Bonus chapter.

This was actually part of the original story, until I thought that it was sort of useless.

Yeah.

But now, it's a bonus story! xD
This takes place right before the Indigo Plateau. It was originally labeled as Chapter 21, so there you go.


Beach Fun

"Oh my goodness, this is beautiful!" gasped Alfie.

She dropped her things and ran towards the balcony. When she saw the expanse of shimmering sea spread out before her, she closed her eyes and inhaled the strong smell of ocean spray. "This is better than we could have ever asked for!"

Ever raised her eyebrows and crossed her arms, regarding the hotel room coolly.

"This is simply mediocre," she said, seemingly dismissing all of the fancy furniture and neatly arranged things. She didn't even pay attention to the chandelier above the dining table. "There's hardly any space to put my things. And there are only two beds. Where am I supposed to sleep?"

On the floor, where any Ninetales would, remarked Alfie mentally. She whirled around on the balcony, letting the late spring warmth envelop her. Then she leaned against the iron railing and sighed happily.

"This was the greatest idea that's ever been introduced," she said. "I didn't even know that they had special resorts for trainers going to the Indigo Plateau. Good thing we were passing by that promotional store, or else we could have been sleeping in the woods tonight."

"Oh, the ocean." Etoile pressed her hands to her cheeks, pleased by the view and the promises of spring swimming. She joined Alfie on the balcony, leaning so far over it that she could have fallen with one push. "Of course, during this time of the year, I prefer the colder seas of the north, but this will do just fine."

The door to the adjoining room opened and Yami peeked his head in.

"Hey," he said to whoever was standing behind him, "the girls have a balcony! That's not fair!" His eyes caught the light from what was hanging above the dining table. "What? They have a chandelier too?!"

"We're Lyra's special girls," said Etoile, pinching Feilong's cheeks as the Dragonair also poked his head out from the other room. "You boys have the better tent. It's about time that we sleep in a high-quality place."

"I don't think that you can compare a tent with a five-star hotel room," said Feilong. He unfolded his glasses and perched them on his nose, giving the room a more observant look. "Then again, my ladies deserve the best of the best. I'm sure that this weekend is going to be fantastic for you three. And for Lyra too, of course."

Yami gaped, looking like his male comrade had just betrayed him. "Feilong, how could you?" When the Dragonair only offered him a guilty smile, he harrumphed and stalked across the room. "Fine then, we're just going to hang out in here all day and you'll just have deal with us, because there's no way that I'm going to be spending the day in our room when this is right next door."

"I'm fine with that," piped Alfie.

"Well, I'm not," said Ever, fanning herself as if there were one too many bodies in the room. As usual, her words were accompanied by a theatrical exhalation. "The last thing that I need ruining my well-deserved vacation is some little Ghost-boy and his sidekick. I can assure you, that if either of you children interrupt my sunbathing or my afternoon naps, you will be finding yourself falling from the fifth floor straight towards the concrete."

"That is the most violent thing I have ever heard from a woman, but I think that you are wonderful, my dear," sighed Epsilon, who was standing in the doorway joining the girls' room and the corridor outside. He entered the room and patted the children's heads, making sure that they noticed the smile he slipped them. "Perhaps you two should go wander around the lobby. They have some interesting stores down there."

"Fine, we get it," Yami grumbled. He interlaced his hand with Alfie's and slightly tugged on her. He glanced back towards the older Pokemon, rolling his eyes, and then he said, "Come on, Alfie. It's adults only, I suppose."

Alfie followed him downstairs to the lobby, which was packed with both humans and Pokemon. The room was large and it had not doors, but gorgeous arches lined with marble. The abundance of foliage and flowers, along with the sweet smell of the world outside, gave the entrance hall a pleasant aroma. The orange tiles along the wall were painted with thousands of colorful brush strokes. One wall was even dedicated to the handprints of previous Pokemon Champions who had been to the resort.

