In which Duncan comes to visit Missie to see her Shedinja, but ends up distracted by everything else she owns. The Shedinja sits in the corner and eats cake instead.
Why did all his siblings suddenly have these fascinating new Pokémon? One of them even thought he was one of these fascinating new Pokémon. Did Martin and Leslie have non-Kanto ones too? Goddamn. EVERYONE BUT HIM. (Of course all he had anymore was his charizard but hey.)
On the plus side they were willing to show them off. At least he had the opportunity for science! And that would be why he was currently at Missie's door, waiting for her to answer the ring. Shedinja, what the heck man?
Missie's unmistakable voice came calling through the door, "Just a minute!" She hadn't made the slightest effort to rework her accent as some of the other Jackson had and still spoke with all the usual country bumpkin goodness.
The door creaked open with an eerie slowness, and Duncan would not find Missie on the other side. Instead it would be a Banette with no regard for personal space, staring at him from a nose distance apart.
"Dun, dun, dun!"
HOLY WHAT THE FUCK
Instantly, Duncan was cowering against the wall on the opposite side of the hallway, eyes wide with sheer terror.
He was not expecting that.
Missie poked her head out of the side of the door, casually gnawing on the end of a straw. She looked at Duncan nonchalantly for a few moments before looking toward her Banette, which turned to look to her in unison. Missie's tone was all too cheerful: "Dreamflower, don't do that."
He relaxed slightly (because Duncan was never not tense) when Missie made her appearance.
It was a Pokémon, he could see that now. Not some horrible uncanny valley demon from beyond the black or...whatever. Seemed like a Ghost type, though. Ahaha that made sense.
"What is that?" he asked, curiousity overcoming him as he moved forward to get a better look at it.
Realizing she was being watched, the Banette continued to stare back at Duncan while holding open the door, her eyes never leaving his gaze. Nothing else about the Pokémon moved during his inspection.
"A Banette," Missie replied as wandered back into her apartment to continue her work at the kitchen counter. It was a humble little place with a modest living room area attached to the tiny kitchen, and what was presumably the bed and bathroom somewhere down a small hall in the back. "Why don't you come inside?"
Why didn't he come inside? He was too busy being fascinated by a Banette to even hear the invitation, that was why.
He knelt in front it, cocked his head, leaned around to get a different view angle, moved back to its front and tentatively held out a hand toward its head before realizing that maybe it wouldn't like being touched and stopping just short of actually touching it. His eyes fell on the yellow mouth and he wondered if it really was a zipper or if it just seemed to look like one.
"You can just walk through her if you want!" Missie added helpfully when she received no response. But when she glanced toward Duncan and Dreamflower and noticed the science! in progress, she hushed herself. Science! was not something one should disturb!
The Banette's eyes continued to be the only thing to move, watching Duncan with the same intensity as she was being watched.
"Are they noncorporeal?" He glanced up at Missie, but quickly looked back down to the Banette in front of him. Pause. "Then how is it holding open the door?"
Missie looked up in thought, gnawing away at the straw and tapping her chin. "Uuuum... I have no idea!" She smiled brightly at the confusing thought, then properly dropped it, unconcerned.
"Does its mouth unzip?" he asked, as he proceeded to put his hand through its head. Wiggy. He would never get over being able to do that with ghost types.
Dreamflower went cross-eyed in her efforts to keep watch of Duncan's motions.
"I think so," Missie replied, pausing again to stare at the ceiling. It was a good thinking place. "But they say something about a curse escaping if that happens. You're welcome to check!"
"You're welcome to check" was really not something you should say to Duncan when he was in researcher mode. Sadly, the banette's incorporeality prevented him from doing so. Alas, no releasing of curses on this day!
He pulled his hand back (god that was cold; ghost types!!), and stared at the Pokémon for a second. After a couple seconds of pause, he demanded, with typical Duncan frustration, "How are you holding open that door!?"
The sad thing was that Missie had meant it. I mean, how bad could a curse be, really? She could probably fix it! And Dreamflower was too nice for any nasty curse. It would probably be something fun, like the inability to talk without rhyming! Or breaking into song! Oh, that would be fun.
The Banette had no answer for Duncan! These things were ghost-type secrets, never meant for the ears of man. Also her mouth was zipped shut, but that was a smaller factor.
He waved a hand through it in a sharp, wide motion. Then back again, and did this a couple more times, sort of like somebody confronted with a hologram and a big helping of disbelief.
Finally satisfied that there was no way he could touch the damn thing, he decided to give up (FOR NOW!!) about that door mystery. He stood and walked through it into the apartment. After this, he turned around and tried to quickly slam the door shut on it. Just to see what would happen.
