Hello everyone, Xeroz here. How are you all doing? I hope you have been fine in my absence!

I'm sorry that I have, once again, been gone for so long. I know that I promised that I'll try not to take long, but alas… I hope you guys can forgive me for my incompetence and poor time management.

Regardless, I'm back with the newest installment of 'The Fate Of Two Lost Souls' which I hope you will enjoy.

Without further ado, let's get into it.


Key:

"Speech"

'Thought'

[Mind link]

"Pokéspeech"

:Phone calls:

"Tenanth's speech"

"{Anything written, such as notes or text messages}"

*Action, Background action*

(Author remarks, rant, whatever)

{[Flashback/Start/End]}

{[Scene Break/Start/End]}


Disclaimer: I don't nor will I ever own Pokémon or its characters. It belongs to Satoshi Tajiri, Nintendo and Game Freak.

More Disclaimer: I don't nor will I ever own any of the games, companies, websites, etc. mentioned through this story. Their sole purpose in this story is to add some detail. All the rights go to their respective owners.

I do claim ownership of my OCs and plot of this story however, as well as the story itself.

ENJOY!


{[Scene Start]}

It was still morning in Alex's quiet neighborhood. The sun was slowly rising over the horizon, illuminating everything in its path, bringing light and warmth to the residents of the quiet, little town, nestled comfortably next to the forest and mountain.

For some, it was yet another Saturday morning, with nothing out of the ordinary and nothing new happening.

For Alex Walker, that was not the case. His morning has been eventful ever since he woke up.

After all, how wouldn't it be? Rescuing an injured Pokémon and bringing it to your home, only to nurse it back to health to the best of your ability isn't a daily occurrence, after all.

Usually, a normal person would freak out if they were to experience what Alex was going through, yet he didn't seem to think much of it. It seemed natural to him, somehow.

Sure, he did freak out at first when he heard Tenanth's voice for the first time or when he saw Kimiko laying in the forest for the first time, but ever since these events passed, he seemed to take everything that followed quite well.

He had no explanation. He had no theories.

He just felt at ease, as if it was all natural. Deep down he knew that shouldn't have been the case, yet something else told him the opposite.

However, despite all, there was something about the whole situation that he was certain was unnatural – the amount of food he was consuming.

Alex was never the type of person to eat a lot. Ever since he became 12-13 years old, he ate twice a day only and in very small quantities. Usually he'd have snacks or sweets between his breakfast and dinner, but even then, he didn't consume much food.

His breakfasts usually consisted of a bowl of cereal or a single sandwich with ham, cheese and lettuce, whereas his dinner varied, depending on what he felt like eating or whatever his mom had cooked for him in the rare instances she was home and able to cook him something.

Yet, the amount of food he had consumed this morning was unnaturally big. He was currently on his fifth bowl of cereal, and even though he was close to finishing it, he still felt hungry.

He was hastily scooping the cereal from his bowl and chewing down on it as if he hadn't seen food in months. In several short scoops, his bowl was empty with only some of the milk remaining. But it didn't matter. The moment the cereal in the bowl was gone, he poured another.

This process kept going on and on and on and on. Eventually, the cereal in the box had ran out. Conveniently, the moment Alex realized the cereal was over, his stomach stopped hurting, letting him breathe out a sigh of relief.

With his hunger now satisfied, he grabbed the bowl with milk and drank all of it in one go, putting the bowl back on the table once he was done.

"If I barf this up later today, I'll punch myself in the stomach." Alex said to himself as he stood up from his chair and put the bowl in the sink.

As he left it there, he took a look at all the cups and bowls sitting inside the sink, waiting for him to do something about it and clean up after himself.

"Damn, how long has it been since I last washed the dishes?" Alex asked himself as he stared at the sink. "Two days? Three maybe?"

He kept on staring at the dirty bowls and cups, only to slowly walk away and start making his way to the living room.

It wasn't that he wanted the kitchen to be messy or for the utensils to remain dirty. Quite the opposite actually, Alex hated to leave his room or any other room messy.

Yet, despite this fact, he had one large problem – he procrastinated a lot. Sure, he knew that he had to wash the dishes, yet something from within stopped him. He always delayed it for later, over and over, until the sink would be overfilled or simply way too full for anything else to be put in it.

It was the same for everything else he did. School projects, homework, cleaning, etc. Of course, when matters became urgent, he would be quick to tackle them as best as he could.

Problem was, he would be too late by then.

With his breakfast now done and his dishes still dirty, he made his way to the living room and sat on the couch. He yawned quietly, still a bit tired from the conversation with Tenanth from last night.

As he sat in the living room, he heard the muffled voice of Jessica coming from the floor above him.

Currently, both her and Kimiko were upstairs in the guest room, trying on the clothes that Jessica had brought for Kimiko to wear. Alex imagined that to be a fast, quiet process, but as it turned out, that would not be the case.

Since he didn't feel like sitting in the room doing nothing, Alex decided to turn on the TV. He didn't have any intention of actually watching it, he just wanted to have some sort of background noise other than Jessica's muffled voice from upstairs.

He grabbed the remote that was laying idly on the couch and turned the TV on. No show was airing currently. Instead, there was a commercial break between shows. The one on the TV currently was about a fit black man advertising some sort of a 2-in-1 shower gel. Entertaining, but he wasn't up to watching or listening to that currently.

He went back and forth through channels, looking for something even remotely interesting to watch or listen to. Eventually, he settled on a channel that was about to air a movie that he enjoyed watching every now and again.

He put the remote down and stared blankly at the TV without really paying mind to anything that was going on it. As he sat there, his phone began to ring. Absentmindedly, he reached in his pocket to grab it and answered it without looking at the caller's info yet again.

"This is Alex." he said as he picked up.

:Alex Walker, we have surrounded the house.: a deep, raspy voice from the other end of the line said. :Hand over all your best memes, or we will use lethal force and make you.:

"Yeah, no, you still suck at this." Alex replied as he struggled to hold in his giggle. "You still sound way too unconvincing."

