(Sorry it took so long. Had some problems. Bit of an uneventful chapter, but don't worry, things will pick up. Oh and for that anon, 1) be a man and get off of anon 2) I can logically refute the points you made 3)I ain't forcing you to read it. Ok sorry I'm done.)

Chapter 6: Home

Mark woke up with a pain in his stomach and the distinct urge to vomit out its contents. He thought he was lying on a bed but he couldn't tell, his side hurt too much. His head spun and he picked up a couple of words like "poison" and "knife", but he had fallen back into the deepest parts of his mind and lost consciousness. He woke up again, feeling a little better. He was lying on a hospital bed, at least it seemed like it. A white bed, white walls, white everything. Mark felt a stinging sensation in his side as he sat up, stealing his breath away, and so he lay back down. He lay there for what seemed an hour. He looked to his right and saw a wooden end table. At least that wasn't white. A cluster of blue flowers were clustered in a small vase. Blue...his favorite color. Blue...Gardenia, where was she? He felt down to his belt, feeling his belt and pulled up his two pokeballs. He examined the seals and saw that they were both occupied. He pressed the seal on Gardenia's pokeball which deposited a very flustered Gardenia," Mark what happened are you okay? The man put me in your pokeball he said you were poisoned!" She was so shaky that she was speaking with both her mind and her voice.

He grabbed her hand, "Hey hey it's all right," his touch calmed her, but only for a moment. She turned to him and threw off his blanket, thank Arceus he was clothed, and lifted his shirt up. Gardenia moaned and sunk to her knees by the bed as she inspected the wound. Mark looked over at it, it was a splotchy purple and the skin was disfigured in the same way a burn might cause a scar. he winced slightly as Gardenia brushed it with her finger. Her eyes took on a look of sadness and began to mist as she lay her head on his chest. Mark understood what she was feeling. She felt she failed him, and she knew that he would say that she didn't and he would mean it, but words would be useless at that point, they both knew. Mark kept his arms around her until she regained her sense of self. Mark looked up at her, "Well there's no way I'm gonna lay here till they come for me," he smirked, "Come on help me up,"

"No,"

"What?"

"No, you will stay in bed and you will be better for it," she gave him a stern look that caught him off guard. But still, he tried to get up despite the pain, only to have Gardenia force him down with psychic, "It was my fault this happened," she said, almost angrily, "So I'm going to make sure you heal up completely. If you wish I could get a nurse-"

"No, please just...keep me company if you could please..."

Her stern expression faded as she breathed out a sigh, and the weight of guilt still seemed more or less on her shoulders.

"I have to use the bathroom," he lied

"No you don't"

"Psychics…." He grumbled. But… it seemed that- she WAS concerned about Mark and it made him feel good. "C'mere," He reached up despite the burning pain and brought Gardenia down for a hug and an unnoticeable blush. "Thanks, "She happily returned it with a smile, and she warmed in his arms. His mind wandered slightly as his arms were wrapped around her. He could feel her slender back underneath. She had a spine like humans and he could feel her shoulder blades with his hands. She felt nice. He let the hug break before his thoughts wandered too far. Mark glanced nervously at Gardenia but she gave no clue that she had heard his thoughts. He gave her a playful look, "Can I get up now? Just let me call my folks,"

Gardenia sat on the edge of the bed "Mark, I-" The door opened and walked in a woman of about mid-thirties. She had long black hair and a pleasant face. She was wearing long jeans and a long-sleeved shirt.

"Mom?" Mark looked up. Gardenia got out of the way to let them meet.

Mark's mother rushed over to him, " Mark we heard about what happened," her eyes were noticeably red, "I KNEW we shouldn't have let you go alone it was too dangerous! They said it was members of Team Plasma!" She hugged him tightly issuing a groan from Mark.

"SON OF A- My side Mom please! I'm fine it's just a little flesh wound," he laughed. "Wasn't Plasma disbanded twice already? Dam- Dang police aren't doing their jobs,"

"Flesh wound," she clicked her tongue and noticed Gardenia standing off to the side, "What's this? A Pokémon?"

