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Stardust Chapter 6
Author's Note: Yes, I glossed over the Trainers' School part of the plot. To be frank, it's my absolute least favorite part of the entire Sun/Moon plot and didn't really have much relevance except for the Exp. Share and introducing Ilima, which will happen at the beginning of the next chapter.
Once again, Pokémon is © to that wonderful mastermind, Satoshi Tajiri. Special thanks go out to my best friend, Ayaluki, the best beta-reader I could ever ask for!

Chapter 6:
Bittersweet Reminiscence

The girls decided to stop at the Pokémon Center before continuing on to the Trainers' School, but when they set foot past the doors, Soleil stopped in her tracks as if she'd been caught in a spotlight.
"What the...?" she asked as she blinked and looked around slowly, her brow furrowed in confusion. "The Mart and Center are merged?"
"They're not merged in Johto?" Lillie asked, grabbing the shorter girl's arm and pulling her to the side so they wouldn't be bl
:iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 0 2
Stardust Chapter 5
Author's Note: This chapter did not want to be written. And I know I'll probably lose readers for having my OC know the Oracíón, but I promise that it won't have any major relevence to the plot except as a nod to the tenth movie, which is one of my personal favorites along with Revelation Lugia. I chose to make Soleil a flutist because, to be frank, your character and Lillie knowing how to play them, let alone knowing how to play well, withot it being established is one thing about the games' plot that I have a nitpick with and felt had to be addressed, otherwise, it would've bothered me.
Once again, Pokémon is © to that wonderful mastermind, Satoshi Tajiri. Special thanks go out to my best friend, Ayaluki, the best beta-reader I could ever ask for!

Chapter 5:
Leaving the Nest

Over the remainder of the week, Soleil started planning what she would take with her on her upcoming journey. There was the set of apricorn balls, obviously, along
:iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 0 2
Stardust Chapter 4
Author's Note: Not really much to say about this one, but if anyone tries to give me crap about Night being a Delta, I will ignore you. I know something like that can make a character overpowered, but I have limits in place for her and she has the same weaknesses, resistances, and the Psychic-type immunnity as the Houndour line and Incineroar.
Once again, Pokémon is © to that wonderful mastermind, Satoshi Tajiri. Special thanks go out to my best friend, Ayaluki, the best beta-reader I could ever ask for!

Chapter 4:
The Festival

After everyone had left, Soleil and her mother set to unpacking more of their things, and when Emiko had declared that it was enough for the day, her daughter had gone to her room where she arranged her paints on her desk and set to decorating the bottom half of Plavalaguna's Poké Ball with an intricate wave pattern. Once finished, she carefully set it up on one of the shelves above her desk in order to let it dry befo
:iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 0 4
Stardust Chapter 3
Author's Note: First off, yes, the Maizie and Kurt I refer to Soleil knowing are the same as Kurt the apricorn ball craftsman and his granddaughter from the Gen II games, while I've taken the name Maizie from the anime version of the granddaughter since the game version of her doesn't have a name for some reason. Those two are my favorite NPcs from those games and the apricorn balls are my favorite types of balls, and you can believe I was happy to learn that they make a reappearance in Sun and Moon but, since there's only one of each, I've extremely reluctant to use any of them. This was one of the easier chapters to write, and I apologize for it being nothing but talking and a flashback.
Once again, Pokémon is © to that wonderful mastermind, Satoshi Tajiri. Special thanks go out to my best friend, Ayaluki, the best beta-reader I could ever ask for!

Chapter 3:
A Cosmic Revelation

Dear Maizie,
I wanted to let you know that we arrived safely
:iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 0 2
Stardust Chapter 2
Author's Note: Yes, Tapu Koko is female in this novelization. Ever since her reveal, she's given me a strong feminine vibe even with her war-like appearance. Also, I wanted to do something (hopefully) a little different when it comes to choosing the starter 'mon, who won't be getting their nickname until the next chapter because I couldn't find a way to fit it into this one with the idea I had in mind.
Once again, Pokémon is © to that wonderful mastermind, Satoshi Tajiri. Special thanks go out to my best friend, Ayaluki, the best beta-reader I could ever ask for.

Chapter 2:
A Close Call

There was a sudden flash of blue light before a surge of energy radiated out from the little creature she held. The cries of the Spearows grew farther away, however, there was a creak and a groan, and Soleil screamed as the bridge snapped and gave way, sending both her and Nebby plunging towards the water below.
"NO!!!" Night shrieked, tears stinging at the corners
:iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 0 2
Stardust Chapter 1
Author's Note: I know people are probably sick of seeing Sun/Moon novelizations by now, but I've had this planned since last summer, and I don't intend on abandoning this because there are other stories on the same subject matter out there. I know I won't get many reviews, but that's fine, even though I would appreciate the feedback. The reason why I've posted this story so late is because this is based on my Moon playthrough, which I wasn't able to do until they released the Pokémon Bank update, so I could have two of Soleil's team members with her for the duration of the main storyline. And the secondary tag may be romance, but that takes a back seat to the main plot, and the pairings that will appear will not be openly stated and only hinted at.
And I know that many of the other novelizations have already done this, but I'm taking liberties and have aged everyone up in this, which is also something I've had planned since last summer for this story and the mid-teen age
:iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 0 4
Sleepy Andy by LittleFairyMothra Sleepy Andy :iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 1 0 Anime Fail! by LittleFairyMothra Anime Fail! :iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 0 0 Andy by LittleFairyMothra Andy :iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 5 0 Full Moon by LittleFairyMothra Full Moon :iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 0 0 Sunset Cloudscape by LittleFairyMothra Sunset Cloudscape :iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 0 0 Sunrise3 by LittleFairyMothra Sunrise3 :iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 0 0 Sunrise2 by LittleFairyMothra Sunrise2 :iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 0 0 Sunrise by LittleFairyMothra Sunrise :iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 0 0 Molgera Gijinka by LittleFairyMothra Molgera Gijinka :iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 1 0 Shiny Tyrunt by LittleFairyMothra Shiny Tyrunt :iconlittlefairymothra:LittleFairyMothra 3 0


Huron's Breath by Eternal-Mothra Huron's Breath :iconeternal-mothra:Eternal-Mothra 7 4 Old- Mario Kart by Lampent Old- Mario Kart :iconlampent:Lampent 24 6 Collab- Three Little Lions by Lampent Collab- Three Little Lions :iconlampent:Lampent 55 3 Tails by Lampent Tails :iconlampent:Lampent 90 9 Patra-- Zelda Collab by Astralstonekeeper Patra-- Zelda Collab :iconastralstonekeeper:Astralstonekeeper 5 2 It's Been Eons by Lampent It's Been Eons :iconlampent:Lampent 195 23 Mimi the Copycat by Lampent Mimi the Copycat :iconlampent:Lampent 46 6 Underwater Cuddles by Lampent Underwater Cuddles :iconlampent:Lampent 53 1 Magic Kingdom by Lampent Magic Kingdom :iconlampent:Lampent 74 14 OLD- What Big Teeth You Have! by Lampent OLD- What Big Teeth You Have! :iconlampent:Lampent 18 2 Comic- Wannabe Goth by Lampent Comic- Wannabe Goth :iconlampent:Lampent 23 4 Kitsune by XMaveria Kitsune :iconxmaveria:XMaveria 59 7 Lunala by XMaveria Lunala :iconxmaveria:XMaveria 315 33 Nightmare Phione by Masae Nightmare Phione :iconmasae:Masae 275 85 I Must Take The A-Train by Lampent I Must Take The A-Train :iconlampent:Lampent 57 9


Author's Note: Yes, I glossed over the Trainers' School part of the plot. To be frank, it's my absolute least favorite part of the entire Sun/Moon plot and didn't really have much relevance except for the Exp. Share and introducing Ilima, which will happen at the beginning of the next chapter.

Once again, Pokémon is © to that wonderful mastermind, Satoshi Tajiri. Special thanks go out to my best friend, Ayaluki, the best beta-reader I could ever ask for!


Chapter 6:
Bittersweet Reminiscence


The girls decided to stop at the Pokémon Center before continuing on to the Trainers' School, but when they set foot past the doors, Soleil stopped in her tracks as if she'd been caught in a spotlight.

"What the...?" she asked as she blinked and looked around slowly, her brow furrowed in confusion. "The Mart and Center are merged?"

"They're not merged in Johto?" Lillie asked, grabbing the shorter girl's arm and pulling her to the side so they wouldn't be blocking the door.

"No," Soleil replied, shaking her head before she pointed over towards the left at a third counter that had a dark brown border with a logo of a mug with steam rising from it. "What's that place over there?"

"That's the Café," the taller girl explained. "I like to relax over there with a nice cold mug of Moomoo milk, which actually sounds like a good idea. Would you like anything?"

"Could you ask if they have any tea? Otherwise, I don't really want anything," Soleil replied, only to turn her attention towards the middle counter when she heard her full name called, and she felt nervous as she approached the nurse, only to blink when the pink-haired woman placed a small box and a letter on the counter before sliding them towards the teenager.

"The kahuna asked me to give this to you," Joy explained as she gestured to the box. "He apologizes for not having it finished in time for the festival so he could give it to you personally due to having to deal with an unruly Tauros that's been causing trouble here in Hau'oli for the past week and a half."

"I'll be sure to thank him the next time I see him," Soleil replied, bowing to the nurse in a gesture of thanks before she took the items and headed over to one of the side booths before taking a seat. There, she decided to see what the box contained first and slowly opened it to reveal a familiar-looking white bracelet. Oh, wow... I feel like such a moron for forgetting about this...

The white stone Tapu Koko had given her had been carved into the bracelet she now had in her possession. One end on the top had been carved into a thin triangle that had been painted light gray, making it stand out from the majority of the bracelet while the other end had been carved into a smaller triangle and painted black. A mosaic of small shapes had been painted in the middle, consisting of four light gray triangles which framed the top and bottom of a shape that looked like a stylized 'Z', a pair of black diamonds framing the left and right of the middle shape. This part of the bracelet was slightly sunken in, which made Soleil believe that something was to be fitted in there, this confirmed when she studied the rest of the bracelet, finding a series of deeper, diamond-shaped impressions upon the sides and a small, circular depression on the bottom.

After turning it over a second time, she slipped it onto her left wrist, and despite its appearance, the trinket actually fit comfortably, being loose enough to be adjusted if needed and not too tight to where it couldn't be moved.

She replaced the box lid and set it aside before she opened the letter, which was from Maizie, and Soleil felt herself smiling as she began to read:


Hey there! I'm sorry it took a while for me to get back to you, we've been busy with the influx of trainers wanting apricorn Poké Balls before the winter months set in and you're welcome for yours, I'd be happy to know what 'mon you catch with them, definitely. I'm glad to hear that you all arrived safely and I hope the locals are treating you well. I'd like to hear more about Alola, sure! Is it true that they don't have gyms or even a League? That's what I've heard, anyway.

Oh, guess what? I finally got a King's Rock for Enkai, so she's a Slowking now, there's a photo included along with this letter because I knew you'd like to see her. When Night finally evolves, I would love to see a photo of her as a Ninetales! Oh, yeah, Grandpa says hello and he hopes that you've been putting the paints we gave you to good use. I'm sorry for the shortness of this reply, but there's a lot to do and don't worry about replying on time, I'm just happy you're finally getting out of the house. You'll see that the world isn't as hostile as the news makes it out to be.

Take care,

P.S. What's this about something weird happening to you? I'm curious!

Soleil winced at the last line, knowing that she wouldn't be able to give Maizie the true details about Nebby, the bridge, and the Spearow attack. She could, however, tell her about seeing Tapu Koko and about her bracelet at least.

Note to self: get a camera, she thought as she looked in the envelope to find a photo -- only to jump when there was movement in front of her, accompanied by a flash of white.

"Sorry," Lillie apologized as she set a mug down in front of her. "There was a line at the Café, so it took a little longer than I would've liked, and this Café doesn't have any tea, I'm sorry."

"It's okay," Soleil replied gently, reaching out to pat Lillie's arm before she folded Maizie's letter and returned it to the envelope.

"Is that...?" the taller girl asked, gesturing to the white bracelet Soleil now wore on her left wrist.

"The stone Tapu Koko gave me? Yeah," she replied. "Hala wasn't able to finish it in time for the festival, so he had it sent here for me to pick up. And I also got a reply from Maizie."

"Is this her?" Lillie asked, having pulled the photo towards her before turning it to where it was facing her. There were two humans and a Pokémon standing together in front of a medium-sized house and she pointed to a girl that appeared to be three years her and Soleil's senior. This girl had long reddish-brown hair pulled up into a pair of looped pigtails at the sides of her head, teal eyes and pale skin. She was dressed in a light pink blouse with a blue denim skirt. The aforementioned Pokémon, a Slowking, stood at her immediate left, giving the camera a wide smile.

"Yep," Soleil replied, before she pointed to the old man who stood to Maizie's right. He had dark eyes and stark white hair that stopped above his shoulders. He was dressed in dark blue clothes with a white belt tied around his waist, a small brown pouch tied to it on the left, and a pair of gray slip on shoes. "That's her grandfather, Kurt, and the Slowking is Enkai. She belongs to Maizie, and she was still a Slowpoke when I moved here."

"They seem like nice people," Lillie said before she took a sip from her mug.

"They are," Soleil replied as she returned the photo to the envelope and slipped it into her satchel, ignoring the light, electronic-tinged snores coming from the side compartment. She paused for a moment, considering, before she opened the main compartment and removed the case that contained the set of apricorn balls, setting it on the table before opening it. "They gave me these before I left Azalea Town."

"I may not like trainers, but those are lovely," the girl in white said as she marveled over the colorful capsules. "I read about how these are made in a book about Johto once, Kurt's well known for making them."

"I've seen how he crafts them, yeah," Soleil replied, closing the case before returning it to her satchel. "It's a delicate process, but the results are worth it and they're very hard to obtain outside of Johto because of how much goes into making each one. To be honest, I prefer them over the mass manufactured Poké Balls, but I'm going to be using this set sparingly."

Lillie nodded before she finished her mug and set it back down on the table before she looked over at the clock hanging on the wall.

"We'll need to leave soon," she informed, only to frown when she saw the other girl fidget uncomfortably. "We've been enrolled in the evening classes so we have plenty of time, but I'd like to go and get settled in as soon as possible. This way, it shouldn't be too difficult for Night to be out and about."

"Thank you, I know she'll appreciate the gesture... I'm sorry, I'm just not happy about this at all," the shorter blond replied miserably. "I'm scared I'll be laughed at and hated for my appearance and I'm not exactly the best at social interaction when it comes to other people..."

"Soul," Lillie replied, leaning forward as she tried to look into the other girl's eye. "I'm sure that won't happen. I can't really do much, but I'll be there with you and you have your Pokémon."

"I know, I've tried telling myself that, but..." Soleil gave vent to a heavy sigh. "My time at Goldenrod City's public school left such a bad impression on me that I can't help being scared that other schools will be a repeat of that place for me."

She looked up when she felt Lillie place a hand on the shorter girl's arm, and Soleil took a deep breath, bracing herself as the unpleasant memories came bubbling to the surface.


