1: Rhea (Our Blonde Aura Master In Training MC!)
I loosely follow this map as a visual guide; the creator made it in paint?!?! It’s insane! Some errors here and there, but I follow its design for the most part. Areas can be further apart, some cities are in the wrong places or not listed, and the regions aren’t nearly so close. The best map I’ve found, though!
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5:44 a.m. July 19th, Sunday, 106 PH (Post Hoopa Event)
Events: The Joint Kanto and Johto Indigo Summer League have concluded. Saria Surge has become the new Vermilion Gym Leader, converting it to a Fairy Gym. Our girl started her journey on the 9th of June—she’s been a Trainer for 40 Days (39 officially; 40 since getting Maya and Nova). Tomorrow is Lori’s and our group’s first Silver-tier Gym Battle against Sabrina, The Rookie Crusher, of all Gym Leaders!
A warm embrace welcomed Rhea’s awakening mind as she lay in the arms of her mother on one side, Mya on the other, Alice pinning her chest, and Lulu holding down her leg underneath the covers.
There was a lot she wanted to do today, which was ironic since it was supposed to be a day of rest; still, she’d learned restful mornings like this should be cherished, and this was the best morning she could ask for, so she relaxed and soaked it in for a time.
Closing out the world to reflect on the love that surrounded her, Rhea’s thoughts drifted through everything that had brought her to this room in Saffron, and away from her suffocating prison of a village.
In a way, there were things she missed from those simpler days with her dad, but she wouldn’t trade what she’d discovered in this bipolar world; the bitter and tender memories made her want to cry a little, and through all of these adventures, she’d learned what she most cared for is her family.
It may have only been 40 days since she’d met Amira and Lori, yet they were included in that list; it was crazy to think how far they’d come in that short time. Then again, they had pushed themselves to get here—even teleporting some of the way, which, now that she thought about it, was technically frowned upon. It was only a cultural frown, though, and there were extreme circumstances.
Head tilting left to smile at her Mawile, she recalled their first battle that landed her in the hospital and their first Gym Battle. Their meeting with Tera, where Mya supported the Shiny Phanpy in avenging her mother, sparking light into the broken Long-Nose Pokemon. Now, Tera thought of Mya as her role model, idol, and rival.
Rhea could now see Tera’s influence on Mya’s more tempered attitude as she wanted to be a good role model, which was clear from the start when she tried to give Alice advice; they were all growing so fast.
Leaning over a tad, she kissed her cheek.
Thank you for never giving up and being there when I needed confidence.
Nova’s tight grip strengthened around her spirit, nuzzling it as if it were her leg; the fluff ball had been an ideal rallying point for her group and helped to mitigate the strong personalities of Alice and Mya in their initial confrontation until they learned how to deal with each other.
Rhea’s mind returned to all the battles the Eevee had in Viridian—her little showy, attention-loving ‘supernova’—capable of adapting to each match format and strategy. Nova was sensitive and molded to those she was around to support them, which was her greatest strength, and it was obvious her mother bred the Eevee to hold everything together.
The Evolution Pokemon did have her troubles with how she could only take on one form from time to time, but her mother-daughter date made her realize she’d grow into it in time. Their first contest could have gone better, but the loss helped Rhea and Nova be there for their headstrong Mawile teammate.
She was such a stinker when people were down on themselves, too, especially her hopeless Trainer, who she thought the world of.
Love you, Nova… Thanks for keeping our family together and empathizing so well.
On the other hand, Alice was a whirlwind addition to their team and had quite a personality. Obsessed with speed and momentum, she truly would be a little terror as they went on, wanting to be in their next Gym Battle.
Each of her girls had experienced a loss, and it made them stronger. On the outside looking in, it may seem like they’d had a really lousy journey and battle record, but Rhea didn’t see it that way in the least.
Winning was fun, but a few things from those incidents floated to the surface of her mind from those experiences; each negative experience pulled her Pokemon and team together to support each other, and Forrest’s words pricked her heart and nose.
You may have lost, Rhea, but there can be a win found within it. A Trainer should cherish their losses over their victories because it is in a loss that you will find areas of improvement.