"Ah yes, Mom. Meet Gardenia. Gardenia, Mom. I found her,"

"It's a pleasure to meet you ma'am," Gardenia bowed slightly.

"She, she? she talks," His mother stared in amazement, "Intelligibly no less!"

He wasn't sure why, but as Mark watched Gardenia nod in embarrassment, his mom's statement bothered him. Like she was an oddity. "Can we go home now?" he looked pleadingly.

"Why dear you are home,"

Mark looked at her,"… Please tell me why this room looks like a hospital."

"Well we bought the house on the outskirts of the city as you know so we haven't been able to paint and furnish everything. And it's evening right now and I expect you to get some sleep"

"But I just got up!" he protested, he noticed Gardenia giggling to herself, "And don't you start either I don't need two mothers!"

His mother stood up, "Well apparently you do," she turned out the lights, "Now let me put your Pokémon away so you can sleep,"

"I want Gardenia to stay out," he said quickly. He wasn't going to tell her about how he has been having her sleep outside her pokeball and how he's been trying to treat her like any other human, "The bed's big enough and I… She'll be staying out," He finished, hoping his assertion of the last statement would convince her,"

"Alright…" she walked out of the door with a worried look on her face. That gardevoir was intelligent, no doubt. Almost human-like… and that frightened her.

In the room Mark stared at Gardenia, "well I guess you're happy eh? I get to 'rest up' and all that crap,"

Gardenia gave a smirk, "You need and yes I'm happy, I get to sleep next to you, just like before,"

Only a bit closer Mark thought, not necessarily bad of course. Gardenia slipped under the covers and turned on her side and stared at Mark in silence as he stared back. Each of them were evaluating their past and their current lives. Fifteen minutes passed by and they were drifting off to sleep. The distance between them had gradually shortened. Their feet were touching and they faced each other, a mere inch apart. And as their breaths matched each other, they shared a peaceful dream.

In the morning Mark was the first to wake up. He felt giddy for a moment, waking up to Gardenia so close to him, so he lay there. Mark stared into her features not wanting to tear his eyes away, She really is… beautiful. He looked at her lips for a bit… wondering. Too much time on my hands, Mark got up out of bed, not bothering to change clothes. He felt really good. The stab wound wasn't even hurting. He trudged out of his room, into the hallway, through the living room, and into the kitchen. He could hear the computer was on in the next room so he decided to take a peek. There was his dad, saving the world once again. "Hey pops-icle," he chuckled at his morning humor.

"Mark! I would've came in to see you but your mother wanted you to sleep. I did walk in a bit later but you and your Pokémon, Gardenia? were already sleeping," He was half turned to Mark, the game pulling his attention.

That statement made Mark jump a bit, but it seemed his dad didn't care how close he and Gardenia slept. "Don't worry about it, just finish that wave, I'll be in the kitchen." Mark made himself some cereal, and then another bowl as Gardenia sleepily floated mouth of the bedroom, not bothering to walk. She took a spoonful of the cereal. Gardenia looked at it in confusion for a moment, not sure what to make of it, and continued, "Good morning, "she yawned, eliciting a grunt from Mark. His dad finally emerged and slapped mark on the back, "By the way, I wanted you to know. They told me the whole story involving the fight. Including your part Ms. Gardenia you have my thanks, but I wanted you to know Mark. You did me proud." And he fell back onto the couch to turn on the T. V. Somehow that statement alone almost made the ordeal worth it for Mark. The news came on with a reporter speaking frantically. Apparently several powerful earthquakes have hit the region, killing a few hundred. "We haven't had earthquakes in years," Mused Mark. "Dad I'm gonna-" he stopped his sentence. What was that sick feeling in his stomach? Gardenia looked the same way as she turned to Mark,"… Earthquake," fear clouded her eyes. A quite rumbling began, Mark's Dad jumped up, "SHIT get the dishes out of the cupboards!" Gardenia opened all the doors with her psychic and placed the dishes onto the counter, holding them there, "Never mind," They braced themselves as the rumbling grew louder, shaking the house, and it left as fast as it came. "What the hell was that, Dad!? We never have earthquakes here!"