The two weaved through the line that was forming at the check-in, going straight for the plaza outside. They stepped off of the main pathway and took the shortcut through the sand and grass, and by the time that they made it to the beach, the heat had already exhausted them. Even though Yami had let go of her hand back in the lobby, throughout the whole walk Alfie desperately wished that he would reach for it once more.

"This is different from the beach that we saw in Epsilon's world," Yami eventually commented. Instead of rocks and bits of broken treasures, the beach sand was soft and bright white. He took off his shoes and shuffled his feet into the sand, enjoying the warmth it provided. "I like this a lot more."

"Of course, this is a resort," said Alfie.

She did the same thing as he did, but she was so distracted by the way that the sun illuminated his face that she couldn't pay attention to the sand beneath her. Almost self-consciously, even though she never had been before, she tried to tuck her hair behind her ear. To push her thoughts away from the matter, she focused on the people around them, but her gaze kept wandering to the person standing beside her.

His hair doesn't look black in the sunlight; it looks bright violet, thought Alfie. And his eyes are glowing orange. I didn't know that they could do that. It's kind of nice. Like a sunset, maybe.

She absentmindedly said, "We don't have these types of beaches in New Bark Town. We just have these weird rocky coves and stuff. I mean, it was kind of cool and all. But the sun never hit the cove just right. It'd always be freezing back there, and there was no great view of the ocean like this one."

"You went swimming when you were a human?" asked Yami, who was struggling to roll up the bottoms of his thin-fitting jeans. His eyes kept flitting towards the ocean, like he wanted to go and splash in it. "I thought you were afraid of the water."

Alfie sheepishly exclaimed, "Oh, I was!"

That was what she was saying aloud, but on the inside, her mind was exploring the options. I have the best-looking boy on the whole beach, and he likes me – he really likes me! Oh gosh, I wish I could talk about it to Lyra. Wait, no…if we were humans and he went to my school, then everyone else would want him too! Do Pokemon have that sort of drama in their lives? She thought it ridiculous, how one kiss could drive her over the edge like it had, because now she couldn't think of anything else but him.

"Alfie."

"H—huh?"

Yami gave her something like a half-smirk, half-smile. "You were spacing out again," he said, very matter-of-factly, and then he finished rolling up his jeans. "Hey, do you remember that time that I made you jump off of that cliff with me and into the ocean?"

Alfie rolled her eyes. "How could I forget?" She followed him to the edge of the water, watching him as sea foam lapped at her feet. "That was one of the scariest moments of my life. You didn't even give me a warning. You just pushed me. I could have drowned."

Yami suddenly grabbed her shoulders, jerking them to the side but stopping abruptly. It was as if he'd intended to throw her into the water and paused at the last moment. His eyes searched hers for something – for what, she didn't know. Realizing how close his face was to hers, she turned red from embarrassment.

Before she could say anything, however, he shoved her backwards into the water, saying, "Yeah, but you didn't."

Alfie submerged from the water, sputtering and coughing. She was seconds away from drowning him.

"T—that was cheap!" she stammered, and she wiped the salt water from her eyes. Her curls stuck to the curve of her cheeks, her eyes glaring up at that stupid grin of his. She lunged forward, grabbed his legs, and pushed with enough force to trip him and send him collapsing into the ocean as well.

She was feeling pretty good about the revenge – except when Yami emerged, he didn't have any problem with his fall. He was actually laughing, and Alfie's smug smile immediately faded.

"Nice try, loser," he said, his lopsided grin making her heart stop. A white waterfall fell from his clothes as he stood up and held his hand out to her. "I like your style. Truce?"

"Oh my goodness, this beach is simply much too crowded. Ugh! Crowded, crowded, crowded!"

Alfie and Yami's eyes went round as they heard a very familiar and unwelcoming voice, which spoke loudly and heavily. They inched their heads around, hoping that their suspicions were far from the truth. ("And it stinks.Kanto's beaches are way nicer than this. I'd rather go home to their beaches instead.") Alas, their wishes were ignored, because at that moment, they saw the one and only Ophelia shuffling along the sand.

