“So, give me details! What have you been up to?” Marie, the furret, sits me in a chair across from her and plops down, resting her head on her stubby paws. She’s staring at me with shit-eating grin and a swiftly swaying tail.
“Um. Nothing really interesting.” My response is greeted by an overly exaggerated sigh. “What?”
“Don’t give me that! Everything you do is interesting! I mean, you’re a judge now, right? There’s gotta be something going on.”
“Well...” As I begin, she leans in closer, eager to hear what I have to say. “It wouldn’t be right to share this spicy info without Verona, right?”
She rolls her eyes as she gets up from the table. “You tease.” She pokes her tongue out as she heads toward the back of the restaurant to fetch her- our friend. With her away, I could take the time to evaluate the place. It’s actually very large with multiple wooden tables spread out. The place is empty, possible due to the fact that they are closing for the night. Oddly, I haven’t seen any other employees. Do they not have any or are they just all off for the night?
“You...” A faintly familiar voice whispers from the back, but before I can turn to see who it is, I’m tackled out of my chair and pinned to the floor. “Lyn!” A sneasel beams down. “Oh my Giratina, where have you been?!”
“Oh you know, places...” I try to get up, but Verona just plops down on to stomach very comfortably. “Um… Vee?”
“Yes?~” She indifferently picks at her teeth with a claw. I notice that Marie is behind her with a sly grin on her face. She probably sees this as revenge for messing with her. She might have even put Verona up to this. Wow! How sinister!
“So,” Marie waltzes over to us and lays down near my head, “are you gonna tell us what you’ve been up to this past year?”
“Well...” So, I begin to explain to them that I’ve sleeping for a while and that I’m actually operating as a double agent inside the Rebellion and trying to break it down from the inside out. I also just so happened to conveniently left out that I have amnesia.
“Well you seem to be having fun.” Marie says with a giggle. “Wish I could go on adventures like you. Don’t get me wrong, I love working here with Verona, but sometimes I wish I could see more of the world.”
Verona hops off of me and pulls up a chair. “I think I’ll pass. I’ve seen enough for a lifetime. So,” she plops the chair down and crosses her legs and arms, “you met with Eliza. What do you think of her?”
Odd question. “She’s… powerful, intimidating, exciting… and kind of hot.”
“Did she kiss you?” I’m shocked she’s ask such a thing, but I nod nonetheless. “Figures.” She bolts up and points a claw at me. “I’ll be right back.” She disappears in the back and leaves me and Marie confused on the floor. We decide to grab some seats of our own and sit at a nearby table. By the time we are seated and comfortable, Verona returns and places a bowl full of a pinkish liquid on the table. “Drink up.”
I’m initially confused, but not wanting to look a gift rapidash in the mouth, I gingerly take a sip and immediately regret it. “Gross, it’s so sweet!” I push the bowl away as I recoil in disgust. “What is this stuff?”
“It’s an antivenom, of sorts.” I blink as Verona calmly explains her concoction. “Eliza has this habit of using salazzle pheromones as a way to entice pokemon and hypnotize them. Her favorite for of administration: A kiss. She’s done this to you before and it does wear off over time, but this time I made a solution for it.” She puffs her chest out as she proudly boasts of her accomplishment. “All I did was take some salazzle pheromones, mixed it with some choice berries and created a tasty desert to reverse the effects! At least, in theory it should. You’re kind of the first one I’ve tested it on.”
“Couldn’t you use a different flavor for pokemon with different tastes.” Marie takes a sniff of the bowl and gives it a questionable glance before looking back at the sneasel. “I mean, Lyn’s never really liked sweet stuff.”
“I’m not so sure. If I made it bitter for her, it might just counteract the salazzle pheromones.” I can’t help the smile the crawls on my face as Vee crosses her arms and starts to think. What ever her train of thought was, is quickly severed when she looks at me. “What?”
“Oh nothing.” I say as I trace the rim of my bowl with a finger. “You’re just so cute, that’s all.”
“C-Cute?” Verona and Marie gasp in unison as I boldly state what I’m thinking.
“Yeah! I don’t know why I haven’t seen it before now, but you’re really adorable. Especially that cute little ear of yours.” She instinctively grabs her crimson ear as she looks away from me with an embarrassed expression.
“Verona, I think you made a love potion rather than an anti-love potion.” Marie snickers and Vee quickly shoots her a cute death glare. “I think since you were the first she looked at Lyn fell for you!” She laughs for a bit but its quickly cut short when a suspicious smile appears on her muzzle.
“What are you up to?” I ask, my words dripping with suspicion.
“Oh nothing!” She swiftly grabs my bowl and gets up. “Let me get you something else to drink to get that sweet stuff out of your mouth, alright?” Before I can respond, she’s already gone and I’m left alone with my newfound artificial crush.
“So, uh, you come here often?”
Verona bangs her head against the table and sighs loudly. “Oh. My. Giratina. How did you manage to swoon Fang if you have pick up lines like that?!” Embarrassment floods my body, but thankfully Marie shows back up with a smaller bowl of liquid, unintentionally preventing me from embarrassing myself any further.
“Here you go! Drink up!” Without a second thought, I gulp down the bitter berry juice, grateful to have something other than that sweet abomonation resting on my taste buds. By the time I put the bowl down, I’m greeted by Marie grinning like a madman in my face. “So, how do you feel?”
“I’d feel better if I didn’t have a face full of crazy right now.” I lightly push the furret away from me as she seems rather distraught.
“Whaaaaat? I thought I could get you to fall for me next! I even changed the flavor so that you wouldn’t get suspicious.”
“Marie, I just said that if you made it bitter...” Verona seems to have caught on to something then grasps my face in her claws. “What do you think of me?”
“I think you’ve caught a bit of Marie’s crazy!” I say with wide eyes.
Verona shakes her head. “No no. How do I look to you?”
“Okay, I guess?”
“Of course!” She lets me go and face-palms. “Bitterness counteracts the sweetness of salazzle pheromones. I thought it only affect flavor, but for some reason it also counters the effects! How odd… Nevertheless,” She turns to me with a smile, “I must thank you for being such a cooperative volunteer.”
“Sure? Any time, I guess.” I get up and start heading toward the exit. “Well, it’s been fun guys, but I’ve got work to do. Bye.”
“Until next time, Lyn!” Marie’s despondent attitude quickly disappears as she begins to see me off. “Don’t be a stranger!” They both wave farewell, and I can’t help but to feel a little bittersweet about saying goodbye. It was good to see them again...