Sitting inside the Cherrygrove City Pokemon Center, Penelope and her Bunnelby and Scatterbug were eating breakfast on one of those many lounge tables before they head start their day. Penelope was eating a hearty breakfast of sandwich bread with lettuce leaf, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and some meat that we'll pretend it's not a Pokemon. Her Scatterbug, being a bug type, was happily eating also lettuce, tomatoes, and some fresh apples. The Bunnelby though, was enjoying his raw carrots and potatoes. Yum yum for everyone!
It was a lovely morning and Astrid was looking for a good seat for her breakfast. It was a sandwich with a mixture of salat and meat, which Astrid had a quite good idea what was, but since most people, trainers especially, preferred to pretend it was not pokemon they ate, it was not a thing she was talking about loudly. She would have preferred porridge instead, like she was used to from home, but she was happy to take what was available. She found a quiet table more or less in the middle of the diningarea and looked around curiously at she startedt to ate. Not that it was so much different from other times of the day, in the Pokemon Center there was always a lot of trainers and to Astrid, most of the young teenagers looked the same. She was sure they thought the same of her and other old folks, and that the only remarkable with herself was the place she was in. She smiled by herself and liked that thought.
She had Cyan and Placido out on the floor, and Janus of course, but the joltik was always out, as he was so small he didn't bother anyone. The rest of Astrid's pokemon were either exhausted and wanted to rest Ella or too young or unknown for Astrid to have the energy to deal with them at this time of the day.
Placido and Cyan behaved well, at least until Placido spotted a young trainer whose pokemon had a lot of fruit and vegetable. He glanced at Astrid to be sure she was well distracted by her food to pay them any attention. "Hey Cyan, what do you say to try get a little snack?" He asked with a grin and Cyan looked surprised at him. "But that's not ours! That would be.." the mudkip protested but Placido interrupted. "We're not going to steal it dummy, no I'm going to give them a concert and then you will collect the reward for it, and don't worry about it. It is just to have some fun so if we can't get any, it's fine. No harm done, come one!" He said encouragingly and Cyan followed hesitantly.
Placido jumped up on the table Penelope and her pokemon were sitting at and he bowed deeply befor he started humming quietly and hopefully get their attention with his performance. He was not bad, but that didn't meant that Penelope and her pokemon thought it sounded good. Cyan sneaked up beside the table and eyed a tomato. He licked his lips but waited until they hopefully had their attention at the whismur. He then took aim and shot a Mud-slap at the apple, and his everything else than his target, including Placido. Cyan spun around and raced back to Astrid, while Placido grinned apologizing to Scatterbug before he followed in a bit slower pace.
"What have you been doing?!" Astrid asked angrily when she say Cyan's guilty expression and the muddy whismur who looked completely unphased and tried to cheer up the mudkip. Astrid look around and saw the mud around Penelope, "oh no," she groaned and rose slowly. She walked over to the younger trainer and looked worried at her. "I am so sorry for my unruly pokemon, are you alright?" She asked but didn't let Penelope answer at first, "I'll buy you another meal," she offered.
Just as she thought it would be a quiet morning breakfast, the appearance of a strange Whismur in the middle of Pokemon Center (and then up on her table) was already a sign that something was coming up soon. Being alert and attentive, she was eating a bit faster when the Whismur started to hum or something, and when the Mudkip came out of nowhere to mud-slap the food, she only had a few bites left, which was negligible. Her other Pokemon though, were still young and inexperienced to this, and had their food dirtied with the mud. However, for a ground type like Bunnelby, he just continued eating the rest of his food like it was nothing, and shot a "Nice Try there" look at the uninvited Mudkip.
If anything, the Scatterbug was the only one who took the hit of this mess. Moving her head between the Whismur and the Mudkip, she was clearly upset. She shot a string shot at them both, angry that they used their sneaky ploy to ruin her food. Those were her food! Hmph!