:Dammit.: the person replied, with his voice now sounding softer and higher. :I thought I was sorta starting to get the hang of it, man.:

"Yeah, no, sorry, you still gotta practice, like, waaaay more, dude." Alex said. "By the way, where the hell were you? I called you like, 5 times."

:Yeah, sorry, my battery kinda died.: the person responded.

"Well, you could've kinda charged it." Alex said. "Ain't like you live with no electricity or somethin'."

:Yeah, uh, about that…: the person said, then made a short pause. :My electricity has been kinda… down, since Wednesday.:

"How come?" Alex asked. "I thought you pay it regularly."

:I do, but I think some sorta outage has hit me.: the boy said. :Anyways, I'm just calling to let ya know I'm not dead.:

"Yeah, kudos for that. Me and Jessica were getting worried yesterday." Alex explained. "So, how have you been doing?"

:Uh, well, uuuh…: the boy, for whatever reason, was struggling to respond properly for a while. :Y-Y'know me dude, uuh, lonely! Yeah, lonely as ever!:

"Bro, you okay?" Alex asked. "You sound weird. Is everything okay?"

:Yeah, yeah, it's all good. It's just uuh, I had a bit of trouble sleeping so I'm kind of, uuuh, unresponsive.: the boy explained. :B-But nevermind that, how are you doing?:

"Dude, I've been pretty good." Alex replied. "Yesterday was a blast man, although I had some slight mishaps happening."

:Oh. What kinda mishaps?: the boy asked.

"A head-splitting headache and the delusion that I was going insane." Alex replied. "You know, the usual."

:That doesn't sound good. Go see a doctor or something.: the boy on the phone suggested.

"Nah, it's okay now, it's all over." Alex said. "No need for doctors. I haven't experienced it again, so I guess it was a one time thing."

'Or three or four…' Alex thought to himself.

:Still though, doesn't it scare you?: the boy asked.

"Trust me, I was scared, but as I sat down and thought about it, I saw that it was just something minor." Alex replied. "It's okay. I'll go see a doctor if it happens again, but for now, I'm good as I am."

:I sure hope so, man.: came the boy's reply. :Hey, listen, I gotta go, but I'll call back when I can.:

"Yeah, okay." Alex nodded. "Good to hear from ya, Kyle."

:Yeah, same man.: the boy, Kyle, replied. :Hey, tell Jessica I've called if you see her, a'ight?:

"Yeah, sure, no probs." Alex said.

:Great. A'ight, now I gotta go. Talk to ya some other time.: Kyle said.

"Yeah, sure. Bye." replied Alex as he hung up the phone.

He put the phone next to him on the couch and resumed watching TV. Luckily for him, the movie he wanted to watch was just starting, so he had something to distract himself with for the time being.

{[Scene Break]}

Half an hour passed since Alex sat down to watch TV. The movie he was watching was pretty funny to him, despite the fact he had seen it once or twice before. Besides, he liked to watch things over and over, as he always noticed something new that he had missed every previous time. It was one of the few fun activities that he had.

As the commercial break came, he heard light footsteps coming from the stairs leading to the second floor.

'Huh, I guess they're done.' Alex thought to himself as he turned the TV's volume down. 'Took them a while.'

Shortly after, Jessica entered the living room. Strangely enough, Kimiko wasn't with her.

"Hey, you're back." Alex greeted her. "What's going on?"

"Well, good news is, majority of the clothes I brought fit Kimiko." Jessica said as she sighed rather audibly for whatever reason. "I honestly didn't expect them to. I expected her to have a body quite different from mine."

"So, it's similar? How similar?" Alex asked.

"I'd say quite similar to an average female body." Jessica nodded. "She definitely has thinner torso, shoulders, waist, hips, legs, hands and all that, but even then, they're not that much thinner. Ignoring the differences in her head, hands and feet, she could pass for a normal human girl."

"I… see." Alex nodded.

"Oh yeah, that reminds me." Jessica said as she put her finger up. "You will have to cut holes through the clothes."

"What?" Alex asked. "Why?"

"This weird purple horn thing on her chest is kind of getting in the way." Jessica explained. "I mean, it's pretty small, it's barely noticeable because it's between her boobs, but still, it makes the clothes look weird because they appear as if they're being pushed up by something."

"I mean… aren't they?" Alex asked as he shrugged.

"Yeah, but that looks… unnatural, kind of." Jessica replied. "Listen, she'll tell you which clothes will need a hole and which won't."

"Why can't you do it?" Alex asked. "I feel like I'll mess up and I'll ruin them."

"How hard can it be? You just make a slight hole for the spike to get through and that's it." Jessica said. "Nothing too fancy."

Alex didn't respond immediately. Instead he just deadpanned and stared at her for some time, before finally speaking up.

"Do you know who I am?" he asked as he pointed at himself. "For real, Jess. You know I will fuck it up. It always happens to me."

"I mean, yeah, but it's a small thing." Jessica shrugged. "You can't mess it up that bad!"

Silence followed as Alex stared at Jessica's eyes. He rose one of his brows slightly, not saying a thing. Jessica stared back at him, remaining quiet just like him. Not long after, she broke the silence.

"Nevermind, you're right." she sighed. "You will fuck up. Somehow."

"And it only took you four years to realize that." Alex said as he clapped lightly with a grin on his face. "Amazing!"

"Shut up, smartass." Jessica retorted as she sat on the sofa next to him. "I'll think of something. Might just do it on my own, too."

"Hey, as long as it works, you know?" Alex smirked. The smirk quickly left his face though. "Really though, if you can do it in my stead, that'd be awesome. I don't want to ruin the clothes you gave to Kimiko."

"*sigh* I know, I know." Jessica sighed. "Don't worry, I'll help out however I can."

"Thanks Jess, I really, really appreciate this." Alex smiled as he nodded his head.

"Of course, don't worry about it." Jessica smiled back. "I don't know what affected me in such a way, but I want to make sure Kimiko is healthy and happy as much as you do."

"Yeah, I can relate." Alex nodded. "Speaking of which, where is Kimiko?"

