There were worse ways to wake up in the morning than her great-aunt’s Venomoth tackling her.
Admittedly, Evangeline couldn’t think of them right now, but she was sure there were. Moaning, she pulled the covers back over her head, still reeling from the time change. They’d taken boats to get to the Kalos region, meaning the differences shouldn’t be hitting her this hard…except she was not a morning person. “I’m up, I’m up,” she managed to croak out before she got tackled again.
Venomoth trilled before taking its leave for downstairs. Yawning, Evangeline untangled her blankets and swung her legs over the edge of the bed, digging around with her toes until she found her slippers from where they had slid around after she kicked them off last night. The pink terry cloth helped her toes stay warm so her wake-up wouldn’t get even ruder.
She tugged her shorts down while walking over to the PC that her dad had bought her before she left. Tapping the screen, she saw the PDF he had sent her listing a bunch of trainer tips. Not that he’d ever gone on a journey, too responsible by half, but he’d listened to others and gathered these for her. It was a thoughtful gift. She closed down the PC, this time properly, and walked towards the shelves in the corner of this new move.
And in the process, walked past a mirror. She made a face at her reflection. Her hair was trying to escape the braid due to her restless sleep, and as she pushed up the strap of her tank, she sighed. As comfy as her pajamas were, worn-thin cotton and fleece did not present quite the image she thought a new trainer should, especially her first day in a new town. She strove for feminine but practical, and pajamas were not it.
Grabbing her shower things, she scuttled off to get ready and change her clothes and get her hair to behave, ideally before the morning passed her by.
Roughly forty-five minutes later, she took another look in the mirror, much happier with her appearance. Aqua shorts, her favorite white sleeveless turtleneck, and thigh high white socks with wide pink stripes across the top made up her favorite outfit. Her hair was neat now, even if it still didn’t know the meaning of the word cooperation—the violet ends flipped out rebelliously at her hips. Sighing, she blew out her last puff of air, but her bangs resolutely hovered over her left eye, the ends tickling her chin. She blamed both of her parents, who had their own hair issues.
She padded her way downstairs of the new rental house, yawning. The shower hadn’t woken her up as much as she had hoped. Her feet had barely touched the floor boards, though, and her great-aunt was on her.
“Morning, Evangeline!” Aunt Aya said, tossing a strand of graying hair out of her face. The forest green of its youth was barely visible in all the rest, and she’d adopted a bun rather than her old ponytail. It was still odd to see her in more normal clothes than the traditional Kanto garb that she’d preferred for as long as Evangeline had known her. “Or well, I think it’s still morning…”
Rolling her eyes, Evangline walked around her towards the breakfast counter. A plate of food was already fixed, including a cup of coffee. Rather than try and cut into the fried egg, she used the fork to drag it on to the toast to start munching while standing up. In between bites, she stole sips of the black brew with a happy sigh.
Snickering, Aunt Aya joined her, leaning her hip against the cabinets. She was far too used to her great-niece’s quiet after the trip here, especially while she was still waking up. “You sure slept well. All rested up from the move?” Aunt Aya asked.
Evangeline managed a quick nod, feeling bashful under her aunt’s gaze.
“It’s about time you got going,” Aya noted, glancing at the clock. Evangeline did the same and winced. It was later than she necessarily wanted to be just getting around. As if sensing what she was thinking, Aya reached into the cabinet for a to-go coffee cup. “Why don’t you step out and say hello to the neighbors?” she suggested. “Oh, and don’t wake Nidoqueen up, okay?” The heaviest of the household Pokemon had helped with moving all the heavy boxes last night, and was bound to be asleep still somewhere.
“Okay,” Evangeline agreed. Aunt Aya grinned, and reached over to tug at Evangeline’s bangs before handing her mug and turning towards the sink full of dirty dishes. Wrinkling her nose once Aya’s back was turned, Evangeline worked on eating her toast while she got ready to go out. Her hat, bag, and shoes were waiting for her at the front door, and she managed to slip them all into place without losing the egg on her toast or spilling her coffee. “I’ll be back later!” she called out, stuffing the breakfast back in her mouth to open the door.
Only to blink at the two people waiting for her outside. A boy and a girl, both about her age. Flushing in embarrassment, she finished stepping out and shut the door behind her. Taking her breakfast out of her mouth, she mumbled out a quick, “Hello.”
