Azami Banks had always planned to be an agent.
She'd never thought she'd be anything different. She'd travel the world, helping those who needed it, fighting crime and bringing justice to the world-
But that was over. Corruption had taken her dreams from her.
She supposed, though, it wasn't all so bad. She got to live in Alola with her family now. Everyone was safe. Well, almost everyone, but those were thoughts she didn't like to dwell on. What was done, was done. And nothing could change that. She laid back on her and Connor's shared bed in their temporary room in her grandfathers' house, letting her mind process. Gunshots rang out in her head, and the devil called for vengeance. Why, Azami wondered. It'd been almost a year since her great escape. Pierre lingered, floating around in corners and following his host as she went about her day, making snarky comments and judging only a little, but did she have to stay? Not manifesting at all, since the exorcism, but following around in the thoughts of her former agents.
Azami sighed, before heaving herself up and pulling on real clothes, high waisted jeans hugging her and the peach-colored shirt with the zipper in the front lifting her spirits, now that she got to wear it. Her Buginium Z hung around her neck, like how her Grumpa carried his Darkinium Z. A small smile and she crouched down to tie on dark grey boots. It felt nice to not be required to wear a suit and tie anymore. Her steps heavy on the floor, she made her way out of the house, the sunlight near blinding her. Once she regained her vision, she spotted her partner, Connor, instructing his Aggron to move boxes into Reggina and Johnson's new house within the walls of Po Town, the steel-type happily obliging.
Her Great-Grandmother was watching, supervising as her things were moved inside the house, her Great-Grandfather looking less than pleased. Johnson had insisted he could help carry in, but Reggina had prohibited the man from lifting anything over 30 pounds. And so, Johnson was left to wait while his belongings were moved. Azami smirked as she approached, "How's it goin', Grumpus?"
"I'm not grumpy, Azami. A little pissed, but not grumpy."
An eyebrow quirked at the language Johnson used, but she let out a slightly nervous laugh all the same. His tone reminded her of the night Moira had reappeared as a demon, and he'd tried to bathe Jiji. It was unnerving, to say the least. "Whatever you say." she smiled, turning to her Great-Grandmother, "How goes it? Connor gettin' the job done?"
"He's been very helpful, dear." Reggina smiled as she hugged her great-granddaughter, before whispering gently, "I need to talk to you tonight. Come over with Connor around ten. It's important." She pulled away, still smiling, before leading her husband and a very confused Azami indoors. The house looked somewhat put together, thanks to the help of Connor's Pokemon, who were all stationed in one particular set of rooms, their trainer acting as a supervisor to all of them.
The young man quickly turned his attention to his partner, and grinned brightly, "What do you think? Pretty great, right?" Azami nodded, looking around at the house. Everything was here. And he'd paid attention to where everything went. It was almost impressive, his attention to detail. It'd come in handy as a- stop, she told herself, stop thinking about that, it's over, be happy you're here.
The day was spent moving in and relaxing after the job was done, Azami and Connor deciding to just stay, calling Nanu and Looker so they knew where in the town they were. Reggina felt her stomach twist in knots.
"Azami I need you to-"
"No! What do you mean he has Dementia!? He can't! That can't be right!"
Azami's head spun as the news hit her like an Iron Head to the gut. He couldn't, that wasn't right, her mind screamed. He had done so much for her and now- now he was just going to slowly die in front of her? No. No, no, no. Connor tried to reach out and steady her, but she retracted the minute he touched her. Reggina was the only one able to calm her great-granddaughter, pulling her into a tight hug as she sobbed, "It's n-not... it's not fair!"
"I know, sweetheart, I know." Reggina spoke softly, trying not to give away that she was very close to breaking, "But all we can do is move forward with what we're given, right?" When she got no response, Reggi just kept hugging Azami, using all her effort to keep her breathing steady.
"Ma'am." Connor's voice was gentle, "I can take-"
"It's alright. It'll be fine." The Banks matriarch gave a withered smile, running a hand through her great-granddaughter's pink curls. Her eyes gained a far off look that worried Connor, but he said nothing, simply pointing at the door, and when given the okay, he took his partner's hand, squeezed it, begrudgingly let go, and left silently. Azami cried quietly as the silence of the room crushed her, and made her thoughts run wild. They choked her, and reminded her that they weren't going away. They would never go away.
She lifted her head from Reggina's shoulder, "So.. you're not lying..?"
"No, baby. Why would I?"
"I dunno.." the younger woman wiped her eyes as she spoke again, "I'm sorry... I just don't want to believe it. Out of everyone, why him?"
Reggina laid a hand on Azami's shoulder, "I wish I knew, I really did. But..." her facade began to break, "Just... promise me. D-Don't tell your Grumpa just yet. I'll take care of that." a sob escaped her, and her great-granddaughter pulled her in tighter. Seems she wasn't the only one broken by this news. Tears fell down her cheeks as Azami tried to comfort her, before speaking gently.
"Who else knows already?"
"You, me, Connor, and I've tried to tell John, but... he just.."
"Shh. Hey. Breathe." Azami's voice was still hoarse, and still wavered, but she tried to be strong for the woman in front of her, "..how did Connor find out?"
"Remember that night after you and him ran from the IP, and you didn't see me for a while until I came out of the bathroom with him?"
Azami froze. That's what that was. She was proud of her partner for helping, but a little mad at herself for not putting two and two together sooner. She nodded, "Mhm. And, hey. Don't worry about Grumpa. I won't say a word. You just need to get some sleep now. You're stressing yourself out too much."
"Darling, I could say the same about you."
They shared a quiet laugh, Azami noting for the first time just how tired her great-grandmother looked. But her eyes were still bright, had that spark behind them. They both nodded, Reggina squeezing her great-granddaughter's hand, before they parted, saying goodnight. Connor waited for his partner downstairs, perking up when he heard her approach. He took one look at her and smiled sadly, before pulling her into a hug. No words needed. As he led her out of the house that night, Azami's thoughts kept running circles around her, reminding her that now her time with her great-grandfather was limited, and that she had wasted most of it in the Interpol.
And now, they reminded her, she was paying for her mistakes.