Her polka-dotted dress was perhaps the most repulsive thing Alfie had ever seen. Of course, it wasn't because of the cute girl it was attached to or the merry skip of her step, but the obnoxious voice. If she were given a choice to be stranded alone on an island with someone for a year, Ophelia would have been second to last, right next to Dialga.

The Vileplume wasn't without company, though. She was closely followed by other familiar faces. Alfie recalled Sampson the Jolteon, Gareth the Kingdra, and Vulcan the Typhlosion. Moor and Lu – the Umbreon and the Xatu – were nowhere to be seen. And there too was Ethan, trailing along the footprints of his four Pokemon.

"Maybe if we keep really quiet and don't draw attention to ourselves, they won't see us," whispered Yami, who was slowly submerging himself into the water while simultaneously wading away. "I don't mind the five others as much as I do that girl."

Alfie followed his example, watching the group carefully and wondering if they were truly formidable opponents in battle. She hardly doubted that goofy, little Ophelia could do much damage. The Vileplume, as soon as the thought occurred to Alfie, tripped over a sandcastle and nearly fell face-first into the sand. Promptly, she began to throw a tantrum, not paying any mind to the Pokemon children she had distressed.

"Stupid babies building their stupid, childish things all over the beach!" Ophelia wailed, clenching her hands into fists and giving her foot a stomp.

The three males, who hadn't been far behind her, backed up a step and widened their eyes at her sudden fit. She pulled at the spotted petals on her head, as if she was trying to cover her face up in embarrassment. "You shouldn't do that! This is a public beach. They're disturbing the peace!"

"Ophelia, that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard," said Gareth, the Kingdra. His voice was just as unpleasant. Even though it wasn't especially nasal or anything like that, his clipped words reminded Alfie of rattling bones. He kept his nose stuck up in the air, chin high, shoulders rolled back in a very imperious manner. "You must be the baby, because you're just looking for a reason to whine like one."

Ophelia, at the reprimand, shut her eyes and muffled a shriek. "Fine then," she said angrily. "Obviously, you aren't too concerned with the fact that there are little nasties running along this beach. The truth of the matter is: I despise children. Ugh! And this sad excuse for a beach is chock full of them."

Both Sampson and Vulcan were rolling their eyes at her rant. Alfie thought, Good thing Ethan can't understand a word that they're saying, or else he would have tossed them in the trash a long time ago.

"Let's just swim away real slowly," she said quietly. She was very concerned for her well-being at that point because, frankly, she didn't know how she was going to handle Ethan and his Pokemon if they noticed her. "They haven't seen us yet, and the others are at the hotel, so—"

"Ethan!"

Alfie palmed her forehead, unable to believe their horrible luck. Lyra – curse her! – was sprinting down the stone path from the hotel, waving her hands excitedly. Completely oblivious to the plight she was going to cause, she leapt down the stairs three at a time, not even holding on the railing as she called, "Ethan! Ethan, it's me, Lyra!"

"It's like she has an Ethan radar!" whispered Alfie frantically. She knew that the two had left their communicators at home, and therefore wouldn't have been capable of telling each other that they were at the same resort. The chances that Lyra had seen Ethan along the beach from their hotel room were miniscule, if not entirely impossible. "If he's anywhere in a five-mile radius, she senses him!"

All Yami had to say was, "We're doomed."

The two were close enough to hear their conversation, but distanced enough that they would have remained inconspicuous if Lyra hadn't said, "Oh, this will be so fun – our Pokemon got along so well at the Christmas party last year! My Meganium and Gengar just headed this way earlier, I wonder where they are…Oh look! There, in the water! They're swimming together. How cute! Guys, come out of the water and say hello to everyone!"

Alfie and Yami trudged out of the water, their heads low in defeat. They shared a meaningful glance, which pretty much said, "It was nice knowing you."

As they approached, Ophelia exclaimed, "Oh, I remember you!" She did something of a twirl, her dress flaring out around her as she bounced around. "When Lyra dear was speaking about that Christmas party, I was like, I don't know who on earth she's talking about. But I recognize your faces. I usually remember the strangest looking things. Isn't that strange?"