Six-year-old Soleil remained quiet as she sat by the jungle gym, casting a nervous look around the rest of the playground once in a while.

"Are you okay?" a Pidgey asked, his head tilting to one side after he landed to perch on the girl's knee. "How'd the visit to the Burned Tower go?"

"Hey, Kori. I didn't find a Rainbow Wing," Soleil replied, reaching down to gently run her fingers over the crown of the Normal/Flying dual-type's head, his calm aura making her relax a little. "But I
did see Entei."

"No kidding?" Kori asked, dark eyes wide. "What was he like?"

"He was quiet," the caramel-blond explained. "He stayed in front of the entrance and wouldn't let me through even when I pleaded with him and when I stopped trying to look for a way past him, he turned and left. It was an awesome experience even though he didn't say anything. My parents caught me before I could make a run for the entrance, though, so I'm grounded for the next two weeks."

"I'm sorry to hear that," the Pidgey replied, moving to nuzzle her arm in a gesture of comfort. "Just as long as--"

"Hey, Speaks-With-Birds," came a new voice, and both Soleil and Kori looked over to see a black-haired girl around Soleil's age approaching them, a purple-haired boy also their age walking at her left.

"... Natsume and Genji don't find out," the Pidgey sighed, keeping a wary eye on the two kids as they stopped in front of where he and his friend were sitting.

Both children's auras held an air of superiority that made Soleil want to sneer in derision, but she forced herself to keep a neutral expression.

"Heh, figures she'd be associating with her own kind." Genji scowled. "Just because she thinks she can talk to Pokémon, she figures she's too good to hang out with us lowly humans."

"Pidge pidgey-pidgey pidge pidge," Natsume mocked in a high-pitched voice, and Soleil felt her hands clenching into fists at the insult the other girl had unknowingly uttered.

"Ugh, that's not a nice thing to say about my family," the Tiny Bird Pokémon muttered, glaring at the two humans before he readied himself to take off. "Those two are lucky I've already relieved myself. I'll see you closer to sundown, okay, Soul?"

Soleil only nodded at him before she turned her head to glare at the other two kids even as Kori took wing and flew off.

"I'm right here," she snapped angrily, gray eyes narrowing at the hostility within the auras of the other two kids.

"So, did you get one?" Natsume asked, crossing her arms over her chest. "The bet was if you were able to find a Rainbow Wing, we'd let you hang out with us."

"No," Soleil muttered, her expression softening as she looked down at her feet.

"Talk louder," Genji snapped, prodding her sharply with a foot, and she raised her head to glare up at him. "Answer the question: did you find a Rainbow Wing or not?"

"No, I didn't," the caramel-blond snapped angrily. "Entei stopped me before I could go in to the Burned Tower."

"... Wait. You're saying you saw a
Legendary?" Natsume asked, her dark eyes wide in disbelief before they narrowed and she smiled, but it wasn't a friendly gesture. "So, do you have proof?"

"Not really, no..." the girl muttered, knowing that they wouldn't believe her even if she had gotten proof from the Legendary Beast.

Both kids looked at each other before they burst out laughing, and Soleil felt the heat rising in her cheeks as she glared at them.

"Oh, this is
golden," Genji cackled, slapping his knee. "I'm sure it was her parents who stopped her, so she made up the story about seeing Entei in hopes of getting away with not being able to get a Rainbow Wing!"

"Don't tell me you're going to dress up like that idiot Eusine and go chasing after Entei when you grow up," Natsume added, smirking down at the other girl. "It's bad enough Suicune has a stalker. Oh, I know, maybe you and Eusine can marry and have a kid who'll stalk Raikou so he isn't left out!"

"Entei's Future Stalker!" Genji chanted, and Natsume laughed before joining in. "Entei's Future Stalker!"

"Shut up!" Soleil snarled, rising to her feet and pushing past the two before she stormed off, tears stinging at the corners of her eyes. "I never wanted to hang out with you morons anyway!"

"Entei's Future Stalker! Entei's Future Stalker!"


"I figured so," Lillie stated after Soleil had finished. "Since we first met, I've noticed you talking to and answering Night and Plavalaguna and that they would answer you without sounding or looking offended."

"Don't tell anyone," Soleil pleaded. "By the end of that week, the entire class would chant that horrible insult every time I was in earshot of any of them and nobody wanted to associate themselves with the weirdo who thought she could talk to Pokémon."

"My brother's the same way, so he would understand," Lillie replied gently. "And I won't, I promise. It's the least I can do for everything you've done for me and Nebby."

"Thank you." Soleil gave her friend a grateful smile. "So, your brother can talk to Pokémon, too?"

"Yes, and so could our father," Lillie replied, though there was a note of sadness in her voice. "I can't, though, but I don't let it bother me. To be honest, I think you would've liked them."

"Maybe," the Johto-born girl replied, though there was a wary tone to her voice. "Usually when someone says I'll probably like someone or something, the exact opposite happens and I've never been able to get along with other people until I met Maizie, and then when I met you and Hau after moving here." She paused, a sad smile appearing on her features. "I did make one dear friend three years later. Of course, he wasn't a person."


After school had let out, nine-year-old Soleil crossed the parking lot and headed down one of the adjacent streets before she ducked around one of the skyscrapers and pulled herself through a crawlspace that she, a thin girl at five feet and four inches, easily fit through. Here, between two of the shorter skyscrapers was a medium-sized lot that hadn't been used in a decade or so, evident from the grass that grew and the ivy that snaked up the walls.

Here, she could hide from the kids who bullied her and practice her flute without fear of anyone disturbing her. After pausing to wipe the dirt and grass from her jeans, Soleil walked to the northern corner of the lot.

I'm glad I found this place. It's pretty peaceful despite looking so run down, Soleil thought to herself as she propped her backpack up against one of the old tires she used as a seat before taking her sheet music folder out of her bag and propping it up on the adjacent tires she'd stacked across from where she sat. She then pulled her flute case out of her bag, taking a moment to assemble the instrument and check it before she pulled out her favorite sheet music and began to play, the sounds echoing off the nearby walls of the lot.

The nearby street helped to mask any noise she made, and the reverb helped her to catch and correct any notes she would miss during band class near the end of each schoolday.

The presence of an unfamiliar aura nearby made Soleil stop playing, and she froze, keeping the mouthpiece near her lips as she slid her gaze towards the crawlspace, to see a small Pokémon pull itself through before it paused to shake itself. From the black and tan fur along with the white bone-like markings, Soleil identified it as a Houndour.

What's a Dark-type doing out during the day? the girl thought to herself, before she noticed that the canine was favoring its front right paw. As much as she wanted to ask the Houndour if there was anything she could do to help, she knew that an injured Pokémon would be unpredictable.

She remained stone still, even when the Dark Pokémon began to sniff and look around, and she held her breath when it turned its black-eyed gaze on her.

Silence hung in the air as the human and 'mon stared at one another, before, with a snort, the Houndour turned and began limping back towards the wall with the crawlspace.

"I'm sorry," Soleil called after she'd lowered the flute and slowly laid the instrument down across her knees. "I didn't know you stayed here."

"Not often," the Houndour grumbled, stopping in its tracks before it turned its head to look at her again. From the pitch, Soleil realized that the canine was male. "And definitely not anymore since it's occupied."

"There's enough room for us both," the girl said matter-of-factly. "I'm not here all the time, save for when I come here to practice after school."

"How do I know you won't chase me out?" the Dark/Fire dual-type accused, his eyes narrowing in suspiscion. "Every other human I've encountered did because of what I am."

"Well, you didn't attack me right off, and I'm not exactly imposing," the human stated, keeping her gaze upon the Houndour as she began disassembling her flute before putting it away, her movements slow. "I don't hurt Pokémon."

"Why aren't you with your own kind?" the dog asked, slowly turning to face her before he moved to sit down, and Soleil could sense the curiosity within his aura. "I thought humans had a pack mentality."

"I should be asking you the same thing."

"Heh. I don't travel with a pack because I was thrown out for being weak. You?"

"I don't feel comfortable around most people, and the ones around my age don't like me because I can understand and talk to Pokémon."

"To be frank, I found that odd," he admitted before he gave a snort of amusement. "I didn't know any humans could understand us."

"I've been able to since I was little, but I don't know how. I was born with it, I guess."

Instead of answering, the Houndour began to sniff, slowly rising to his paws before he limped closer, though he maintained a respectable distance between them.

"You've got food on you," he stated, pausing to sniff again. "Yep. I can smell it."

"Do you want it?" she asked, reaching for her lunch bag. "My mom always packs too much and I can never finish it all, so I have to throw it away unless it doesn't spoil quickly, then I take it home to save for later."

"I haven't eaten much in days, so anything sounds good," he replied, smirking when the girl rose to her feet. "Relax, I'm not going to mug you for it. I can't walk properly, let alone run."

"Okay," Soleil replied, relaxing a little, though she chose to remain standing. The Houndour was able to catch the food she tossed to him, and he devoured everything she had to offer in seconds before he appeared to relax considerably. "How did you get hurt?"

"It's just a sprain, nothing too bad."

"Maybe I could help?"

"Eh, it'll heal in a few more days," he replied, licking his jaws. "I've done all I can to keep from aggrivating it worse, but that means being unable to hunt so I've been reduced to rooting around in garbage."

"I'm sorry," she replied, frowning. "I'd be happy to share my lunch with you until your leg gets better."

"Odd that you'd be so willing to help a complete stranger," he said, slowly tilting his head to one side as he eyed her skeptically.

"I want to help you get better because you're like me in a way. Nobody else likes us, so we should help each other, even if it's just for a little while."

"What's your name, kid?" he asked, relaxing considerably as he moved to lay down.

"Soleil, but I prefer to be called Soul," she replied as she closed her lunch bag and set it next to her backpack once again. "It's easier to pronounce, but other people either insist on using my given name or they butcher how it's pronounced on purpose to annoy me."

"Crowley," he replied. "Just Crowley. Nothing special."


"I'm glad the two of you found each other," Lillie said gently when Soleil had finished.

"Thanks. Even after his leg healed, I kept meeting Crowley so I could share my lunch with him, usually before school if there was enough time. I miss him."

"May I ask what happened to him?" Lillie inquired, though her aura indicated that she was hesitant to ask the question.

"He disappeared after Dad was killed," Soleil replied, her voice soft. "If the thugs didn't get him, I guess he felt too guilty about being unable to help. It's a shame, really. Had things played out differently that evening, I would've asked him if he wanted to come with me on my journey."

"Hopefully he's okay and that you'll be able to see him again one day," the taller blond replied, giving Soleil's arm a gentle squeeze before she rose from her seat and moved to shoulder her duffel bag. "We'd better get going."


The Trainer's School wasn't too far from the Pokémon Center, and the campus appeared to be fairly large with the main building being three stories tall, and a smaller building to the right. To the left was a field made for battling and a small field of tall grass.

The girls were met by a young woman with dark hair named Emily who turned out to be one of the teachers. After escorting the pair to their assigned room in the dorms, she gave Soleil an item called an Experience Share that the girl placed into her satchel after giving her thanks.

As the days passed, Soleil began to relax after nobody had made any snide comments about her appearance regarding her being half-blind. She'd even befriended four other children after two of them, Mia and Joey, had gotten curious and had asked her what it had been like living in Johto.

The small group soon fell into a schedule of training between classes and during lunch, which helped Soleil hone her skills alongside Night and Plavalaguna, both of whom were steadily growing stronger.

Three weeks after Soleil and Lillie had first arrived at the school, Soleil had become confident enough to battle against Emily, with Night making short work of the teacher's Magnemite and Plavalaguna dealing with her Alolan Meowth. For winning, the young woman had given Soleil five Great Balls, which the teen had been grateful for.

Lillie had been right, this school wasn't so bad after all, and in a few more days, Soleil would finally be ready to set off on the Island Challenge.
Stardust Chapter 6
Last chapter I have already written. I'll work on chapter seven as soon as I can. This chapter didn't want to be written initially.
Author's Note: This chapter did not want to be written. And I know I'll probably lose readers for having my OC know the Oracíón, but I promise that it won't have any major relevence to the plot except as a nod to the tenth movie, which is one of my personal favorites along with Revelation Lugia. I chose to make Soleil a flutist because, to be frank, your character and Lillie knowing how to play them, let alone knowing how to play well, withot it being established is one thing about the games' plot that I have a nitpick with and felt had to be addressed, otherwise, it would've bothered me.

Once again, Pokémon is © to that wonderful mastermind, Satoshi Tajiri. Special thanks go out to my best friend, Ayaluki, the best beta-reader I could ever ask for!


Chapter 5:
Leaving the Nest


Over the remainder of the week, Soleil started planning what she would take with her on her upcoming journey. There was the set of apricorn balls, obviously, along with hygiene items and a few changes of clothes (including a set of hair ties), a small notebook and a drawing pad with a few pencils and, last but definitely not least, her passport and pokédex (once the final part for it had arrived, that is).

While Hau, Lillie, and Kukui were allowed to visit and check up on how Soleil was doing, she wasn't allowed to leave the house until that Saturday, which seemed to be taking an eternity to arrive.

During these visits, Hau would help with the unpacking, which proved a boon when it came to the heavier things Soleil and her mother owned. During Lillie's visits, Nebby stuck to Night like glue, and when the Vulpix was out of her Moon Ball during the daytime, the two would sleep curled up together on the sofa while the two girls exchanged past experiences about themselves, though neither asked anything too personal, as they'd only known each other for barely under a week, after all.

During one of his visits, Kukui had given Soleil a grooming kit for her Pokémon, which consisted of: a comb for removing loose hairs, a brush for getting rid of dirt and similar particles, a cloth for wiping away mud, a portable blow dryer, and a pair of tweezers used for handling special cotton balls that were used to treat most status conditions. He'd also given her a case to hold a treat exclusive to Alola known as poké beans, which, like berries and some pastry called malasada, helped with keeping Pokémon calm and helped in earning their trust and friendship. After Kukui showed her how to use each grooming tool and explained when the best time for each to be used was, these were yet more things the girl had decided were necessary to bring along with her.

Another time, Kukui had attempted to bring his Rockruff over, and while Plavalaguna hadn't been bothered by the Rock-type's presence and had even greeted the canine, both Kirrah and Night had given very negative reactions. The Meowth would either hiss at the Puppy Pokémon from the safety of her favorite chair, or she would hide in Emiko's room while Night would cower under the living room table and gekker until the Rockruff had lost interest in her. After this incident, the professor always visited alone.

The anticipated day finally arrived, finding Soleil awake and packing her beige and white satchel as the sun was preparing to rise, bathing the horizon in soft shades of purple, orange, and red. Currently, she was dithering over whether or not to bring her flute and some of her favorite sheet music along. Even though the instrument was collapsible and the case for it and the folder for her sheet music were able to fit inside her bag with no fuss, Soleil was unsure if she would ever find the time to practice like she had back in Johto.

The flute was the one thing she'd continued to practice after the loss of her father, since he'd been the one who'd given her one of her favorite pieces to play, a song titled Oracíón, which Night and Kirrah both absolutely loved listening to whenever she would play it. Soleil had practiced it to the point of memorization, but she'd chosen to hold on to the sheet music not only in case she'd ever need to refer back to it, but as a memento from her late father.

