Psychotropic Nymphaea, Grave Revelations, Drunken Memoirs, Wavering Alloy & Sorceress’ Saga
Just get the damn carts!
“Annd there they go,” Teagan mused, mostly to himself. He watched as the five Pokemon went off to find carts, but his gaze eventually shifted to Saroja. She was beautiful, really, and she distracted him with the way her hand flicked as she moved further and further away--
His brother’s voice broke his thoughts and he quickly turned to fix his blue gaze on Samehk; the Kirlia had a knowing look in his eye and instinctively Teagan looked toward the ground, the very look of someone caught red-handed.
“Staring is impolite.”
“You’ve told me countless times,” the Bisharp mumbled, “but let us be off then. I’m sure there are carts that have already been brought in that will require fixing. Not everyone is aware that they should check the condition of the carts before bringing them in.”
Samehk merely nodded his head, then followed Teagan as the Bisharp led the way through the city, Orianna and Ciela not too far behind. It didn’t take them long to come across the main dumping area for the carts, where a Banette was looking right miffed at the condition of some of them. Teagan approached him, “pardon me, you must be Robin.”
“That I am,” he huffed, shaking his head, “are you here about the carts?”
“Great! Come on over here.”
The group followed Robin over to a pile of carts that were quite diminished. He pointed to them, “though these carts are obviously broken, you can use the parts from them to fix the ones that are in disrepair. Mostly it’s the wheels, but a few of them are missing planks of wood. Could ya do that?”
“Definitely,” Teagan offered a disarming smile, and Orianna moved to stand next to him.
“Yup! Leave it to us!”
“Good, good. If you fix up two carts, that should be good. A lot more teams are pouring in, after all, so just do what you can for two and call it a day.”
Teagan and the others nodded. Ciela immeidately dove into the wreckage, much to Orianna’s terror. Samehk fished the little Braixen out as Orianna snatched her hat.
“Ciela!! DOn’t just -- I mean we need the wood and the parts but--!! Don’t just dive into it, there could be nails, and other things, you could hurt yourself!!”
The small Braixen’s ears fell and Samehk gently set her back down. Teagan crouched, tilting the Braixen’s chin up with one finger.
“Don’t look so down! We’ll look through the wood parts soon enough,” he smiled disarmingly, “but first, we’ll take a look at two of the carts, and figure out what parts we need. Then we can come back and you can find all the parts you want!”
Her mood brightened immediately, “okay Tea-bag!!”
Though he chuckled, the Bisharp inwardly groaned at the nickname, ’she’s just a child, she’s just a child… if Gage can handle being called Cookie, I can handle being called Tea-bag.’
He set about following Orianna and his brother over to the carts that Ciela was already prancing around. He and Samehk did the majority of the inspection, and Teagan sent his brother off to get some tools.
’This one here needs a new back wheel… and the other one we have here has gaps that need to be filled...’
The Bisharp turned to Ciela and Orianna, a small smile on his lips, “alright ladies~ Let’s move these carts a bit more out into the open so we can work with them. This one first,” he gestured to the one with the broken wheel, “it’ll be easier if all three of us move it.”
“Alright!” Orianna closed her eyes, and Teagan watched in fascination as the paint on her tail changed to a bluish-grey - a color very similar to, dare he think it, Dashiell the Machoke. To his further awe, the Smeargle’s arms bulged, surrounded by rings of energy the same color as her tail paint, her pinky fingers splitting into two. Her biceps enlarged, obvious muscle forming over her arms. Red lines soon appeared, causing it to look as if her skin had split to give way to these red lines.
’That is… definitely not Bulk Up… and I know Smeargle can learn… anything but… what… in the world…?’
Soon Orianna opened her eyes, pumping her fists into the air, “I’m ready!! Machoke arms are a go!”
Teagan was motionless with shock, blinking his eyes repeatedly at her. She blinked back at him, her lips pursed, one eyebrow raised, “um… Teagan?”