"She wrote me a note and said she'll choose something to put on and then join us." Jessica explained. "I guess she wanted to pick something herself, or I guess she wanted to see if she can put the clothes on all by herself."

"What do you mean 'by herself'?" Alex asked. "She was wearing clothes when we found her, no?"

"Yeah, I thought she'd know how to put clothes on, but apparently, that was not the case." Jessica said.

"Really?" Alex rose a brow.

"Oddly enough, yes." Jessica nodded. "I guess it makes sense, somewhat. If the only clothes she has ever worn were this one dress we found her with, then it's no wonder she'd find difficulties with other types of clothes."

"I guess you're right." Alex nodded too. "I'm not sure if that's how it works, but hey, I don't have any better explanation."

Just as he said that, he heard Kimiko going down the stairs as well, meaning she was done. Seconds later, Kimiko entered the room, now dry and fully clothed. As she entered, Alex and Jessica both turned towards her.

The clothes she wore were much different from the dress that they found her with. Instead of her usual blue and white dress, she was now wearing a simple black mini dress, completed with a pair of black knee-high socks.

She stood right in front of the open door with her head slightly tilted down and with evident blush on her cheeks. Her hands were behind her back as she shook slightly. It was easy to guess that she was embarrassed.

"W-Whoa…" Alex silently said as he looked at her.

[W-Well, h-how do I l-look…?] Kimiko asked as she turned her head away from Alex and Jessica slightly all the while rubbing her right arm.

"Y-You look… amazing." Alex said as he kept staring at her, as if in a trance.

"Yeah, I would agree." Jessica nodded her head with her hand on her chin. "This dress does suit you pretty nicely, Kimiko."

Kimiko didn't respond. She just smiled slightly as her blush deepened.

"Hey, Jess." Alex turned towards Jessica. "You brought her underwear too, right?"

"Of course, I did." Jessica nodded. "What, you think I'd let her run around naked?"

"I mean, no, but I just wanted to make sure." Alex said as he turned back towards Kimiko who was still looking away. "I mean, this dress is rather… short."

"Don't worry, I've brought her enough. Even too much, I'd say." Jessica assured him.

"Good, that's good." Alex said. "Well then, that's one issue thrown out the window."

"Alright, good, how many more to go?" Jessica asked in a joking manner.

"Hella." Alex simply replied. "But one problem at a time, alright?"

[Problems?] Kimiko asked as her blush finally left her face.

"Yeah, you having clothes to wear was a solution to one of them." Alex nodded. "I told you while I was showing you around the house that if you were to be seen by anyone else, they'd freak out, right?"

[O-Oh… right…] Kimiko lowered her head.

"The problem with that is, until we can come up with a way to make you look human, it will be hard for you to leave the house, unless it's during the night." Alex explained. "But I'll think of something so that we can go outside during the day too."

"Oh, that's right!" Jessica suddenly exclaimed. "I might have a temporary solution!"

"You do?" Alex rose a brow at Jessica's statement.

"Yeah, I might just have what we need." she nodded as she looked at Alex. "See, my cousin's parents opened up a costume shop not too long ago."

[A costume… shop?] Kimiko asked.

"Yeah, it's basically a store that sells clothes, wigs, makeup and various other items so that you can dress up as someone else." Alex turned towards Kimiko as he did his best to explain.

"That's right." Jessica nodded. "In a sense, if we get some items from the costume shop, we should be able to dress you up and make you look like an average human. That way, it will be easier for you to go outside, whether during the day or the night."

[This sounds… nice.] Kimiko smiled softly.

"Having you all cooped up in here would be no good." Alex nodded his head. Afterwards, he turned towards Jessica. "Do you think they would just straight up give you a costume?"

"I suppose." Jessica shrugged. "I can always ask. Though, if they decide not to get me one, I'll just buy it, no biggie."

"Well, it's settled then!" Alex clapped his hands, turning back to Kimiko as he did. "One more problem is about to get solved. Good progress we're making today, guys!"

"What are the other problems, if I dare ask?" Jessica said.

"Well, let's see…" Alex said as he cupped his chin, turning towards nobody in particular. "We still have to find a way to introduce Kimiko to Kyle without either of them getting scared, we have to find out how and from where did she get here, we have to teach her about the way our world functions, we have to see if we fool the people around us that there's nothing extraordinary about her, I have to think of an excuse for when my parents come home-"

"Okay, enough." Jessica said as she put both of her hands in front of her, effectively shushing Alex. "I get it. We'll figure these out somehow."

[Who is Kyle?] Kimiko asked.

Alex turned towards her, only to realize she was still standing up. He scooted towards Jessica, making room for Kimiko on the couch.

"Sit down and I'll tell you." Alex said.

Kimiko did as told and sat down on the couch next to Alex. She took a brief look around the room, taking notice of the surroundings and the furniture. Lots of weird objects were present, many of which she saw briefly while looking through Alex's memories earlier. Despite that, she had no idea what they were or what their purpose was.

In fact, one of these weird objects was right in front of the couch she, Alex and Jessica were sitting on. A large, rectangular object that was, for whatever reason, flashing in different colors, displaying various images and emitting sounds. She had no idea what it was, nor what its function was, but it did look quite impressive.

"So, anyways, about Kyle…" Alex said, resuming the topic from earlier. Kimiko turned towards him. "Kyle is a friend of mine and Jessica. I would even say he's one of our best friends, if not the best."

"Indeed." Jessica nodded at Alex's statement. "Usually, the three of us go outside and do things together, but we haven't seen him in a few days, for one reason or another."

[Is he… a good person?] Kimiko asked, a faint feeling of fear evident in her question.

"Oh, he is awesome!" Alex nodded. "He's a bit shy when you meet him at first, but he's really a great guy once you get to know him well enough."

[Will he get scared if he sees… me?] Kimiko asked.

"Can't tell." Alex replied. "I mean, me and Jessica got scared when we first found you in the forest, no doubt, but the way things escalated we forgot about it and focused on getting you here and healing you."

"What did she say?" Jessica asked after hearing what Alex said.