The sound of paws scrabbling against the nearby window sill roused the teenager from her recollection, and Soleil looked over to see Night licking her chops as she climbed in through the window, bits of dark gray and tan fur around her muzzle and stuck to the white fur on her chest.

As Night's request, Soleil would leave one of her bedroom windows open before she'd head to bed so the Vulpix could go out hunting after dusk and return before dawn, as she had done back when they'd lived in Azalea Town. The tall grass on the nearby routes proved to be quite rich in prey, and the fox would bury the remnants of unfinished kills near the house's foundation, which she would go back to and finish whenever she didn't feel like going hunting.

"The local Rattatas sure are strange," the kitsune stated as she hopped down off the left side of Soleil's desk and set to grooming herself. "They look way different to the ones back in Johto and they're resistant to my Feint Attack."

"Interesting," the caramel-blond commented, pausing to close the case that contained her flute after having given the instrument a thorough check over so she could close and lock the window. "Maybe I'll get to see one soon, that is if you don't end up eating them all, anyway."

The Vulpix laughed at that before she did a double-take, her golden eyes wide as she stared at the human girl.

"How long have you been awake?!"

"For a little over an hour now," Soleil replied, smirking at the Fire/Dark dual-type's exclamation. "I'm almost done packing."

"I'm glad to see you're excited, and is that your flute?" Night asked, hopping up onto Soleil's desk chair in order to get a better view of the case. "Yes, bring it along. 'Laguna hasn't heard you play it yet."

"This is true," Soleil replied, her tone thoughtful as she stared down at the now closed carrying case. "Okay, I'll bring it, but I'm sorry if I don't get much time to play it for you two."

"Hopefully you will," the kitsune replied as she hopped down and stretched each leg in turn before lightly shaking herself. "I find it very soothing."

The girl smiled at her before she went to remove a few things from her satchel, placing the flute case and sheet music folder inside before repacking everything else. She then changed into a gray tank-top, medium gray jeans, and a pair of gray crew socks before she thoroughly brushed her hair and slipped her eyepatch on, taking a moment to adjust it before she slung her satchel over her shoulder and, with Night at her left, headed into the living room.

"All set, Sundrop?" Emiko asked, busily drying her hands on a hand towel as she turned to face her daughter. "Did you make sure to double-check everything?"

"Yep, I've had all week to plan what I'm gonna take, after all," the girl replied, moving to sit down on the nearby sofa before she reached over to pet Plavalaguna, who'd curled up on the sofa for a nap. The Popplio yawned widely, her tiny teeth visible for a second before her narrow jaws snapped shut.

"Are we leaving yet?" the sea lion asked blearily, opening her eyes slowly before another yawn gripped her.

"Not yet, no," Soleil told her quietly.

"Are you sure about that?" her mother asked, setting a small bag of granola bars and two 20oz. bottles of water on the table before she returned to the kitchen to fix a quick breakfast for her daughter, who managed to keep a straight face at the timing of her mother's reply in conjunction to Soleil answering her Popplio's question.

"To be honest, I didn't really consider snacks," Soleil admitted as she accepted the plate Emiko handed her before the woman set a glass of orange juice on the table for her, glad that her mother had gone grocery shopping the other day.

"Because most humans don't really hunt," Night said matter-of-factly from where she was curled up on the floor under the table.

"It may seem impractical at first, but it's a necessity for when you're away from civilization."

Soleil only nodded, too busy tucking into her breakfast to properly answer, cutting a piece of waffle before she offered it to Plavalaguna, who grabbed it with her front flippers and shoved it into her mouth.

"How is it?"

"Amazing!" the Water-type replied after she'd chewed and swallowed, and she licked the syrup off her flippers.

"Lemmie have a piece," Night cried, scrambling out from under the table before she rose up onto her hind legs, placing her forepaws on Soleil's right knee as she gazed up at the girl, all six tails wagging and she happily snapped up the piece her trainer tossed to her, finishing it quickly. "Thanks! Hunting's great and all, but some of your human food is too awesome to pass up."

"You're welcome," Soleil replied before she finished off the rest of her waffle. "That's good to know, thanks, Mom."

"It's one thing I learned the hard way when I attempted my own journey," Emiko continued, giving Soleil a proud smile as the woman unzipped the main compartment of her daughter's satchel and carefully packed the snacks and water bottles before zipping it closed again. "I wasn't cut out to be a trainer but, after seeing how well you did in your battle against Hau, I have a feeling that you'll be able to go far."

"Mom, I barely won," Soleil replied as she set her empty plate down on the table before pausing to take a swig of orange juice before she continued: "I just hope you'll be okay while I'm gone."

Her mother opened her mouth to reply, only to be interrupted by a knock at the front door.

"Go ahead and answer it, I'll take care of your dish," the woman said as she stood and proceeded to take the plate into the kitchen.

"Just a minute," Soleil called at hearing a second knock before she hurriedly finished her orange juice and went to answer the door.

"You're up early," both girls stated in unison before Lillie raised a hand to cover a yawn.

"The professor sent me to get you," the taller girl informed. "The last part needed for your pokédex just arrived."

"Great, lemmie grab my things," Soleil replied, moving to close the door when Lillie stepped inside, though she opted to wait by the door rather than removing her shoes and taking a seat on the sofa. The shorter girl went to grab her satchel, slinging the strap over her shoulder before recalling Plavalaguna to her ball. She moved to recall Night as well, only for the Vulpix to shake her head.

"It's not too light out yet, so I've still got some time," the Delta stated, still licking up bits of syrup from around her jaws. "And I'm curious about what the guy's lab looks like."

"Okay," the girl replied, clipping Night's ball back onto her belt before she went to give her mother a hug.

"Could you come home once you're finished at the professor's lab?" Emiko asked as she returned the gesture. "I have a couple of things to give you before you set out."

"Definitely," Soleil replied, nodding before she went to join Lillie at the front door, Night on her heels. The caramel-blond paused to slip her white and beige running shoes on before the trio left the house.


The little group was silent as they made their way down to the small beach where Professor Kukui's lab was located, only to stop before the large area of waist-high grass.

"Sorry, Night," Lillie apologized, pulling a can out of her bag before she sprayed it around them.

"Repel?!" Night gagged, pawing at her nose before she sneezed a few times and shook her head, her large ears slicking back to emphasize her discomfort. "Seriously?!"

"It's necessary, Night," Soleil told her gently. "Lillie's not a trainer."

"I didn't mean to make her uncomfortable, but you're right," Lillie added as the group started to head into the grass, the taller girl grasping the rim of her hat with one hand to keep it from falling off. "I don't have any Pokémon aside from Nebby, but he doesn't battle... or he can't, rather."

"Night and I will help you both," Soleil promised, giving the taller girl a small smile. "I know we've only known each other for a short time, but you're the first friend I've made here and the second friend I've ever made in my life and I really appreciate that."

"Wait," Night spoke up, staring up at Soleil as if she'd sprouted wings. "Soul, don't go saying things you probably won't be able to go through with. You're just a kid! If the horrible people after Nebby turn out to have some lab-grown perversion of Lugia or something, what would we be able to do against that?"

"Soul," Lillie replied softly, stopping in her tracks before she turned to face the caramel-blond, her eyes wide in disbelief, said emotion reflected within her aura. "You don't need to do that for us. Kukui and Kahuna Hala will be able to handle it."

"I want to do anything I can," Soleil replied gently, answering both Night and Lillie at once. "I've spent six years trying to hide away from the rest of the world after I saw my father killed in front of me. I was helpless back then, but now... Now... I may not be much, but I don't want to stand by and do nothing when someone I care about needs help."

"I... W-we're almost there," Lillie stuttered, once again moving forward at a quicker pace.

Idiot! Soleil's mind scolded, and she held back a sigh even when she felt her Vulpix brush against one of her legs in a silent attempt to make her feel better. You're a beginner, not Karen or Cynthia! If these people are anything like Team Rocket was, then you'll be in serious shit.

"I'll be okay, Night, I promise," the girl assured, smiling down at the kitsune, though it was forced.

"I seriously doubt that," Night murmured to herself, watching her trainer follow the taller girl in white before, with a sigh of her own, the Dark-type Delta hurried to catch up with the two humans.


Kukui's laboratory wasn't at all like Soleil and Night had expected.

It was a small place that looked more like a standard house, except that it looked like it had taken many shots from a tank and managed to remain standing, said holes merely covered by wooden boards that were nailed in 'x' shapes. The sign hanging above the door and front window was nearly broken in half and merely patched with a sloppily placed wooden board. The railing framing the porch had a number of huge dents and at least one hole, and it was an honest surprise that the front stairs appeared to have been spared such harsh treatment.

"Wow," Night muttered, staring up at the building. "What a wreck."

Soleil silently agreed, wondering why Kukui would live in a place like... this... and not in a proper laboratory. She jerked when there came a sudden loud commotion from inside, as if someone were trashing the interior, before she heard barking that was immediately followed by Kukui's rather enthusiastic response:

"Oh, yeah, Rockruff! Let's go! Give it everything you've got! My body is ready! Woo!"

"Oh, Reverse, no!" the Vulpix snapped, pressing herself against Soleil's right leg, her paws planted firmly in the sand. "That place absolutely reeks of Rockruff and I am not going in there with that hellion on the loose! Do you remember what he tried to do to me when Cuckoo brought him over earlier this week? Do you?! He tried to sniff my--"

"You've made your point, Night," Soleil assured as she recalled the fox to her ball, cutting the Delta's complaint off.

"Um, Lillie?" the shorter girl drew out the first question, her tone nervous as she took a step back after clipping Night's Moon Ball onto her belt. "I thought you said he had a wife?"

"It's not... yeah," the taller girl replied, reaching out to grab Soleil's left wrist when the shorter blond took another step back. "He's researching Rockruff's attacks, that's all. Still..." she trailed off, a deep sigh leaving her before she shook her head. "His labcoat will need to be repaired again, but I'm terrible at sewing, so he'll need to get another one... again. And we'll probably need to patch up the roof, and one of the walls..."

"And you've been living here?!" Soleil blurted out, her eye wide as she practically stared at Lillie.

"For the past three months. I stay in the loft," Lillie replied, gently tugging on Soleil's arm before releasing her. "Come on, let's go inside. Um... I promise it's not as much of a disaster in there... For now, at least."

Frowning, Soleil followed at a reluctant pace, and when she caught sight of the interior, she couldn't help but give a confused blink.

For the most part, the interior looked fairly normal, save for where the walls had needed to be boarded up. The wooden floor was mostly bare, save for the small, blue striped rug next to a file cabinet and a small bookshelf. Behind these were a set of stairs that led to the basement, framed by a banister that was, unlike the one outside, relatively intact.

There was a large fish tank near the back of the lab that housed a pink and white Pokémon that Soleil recognized as a Corsola and a small, pink, heart-shaped fish that she didn't know the name for. To the left was a kitchen area smaller than the one back at home, along with a large table situated between a medium-sized flatscreen television and a green sofa. A Snubbull and a pink and brown Pokémon of similar size milled about near the kitchen, ignoring the two girls who'd just entered their home. Behind that was a ladder that led up to a loft, but it was too high for Soleil to see what was up there.

"Hey there, Soul!" Kukui greeted suddenly, causing the girl to jerk in surprise before she turned her gaze to him and gave a weak smile. "Thanks for getting her for me, Lillie!"

"Um..." Soleil muttered weakly before she gave her head a hard shake. "Lillie told me that the final part for my pokédex arrived."

"That it did," the man replied, retrieving his glasses and hat from where he'd set them on top of the file cabinet. His Rockruff ran over to the Snubull and the unidentified 'mon, before the three disappeared behind the kitchen counter. "Lemmie see your pokédex for a bit, yeah?"

"Sure," the girl replied, setting her satchel down before she opened it and removed the device before closing the bag and slinging it back over her shoulder as she handed the man the pokédex, which he took to a small table located at the back of the lab.

"Oh, sweet, it's finally here!" came a new voice, and Soleil could only stare when she caught sight of a small red and yellow Pokémon that impatiently zipped about the professor's head as he worked.

"That's a Rotom," Lillie informed, setting a hand on Soleil's shoulder. "It's an Electric/Ghost dual-type that appears to be composed of a substance similar to electricity. It's well known for being able to possess certain appliances -- one of which being the pokédex you were given."

"There we go," Kukui declared, leaning back in his chair to inspect his work. "With the new parts installed, it should be all ready for you now."

"About time," the Rotom replied before it seemed to disappear -- only for the pokédex itself to begin levitating, the previously blank screen now taken up by the Pokémon's face.

"Go say hey to your new partner," the professor said, gesturing towards Soleil, who shrank back a little when the possessed device zipped over to her, getting a little too close for comfort as it floated around her.

"Hiya, kiddo," the Rotom-Dex greeted, grinning widely. "The name's Sparks. Be gentle on the goods, mm'kay?"

"Hi," she replied, giving a small wave. "If it's not rude asking, can you still fight?"

"Ooh, 'fraid not, kid. Battle Mode is outside of this device," the Plasma Pokémon replied, frowning a little before he smiled once again. "Buuuuuut, I can supply information on every 'mon in the Alola region, provide a map of the area, internet access (I know some really juicy sites, if you know what I mean), and I can store and play your library of MP3s, if you have any."

"Sounds like he's taken a liking to you, Soul,"  Kukui commented, giving a grin that matched Sparks's. "This is the next generation in pokédex technology, but it's only complete once it's inhabited by a Rotom. There's only a handful of these babies in existence currently, and it's the next step in communication between humans and Pokémon, oh yeah."

"So that's why it only displayed information when I used it earlier this week," Soleil replied. "That's pretty nifty." And that only applies to people who can't understand 'mon on a natural basis, she added silently.

"Hehe, and I'm good lookin', too," Sparks added, winking. "So, you catch yourself a partner yet? I'd love to meet them."

Oh, boy, Soleil thought, keeping her expression neutral at the Rotom-Dex's comment. Night's going to be thrilled.

"I do, but this isn't the best time for introductions, I'm afraid," she replied, and she silently thanked Ho-Oh when there was a knock at the door.

"It's open," Kukui called. "Come on in, Hau!"

"Are you sure about that?" Sparks asked, smirking in a way that made Soleil grit her teeth.

"Night can't be out of her ball too often during the daytime," Lillie explained, and Soleil gave her a grateful look. "It'll make her very tired."

"Alola," the green-haired boy greeted, pausing to close the door before he waved. "How's everyone?"

Before anyone could answer, Hau's eyes tripled in size upon seeing the ladder that led up to the loft.

"Oh, awesome! That's a loft, right?" he asked, beginning to go towards it. "I wish I had one!"

"Yes, it is, but it's private, Hau!" Lillie snapped as she slipped in front of him, her arms wide as she stood in front of the ladder. "I'm sorry, but don't go up there, please."

Geesh, don't Hau's parents teach him proper etiquette? Soleil couldn't help but wonder, before she said: "That's the equivalent of trying to go into a girl's room without permission, which is pretty rude."

"Unless you've been inviiiiiteeeeed~" Sparks piped up before he cackled.

Oh lovely, Soleil thought, raising a hand to her forehead. Out of all the Rotoms to possess my pokédex, it just had to be a perverted one...