"Yeah," said Alfie, laughing nervously. When she caught Yami's eyes, she widened her own meaningfully. Almost sarcastically, she added, "That's the strangest thing I've ever heard, in fact."

"Oh, it's not that strange. It can't be the strangest thing you've ever heard. You're the dramatic type, aren't you?" The way that Ophelia spoke reminded Alfie of a roller coaster, with many dips and raises that, unfortunately, didn't compliment her high-pitched hiccup of a voice. Even when she moved, her words were accented and her volume loud. "Dramatic, dramatic, dramatic. I severely dislike those types of characters. Humph. They just make life complicated. And arduous."

"Shut up, Ophelia," cried out Sampson, and the other men nodded in agreement. When she raised her eyebrows and gaped at them, he said, "They didn't come all this way to here you talk. Cripes, you think you would have broken your voice box by now."

The Vileplume harrumphed and spun away. "Sampson, you horrible person!" She managed to remain quiet for several moments, until she stomped back over to Sampson and began to complain about everything he'd ever done to her. She was yelling louder than before, tears in her eyes and her cheeks reddened with humiliation.

Alfie was so repelled by their uncomfortable conversation that she turned away and listened to the humans instead.

"You and your group should dine with us tonight," said Lyra, who was positively beaming. Trying to ignore the screaming Pokemon behind Ethan, she patted Alfie and Yami on the head. "We just got here today, but I heard about that buffet they're having. Remember when we went to All You Can Eat restaurant? It was so fun. I felt so guilty about leaving Alfie in New Bark, but I doubt she would have wanted to come anyway."

"Well, we didn't invite her when there was that Pokemon store opening in Cherrygrove either," replied Ethan. He was completely unaware of the girl, who had once thought of him a saint, listening to their conversation. "She was scared enough of the path going to your house. I doubt she could have made it across the route."

Alfie creased her brows, wounded. I didn't know that they've ever done that, she thought. They make it sound like I was only a burden. The two trainers sounded remorseful, but she could tell that they were secretly glad they had left her behind. Flushed, she looked away. Of course, they wouldn't have wanted to deal with me. I would have just complained the whole way.

"Well, anyway, the buffet" said Lyra. Alfie thanked her for returning the subject to dinner plans. "I'm supposed to be mailing my mother about my adventure so far, and I think I'm going to mail Alfie's parents while I'm at it. I could meet you and the Pokemon in the hotel lobby around seven?"


"A buffet?" said Ever skeptically, whirling around to meet her guest. She had been sitting at the desk, making sure that her nails were perfectly buffed, when Alfie had intruded on her grooming session to tell her of the plans. "That's ridiculous. I'm not even prepared to show myself in public, yet alone attend a banquet, where there shall be hundreds of other respectable trainers and their Pokemon."

Alfie begged to differ because, as usual, the Ninetales was looking pristine. Her cream-colored hair was let down in its natural waves for once, and her white robes were pressed and entirely spotless. Her tails, instead of being coated in grime or dirt, were soft and fluffed.

Alfie sighed, and she said, "You have to be there with me and Yami. Ethan's team is going, and I don't know how we're going to handle being alone with them."

Ever's fingers, which had been touching up her lips, paused just beside her small mouth. In the handheld mirror she possessed, Alfie saw her narrow eyes slide over to her.

"Ethan's team?" she echoed, and then she returned her attention to her reflection. Her tone was nonchalant, but her expression was everything but. "Couldn't you ask Etoile or Feilong instead? I'd rather not be saddled with the burden of having to hear that Vileplume all night."

"I've already asked," said Alfie pleadingly. "They decided that they'd rather go for a moonlight swim or something! And Epsilon is meditating! Please, Ever, you know I wouldn't ask you if this wasn't serious. We're going to have to sit next to them and everything, and you've heard the things that Ophelia will say when she gets started. If not just for me, then for Yami too. We don't deserve this kind of torture."

