It was sunset by the time the gang return to their hotel, all exhausted by the turn of events. What was supposed to be a fun day exploring Lumiose City ended up being a day of survival. First off, Chloe appears with her lac-friend Sabrina challenging Marinette to a battle. Of course, she refused, with valid reasons to and stated that she didn't like battles, preferring to take part in Pokemon Contests. Thankfully her acquaintances Aurore, Jean, Marc, and Ondine came to her aid (which was surprising to say, since everyone would be 10 feet away from the daughter of the Mayor of Kalos) when the blonde began calling her names, like calling her a coward, that of course Chloe herself will win. She was used to this and tried to ignore it, ...till Chloe began insulting her Froakie, Chiffon (she wasn’t very good at nicknames but he seemed to be alright with that name), calling him “slimy” and “gross” and of course Marinette would have such a ugly thing.
As much as she was capable of dealing with this herself, she had to admit if she was there by herself, she would’ve broken down there, she often struggled to keep her composer when the blonde attacked her, something with words, other times physically, waiting for her reaction and taunting her until she cracks out of anxiety. She recently admitted to herself that her traveling partners ( who all began to join her on her trip, a trip that she never wanted to go in the first place nor have so many people that she barely knew well enough since she transferred to Mendeleiev to follow her on this unexpected journey) may not be such a bad thing….
But one thing’s for sure. People can insult her, but not her Pokemon. Ever.
She reluctantly agreed battling, Chiffon included as he burst out of his Pokeball the moment he saw his trainer get harassed by the mean blondie (those two must’ve have known each other, cause Chloe did a Misdreavus shriek and pointed at him before he shot a Bubble move at her which ended up making things worse. Though she made known that she appreciated his efforts.) Mostly because her Froakie partner gave her a determine look in his eyes that stated " I will battle for and with you even though this is my first battle."
After Chloe finished her tantrum over her hair and outfit being ruined, the two duel. The winner was obvious after that. The last round include them using their starters, Chloe with her Snivy, whatever her name was, after some fashion brand and Chiffon- obviously Chloe didn’t have a close relationship the Grass Snake Pokemon as it refused to listen to any of her commands, despite their similar snobby attitude. In spite of the obvious type disadvantage, Chiffon won as he managed to land a kick in the face attack on her who just- stood there. (She didn't get up after that.)
Of course Chloe refused to take the blame and stated that they cheated-which in return both Trainer and Pokemon gave a deadpan look for( the little blue starter always has a vague look but she could tell by the verrry deeep frown and half-lidded eyes filled with boredom and a Seriously? on his face)- before storming off yelling that this wasn’t the end, her nervous assistant in tow.
It made matters worse when this new girl came by, having watched their battle from afar. (Lila?,) they believed who came from Alto Mare start talking about how she could give her and her Pokemon should tips on battling for she challenged the gym leaders back at Johto and ended up winning the League back there and has befriended many other well known gym leaders from other regions as well.
When they asked if she could should them her badges, however, she ended up saying that she left them back home because she didn’t want to lose them. Already for some strange reason, Marinette felt something off about this girl.
She realized that she wasn't the only one.
When quietly asked by Marc (who was hiding behind Jean), then why didn’t they see her on TV, everyone would've have sworn that there was a glint of annoyance in her eyes before she blinked and stated it was private competition.
It immediately grabbed everyone off, much to Marinette’s surprise. She thought she could be the only one who felt rubbed the wrong way. After telling Lila that she would be alright on her own but thanked her for her opinions, she left to the hotel with everyone else following her. Though she still felt Lila’s glance at her boring into her neck. Something told her this wasn't the last time they see her.
Now that everyone’s excitement over sightseeing have been tainted, they all decided to head back to the hotel after Marinette healed up her Pokemon. She guesses it wasn’t all bad. They were currently in the pool area inside the hotel, talking on one of the tables. Jean Duparc - the self-proclaimed King Of Magic- attempts to raise their spirits with his new card tricks all while grinning at Aurore's twitching eyes and urge to whack him with her parasol that she carried everywhere. Aurore- who was training to become the next Kalos Queen in order, which according to Jean was to defeat the current queen of Kalos, Mireille Caquet, who was a classmate of theirs (Marinette knew a bit about her but since they both prefer to keep to themselves, she barely knew her except that she became the weather girl for that popular Kalos News station ) and that somehow managed to defeat Aurore in everything they did, which was unknowing to Mireille. Either that or becoming the next Kalos Champion since Mireille isn't participating in that, which was perfect according to her because she gets to defeat Champion Felix who she considers her long time idol.