"Oh, I had no idea, sorry, Lillie," the boy replied sheepishly, only to perk up when he turned to notice Sparks. "Oh, sweet, a Rotom Pokédex! I never thought I'd get to see one for myself! It's kinda cute."

"Sorry, bub, I don't swing that way."

"Er..." Hau blinked in confusion, sweatdropping when Soleil grabbed the Rotom-Dex and stuffed him into the side compartment of her satchel. "Swing what way?"

A suppressed giggle from Lillie floated towards them from where the girl had gone up onto the loft and Soleil couldn't help but shake her head to rid herself of the embarrassed blush that had touched her cheeks. Traveling with a talking pokédex who possessed a perverted streak as big as the Whirl Islands was going to be a challenge, especially since everyone else could also understand him.

Quite a challenge, indeed.

"Seriously, what's everyone laughing about?"

"Nothing, Hau," Kukui assured him, though the professor was smirking as he clapped the youth on the back. "Now that you're both here, we can get down to business. I take it you both know of the Island Challenge, yeah?"

"Hau explained it to me before our battle at the festival," Soleil replied, giving her friend a grateful look.

"Just everything I could remember from what Gramps told me," he admitted, smiling a little sheepishly. "Which wasn't much, I admit."

"Alright," Kukui began, rubbing his hands together before he cracked his knuckles. "So, as you know, each of Alola's four islands has a set number of trials, and once you pass all of an island's trials, you'll be able to face the kahuna of that island. Of course, you can go on to the next island without battling the kahuna, but it's not really recommended. Each trial will be something different, depending on its captain. It could be anything from a scavenger hunt to a quiz.

Unlike a gym battle, which focuses on strength and battle tactics, Alola's trials focus on building the trust and friendship between a Pokémon and its trainer. Hau, Soul, the both of you only recently began your careers as trainers, but I believe you both can draw out the full potential of your Pokémon. Especially with how intense your battle during this week's festival was, oh yeah."

"I used to be hesitant about going on a journey after an... event... that happened to me before my tenth birthday but, thanks to you guys, I feel that I'm finally ready to try becoming a trainer."

"And you've got potential," Hau added, the compliment making Soleil blush a little. "The battle we had still makes me smile every time I think about it, so you can believe I'm looking forward to battling you again sometime soon."

"Oh, yeah," Kukui added as he held out an odd looking amulet for her to take. "As someone who's dedicated my life to studying Pokémon moves, I really want to see the both of you out there meeting all kinds of Pokémon on your Island Challenge, and that amulet will show that you're a trial-goer, yeah."

Soleil glanced down at the trinket that she'd accepted from the professor, turning it over in her hands as she studied it. The amulet appeared to be tribal in make, decorated with four strips of leather on the bottom and strung on a leather cord that appeared to be too short to wear around one's neck or even one's wrist. There were four beads, one yellow, one red, one pink, and one purple, strung on the cord before the main body of the amulet, which was decorated by four triangles, each of which matched colors with one of the beads. There was a clip for her to unscrew, which allowed her to string it around her satchel strap before she closed it again.

"Thank you," the girl said quietly, silently wishing that they would stop giving her praise she didn't deserve. Her battle with Hau had been close, and she'd barely squeaked by to clench the victory over him.

"I already got an amulet from my Gramps," Hau informed, turning so the professor and Soleil could both see the amulet that hung from his orange and black backpack.

"Excellent," the labcoat-clad man replied, giving an approving nod. "If you both want to test the waters before attempting your first trial, I suggest staying at the Trainers' School in Hau'oli City for a little while."

"I'll pass," Hau replied. "I've learned enough from my grandpa, so I'm good."

"S-school...?" Soleil asked nervously, unable to stop the shiver of discomfort that crawled down her spine at the word. "I don't know..."

The professor frowned, his brow furrowing in thought for a few moments before he turned his gaze towards the loft. "Yo, Lillie!"

"Yes, Professor?" the girl asked, peeking down over the edge, Nebby peeking down at her right, the little puffball looking disappointed at not seeing a certain Vulpix anywhere in the room.

"I'm counting on you to help Sparks take care of Soul for a little while," he said as the girl climbed down from the loft, Nebby floating after her. "At least until she's more used to Alola."

"I'll do my best," Lillie replied, though her tone held a bit of nervousness, and Soleil couldn't help but feel guilty for her fear of school settings putting her friend into a situation that might have been uncomfortable for her.

"Aye-aye, Captain!" Sparks chimed in, though he was muffled from being inside Soleil's satchel. "When do we set sail?"

I need to stop letting the past haunt me, she thought, holding back a sigh. Not every school is going to be like that hell back in Goldenrod City.

"I need to stop by my house first to let Mom know that I'll be leaving," she said out loud, ignoring the Rotom-Dex's babbling.


The sun was high in the sky when Soleil and Lillie had returned to the house and the caramel-blond teen stared wide-eyed at the large roll of bills her mother had just pressed into her palm.

"Mom, isn't this a little much?"

"Not for being away from home, it isn't," Emiko replied, smiling as she closed the girl's hand around the pokédollars. "Just don't go spending it on anything silly."

"I won't," Soleil promised as she pocketed the money.

"And one more thing," Emiko said before she raised her hands to remove the thin silver chain she wore, which held her late husband's wedding ring. She stared at it for a few seconds, her dark eyes glistening with restrained tears before she moved to put it around her daughter's neck.

"Mom--" Soleil began, only for her mother to shake her head as she placed her hands on her daughter's shoulders.

"Iréné would be happy to know that it's with you now, Sundrop," Emiko replied softly, her voice hitching as she spoke. "I promise Kirrah and I will be okay, so please don't worry about us. This is something you've really wanted to do since you were little, and I'm..." She sniffled, raising a hand to brush away the tears that had started to crawl down her face. "I'm so happy that you're finally giving it a try. Remember: if anything happens to make you change your mind, you can always come home."

"I know I can't fight well," Kirrah said after she'd hopped down from where she'd been sitting on the kitchen counter. The Meowth looked uncomfortable as she went to rub against Soleil's right leg, and she grimaced slightly at having to perform such a dumb gesture for someone who wasn't her owner. "But, I'll do all I can to keep Emiko safe, count on it."

"Thank you, Kirrah," Soleil replied softly, smiling as she bent down to pet the Meowth, who tolerated it for only a split second before she jerked away and turned to head to her chair.

"Yeah, yeah, knock 'em dead, kid," the cat replied as she waved a paw in dismissal.

"Please call me as often as you can," Emiko said, another sniffle leaving her. "We're not in Johto anymore, so I want to be certain that you're safe and well."

"I will, but I'm not going to be alone," Soleil replied gently. "I have Night, Plavalaguna, and Sparks with me, and I have some great friends."

"Oh? Is Sparks a new team member?" Emiko asked, drying her eyes with a tissue, only to jump and yelp when her daughter's pokédex floated out of her satchel and paused to levitate in front of the dark-haired woman.

"Nice to meetcha, Missus Vaillance! Sparks at your service," the Rotom-Dex greeted before giving a low whistle. "I had no idea you were a looker! Your husband's a lucky man to land himself a beauty like you."

"Er... uh, thank you," Soleil's mother replied shakily, shocked at the fact that a) she could somehow understand this Pokémon, b) that he'd just now made a pass at her, c) that he was living inside her daughter's pokédex, or d) all of the above.

"Sparks," Soleil hissed, glaring at the possessed device with enough venom to down a Wailord. "Don't. Hit. On. My. Mom."

"Right, sorry, sorry," Sparks grinned, winking at Emiko before disappearing back into the satchel's side pocket.

Soleil pinched the bridge of her nose, Kirrah's laughter floating to her from where the Meowth had curled up on her favorite chair.

"He's an... interesting one," her mother replied with a sweatdrop at the sudden mood whiplash that had occurred, though she felt a little better in spite of how... odd... the past few minutes had been.

"He seems nice enough, once he stops being annoying, anyway," Soleil replied, ignoring the muffled yet indignant "I heard that!" coming from the bag. "I'd better get going."

"Okay," Emiko replied quietly, nodding as she gave a proud though sad smile, and Soleil felt a myriad of mixed emotions within her mother's aura. "Have a wonderful journey, Sundrop."

After pulling on her running shoes, Soleil gave one last glance to the interior of the house she'd barely lived in for a week, but what she was looking at were the memories that she and her mother had brought with them to Alola in the form of their possessions and the two Pokémon they'd befriended back in Johto. She smiled softly as her gaze fell upon Emiko, whom was busily cleaning the kitchen, knowing that her mother was occupying herself in order to keep from crying again.

You need to stop worrying so much, Soleil told herself silently before she turned and headed out onto the porch, pausing to close the front door behind her, though there was hesitance in her action this time. They'll be okay.

She turned away from the door, pausing to take a slow, deep breath before she slowly released it and headed out to the nearby crossroads where Lillie waited for her. The taller girl had refused Soleil's invitation for her to come in and rest, which she found odd, but she knew better than to question Lillie's choice in the matter.

"I didn't mean to keep you waiting," Soleil apologized, only for the girl in white to shake her head.

"You didn't," she said softly, but Soleil could sense the air of jealousy within the other girl's aura as the pair headed into Hau'oli City.
Stardust Chapter 5
Fifth chapter. Yeah, I planned to give a nickname to the Rotom-Dex ever since he was announced, I hope it isn't too weird.
Author's Note: Not really much to say about this one, but if anyone tries to give me crap about Night being a Delta, I will ignore you. I know something like that can make a character overpowered, but I have limits in place for her and she has the same weaknesses, resistances, and the Psychic-type immunnity as the Houndour line and Incineroar.

Once again, Pokémon is © to that wonderful mastermind, Satoshi Tajiri. Special thanks go out to my best friend, Ayaluki, the best beta-reader I could ever ask for!


Chapter 4:
The Festival


After everyone had left, Soleil and her mother set to unpacking more of their things, and when Emiko had declared that it was enough for the day, her daughter had gone to her room where she arranged her paints on her desk and set to decorating the bottom half of Plavalaguna's Poké Ball with an intricate wave pattern. Once finished, she carefully set it up on one of the shelves above her desk in order to let it dry before she set to putting everything away and making sure that her paintbrush was clean. She then gave one final check over the envelope containing her letter to Maizie before adding a stamp to it and running it out to the mailbox, making sure to set the flag up.

As she was preparing lunch for Night and Plavalaguna, Soleil took a moment to glance over at the clock that sat on the mantle to the left of her mother's Lugia statuette, noticing that it was barely past 1:00 in the afternoon. Before he'd returned to his lab, Kukui had told her that the festival would be taking place at 8:00 that evening, so she still had a few hours left to kill before she would need to head over to Iki Town.

With her mother's permission and with Night and Plavalaguna in tow once she'd made sure the latter's ball was dry, Soleil was content to stroll along the route by their house, remembering how much she used to enjoy being outdoors when she was younger. Both 'mon were tucked safely within their respective capsules, as Night became sluggish during the daytime, and Soleil wanted both mammals to get as much rest as they could before this evening.

A few of the younger kids from Iki Town challenged Soleil to battle, and during one of these matches, Plavalaguna ended up learning a new attack, which Soleil learned was a Fairy-type move called Disarming Voice when she'd looked it up on her PC after returning home to relax for a bit. The children had been friendly enough to her, and the girl had shyly thanked them for the battles, grateful to be getting some much needed experience when it came to battling in preparation not only for the upcoming festival and her battle with Hau, but for her upcoming journey.

Remembering about the gifts the professor had given her, she opened the parcel to reveal the passport he'd had made for her along with the strangest looking pokédex she'd ever seen. Curious, she held up the device and pointed it at Night, who was currently lounging at the foot of her futon.

"Vulpix, the Fox Pokémon," Soleil read as the words appeared on the screen. "It spews flames from its mouth that appear to resemble the spirits of the dead, causing many people to mistake this fire for a ghost."

"In the time we've know each other, I've never done such a thing!" Night spat, clearly offended as she glared at the device. "I'd like to find the moron who wrote that and give them a piece of my mind with a well placed Dark Pulse!"

"I'm sure there's a reason for such an entry on your species," Soleil replied as she set the pokédex on her desk. "You do have the potential to learn the move Will-o-Wisp, so that may be what it's hinting to."

"I suppose," the fox muttered, flicking a large ear. "But, does it have to be so rude with the wording? Ghosts indeed..."

"What does it say about me?" Plavalaguna piped up from where she'd been playing with Night's rubber ball by balancing it on the end of her nose, the round toy bouncing once after it hit the floor before it rolled underneath the futon. "Oopsie..."

"Let's see..." Soleil murmured as she picked up the device and pointed it at the Popplio.

"Popplio, the Sea Lion Pokémon," Soleil read, a look of slight disgust appearing on her face as she did so. "Popplio snorts body fluids from its nose, blowing balloons to smash its foes. It's famous for being a hard worker."

"Eww," Night made a face, though she frowned when her team mate looked down, blushing in embarrassment. "Sorry, 'Laguna. The second part describes you pretty well, though."

"Thanks," the little Water-type replied softly before she slipped under the futon in order to retrieve the ball, putting it back where she'd found it. "I'm going to do all I can to pull my weight during battles."

"Snot balls or not, you did pretty well today," Soleil praised, smiling when the Popplio puffed her chest out proudly. "And I'm sure you both will do great tonight, too, whether or not we win or lose."

"Littens are pretty gross, too," Plavalaguna stated. "What with their flaming hairballs and all, but if we ever see him again, don't tell him I said that."

"Flaming hairballs?" Night and Soleil echoed in unison, the two looking at each other with equal disgust, eliciting a giggle from the Sea Lion Pokémon.

"Soul, Lillie's here to see you!" Emiko called from the living room.

"I'll be out in a minute," the girl called back, unable to help but smile at the fact that she'd made a friend already though, deep down, she couldn't help but feel a bit surprised that someone like Lillie wanted to be friends with someone like Soleil herself since the two girls were both nervous around new people. After recalling Plavalaguna to her Poké Ball, Soleil checked the time, noticing that it was 7:15.

Wow, where does all the time go when you're not paying attention? she thought, slipping on a Nightwish t-shirt, a pair of dark gray jeans, and a pair of black crew socks before she gave her long hair a thorough brushing and grabbed Night's Moon Ball off the nightstand, though she left the Vulpix out. The little fox was on her heels as the pair exited her room, Soleil pausing to shut her door in order to keep Kirrah out of her things.

"Alola, Soul, Night," Lillie greeted from where she sat on the sofa, Nebby resting on her lap.  At the sight of the Vulpix, however, the Nebula Pokémon perked up and made a beeline for her, eliciting a startled "Kon!" from Night.

"Nighty~" he squealed, hugging her tightly around the neck. "I needed to make up for not getting to hug you this morning!"

"Nebby," Night gasped, having to splay her legs apart to keep from being bowled over by the Psychic-type. "Night can't breathe... Need air...!"

"I'm sorry," the little creature replied as he released her before he floated back up to settle down on Lillie's left knee.