"She's asking whether Kyle will get scared if he sees her or not." Alex explained.

"Ah, I see." Jessica nodded. "Well, as Alex said, both me and him got scared when we first saw you, but it's only natural. I don't know if Kyle will get scared, but I'm sure that if we explain the situation to him and give him some time, he'll come to the same conclusion as us and start treating you the same way we do."

Kimiko slowly nodded her head after hearing Jessica's explanation.

"Speaking of which, I did get to speak with Kyle earlier." Alex said.

"You did?!" Jessica exclaimed. "Is he okay? Why didn't he call? Is there anything wrong?"

"He's fine, at least he said so." Alex shrugged. "Apparently the electricity in his house got cut down, so ya boy's been unable to charge his phone. Now, I've no idea how did he call me, but hey, at least he found a way."

"His electricity got cut down?" Jessica rose her brow. "I thought he pays it regularly?"

"Yeah, I thought the same thing." Alex said. "He said some sort of outage has hit him. No idea what's going on. He was quick to hang up either way, he seemed to be in a hurry for some reason."

"I see." Jessica nodded. "Did he sound okay, though?"

"He did." Alex said. "I was going to ask him if he wants to hang out, but given the fact I still have no idea how we should introduce Kimiko to him, I decided to postpone this until we think of something."

"Good call." Jessica said as she pat Alex's shoulder slightly.

[I-Introduce me to h-him?] Kimiko's voice echoed through Alex's head. [B-But I thought that w-we can't do t-that yet…]

"Well, yeah, but we will have to at some point." he turned towards her. "We can't keep you in secret from him, you know. He's our friend, we go out and all that, he would find out about you sooner or later. Besides, I think it would be no good to try and hide you from him."

[B-But what if he g-gets scared a-and c-calls the ones t-that would c-capture me…?] Kimiko asked, her voice shaky.

"He wouldn't." Alex said seriously. "He would never do that. And even if he would, I wouldn't allow him to do it."

"What wouldn't he?" Jessica asked.

"Call the Feds if he ever saw Kimiko." Alex explained. "I'm just saying, even if he did see her and got scared, he would never call the police or anything. And even if he did, we wouldn't allow him, right, Jess?"

"Of course!" Jessica replied with a curt nod. "We wouldn't allow harm to come your way if we can prevent it. Even if Kyle gets scared, I guarantee you that he would never do something so rash."

"Listen, don't worry about these things, okay?" Alex said. "We'll come up with something. I'll even ease Kyle in if need be, but I'll never allow him to hurt you. Then again, knowing him, I doubt he'd try anyways."

[E-Even if you say that…] Kimiko looked down at the floor. [I-I'm not a human…]

"That's right, you aren't." Alex said as he put a hand on her naked shoulder. "But that doesn't mean anything. You're still a living, breathing being. You're to be treated with respect and care."

[B-But what if-] Kimiko tried to protest, only to be interrupted by Alex yet again.

"Listen, I promise you that no harm will come your way, be it from Kyle or anyone else close to us." Alex promised. "I'm no Pokémon, I have no extraordinary abilities or anything, but trust me, I'll do everything in my power to keep you safe."

It wasn't the first time hearing this sort of thing from Alex, but it still caught her by surprise. Her eyes widened and her cheeks became red once more, as she did her best to avoid eye contact.

She felt like she didn't have to at this point, but she still checked Alex's emotions and mind, only to determine whether he was being truthful or not. Unsurprisingly, he wasn't lying. He was, in fact, telling the truth. His intentions were genuine and it made Kimiko's eyes water once again.

[T-Thank you, A-Alex…] Kimiko said as she wiped a tear that was about to fall from her eye. A tear from joy, that is.

"You're welcome, as always." Alex smiled.

"What Alex said, I promise too." Jessica suddenly said. "You're our friend now, Kimiko. We don't leave friends behind. We look out for each other."

"Indeed." Alex nodded. "Kyle is our friend too, but that doesn't mean we'll let him do anything to you. Or anyone, for that matter."

[T-Thank you. B-Both of you.] Kimiko reached to wipe another tear.

"Hold on, I'll bring you some tissues." Alex said.

He then stood up from the couch and opened up one of the cabinets in the living room. Not even half a minute later, he sat down on the couch again, holding a pack of tissues, which he handed to Kimiko.

[Thank you…] she said as she pulled one of them out and began wiping her eyes.

"Please, calm down." Alex said. "Everything will be alright. I'll make sure of that."

'Even then…' Alex thought to himself. 'I'm just a boy, I can't really do much if Feds do come here. No! I can't think like this! I will protect her, no matter what!'

Silence filled the room for a while as Kimiko wiped away the tears from her eyes. Thankfully, said tears were caused from joy, rather than grief. She was smiling as she wiped her eyes, happy that she finally had someone she could truly trust.

It was weird for her, how fast these people accepted her and how fast they warmed up to her. It was odd how quickly she warmed up to them, too. She learned first-hand how awful some people can be. She swore not to get close to the humans ever again. And yet, here she was, in the home of one of them. A home which the human offered to share with her.

She checked Alex's mind and emotions, as well as Jessica's while both of them were in the bathroom, and she could tell that what they were saying was true. They truly cared about her, and in such a short span of time, too.

It was weird, but she was willing to accept it. She wanted to have someone who cares for her. She wanted someone who considered her friend. She wanted to feel safe.

She didn't want to be alone anymore.

Seeing as how Alex and Jessica were offering her solutions to these issues, she felt like there was nothing to do but accept them with open arms. Damned be her doubts of the humans. These two seemed to be exceptions.

She felt it within her – they weren't lying. They wouldn't hurt her.

They cared.

And this was all that mattered to her.

Alex, Kimiko and Jessica all sat silent with the TV serving as nothing more than background noise. All of them stared at random directions through the room. None of them was sure what to say or if to even say anything at all.

Despite that, the silence in the room was soon broken, as the TV's volume went up by itself. The commercials were interrupted and a tune began playing.

Alex, Jessica and Kimiko all looked up towards the TV, a bit startled by the sudden increase in volume. A picture of the Earth was displayed, with a text saying 'Breaking News' in front of it.

