Chapter 20: Coming Back To Leave Again

Malie was using the last few days in Kalos wisely as she could. Working on finishing side projects for Kukui, reaching out to Louis, and training with her Litten to expand their teamwork; were her main objectives, while sparing a few hours in search of items in town when she returned back to Alola. Mindful of her time, focused on taping up some boxes, having Kanoa packing up the mini lab they were using and storing away in the corner by the bed. Reaching for a marker on the table and quickly scrawling what in the boxes. Standing tall once done, Malie helped Kanoa with the last crate.

Be careful of your wounds there, Malie. You are still sore.

The human rolled her eyes at the machine, before picking up the crate and placing it with the rest. Going over to the bed where she saw Tophet resting still on the pillow. Glancing around to see if the Froakie was near, but with how wide ajar the door looked, it was easy to see where the small blue frog ran off.

"I'm fine."

You say that now. But what about if the pain becomes worst? Can't risk much there, now can we?

Malie choose not to say anything, understanding well of the concern that was there, but finishing clean up was what mattered at the moment. Moving back to another set of boxes and using the marker to label them as well, before reaching for the tape and sealing them up.

Is there a place you wish to go after all these boxes have been sent to the airline or should we tag along?

"I want to look around the shops a bit more, Nalani wants more of that Kalos charm at home and there is this nice trinket store I want to look through." Malie replied back, placing the much smaller boxes of the set by her bag, before grabbing for her shoes.

Sitting with enough of a rattled to awake the Litten from his deep slumber. Not even giving so much of a hiss from the sudden motion. Soon stretching out from his curled ball, with thin claw paws raking out of his limbs, following with moving up to sit next to his owner and just watching her slip on the shoes. Once she was sitting back up, Tophet jumped into her lap, curling up with his face looking towards Malie.

Malie looked down into his uncertain feel yellow tint eyes with a smile, raising a hand to stroke one of his ears, chuckling a bit when his purrs echoed out.

"Have a good nap?"

Another purr was given.

"Wonderful. Tophet, sweetie, I'm almost done here. Why don't you go in search of Froakie and meet us at the path. Okay?"

The Litten at first gave a groan of displeasures at the command, yet shook his head in a form of a nod in agreement, before hopping off and zipping out of the shed without so much of a sign to see his tail flickering away.

The training has been doing well for his speed. Minus some of the aftermath results.

"Be careful of that tone there, Kanoa. It just shows of how much of a rookie I am." Malie stated, fixing her hair once more.

Very well, I will let your family deal with that. Though, it is disheartening that he hasn't learned a fire move, I have looked in my data about the Litten's species chart. This isn't normal for his growth.

Malie stood up from the bed, reaching for her bags and slipping them on her. Leaving for only the boxes left, carrying three of them, while Kanoa handled one that had a handled on it. Sparing words back as they left the shed with a quiet click behind them.

"No, this is very normal for a lot of species. Records shows that most could learn or at least understand ever type of move without the type themselves are. I find an upgrade wire for you about that when we get home, but it's not uncommon, though yeah, it is rare for a Pokémon to not even learn one move of its type. But that is what technical teachings is about. Maybe when we get back, I'll have Kukui sign Tophet up for a class with other fire types and see what happens."

Maybe so. Though I do wonder if it might have something about other things.

"Like what?" Malie asked, as they reached the crossroads of the farmlands.

During my updates I have noted on how he seems distance and worrisome about some things. The run with that Manectric very much shook him up. Along with your mark.

"My mark? What? You think maybe he's upset about it or something?"

I believe he is very lost on how to be around a trainer that was attack by his kind. Though, keep in mind that all types can be aware of what moves that leave behind burns. Which might have to explain the fallen with Tophet and the Froakie, for one of the water types moves that can burn is Scald. His body language reads that he cares but is wary for how long this partnership will last, which must because of his last owner.

"You have been working overtime when I haven't been looking, haven't you?"

When it doesn't come to the plant, your work, your home life, and your very being. Leaves a lot of room to make a hobby or two. That, and as well with the very natures I am unknown of and in need of updates for my files. A two for one deal in a sense here.

Malie rolled her eyes with a small smirk in place, as they waited for Tophet and the Froakie. Waving off to one of the workers, as they did so before when she noticed, driving a truck full of crates to a market farther ways than where they were going. Seeing the farmer's older niece walking up to her, after a moment of silence came and went.

"Leaving so soon, Miss. Kāne?"

"It's alright to call me by my name, I was just going to head into town for the remaining hours, and then go home. How has your day been going, Sophie?"

The taller gal gave a shrugged and soon eyed the boxes that Malie set down by her feet. Replying with. "I have a spare car to take these to the airport, if that is alright with you. The drive services are never what they used to be. Save time and money, I might add."