Dreamflower's eyes went back and forth, back and forth, like a Meowth watching a tennis match. The door then went through the Banette when it was slammed, leaving her on the other side! After a moment, her head poked back into the apartment before the rest of her body followed, drifting nonchalantly back toward Missie to assist her in setting the table for tea and cake.
And indeed, there was cake! Vanilla cake with white frosting and strawberries around the rim to decorate. Missie was busy cutting a piece for herself and Duncan to serve, while her various Pokémon had been given the run of the apartment: the Banette, of course, being helpful in the kitchen, her Ekans coiled on the couch to sleep, the pink blob that was Ditto playing with the TV remote, and... Shedinja! It was sitting, entirely unmoving, in a pet bed with its name, Buttons, written on the side. A bone (??) was halfway in the bed, red ribbon tied around it, and mysteriously chewed on.
... "THAT JUST RAISES FURTHER QUESTIONS!"
Missie and her Pokémon were unfazed by the outburst, Dreamflower in particular floating back to Duncan to offer him a warm cup of tea. As if purposely messing with him now (and undoubtedly she was), should he actually take the cup, he'd find his hands GOING RIGHT THROUGH HERS to do so. But she had still been holding the cup.
"Life, a journey of infinite questions!" Missie giggled, temporarily feeling profound. The moment passed as she smiled at Duncan. "Oh, she seems to like you."
Oh, he did take the cup, and he did notice his hands go right through hers to do it. And this just made him stop and stare at her. BANETTE HAD BANE IN IT HOW FITTING AS SHE WAS NOW THE BANE OF HIS INQUISITIVE SCIENTIFIC MIND.
Ever with her marionette-like motions, Dreamflower drifted back toward Missie, tugging at her clothes until Missie cut the Banette a slice of cake. "Ooookay," Missie said with that kind of tone a mother tends to have, "But you have to share." Triumphantly, Dreamflower held the plate of cake above her head and floated off to the corner to sit with Buttons, prepared to share her prize as ordered.
Missie smiled at Duncan, oblivious to the complications a Pokémon with a zipped up mouth and a Pokémon that was a dead husk would have in eating cake, "She's taken a real shine to you, Dundun! You must be great with Pokémon."
He glared at Dreamflower for the entirety of her trip, and remained glaring after she settled by the--what was that? That was the Pokémon he was actually here to see, wasn't it?
"That thing is mocking me," he muttered.
Dreamflower stabbed off a bite of cake and waved it around happily. Holding a folk. The only thing more delicious than cake for a Banette is ANGUISH AND SUFFERING. Thus Dreamflower had a tasty, tasty snack on hand.
Missie didn't catch what Duncan had muttered, smiling still. "They're all real friendly. You don't have to be shy with them."
He walked over to set the cup down on the kitchen table, but from there moved off toward the shedinja's bed without a second glance at the nearby cake. "Is this your...what was it called again?" He leaned over to inspect it, glancing at the banette out of the corner of his eye.
"Mmhm!" Missie grunted in affirmation, "Buttons, my Shedinja. Someone left him behind at the Pokémon Center, can you believe it?"
The Shedinja did not move or even acknowledge Duncan. It sat, a lifeless husk, on its luxurious little bed and stared off at nothing in particular.
When Duncan looked back to the Banette, he'd see that the fork was now missing its bit o' cake. Somehow.
"Oh you don't even need to eat, you're incorporeal!" But of course he knew this would have no real effect on the banette's behaviour. Apparently mischievous tendencies remained one of those traits intrinsic to ghost types.
Why was the banette so much more interesting than the Pokémon he'd actually come here to see?
Probably because she was actually moving, Duncan.
She stabbed a bit of her cake again and offered it to Duncan innocently.
"I don't want your ectoplasm sullied cake, physics defier."
Dreamflower didn't move from her offer!
"Get thee hence, you blasphemy against science!"
The fork eventually fell through Dreamflower's hand, clattering back onto the plate. She looked down to it a moment, then leaned in just enough to give Duncan an affectionate kind of corporeal hug, cold as it may have been.
"Oh my god, get off!" He tried to push her away, but...well, his arms just went right through her. He froze, looking down at this.
"THAT JUST RAISES FURTHER QUESTIONS!!"
"Dreamflower!" Missie called out harshly, eying the Banette with that kind of eye. Caught in the act, Dreamflower relented on her hug by floating right through Duncan to join Missie by her side.
This elicited a shiver and he wrapped his arms around himself as he watched the thing float over to his sister's side. "I knew there was a reason I didn't like ghost types."