To Kimiko, this didn't mean anything. Alex and Jessica however, seemed alarmed.

"News? At this hour?" Jessica asked.

"Must be urgent." Alex murmured.

Kimiko just kept staring at the TV, not even sure what was she looking at.

Not even a second later, the picture disappeared and a young woman appeared on the screen. The young woman was dressed in a gray unbuttoned suit with a white shirt underneath. She was seated behind a desk with a small screen behind her, showing the same picture from earlier.

"We interrupt this program for some urgent news." the woman said the moment she appeared on the screen. "A 21 years old man was assaulted last night in Veritas, near the Northney Bluff mountain."

"Isn't that, two towns away from here?" Alex asked quietly.

"The man has several fractures and suffered from blood loss, but there is no danger for his life." the woman continued with the report. "Locals reported hearing eerie noises coming from the nearby woods, close to the whereabouts where the man was first found."

"Eerie noises?" Jessica asked quietly.

"The local police and investigators have been alerted of the attack, as well as the suspicious activity reported by several civilians." the woman added. "Nothing out of the ordinary has been found yet. The police recommend that everyone living close to or in the region of Veritas to not leave their homes at night, unless absolutely necessary."

"This can't be good…" Jessica commented.

"Furthermore, the police recommend not entering the forests at any time of the day or night, until the culprit has been found." the woman further explained. "Additional information about the incident will be reported in the later news issues at 7 and 10 PM."

"Well, at least they won't leave us in the dark with this." Alex said.

"For the time being, we encourage everyone to stay safe and alert for anything suspicious around them." the woman advised. "Have a good day, and stay safe."

With the last message, the woman disappeared from the screen and so did the room she was sitting in. Commercials began to play again, but no one paid any mind to them, as all three individuals sitting on the couch were all too focused on thinking about what they just heard.

"Never liked these guys' news." Alex commented. "But kudos for reporting that."

"Veritas… that's like… two towns away from here." Jessica tapped her chin with her finger. "Just as you said."

"It's right across the mountain actually, if you can cross it through the woods." Alex said. "But even if you go through the next town over, it's still not that far."

[What has happened to the person?] Kimiko asked as she handed the tissue pack back to Alex.

"Apparently, he was assaulted." Alex replied. "Police are investigating so that they can find out what happened to him."

[They don't know either?] Kimiko asked.

"No, they have no way of knowing." Alex shook his head. "Well, in some cases they do. But apparently that's not one of them."

Before Kimiko could ask anything else, Alex reached for the pens and paper sitting idly on the table and handed them to Kimiko.

"I don't mind answering your questions, but I think Jessica can explain things better." Alex smiled. "Or, at the very least, give her thoughts on the matter too."

Kimiko blushed and hastily took the papers, writing the word 'sorry' on one of them and handing it to Jessica.

"It's okay, Kimiko." Jessica said. "I know it's probably a lot easier to talk with your mind rather than writing it on paper."

Kimiko grabbed another piece of paper and quickly wrote something on it, before flipping it over and letting both Alex and Jessica read it.

"{Is the person the lady spoke about okay?}" the note that Kimiko wrote said.

"The woman said a couple of fractures and blood loss." Alex replied. "But there is no threat for his life, so he should be okay, yes."

"{What could have caused it?}" the second note said.

"Well, it could've been many things." Jessica replied this time. "It could've been a wild animal, a burglar who broke into his house or perhaps someone who could've attempted to kill him."

"{How will they find out what happened?}" the third note said.

"Well, there are lotsa things they can do to find out." Alex said. "They can look through the area the man was found, ask the people living in the town if they know anything, look for witnesses, patrol around, look around for DNA samples and all that. They can do many things to find out what happened."

"{Are any of us in danger?}" a fourth note.

"No, I'd say we aren't." Alex shook his head. "The whole thing happened in Veritas, which isn't that far from our town, but it will still take at least a day to come here by foot. But even if someone did come here, my house is located in a pretty secluded place. Not to mention, all my neighbors know me and will be alert if anything weird happens in here."

"{What if the one that did it crosses the mountain and comes here?}" a fifth note was shown.

"It's possible, but very unlikely." Alex replied. "The mountain is very high and difficult to climb. Unless it's some professional hiker, I doubt they'd be able to come here that way. But even if they did, my house still isn't easily accessible."

"{So, the house is safe?}" note number six.

"Indeed." Alex nodded. "My parents said that the house is somehow wired to a police network, so if there was any sign of a forced entry, they will dispatch somebody and they will come here in a minute or so."

"I didn't know that." Jessica commented.

"Yeah, me neither, I only found out about that a week or two ago." Alex said. "This job of theirs sure is something if it allows these sorts of connections."

"{So, we'll be okay?}" yet another note said.

"Absolutely." Alex nodded reassuringly. "Don't worry, Kimiko. Our house is the safest spot for you right now. It's the safest for all of us, actually. Until we find out exactly what's happened to the man and if we should be worried or not."

"Also, don't worry about break-ins either." Jessica added. "This guy here is a knife fanatic. Always walks around with a knife. If anyone was to enter, he would've stabbed them on the spot."

"Yup." Alex nodded. "Oh, that reminds me, are you able to use your powers now that you've restored some of your energy?"

"{I am.}" Kimiko nodded as she showed them the note.

"Then that means you can protect yourself if the worst comes to worst." Alex said. "Again, I highly doubt anyone will manage to get in our house, but in the worst-case scenario, you can defend yourself and knock them out."

"{I can also protect you!}" Kimiko wrote another note.

"Yes, you can." Alex nodded with a smile. "But don't feel obliged to do so. Watch out for yourself the most, okay?"

Kimiko nodded, but didn't write anything else.

For a while, she just stared at the weird object in front of her. She had no idea what was she even looking at, but it was definitely grabbing her attention. The vibrant colors that changed ever so rapidly, the sounds coming out from it, it all felt so unreal to her.

What was that thing anyways? What was its purpose? Why was it in this room? What was it showing?