When the old lady, who appeared to be the Pokemon's trainer....(?) showed up, Penelope was a bit startled for a response. "Well... It looks like Bunnelby was unaffected by the mud, and I'm almost done anyways so it's alright. But I think my Scatterbug is upset. How about some fruits for her?" Penelope looked at the woman and responded in the best way she could, trying to be pleasant while defending her Pokemon. In the meantime, she grabbed a clean towel from her bag and wiped herself of mud, and then walked around to wipe her Pokemon of mud as well.
"Of course!" Astrid exclaimed, "that is the least I can do." She gestured for her pokemon to come along and walked in a fast pace to where she had bought her breakfast. She made sure Placido and Cyan followed her as she did not dare to leave them on their own. The Pokemon Center had gone quiet surprisingly quick. Most trainers were eager and ambitious and often started early on the days training. Astrid still thought she was up early, but she saw no reason to race out into the chilly morning and battle the first opponent your saw. How was that even training? There was a reason for why most trainers didn't get very far, they did not actually take time to actaully train, they only sent their pokemon into battle. Astrid liked this time of the day, since now most trainers were out of the door, the Pokemon center was nice and quiet. It wouldn't last long as the same trainers would return with their injured pokemon and the Center would be busy for the rest of the day.
Astrid hesitated a bit while the assistant behind the desk waited politely, and she glanced back towards Penelope and her pokemon. What kind of fruit did they prefer? The door swung open and a man in his late twenties dressed in a training suit stepped in. Astrid wondered if he was a trainer who had been really unlucky, since he was back so soon. To Astrid's surprise he did not go to Nurse Joy but instaed headed straight for Penelope when he had seen her. She quickly bought some fruit and hurried back to hear what he had in mind.
"..so I really need your help, or else I cannot continue the training," he said pleadingly to Penelope as Astrid returned. She handed over the fruit with a smile and looked curiously at the man. "What is the problem?" She asked curious and he glanced at her. "Sorry, I'm in a bit of hurry and I need another pokemon trainer to help me," he said dismissively and looked at Penelope again, "Can you help me?"
After the old woman had gone to purchase some fruits for the crestfallen Scatterbug, the Pokemon Center dining area was seemingly quiet until some random trainer walked in. Strangely though, the young trainer went up to her instead of Nurse Joy. Uh, what? He seemed to be in a panic mode, and Penelope could hardly pay attention because she was waiting for her food to digest to recharge her for the day.
"Uh... Muster, slow down! I don't know a third of the words you're saying, either you're speaking too fast or I don't really know what that word means. Can you try again?" She slowly spoke her words, looking at the trainer to make sure he was listening. Then, after Astrid had also returned, Penelope grabbed the fruit and handed it to her Scatterbug, mumbling a Thanks! before trying to talk to this trainer again. Then, after moving her eyes between her two Pokemon, she awkwardly replied to the young trainer again, "Sir, I am just a new trainer and I can't help you much. I am still trying to learn how to battle, hahaha. I just met this old woman, but she seemed more experienced than me, look at her and her Pokemons!!" She pointed at Placido and Cyan, and then moved her finger toward where the Joltik was. She definitely had a fuller party than her.
"Oh... okay. So, my Pokemon aren't listening to me and they're just playing around. We've been training for three days and suddenly today they just want to ignore me and play around by the beach. I am training seriously for the first time to win a match against my rival, but I don't know how to get them to listen. Can you help?" The young trainer explained, looking at Penelope and ignored Astrid's offer to help.
Astrid first looked curiously and she sent Penelope a smile when she attempted to include her into the conversation. She wasn't surprised the young man had dismissed her as one who may could help him with his problem, as she didn't really look like a pokemon trainer, not with her age. "That was nicely said of you," she said to Penelope, "but having a lot of pokemon doesn't necessarily mean that you are experienced in handling them. If you have fewer you have more time with each pokemon and therefore often knows them better." She thought a bit guilty on how bad she was doing with her own pokemon, but perhaps she could learn something about this herself. "But I am a pokemon trainer, though a new and less experienced one, and if you need help I am willing to help you out," Astrid said to the man and frowned when he ignored her completely and instead went into a deeper explanation of his problem, clearly only directed at Penelope.