"I wouldn't want to cause any trouble here."

More than usual, really.

Malie gave a light glare to the machine, before following it up with. "Don't mind the Dex."

"That's fine. And you're not. Besides from how my little sister been like, I would say I am doing you a favor here. It is true? That is the results look good it's going to help the farm?"

Malie glanced away, eyes glazed in a thin layer of worry and uncertain, reframing from a nervous laugh trying to break out. After a few calming breathers, she spoke. "I-it's not certain but that is goal here. The plant harvest is very health and the range of growth hear is an eye-opener. If all goes well, your uncle will be seeing future buyers in the long run of things. When that might be? I'm unsure and I can't will it to happen. So it's all touch and go here."

"Is there are wide guess here, Aimée won't shut up if there isn't one."

"Before summer at best. Mostly because that's when more value time in researcher has higher funds to back it up and more interns looking for a job. I'm sure you understand that, Sophie?"

"Clearly. I end up finding some of the best workers around that time. That's great to hear. I hope for the best of your work then."

"Same to you and your family."

"Also, I will being handling your shipload to the airport, personally. As thanks and od course safety reasons. No excuses. If you please."

That is very kind of you and we'll take that offer. You must not take in hard of Malie's manners. She tends not to get the best of sleep and becomes very snippy. And sadly it ranges at times. You got lucky today.

Sophie let a chuckle out in understanding, before hefting up the boxes with some unlikely ease over to the automobile. In time to see Tophet and Froakie making their way over. Malie giving a quick snap to the floating machine on the bluntness of its words, hush akin as she could, before reaching out for Tophet to take rest in her hoodie flap. The Froakie near her feet as they headed toward the shops down the road from them.

"You are just going to keep throwing me under the bus, aren't you? At any given chance, huh?" Malie asked pointy as they walked the path, nearing the nearest shop, and heading into first to glance around the item store. Quick to grab a carry handled cart by the door as they headed further in.

Protocol, quote sass, unquote if you will buy that. As it is not wrong nor right.

"What am I going to do with you?" Malie spoke, having no ill in the words nor a wit to follow, but as words to say when it was far better than a silent nothing. She quickly dropped the whole thing, as Malie looked through the shelves of items. Some with interest and others not even getting a second glance at. Coming near an a row of shelves in the far back of store that held ribbons and bands. Pulled out a white band with a mixture of colors forming an odd design on it.

A Choice Band. Give the wearer a higher chance of a fifty percent attack on one move given each battle.

Malie looked down at the bored and nosy blue frog by her feet that search the lower shelves, trying to make an effort of being entertain. Her eyes going back to the band, asking Kanoa offhandedly. "So, it's a band for a born fighter in a sense?"

Depending on the trainer and battle forms, yes. Is there a reason to ask or do you believe Louis would approve of this?

"Reading me like a book here, Kanoa. But I guess I will find out when we meet up again." Malie replied back, before slipping the band into the cart as they headed down the next aisle. Finding a knickknacks that would please her eldest cousin, while having some more enjoyable kinds for the younger ones. Slipping in other items that Kanoa found in the data frame.

After an hour had passed, Malie was able to pay and leave the store. Repeating a few times as before in other shops on the next few hours, for soon it wasn't long before they took a bus ride to the airport. Surprise to see Sophie waiting for them with one of the carrier crates with her in hand. Barely words were spoken in the quiet farewell, well wishes and such else. Malie taking hold of the handled box, knowing well it was the plant that Kanoa spent taking care of. Doing last minute check ups, and it wasn't long before Malie knew it. That she was heading back home.

Resting near a window once again, eyeing playfully in seeing the Litten and Froakie making enough amends to share the remaining seat as they rested from the long ride home. Kanoa in the bag peaking out jus the smoothed out red tips from the opening, near Malie's feet, as she held the plant in her lap. Eyes going back to the window when seeing the Pokémon were not going to fight during the flight, and before she knew it. Was out like a light.

Hours from the flight, having the boxes loaded onto a trolley from the luggage belt when seeing Kukui pulled with a loading car off the side of the roadway.

"Well, I see Kalos did a number on you." Kukui replied in good humor, when he eyed the wrapped arm when Malie rolled up her sleeves, though his eyes didn't match in tone.

"Comes with the order of work, sir." Malie returned, pushing the trolley closer to the car, her hoodie up cover some of her face. Having comfort of a sleepy Tophet curled around her neck within the hoodie, with only his thick whiskers and tail peeking out.

"Need a ride back?"

"No, the ferry will be leaving soon and I rather not cut in anymore of your time. But thank you."