Jean states that Felix has only been champion for two years so it's impossible for her crush to be "life-long", earning a hard whack on the head from her parasol.
While Marc tried comforting him, there was Ondine- the Queen of the Waves and is studying to become a Water-Type Trainer in order to be a Gym Leader- was still trying to keep the atmosphere light hearted by talking about Showcases and that maybe she might enter one with her Poppilo, Syren and Coral the Corsola while Marc quietly mentioned that they (yes it’s They today please and Marinette found herself to be in their Protection Squad) have been writing a story on their adventures and they hope they got everything written down correctly while attempting to ensure that Jean won't cross Aurore's ire again.
Meanwhile, all of their Pokemon have been released and they're currently doing their own things. Chiffon and Syren were making bubbles together while Aurore’s Pokemon were busy training for their next Showcase, with Castform transforming into her Snowy Day Form and was freezing the raindrops that Dratini created; everyone else was either hanging near or outside the pool with the expectation of Velvet, who was sleeping on Mari's lap.
Syren though, sensed that something was up with Chiffon. Usually he was so excited when he created bubbles but now his bubbles felt...off. Attempting to be a friend and see if she could be of assistance, she asked,
“Popplio,lio,pop?” ( Are you alright Chi Chi? Do you want to talk about it?)
The Froakie looked up to the Sea Lion pokemon before looking down, what appeared to be a small bittersweet look on his face.
“ Froakie,froakie,fro,froaki,fro,ki,kie.” ( My trainer is upset Ren-Ren I can feel it. She’s always feels so sad and tired. I can tell by just looking in her eyes,always dull. She keeping it inside by smiling out. I want to make her genuinely happy but I don’t know how.)
The Sea Lion Pokemon pondered over this: It’s true, she felt that her friend’s trainer is feeling down, even if she is not showing it. They didn’t need to be told rather they can understand what their trainers were saying.
She lit up when an idea popped (literally) in her head. Turning to the Bubble Frog, she exclaimed excitedly, “Popplio!Popp,lio,lio,lio!” ( Why don’t you try and show that you care for her. Maybe by throwing a show or a play. I throw shows for my girl all the time!)
Popp! ( Yeah, I once did a show where I evolved into Brionne without the magical glowing blue light! Who knew towels and leftover fabric were great for performing!)
The Froakie pondered over his friend’s idea. Lately he wanted to show his gratitude toward his girl after she saved him from becoming Houndoom food. She didn't need to but she did and even went to her way to take him back home.
But he wanted to be with her. After that, he tried his hardest to make her happy by following her around, hoping that she would take the hint. He even attacked the mean blondie that tried to once steal Marinette’s sketchbook. Once the Skitty was out of the bag, she recently caught him after he made it clear by holding out a empty pokeball he found in the mean blondie's bag. He can feel a bad person, which was what he felt at that Zoroark hair girl, hopefully that his look that could melt glass made it clear to her that he won't tolerate anything happening to Marinette. But for now, she cares for him and the rest of the pokemon that joined the Mari's gang.
They were all pokemon that just were like him. There was Velvet, a Bounsweet who Marinette recently caught after she took a liking a bow Mari made with velvet, hence her name. She didn't put up a fight as she was willing to come along. The Psyduck was a accidental catch, with Marinette mistaking him for a cushion. He didn't mind (he seem to mind about anything) and whether on purpose or accidentally, he caught himself when a stray pokeball from the group rolled towards him. Despite being naive twenty-four/seven, he appeared to liked Marinette even if she was annoyed by his antics.
Even if catching him was an accident, their trainer truly cared for them. She made her they were properly fed and groomed, she told them to try their best if they were caught up in a battle. (She dislikes battles but he unfortunately doesn't know the reason. Still, he respects her choices. Even if his opponents were from people who disliked Marinette, he would never want to cause deliberate harm on them.)
But lately she seemed more out. He believed that one reason was that blond meanie, along with how quick she was to refuse battling. She was quivering a bit, he noticed at the mention of a battle. He made a determined face. His girl did so much for him and everyone else that it was time for them to at least show her that they appreciated her. Taking his close friend's idea, he thanked her, who wished him luck and that she would be here for him before hopping over to where his teammates where. Knowing they feel the same way, Chiffon's certain that they'll agree to his plans.
"Ok, where are you taking me?" Marinette giggled as her Froakie attempted to walk her to the location hand in hand. Since she caught him, he's been trying his best to act human, probably because he wanted to walk beside his trainer instead of being inside his pokeball all day. She admitted, this was adorable on how he attempted to mimic human walking, remembering fondly on how his first steps were wobbly before getting the hang of it. He still hopped about or was carried by her in her arms or on her head.
