothing she had, preparing for the next day, Bebe was watching her with interest, much unlike the relaxed Kaname, who was grooming himself lazily.
<p>"What is that?" the Rattata asked eventually with a frustrated frown, a single claw pointing at a scarf Sonia was holding.
<p>"It's what humans call clothes," Kaname explained with a bored tone, glancing at their human for just a moment before he continued licking his fur, talking in between. "It's to keep them warm. And... To make them look better."
<p>Bebe was silent for a moment until she processed the information and came to the most cheerful conclusion. She walked up to Sonia and climbed onto the woman's lap, immediately becoming the center of her attention. The trainer put everything else away and gave the rat a gentle ear scratch. "Oh, sorry, Bebe. Are you bored? It's probably time for you to sleep. It's no good for children to stay up very long."
<p>The rat still had trouble understanding human speech - or rather, she realized she can choose whether to react to it or not. Kaname had made it clear that the humans can't understand them, so it didn't really matter what Bebe would have to say to Sonia. So, ignoring Sonia's advice, the Rattata talked to the Sylveon. "Bebe can get clothes too?"
<p>"No, you're not a human. We've been over that. Sonia is a human."
<p>"Hrmm... And when Bebe grow big?"
<p>Kaname smiled at the innocent question. Oblivious to what they were saying, Sonia continued petting the Rattata. "You'll still be a Pokémon like me. Not like Sonia."
<p>Bebe pouted, looking up at Sonia with disappointment, as if she was the cause of this unfortunate way of things. "Bebe won't be big like Sonia? Bebe want to be big and strong! Bigger than Ribbon-friend!"
<p>Kaname sighed, shaking his head. He wasn't sure if he liked that nickname. Still, he had to endure it. Bebe was still a helpless child who didn't understand a whole lot.
<p>"Alright, Bebe, it is time for you to sleep," Sonia spoke again, this time more firmly, as she grabbed the little Pokémon and placed her down next to her. But Bebe immediately launched herself back onto the woman's lap. Endeared, Sonia giggled, picking the rat up again. "Hey! We need energy for later. We're going to see the world soon, you know?"
<p>"Ooh, the world! Bebe see the world and fight like Ribbon-friend,"
the Rattata promised, squeaking cheerfully at her trainer.
<p>Before Sonia could attempt to assert her dominance as the trainer again, she heard a quiet, muffled footstep outside the tent. All three of them froze, their gaze turning to the tent's exit. Was there someone outside?... Kaname rose up silently, approaching the source of the sound, as Sonia held Bebe closer.
<p>All was silent. Kaname couldn't handle the silent anticipation. He dashed out of the tent. Sonia reached for him with one hand, her mouth opening to call out to him, but it was too late to stop him and making any sounds would be foolish. The Sylveon's ribbons disappeared behind the cloth that made the tent's entrance and Sonia and Bebe stayed behind, listening in anxiously. Kaname didn't keep them waiting for long. He sneaked back in, pushing a neatly-packed object in front of him with his nose. The trainer raised an eyebrow. It looked like... a present. Strange. Curiosity got the better of her. She grabbed and opened it.

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