Astrid had become too old and had had too many clashes with Frederik to just let accept being ignored and push aside. She grabbed his arm and gave it a pull to make him look at her. "Listen young man, I may be old but I am a pokemon trainer which is what you needed help from. What type of a problem do you have, that you can only use help from one specific type of trainer?" She asked angrily and he squirmed under her stern gaze. "No.. I mean it's just.. I.." He mumbled uncertainly. "Talk so we can understand you!" Astrid demanded, "do it require a lot of running?" He shook his head. "What about climbing or something where you have to stay up all night? No wait, I would probably be better than you at that, since my age does I require less sleep," she said and he looked like he wanted to be anywhere else than here being scolded by an old woman. "So what is it that makes you certain I cannot help, since if there is a reason I will accept it gladly, but I do not accept being ignored!" "I.. I'm sorry ma'am, I didn't mean to offend you, and if you are a trainer you are welcome to try help me out of course," he said embarrassed but couldn't quite accept the belief, that she could really do a different for him, so he looked pleadingly at Penelope for her to accept helping him as well.
If it was accepted, he would show them the way down to the beach, as fast is it was possible for Astrid to walk he was already regretting letting her come along, where he pokemon were relaxing. A few of them, including a rather big pink fish, were swimming lazily around in the water.
Penelope listened to the old woman and the trainer talking, and tried her best to pay attention. However, seeing how her Scatterbug had already finished eating the food that the old trainer bought for compensation, she grabbed a towel and reached across the table to wipe the food residue around the bug Pokemon's mouth. After that was done, their conversation seemed to went midway already.
When the situation had turned to the trainer and the old lady looking at her for her decision, she smiled for a few seconds before replying. "I can help you, but I will try my best, okay?" she grinned cheerfully, but her eyes said that she wasn't sure how much she could help because she, too, was a new trainer on the block. "Come on, Scatterbug and Bunnelby, let's see how can we help this guy!" she called her Pokemon and got into her position, which consisted of her Bunnelby standing next to her and her Scatterbug on her head.
"Thank you!" The man said relieved and Astrid's lips thinned as it still looked like it was mostly because Penelope came along too. She started to hope she could actually help him, just to prove him wrong. "I'm Benjamin by the way, and I'm sure my lazy pokemon are still laying where I left them," he said with a smile and looked questioningly at his two helpers, though he didn't want to force them to present themselves, if they didn't want to. "I am Astrid," she said a bit absentminded while she tried to recall what questions the police often had asked when they tried to learn what had happened in a specific situation, or how the relationship were between people. It was quite some time ago, so she had to dig a bit to remember, which would give Penelope plenty of times to introduce herself and talk with Benjamin, to which Astrid would only listen to with half an ear. He on the other han , quickly dismissed her as slow minded and probably useless, so he turned to Penelope instead. "I really don't understand it, we are so close to the goal so why they are suddenly stopping now I just can't understand," He said and would continue to tell about his plans which was more or less just to be a champion and work hard to reach his goal.
As they reached the beach a few pokemon were laying around. "What did I say?" Benjamin said annoyed and stomped down towards them. "Hey! Get moving you lazy slakoths!" He shouted but was mostly ignored. "You were supposed to swim rounds, you still need 25 to go before, we can start the next face, and you! Why are you not training with the rock as I told you to do? Your break is OVER get going and show me a bit of spirit here!" He shouted and clapped his hands, though none of them obeyed. Astrid started to look them op on the pokedex as the pokemon she learned was called and alomomola was swimming further out to the sea, though in a very slow and not-training way, while a ledyba were yawning in a tree above him as answer, which only made him fume even more.
"Soo, how is your training program? And what happened exactly the moment before they refused to continue?" Astrid asked with a frown and glanced at Penelope to see if the other girl had a clue of what was going on here.
As the older humans introduced themselves, Penelope energetically raised her hand and shouted, wanting to join in as well, "Ooh! I am Penelope!" She smiled, grinning happily that she was meeting new people! "And this is Bunnelby, and Scatterbug! I haven't thought of a name for them yet because we've just met!" She explained herself to the man and the woman, without being asked.
"I really don't understand it, we are so close to the goal so why they are suddenly stopping now I just can't understand," Penelope heard Benjamin spoke, and began thinking about what the reason was. However, the only conclusion she had reached so far was that they weren't having fun, but she wanted to wait until she see for herself before commenting it.
