In which Emi decides to wake Duncan up way early and then there's some drama over breakfast when she
Emi tromped through the darkness of the early morning, birds twittering in the trees around her as she marched down the empty street. Sure it was early... but the weather was awful and that tended to wake people up early who were sleeping outside. Anyway, Emi wouldn't feel comfortable walking into Duncan's house while he wasn't there, and since she didn't know when he went to work this was the only way to make sure he would be alerted to her presence!
Down the road! To the house! Under the mat! Key in the door! Emi slowly pushed the front door open and stepped inside her brother's house. She dropped her bag off next to the door as she shut it, pulling the key out of the lock and putting it in her pocket before kicking off her boots. Creeping through the living room, she ventured towards Duncan's bedroom... he should still be there after all, and she should tell him that she was there!
Open the door! Over the (now awake) Charizard! Into the bed! Though slightly damp from the morning dew settling and probably more hyper than any sentient creature should be at 4 o' clock in the morning, Emi shook her brother while chirping, "Dunks! I'm here!"
Brimstone, curled up on the floor at the foot of the bed, looked up as the door creaked open and his head followed Emi's progress to the bed.
Duncan heard the footsteps, but it didn't quite register as anything strange. He thought it was probably just Brimstone before realizing that Brimstone pacing wouldn't sound like that. That was when he felt whatever it was slide onto the bed beside him and then--
"AUGH EMI!" (at least it wasn't an axe murderer but--) "What the hell?!" He sat up looking down at her (well, trying, it was pretty dark and he could barly make out the shadow of her).
She giggled, sitting back from him (but still remaining on the bed). "I'm here!" She repeated again, blowing her bangs out of her eyes with a puff. "I know that I'm kiiiiiinda early, but I wanted to make sure I got here before you went to work!"
Pause. "Sooo... good morning!"
"You didn't have to wake me up! Like that especially! I thought you were a murderer!" There was a momentary pause, followed by, "You are wet Emi, get the hell off my bed!"
Meanwhile, Brimstone had made his way over to the side of the bed and craned his neck over to sniff at Emi.
"Good morning to you too, Brimstone!" Emi pat the Charizard on the head as she slid out of Duncan's bed, standing and stretching. "And of course I had to wake you up! I wasn't just going to sneak around your house or something! Then you'd really think I was a murderer!"
"Like what if you just heard me walking around your kitchen and called the Jennies on me? That would be really awful! Or if you sent Brimstone after me! He's really scary when he wants to be!" Emi started to pace around Duncan's bed, going on and on about the various horrible but unlikely scenarios involved with her not waking him up at the asscrack of dawn.
:| <--this is what Emi got.
Brimstone started following her as she paced, staring up at her with PET MEEEEE puppy dog eyes the entire time. He finally realized pacing after her was futile and just sat there following her with his head instead.
"Emi." He sighed. There was no use arguing with her really, and it was pretty much a given that he wasn't getting back to sleep any time soon. So, he reached over and turned on the lamp on his nightstand so he could actually see. "Well you're here. Congratulations."
Emi stopped talking when he said her name, then squinted in the light, her eyes having adjusted to the darkness.
"Yeah?" She didn't catch the sarcasm, "It's nothing, really! I'm just really good at walking!"
"...I'm sure." He climbed out of bed and walked over to her (reaching out to pat Brimstone's head as he passed by). He put a hand on her arm, pulled her forward, and led her down the hallway to the linen closet where he pulled out a spare blanket and pillow and handed them to her. "Couch," he said, pointing to the living room.
She followed him obediently, though she looked surprised when the blanket and pillow were put into her arms. "Huh?" Blink. She looked towards where she was being directed. "Yeah, that's a couch!"
"Yes, it is a couch, houseguests sleep on it." He gave her a gentle push toward the living room.
She took a step with a laugh, "Oh, but Dunks! I'm not sleepy!"
He folded his arms and stared at her.
"We can make breakfast!"
"It's four AM."
"That just means it can be a really big breakfast!"
"W-with berry pancakes...?"
"Um. I should probably go to bed - um, to couch - now."
"Yes! What a novel idea. You go do that." He gave her a pat on the back, mockingly congratulatory. "I'll be up around six, we can make breakfast then."
She nodded, turning and walking towards the couch, adjusting the bundle in her arms before turning around and calling back to her brother. "Um... one more thing!"
He was already walking away. But he stopped and spun around with a, "What, Emi?"
She hunched up her shoulders. "Um. See you in the morning! Well, later in the morning..."