She knew that Alex and Jessica had the answers to these questions, and while she could easily get them from Alex simply by looking through his mind, she didn't want to risk hurting him in any way, shape or form.

As for Jessica, she could try to probe in her mind like she did with Alex, but knowing that their minds were not connected, she figured it would be a bit harder to do it, even though she had done the same thing before when her mother was teaching her.

Even then, she didn't want to risk that either, since she already did it once today and was not sure if it would be safe to do it twice in a day. So instead, she opted for her second option.

She grabbed yet another piece of paper and a pen and wrote another message. Once she was done, she put the pen down and poked Alex gently.

"Hm?" Alex hummed as he turned towards her. "What is it?"

In response, Kimiko showed him what she had just written while pointing towards the weird, and rather large, object.

"{What is this?}" the note Kimiko held said.

"Oh, that?" Alex asked as he pointed towards it as well, receiving a nod from Kimiko. "This is a TV. It's for uuuh, well, entertainment."

"{Why was this lady in it? Was she trapped?}" another note said.

Reading this, Alex chuckled lightly while Jessica just let out a smile, trying hard not to giggle as well. Seeing their reactions, Kimiko blushed, embarrassed.

"Sorry, sorry." Alex said as he stopped giggling. "It wasn't that I was laughing at you. Your question was just adorable."

Kimiko blushed harder.

"But to answer, no, she isn't trapped in the TV." Alex said. "See, she is actually very, very far away from us. She is in a special large room where lots of people use devices, called cameras, to create a moving image of the woman. The image is then sent to our TV right here and we watch her from a very large distance without her being close to us."

Kimiko blinked rapidly over and over. The explanation Alex gave her confused her, so she was not sure how to react.

Seeing this, Jessica decided to step in and see if she can help make it more understandable.

"Uuuh, in simpler terms, Kimiko, the woman is just a moving picture in the TV." Jessica said. "She isn't living inside it or anything. She has a home, just like us. People just, uuh, make it so we can see her from very far away, as Alex said."

Jessica's explanation seemed to work a bit better than Alex's, because Kimiko slowly nodded her head, albeit the fact confusion was still evident on her face. Still, she nodded and wrote another note.

"{Why would people want to watch other people through the TV?}" the note said.

"Well, there are various reasons." Jessica tapped her chin with a finger. "Some people are watched because they inform us about things that have happened or are currently happening in the world. Others are watched because they are put in a comedic or scary situation and they have to find their way out of the situation in a certain way."

"{But are people having fun with this?}" Kimiko asked with another note.

"Most of the time, yes." Jessica nodded. "Many people find it entertaining to watch people and the funny situations they find themselves in."

Kimiko felt like any further questions would just confuse her, so she just nodded, content with Alex and Jessica's answers for the time being.

Truth be told, she thought it was kind of creepy that people would enjoy watching other people in such a way, but she tried to shrug it off as something that was, apparently, normal among the humans.

For now, she decided to just sit comfortably and watch the TV and whatever it had to show. Even though she didn't understand any of the images that were shown on it, she knew that she would eventually learn about them, as long as Alex was okay with her assimilating his memories.

Now that she was thinking about it, she never actually asked if he was okay with it. Perhaps, now was the time for that.

[Alex, c-can I ask you something?] Kimiko's voice once again echoed through Alex's mind.

Just as he was about to answer, she once again spoke in his mind, effectively silencing him before he could even speak up.

[P-Please, I want to speak in private with you.] Kimiko said. [Do not reply verbally. Just… t-think about the answer and I'll be able to read it. C-Can you do that?]

Alex remained silent for a while, both verbally and mentally. Eventually, however, Kimiko heard his thoughts.

'W-Will this work?' he thought to himself, unsure whether or not Kimiko was hearing him.

[Yes! Yes, I can hear you!] Kimiko said as she smiled.

'Oh, cool. I guess I can talk to you without moving my mouth.' Alex said. 'Does that make me a Psychic too?'

[W-Well, not really, it's still only me that can hear you…] Kimiko replied. [A-Anyway, I just wanted to a-ask you something…]

'Oh, of course.' Alex said. 'I just hope I can answer without confusing you, though.'

[I-I'm sure you can.] Kimiko replied.

'Okay, ask me then.' Alex beckoned.

[I-It's about me assimilating your memories and everything that you have learned…] Kimiko said. [I-I never asked you if I could-]

'I did tell you a bit earlier that we will continue to do these sessions until you get all the knowledge that you need, didn't I?' Alex interrupted her. 'There is no need to ask me anything. I stand firmly behind what I said and I do not intend on backing down on my words.'

[S-So, that means…] Kimiko asked once more, just to be sure.

'As I already told you, whether there are risks or not, I want to proceed with it.' Alex nodded. 'As long as you're fine with getting knowledge from me, that's all that matters. I don't mind helping you out.'

[I-I see.] Kimiko nodded slowly as well. [T-Thank you so much, Alex.]

'Again, you're welcome.' Alex replied. 'Though, keep in mind that there are many things that I don't know or haven't learned. If you need to know something more, then you can always ask Jessica for help. Especially if it's for some girl matters.'

[Girl matters?] Kimiko slightly tilted her head.

'Yeah, I'm talking about stuff like clothes and matching outfits and whatnot.' Alex attempted to explain, only to realize that he himself had no idea what was he even talking about. 'Guess I can't explain it really well. It basically refers to topics and subjects that are more likely to be discussed or thought about by girls.'

[Do you mind if I ask Jessica what does that mean?] Kimiko asked.

'No, of course not.' Alex shook his head. 'In fact, let me ask her myself.'

Alex then turned towards Jessica who was staring absentmindedly at a random spot in the room. She seemed to be thinking about something, but Alex had no way of knowing what.

"Hey, Jess." Alex called out to her, snapping her out of her trance and making her look towards him. "Listen, can I ask something of you?"

"Of course." Jessica nodded. "What's up?"