When she arrived at the beach with Benjamin and Astrid, she saw an Alomomola, a Marill, a Bellsprout, and a Ledyba. They were all doing the very opposite of "training", just relaxing and ignoring their trainer. Running around the beach with her own Pokemon, Penelope ignored the adults for a bit and went as close as she could without getting her clothes wet, to look at the Pokemon closely. Then, when she returned, she suggested maybe he should have gotten a gym badge to earn his Pokemons' respect and trust through a tough gym battle; however, he already have one and that wasn't enough?... The Pokemon didn't look very high in levels either so it was likely one was already enough.
"You see, my training program is basically eating and training, with small rests after meals to allow digestion time, and rest time after sunset." The main explained to Astrid, while scratching his head at his own mess of puzzling situation.
Astrid glanced at the younger woman and smiled shortly when she presented herself, she was not blind for the pleading look Benjamin had sent Penelope, but as long as he had given her a chance it didn't bother her that much. Hopefully she could actually make herself useful though she had a feeling, she wouldn't be of much help for him and hadn't he acted so rude, she would have let him go alone with Penelope. The thought that she may should have presented her own pokemon as well, only touched her mind briefly and she quickly forgot it again as she was once more consumed by figuring out what was wrong with Benjamin's pokemon.
Astrid saw all the lazy pokemon and listened to Benjamin's shouting at them, perhaps that was the problem? The way he treated them? As he shouted and got ignored, Astrid watched how Penelope walk closer and took a look at his pokemon before she returned and suggested that Benjamin should get a gym badge to prove his worth to his pokemon. Astrid glanced at her own pokemon, was that what she needed to get ful control over her more unruly pokemon? Somehow something told her, that wouldn't be enough. Besides, she was sure she wouldn't be able to get any badges at the time being.
"That's not the problem, I already have that," Benjamin answered Penelope bitterly before Astrid asked to his training methods and quickly answered those too. "I see, and what does your training consist off?" Astrid asked. "Are you asking me to reveal all my secrets?" Benjamin exclaimed offended and Astrid waved her hand dismissively. "No, I would never be able to do it anyway, not with all that exercise it sounds like you are using," she said with a wry smile before continuing, "but I am trying to figure out, what has made your pokemon behave like this. Have they been willing enough until today?"
"Poor things, what a terrible way to live," Placido commented and Cyan nodded his agreement. Neither of them thought doing nothing else than training for battling sounded very funny. "Come on, let's go talk with them," Placido said and gestured to the mudkip to follow. "To help them?" Cyan asked hopefully and Placido nodded hesitantly, not sure that would be possible. "Are you going to help too?" Cyan would ask hopefully to any pokemon Penelope would have out, who could hear him. "Try talk with that one, you are the only one who can reach it," Placido suggested and pointed at the alomomola in the water, while he himself turned to the pokemon on land that was closest to him. "Sounds like you got yourself a wonderful trainer?" He asked grinningly, "I guess that is why you have all taken matters into your own paws," he continued and sounded like he thought that was a plendid idea. Cyan hesitated a bit, before slowly waded into the water and started to swim towards the pink fish.
"I see, and what does your training consist off?" Benjamin bitterly explained himself again. "Like I said, eating, small break after meal, and training, and rest when it's sunset. The food is very nutritious. And by training I just tell them what to work on, like the Alomomola needs to work on speed, Marill needs to work on balance, Ledyba needs to work on dodging, and Bellsprout needs to work on attack. They have been doing fine until today, so yes." He explained, trying his best.
Penelope's Bunnelby and Scatterbug noticed that Astrid's Pokemon were trying to talk with them, and this was their first time interacting with another human's Pokemon outside a battle!
"Are you going to help too?"
"I can try, I am relatively new with my trainer, heehee." Bunnelby responded, and Scatterbug nodded in agreement, that she too, was new.
"Sounds like you got yourself a wonderful trainer?"
"Yes, my trainer got me some new food because one of you ruined my breakfast," Scatterbug responded with snark, recalling the event earlier.