It was so true, and she was thankful for every loss they’d suffered since; the growth she’d felt since starting her journey wasn’t from winning but from her failures, and she thought she finally started to understand what it meant to love battling.
The result didn’t really matter in the end, but the growth they experienced, and the bonds they formed through it—everyone lost, even Aunt Cynthia told her that—and the Plasma assassination attempt put things into perspective.
Carefully wiggling her fingers out from the blankets, she stroked Alice’s fur, making the Buneary nestle closer against her bust and chirp.
Mom said you should evolve in the near future… Maybe I should push for three Pokemon out permanently. I want all of you to enjoy being with each other, and while we’re in Saffron, safe from battles, it’s the best time for us to be a family for a while. I can take it. Besides, that way, you can all get to know Lulu together!
Settling back in, she thought about her teams’ Fortitudes; she was thankful these Buddy Pokemon wouldn’t be an active draw on their resources, which would have been difficult with their Legendary and Mythical status.
Thinking about Amira’s problem, she remembered that it was the Physical Allocation she was struggling with, which didn’t count on Pokemon being out of their Poke Balls since that dealt with their Spiritual Allocation. So long as they didn’t push the redhead to travel faster, then she should recover.
Lori could likely deal with an increased physical workload, yet having all of her Pokemon out could hit her harder with her lower spiritual portion. Rhea knew they’d all get there in the end, though—it was only a matter of time and working together!
She turned to the opposite side to watch her mother sleep, noticing the tear marks from the night; the rings under her eyes had faded, at least. All the torture, guilt, and depression her parents hid all these years hurt her heart; the emotion caused her Pokemon to stir, slowly waking.
Thank you for all the hard work you’ve done, trying to be the best mom you could when so broken. I’ll protect you, Mom… I’ll save you every time, even from yourself.
Her mother’s brow furrowed, yawning as Rhea closed in to kiss her cheek.
Smiling, the heat moved up Rhea’s chest, and she swallowed the emotion in her throat and whispered, “I’m happy to have been your creation… to have been your child, Mom. I hope that you feel the same… Thank you for everything.”
Eyes widening and starting to shine, her mother drew in her bottom lip as it began to quiver, and Rhea found her hand underneath the covers. “Of course… I… I love you, Rhea.”
Sniffing a little and restraining a cough, Rhea snuggled closer. “I just wanted to thank you for all that you’ve given me… for doing the best you could… for giving me a family born of love and not heartache and pain. Thank you. I just want to make you and Dad proud… because I’m proud of my parents.”
Her mother rolled over to embrace her, unable to respond as Lulu teleported up to hug both of their necks. In the silence of the morning, Rhea held the woman that gave birth to her—maybe not physically, but that didn’t matter to her—letting her mother’s Aura wash over her; in the ocean of broken glass that was her heart, pieces were mending, causing tears to fall from her own eyes.
Rhea had her emotional Eevee exit her Poke Ball to join them, taking on the burden of having all three out on her shoulders with determination. As a family, they cuddled for a time, and after a while, she heard Lyra sniffling with them, having listened in. Her shifting awoke Amira, causing the redhead to groan with her Pokemon.
Calming down over the next few minutes, Rhea sat cross-legged on her futon with Amira, Lyra, her mom, and all of their Pokemon huddling around her once she expressed she had something to say.
Mallory was still laid out cold, but her sister was absent, bed already folded in the corner; Lyra said she’d woken up two hours ago and went to speak to Sabrina—she’d be back before Lori awoke, probably.
Rhea spoke softly with Lulu wrapped around the underside of her thick locks like a hair tie; it seemed to be her new favorite place to sleep since she nodded off in the position.
Nova and Alice shared her lap as she revealed her thoughts on having all three of her Pokemon out to stretch her Spiritual Allocation. Mya was a tad jealous that she couldn’t join the much lighter Pokemon; she was a bit heavier but, more importantly, bulkier than the others.
Her Fortitude and Spiritual Allocation were the largest out of their group by far, which should also help in her Aura growth and her support abilities to further strengthen her friends. It was thanks to Ash and her mother’s teachings over the years that she’d come up with this strategy.
