Author's Note: This little piece originally started out as a light and fun piece before it started to get a little more serious and contemplative. It was largely based on my own experiences during my playthrough.

Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Pokemon.


Day Off

A Pokemon Sun & Moon Oneshot

"Ladies and gentlemen, in the blue corner, the one, the only, Masked Royal!"

As the shirtless masked man who, despite his protests otherwise, was very much Professor Kukui made his way down to the arena, Moon glanced around the stands, posture slumped as she leaned against the railing. Despite her attempts to radiate a completely casual aura and avoid attention as the first ever Alolan Pokemon League Champion while she watched the man responsible for helping her start her journey, she still received a few curious looks from whispering onlookers. So far, no one had approached her yet, but it was enough to make her wish she hadn't cut her hair, something she'd done prior to climbing Mount Lanakila to take on the Elite Four as inspiration from Lillie's own Z-Powered Form. Had she still had her old hairstyle, she could have at least let it fall loose and hope people didn't look at her too closely.

"Not participating this time?"

The voice startled the young champ, her bag slamming into the guard rail as she spun around to face the source. In this case, it ended up being the region's other acclaimed professor, Burnet. "They won't let Nebby compete," she replied sourly after taking a short moment to compose herself.

Burnet chuckled at the response as she came up beside Moon. Her gaze landed on her husband's masked form, tender affection showing on her face before she started observing the other contestants. "That might be a bit unfair, using Alola's Legendary Pokemon in a Battle Royal match."

"It was good enough for the Pokemon League, it should be good enough for the Battle Royal and Battle Tree." She turned back to the arena, a cute pout on her face. "Sometimes, I don't want him to get in the ball."

The professor patted her on the shoulder. "It's good that you care for him. The two of you and Lillie have been through so much together. The very fact that you still call him Nebby shows as much. I'm sure he appreciates that."

The contestant the green corner, she'd missed the kid's introduction, sent out a Scyther. It looked kinda menacing with its sharp bladed arms. Between that, red corner's Espeon, and yellow corner's Magneton, it was going to be a tough match for Kukui.

"Sorry we're late! We didn't miss anything, did we?" Moon laughed to herself as Mallow rushed up to them, Lana and Kiawe following her at a much more relaxed pace. "I just finished my shift at the restaurant and ran over as soon as I could."

"I lost track of time watching swimmers," Lana said dryly, the complete lack of any blush making it hard for Moon to tell if her excuse was innocent or not.

The grass and water captains turned to their fellow captain, who wiped a bead of sweat from his forehead. "Marowak and I were performing a dance to give luck to the Masked Royal in his match."

"I also promised to spend some time with my friends without battling," Moon told Burnet with a smile. "Just in time. It's about to start." As one, the group gathered around to watch the match.

"Ooh, look at that folks! The Masked Royal's Rockruff has finally evolved into a Lycanroc!" Which Moon was well aware of, considering he'd used it against her when she fought him after the Elite Four. The crowd still went wild. Not that she could blame them. It was always fun to watch the professor battle, regardless of whether he was wearing a mask or not.

The match started with a bang, the Espeon setting up with a buff while Lycanroc and Scyther went after the Magneton, which went down before it had a chance to act. As the deliverer of the knock out blow, Kukui ended up getting the point, earning a squeal from Burnet. "Look at him go! Do you think Masked Royal would give me his autograph after the match?"

Moon blinked at the question. "Um, Professor Burnet? The Masked Royal is Pro-"

Burnet had a kind smile on her face as she looked over at the young trainer to interrupt. Lana, Kiawe, and Mallow had all taken a particular interest in whatever her response was going to be. "Moon, one day, when you're older, you'll realize that when you love someone, you don't mind the little things." She held a finger up to her lips, the corners twitching in amusement. "I don't know who Masked Royal is, but whoever he is, he's a very kind man."

"He has to be Molayne," Lana stated firmly. "A former Trial Captain, head of the observatory, and manager of the PC system. It's the perfect cover."

"Seriously?!" Mallow shouted, her eyes growing wide, fists bunched up tightly and shoulders shaking in excitement at her friend's suggestion to Masked Royal's identity.

The fisher had a blank look on her face. "No."

The response had the immediate effect of causing Mallow to wilt in disappointment. Moon and Kiawe shared a sigh at their antics while Burnet chuckled quietly. "Ah, to be young. Reminds me of myself with Fennel." Her smile turned wistful. "It's been a while since we last spoke. I really should get in touch."

During this whole discussion, the Scyther had gone down, and now a Lurantis and a Wigglytuff were on the field. Though she had missed it, Moon realized that she didn't mind that much. The Akala Trial Captains had made her feel so welcome upon meeting them that she sometimes forgot that she hadn't been in Alola for very long. The more she thought about it, the other Trial Captains and the Kahunas were the same, even the gruff lone wolf Nanu. It led Moon to wonder how things would have changed if she'd stayed in Kanto, started her journey there. Would she have made different friends? Would she be a champion?

As her hand drifted toward the premier ball containing one of her most treasured partners, a Pokemon she'd met and risked her life for even before meeting her starter. Nebby had the potential to show her.

"Moon?" Her fingers froze, attention snapping back into focus. Lycanroc was down. Braviary was the replacement. Moon frowned slightly, and not just at the unfortunate turn for the professor. It was a dangerous question to consider alternate worlds. That strange reverse world Nebby had taken her to a few times had been unsettling enough, and Anabel was enough of a warning to the dangers. It was horrifying to think that the poor woman was trapped in a world not her own with few memories of where she was supposed to be.

