Turning Over A New Leaf

Both of us stared, stunned, at the capsule that dangled loosely in Fee's hand. Tears still sliding down her face, she mustered the energy to tighten her grip on the poke ball, for her hope had just been revived. Perhaps it was just a temporary band aid, to peel away should her heart become any heavier with undeserved burden. But maybe, just maybe, it'll be the operation that fixes her problems, and give her the wings she needs to fly…

And it looked like it was operating now!

With an almighty gasp from Fee, we both watched in awe as the thinnest of white beams of light emerged from the centre of the poke ball!

Slowly, the beam of light concentrated, and neither of us dared move, or barely even breathe, for fear of jinxing it or something. After what felt like an age of staring at the tiny white flash, it eventually began to take the faintest of shapes!

Four stubby looking legs could now be seen somewhat clearly, as if whatever pokémon that was in this poke ball was being 'loaded', pixel by pixel. Perhaps that 'twang' noise that the poke ball made was the poke ball 'restarting' itself, like the backup system on a computer? It sounded a little different to the usual 'toing'…

I tore my eyes away from this amazing event for just a moment, instead gazing towards Fee, whose expression couldn't be in greater contrast from how she looked earlier. Her face had that faint glow that I hadn't seen since we left the hospital. The smallest upturn of the lips was definitely visible along her mouth, forming faint dimples in her cheeks. Her face showed life again.

But the best change was to be seen in her eyes. It was only the subtlest of changes, but it was there. The passion I used to see in her eyes whenever she discussed something pokémon related, or when she played with Argus, was sparkling gently amidst those seas of endless green. I even caught a glimpse of it last night, after our kiss…

I can't quite describe it. It's like someone has physically reached into her mind and flicked her 'happy' switch back on.

Heh, you could say she's seen the light. And I'm not talking about the little fraction of light that was shining in front of her. I mean like the metaphorical light that symbolises her life force; her will to live…

Speaking of that little beam of light, it had finally finished 'loading'!

Sat in front of the poke ball was a sleeping Grass-type. With the four previously mentioned stubby looking legs curled under it, there was also a short stump of a tail to be seen, with a bulky looking body that had a 'necklace' of flower buds, and a fairly large leaf – which sported a hole near its centre – sprouting out of the top of its head.

Yep, that's right; Chikorita.

Strange… I'd always imagined Fee being more of a Cyndaquil kind of girl, due to her sunny personality. Guess I was wrong, heh.

"Oh, oh my gosh!" Fee gushed, diving forwards and hugging the tiny Chikorita, which somehow remained asleep, "Fernadette! I thought I was never gonna see you again!"

The little Chikorita stirred, and I couldn't help but laugh slightly, "F-Fernadette?"

"Aww, c'mon Blake, I was twelve…" Fee cooed, nuzzling her head against Fernadette "'Sides, you're one to talk. A Krokorok named Ned?"

But Fee's nuzzling had the effect of rousing her Chikorita, who responded badly to this new, strange attention.

"Chikah?!" she gasped, squirming out of Fee's grip and attacking her with her leaf as some means of defending herself!

"Ow, ow, ahh, wh-what the?!" Fee cried, backing away from a defensive Fernadette, "W-what's wrong with her?"

"M-maybe she's forgotten you?" I suggested timidly, "It has been like five years since she last saw you, after all"

"That's a point…" Fee mused, "And I guess I do look different now…"

"I'll say" I agreed, remembering the photo in her trainer's license before she had it replaced.

"Looks like I'll have to start from scratch…" Fee sighed. Looking towards Fernadette, who still held her leaf in a defensive stance, "Oh well! I'm just so glad to have you back!"

She kept her distance, and simply looked at her Chikorita, waiting for her to lower her guard.

"If I keep eye contact…" Fee announced softly, "It might just spur her memory"

"Or show her that you're not trying to attack her?" I suggested, trying to not appear completely useless when it came to pokémon knowledge. There was no question that I wasn't on Fee's standard, thanks to her work experiences, but I'd like to think I had at least some idea, after what I've been through with Ned, Luna and even Argus.

"Also true" Fee giggled quietly. Maintaining her eye contact, she ever so slowly reached forwards, intending to stroke Fernadette, it would seem. Fernadette still held her leaf up threateningly, but her desire to attack was soon quelled once Fee gently laid her middle and index fingers on her back, and began to stroke her softly. Fernadette's expression slowly morphed from a hostile 'Get away from me, strange person!' to a contented 'OK, that feels sorta nice…'

"There we go…" Fee soothed, continuing to stroke Fernadette along her back, "Who's a good girl?"

"It is quite a cute name" I admitted as Fernadette finally conceded to letting Fee hug her once again, making sure she understood that I wasn't mocking her name choice, "I just expected something a little more subtle, like Argus, y'know?"

Argus wearily raised his head after hearing me speak his name, but promptly turned to go back to sleep after realising that it wasn't important, just his master hugging some green leafy thing?