"The beginning is what," he muttered

"The what?" He didn't hear it all.

"Nothing,"

"Like I was going to say, I'm gonna head to the library with Gardenia."

"Mmkay, just take your cellphone. Your Mom'll be coming home in an hour or two from the meeting and you know how she gets,"

"Yeah yeah, come on Gardenia." He ran into his room to grab his phone, slowing for a moment as he felt his side ache again. He took her hand, "You'll love this place, biggest library in the region, "As they walked out of the door, his father sat on the couch with a smirk on his face.

They walked down the sidewalk, Mark had let go of her hand, suddenly conscious of the stares he was getting. The library was in the city, a good distance away. "Damn I wish we had money for a taxi, oh well,"

"You sound as though you've been to the library before," Gardenia commented.

"Once, when we were house hunting."

"If you can make a good enough image in your mind, I could teleport us."
"Really? Ok what do you have to do? A mind meld or something?"

Gardenia placed a hand on his temple, "I'm gonna touch our minds a little s I can see into it okay?"

Mark nodded and tried to work up the image of the library. His mind grew fuzzy for a moment, but then he felt something…touch his mind. It was vast, like a sea that one couldn't see the edges of. He felt himself slip into it, the massive entity. He closed his eyes to try and hold himself back.

"Don't fall in," Gardenia whispered, bringing him back, "Open your eyes,"

Mark opened his eyes to see the grand library of Castelia city standing before him, "That was awesome Gardenia! I didn't even feel anything."

"Really? Usually people feel dizzy after the first time."

Mark walked up the marble stairs. The front of the library was comparable to the Parthenon with its white pillars and expensive décor. "You know I just realized something…" Mark stopped.

"What's wrong?"

"I'm not sure how to say this but….can you like, read?"

"No," she watched as children played in front of the library, climbing on the trees.

"Ohh man, and I'm taking you to a library!" Mark shook his head, "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I just want to be with you." She smiled. Besides, there was plenty of other kinds of books. She enjoyed looking at the art since it didn't require any language skills.

The two had spent the entire day there without realizing it. Mark ended up taking the time to teach her the alphabet and other basics. By the time they left it was already dark.

"You sure catch on quick. Must be the psychic in you." Mark realized maybe he should word the complement better somehow, "I've never seen anyone learn so fast,"

"I gleaned what I could from your mind actually, I hope you don't mind,"

"Nah no way."

"Wait a second," Mark laughed, "You can just teleport us home right?"

"If you wish, I enjoy walking like this sometimes."
"Oh, ok"

They walked into the house at 8:00. The parents were in the living room watching T. V. "You have food you can heat up in fridge, Mark" His Mom waved her hand.

"That's alright, we ate at the bookstore cafeteria."
"Clean the dishes if you could please, I ended up making stir-fry."

Mark and Gardenia filled up the sink and began to clean. Mark started to hum as he cleaned. He always liked to hum when he did chores. Pretty soon Gardenia was following along without noticing it, and they began to sing snippets of it, "You are my sun…shine…"

The father whispered to his wife, "Why don't we hit the sack now, I'm getting tired." He took her with him to their bedroom, "Goodnight you two,"

Mark and Gardenia didn't hear them though, now they were singing at the same time. Mark with his deep voice and Gardenia with her clear and beautiful voice. "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are gray." They were laughing in between the verses. Mark did a little dance on the floor making Gardenia almost cry with laughter. "We should probably get to bed as well. Wait for me, I just gotta put away my dad's book."

Gardenia nodded, "Don't take too long,"

Mark jogged over to the end table and picked up a black book that his dad was reading. It was labeled, "The Key of Solomon", he looked at it curiously and stuck it into the shelf. As the two covered themselves with the sheets, they lay close to each other again. Mark's wound was burning like an ember, but he tried to ignore it. The two began to hum "You Are My Sunshine" again. Gardenia drifted off before Mark, as he hoped. He worked up the courage and kissed her softly on the lips as she slept, wishing that she was awake and thankful that he was not. In the morning, he was gonna take a look at that book. He was sure he read everything in this house.

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