Amira glanced down at the blanket bundled around her and her shy Meloetta cuddled inside of it, veiled from view. “It is a good plan, and I’d love to have everyone out at the same time, but… just don’t hurt yourself.”
“Ditto,” Rhea shot back with a grin. “I think we should probably drop this whole martial art bet you made since our first priority should be getting to our next Gym Challenge, even if it would have been fun.”
“Agreed,” Lyra said with a wry smile while poking her annoyed daughter’s cheek. “The reason you did faint is because of your low Physical Allocation, and that also causes stress on your other Allocations, so… rest! Mamma demands it. Spend some time getting to know your other Pokemon, and leave Lori to deal with her hyperactive Legendary martial artist.”
Rhea giggled as Alice taped her leg, the Buneary’s ears drawn back as she looked up at her from her lap, and she nodded. “Yes, you can stay and help her practice. Lulu will probably be sleeping a lot; we can have one-on-one time with her, too. So… Mya?”
Mya’s second head bobbed up and down, happy she was considered to be in this tutor session; they’d be able to spend time with Miky, helping him for tomorrow’s Gym Challenge since Gables and Roxie were being supportive by allowing him the most time out of his Poke Ball.
Rolling around her neck and stretching out, Rhea let the Buneary jog over to the Kubfu as she started to wake up, and Mya joined her, whispering so they wouldn’t wake the dead Unovan girl; they’d be going through a bunch of the dojo drills today, no doubt.
Her focus lingered on Mallory, eyes softening; she had to get stronger so she could help people—that’s what Rhea discovered she wanted—and that meant they had a long, uphill battle, but she had direction. They were making progress, and finally, she felt a little closer to her Unovan teammate; they were becoming a real team.
Nova followed her example, arching her back and hopping off to look up at her as Rhea got to her feet, tugging on her mom’s shirt to rise with her—she’d slept in yesterday’s clothes.
“Okay. Mother and daughter date—oh, and yup, Nova, you’ll get your one-on-one with Lulu today with us. Maybe we can drop you two off at one of the Pokemon parks around here to have fun. Wouldn’t that be cool?”
“Pew-pew!” Nova swiftly shut her mouth, paws rising to her black nose as Miky hissed against Lori’s belly. “Pew-pew-pew…” she whispered with a strained grin.
Her mother’s chest fluttered as she got up to hug her. “Oh… you’re spoiling me too much; your dad’s going to start getting jealous. A Pokemon park? Saffron does have a fairly decent one, I’ve heard, and are we shopping?”
“I think you’re the one spoiling me by being here,” Rhea winked and made her mother’s smile falter at the implication. “Also, I don’t think Dad would be jealous since he loves you; he’d agree with me that no decent daughter or husband would let their mother or wife trounce around the city in what… three-day old clothes?”
Lyra hissed in the same way as Miky, stiff hand motioning at her throat. “Yikes, girl!”
“I still take a daily shower,” her mother mumbled, sniffing her armpit and giving Rhea the opportunity to kiss her cheek. “Aww… Yeah, I don’t smell.”
Amira forced a chuckle. “I think it’s more… principle.”
“True,” Rhea snickered, pulling her away to show her the showers. “You can use some of my products since you probably didn’t think to pack anything. Right? Right,” she confirmed at her mom’s sigh. “Typical, Mom, but it’s a good thing I’m here to take care of you.”
“Hehe. Such a reliable daughter.”
Rhea started rummaging through her bag with Nova to get everything she needed as her mom fussed with putting their futon and blankets away.
“What about you, Amira, Lyra?” her mother asked.
The Former Champion latched onto her grumpy-looking redhead. “I’ll be policing my dear daughter’s recovery; family days are the best days.”
Terri’s prompts awoke Miky—Lori did say they were going to get some final training in—and, as Lyra said, the door to their room was opened by Shauntal as the beaming woman bounced into the room; it was like she was an entirely different person at times.
“Morning, sleepy head.”