"Well, me and Kimiko were talking about something just now and I unintentionally brought up the fact that if there are any 'girl matters' that she has to attend to, she can discuss them with you." Alex explained. "See, problem is I cannot explain what girl matters even are…"

Jessica hit her forehead with her palm before sighing audibly.

"You are a complete retard." she said as she slowly brought her hand down. "Why do you mention these absurd things when you can't even explain them?"

"My IQ is sub-par and I try too hard to sound intelligent." Alex replied bluntly. "Next question."

"Right, okay, I know what you want from me now." Jessica deadpanned before turning towards Kimiko. "Anyways, Kimiko, to explain it a bit more simply, 'girl matters' mean subjects who are typically discussed among girls only."

Kimiko looked at her with a questioning gaze, since Alex had told her the same thing.

"For example, all the clothes that I brought you." Jessica continued. "Usually, we girls pay a lot of attention to the way we dress and always try to pick out the best clothes that are the most beautiful among all."

Kimiko slowly nodded.

"To prove my point – why did you pick out the minidress with these thigh high socks?" Jessica asked her.

Kimiko reached for yet another piece of paper and quickly wrote her answer on it.

"{I thought they looked good on me.}" the note said.

"Exactly." Jessica smiled and nodded. "You were looking for the best one. Usually, if a girl cannot decide, she asks for help from her girlfriends and make them help her decide on what to wear in order to look good. This is one example of 'girl matters'."

Kimiko nodded once more.

"Other 'girl matters' can be anything related to shopping, sleepovers, gossiping, discussing boys and other things." Jessica further explained. "These are usually things that boys don't seem too interested in, or at least not all of them, which makes it difficult to discuss with them."

The Gardevoir nodded yet again with her eyes flashing for a brief second, as if realization had finally struck her.

"Do you get what I'm trying to explain?" Jessica asked, receiving an answer shortly after.

"{Yes, I think I do. 'Girl matters' are topics that usually girls seem to have bigger interest in. They are hard to discuss with boys.}" the note that served as a response said.

"Indeed!" Jessica clapped her hands happily. "See, you got it! I'm so proud!"

Kimiko jumped up slightly, blinking rapidly as her cheeks reddened.

"As Alex said, you are free to ask me about anything and everything that concerns you. I'll be always glad to help when I can." Jessica said.

Just as she said that, Alex's phone rang once more, much to his surprise. Hearing the unfamiliar sound, Kimiko flinched and jumped up slightly, looking around her in alert.

"Hey, hey, don't worry." Alex said as he tried to calm her down. "It's just my phone. Someone is calling me."

Alex then grabbed the phone sitting near him. Kimiko backed away a bit further when she saw Alex grabbing it, but calmed down upon realizing that it was the same grey object that Alex held in his hand after she had eaten all the fruits that he had provided for her. In his words, the device was safe, so that did put her at ease somewhat.

Alex swiped his finger across the screen, answering the call and shutting down the tune that was playing from it.

"…Hello?" Alex said upon picking up the call.

:Alex! Thank God!: a feminine voice was heard from the phone. :At least you haven't lent your phone to Satan!:

"Uh, what?" Alex asked.

:Doesn't matter!: the girl yelled out in response. :Listen, can you contact Jessica somehow?!:

"Who is this?" Alex asked.

:Don't you recognize me?!: the girl yelled out.

"Well, no?" Alex scratched the back of his head. "Do you have the wrong number…?"

:It's Kylie!: the girl exclaimed. :Kylie Reynolds!:

"Oh, Kylie!" Alex said as realization struck him. "Sorry, I really couldn't recognize your voice. You seem upset, what's wrong?"

:Doesn't matter!: the girl, Kylie, replied. :Listen, do you know where Jessica is? I've called her phone 5 times and she still doesn't respond!:

Alex then turned towards Jessica slowly. Without replying to Kylie, he brought his phone in front of Jessica's face.

"It's for you." he simply said.

Jessica took the phone and put it on her ear before responding.

"Hello?" she asked.

:Jessica! You're fine!: Kylie yelled out, making Jessica flinch and move the phone away from her ear momentarily. Several seconds later, she put it on her ear again.

"Ouch." Jessica said. "Yes, yes, I'm fine. I've been at Alex's place since the morning."

:Thank god! I was starting to get really worried!: Kylie said. :I've been calling your phone for a while now, but no response came and the operator told me it's off!:

"Is it?" Jessica asked before pulling out her own phone with her free hand. She attempted to power it on, only to realize that it was out of battery. "Yeah, it is. Sorry, I have no idea when the battery ran out."

:That's fine.: Kylie replied, breathing out a sigh of relief. :Listen, can you leave Alex for a bit and come over? I'm in a bit of a… bad situation.:

Jessica glanced towards Kimiko, who was looking at her and Alex with a questioning gaze.

"Uuuh, can it wait? I'm in a bit of a situation on my own…"

:It's urgent!: Kylie suddenly yelled out. :If I didn't need you, I wouldn't have called all these people to get to you! Please Jess, I need you right now!:

"Okay, I understand. Give me a second…" Jessica said and then momentarily put the phone down, before she turned towards Kimiko and Alex once more.

"Well, what's wrong?" Alex asked.

"She said that she has an emergency." Jessica said. "She wants me to go, but I don't really want to leave you alone with Kimiko."

"Why not?" Alex asked. "Don't think me and her can handle ourselves?"

"I just don't want to go back on my word." Jessica said. "I promised Kimiko that both you and I will be here when she needs us, so…"

"Hmm, okay, how about this…" Alex said as he turned towards Kimiko. "Kimiko, do you mind if Jessica leaves us alone for a bit?"

Kimiko jumped up slightly.

[Why?] she asked in Alex's head.

"A friend of ours, named Kylie, needs Jessica's help with something." Alex explained. "Apparently, it's urgent, so she needs Jessica to go to her home."

[Will she… come back?] Kimiko asked, as if afraid of the answer.

"Of course, she will." Alex nodded. "We're her friends, after all. Besides, she did promise that she will be with you, didn't she?"

Kimiko nodded once more.

"Then, what do you say?" Alex asked. "Do you mind if she goes to Kylie's house for a bit?"