Ever jerked the chair to the side, and as she spun around to face Alfie, she crossed her legs and adopted a very serious look. She tilted her head to the side, regarding the younger girl. "Torture, huh?"

Alfie, very seriously, said, "Torture."

The Ninetales sighed loudly, swiveling in the chair as she contemplated those words. Eventually, she stood up with her arms crossed. "Fine then," she said. "I'll attend this buffet with you children. Don't expect me to defend you if that stupid plant says anything, and I certainly won't be eating anything. I will merely be observing, providing some consolation through my company."

"Oh, thank you so much!" said Alfie, relieved. She knew that, if things went from bad to worse, that Ever would be the woman she would want to jump in and save her. Besides, even though three was a crowd, only one Ophelia was a disaster. She reminded, "Besides, don't you owe me? You know, from saving your life and reuniting you with the love of your life and all?"

"Yes, how could I forget." More of a statement than a question.

Ever finished primping and preening, and by the time she declared that she was fit for public appearance, it was ten minutes until seven. She gave herself one final inspection, another tail fluff, and then she rolled back her shoulders and said, "Now we may go downstairs."

To add emphasis, she even blew herself a little flame-laced kiss in the mirror.

When they arrived in the lobby, Yami went rushing over to Alfie.

"They're here," he said gravely. He nodded towards the other side of the main hall, where Ophelia was noisily marveling over a set of antique spoons. "She's been going nuts over old silverware and cutlery for like…the last fifteen minutes. And because Lyra won't let me be rude, you know, as usual, I'm supposed to give a hoot. How can anyone think that's cool?"

"Fear not," said Alfie, "for I've brought our savior."

Yami looked up at Ever. "It's all right, Alfie." He patted her shoulder sympathetically, as if he were forgiving her for committing an entirely heinous act. Sighing, he added, "From the very beginning, my expectations were low. I understand completely. We weren't all born perfect."

Ever would have slammed him into the fancy, marble floor, but Lyra showed up at the edge of the group with an expectant smile on her face. She was accompanied by Ethan and his team. "I guess the others didn't feel like showing," she told Ethan, dismissively waving her hand as if her Pokemon ditched her every day. "That's just fine – we'll go right on ahead, then. Let's go eat!"

Alfie trotted after the trainers as they entered the dining hall, making sure that she remained close to her friends and far away from Ophelia. She didn't care if it was Gloom or Vileplume that smelt bad, because she was positive that both were just as repulsive as the other. As soon as they walked past the double doors, her eyes widened and her head tilted back. Oh, this is definitely a five-star resort.

The dining hall reminded her of a ballroom – the gold-embedded walls were several stories high, and the ceiling was painted with the colors of a hundred different characters. She saw the brilliant reds and yellows of Ho-Oh (one of the only Pokemon she knew before her transformation) in one corner, and the sweeping white of another bird, which was emerging from the ocean in a veil of sea foam, in another corner. And then, along the North wall, she noticed someone very familiar.

A canine was bounding along the wispy trails of the wind, purple mane flowing and lithe body in midair. Her eyes were firmly set on the audience below her, and her step, even though nothing but an oil painting, was soft footed and light. She looked so airy that a small wind from outside could have blown away the paint. Alfie stared hard at the interpretation, wondering where she had seen those eyes before.

It's Suicune – the woman who was outside my window that night! Even though Suicune was both a canine and a woman, Alfie thought that they resembled each other very closely. She tilted her head, hoping to get a better look at the detail. Surrounding Suicune were two other fearsome looking animals, creatures with imperious glares and proud postures. Those are the men that cornered us at the Bell Tower that one day. They also look the same, don't they?

As she walked, trying to avoid stumbling into anyone, someone else also caught her eye. A dragon Pokemon, with dark blue skin and silver plates, was depicted on the opposite side of the wall, far away from Suicune. She wouldn't have recognized him if it hadn't been for the blue diamond in the center of his breastplate. Her eyes widened with realization. That's Dialga, she thought. Why, that looks nothing like him! He doesn't look like a dragon. I mean, he's tall and everything…but—

"Yeesh, Alfie, watch where you're going!" Yami rubbed his shoulder, indicating that she had collided straight into him. He followed her eyes, and he too noticed Dialga on the far side of the wall. "Oh yeah, him. Don't be looking too much. He's just always been trouble for us, and he always will be."