But he then grunted in confusion, and dragged himself to his feet, slowly stumbling towards Fee with the intention of inspecting this matter further, it would seem. He seemed set in his ways, wanting to know why his master was hugging this strange green thing…

This might not go over very well…

"Ooh, Argy!" Fee noticed, lifting her face away from a once again sleeping Fernadette for a second to pat Argus atop his head, "Look!"

"Uhh… are you sure about this?" I asked warily. Argus wasn't exactly welcoming towards strangers, least of all small Grass-type ones…

"It'll be fine, don't worry" Fee tried to reassure me, "C'mon Argy. Come say hi!"

Argus heeded his master's command, and clumsily leaned down to inspect the tiny green mass she has just lowered back to the ground. Resting so peacefully, she sure was a cute sight to behold, at least in my eyes. Argus didn't react the same way, though. The way he saw it, I imagine, it was like she loved Fernadette more!

"Harrrn!" Argus snarled angrily, disliking Fernadette straight away!

With small embers erupting from his nostrils as a mere by-product of exhaling, thanks to his current fury, he was an intimidating sight to even Fee or I, forget the tiny Fernadette!

"Chika!" Fernadette gasped, hiding her face behind her front legs and oversized leaf as a desperate attempt to protect herself from the incoming attack!

"Howwn!" Argus howled, ready to lunge, but Fee dove in at just the right moment.

"No, Argy! No!" she scolded, holding him by the muzzle so that he couldn't attack the petrified Chikorita, "Argy, STAY!"

…wow. That was brave of her.

As much as Argus wanted to tear the little invader to shreds, he was just given a direct order from his master, and the look on her face suggested that a punishment would follow, should he fail to comply.

So, with great reluctance, Argus sat, resting his hind legs and assuming the 'heel' position.

"There's a good boy…" Fee soothed, carefully removing her hands from Argus' muzzle. Once she was certain that he simply would attempt another attack, she moved to pick up the tiny Fernadette, who quivered at her touch, still 'protecting' herself behind her leaf.

"Now, Argy…" Fee instructed, watching carefully as she presented Fernadette to him. The thing was still terrified, and small enough to fit on her two palms, but Fee evidently trusted Argus infinitely, because she had the audacity to say, "You be nice!"

Argus snorted disapprovingly at Fee's orders, but they were orders, after all. So, with smoke escaping from his flared nostrils, Argus remained where he was.

"It's OK, it's OK…" Fee cooed, attempting to persuade Fernadette to show herself. After much coaxing, the leaf was eventually lifted away, and Fernadette opened her eyes, revealing bright red irises that could only be described as 'adorable'. She made contact with the disgruntled Argus, and fear tore through her – made evident by the resurgent of her violent shaking – but she kept her stare nonetheless. Perhaps out of fear of breaking it…

"C'mon Argy…" Fee dared, biting her bottom lip tentatively, "S-say hi!"

The uncertainty lingered in her voice, and I couldn't blame her after what almost happened. However, Argus gave his master a sour look, as if to say 'You're pushing it', and amazingly, obeyed her command, making a gruff noise of acknowledgement and… moving closer?!

"Umm… Fee?" I hesitated, feeling like I was repeating myself "A-are you sure about this, after last time?"

"Sure I'm sure" Fee answered as calmly as she could. Fernadette wasn't nearly as confident, however, sheltering behind her leaf once again. But Argus appeared to have changed his tune somewhat – albeit begrudgingly – for he extended his tongue to greet Fernadette in the typical canine fashion; licking her.

"Chikah?" Fernadette squeaked, confused upon being treated in such a strange manner. She looked out from behind her leaf once again, and noticed Argus staring solemnly at her. But Fernadette showed no fear this time. Shining in her eyes was a look of respect. This big, scary Houndoom could've ended her life in mere seconds if he wanted, but he chose not to. Even if their owner had to intervene, it still looked like grounds for respect in Fernadette's book.

"Reeh!" she cried, shaking her leaf from left to right, clearly ecstatic about having made a new 'friend'. Argus wasn't nearly as cheerful, however.

"Atta boy, Argy!" Fee praised him, gently placing the dancing Fernadette back on the ground and hugging her Houndoom gratefully, "Ohh, you're such a good boy!"

She started to scratch Argus in his favourite spot, and almost instantly, he fell to the ground in happiness, with his leg kicking out to show it.

"Now Argy…" Fee announced, stopping the scratching to that his full attention could be accessed, "Just 'cause I've got two pokémon now, it doesn't mean I'm gonna neglect you. I love you just as much. Got it?"

Argus let out a low, submissive whine, which almost sounded like 'alright…', but that whine escalated into a horrible choking noise, which I guess was his rendition of coughing. Poor Argus… all that drama must've taken a lot out of him…

"Aww, poor boy…" Fee sighed, resting her head against his chest and hugging him carefully. However, it was Fernadette's actions that shocked me.

"Chiiik…?" she squeaked, noticing Argus' plight and toddling up to his face. Argus gave her a restrained warning growl, but she wasn't deterred, and placed her leaf across his face!?