“Ehh?” Lori sat straight up, wiping away a bit of drool. “Shanny… it’s too early… Rhea and, haaa… Amira haven’t even showered… Way too early.”
“Fu-fu-fu!” Terri chimed, making a few play jabs that Alice mirrored, dancing around the violet-haired girl.
“That’s right!” Shauntal answered the girls, pumping her fist in the air. “It’s hardcore training time; I’ve already had a chat with Sabrina and finished a chapter in my next book, so we’re all set for today!”
“Ugh. Kill me,” Lori groaned, falling back to hide in her pillow and making them laugh. “Mgh-he-sha-hmm-gmm…”
“What was that?” Amira chuckled. “It’s good to get going in the morning; the day is always full of possibilities.”
“Like sleeping,” Lyra giggled, pulling her daughter back to her own pillow. “Hehe. We get to be bedbugs today.”
Terri pulled Lori’s pillow away, making her mumble, “Jealous… Fine. I’m up.”
“Haha. See you in the showers, maybe,” Rhea snickered, drawing her mother in that direction as Nova helped her carry some of their supplies. “Have fun doing laps or whatever you’re doing.”
“Yay… Laps while you go out in the city to have fun and Amira gets to sleep.”
Rhea caught her mother’s smile, making her happy; it had been a dream of hers at one point to go shopping with her mom and Bianca when she was a pre-teen. Bianca wasn’t here, but she’d had some personal time with her cousin in Cerulean.
Heart full and feeling weightless, she washed Nova while chatting with her mom in the opposite shower; she’d have to wear the same garments, but they’d change that soon enough. She hadn’t expected this to be such a magical day, but that was what Pokemon journeys were all about—finding the unexpected and enjoying every second of it.
Lulu untangled herself from Rhea’s hair to bask in the cool water, seemingly enjoying the tingling sensation it left; it was a new experience, washing a semi-corporeal cloud, and sometimes her hand just slipped right through her ghostly Pokemon, making her baby Legendary snicker. She used Splash a few times, spraying water everywhere to Rhea’s amusement.
Exiting, she removed the skirt on her Trainer outfit to use the brown shorts she’d gotten in Cerulean, and Lulu watched her with interest. It tickled her when her mother offered to do her hair, and she accepted on the condition she could do the same for her.
Using Nova’s special comb and the attached wall dryer to scratch, dry, and clean the Eevee’s glossy fur as her mother did the same for her, Rhea caught more than a few soft faces from the female martial artists that joined them in the female bathroom.
Rhea did the same triple-section braid on her mother once finished before going back to their room; Shauntal and Lori passed them on their way out, showing it took a little more effort to get her Unovan teammate up—she looked dead. Apparently, their Pokemon were already on the dojo floor training.
Snatching her phone from their room, she waved Lyra and Amira off, both under the covers, as the brown-haired mom whispered things into the redhead’s ears that made her giggle; Rhea really did love the relationship Amira and her mom had.
Leaving the dojo, Rhea chirped with Nova as the hot morning sun beamed down on them from the clear heavens. “Mmgm! Clothes then breakfast, Mom?”
Rhea took her mom’s hand as Lulu attached to both, resting between them and scanning every new sight with the curiosity her mother had warned her about.
“She won’t just randomly teleport away and get lost… will she?”
Her mother hummed, using her free hand to adjust her purse strap and rubbing Lulu’s head as they descended the dojo steps to enter Saffron. “Lulu’s mostly a good girl that’s attached to you; she won’t leave without someone to share new experiences with. So, Nova…”
“Pew?” her pink-eyed Eevee asked, looking up at them from beside Rhea.
“If she does teleport you guys away, then she found something she wants to explore. See if you can help guide her through it and let her know you don’t want Rhea to be sad alone.”
“Ni-ni!” Lulu chimed, swinging between their arms in a dance. “Ni-ni-ni!”
“Pew-pew. Pew-pew-pew. Peeewww!”
Her mother smiled at their back and forth. “What are they saying?”
“Hehe. I think she’s explaining that they are going to have fun at an amusement park today.”
“Aww. She’s going to babysit, huh? What a nice big sister.”