"Yeah, I guess so," said Alfie, thinking of his suggestive words and the implied kiss. Good thing that Yami hadn't been there, because she doubted that someone as reckless as Yami could one-up Dialga in anything. "Everyone else is already getting their plates – let's sit here…"

Ophelia pranced past them, her plate already filled. "What are you, on a diet or something?" she asked Alfie, as loud as she could be. The Vileplume had only been there for five minutes, but already she was attracting attention. "You're not even getting any food. What did you come here for then? This is a buffet. Duh! Besides, you're already as skinny as a stick. What do you need some stupid diet for anyway?"

Yami chirped, "Her weight says different."

"I'm going to get food now, Ophelia," said Alfie patiently. Her tone was even, but her voice had been forced through clenched teeth. Paying no attention to the insult she just gotten from him, she grabbed Yami's hand and tugged him aside, grumbling, "Come on, Yami. Let's go."

Alfie hadn't even reached the line when she heard a loud clatter behind her. She turned around, and she gaped at what she saw. Ever had knocked Ophelia's plate to the ground, and the Ninetales looked like she was absolutely seething. Her hand was in the air, all nine of her tails bristling, and her cheeks were bright with anger. Ophelia, in turn, looked like she was about to burst into a fresh supply of tears right there.

"W—what was that for?" hiccupped Ophelia, her eyes still watering. Even her bug-eyed teammates had their mouths wide open, unable to believe what they were witnessing. Her strange, emphasized speech forgotten, the Vileplume continued to wail, "Y—you're so mean! Everyone says you are! I knew it, I just knew it!"

Along Yami's short bark of laughter, Alfie tentatively raised her hand. "Uh, Ever…that's not exactly what I meant by—" She squeaked when Ever violently stuck her index finger in Ophelia's face.

"The next time you ever say anything about Epsilon, I promise that all of your pretty petals will burn to the ground," warned Ever. She didn't move her finger; in fact, she pressed it against Ophelia's nose, making sure that her point was being proven. "And for that matter, if you say anything about Alfie or that stupid Ghost-boy or anyone in my family, then I can guarantee that you'll be feeling pain for a couple of months. And I don't bluff."

"She really doesn't!" called Yami from the sidelines. He obviously didn't realize that he wasn't helping at all, because he was too entertained by the potential catfight to care much either way. He nudged Alfie's shoulder, grinning. "This is awesome. When you said you'd grab us backup, I totally knew you were going to deliver."

"This isn't what I intended," whispered Alfie, her fingers covering her lips. When Yami continued to laugh beside her, she whirled around and smacked the back of his head, not feeling regretful for even a moment. "Shut up! Can't you see how serious this is?"

Ever said something else, and Ophelia shrieked with anger. She lunged out for Ever, but Gareth and Sampson held her back (Vulcan was, as expected, the instigator.) Lyra and Ethan noticed the conflict happening between their Pokemon, so they set down their plates and began to hurry over. Ophelia relaxed in her teammates' grips, and for only a moment did Gareth and Sampson let go of her.

However, seconds after they let their guard down, she picked up a nearby plate of food and smashed it into Ever's face. Alfie squeaked again, louder this time, ducking down as if she expected the entire dining hall to blow. She peeked over the edge of a table and stared, clutching at the white linen.

Meekly, she asked, "E—Ever?"

Even the humans were surprised at the plate in Ever's face. Whatever they were seeing, Alfie couldn't even begin to fathom. However, she knew for certain that, in both the Pokemon and the human world, a plate full of spaghetti in Ever the Ninetales' face did not predict good omens.

She pulled Yami down beside her – if they were going to have to make a quick getaway, then they had to stick together.

"Ever," repeated Alfie, more timidly than before, shrinking behind the table. "H—hey, Ever, are you okay?"