Leave it to Missie to completely, well, miss the reason for Duncan's exasperation. "Oh, I'm positive she wouldn't really put a curse on you. I'm not really sure about looking into Buttons' back... They say that'll rob you of your soul, but what's a soul good for, anyway?"
"Curses aren't even real, Missie. And half that stuff people tell you about Pokémon isn't true, I doubt that would even happen." Whoever heard of soul-stealing that actually worked, anyway.
"But there's a Curse attack, isn't there?" Missie asked, looking back up toward the ceiling. That was strange! Maybe it was something else entirely? She looked to Dreamflower. "I guess if we unzipped your mouth, there'd be nothing inside, then..." Missie suddenly perked up with an idea, hands at her hips as she eyed Dreamflower warily. "I bet that's where all the missing socks are!"
"It's totally different." He stood, sort of ignoring the shedinja (IT WAS KIND OF BORING ACTUALLY) in favour of turning to face Missie.
His face fell at the missing socks comment, and he just gave her a flat stare.
WELL WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM A DEAD HUSK that has somehow eaten the rest of the cake slice while Duncan's turned his back on it.
Missie tilt her head at Duncan's stare. "If she isn't full of socks, then why does she have a zipper?" The logic was completely sound.
"I don't know, why don't you unzip it and find out?"
He just happened to glance back down and saw the EMPTY PLATE HOW IN THE GODDAMN HELL okay Missie your Pokémon were weird.
Missie hesitated. "What if you're wrong?"
YOU KNOW WHAT'S REALLY WEIRD? The fact that the Shedinja was now being pet by... Duncan? The splitting image, save for the beady eyes.
"I doubt I'm-- ..."
Not Duncan looked to Duncan and greeted him with a very profound, "Ditto!"
Welcome to Missie's place. Leave your sanity at the door, okay? ♥
Ditto. Of course. :| OR SHOULD I SAY :]
Sigh. "At least I'm familiar with that one."
"Moonbow, that's rude," Missie scolded, and Not Duncan reverted back to a blob of pink-purple goo, jiggling in place.
Meanwhile Missie had turned back to Dreamflower, peering at the zipper. Socks were at stake, but possibly not worth curses.
He stared down at the now-ditto. "...That is so disconcerting."
"Ditto!" Wiggly wiggle.
"Sorryyyyy," Missie said, with a not unusual sing-song tone, "I've been trying to teach him not to do that."
"It's an interesting little quirk." He knelt down to hold a hand out to the ditto. This he could at least rely on. He knew dittos. "What did you say its name was?"
"Moonbow," Missie replied, smiling. "My first Pokémon!" Memories! "He definitely prefers mimicking humans though."
Moonbow outstretched his... well, it was an extension that could feasibly be called a limb, and poked at Duncan. He tried to mimic a handshake, although with his lack of bodily stability, he wiggled himself up and down instead of Duncan's hand.
"I always kind of liked ditto." And indeed, he may have actually been smiling at the reaction it gave him! "I did my thesis on them, actually."
Ditto smiled back. :]
This caught Missie's interest! "Do you still have a copy of it?"
"Sure, back home. Really interesting stuff. I can bring it over sometime if you want to read it."
"Oh, I'd love to!" Missie practically bounced. "I'd really like that."
"I'll bring it over, then." He stood, but paused once he got there, looking down at the shedinja. "...I almost forgot what I even actually came here for. Tell me about this one."
Missie had forgotten herself, jumping a bit with the realization. "Oh! Shedinja, right!" She stepped over to Buttons to pet him, smiling. "It evolves from Nincada! Sort of. Um, Nincada evolves into a different Pokémon and the shell it leaves behind is Shedinja!" She frowned now. "People are kind of afraid of them, I guess, so the Nincada's trainer left him behind."
"...So it's the shed husk of its pre-evo? Like if metapod evolved into butterfree but the metapod shell became its own Pokémon?" ...wow, that was WEIRD.
"Exactly!" Missie smiled. It was the perfect analogy. "He's neat too. You can't hurt him with anything that's he's not sensitive about. But he's real sensitive when he's sensitive... Once he got a little too close to the stove and fainted right away."
"...Huh." He would have to read up on shedinja now because that sounded fascinating.
He knelt beside it to reach out and poke it curiously. "How can you tell when it faints?"
"His eyes turn into little x's."
Her tone was one hundred percent serious.
He stopped. Turned to look at her with a very disbelieving confused kind of look. "They what."
Missie ignored the look, reaching down to pick up Buttons, cuddling him as she noticed the chewed bone. "Ooh, did you like this one, Buttons? Don't be shy now, Missie'll buy you a new one when it's used up."
"...That just raises--ugh I give up."