"Alright. I'm sure the laborer staff over in Aether Paradise will greatly appreciate it. Though, Burnet will be there to also be over watching everything."

Malie nodded in understanding, as she helped him load the correct boxes into the car. Leaving only a few bags and a plant left. Which was soon picked up by Malie, angling everything not fall.

"You got that, kid? You sure you don't want that ride?"

"Yep. I got to hurry back and see the twins. Send my regards to your wife and I'll be waiting for my next assignment."

"Alright, Malie. Enjoy your week." Kukui said, as he made his way into the car, about to leave before rolling the window down, a smirk on his face. "Training also going well?"

Malie could feel her body stiff and twist from his words, trying to smooth her words as she spoke. "Well enough, why?"

He only tapped his face, mirroring the side of her own. Making her give a nerve laugh. Kukui let a light chuckle out.

"It's never easy, Malie. You'll get the hang of it, I look forward to whenever you want to have a match with me."

"That might be for a while or never, sir."

"Eh, we'll see. See you next week. Bye."

"Bye." Malie called out, as Kukui rolled up the window and drove down the road towards the west docks.

Once the car was out of sight, Malie rolled her shoulders to calm herself and shaking off the nerves that were not needed. It was enough to wake up Tophet from his sleep. Letting a yawn out and jumping down from Malie's shoulders, stretching and quick in step followed after his trainer as they headed east. The Litten watch his trainer walk with the bags and plant in hand, feeling a tad pity, jumped and snatched one of the bags with ease and not letting it the ground. Turning when he heard a sudden noise from Malie, but only saw a thankful smile as they carried on their way to the ferry.

Meanwhile back at the Kāne household, Kai was sitting by the window with eager eyes locked on the beaten path, waiting.

"Kai, you know Malie isn't going to magical poof to the front door, you know that right?" Kai's older brother saying from the kitchen, as he made lunch for him and his sister.

"You may never know, she could have caught something with teleport or something, right? That can happen, right, Nalani?" Kai asked, looking over his shoulder to his brother as he placed a plate by him on the window sill.

"Sure. Now eat up, go freshen up, and fetch your sister. We have a big day plan for us when mom gets back." Nalani stated, gently shoving his brother's back towards the food.

Kai grabbed one of the cheese covered crackers, before eating it, said. "But, what if we leave and Malie gets back and no one is here? Maybe she's at the cabin or like the ferry is late, maybe we can wait for a bit-"

"Kai. I'm sure Malie will make it. When you get older, you'll get where adults are coming from here. I'm sure she's just speaking with some of those lab workers or something, to make sure they don't break anything or whatever. We'll leave a note to tell her where we are going, but I am sure ma wants us to have a good time today. Huh, what do you say to that, Birthday-Boy?" Nalani asked out, with a smile at hand to his kid brother, silently luring to eat as he spoke.

"Fine."

"Good. And don't forget to eat the veggies too."

"I will when I see Malie come home."

Nalani let a groan of a sigh leave him, keeping it sounding like a growl, before he grinded out. "Kai . . ."

"Now don't bite his head off Nalani. For all we know it be that early of becoming teenager phase, we had it too you know." Said a voice, with the back door sliding to a close, having the two turned to look to see it Malie, slightly flush from running, and hasty putting the bags and plant on the counter with a tired side view smile to them, hoodie still up and in place over her head.

Tophet jumping up and placing the last remaining bag with the other.

"Happy birthday, Kai." Malie soon added when she moved away from the counter.

"Malie!" Kai shouted with glee before rushing over to her and landing into her open arms for a hug, barely noticed when she wince from the sudden impact, having her hoodie slide off and down.

"Cutting it a bit close there, cuz?" Nalani said, smirk in place with arms crossed, those that smirk died when seeing her face when she looked to him, having him say. "Geez, cuz, what did you do? Get in a tumble with some Maractus or a Silcoon?"

Kai moved a bit from the hug, when seeing a side of Malie's face covered in cuts, a slowly fading yellowish-blue tint bruise was just below the right eye, and a few scatter bandages that tints of dark red on them. All the boy could say to that was. "Ouch."

Malie let a laugh out from Kai's response before pulling him in for another hug, before letting go, and rising back up to go back to the bags, seeing Tophet already nosing through them. Speaking to Nalani as she did so. "It's call training, Nalani. Just got a bit too close for comfort that's all. It happens."

"Yeah, sure, sure whatever you say. Whatever ma says or does, it all on you though. You okay?"

"Never better on managing it, if that what you mean. You act like I don't know that already with aunty." Malie replied back, looking to Kai to say. "Finish eating and go get your sister, sweetie. Today's a big day and it's going to be fun, I know it."