Ophelia let go of the plate, and it slid from Ever's face and clattered on the ground. Ever's face was so covered in spaghetti sauce and noodles that she was unrecognizable. The front of her robes were bright red, and as time went on, her shoulders began to violently tremble and the hairs on her tail stood on end. The Ninetales turned her head slightly, her hand reaching out for something off to the side. Her eyes opened, and then she shoved a plate of chocolate cake in Ophelia's face.

"Oh no," said Alfie, horrified.

Yami cackled, "Oh yes!"

"Hah!" Ever exclaimed triumphantly, her hands on her hips. She cocked her body arrogantly, and then she flipped her hair back as if it wasn't already dripping with tomato sauce. Once she wiped her face clean with a cloth, the smug smile beneath the food was revealed. "It's about time you've stopped talking," she said, huffing. "I was getting incredibly sick of hearing your whining. You should keep the chocolate mask on. It really suits you."

Alfie had no time to gauge Lyra and Ethan's reaction, because the food fight happened so abruptly that she had just hidden beneath the table when an entire platter of pudding went flying above her head. She crawled beneath the chairs, parting the table linen just enough to see the chaos occurring all around her: The other Pokemon had erupted into a riot, throwing every plate and delicacy they could get their hands on. Some of the trainers weren't sure what to do, and others joined in.

"This is officially," said Yami, wildly grinning as he crawled under the table with her, "the best day of my life. Who knew that Ophelia was going to go and make Ever so mad that she would throw a plate of chocolate cake in her face? Wait, no. Ophelia was the one who started it. Wait, wait! Ever was the one who knocked her plate to the ground in the first place." He leaned against a table leg, looking happier than he ever had been. "This is awesome."

"You're a monster."

The table jerked to the side, hard enough that several glasses fell over and shattered on the floor. When Alfie parted the linens again, wondering what on earth had happened, she saw Ophelia rubbing a plate of cinnamon tars all over the back of Ever's head.

She jumped up, scrambling to save her friend. "Y—you let go of her!"

"She called me ugly!" shrieked Ophelia, who kept Ever's head in such a position that the Ninetales was unable to turn around. With her vines, she picked up a fountain of cheese and chocolate from the other side of the table and dumped the scalding contents into Ever's hair. "That's what you get, you stupid fox! That'll teach you to mess with me again!"

Alfie wasn't quite sure what to do. She tugged at Ophelia with all her might, but the Vileplume wasn't planning on budging. "Uh." She glanced around urgently and searched for some kind of distraction. Quickly, she lifted a large bowl of caramel, turned it upside down, and stuck it on Ophelia's head like some sort of hat. "Let go of her, you dummy, dumb…dummy!"

Yami crawled out from beneath the table and stared at her. "I'm so in love."

Ophelia gasped, momentarily distracted by her assaulter. Ever rolled on the table so that she was facing her, and when Ophelia turned around again, she had another plate of food prepared. Ever tossed it at her, but she sidestepped (more like stumbled, really) to the left, and Alfie's face was pelted with something that smelled like potato salad. She shrieked, backing away so quickly that she tripped over a bench and landed on her back.

When she managed to scrape away the food on her eyes, she saw Ophelia's wide mouthed gape. Ever had already covered her own, but her eyes were round as saucers. She carefully inched towards Alfie, as if the Meganium was going to explode at any moment, saying, "A—Alfie, I profusely apologize, I didn't—"

Yami was so excited by the chaos that he stood on the table and yelled, "This is the best day of my life!" It wasn't long before a neighboring Pokemon chucked a candy bar at him, but the ghost swiftly went invisible and slunk away to wreak more havoc.

Alfie ogled the food fight that had so quickly ruined the buffet. Everywhere, there were both trainers and Pokemon scraping up leftover food so they could have additional ammo. Without paying much attention to the apologies, things that were very rare, coming from Ever, she stepped back and leaned against the table.

She stared up at the ceiling, wondering if the higher-ups were somewhere else in the world, laughing at them and all of the ridicule they conjured.