Kimiko shook her head as she looked towards Jessica. Jessica sighed and picked the phone up once more.

"Okay, I'll be with you shortly." Jessica said. "You're home, yes? Stay there."

:Thanks, Jess! You're saving my life!: Kylie said happily. :I'll be waiting at home.:

"Okay, I'm coming soon." Jessica nodded. "Bye for now."

:Oh, say thanks to Alex for me!: Kylie said. :Bye, I'll be waiting!:

With that, Kylie hung up the phone. Jessica sighed audibly and handed back Alex's phone.

"Kylie says thanks." Jessica said as she stood up from the couch and stretched lightly.

"You don't sound too thrilled." Alex noted. "Something wrong?"

"Not really, I just wonder what has she gotten herself into." Jessica sighed again. "We were together the whole night. Knowing her, she probably went to Martin after I left. Again."

"She still going after him?" Alex asked. "Damn, I thought she would've learned by now."

"I can't tell. I hope she isn't." Jessica shrugged. "In any case, she wants me to go and if I don't, I'll have her whining to me through her friends. I'd rather spare myself from that."

"Fair enough." Alex nodded. "So, want me to call you a taxi?"

"No, I'll walk. I need to move some anyways." Jessica shook her head. "You just stay here and keep Kimiko company."

"Don't worry, I wasn't thinking of going anywhere anyways." Alex responded. "You just keep yourself safe, alright? The earlier news report still has me a bit alarmed…"

"Don't worry, I'll be fine." Jessica replied as she began walking towards the door. "Besides, it's light outside, no one would dare to attack."

"You can't be certain." Alex said. "But yeah, I guess you're right. Still, be on alert."

"Of course, of course." Jessica responded as she swayed her hand. "Well then, I'll be off. I'll see you two hopefully later."

"Sure, bye Jess." Alex waved at her.

"{Goodbye.}" Kimiko held a note as she also waved at Jessica.

"I'll try to be back soon, Kimiko." Jessica smiled. "Bye for now."

With that, Jessica left the living room through the door. Not too long after, the opening and closing of the main door to the house was heard, meaning that Jessica left the house.

"Well, it looks like it's just the two of us now, Kimiko." Alex said as he looked towards her. "So, what do you want to do?"

[Hmmmm…] Kimiko hummed within Alex's head. [I don't know what kind of activities we can do in your house.]

"Well, there's not really much to do." Alex said. "We can watch TV, play video games, read books, listen to music…"

[This 'TV'… what else can be seen on it?] Kimiko asked.

"Well, there are various of things." Alex said. "There is news, movies, entertainment programs, cartoons, documentaries and all that."

[C-Can we watch TV?] Kimiko asked, a bit timid.

"Of course." Alex smiled. "It's not like I had anything better in mind. What do you want to watch?"

[Um, w-whatever you want.] Kimiko replied. [I don't really know what is there to see, s-so…]

"Oh! Of course, of course." Alex nodded. "I'm sorry, I forgot that you haven't watched these before."

[It's okay.] Kimiko shook her head.

"Hmm, well, there was this movie I was watching while you and Jess were upstairs." Alex explained. "It's a funny one, though I don't know if you will like it. You wanna give it a chance?"

[Y-Yes.] Kimiko nodded.

"Alright then." Alex said as he re-adjusted himself on the couch and leaned backwards.

[What are you doing?] Kimiko asked as she watched him.

"Adjusting myself." Alex replied. "It's way more comfortable to sit that way. Go ahead, try it."

Kimiko did as told and copied the same thing Alex did, leaning her back on the pillow placed behind her.

[I-It's so… soft.] Kimiko said as she felt the pillow against her back.

"Right?" Alex said. "They're like cotton, it's amazing."

Just as both him and Kimiko got comfortable, the commercial break that was playing up until now finally ended and the movie that Alex was previously watching began playing once more.

Alex and Kimiko both watched the movie with neither of them making a noise. Alex kept silent because he didn't want to distract Kimiko and keep her from hearing what was being said. Kimiko kept silent because the TV and all that was displayed on it was interesting and new to her and she didn't want to miss out on anything shown.

The movie kept going and all the happenings kept playing out, usually leading up to misunderstandings and funny situations at which Alex did his best to contain his laughter. Kimiko also found them funny, but she just kept on staring and watching, trying to fit all the information in.

[Alex.] Kimiko suddenly called out to him.

"What is it?" he asked as he turned towards her.

[Why did the water around this man become darker?] Kimiko asked, talking about a scene that just played out in the movie.

Alex chuckled lightly, knowing that the explanation would not be just tough, but also kind of disgusting.

Still, he was ready for it. He was ready to answer any and all questions that Kimiko had to the best of his ability.

Though, with questions like that, one thing was certain – neither of them would be bored.

Alex smiled and began his attempt at explaining.


{[Scene End]}

Greetings again, everyone!

Allow me to once more apologize for taking so long yet again.

I've been absent from this site, as well as many more that I use to frequent for quite some time now due to various of factors. I do have a good reason for my absence, though.

See, during the last few days of school, I've accumulated lots of stress. I did my best to maximize my grades and finish tests that I was unable to take earlier in the year due to various of reasons. Add to all this the preparations I had to make for my trip to Germany as well as some other exams and you basically had me experiencing an overload.

School eventually ended, but I had a trip to Germany as a part of a school project and while I enjoyed it greatly, it did stop me from making and posting pretty much anything. Still, I did make many memories from there, as well as experience, so I'm really happy with that, despite my absence.

Regardless of all that, I hope that you enjoyed the chapter! If you did, please make sure to review and let me know what you thought of the chapter and/or of the story so far as a whole! I always appreciate and read reviews! Likewise, if you really enjoy the story thus far, you can Fav/Follow as well, this is even more appreciated!

An enormous 'Thank You!' to Agent of the Divine One for Beta reading my chapter! Thank you for your great work!

Please let me know if you've spotted any typos or any other kind of grammatical errors in the chapter! You help me greatly by doing so!

'Stay awesome!'

- Xeroz/Xerozzuro