"Yes, good night." Pause, he closed his eyes and set his fingers to his forehead, then dropped his hand after a couple seconds and looked back to her. "I'm glad you got here safe, alright?" Because augh he couldn't sleep if he thought of her being all downtrodden about it.
Emi instantly brightened up. "You don't have to worry about that! I'm going to be a Pokémon master one day, remember? So I have to be able to get placed safely!" With that she tossed down the blanket and pillow onto the couch (and then herself).
CRISIS (in the form of Emi pouting) AVERTED. "See you in a couple hours." And with that he turned around and WENT BACK TO BED >=|
Of course he woke up again about 15 minutes before his alarm clock went off and figured it wasn't worth waiting for, so he just got up and turned the alarm off.
A short while later he emerged into the living room, fresh out of the shower and wearing the majority of his Team Rocket uniform (which actually meant just the pants and shirt because boots, gloves, hat and belt all came later when he was about to leave).
Emi was passed out on the couch, one leg up over the back of the couch (without a sock on) and the other on top of the armrest opposite of her head, with both of her arms flung back. While she looked like she would be uncomfortable, Emi's face looked serene as she evenly breathed away. Whatever noise Duncan might've made in his morning routine had not awakened his sister.
He glanced at her, and almost cracked a smile when he saw her sprawled out over the couch. But he didn't wake her, he just shook his head and moved on to the kitchen to start fixing breakfast. ...Sigh, he should probably actually cook something today. Not his favourite morning activity, but oh well.
Emi only began to stir once the kitchen came to life, wiggling around before suddenly rolling off of the couch and onto the floor next to it - something that immediately woke her up. Jerking up from the pile of blankets and a pillow, Emi glanced around to get her bearings before slowly climbing to her feet and stretching.
"Wow! That was goooood nap!" She began to walk towards the kitchen, glancing around on the floor as she did so. "Hey, Dunks, have you seen my other sock...?"
"No," he replied, busy flipping pancakes (PLAIN ONES sorry Emi no berry pancakes this morning). "Did you check under the couch?"
Brimstone was curled up underneath the kitchen table, eyeing the stove. There was food there, he knew it. He just had to bide his time...
She looked up, "Nope, not yet..." Emi wobbled on one foot as she lifted the other to take the remaining sock off (it never felt kosher to have one foot bare and the other not). She stuffed the sock in her back pocket and yawned, moving to the fridge, "I'll look after breakfast. Is there anything I can help with?"
Duncan's clothes looked a little off from the back. Did scientists really wear all black? Is that why it was hard for them to get dates? She vaguely remembered some magazine saying that boring clothes was a turn-off! Maybe she should warn him...
"I don't know, is there anything you want with the pancakes? You could start on that." Pause. Suddenly struck with an idea. Since he was leaving for work and she was staying, he could tooootally pass off doing dishes onto Emi >______> yesssss awesome.
"Do you have eggs?" Eggs were a good way to start off the day, especially since this might be the time for Duncan to re-evaluate his wardrobe! Emi opened the fridge to look around for the answer to her own question.
"Yeah." He turned to look at her at hearing the refrigerator door open. "They're on the door, top shelf."
Emi stood up smiling, holding up the package of eggs. Then she dropped them.
That was not just any all-black uniform. That was a... a... Team Rocket uniform! No matter how sleek it was it was the uniform of people will really nasty reputations! The people who she heard stories about while travelling and the people that the Jennies were always on to!
"Emi, what the hell!" He rushed over to the fallen egg carton and picked it up to inspect the damage. ...Augh he could already tell it was bad, he could feel the stickiness of leaking eggwhites even just picking it up. "Jesus, Emi. You need to be more careful."
She stared at him, still completely dumbfounded. Her cool older brother! The brother that was going to go save the world! The brother that was busy being a hero so he couldn't come home! He... he was really part of Team Rocket? This whole time? And he never told anyone - he didn't -
"I can't believe... I can't believe you!" Emi's eyes were filling with tears.
This only got a very confused look in response, followed by immediately trying to backpedal over whatever he might've said to upset her. "Look, it's not a big deal, really, cracked eggs aren't really that important."
Her lip was trembling. "Y-You're supposed to be saving the world!" Emi managed, though her voice was wavering. She'd forgotten all about the eggs now, and the pancakes and even her missing sock. Her older brother whom she had idolized for her entire life was part of the gang that her peers despised, who were going to destroy the world (or so the rumors said)!
"You never told me! You probably wanted to keep it a secret or you thought I wouldn't notice! I thought... I thought..."