Nova’s chest puffed up. “Pew!”
Lulu grew a bit overwhelmed when seeing hundreds of people once they entered the flow of traffic, crawling up to hide behind Rhea’s braid and acting as a cosmic hair accessory again, with her red, white, and black shades enclosing her locks.
The weight Rhea felt against her chest for having all three of her Pokemon out was there, but with her mom and the support her Pokemon offered her, it was more than bearable; they were a loving family, which meant it was Rhea’s job to give them the freedom to express themselves in the open world.
She squeezed her mom’s hand when spotting a small boutique, steering her toward it to find a spring dress; they spent at least an hour flipping through options; Lulu and Nova had fun hiding in the racks, playing hide-and-go-seek or discovering something they liked and bringing it over for them to look at.
Naturally, both drew an insane amount of attention, but people were generally good at not taking too much of their time, and several women made it a point with the employees to redirect people away from them.
It came with the territory of having an ominous Pokemon and Legendary like Cosmog around—not to mention her unique colors—and Nova had trended a few times—according to Lori and her Wooloo friends—on some social media platforms she didn’t use. Her mother was easily recognizable since she did resemble her sister and was the world’s leading breeder and geneticist.
Overall, it didn’t get in the way too much and made for some funny moments when people froze upon seeing Lulu; Nova even got her to play into it, jumping out at people to surprise them before giggling and running to their Trainer to hide.
Her mom settled on a very ‘mom’ ankle-length, short-sleeved, and high-v-cut floral dress that highlighted her blonde hair.
“Beautiful, Mom,” Rhea said, holding up a thumb as she exited the dressing area. “It’s rare I get to see you wearing a dress and not a lab coat.”
“Hehe… I don’t go to functions often where one is required, and most of my work is done in slack-wear, or, uh… my, ahem, underwear… since I’m usually working alone.”
Rhea snickered. “Way to put that in my head, Mom. What kind of example are you setting for the Pokemon you breed?”
“Well,” her mom mused, taking the tag up for the attendant to scan, “did you know there was a study done in Unova where it was shown Pokemon find humans wearing clothes to be the most bizarre thing, and some Pokemon are believed to even start mirroring human customs, such as Gardevoir?”
“I guess that makes sense,” Rhea nodded. “Pokemon really have adapted to human society over the millennia, huh?”
Paying for the item, her mother smiled and waved at the tenant, who returned the gesture as they left, Lulu riding Nova. The two were really bonding, and the Eevee was getting her to teleport them to high places, so they could be seen. Nova didn’t want Lulu to feel as if she were hated, feared, or ugly, so she tried to play off her own charming looks to alleviate the negative attention they did receive.
It was this time that her mother took the lead, guiding her to a small bakery/café; she bought them breakfast, explaining that Lulu required a bit more nutrition than her other Pokemon—she could pack it down for being a ghostly nimbus.
Finally, Rhea put in the coordinates for Saffron Pokemon Park; it was modeled to be a smaller version of the famous Pokemon Paradise Resorts. Some allowed Trainers while others operated as Pokemon-only zones, allowing for Trainer Pokemon to socialize with a wide variety of other Bonded Pokemon.
It took a bit of explaining to the employee—and his next two tiers of management—until they finally accepted that the curious and confused Cosmog wasn’t going to destroy not only the park but the whole City-State; the Ultra Wormhole Pokemon had a very bad reputation after the Ultra War.
Getting it all worked out, Rhea put the access bracelet around Nova and Lulu—it took four times for the Nebula Pokemon as she snickered, letting it phase through and causing trouble—but Nova was able to get her to agree to keep it on.
Once that headache was handled, the reality of what was happening punched Rhea in the gut as she stared at the single-day bracelet pass. “Mom…”
Rhea licked her lip, kneeling to pet her two chirping Pokemon. “I… feel a little…”
“Hmm-hmm.” Her mother rubbed her back and joined her as the attendants moved to other Pokemon. “Seeing them go off to this big place without you making you feel sick?”
“What if someone grabs Lulu—what if they’re Platinum-tier, like the Plasma guy?”