"Well, I am going to talk with the other bunny, the Marill! See you in a bit!" The Bunnelby pointed at the Marill, and happily hopped away to see what he could do.
The Bunnelby decided to take it upon himself to talk to the water rabbit fairy, Marill, and Scatterbug decided to join in too, and talked to Bellsprout. Well, now there was no one to talk to the Ledyba. The duo Pokemon left Penelope's side and went to talk with the training Pokemon, to see what trouble they have.
Astrid looked expectantly at Benjamin when he had finished his explanation as she expected more. "Is that all?" She asked and Benjamin stared at her. "What else should there be?" He asked annoyed, she should never had let her come, she was just a useless weight around his leg. "I just needed to hear that you relaxed as well and what you are all doing to have fun in between training," Astrid explained with a smile which disappeared when he answered. "Fun? We don't have time for fun, we are training for an important battle!" Benjamin protested and Astrid looked shocked at him, before glancing at Penelope to see if the other trainer thought Benjamin's way normally or weird. "Oh, I see," Astrid said hesitantly and weighted her words carefully before going on. "I worked for the police when I was young, and though I wasn't a part of the Growlithe Squad, I know the pokemon lived with their officer trainer and that they played and enjoyed themselves in between training and missions, perhaps your pokemon are bored or just plainly tired of training all the time?" Astrid suggested quietly. Benjamin crossed his arms over his chest and looked disapproving at her. "No, they are very motivated. They know how important this to beat my rival," he said firmly. Astrid looked sceptically at him before looking at Penelope for help, in the hope the other trainer agreed with her, that she was right in her presumption and that the girl had an idea to what to do now.
Placido looked surprised at Scatterbug when it chose to answer instead of the man's pokemon, whom he had tried to ask. "Okay..." he said slowly and did not react on the accusing of him destroying their breakfast. Instead he turned to the ledyba now the bunnelby and the scatterbug had chosen to talk to the bellsprout and the marill. "Hi, how is the view?" He asked it friendly and it yawned before looking a bit unfriendly at him. "What will you now?" It asked and Placido answered with a smile, "greet you and hear how the view is from that height."
The alomomola looked suspiciosuly as Cyan splashed his way out to it, though it did nothing than dip a bit itself in the water a bit. "Hi," Cyan said shyly and the alomomola nodded a greeting after having stared at him for a bit.
As Bunnelby got close to the Marill, apparently it was floating on the water and taking a nap. He figured that he shouldn't try to disturb the sleeping Pokemon, but rather just slowly walked along on the beach. Scatterbug, on the other hand, found the Bellsprout working hard on... tanning photosynthesizing. When the female bug came out, it didn't take the grass type too long to pick up and began complimenting the young bug, making her uncomfortable. She shot a string shot at him and just turned her head around.
Penelope looked between the two adults, and put a finger on her chin to think about what would be fun to do. There was none other than a nice picnic at the beach on her right now! "Why don't we have a picnic! We have an hour or two until lunch, depending who's hungrier! We can play beach ball and frisbee and make sand castles!" She shouted happily, moving her hands to gesture the motion of playing beach ball and building sand castles.
"Well, but what about the rival battle? We can't take a break!"
"Aww come on! Have fun once in a while! I have a picnic for beach mat ready, but we should go get some food! Maybe you can help me carry a watermelon? Or maybe two watermelons?"
Although he hesitated, Benjamin finally agreed, that perhaps he could have a picnic with his Pokemon to reward them as a special motivation?
There was an awkward silence between Cyan and the alomomola as the latter waited for the first one to speak, but the mudkip had no idea of what to say. "Do you want anything?" The fish asked and Cyan splashed around not sure what to say. "I.. Placido asked me to talk with you.." he said hesitantly and the alomomola looked expectantly at him. "About what?" he asked finally and Cyan avoided looking into his eyes. "I'm not sure..." Another awkward silence. Then the alomomola sighed, "I'll be on my way then," and dived below water. Cyan stared after him and a few seconds ticked by before he realized that he was alone, all alone out in the water, and panicked. He splashed around and it was good he was a water type as he god below water several times as well. In his panick he couldn't remember which way was the beach, he couldn't even remember that there was a beach and that Placido and Astrid was there. His mind was filled with the fear of being alone, left behind... abandoned.