“..... oh! Uh,” he scratched the back of his neck, and embarrassed red skittering over his cheeks, “th-that uh… you… how?”
Orianna stared at him, confused, then looked at her hands. Her ears flicked up and she blushed deeply.
“O-OH! Uh!! I know Transform…?” she tried to explain, then looked off to the side, her expression one of complete and utter loss.
’Oh my heavens that explains everything,’ he nodded his head, “no, no, that makes sense, I mean I thought you were using Bulk Up at first but then your arms outright changed color and shape-- I could honestly pester you for hours about how that doesn’t cause you pain but seeing as I’ve already gotten distracted by the fact that you changed the shape of your arms and their color I’m not sure if I can focu--- ACK!” he released a cough when a hand connected solidly with his upper back. He staggered forward and Orianna, eyes wide with worry, stopped him from falling over, her hands against his shoulders.
He released another cough, then looked back at Samehk, who was giving him a neutral expression.
“You were rambling, Teagan.”
“Ah, yes, thank you,” he shook his head a little, and he looked apologetically at Orianna, “my apologies. I tend to ramble when I see something that fascinates me.”
Orianna smiled, her brows pulled back over her eyes, “oh, don’t worry about it Teagan, it’s okay! I mean it’s kinda’ weird for a Smeargle to know Transform anyway but, yeah, let’s focus on the task at hand.”
With the added strength from Orianna, the group was able to move the carts to a more open space - though Samehk had no trouble moving the one with the bad wheel by himself. Ciela was sitting in the cart, peering gleefully over at Orianna and Teagan as they pushed the other cart to be parallel to the one she sat in.
“Yay!!” she exclaimed, jumping out, “can we get parts now??”
“Yes, yes,” Teagan laughed, waving a hand at her, “if you could get a wheel, that would be great, and Sam, if you could find some planks of wood. Thanks for the tools, by the way.”
“No problem,” he began to walk toward the pile of scraps, though he jumped a little, startled that Ciela had latched onto his hand. His fingers were stiff, Teagan noticed, as were his shoulders, but eventually he relaxed, and Ciela was none the wiser to Samehk’s moment of irritation.
“Hey, Orianna, could you pull this wheel off for me?” he asked, his voice coming out softer than he had intended. It irked him. Being so weak he had to ask someone else to pull a wheel off a cart for him.
“Sure!” she tugged the wheel off without so much as a question, whistling to herself. She steadied the cart with her right hand, passing the wheel to Teagan with her left, “here ya go! Um… I need a rock or--!!”
She jerked her hand back when sparks flickered around the cart. Teagan chuckled, focusing his thoughts on his actual strengths instead of his weaknesses.
“Unlike with other Pokemon, it’s easy for me to pass Magnet Rise onto objects - albeit a much weaker form of the move,” he explained, and Orianna’s eyes lit up.
“Oh that’s neat! And pretty useful since we have to replace that wheel.”
“Of course. Hopefully my brother and your sister will come back soon with the wheel we need. Magnet Rise doesn’t last forever, after all.”
She nodded, and Teagan again watched in fascination as her arms slowly changed back to normal, the dark brown bands appearing once more around her wrists and the bluish-grey giving way to the milky tan color her fur normally was.
’Truly fascinating… I wonder what else she can Transform into…’ a mischievous smirk crossed his lips, but he quickly shook away the thought, ’focus, Teagan.’
Soon enough Ciela came dashing over with a wheel held above her head.
“Tea-bag!! We found a wheel!!”
“Wonderful,” he smiled at her, “bring it here.”
As the Braixen brought the wheel over, the Bisharp reached for a few tools; a hammer and some nails, to be precise. Though he didn’t plan on using the nails yet, he stuck them in his mouth. He knew that the wagon wheel needed a hub, and thankfully the one from the broken wheel they removed was still fine.
“Hm… we still need a boxing.”
“A boxing?” Orianna repeated and Teagan nodded, tapping his finger against the metal insert that now stuck out from the arm that the old wheel had been attached to.
