No One Special
LDR: Geez, you guys sure stuffed up my inbox quickly. Not that it's any problem. You're the best. All of you.
Megan Kendall (guest reviewer), thank you for submitting but I'm afraid you didn't give me enough to work with. 'Loves Pokemon' tells me nothing about your character's demeanor towards other people, for example. Updates were also made to the SYOC form to include Pokémon's genders and Abilities. If you still want your character to be featured, please redo your submission with more detail and the updated template.
Alright, with that let's get on to the story! Maybe we'll meet some characters this chapter whose names don't end in -a.
Except for Plumeria stopping by to drop off a uniform, an empty Pokeball, and a plastic bag full of more snacks, along with an order to stay in bed, resting and recovering, Kalama was left alone for the rest of the day. She glanced over the uniform. Hat, bandana, tank top, shorts, even a pair of shoes. Everything was black and white. She would try it on later. She grabbed a pack of cookies in one hand, and the empty Pokeball in the other, stuffing a cookie into her mouth as she held the capsule out to the Pokémon. He sniffed at it, then touched his nose to the button. The Pokeball shook a few times then clicked, and Kalama instantly let Rockruff back out and set the Pokeball aside.
When the next day arrived, a new face arrived with it. Kalama was about to start her breakfast (a bag of potato chips and two granola bars) when the door to her room was flung open. She froze, a potato chip already halfway to her mouth, and stared at the young woman who had entered, holding a makeshift tray made of a garbage can lid with a plate of pancakes, a small bottle of syrup, and a cup of pinap juice on it. Hanging from the wrist of her other hand was a plastic bag. "Put that chip down." The stranger shut the door behind her, but not before Kalama caught a glimpse of a few curious faces straining to get a peek into the room.
The newcomer's skin was pink with sunburn, the shade nearly matching that of the tips of her brown hair, which was pulled back in a messy bun. Wide set light brown eyes fixed on the teen (the stranger herself looked like she might be somewhere in her early twenties) as the woman came closer, a smile on her freckled face. Her friendliness did nothing to distract Kalama from the small scar above her lip or the fact that the woman looked to be several inches taller than she was. A little intimidated, mostly because she still didn't know what to expect from these people, she dropped the chip back into the bag and obediently set it aside. The lid-tray was set down in front of her, the clatter of a fork and knife being jostled against the plate waking Rockruff. He yawned, then came to investigate the pancakes, only to be gently shooed away by the woman. "Those are for Kalama. I have Pokémon food for you," she scolded, lifting him off the bed and setting him down on the floor where she busied herself with preparing the contents of the plastic bag.
"You...know my name?"
"Most of Skull does by now. It's not often we get a nearly dead recruit. You've caused a bit of a stir. My name is Eleanora, by the way, but you can just call me Nora if you'd like." Kalama picked up the fork and poked at a pancake. "You have to eat more than just cheap junk food. Rockruff shouldn't be eating that at all. I had Wolf run out to snag something a bit better for you two." She stood up, leaving Rockruff eating enthusiastically from a bowl filled with Pokémon food and oran berries. In one hand was held a half empty carton of the blue fruits. This was set down on the lid-tray. "I didn't know if you'd want syrup so I just brought the bottle."
"Thanks." Ignoring the syrup, Kalama stabbed the fork into the center of the pancake stack and set about cutting them into bite sized pieces.
"You should change into the uniform when you're done. The clothes you're wearing need a good washing. Or maybe a burning." Kalama didn't answer, too busy stuffing her face with pieces of pancake and oran berries. "I love your hair, by the way. It's so thick."
"Ain't great for Alola's weather. But never had the money to get it cut professionally and I sure as Distortion World wasn't gonna try myself," Kalama replied as she paused her eating to reach for the cup of juice.
"It sure was hard to brush though."
"You're the one who did my hair?"
"I was." Silence came to the room as Kalama went back to eating. After a moment, Nora gestured to the bed. "Can I sit?"
"Go ahead," came the reply, distorted by Kalama's mouth full of food. As Nora sat down on the edge of the bed, the strap of her tank top slipped down, revealing a strip of pale, pale skin. The teen paused, watching Nora fix the strap. "You ain't from Alola, are you? Too pale."
"You're right. I was born in Snowpoint City. It's in Sinnoh."
"Sinnoh's real far from here, ain't it? Why you here?"
"My family moved to Po Town when I was sixteen. They left when Team Skull moved in, but I stayed. And I joined the team."