"Don't worry about it," the Fox Pokémon reassured him as she prepared to hop up onto the sofa, only for Nebby to ask her to wait. The Vulpix gave him a confused blink, even when the little Psychic-type's eyes began to glow as he concentrated, his attention on nothing but her. Nothing happened, though, and Nebby tried again twice more before he gave up and seemed to visibly droop.

"I don't understand what's wrong," he gasped, panting. "I'm just trying to lift you up here."

"I guess your powers don't work on her," Lillie soothed, scooping Nebby into her arms to give him a gentle hug. "But, it's sweet of you to want to help."

"They don't work because Night has a Dark sub-typing, which gives her an immunity to the Psychic-type," Soleil explained as she reached down to lift the Vulpix onto her lap. "It confused me at first, so I had to look it up even after she tried explaining it to me. Deltaism is a very rare condition that an individual Pokémon has where they have a typing that's not the norm for their species. Her Dark-type moves are also stronger than they would be if she were just a mono Fire-type, but there are some drawbacks. She can't be out of her ball very often during the daytime, especially if it's sunny out, because it makes her very tired and sluggish. I'm also sure she has typing weaknesses similar to those of the Houndour line, but I haven't battled enough with her yet to know for certain."

"Oh, so that's why you're so pretty," Nebby said as he floated over to levitate close to the little fox, a wide smile on his face.

"And why you can't lift me with your mind," Night explained, blushing at the smaller 'mon's compliment. "It amuses me that most humans seem to be none the wiser about me being a Delta, but some other 'mon have given me flak about it, including my parents."

"I had no idea," Lillie admitted, blushing slightly in embarrassment. "I guess there's a lot more to Pokémon that scientists have yet to discover."

"Yeah, there is," Soleil replied thoughtfully. "Even though I won't be able to start for a week yet, I'm honestly excited to be going on my journey finally."

"Finally is right," Night added under her breath, her quip rewarded when Soleil ruffled her headfur. "Hey, do you have any idea how long it takes me to groom that?"

"Only a few minutes," the girl replied, smirking down at her Vulpix.

"To leave? We still have a little over half an hour before we need to be in Iki Town," Lillie stated, giving the other blond a confused look.

"Oh, sorry about that," Soleil replied sheepishly. "I was just talking to myself."

"It's okay," the taller girl reassured, before she moved to lightly set a hand on Soleil's left arm. "Those bandages should be ready to come off now, since the wounds left by that Spearow weren't that deep."

"Oh, right." Soleil's tone was sheepish as she looked down for a second, allowing Lillie to remove the wrappings. "I've been so busy lately what with helping Mom unpack and getting things ready for when I leave that I actually forgot about them."

"They've healed well, so they don't need another bandage and there may be some minor scarring, but nothing that would be too noticeable."

"That's good to know," Soleil replied, giving her friend a grateful smile. "They probably wouldn't have healed well if not for you. Have you ever thought about becoming a doctor?"

"It never really occurred to me, no," Lillie replied as she shook her head. "I usually help injured Pokémon, though I would tend to my brother whenever he got hurt."

"Who's your brother?"

"Um... I'd... rather not talk about him right now," the girl in white muttered softly, looking away. "He... ran away two years ago and I haven't heard from him since early last year..."

"I'm so sorry," Soleil murmured, reaching out to give her a brief one-armed hug. "I hope he's okay."

"I do, too," Lillie whispered, reaching up to rub her eyes with a hand before she shook her head.

"I don't know what it's like to have a sibling," Soleil admitted softly. "And I never really had any friends back when I lived in Goldenrod City, so I had no one to talk to aside from my parents. To be honest, I prefer the company of Pokémon to that of other people, but you and Hau have been great, and there's also my good friend Maizie back in Johto. Aside from you guys, I find it difficult to talk to other people, and please don't tell him I said this, but... Kukui makes me nervous with how loud he can be at random intervals."

"That's understandable," Lillie replied gently, placing a hand on the Johto-born girl's shoulder. "You wouldn't want to hear him when he's hands on with his research."

"Are you girls ready to go?" came Emiko's voice from the back of the house as the woman stepped out of her room, her dark hair pulled up in a braided twist at the back of her head. She had changed out of her yellow sun dress and into a dark blue blouse with a matching skirt that reached her ankles, accented by a black belt and by a black clip she wore over her right ear.

"You look great, Missus Vaillance," Lillie complimented, smiling.

"Thank you," Emiko replied, reaching down to smooth a crease out of her skirt. "I've had these for years but never really had a chance to wear them until now."

"Take care of the house while we're gone, Kirrah," Soleil called to the Meowth, who was currently curled up on her wicker chair, and the girl sighed when the cat's reply was to blow a raspberry in her direction.

"For fuck's sake, Kirrah, stop being so rude," Night snapped. "It'll come back to bite that curly tail of yours someday."

"Feh," the Normal-type replied as she turned her back towards the small group and waved a forepaw. "I'm not worried and you're one to talk what with that tongue of yours."

"Ugh," the kitsune growled as she jumped down from the sofa, casting a glare in the Meowth's general direction even though it went unseen. "I swear, that cat..."

"It's best to drop it, Night," Soleil soothed, stooping down to pet the little vulpine. "Kirrah doesn't like anyone asking her to do things if it isn't Mom."

After Emiko made sure that the side door was locked and that Kirrah had food and water, she paused to lock the front door before finally joining the girls at the bottom of the front steps after the three humans (with Lillie coaxing a reluctant Nebby back into her duffel bag) had slipped their shoes on and had exited the house. The walk to Iki Town was brief, and despite the village being tiny, there were a few vendors set up offering snacks. The tiki torches that bordered the four corners of the platform on which Night had battled Plavalaguna the previous evening had been lit, the flickering flames casting a soft light on the stage and on the people milling about nearby.

"Soul, Lillie, Auntie," Hau called as he jogged up to them. "Right on time! So, are you ready to go, Soul?"

"As ready as I'll ever be," she replied shakily as she gave him a nervous smile, feeling like a flock of Volcaronas had taken up residence in her stomach.

"Hey, don't worry about it," the boy soothed, giving her a gentle smile before he patted her on the shoulder. "My gramps likes to call it a festival, but it's more like a rite of passage for kids who are ready to embark on the Island Challenge. It's just a single battle, so let's do our best to have fun with it."

"Is the Island Challenge anything like challenging Gym Leaders for badges?"

"Somewhat, but only when you're ready to face each island's kahuna, though they stamp your passport instead of giving you a badge," Hau explained, garnering a nod of understanding from Soleil.

"I'm going to go find a seat," Lillie informed before she turned and headed towards where Emiko was in a conversation with the professor. The caramel-blond was glad that the two adults didn't appear to be on bad terms after the talk her mother had given the labcoat-clad man in regards to her daughter's safety that morning.

"See you later," the shorter girl called, returning the wave her friend gave her, and she couldn't help the smirk of amusement that wormed its way onto her lips when Lillie's duffel bag shook, knowing that Nebby was trying to get out. Lillie made sure to get a seat up front, and Soleil was certain that it was so Nebby could safely peek out of her bag with little chance of being noticed, Emiko taking the seat to Lillie's right while Kukui sat behind them.

"--all that?"

"Excuse me?" Soleil asked, turning her attention back to Hau, and she fidgeted when the boy's expression became flat as he put his hands on his hips, though the posture was brief. "I'm sorry..."

"You seriously need to pay attention when someone's talking to you," Night scolded.

"Hey, it's no problem, but zoning out when someone's explaining something important is kinda rude," the green-haired youth replied.

"I didn't mean to," Soleil muttered softly, pushing her long hair back over her shoulders. "Could you please repeat what I missed?"

"Sure," he replied, and she could sense the irritation in his aura even though his tone conveyed that things were fine. "Each island has its own set of trials that must be passed in order to challenge the kahuna. No trial is the same, but I don't know anything other than that."

"That definitely sounds very different than how things work back home," Soleil replied. "Back in Johto, you just get your starter, build a team and travel across the region challenging eight Gym Leaders for badges to allow access into the Indigo League where you face four powerful trainers called the Elite Four, and, if you're able to beat them, the Champion."

"Agreed, though I'm curious about what starters Johto has," Hau said before he turned to look over at the stage. "Oop, there's Gramps, gotta go!"

"Weird kid," Night commented as the pair watched Hau dart through the crowd of people still looking for seats around the platform and everyone fell silent when Hala ascended the stairs and walked to the center of the stage, where he held both hands up in emphasis for continued silence.

"For all life on our islands," he announced, sweeping his gaze over the crowd gathered. "And for those who undertake the Island Challenge with joy in their hearts, we pray for your protection... for them and all Melemele. May this Pokémon battle be an offering to our island's guardian deity: Tapu Koko!"

Cheers rose from some members of the crowd, while most of the gathered villagers were content with clapping, and silence fell once again when Hala gestured for it as Hau ascended the stairs at the opposite end of the stage when the old man beckoned for him.

"Before you stands Hau: grandson to the kahuna."

When Hala beckoned to her, Soleil took a deep breath and climbed the stairs to the side of the stage opposite of Hau, Night walking at her left. This may not be her first battle on Alolan soil, but it was her first battle in front of a crowd of people, and she felt like the Volcarona flock in her stomach had begun doing complex aerial maneuvers as she tried to keep herself composed, her hands shaking.

"Before him stands Soleil Vaillance: one who has met with Tapu Koko," the kahuna continued, and his words brought forth a new wave of murmurs from the crowd.


"Why, that's just typical of her!"

"What a curious little being Tapu Koko is..."

"Alright, Hani, let's go!" Hau declared as he sent out a Pichu. The little Electric-type squeaked, tiny sparks flying from his cheeks.

"Okay, this should be easy," Night said, beginning to step out in front of her trainer, only for Soleil to look at her and shake her head. "Why not?"

"I'll need you to be at your best for when he calls out Archer," she explained as she plucked her Popplio's Poké Ball from her belt.

"Fine," Night muttered as the Vulpix slowly moved to sit down, her golden gaze settling upon the Pichu. "I hope you two know what you're doing."

"Plavalaguna, let's do this," Soleil called, releasing the Water-type. "I know we're at a disadvantage, but let's do the best we can."

"You bet," the little sea mammal replied, looking back at Soleil and nodding, a smile on her muzzle.

"Good luck, Sundrop," Emiko called, and Soleil wished she could melt through the stage from the wave of embarrassment that suddenly washed over her at being called that nickname by her mother in front of a village full of people she barely even knew.

"Soleil, Hau, bring forth the power of your Pokémon," Hala declared as he moved back, raising an arm before he sharply lowered it. "Begin!"

"Hani, use Charm!"

"Chu~" the little mouse squeaked as he tilted his head to one side, his dark eyes shining as he gave Plavalaguna his best smile.

"Awww, you're so cuuuuute~" the Popplio gushed, setting a flipper on one side of her face. "How can I battle such an adorable little mousie?"

"'Laguna!" Night snapped, a look of disgust twisting her features. "Get it together!"

"Right, sorry!" The sea lion shook her head in order to clear away the cobwebs, inhaling and letting loose with a musical note of vocalization when Soleil called for her to use Disarming Voice. The beam of pink hearts made contact with their target, sending Hani stumbling back a few steps.

"Eww," Night muttered, slicking her ears back at the sight of the Fairy-type attack. "That is so disgustingly girly..."

"Thunder Shock," the green-haired youth commanded. Small sparks of electricity flew from the Tiny Mouse Pokémon's body as he concentrated on gathering power, before he sent a bolt of lightning streaking towards Plavalaguna.

"Jump," Soleil commanded, and the Water-type obeyed, striking her tail flippers against the wooden floor of the stage in order to get more height as the bolt of electricity missed her by an inch. "Now use Water Gun!"

"There's our opening, Hani," Hau exclaimed, grinning widely from ear to ear, and Soleil's eye widened when she realized her mistake: due to being airborne, Plavalaguna was now completely vulnerable to another electric attack! "Dodge then use Thunder Shock again!"

The little rodent squeaked as he rolled backwards, nimbly avoiding the jet of water before he, after bracing himself on all fours, sent a second bolt of electricity hurtling up towards the Water-type. Soleil winced when the attack connected, sending her Popplio crashing down onto her belly against the platform.

"I'm fine," Plavalaguna assured, though her tone was strained from the effectiveness of the attack and the sea lion pushed herself back up onto her flippers before shaking herself. "I promise I'll be okay."

"Look!" Night exclaimed, and Soleil noticed that the Pichu was stumbling a little, his cheeks sparking erratically.

Of course, she thought, fighting to keep her expression neutral as she remembered a school-taught lesson about the Pichu line from years ago: Pichu can't fully control their electric abilities, so they sometimes shock themselves!

"'Laguna, we've got this! Use Disarming Voice," she called and the Water-type let out another note, the pink hearts striking Hani full on and sending the Pichu skidding backwards across the floor on his back, a strained "Chu..." leaving him.

"You can do it, Hani," Hau encouraged, stooping down to be more at his Pichu's level. "Get up!"

The little rodent attempted to rise, only to fall back, and Hala raised a hand, causing Soleil to release the breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.

"Pichu is unable to battle, the winner is Popplio!"

"It's okay, little guy," the boy soothed as he cradled the Tiny Mouse Pokémon in his left arm before recalling him to his ball. "Get some rest."

"Do you want to take a break?" Soleil asked, placing her hands on her knees as she bent down to address the Popplio.

"Nah, I'm good," Plavalaguna replied, smiling up at her trainer even though she looked a bit ragged. "I want to show Archer how strong I've become thanks to you."

"You mean you want to hog the limelight," Night grumbled, ignoring the silent reprimand Soleil gave her.

"Man, Soul," Hau said, a smile on his face as he rose to his full height and pulled Archer's ball off his belt. "I wasn't expecting such a great battle, but it's still anyone's match. Let's go, Archer!"

"Begin Round Two," Hala called as the Rowlet materialized in a flash of red light, hovering in front of his trainer.

"Plavalaguna, use Growl," Soleil commanded, and the Popplio gave a cry that caused the small owl to hesitate, his wingbeats becoming unsteady for a few seconds.

"Tackle," Hau ordered, and the Rowlet sped towards his opponent. The sea lion tried to dodge, only to grimace when sparks of electricity snaked around her, keeping her in place. Archer lashed out with two kicks, and Plavalaguna barely managed to duck her head in order to keep from being struck across the face, the attacks striking her against the back instead.

That is going to be problematic, Soleil thought, her eye narrowing slightly. Damned paralysis...

"Alright, keep up the pressure," the boy crowed as the Grass-type rose higher into the air. "Leafage!"

"What kind of a name is that?" Night grumbled. "That's so stupid."

"You were always stubborn to a fault," Archer admonished as he summoned a bundle of leaves that shot downward towards the Popplio. "But that's not gonna be enough."

"I'm not out yet," the Water-type shot back, leaping over the Grass-type attack before she unleashed a Disarming Voice at Archer, but the owl nimbly swooped out of the way and unleashed another bundle of leaves that sent Plavalaguna crashing down towards the stage. The Popplio tried to rise after the impact, but her front flippers gave out and she collapsed back onto her stomach.

"Popplio is unable to battle," Hala declared. "The winner is Rowlet!"

"Damn him," Night growled, eyes narrowing. "I've never liked fliers."