“A new one of these. Thankfully we already have a hub, which is this right here,” he picked the piece up with his Hidden Power, “and also the smaller version of it, the hub band.”
Orianna stared at him, then giggled, “gee, you sure know a lot about wagons.”
“Oh, I know a great deal about many things,” he purred, smirking, “that’s what happens when you read books and scrounge around a library for most of your free time. You come across a plethora of information.”
The Smeargle nodded, then grasped the boxing in her hand, “should I pull this out?” she asked, and Teagan nodded. Her arm changed to a Machoke arm again, and she easily removed the rod; Teagan inspected the area it had been pulled from.
Ciela returned, this time with a small piece of metal rod, “Sam said you needed this!!”
“Yes, I did, thank you Ciela,” Teagan murmured and the little Braixen darted off again, once the rod was safely in Teagan’s hand. Orianna crouched next to him.
“So…” she made a small yelping noise when Teagan thrust the rod towards her.
“Here. If you could -- actually, I’ll hold it, you can hammer it in.”
“I-I can hold it--” she was silenced when he pressed a cold steel finger to her lips.
“Now, now, dear Orianna, I’m sure that while you may surpass me in physical strength, I have far superior defenses,” he held the wheel in place, then set the hub on top of it. Holding both of those in place with his Hidden Power, a blue shimmer emitted from his eyes, he held the boxing in place, “or I could do it.”
The Smeargle pouted, then reached for the hammer and passed it to him, “I think you should do it…”
He smiled as best he could with the nails in his mouth still, “but of course.”
Easily he hammered the boxing into place, then twisted the hub band over it. Before his Magnet Rise ran out, he spun the wheel on the axle, satisfied that it moved well enough. He caught the cart with his Psychic, holding it up as the Magnet Rise fizzled out; then, he set it carefully back on the ground.
“And that’s one fixed,” he passed the hammer to Orianna, then the nails he had between his lips, “I’ll help you with the other one now.”
Orianna huffed a little. This Bisharp certainly was a curious fellow.
She shook her head, deciding not to think of it too much, ’wonder if Samehk and Ciela have managed to find planks of wood we can use on this other cart yet...’
“Okay so… what should we do first? Remove the old parts maybe?”
“Hm…” Teagan walked around the cart, squinting at it, then nodding his head, “yes, it’s best if we take apart the entire top bit. We can use the undamaged planks again, and thankfully it’s only one on the left side and one on the right that need to be replaced. This should be simple enough.”
’Easy for you to say, Mr. Fix-it,’ Orianna inwardly mused, setting the hammer down inside the cart before helping Teagan with taking apart the top borders of the wagon.
Shortly after they started this Samehk and Ciela returned, the Braixen darting about the Kirlia’s leg, while the Kirlia had an armful of wood tucked under one arm.
’Wow… he’s strong for a Kirlia,’ Ori noted, setting the last piece of wood she removed on the ground, “those all look pretty good!”
“They were hard to find,” Samehk said, “though luckily for me Ciela is rather determined. If not a bit of a hassle,” he sighed, “nearly impaled her foot on a nail…”
Orianna could feel the blood drain out of her face and Ciela pouted, her cheeks puffed out dramatically.
“B-but I didn’t!!”
“Only because I grabbed you in time.”
“But I didn’t!!” she insisted, and Samehk swept her up in his free arm. Her cheeks turned red immediately, though she gave him her best pouty-glare and Orianna breathed a sigh of relief.
“Gees… well so long as nothing really bad happened to you,” she smiled sheepishly at Samehk, “thanks for looking out for her.”
“Not a problem,” he said smoothly, dropping the planks of wood inside the wagon, “now let’s get to finishing up these repairs.”
Orianna nodded, and, armed once again with the hammer and nails, she followed Teagan’s directions, her tongue poking out of her mouth as she focused on hammering the planks into place. Robin dropped by to investigate their work; the Banette seemed happy enough with what they were doing.