The boy smiled at her, relaxed and effortlessly charming. “Hey! Welcome to Vaniville Town. My name is Xavier. I’m your new neighbor.” His blonde hair was slightly curly, tucked into his cap, and he looked dressed for a journey of his own.
“And I’m Shauna! Great to meet you,” the girl quickly butted in, her bangs and pigtails even more rebellious than the swath of hair flipping out down Evangline’s back. “Guess what,” Shauna continued. “We’ve come to get you!”
Startled, Evangeline looked between them.
“The esteemed Professor Sycamore lives here in the Kalos region,” Xavier took over explaining. “I was told he has a request for five kids, including us.” He crossed his arms, looking Evangeline up and down. “But I’m a little surprised he knows who you are. You did just move to Vaniville after all. I wouldn’t have known you were here at all if my parents hadn’t mentioned to me that there was a new kid next door, not just your mom.”
Evangeline bit her lower lip, not wanting to admit that it was her aunt that she was living with here, not her parents. Even if these new potential friends might understand, it would defeat the purpose of her moving to a different region. “My name is Evangeline,” she introduced herself with a quick bow. It might not be the custom of the Kalos region, but old habits died hard. Straightening up, she tilted her head to the side. “Did the professor mention what he wanted?”
Both of them shook their heads. “Nah, but he’ll probably tell us as soon as we meet back up with him,” Xavier said. “It’s probably the same speech the professors give to all trainers who start out. Do you have your license and everything?”
She nodded, reaching into her bag and pulling out the card she had just gotten yesterday while Aunt Aya and her Pokemon had been unloading the car and unpacking the house. It listed her basic information, and included a profile picture. While it wouldn’t let her drive a car, it did show that she was a licensed trainer and allowed to attempt Gym battles and travel on her own without parental guidance after the necessary safety courses.
“Huh, wonder why yours is purple…” Xavier mumbled, flipping it in his hands before handing it back to her.
Shauna rolled her eyes. “Anyway,” she said pointedly. “We’ll wait for you in the next town over. And you know what?!” She almost bounced in her excitement. “We’re going to get…” she paused dramatically. “A Pokemon!” She threw her hands up in the air, jumping and kicking her heels up behind her.
Evangline felt like Shauna’s excitement was contagious. She smiled at the notion, even though this wouldn’t be her first Pokemon. That would be the Pidgey she had raised under her father’s guidance, but had left behind out of a sense of fair play.
Shauna, apparently, was done with talking. She skipped towards the gate, laughing and coaxing, “C’mon! Hurry, let’s go!”
“Alright, alright, hold your Ponyta!” Xavier said, laughing as well as he chased her out the gate and into the main road.
Startled, Evangeline followed them to the gate of her house, watching as they ran around the corner and out the main gates of the town. She shook her head, looking out on the main thoroughfare that she had barely gotten a chance to see the night before.
“Leaving already, Evangeline?” a groggy voice asked from nearby.
Whipping around, she saw that Nidoqueen had been sunbathing in the small front garden in an area that Aunt Aya must have set up just for her, with a sand bed and the ball that she knew Nidoqueen liked to bounce around. “Hey, you’re supposed to be sleeping,” Evangeline scolded, walking over to her. It wasn’t strange to her to understand the Pokemon–she was one of the one in five people who could understand what a Pokemon was saying, an anomaly that was still being studied by various professors.
Nidoqueen shook her head, sitting up with a yawn. “I didn’t want to miss you leaving,” she said, blinking her wide eyes open at her. “Besides, the small one was very loud.”
Evangeline ducked her head to hide her smile. “I’m not going on my big-journey just yet,” she reassured the Pokemon, reaching up to stroke her horn–careful of the poison that lingered in the tip. “Just to go see what’s going on with this professor. I’ll be back to say good-bye for real.”
“Good, you’d better,” the Pokemon grumbled, moving to lie back down again. “I haven’t been watching out for you this long only to have you scamper off like a Nidoran fresh out of the nest.”
Laughing, Evangeline kissed her on the cheek. “Go back to sleep, cranky pants. See you later!” She waved over her shoulder as she walked down the path in the same direction as the other two had gone. Her first Pokemon as a real trainer! She wondered what kind of Pokemon the Kalos region offered as starters…
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