"'Laguna!" Soleil cried, running out to the fallen Water-type and not caring if she was breaking any rules, and she knelt to carefully lift the Popplio into her arms. "Are you okay?"

"Nothing's broken," the Popplio assured, giving the girl a weak smile as Soleil carried her back to their side of the stage. "I'm sorry, Soul, Archer's always been two steps ahead of me."

"I'll set his tailfeathers on fire," Night replied, her tails lashing. "Just you wait and see."

"Please go easy on him," the little sea mammal requested softly. "He may be full of himself, but he's my friend."

"I'll try, but no guarantees," the Vulpix replied as her trainer recalled her team mate. The Fire/Dark dual-type shook herself before she took her place on the stage in front of Soleil, golden eyes narrowed to slits as she glared over at the Rowlet.

"Round Three, begin!"

"Double Team," Soleil commanded, and the Vulpix created a dozen copies of herself.

"Ha! I knew you would do that," Hau stated, grinning. "I remember your battle with your Popplio. Get rid of them Archer, Leafage!"

"Don't expect us to repeat ourselves," Soleil countered, watching the Grass-type owl summoning a bunch of leaves to take out half of the faux Vulpixes. "Go, Night!"

"Hiya!" The kitsune grinned as she suddenly appeared to the Rowlet's left, having utilized a Feint Attack to close in while he was distracted by the images before she exhaled a mouthful of fire at him in an Ember attack... only for the Rowlet to swiftly dodge the flames, which harmlessly fizzled upon contact with the stage floor.

"Too slow," the Grass-type teased, smirking at the Vulpix with his eyes as he struck her with a Tackle attack, and Night barely managed to right herself and land on her paws in order to keep from crashing onto the stage as her team mate had done earlier in the match, only to be knocked off balance when the avian struck her with another Tackle.

"Screw you!" Night snarled, glaring up at him as she pulled herself to her paws before she tried hitting him with a Dark Pulse, only for the Rowlet to dodge it as well. "Stop hiding in the air!"

Damn it, Soleil grit her teeth. Archer's too fast while airborne. We'll need to find a way to ground him.

"Night," the girl called. "Calm down, I've got an idea. Keep using Double Team."

"What the heck?!" Hau cried, taking a moment to rub his eyes before he gawked at the number of faux kitsunes that appeared. "Keep using Leafage to dispel the clones!"

"Dark Pulse and then Feint Attack," Soleil commanded, a smile quirking at the corners of her mouth when the beam of Dark-type energy hit its mark, striking one of Archer's wings and sending the Rowlet plummeting towards the platform.


"Go, Night, go!" Nebby cheered, waving his appendages like pom-poms. "Kick his-- mmph!"

"Nebby!" Lillie scolded in a harsh whisper as she pushed the little Psychic-type back down below the lip of the bag and she was unfazed by the annoyed glare he gave her. "You can't let anyone see you!"


The Grass-type avian attempted to right himself, only to squawk in surprise when the Vulpix appeared over top of him, striking him in the back with her tails and sending him crashing onto the stage.

"Surprise~" Night smirked before she exhaled a mouthful of fire at the Rowlet before she landed lightly a few steps away, her golden gaze fixed upon the avian as he tried to rise, noticing that his wings were singed.

"You're not... half bad," the avian admitted as he climbed to his talons, and the Vulpix tensed, readying herself. When Archer spread his wings, however, he slumped to the floor, too exhausted to continue.

"Archer!" Hau cried, running forward as Soleil had done earlier and he knelt to scoop his starter into his arms. "We tried, buddy."

"Rowlet is unable to battle, the winner is Vulpix!"

The villagers began to applaud, a few even cheering, and Soleil looked over to see that her mother was beaming at her.

"For the love of Celebi," Night growled angrily as she glared at Hala, though her rant was drowned out by the crowd. "I have a name!"

"Phew... that was awesome!" Hau was grinning from ear to ear when the girl approached him, her Vulpix at her left. "I had a blast battling you, Soul."

"Thanks, it was pretty close," she replied, reaching up to brush her hair back over her right shoulder before she held her hand out, which the boy grasped and shook.

"It was a good battle. The six of you gave it everything you had," Hala said as he approached the two teenagers, a smile on his features. "With how unpredictable the match was, I'm sure Tapu Koko--"


Both teens looked up, and Soleil's eye was wide as she recognized the bird-like cry that echoed overhead. Silence had fallen over the villagers, who also looked up, hoping for even a glimpse of their guardian deity.

"Ho! It appears that she approves of this battle," Hala stated, his smile deepening. "The both of you hold much promise as trainers."


"See?" Kukui said, grinning from ear to ear when Emiko turned in her seat to look at him. "Tapu Koko's the real deal, oh yeah!"

"You were right," the woman replied. "But that doesn't mean my daughter's going to get out of helping me unpack."
Stardust Chapter 4
And chapter four posted. This one was fun to write. :)
Author's Note: First off, yes, the Maizie and Kurt I refer to Soleil knowing are the same as Kurt the apricorn ball craftsman and his granddaughter from the Gen II games, while I've taken the name Maizie from the anime version of the granddaughter since the game version of her doesn't have a name for some reason. Those two are my favorite NPcs from those games and the apricorn balls are my favorite types of balls, and you can believe I was happy to learn that they make a reappearance in Sun and Moon but, since there's only one of each, I've extremely reluctant to use any of them. This was one of the easier chapters to write, and I apologize for it being nothing but talking and a flashback.

Once again, Pokémon is © to that wonderful mastermind, Satoshi Tajiri. Special thanks go out to my best friend, Ayaluki, the best beta-reader I could ever ask for!


Chapter 3:
A Cosmic Revelation


Dear Maizie,

I wanted to let you know that we arrived safely in Alola. Thankfully, Night and Kirrah didn't suffer from much jet lag, but the same can't be said for Mom and myself. I'd meant to write to you as soon as I could, but something weird happened to me last night. I'll be happy to explain if you'd like to hear more about it. Also, I know I already said it so many times, but I want to thank you and your grandfather for the set of apricorn balls and paints.

Soleil paused in her writing, taking a moment to look over at where a medium-sized case sat on the right side of her desk. It contained a full set of Poké Balls crafted from apricorns, a type of fruit indigenous to the Johto region that grew in seven different colors, each used to make a specific type of special ball that had its own special property when it came to catching Pokémon.

Earlier that week, under the watchful eye of Soleil's mother, the girls had gone out to the apricorn trees that Maizie's grandfather, Kurt, had planted close to his house on the north-eastern outskirts of Azalea Town, and Soleil had picked the fruits herself. The set she had in her possession had been crafted and hand painted by Maizie under the watchful gaze of her grandfather and had been given to Soleil as a moving away gift along with a small set of paints made specifically for decorating Poké Balls, of which were inside the case along with the apricorn balls. She felt herself smiling softly as she stared at the gifts, before she set to finishing her letter to her only friend.

You won't believe me, but I've decided to finally become a full-time trainer -- or try to, anyway -- and I know they'll come in handy. I promise to let you know when I use any of them to catch any new Pokémon, and I'll be happy to tell you more about the Alolan archipelago, though my replies will become more sporadic when I'm away from home or nowhere close to a Pokémon Center, but I'll try to write whenever I can, I promise.

Take care and best of luck in your apprenticeship, I know you're more than capable of taking over the family business for Kurt when he retires.

With love,
-- Soleil

Once finished, the teen moved to set her pen down before she read over what she'd written, the black ink standing out against the soft red of the paper.

The top left corner was decorated by a stylized image of Ho-Oh, the legendary phoenix's left wing stretching across the top of the paper while his right wing spanned over half of the left hand side. The lower right corner was decorated by an image of the fabled Bell Tower, surrounded on both sides by a few trees, their red, orange and golden leaves showing the perpetual autumn that enveloped the Bellchime Trail.

Note to self: pick up some stationery paper at that souvenir shop Mom and I saw on our way to the house the other evening, Soleil mused silently to herself as she picked up her pen and added:

P.S. The next time you hear from me, it'll be on stationery that's more reflective of Alolan culture.

Satisfied that she was finished, Soleil carefully folded the letter before sliding it into a matching envelope, which she sealed with a small sticker that was shaped like a golden leaf, before she carefully penned down Maizie's home address on the front. She was very fond of the stationery paper she'd used for her letter, having bought the set the last time she'd visited Ecruteak City with her mother, and after she had put everything away, she leant back in her chair to stretch.

She glanced over at her futon, the still rumpled blanket making her sigh inwardly, but she was currently unable to make the bed due to the fact that Night and Soleil's newly acquired Popplio were both curled up at the foot of the futon and sound asleep.

The girl raised a hand to push her still messy hair out of her face, making sure that her eyepatch was securely in place after she'd slipped it on before she stood up, taking a moment to push her chair in before she set to gathering up the clothes she'd worn last night. A frown creased her features when she saw the torn blouse before her gaze traveled down to rest upon her left arm, which was still bandaged from the Spearow attack at the bridge, and the girl did sigh when she remembered part of last night's conversation with her mother.


"Soleil," Emiko scolded, her arms crossing over her chest after her daughter had finished her story. "I'm happy that you feel that you're finally ready to go out and see the world, but you're not telling me everything that happened. This is just like the lie you told about seeing Entei nine years ago when you, against mine and your father's wishes I might add, snuck out to the Burned Tower because of some stupid dare from two of your classmates. A dangerous place like that is nowhere for a girl to be, especially unsupervised."

"I wasn't by myself, I had Night with me and Entei
wasn't a lie, Mom, and neither is Tapu Koko," the girl countered, bending down to scoop both of her Pokémon into her arms for comfort. "She really did save my life down at the Mahalo Trail."

"Sundrop..." The dark-haired woman gave a tired sigh as she raised a hand to her right temple. "We'll continue this in the morning after breakfast. I'll allow you to go to tomorrow night's festival since the kahuna will be there, but after that, you are grounded for a week, so your journey will have to wait a bit longer. And you can believe that I'll be giving a certain professor a talking to the next time I see him for letting you and Night go off -
by yourselves - to an unrepaired bridge."

"Yes, ma'am," the caramel-blond muttered, looking down at the floor even when she felt Night and the Popplio snuggle against her shoulders, both mammals trying their best to comfort her. She winced when she heard her mother give a poorly suppressed sniffle, and Soleil looked up to see that Emiko had sunk down onto the sofa, her face in a hand as she tried to keep herself from crying. "I'm sorry, Mom..."


"I'm sorry..." Soleil whispered before she balled a hand into a tight fist and, with a scowl, slammed it down onto her desk.

Why do I have to be so desperate to make friends that I end up doing the stupidest bullshit?! she thought angrily, taking a slow, deep breath in an attempt to calm herself, not caring that her hand now hurt. That's twice in my life that I've gone somewhere dangerous because somebody wanted me to!

"Soul? Are you okay?" The teen looked over her right shoulder to see two sets of eyes, one dark and the other golden, staring at her and both were filled with concern.

"Yeah," she replied, shaking her hand before she crossed over to sit on the edge of the futon. "I'm just frustrated about last night because Mom refuses to believe me."

"But, you can't tell her about N-E-B-B-Y," the Vulpix stated before she paused to groom an obsidian forepaw. "We promised Lillie we'd keep him a secret, and besides, this week will go by quickly and all the unpacking will be done."

"Who? And we could help you," the Popplio said as she clambered into the girl's lap and settled down. "I'm pretty good at balancing things on my nose."

"I'll tell you who Nebby is later and Mom would kill us if her Ho-Oh and Lugia statuettes ended up busted, so the more fragile things are out of the question, but that's an idea," the girl replied as she gently petted the Water-type, who closed her eyes and moved to rest her head on Soleil's other arm. "On a lighter note, I don't think we ever got your name."

"Oh, I don't have a name," the sea lion revealed, her tone sheepish as she opened her eyes and looked up at the teenager.

"Your parents never gave you one?" Night asked, reaching out to set a forepaw on one of the Water-type's flippers when she looked down and shook her head. "Wow, and I thought my own parents hated me."

"I don't really remember mine," the Popplio admitted softly, her attention glued to the blanket. "I've only ever really known Mister Hala, and as nice as he is, he's only ever called me, well, Popplio."

"Would you like a name?" Soleil asked, causing the little sea mammal to perk up, eyes wide as she looked up at the human a third time.

"Would you?"

"Of course, I'd be happy to help you find one."

"Oh, thank you," the little sea lion barked, rubbing her head against Soleil's arm in a show of gratitude. "Thank you so much!"

"Hey, now," Night admonished. "You don't have one yet, so it's too early to be giving out thank yous."

Let's see... Soleil fell quiet for a moment, her gaze sweeping around her room and she got an idea when she caught sight of her DVD collection, the title of one movie in particular jumping out at her.

"How about Leeloo?" Soleil asked, returning her attention to the Sea Lion Pokémon still curled up on her lap.

"That's supposed to be a name?" the Popplio asked, giving the human a look telling her that the sea lion was unamused.

"Yeah, it is, actually."

"Leeloo Dallas multipass!" Night chirped before the Vulpix laughed and Soleil couldn't help grinning, feeling the foul mood from a few minutes ago lifting from her.

"... I'll pass," the Water-type said after a few seconds of staring at the two.

"Ruby?" Soleil suggested, before she mentally facepalmed. "Wait, no, it's used for a guy and he's... interesting... to say the least."

"Eww," the Popplio shook her head, a look of clear disgust on her face when Night had sidled over and whispered something into her ear. "Definitely not!"

Soleil rolled her eye, knowing exactly which scene the fox had told her team mate about, and the girl paused to think, as she was running out of options, before she remembered one of the secondary characters.

"How about Plavalaguna?" she asked, and the Popplio tilted her head slightly to one side in a curious manner.

"Could you repeat that one, please?"


"Plavalaguna," the sea lion softly repeated to herself before she gave a wide smile. "I like it."

"Let's just hope you don't end up like your namesake," Night muttered under her breath, quickly going silent when the other two females both turned to look at her. "Nothing! Welcome to the world of no longer being addressed by the name of your species."

"Thanks," the newly nicknamed sea lion giggled before stretching. "Anyone else hungry?"

"Yes," the kitsune replied before she stood up and stretched, taking a few moments to groom her fur back into place before she hopped down off the futon. "And there's one rule when it comes to living under the same roof as me: all Nanab Berries are mine."

"That's fine by me," Plavalaguna stated as she pulled herself off Soleil's lap before joining her team mate on the floor of the room. "I prefer dry berries anyway, and anything is better than spicy food."

"Sing it, sister," Night smirked. "Looks like we'll get on like a house on fire."

"I'll catch up with you two once I've tidied up in here a bit," Soleil stated, making a shooing motion with both hands.


Emiko was busily brushing a dozing Kirrah when they both heard a knock at the front door, the Meowth giving vent to a sleepy "Nyar?" before she stood and jumped off the woman's lap.

"Give me a minute," Emiko called when a second knock sounded and she looked down at her cat as she stood up and raised her arms above her head to stretch. "We've certainly been busy for the past few days, haven't we?"

Kirrah only looked up at her before the Scratch Cat Pokémon stretched and ambled over to her food and water dishes. Emiko watched her for a moment before, after reaching down to smooth a crease out of her yellow sun dress, the dark-haired woman crossed the living room and opened the door, her black eyes hardening for a moment at seeing Kukui standing there before her attention fell upon the shorter figure standing to his right.