Blink. He glanced down at the egg carton, then back at Emi, eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "I know styrofoam cartons don't biodegrade but I wouldn't really call that destroying the world or anything..."
"You're part of Team Rocket!" She finally choked, and then spun on her heel and ran from the kitchen to go lock herself in the bathroom.
... Oh. That. Well. That was a bit more important than broken eggs, for sure.
After standing there staring after her for a few seconds, he walked over and set the carton of broken eggs in the sink, washed his hands off, and then took care of the current set of pancakes so they wouldn't burn and turned off the stove.
This taken care of, he walked down the hallway to the bathroom and leaned against the door, giving a soft knock. "Emi? Can we talk?"
Emi was sitting on the other side of the door, leaning up against it with her legs folded up so that she could hide her face in her knees. It made no sense! He was such a nice guy! How could he let those bad people get to him...?
She sniffled. "I... I guess..."
"Can you open the door or are we gonna have to talk through it?"
"I dunno!" Emi pressed herself up against the door, almost defiantly.
"M-maybe once you tell me why... why you wanted to join a group of people who hurt others!"
"Woooow, okay." So we were going to start off being completely unreasonable. Great. He leaned back against the door, arms folded, and turned his eyes up toward the ceiling while he spoke.
"First of all, Team Rocket isn't a criminal organization. People say that because they used to be, when our parents were kids. The Boss wasn't in charge back then. He is now, and he's trying to fix things. Lots of things. You know how you keep saying I'm off saving the world? Technically, I am. By working for Team Rocket.
"Secondly, I joined because they gave me a very well-paying job in my field right out of college. That's a major plus, Emi. Without Team Rocket I'd probably still be working minimum wage somewhere while trying to find a good internship."
Emi listened quietly, though she did sniffle a few times while Duncan was talking. It just... didn't make any sense! How could something be an evil organization and then suddenly be good? How could he be saving the world by working for people that other trainers warned her about? And then the bit about the job... was that true? Was Duncan really only well-off because Team Rocket had helped him?
"I... I just don't get it!"
Sigh. "What don't you get, Emi?" He pondered stepping away to call Lynea and let her know he might be late today. He had the feeling this was going to take a while.
"If all that stuff is true then is the other stuff all true, too?"
"What other stuff? You mean like stealing Pokémon other stuff?" Man he'd just have to outright lie about that one, so much for trying to stick to half-truths.
"Yeah! How can it be a group about helping people if it hurts people and Pokémon at the same time?"
"It's not a rule of our organization to go around stealing Pokémon, Emi. People caught doing that are just Pokémon thieves, we don't like them doing it either." HAHA oh man okay yeah he'd totally said that with a straight face okay good. "Besides, the sort of work I do is all lab-work. I'm a scientist, I sit in a building all day and do gene sequencing."
She was quiet for a while before slowly standing up and opening the door a crack to look at her brother with a hopeful but sad sort of smile. "Is that true? For really real?"
He moved away once he felt the door opening, turning around to face her. "Yeah. And, y'know, I really did think I'd told you this already, but you know how I hate saying that."
She giggled a little bit, rubbing her nose and looking to the side. "Yeah? I guess I know now though! I'll try not to forget!"
Emi forced her little smile to stay as she opened the door, though her stomach was still tied in knots over the whole affair. She'd have to really think about the type of person that he brother was versus the type of people that were in Team Rocket. Maybe... maybe Duncan was telling the truth! Maybe things had changed! It would only make sense, since he was such a good person.
Suddenly, she leaned forward and hugged her brother. "I'm sorry I dropped your eggs!"
The lunge came a bit unexpectedly. He held his hands up, looking down at her, not quite sure how to react. "Uh... It's fine, Emi. Don't worry about it. They're probably still cookable."
"And I'm sorry I yelled at you!"
"Don't worry about it." He finally let his arms settle around her, hugging her back.
"And I'm sorry that the pancakes are probably cold by now!"
He couldn't help but laugh. "You can just warm them up, Emi! Jeez."
"I knooow but," she sniffled and looked up at him, "that means they're not super fresh!"
He pulled away, motioning for her to follow him to the kitchen. "There's still half a bowl of batter left, you'll get some fresh pancakes."
She followed him, looking much more like her peppy self. "Can we add berries?"
Sigh, eyeroll. "I don't have any berries, Emi. If you go buy some today, we can do it tomorrow."
"Okay!" This was the plan. Plain pancakes today -- tomorrow, though, the possibilities would be endless!