"Are you going to be okay though? Those look like they hurt?" Kai asked, eyes slanted in worry.

"Not is much of this bogie head hair flop I am about to give you, if you don't hurry up." She playfully said back.

"Right!" Kai giggled out, seeing that his cousin was okay in her way, and went to grab the plate and hurrying up the stairs.

Once Kai was out of sight, Malie removed her hoodie, yanking it a bit before finally getting out of it to lay it out on the counter, going through the bags soon after. Nalani walking over to help. Easily catching on what for the twins and such. Lastly ending on the flower.

"What's the bloom there?"

"Kanoa was doing a side project while I was in recovery. I thought one of the twins or aunty would like it." Malie answered, grabbing some knickknacks from another bag and handing them to him, replying with. "These are for you. Just some luck charms and I was able to find this book on Kalos' Day Care Centers insight guidebook. It's pretty basic, but everyone has to start somewhere. I thought when you are bored or something, it would be an interesting read for you."

Nalani let a small on his face when he was handed the book, very thick in pages but the content looked promising as he was flipping through it. Mindful in speaking out. "Thanks. The figures are cool too, by the way. Are these some of the Pokémon from that area?"

"Yeah, each of them has a luck word under them that they stand for. Some of them just fitted you, plus I thought they would go nice with those mini Tapu inspirational posters you have."

Nalani let a deep laugh leave him from that, before reporting back with. "That is so not what they are. Thank you very much. Don't be mean now."

Malie just stuck her tongue out to him, before picking up Tophet from the counter when he was nearing the snacks, fishing out a Pokéball. Releasing the Froakie, who right a way look around the new area he was in a bored matter, before eyes widen from the large vast area outside. Hopping over to it with eagerness, web paws up against the glass, face pushed flat to take in everything.

Tophet on the other hand, lost from the reaction jumped from Malie's arms and moved to sit by the other, having confusion be clear, before also looking out the clear sliding door.

Leaving for the humans to get back in setting things up and putting items away.

"Have you spoke with Louis about meeting up with him?"

"Yeah, also going to see if Kukui has something I can do there as well. Might be neat to travel with Louis for a bit, see what the life of a Coordinator is all about." Malie said, eyeful of how the blue frog handled, seeing it's shoulders slump a bit, but rising again when Tophet pointed with a paw to something farther out, getting the frog to cheer up again.

"That sounds fun."

"To Louis. He's going to be in Sinnoh for a while and the area is pretty big, so who knows what could happen. He's already got an amazing team set up already. His father got him a Goomy. Not sure if I brought that up with you before."

"Not ringing any bells. But wow, lucky guy there. His dad did that for him? A Goomy and Froakie, sounds like a great team right there."

"Eh, right Goomy and Froakie, sure, Nalani. But yeah, from an eccentric breeder friend of his father's. Though, his Skiddo is pretty adorable. I can tell of how that one was an easy catch for him, not a fighter bone in that body." Malie said, offhandedly, looking over when hearing a soft sad mew from Tophet, seeing something of a pout. Malie shook her head with a grin on her face, before saying. "You're my Starter, Tophet, nothing is going to change that."

Another mew came, a bit more huffy and confident from those words, before going back to the Froakie. While the other finished up in silence.

"Kai!"

The sudden noise broke the comfort silent rolling in.

"You're taking forever! Mama is going to be home soon and Malie is already downstairs. Move your butt!"

"You can move your butt out of my room, you bully. Give that back!"

"No! You're going to lose them anyway. Don't bring them!"

"I will not!"

"Will too!"

"No!"

"Yes!"

"Nalani! Kai is being mean again! He won't give me my clips! Nalani!"

"Tattle-tail!"

"Bully!"

"Baby!"

"Stupid-head!"

Malie looked over to the over, a glint in her eyes as the other only gave her a warning look. Before heaving a sigh and headed upstairs.

"Excuse me, cuz, duty calls." He said to her jokingly, before adding out to the twins once out of sight. "Okay you two stop it! Kai, give your sister back her clips right now. Keahi, we talked about this before with the clips. Also, both of you be nice and no name calling. That's my job, prats."

Malie shook her head, moving over to the sliding door, enough to let the critters out.

"Why don't you take Froakie to the cabin and showcase, Tophet. I'll be down there in a bit, okay?"

Tophet gave a mew with a nod, pushing the Froakie out, as it was still in a daze from the sight before it. Nudging the blue web starter along, Malie closing the door just in time to hear another scream and something shattering.

"Good to be home." Malie stated, awakening Kanoa, updating the machine quickly before rushing up the stairs. Slowly going back of how things normally are, and for now, enjoying it, as much as she can. Before soon, likely, leaving again.