"So you must be Lillie," Emiko greeted, smiling gently at the girl for a moment before she motioned to the front door. "Soul's inside having breakfast, you're more than welcome to join her."

"Th-thank you, Missus Vaillance," Lillie replied, bowing her head in thanks before she sidled past Soleil's mother and onto the porch.

"I'd be glad to take you up on that offer as well, th-" Kukui stopped in his tracks when the woman blocked his way, her gaze hard once Lillie had gone into the house.

"Not right now, you won't," Emiko snapped, keeping herself between the professor and the now closed front door, and she crossed her arms over her chest as she glared up at him. "You owe me an explanation for why you allowed my daughter to nearly get herself killed last night."

"Oh... uh, yeah, about that..." Kukui gave a nervous chuckle as he adjusted his hat and backed himself down the stairs, Emiko following him until the two adults were standing next to the mailbox, and neither of them noticed when the front door opened a tiny crack.


"Soul, this isn't nice," Lillie whispered as both girls crouched behind the front door. "Do you always eavesdrop on your mother like this?"

"When it's needed, yeah," the shorter teen replied quietly. "The last time I saw Mom this angry was back when I was six."


"I'm waiting, Professor," Emiko growled, her voice low and silky, a tone she took whenever she was angry. "I moved here because I wanted a better life for Soleil and myself, but then she nearly ends up drowning during her second night here while under your supervision! You need to be more responsible for the children who look to you for guidance on their careers as trainers!"

"The Mahalo Trail has been closed off on the kahuna's orders, ma'am," Kukui informed, taking a nervous step back. "And a new bridge is currently under construction. I didn't think that Soul would go all the way to the bridge, and I figured she would be okay since she had her Vulpix--"

"Do you see this?" Emiko hissed, holding up her left hand before she pointed to the wedding ring she still wore. "You should know what it means because you're wearing one yourself. Where is your spouse, Professor?"

"Her work keeps her away from home," he replied nervously. "She's currently working in the Dimensional Research lab over on Akala Island. And yours?"

"My husband is dead, Professor," Emiko snapped, her eyes searing into his as she reached down to hold up the ring she wore around her neck before she slowly looked away, her voice cracking when she continued: "He was killed in cold blood by ex-Rocket thugs when Soleil was nine. My little girl is all I have left of my immediate family, and Arceus help you if you let anything terrible happen to her."

"I had no idea," Kukui replied, his voice unusually soft as he slowly removed his hat. "I never thought to ask even though I only ever saw you and Soul when we spoke back during the summer. I figured he had a job out of town."

"Well, now you know," Emiko replied, her voice not wanting to work as she paused to take a slow, deep breath in hopes of calming herself. "I'm going to let Soul attend tonight's festival, but she's going to be grounded for the rest of the week for lying to me about seeing some 'Tapu Koko' and claiming that she was saved by her. She... told a similar fib regarding her 'seeing' Entei when she was six, when I'd learned that she'd snuck out to the Burned Tower, which is a very dangerous place, mind you, on a dare from some of her classmates when we were on a visit to Ecruteak City."

"I'm not sure about your daughter's Entei sighting, but I can assure you that Tapu Koko is indeed real," Kukui replied, his voice gentle as he stepped forward and moved to lay a hand on Emiko's shoulder. "She's the guardian of Melemele Island and the reason why Soul's still here with us. She even has physical proof of her encounter with the Tapu, though currently, it's being fashioned into a gift for her by the kahuna."

Emiko stared at him as if he'd grown a second pair of eyes before the woman looked away, brushing a bit of her wavy hair back over her shoulder. Though she didn't say it out loud, she knew she owed her daughter an apology.

"A-lo-la~" The new voice made both adults turn to see a dark-skinned boy with green hair waving as he walked towards them, a brown and white bird that resembled a Hoothoot perched on his left shoulder. "The salty breeze sang to me and brought me here to you!"

Despite having been in a low mood, Emiko found herself unable to help but smile at the teen's friendly demeanor.

"Ah, Emiko, let me introduce you," Kukui said as the green-haired boy stopped to stand at his right. "This is Hau, Kahuna Hala's grandson."

"Oh, so you're the one Kukui mentioned last night," she replied warmly, beaming over at him. "Have you met my daughter yet? She's around your age."

"Yep, I met Soul last night when I got my Rowlet, Archer," Hau chirped as he reached up to give the avian a gentle pat, the bird giving a soft hoot at the attention as he closed his eyes. "Is she around?"

"She's inside with another friend of hers," Emiko replied, happy that people around Soleil's age here in Alola were much friendlier than they were back in Goldenrod City. "Let's all go inside, though I regret that there's not much breakfast. I haven't had time to do any proper grocery shopping yet."

"Not a problem," Hau replied, nimbly hopping up the stairs. "I ate before I left home."

"I'd be happy to take you up on the offer, Emiko," Kukui added, though the woman noted the slightly nervous tone in his voice. She gave him a gentle smile that silently said that he was forgiven, though her expression became stony for a moment afterwards in a silent warning in regards to her child's safety before the two adults filed up the stairs after the green-haired youth.


"Soul, I'm so sorry..." Lillie whispered, moving to give the Johto-born girl a one-armed hug. "I didn't mean to get you into so much trouble, but it sounds like your mother really cares for you." The taller blond trailed off, a sad smile appearing on her lips for a second before disappearing. "You're very lucky she loves you so much."

"It's not your fault," Soleil whispered back as she returned the gesture, barely able to keep herself from frowning at a combination of Lillie's words and from the fact that the other blond's aura held a feeling of sadness and longing. "I wanted to help you and Nebby and I'm guessing you're having trouble with your own parents? I'm sorry if that's true."

"Um... S-something like that, but I don't really wish to talk about it," the girl in white replied, shaking her head a bit. "I'm sorry..."

"Hey, it's okay," Soleil soothed, her tone gentle. "I'm the same when it comes to talking about my father. I understand, and I promise I won't pry."

"Thank you," Lillie whispered, and Soleil smiled when she sensed the change in the other girl's aura, the sadness replaced by a feeling of genuine gratitude, the same she'd felt from Lillie after Soleil had protected Nebby from the Spearows.

"Uh-oh, here they come," Soleil whispered, seeing the trio beginning to turn towards the porch, and she quietly closed the door before the two girls returned to the sofa.

"That was a close one," Lillie breathed, leaning back against the cusions before she took a moment to peek into her bag to check on the currently slumbering Nebby, only to jerk and quickly return to sitting upright when she heard the front door open.

"Ugh, how do we keep attracting the loudmouths? I could hear one of them all the way from my favorite chair," Kirrah grumbled before she shot a dirty look towards the front door and retreated into Soleil's mother's room as the small group filed into the living room after pausing to remove their assorted footwear.

"Mornin', cousin," Kukui greeted as he plopped down onto the adjacent loveseat before he reached out to grab an orange slice from the platter of assorted fruit, taking a moment to pick out the seed before he shoved the fruit into his mouth. "Sleep well?"

"Swallow before you talk, Professor," Emiko scolded gently. "It's bad manners otherwise."

"I did, thank you, though I haven't had much time to prepare for tonight's festival," Soleil admitted, reaching out to grab a slice of apple, which she nibbled on to occupy herself from thinking about how angry her mother had been. She startled when Night suddenly hopped up onto the sofa next to her, before the Vulpix curled up in her lap, a wide yawn leaving her.

Smiling, Soleil reached down with her free hand to pet the vulpine, and she looked over to see that Plavalaguna and Hau's Rowlet were having a conversation near the kitchen counter, though their voices were too quiet for her to catch what they were saying.

"There's still a while before evening," Hau assured her as he dropped onto the loveseat next to Kukui before he helped himself to a few grapes. "We should be able to get some training in before then."

"I still have a few things to do before I can focus on training," Soleil admitted, remembering that she still needed to grab a stamp for her letter before she could mail it. "But it won't take long."

"That reminds me!" Kukui exclaimed as he slapped his knee, the sudden noise causing Night to jerk before she glowered at him. "How'd you like the gifts I gave you, cousin?"

Soleil remained silent, but her eye widened in realization that in being so busy writing to Maizie and in having company, she'd completely forgotten about opening the parcel the professor had given her last night!

"I've been so busy this morning and I was too tired after I got home last night that I haven't gotten around to it yet..." Soleil trailed off as she looked away, Night rubbing her head against her arm in an effort to comfort her.

"Hey, don't sweat it," Kukui assured gently. "The final part isn't due to get here till the end of the week, so you have plenty of time till then."

"Between helping Mom unpack and being grounded, anyway," the girl muttered as she sank back against the sofa cusion with a sigh.

"I'm just glad neither of you were injured when she helped you off the bridge, Lillie," Emiko spoke up, though the woman's tone sounded remorseful when she spoke. "And, Soul, I owe you an apology."

"Mom--" the girl started, only to be cut off when Lillie spoke again.

"Um, that's partially true," Lillie admitted, fiddling with the hem of her dress as she looked down at her knees. "But... um... I wasn't the one out on the bridge..."

"Wait. What'd I miss?" Hau asked, looking between both girls before he glanced over at Kukui for help. "Is that why the Plank Bridge is out? Because one of you nearly drowned?!"

"Yes," Lillie muttered, her hands clenching into fists in her lap. "And it's all my fault for Soul's mother grounding her for the week..."

"Lillie--" the professor began, only to cut himself off when the girl in white shook her head.

"No, I-I need to tell the truth about what really happened," she stated, her voice trembling, and Soleil moved to set a hand on her shoulder when she felt the fear within the taller girl's aura. "But, I need you and Hau to promise to keep what I'm about to show you a secret. Nobody else can ever know."

"I promise I won't say a thing," Emiko assured gently, before all eyes turned to settle upon Hau, who looked around wide-eyed before he nodded.

"Same here, they'd have to boil me in oil before I'd ever crack."

"Okay." The girl with light blond hair paused to take a deep breath before, with trembling hands, she unzipped the duffel bag that was on the sofa between herself and Soleil. She reached in, hesitating for a few long moments before she gently lifted the little creature out of his temporary bed.

"Who is this?" Emiko asked softly, moving to lean over the back of the sofa so she could get a closer look at the little being.

"This is Nebby," Lillie explained, the little Pokémon squeaking softly before he seemed to stretch, a yawn gripping him before he opened his eyes, a curious "Pew?" leaving when he noticed so many faces watching him. "His species is called 'Cosmog' and he's from very far away... He seems to be very rare and... well... he seems to have a strange power that he once used to save me when I was in danger, and, well..."

Lillie trailed off before she turned her verdant gaze to Soleil's mother.

"He tried to use it again to help Soul when she shielded him from the Spearows, but... S-something went wrong, and he ended up breaking the bridge instead..." Her voice cracked, and she paused to take a shuddery breath before she continued. "I'm so sorry I put her life in danger like that, but I-I'm not a trainer myself, and I'm absolutely petrified of heights, so there wasn't anything I could do on my own... I'm so, so sorry..."

"I know it was a stupid move on my part, but I couldn't just let the Spearows kill him, Mom," Soleil added, moving to set Night down on the sofa before she stood up, her gray-eyed gaze upon Emiko. "I had Night distract them so I could run out and grab Nebby, but they swooped back in way too quickly and, as you know, one clawed me."

"Man," Hau spoke up, his tone solemn. "If only I'd known this had been going on, I would've tried to help, but I didn't have Archer at the time, so I probably would've just gotten in the way instead. I don't do well under pressure."

"It's okay, Hau," Lillie assured him, though her voice still trembled and Soleil still felt nervousness within the other girl's aura, though it was less than it had been, but not by much. "I'm glad you didn't put yourself in danger." She closed her eyes for a few seconds before she spoke again. "Outside of everyone in this house, only Kahuna Hala and Professor Kukui's wife know about Nebby, and I'm trusting all of you to never tell anyone else because... Because there are... people... out there who want Nebby's power for themselves and if they get him..."

She fell silent, only to look up when Emiko set a gentle hand on her shoulder.

"We should all make a pact," the woman said before she held a hand out flat before Soleil and Kukui moved to place theirs on top of it. Hau smiled, though he had to stand up in order to reach without falling onto the table, and after that, Lillie put her hand on top of the stack of hands. "To keep Nebby's existence a secret, and to never mention what really happened on that bridge."

"Agreed," they all said in unison before raising their hands into the air after breaking up the pile, Nebby joining in with a happy squeak.
Stardust Chapter 3
Chapter three posted! And I felt that Soul's mother giving Kukui a lecture of responsibility was needed. I mean, in the games, your character nearly fucking drowns and none of the adults care? Uh... WTF, guys?
Author's Note: Yes, Tapu Koko is female in this novelization. Ever since her reveal, she's given me a strong feminine vibe even with her war-like appearance. Also, I wanted to do something (hopefully) a little different when it comes to choosing the starter 'mon, who won't be getting their nickname until the next chapter because I couldn't find a way to fit it into this one with the idea I had in mind.

Once again, Pokémon is © to that wonderful mastermind, Satoshi Tajiri. Special thanks go out to my best friend, Ayaluki, the best beta-reader I could ever ask for.


Chapter 2:
A Close Call


There was a sudden flash of blue light before a surge of energy radiated out from the little creature she held. The cries of the Spearows grew farther away, however, there was a creak and a groan, and Soleil screamed as the bridge snapped and gave way, sending both her and Nebby plunging towards the water below.

"NO!!!" Night shrieked, tears stinging at the corners of her eyes as the strange human grabbed her and pulled her away from the edge. "Gods damn it... Soul..."

The terrified faces of Night and the other human grew smaller and smaller, and Soleil felt her hat slip from the crown of her head, knowing that she would soon join it in the bleak fate that waited.

Before the pair hit the water, something suddenly grabbed them and the girl squeezed her eye shut, keeping it closed even after she felt who or whatever it was set her gently onto solid ground. Only when she felt the little Pokémon wriggle out of her grasp did she open her eye... to be tackled by an upset Vulpix.

"I'm so glad you're okay," Night cried, burying her face against her friend's shoulder. "Just don't ever do anything that idiotic again, please..."

Soleil's only reply was to hug the little fox, until a bird-like chirr grabbed her attention, her gaze falling upon her rescuer.

Its upper half was humanoid in shape, with pitch black skin accented by white markings upon the chest, the sides of the forehead, and around its bi-colored eyes, which were a piercing shade of aquamarine blue and accented by two patches of mango orange. A pair of yellow crescent-like markings were situated behind the creature's eyes, connecting to the white markings above them. What grabbed Soleil's attention, however, was the tall orange crest that made her think of a mohawk, the first two spikes accented by a patch of yellow shaped like a lightning bolt. The crest went down the center of its face to stop at its neck, giving the appearance of a small beak.

The lower half was orange and, instead of legs, there were four spines of varying lengths: the shortest in front, two longer ones on the sides, and the longest in the back. Its thin arms were accented by a thick yellow ring at the shoulder, and fused to the wrists above its sharp-looking hands was half of what appeared to be some kind of shell, which was mostly yellow in color and bore a few white diamondine markings, with a single orange marking near the middle of the structure. This, combined with the fact that the hands appeared to resemble a beak, made Soleil believe that when the being would enclose itself within the halves of the shell, that it would give the appearance of a stylized bird head.