’Good thing too,’ the Smeargle wiped sweat away from her brow, ’this is surprisingly tiring… I’m really out of shape ha ha… my arms already ache.’
Ciela was handing Samehk the last plank of wood when the Kirlia jerked up his head, distracted. Ciela pursed her lips at him, and tapped the wood between his hands.
“Patty cake, patty cake--”
“C-C-C-Ciela!!” Orianna exclaimed, immediately snapping Samehk out of whatever trance he had gone into. The Braixen giggled uncontrollably and he Samehk gave her a look, his eye pinched inwards and his mouth in a deep frown.
“Excuse me!!” she giggled out, releasing the plank of wood. Samehk fumbled to catch it, still giving Ciela a deep frown. She grasped her tail and hid herself in it, her giggling still going unchecked.
“O-oh gosh um S-S-Samehk I’m s-s-s-sorry about her sh-she’s just a little--”
“A little kid,” Samehk interrupted, smiling at Orianna. She blinked, blushing. It was the first time she’d seen him smile, and on a face like his, it was certainly beautiful to look at.
’Ah… he should… smile more...’ she shook herself of her thoughts when the Kirlia poked her with a finger.
“U-uh!! Y-yeah! Sorry! Spaced out,” she stammered, then set about hammering the last plank of wood into place. Teagan was apparently busying himself with tickling Ciela, and the Braixen’s giggles gave way to laughter. The Smeargle felt a smile of adoration making it’s way onto her lips and she decided to make small talk with the male standing next to her as she worked.
“So… I’m assuming either Kal or Sar just contacted you?”
“You would be right in that assumption,” he replied, and she felt his gaze on her, “they are quite close. It seems their search for carts was not too difficult.”
Orianna was quiet for a moment, “oh. That’s good! Um… you and Teagan are brothers…?”
When the Kirlia sighed, Orianna immediately wanted to take back her question, “it’s… complicated. Biologically, we have the same father - so we are half-brothers, by actual terms. I’ve lived with him my whole life, however - until I decided to travel to Iapon and other places, of course.”
“You’ve been to Iapon!?” Orianna exclaimed, pausing in her hammering to look up at him, “what was it like there??”
“Hm,” his gaze shifted to the ground, “it was… an interesting place. I met quite a few characters there, but there seems to be some unrest. Not that that is any concern of mine, of course. I left after spending a week there.”
Orianna couldn’t help but feel that his length of stay was a lie, but she decided not to push the issue. He didn’t seem too keen to talk about it, and so she asked a different question, “did you do any shopping while you were there? I mean um… I’m not sure what a guy would do in a different city…”
A soft laugh. He seemed to have relaxed, “I guess you could say I did do some shopping, but it was what one would call window shopping.”
Orianna giggled, “window shopping huh? That’s always fun to do though! Sometimes more fun than actually buying anything.”
Their conversation fizzled out, but soon enough Orianna found out why. Samehk’s attention had been distracted again, and he was looking over his shoulder at the street.
“Looks like the rest of the group is back,” he muttered, and Orianna quickly put hammered the last nail into place.
“Talk about timing!” she announced, turning around. She averted her gaze to Teagan and Ciela, however, when she locked eyes momentarily with Gage.
’Ugh. Always looking at me. Always… can’t he look at something else?!’ she thought irritably.
“Good, everyone’s here.”
“Didn’t have trouble with the repairs?” Dashiell asked, and Samehk shook his head.
“No, my brother’s read a great deal. Fixing them was no problem at all,” he nodded to Teagan, who had finally released Ciela from his grasp. She darted to hide behind Orianna, her face lit up by her smile and her giggles finally subsiding.
“He’s a tickle monster!!” she chirped, and Teagan grinned at her.
“Yes I am a tickle monster,” the Bisharp got to his feet, “now how about we turn in all the carts hm?”
As the group moved to do so, Orianna realized that Ciela’s hat was missing and the Braixen tugged on her vest.