"I'm okay," she told Mallow with a smile. "Just... thinking about some stuff." Moon could admit to herself that, despite moments like this, she was still feeling lonely since becoming champion. She had to tell herself that seeing another version of herself would not stop that. If she'd stayed in Kanto, she wouldn't have met the Akala Captains or Professor Burnet. She'd have never met Hau and inspired him to try harder in his quest to one day become Kahuna. Gladion and Plumeria might still be with Team Skull instead of being true to themselves and fighting for what they believe in. Nebby might have remained in Lusamine's clutches, forced to do her bidding in her mad quest. And Lillie... Lillie was the first person she'd met in Alola after Professor Kukui. They'd been through Ultra Space and back together. It was thanks to Lillie that Nebby joined her at all. All of this from a girl that wasn't even a trainer. There was more strength in that girl than she realized. She couldn't help but smile at the thought. Z-Powered Form indeed. The Kanto League had better watch out. She had no doubt that Lillie was going to become a force to be reckoned with.

"And it's over! The Yellow Corner is out of usable Pokemon!"

Moon glanced down to see a smoking Golem get pulled back into its pokeball. While the other Pokemon on the field were all pretty roughed up, none of them had been taken out by the last ditch gambit. Was I that lost in thought? When did that happen? Actually... "Who has their last Pokemon use Explosion, let alone in a Battle Royal match?!" Kukui didn't even get a chance to show off his last Pokemon.

Burnet patted her on the shoulder again, smiling at her outburst. "Maybe you should show them how it's done, hmm, Champion?"

She ignored the suggestion and sighed. Clearly, her mind wouldn't have been in it, even if she had decided to compete. "Food at Mallow's?" she suggested. She glanced at the trio of Trial Captains, namely the chef, for their response before turning her attention to Burnet. "Would you like to join us Professor? Maybe, if we can find Professor Kukui, he'd like to join us too."

As the five of them left the stands, Moon feeling a little more up to greeting any of her fans, Burnet pondered the suggestion. "I'm sure Kukui is famished after all his hard work. If you young kids wouldn't mind having a couple old folks like us around, we'd be happy to."

"It's fine," Mallow replied cheerfully. "The more the merrier."

"You're not old," Kiawe said wisely. "Both of you are still in the prime of your lives." Lana nodded silently in agreement.

"Why thank you Kiawe." She smiled brightly. "I'll go see if I can find Kukui. I'm sure he'd just love to meet Masked Royal."

Moon grinned, remembering what Burnet had told her earlier. "I know he cheered me up after I had a tough time with my first Battle Royal match. I'm sure he could do the same for Masked Royal." Burnet winked at her before heading off to find her husband.

"So, Moon..." Mallow spoke up soon after they'd left the dome, "have you considered if you want to take over as Kahuna of Melemele island after Hala steps down?"

"Wait, what?" The addressed champion turned to the bubbly chef in surprise.

Mallow nodded firmly, pointing to the Z-Ring on Moon's wrist. "Yup. Your Z-Ring came from a sparkling stone given to you by Tapu Koko, right? That's how Olivia became Kahuna, just with Tapu Lele instead."

Moon glanced at the Z-Ring in confused wonder. "Seriously? How has this never come up? Hala did say it was rare for Tapu Koko to give out the stones, but he didn't say anything about it being how a Kahuna was chosen."

Lana shrugged her shoulders. "You were just starting your Island Challenge at the time. They probably didn't want to put any pressure on you. It's the same way I handle my trial."

"But... I'm not even an Alolan by birth. I'd been in Alola less than a day! I wasn't even a trainer at the time!"

"The whims of the Tapu are a mystery to us all."

"Hau is going to be so upset..."

"It's likely he already knows," Kiawe suggested. "He's the grandson of a Kahuna and likely knows everything about the way the Guardians choose their Kahuna. He's a good guy, and I don't doubt that he respects you as a trainer and as a friend."

"He wants to earn it under his own power. Like me with my cooking."

Moon chuckled, looking up to the bright, beautiful Alolan sky. "Jeez, you guys all have these dreams. Even Hau has a goal. I feel like I've stumbled my way into where I am."

Stoic as ever, standing before Moon, was Lana. "Your talent as a trainer cannot be denied. Nor the trouble you've faced." She reached up and gently patted Moon on the head. "There there. Surely there is something that appeals to you."

"I'm not a Growlithe..." Even so, she still smiled, even as she swatted Lana's hand away. "I dunno, battling is fun, and I always feel this thrill from it, but I'm not sure I want to be like Red or Blue. They're legends back in Kanto, and I've looked up to them for a long time, but now that I'm here, the best part of the journey wasn't winning. It was when I was helping people." Speaking of which, Moon wanted to see how Anabel was doing. She didn't look too great toward the end of that Ultra Beast mission she'd been recruited to handle. And Looker deserved to finally get his feast. It was a bold plan to send Anabel away from the action in an effort to keep her safe. She wondered if he was willing to accept a Pokemon from her to help their future missions.

"Well there's plenty of time to figure out what you want to do." Mallow shrugged, turning around to look for Professor Burnet. "Right now, it's the little things you need to worry about. The day to day stuff. Follow your path, one ingredient at a time, and you'll reach your destination." She grinned. "So Moon, what's your next ingredient?"

Moon paused, considering the myriad of small choices that lay before her. "I think..." she started with a fond smile, "I think I'm going to write Lillie."