“Will this make you feel better?” her mother asked, pulling out an Ultra Ball to release a cute Bellossom. “Vanty can chaperone and watch from a distance.”
The stress eased a bit but didn’t melt entirely. “It would… Thanks, Mom. I’m just… what if Lulu teleports away—outside the park?”
“Pew! Pew-pew-pew,” Nova responded, placing both paws on her knee as she promised to be a good guardian.
“Hmm-hmm. You’re right, Nova; you’ll be there to keep her safe. Don’t hesitate to transform if you need to. Okay?”
“Pew-pew! Pew-pew. Pew. Pew-pew.”
“Something about your mom saying she’d rescue you if anything happens?” Rhea chuckled. “People really should be scared if Ambrosia the Super Champion Eevee comes running, huh?”
“Pew-pew!” Nova proudly chimed, having total confidence in her invincible and wonderful mother.
“I’m glad you had the chance to spend time with her,” Rhea whispered. “We should set up another date sometime.”
“Huu-haaa. Okay. Vanty?”
The Bellossom did a short curtsy that said she’d look after them; Rhea had known the Flower Pokemon for a long time, and she’d always been the one to heal her cuts or bruises.
Her mother returned with a bracelet for her low Master-tier Pokemon and held Rhea’s hand as Lulu rode Nova into the park for their special time. “It warms my heart to see you so worried about your own Pokemon… It brings me back to how I felt when you left for your journey. Hehe. Did you know… Well, I couldn’t do it without breaking down, so I asked your brother to take you.”
“Mom…” Rhea leaned against her, breathing out her stress. “Nova, Lulu… Alice and Mya… They’re all off on their own… away from me.”
“Hehe. Rhea, you’ve had them for 40 days, and you’re like this… think 17 years… How I cried that night. Your dad was with me… flew all the way to Hoenn to hold me.”
Gently, her mother coaxed her away from the facility to walk Saffron, discussing her mom’s research, how she thought her journey was going, and her friends. The hours passed by like a dream, but every so often, her gut would tighten, and she’d wonder how Lulu and Nova were doing.
She was able to tell their general direction yet not the emotions they felt, and she found herself imagining the two enjoying themselves on the slides or activities the paid Trainer Pokemon put together. Nova was being the big sister and showing their newest member a good time, which did calm her thumping heart.
Lunch and dinner came sooner than she expected, and she bought two Protects for 500 credits each since they still qualified for the subsidize as a Bronze-tier Trainer, and she might as well get it for Lulu while it was cheap; Rhea didn’t have an Everstone-lined box to keep them safe in, so she forked over the 500 credits for both so she could surprise her Buneary when they returned.
At 8 p.m., they went back to the park to collect the three Pokemon.
Lulu was bouncing around—she’d lost her bracelet—and they’d been chased around by some of the Pokemon security to the Cosmog’s thrill, but Nova and Vanty had smoothed things over, apparently with a bit of force so they’d listen to the typically very calm and collected Bellossom.
It certainly would make for a story that Nova could tell her teammates, and Rhea was happy Vanty had been there to support her Eevee, who wanted to be grown up and take responsibility but still needed a tad bit of support.
Returning home, they stopped off at a roadside ice cream shop to get a small box to share with everyone, and ten minutes later, they were in the dojo.
Amira looked much better and less stressed after withdrawing her name from the competition; she still wanted to watch, which Lori and Rhea were all for, and Ash gave his seal of approval on her plan to push for three Pokemon out all the time.
Pikachu was laughing up a storm at Nova and Lulu’s story as the others gathered around to listen; all of them wanted to go to the park now, and Lyra said all of her Pokemon would love it, too, causing everyone to force a laugh until it really got crazy when Ash jumped on the idea, saying all of his would, too.
Heading off to bed, Rhea reflected on a wonderful day. Lori looked far more serious than usual as she jumped into bed early; tomorrow was her battle against Sabrina and their first Silver-tier battle. It went without saying that she felt stressed, but they were a team, and they’d be there to support her in the crowd, no matter the results.
Tomorrow would be Lori and Miky’s day in the spotlight.
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