"You coulda gone with your family." Rockruff finished eating and jumped up onto the bed to cuddle up to Kalama. "Why'd you stay to join a gang? Doubt your family's happy about this."
Nora smiled faintly. "You're right. They don't like what I've done. But there's a lot of kids in Team Skull. Teenagers. I wanted to help them. And I doubted Guzma and Plumeria could handle them all on their own." She reached for the lid-tray, seeing Kalama's empty plate and cup, then picked up the bowl Rockruff had been eating out of. It, too, was empty. "Change into your uniform while I take care of these. Make sure everything fits alright, and I'll see if your clothes can be salvaged."
"Saved. Able to be worn again. Let me guess, no school?" Kalama shook her head and Nora 'tsk'd softly. "You aren't the only Skull, don't worry. I doubt you'll be the last. I'll be back in a few minutes." Nora left, taking the remnants of Kalama and Rockruff's breakfasts with her.
"She was nice," Kalama noted as she petted Rockruff's head, looking at the uniform. After a moment, she carefully stood up, undressing herself to pull on the uniform. The bandana was left hanging around her neck like she'd seen with Nora and the three who had brought her a chocolate bar yesterday, though she guessed by how loose it was that it could also be pulled up over her face. "Everyone's been nice so far. I'm still waiting to see why everyone says Team Skull is so awful." She grabbed the opened bag of chips that she'd been about to eat before Nora had arrived with pancakes. Speaking of Nora...
"It looks like the uniform fits."
Kalama turned towards the door to find it open, with the woman standing there. She smiled faintly at Nora. "Shoes are a bit too big."
"Well we can fix that. You sit down on the bed. I'll go find a smaller pair." Nora held out her hand. Kalama slipped off her shoes and handed them over, along with her old clothes. Nora left again, but this time the door remained open. It didn't take long for someone else to show up.
"You're looking a lot better than when Plums and I found you." Leaning against the doorframe was a boy of maybe seventeen or eighteen. He tilted his head as he studied her, and his hat fell off. Grumbling under his breath, he swiped it off the floor and jammed it back down over his wild mane of black hair. Friendly green eyes met her uncertain yellow ones. "Though it has been a week. Been eating a lot?"
"Good. Sooner you're recovered, sooner you can start contributing. Name's Luka. No need to introduce yourself. I already know who you are."
Rockruff had gone tense as Kalama's side. When she tried to calm him down by tickling his ruff, she was surprised to find the vibrations of a silent growl rising within his throat. Silently wondering at the reason why her Pokémon was now so ill at ease around someone who had, apparently, been one of the two that had picked her and Rockruff up, she asked, "Contributing?"
"Team Skull isn't a charity. Everyone's gotta do their part to make sure we all survive. I know it's not your fault that you're laying around and eating right now, but don't expect to be able to do it for much longer. Ever stolen before?" She shook her head. "Arceus above, no wonder you were dying when we found you. Don't worry. You'll get taught by someone. Probably Wolf. He's one of our best. Kleptomaniacs tend to be. Practice makes perfect and all that."
"Luka, get out. Kalama needs to be resting." Nora had returned, dropping a new pair of shoes by Kalama before turning to shoo Luka out, closing the door behind him. "Your clothes were too far gone, I'm afraid. We'll find spares for you, don't worry. Try these shoes on, though."
"I'm tired of laying in bed. I did it all day yesterday. I wanna go out and look around," Kalama said as she slid the new shoes on. They fit well enough.
"You're recovering from nearly dying, Kalama."
"I'm boooored. So's Rockruff. He likes being outside and I do too."
Nora crossed her arms, one foot tapping gently against the floor. "Stay in bed and rest this morning. If I decide you seem up for it, I'll show you around a bit after lunch, okay?"
"Good. I'll be back with lunch around noon. I'll get a few of the Grunts to take turns standing outside your door. They'll make sure no one bothers you, and if you need anything, they'll help you out. Now, shoes off. Hat and bandana too, unless you want to sleep in them?" Kalama shook her head. "Didn't think so. Try to take a nap between now and lunch. Bye for now!" And out the door Nora went again. Kalama flopped down onto the bed, grabbing another bag of chips, these ones barbecue flavored. She was in for a long morning...
LDR: Alright. So...OCs. Luka is mine. Eleanora/Nora belongs to Lillian Jade. And Wolf, who has only been mentioned but not met yet, belongs to W. R. Winters. I think that's all for now. Feel free to drop a review with your thoughts about the story. LDR out!