Chiffon gave a quick glance at her smiling face, noting the gray circles underneath her eyes. Even when she smiles, she's looks tired. Resolved, he turned to where his teammates where, standing still. Marinette glanced up and gasped. In front of them was a mini homemade stage from rocks that were covered in leaves and moss. Flowers that were obviously created by Velvet were drifting about around while on top of the smooth rock stage were Velvet and Jacquard. Velvet bounced the moment she saw them, wearing a cute bow on her stem and a piece of stray fabric she tied around her petite body as a cape. Jacquard himself just tilted his head, completely confused to what the heck is happening and why was he wearing a lopsided bowtie again?
Marinette's hands covered her mouth. "Aw, what's all this?" Chiffon waved his arms in the air as if saying "Surprise!" while Velvet continued bouncing and chirping alongside her friend. Jacquard just held his head, titling it in total bewilderment. After that, the Froakie stood in the middle of the trio, nodding to the Bounsweet who gave a little hum. Then they start dancing. Or at least attempted. Marinette watched as Chiffon kicked his little legs in the air, arms bending as his hands fluttered about like Beautifly wings all while making faces that scrunched up his fluffy bubble scarf. Velvet kept bouncing, the biggest grin on her face as she wiggled about, her mini cape in the air. And Jacquard... just titled his head to a impossible angle while his hands holding his head, staring back at her with the everlasting bewildered look on his beak.
Marinette stared, a blush rising on her cheeks. Are they... putting on a show for her? Wha...why? She was interrupted by the sounds her Bounsweet and Froakie were making.
Kao. Kao. KaoKao.
They sound so cute. I don't know what this is about but...So adorable.... I don't think I can take it...
She couldn’t hold it back anymore. Quickly covering her nose, she couldn't stop the blood from flowing out of her nose and onto her hand. All while giving the most impossible starry-eyed look of almost passing out from cuteness.
Immediately her Pokemon stopped their mini dance routine and rushed towards her, voicing their concerns. (Including the Psyduck, who had changed his expression to have concern written all over.) She waved her free hand. "noNOnOnnononono... It's not what it's looks like?! I'm okay, really!?! I love your routine, it was so cute and adorable and the cuteness got to me. Don't worry, i'm not hurt. Thankfully, I brought pocket tissues with me." Pulling it out, she quickly grabbed some and held her nose in the air, hopefully to stop the bleeding.
"So," her voice sounded nasal, "what was that all about. don't worry, I love it! I was just wondering," she paused when she noticed Chiffon, who quickly have gone from deeply worried and concerned to a bit of relief, was now sheepishly smiling, his eyes being horizontal black lines while forming his arms in shape of a heart.
Oh.. OH.. they did it..cause they loved her?!
Marinette had to hold the tissues longer. She genuinely care for them, even if she didn't really ask for pokemon in the first place but it wasn't a chore. She slowly started to feel comfortable around them and she didn't exactly expected them to get along with her. But she didn't think they cared for her in return. Mari has been wary of others her entire life with the feeling that if she got close, people would walk all over her and leave her to fend for herself. Yet, they appreciated for who she was. She never wanted them to change just to make her happy, she refused to let them evolve even in dire conditions, for it's their choice. But Mari had never expected them to go this far in showing their care for her...
Blinking down, she looked down at her team. She smiled, which was a bit lopsided and partially covered by her now dried-blood-tissues-holding hand. "Th-thank you so much. I know I may seem or act like I may not care for you all but I do. I loved your show, I really did. You all didn't have to do this me-"
She was on the ground in mere seconds with croaks, tweets and quacks filling the air. Laughing, she cradled them all gently, despite still feeling dried blood inside her nostrils. " O-Oh-Okay! Okay! I understand, you all wanted to do this in the first place." She sat up with Jacquard's head on her lap, Velvet on her right shoulder, and Chiffon on her head. Smiling, she asked " I'm all better now, so if you all want, you can finish your show. I'll still tissues with me, so do whatever you all want. Just, thank you... for putting this on for me."
Velvet and Chiffon beamed with joy while Jacquard went back to being confused. Marinette gave a cheerful grin (actually real! Chiffon and Velvet noticed, happy that part of his plan worked) before they went back to their original spots, ready to entertain or be amazed throughout the night.
(Marinette was at least thankful she kept carry on tissues with her. How was she going to explain this to everyone else? But it was worth it in order to watch their cute dance. By the end of their routine, when they returned to the hotel, they were greeted by worried companions and a garbage can that was later filled with crumpled blood-stained tissues.)