"Hey, hey, hey, what are you doing? Relax," A voice said worried and Cyan paused long enough to see it was the alomomola. With a cry of relief he threw himself against the pink fish, "don't leave me alone!" He cried and the alomomola looked weirdly at him. "I'll better get you to your friends," the alomomola said and with Cyan still pushingup against him, he made his way back to the beach where Placido was waiting. The ledyba hadn't seemed interested in talking with him anyway. "What's going on? Cyan, are you alright?" Placido asked as they reached the beach and Cyan threw himself into the whismur's arms and sobbed something about being alone. "Hey Cyan, I know it is tough not to with me all the time, with my dashing look," Placido said with a wink and Cyan stopped his sobbing to look at him. "Besides, should Astrid get any funny ideas we'll just run away, it's not like she can catch up to us," He said with a grin and Cyan giggled. "Who are you two and what are you doing here?" The alomomola asked with a little smile. "Our incredibly skilled trainer is going to offer some of her knowledge to your trainer," Placido said ironically and Cyan giggled again. "She is not really that good," the mudkip whispered secretly to the fish who sent them a weird look.
Astrid smiled knowlingly when Benjamin agreed to Penelope's suggestion. There was nothing like a beutiful woman to make a man open for new ideas. She followed silently as they prepared, though she couldn't help much with it herself. The ground was terribly far down and she wasn't good at getting up and down. "Hey, Team! Get over here, I want to talk with you," Benjamin called to his pokemon when they were done and Alomomola hesitated but then excused himself and went to see what his trainer wanted. The ledyba did the same thing, when it saw that the fish went. If the marill and the bellsprout didn't come too, he would grumple annoyed and go to them instead. "Alright listen up! I'm going to have a picknic since you don't want to do anything at all anyway, you can join if you want to work properly afterwards," he said loudly and sounded like a general who gave orders to his privates. "This is a really important battle and I cannot lose it! I have chosen you specifically for this battle and I need you to be fully prepared or else he is going to wipe you all out! We cannot have that, I will not tolerate it! Remember we only have a couple of weeks and I need you to be at your best! Work hard and we will beat him!" He said determined and clenched fists. The ledyba looked troubled before it with a sight took to the air and joined the picknic. It wanted to be good fighter and it knew it had to work for it, and it liked that Benjamin had handpicked it for this battle. Besides, food always sounded like a good idea.
Alomomola looked disgusted at Benjamin. "I think that I should run away," he murmured to Placido and Cyan who was standing beside him.
While not disturbing the Marill's tranquil sleep, Bunnelby occasionally turned around to look at his trainer. He saw that there was a picnic mat laid out at where the older woman seemed to be standing, and it didn't take him a long time for him to figure out what this means: a picnic on the beach would be coming very soon. Smiling happily that there was a fun thing to do so soon, he finally began trying to talk to the Marill again, perhaps getting the Marill's attention that there would be food.
"Hi, Marill. I think you're asleep, but if you can hear me, listen to this. I think the humans were going to have a picnic, which means there would be... better food! You wanna come?" the normal type spoke, sounding as gently and non-hostile as possible.
Scattrebug, on the other hand, wasn't as far as the Bunnelby, and could hear pretty much at least half the things that were spoken at where the humans were. Ignoring the Bellsprout's compliemnts, she began speaking, "So, do you like watermelons? I think the humans were going to have a picnic and we'll have watermelons! You should come join and stop giving out so much compliment."
After Benjamin finished talking, the sunny Penelope began tugging and pulling at the man to bug him to loosen up, as well as helping her to get food. "Come on, you can help us carry watermelons okay? I'm going to pick up some salads, candies, chocolates, breads, chips,and cookies for all of us!" She grinned, tugging at the man. "I always go camp out when I lived in Goldenrod, so I am stronger than I look, heehee!"
The Pokemon decided to actually come over when there were food on the picnic mat, but for now it seemed like Benjamin and Penelope need to get going for a quick trip for food.