“Ori Ori!! Where’s my hat?”
“I uh--!!” she leaned back when suddenly the object was in front of her.
“It was in the first cart you fixed. I think,” Gage informed her. She backed up a little more, bumping into the cart behind her, and now felt that she was cornered. Gage was standing too close, and as her tail whipped agitatedly about behind her, Gage’s tail hung low to the ground.
She reached out to take the hat and he released it, taking a step back.
“Er… thanks…” she mumbled, setting the hat back on Ciela’s head and quickly lifting up her sister, setting her in the cart behind her and promptly grabbing the sash, pulling it over to where everyone else was. Robin was busily inspecting the carts and a Swoobat flew over, looking at the carts as well.
“Hm… good work, you guys!” the Banette applauded, looking at everyone as Orianna brought her cart over. She noticed that Saroja was peering out from behind the cart that Astra had been pulling.
’Huh… wonder why she’s there...’ to her surprise, the pale blue Kirlia quickly scurried over to Kalaghata, pretending as if she had been there the whole time. This further confused Orianna, but she decided to think nothing of it. What mattered was that everyone of them had completed the errand.
“And for your efforts…”
Ciela happily hopped over to Robin to accept their payment, then hopped back over to her sister, “got it Ori!!”
The Smeargle chuckled, though she was stiff. Gage’s gaze lingered on her back for a quite a while before she finally felt it slide away; she relaxed.
“Awesome. So I guess this is where we go our separate ways, huh?” Orianna spoke up to the group. Though everyone had dropped into idle chatter, the looked up at her when she spoke.
Astra was the first to take her leave, “I better get back home,” she’d said, and Orianna watched the Fennekin dart away at a brisk pace, weaving through the crowd.
Kalaghata and Saroja were next to go, but the Kirlia insisted on the two of them going to some muffin shop that was owned by a Ninetales named Adele. They bid their farewell, and Orianna slowly became more anxious.
“We best be off as well,” Samehk finally said, leaving Orianna’s stomach to sink a little, “but I have no doubt we’ll be seeing you two around again.”
Ciela eagerly nodded, “yep yep!! You’re r-really hard to miss, Sam!!”
He chuckled, “am I now?”
“Certainly,” Teagan chimed in, “tall, handsome, scarred, and moody~”
“Teagan…” the Kirlia growled, wrapping his arm around his brother’s neck, “don’t make me hurt you.”
“Please your excellency I implore you to diminish your temper!!” Teagan cried as Samehk dragged him away, “you have my humblest of apologies, your majesty!!”
“I swear Teagan if you don’t stop it with the royal nicknames I am going to throw you into a tub of freezing cold water and see how you like that!”
“No, no my liege anything but the freezing cold water--!!”
Orianna shook her head at the two brothers as Samehk ran his fingers up and down the Bisharp’s side, and Teagan was immediately deduced to a sputtering, laughing hunk of steel - though by extending his rib blades he was able to escape his brother’s grasp and dart off, laughing all the while. Samehk, after a moment of irritated staring, gave chase.
“Well I guess that leaves the four of us…”
Orianna started at the sound of Dashiell’s voice, and Ciela jumped up into his arms. He stumbled bakc a few steps, a light blush on his cheek, “Ciel!! Aw man, at least warn me when you do that!”
“Sorry Bubblegum!” she chirped, and Orianna quickly moved to stand beside Dashiell. Again, she felt Gage’s gaze lingering on her back before a sigh was heard from the male Smeargle, and he fell in step on Dashiell’s left.
The walk back to the large house was spent in silence on Orianna’s part, as she opted to listen to the playful banter between Gage and Ciela instead.
’I wonder… something was kinda’ off about that stare just now…’ she bit her lower lip gently, risking a glance at the male Smeargle. He seemed happy enough, ’but even so why was that stare just so… sad?’
She pushed the thought far into the back of her mind, and once inside the house, she engaged in playful conversation once more.