Everyone else in the room watched in a stunned silence as Fernadette began to glow a gentle blue, followed shortly by Argus, for whatever energy was brimming inside of Fernadette was transferred into him via her leaf. But then, the most wonderful of aromas wafted through the air, drifting its way up my nostrils and somehow releasing a burst of vitality inside of me!

The clean, clear air that Fernadette had released was practically cleansing my entire circulatory system! I felt… renewed! Revitalised even!

"Oh, wow…" Fee sighed, sniffing happily, "What a beautiful smell…"

Fernadette lifted her leaf from Argus' nose, looking pleased with herself. The glowing stopped, and Argus found his feet, standing up with no trouble. A few deep breaths had him barking happily!

"W-what the?!" I gasped, stunned, "Did she just… heal him?"

"I think that was… Aromatherapy!" Fee mused, before excitedly picking Fernadette up again and praising him, "Ohh, who's a clever girl?!"

Fernadette stared back at her owner warily, quite unsure how to react. Clearly she still wasn't used to having a trainer pay her attention.

"Aww, you'll get used to me eventually…" Fee laughed inwardly, before inspiration sparked in her eyes, "H-hey Blake… I just remembered…"

"Remembered?" I queried, uncertain where she was going with this insanely vague phrase, "Remembered what?"

"…I'm a pokémon trainer…" she whispered, staring lovingly at the young Chikorita in her arms, "We've been stuck in this house for four months, when we could've been out there, travelling…"

An unreal sensation washed over me with this notion. Was she really suggesting what I thought she was?

"Well, what better time?" I ventured, "We've nearly paid off the debt to the hospital, you've just got your long lost pokémon back, and it's time for us to leave the house anyway…"

"Yeah…" Fee murmured, a slight quaver in her voice at the thought of losing her precious house, "…yeah, you're right! It's now or never!"

"Yeahah!" I cried, actually excited, "Luna, Ned! C'mon guys, we've gotta get ready!"

"Bree?" Luna questioned, walking over from her corner, and Ned waddled into the room grumpily. Looks like they're ready…

"Good thing we don't have much to pack, huh?" I added honestly, listing things with my fingers, "Let's see… clothes, the camping gear, pokémon supplies… what about your books?"

"Ohh, my books…" Fee mused, raising a pensive hand to her chin and staring at them longingly, "Dammit, they're too heavy to pack…"

"Could ask someone to look after them?" I suggested, with a small shrug.

"That's an idea" Fee agreed, returning her hand to Fernadette and stroking her along the back, "But who? Arthur doesn't have the room…"

"…Mr. Smythe?" I ventured, wincing. I half expected her to get angry and shout 'That's a terrible idea!'

But she did nothing of the sort.

"Means we could probably just leave them here…" she mumbled thoughtfully, "…sounds good to me! Let's pack up the other stuff and ask!"

It only took about half an hour to pack what little we had. I slung the heavy camping gear across my shoulders, while Fee took two of her books (I'm guessing they were important), our licenses, the remains of our pokémon supplies, and about a week's worth of clothes each. They weren't clean, however…

We were weak, tired, hungry, and probably rather smelly... but we were finally journeying together.

"Just a short trip today…" Fee instructed, "We're only gonna drop off my keys at Mr. Smythe's, and see if he can look after my books… then we're heading back to the poke centre, OK?"

"Sounds good" I concurred. The poke centre couldn't help us out with food or anything previously, because we were Goldenrod residents before we were trainers. But now that we were homeless…

"And we can plan our next move from there" Fee explained, placing Fernadette on the floor so she could get acquainted with Luna and Ned. I noticed her intentions, and gave a small chuckle of acknowledgement.

"Guys…" I announced to the pair, "Meet Fernadette"

I gestured to the little Chikorita, and both of them looked at the tiny shrub, who span her leaf around once as a sign of being sociable.

"Be nice, OK? I ordered, mostly towards Ned, as Luna was generally accepting of new pokémon.

"Bree!" Luna mewed happily, peering closer to say 'hi' to Fernadette, with a cute wiggle of her tail. Ned snorted ambivalently.

"I guess that's better than nothing…" I sighed at Ned's nonchalance, "…right. Ready?"

"I-I think so" Fee stammered, wading in her jeans pocket for her keys, and approaching the door, this time having no trouble unlocking it.

A strange sense of de ja vu washed over me here. Once again, I found myself standing in front of Fee's door, waiting to be swallowed up by the never-ending depths of the outside world. However, this time, instead of anxiously dreading the inevitable, I was eagerly anticipating the adventures!

With Fee and the pokémon by my side, I really did feel like the world was our Cloyster. And with a gentle twist of the door handle, it once again became available to us!

Author's note: Sorry so little happens in this chapter.

Were you shocked to see a Chikorita burst out of that poke ball? I have a huge soft spot for them, so I felt pretty much obliged to put one in, lol.

The story's gonna progress at a slower pace than the original, to symbolise Blake and Fee's time together. Every moment is an eternity, etc…

As always, any and all thoughts will be greatly appreciated. Please read and review if you can! :3