Despite the fact that it appeared to be covered in war paint, the being gave off a feminine vibe with the way it moved as it hovered, its mannerisms similar to that of a tomboy unable to fully mask her true gender.

Those piercing eyes bore into Soleil's own, sending a shiver down her back, and she had a feeling that this very creature was the Tapu Koko spoken of by Kukui. Silently, the guardian flew off, leaving the small group dumbfounded by what had just occurred.

"Soul, you're bleeding..." Night commented, bringing Soleil back to reality. The girl blinked and looked down, frowning when she noticed that blood was seeping from the claw marks that one of the Spearow had inflicted earlier. The kitsune whined softly before she began to gently lick some of the blood away, and Soleil couldn't help but be annoyed by the fact that she'd been hurt on her blind side.

"Don't let her do that, it'll get infected!" The sudden burst of admonishment caused the half-blind girl to jerk before she slowly turned her head to address the other human, who paused to kneel down beside her as she unshouldered her bag and began to dig through it. "Um... I have a first aid kit in here... Please, let me help you. I didn't mean for you to get hurt..."

"It's okay," Soleil replied, pursing her lips when the other girl cleaned the wounds with an antiseptic wipe, the contact stinging a bit. "They don't look deep enough to warrant stitches."

"They're not, thankfully," came the reply as the second human began to dress the wounds, making sure that the wrappings were secure before she set to putting everything away. "Still, I feel absolutely terrible about what happened..."

"It's not your fault," the Johto-born girl replied, gently shooing Night off her lap before she slowly pulled herself to her feet and paused to dust herself off. "I've done a few stupid things in my life, so, if anyone's to blame, it's me."

"Actually, Starpuff over there is the one to blame," Night corrected crossly, glaring over at Nebby, who'd been ignoring the entire exchange by being totally engrossed with staring at something on the ground.

Soleil frowned when the other girl practically ignored her, but she let it slide, the other human's aura telling her that she was still shaken by what had happened, and the last thing Soleil wanted to do was to upset someone. She remained silent as the other girl proceeded to lecture Nebby, though the little ball of fluff appeared to be more interested in whatever that was laying on the ground next to it. It was small, white, and it seemed to glint a little when looked at from a certain angle.

"What do you have there, Nebby?" the girl in white asked as she approached, before she moved to kneel down in front of the tiny Pokémon for a second and reached out to grab the object. "It looks like some sort of sparkling stone, but it feels slightly warm."

"It's so pretty!"

"Oy," Night grumbled, shooting a second glare towards the tiny creature. "It's just a stupid rock."

"Um..." The second girl looked down at the stone she was now holding, before she approached Soleil, who arched a brow at her when she held the stone out for her to take. "I think Tapu Koko dropped this, and I believe she meant for you to find it, not me."

She hesitated for a second, wondering why someone as important as Tapu Koko would entrust her with something when she wasn't that important? Not wanting to seem rude, Soleil gently took the stone from the other girl's outstretched hand before she examined it, turning it over a few times before she slipped it into her right shorts pocket.

"Oh, you're partially blind?"

I've been waiting for that... Soleil thought irritably, closing her good eye for a few seconds. She reached back to untie the strip of cloth, allowing her hair to fall loosely around her face once again. At least the professor was kind enough not to say anything if he happened to notice...

"Yeah, I am," she replied, pausing to take a deep breath before she continued. "When I was nine, some... ... things... happened, and I lost the use of my left eye."

"Oh... I-I'm sorry..." The other girl's verdant eyes were wide. "I didn't mean to cause you to remember something so terrible..."

"No, it's fine," Soleil replied, her long hair swishing a bit as she shook her head. "I deserved it for being a colossal idiot at the time."

"Please don't say that. Nobody deserves anything like that." The second girl looked away for a long moment, and Soleil, to her embarrassment, realized that the other blond was taller by at least half a head. "Um, about seeing Nebby, please don't tell anyone else about this... He's supposed to be a secret."

"I won't say anything," Soleil replied, noticing a ghost of a smile appearing upon the taller human's features before it disappeared. "We need to get back to Iki Town, I was supposed to be looking for the kahuna, but they're probably not at the ruins... or at least I hope not, what with that bridge being destroyed and all."

"Thanks to a certain someone," Night added, shooting Nebby a look, only to back away when the smaller Pokémon tried to snuggle against her. The Vulpix held him back with a forepaw, her ears slicking back. "Hey, no, back off."

"You're warm and fluffy!"

"Nebby," the girl in white scolded, placing her hands on her hips. "Leave her alone. You need to get back in the bag, anyway. I'm sorry, but you really shouldn't be out and about where others can see you."

"Night, be nice," Soleil admonished, reaching down to gently ruffle the kitsune's headfur, and she sighed when Night stuck her tongue out in the other 'mon's direction. "He's just a kid." Though that aura of his is strong.

The little creature obeyed, though Soleil noticed that he didn't look particularly happy about staying in such a place. Once Nebby had disappeared into the bag, the other girl zipped it up partially, moving to carefully sling the strap over her shoulder before she draped her arm over it.

Without another word, the quartet began to make their way back down the trail and towards the outskirts of Iki Town.


As the girls entered the little village, Kukui called to them to get their attention, and they saw him up on the platform as he waved to them.

"Hey, Soul, any luck finding the kahuna?"

"No, but I did find her," the caramel-blond replied, jerking a thumb towards the taller girl for emphasis.

"Lillie!" The labcoat-clad man's smile broadened as he beamed at the girl, before he hopped off the platform and jogged over to the pair. "I'm glad to see you're okay."

"So, you two know each other?" Soleil asked, arching a brow slightly.

"Oh, yeah," Kukui replied. "She's been my assistant for the past three months. And Lillie, this is Soul, she just moved here from the Johto region."

"It's nice to meet you," Lillie said softly, giving a nod of greeting.

"Likewise," the Johto-born girl replied, bowing in Lillie's direction before turning back to Kukui. "So, did you have any luck in finding the kahuna?"

"Well..." The labcoat-clad man grinned sheepishly as he raised a hand to rub the back of his neck, eliciting a snort of amusement from Night.

"Wow," the kitsune muttered, eying him. "Irresponsible much?"

The professor had opened his mouth to speak again, only to be interrupted by a sudden commotion that made Soleil flinch from how close by it was. People had jumped to their feet and a few were pointing while others waved excitedly and the small group turned to see a heavy-set man approaching.

He was dressed in a yellow overshirt with a plain blue shirt, a white sash tied in the front with a red fan tucked into it on the left, white capri pants, and a pair of blue and white flip-flops. Part of his white hair was pulled up into a high ponytail at the top of his head, and he sported a thick mustache, which stood out from his tanned skin. In a way, he reminded Soleil of Cianwood City's Gym Leader, Chuck.

Must be the mustache, Soleil thought, backing up a few steps when the younger man turned to address the newcomer. She jerked when she felt a touch on her left shoulder, followed by a soft apology from Lillie, who sounded as nervous as Soleil felt. The shorter teenager took a deep breath and closed her eye, taking a few moments to concentrate as she focused upon reading the aura of the newcomer, relaxing a little when she sensed no ill-will from the man, along with a sense of what could only be described as authority.

"Have I missed something?" the man asked as he stopped a foot or so away from the little group.

"Naw," Kukui replied. "But, where'd you go off to, Kahuna? We were supposed to be meeting here, yeah?"

"There was a commotion in Hau'oli City involving an unruly Tauros," the man explained. "As the island's kahuna, whenever there's a problem, it's my duty to resolve it. Everything's been taken care of, and as I was on my way back, I could've sworn I saw Tapu Koko flying about."

"Um... It's my fault, Kahuna Hala," Lillie spoke up, taking a step forward. "When we were on our way to the ruins, Nebby was attacked by a flock of Spearows on the Plank Bridge, but Soul and her Vulpix helped him get away."

Soleil arched a brow at the way the taller girl casually spoke of the mysterious little 'mon, silently guessing that both men knew about him and had promised to keep his existence a secret.

"That's when the bridge gave way and collapsed," Lillie continued. "I managed to keep Soul's Vulpix back, but I was terrified that she and Nebby were going to fall into the ravine and be swallowed by the river, but then Tapu Koko swooped in and saved them."

"I have a name, you know," Night muttered, giving Lillie a look that went unseen.

Kukui gave a low whistle. "Now that's something you don't hear everyday!"

"Although she is the guardian of Melemele Island, Tapu Koko is a rather fickle being, yet she was moved to save you," Hala explained, his gaze settling upon Soleil as he spoke.

The girl remained silent, shuffling her feet as she looked down at the ground. Night leant against her leg and wagged her tails, trying to reassure the human, and Soleil gave her a faint smile. A laugh caused her to blink and look back up at the kahuna to see that the man was smiling.

"This is a cause for celebration," he continued, his tone becoming more friendly, a contrast from the more professional tone he had a moment ago and quite different to the overly serious tone some of the Gym Leaders back home maintained, even when they weren't testing trainers. "I'm glad to meet such a brave and humble girl as yourself. I am Hala, kahuna of Melemele Island."

"Likewise," Soleil replied, her voice trembling from nerves as she bowed in his direction, some of her long hair falling over her shoulders from the motion. "My name is Soleil Vaillance, but most people call me 'Soul' for short."

"Yes, young Kukui told me of your coming, and I'm glad we got the chance to meet properly today," Hala stated, his tone holding warmth and helping Soleil to relax a little more. "My grandson, Hau, is due to arrive--"

"Oh, wow, a non-Alolan Vulpix!" came an exclamation from Soleil's immediate left. The girl jerked and clamped her hands over her mouth just in time to quell a startled yelp before she slowly turned to see that the cause of the sudden commotion on her blind side was a boy who appeared to be around the age of herself and Lillie. "Does she belong to you?"

"... any minute now," Hala finished, shaking his head, but the old man was smiling.

This newcomer was dressed in a black t-shirt with a pair of yellow-orange shorts that had a few white and dark orange flowers printed on them, a pair of dark orange shoes, and part of his dark green hair was pulled up in a style similar to Hala's. The boy's aura, while holding a friendly tone overall, also held a high feeling of enthusiasm that made Soleil feel a bit envious of how well he handled being around other people.

"I don't 'belong' to anybody, buster," Night growled, glaring up at the boy. "Soul's my best friend."

"Night's my best friend, and she's been with me since the previous winter," Soleil replied, her voice trembling again, much to her own annoyance. "I'm guessing you're here for your very first Pokémon?"

"That's right," Hau chirped, grinning from ear to ear as he folded his hands behind his head. His grandfather laughed before holding up three Poké Balls.

"Well then, let's get started then, shall we?" Hala said as the spheres opened, three small forms materializing in a line at the edge of the platform. "Come, my Pokémon, let's have a look at you!"

Even though she wasn't the one choosing a starter, Soleil felt herself smiling as she swept her gaze over all three Pokémon.

"May I have a closer look?" she asked, looking towards the kahuna.

"Of course you may, child," the old man replied, moving back so both kids could move closer to the trio of monsters. Night stayed back, moving to sit down next to Lillie's right leg, her golden eyes focused upon her best friend, watching to make sure none of the strange 'mon dared lash out at her.

The little brown and white bird reminded Soleil of a Hoothoot, and it swiveled its large head about, large dark eyes keenly studying its surroundings. The Fire-type starter was a black kitten with red stripes who yawned widely and began to groom one of its forepaws, as if it were bored with the entire situation and everyone present. The final starter was a little blue mammal that made Soleil think of a Seel, except it didn't keep part of its tongue showing and looked far less silly.

All in all, they were adorable, but none of them compared to her personal favorite, Totodile, which was the Water-type starter back in the Johto region.

"Hi there," Soleil murmured as she placed her hands on her knees and bent down a little to be closer to all three. The little owl regarded her for a moment before clacking its beak and preening itself, the kitten ignored her, but the Water-type smiled, its dark eyes fixed squarely on her.

"Let's see..." Hau mused to himself, loud enough for Soleil to overhear him. "Rowlet's Grass and Flying, Litten is Fire, and Popplio is Water..."

Soleil moved out of the way so the boy could move closer to each Pokémon as he looked them over, falling silent so as not to bring any more tension to the moment. The little avian, Rowlet, appeared to be quite interested in Hau when the boy looked it over, and when he moved over to examine the Litten, Soleil noted how the Rowlet looked down and shifted its weight from leg to leg, a clearly nervous gesture. Again, the Fire-type cat looked disinterested, and when Hau moved to study the Water-type, Popplio, it looked at him for only a few seconds before its gaze once against found its way to Soleil.

Despite appearing friendly, the girl sensed the apprehension within the Popplio's aura, realizing that it was nervous about not being chosen. The little sea lion's behavior left her utterly perplexed, though, and she barely paid attention when Hau ended up choosing the Rowlet to be his partner, the little avian giving voice to a happy 'Koo!' as it flew into his arms and rubbed its head against him.

"Looks like that's settled," Hala stated, a warm smile upon his features as he addressed his grandson and the Grass-type, before he moved to hand Rowlet's ball to the boy, who accepted it eagerly.

When Hala moved to recall the Litten and Popplio to their Poké Balls, the little Water-type dodged the red beam of light by jumping off the platform before it ran to hide behind Soleil's left leg. The girl jumped a little at feeling the little Pokémon brushing against the leg on her blind side.

"Now that's something that's never happened before," Hau commented, but Soleil paid him no mind as she carefully stepped over the little Water-type before she knelt down in front of it. "That Popplio really likes you."

"Is that true?" she asked, reaching out to pet the little creature, who stared up at her with wide, dark eyes that wavered slightly. The sense of apprehension in its aura was stronger now, and Soleil frowned a little at the realization of why the sea lion refused to be recalled.

"Three trainers have chosen her in the past," Hala's deep voice made Soleil look over to see that the kahuna was approaching them. "Only to return her because they believe she's mute."

"That's an awful reason to do so!" the girl cried, causing Lillie and the others to all look at her, and Soleil immediately regretted her sudden outburst but, still, she needed to get it out. "Just because of something she can't help."

"I agree," the old man replied, a thoughtful tone in his voice as he studied her, his brow furrowing a bit before he smiled. "But, as Hau already guessed, I believe she wishes for you to become her trainer. She's always been rather friendly towards newcomers, but this is the first time I've seen her become so attached to someone."

Soleil looked down when she felt a touch against her bare calf to see that the Popplio was nudging her with the big pink nose on the end of her narrow snout before the little sea lion moved to rub her head against the girl's leg.

"That's the thing, though, I'm not really a trainer. I mean, I've battled a few times because Night wanted to, but I'm not that serious about it," Soleil admitted as she looked away. "I don't know if I'd be able to give this Popplio the experience that someone who's serious about becoming a full-time trainer could..."

She blinked when she heard the little Pokémon huff, and when Soleil looked back at her for the third time, she was greeted by a jet of water hitting her squarely in the face, the sudden attack causing her to lose her balance and fall onto her backside, and she heard Lillie gasp from nearby. Soleil coughed, keeping her head tilted down as she made sure that her eyepatch hadn't become displaced by the jet of water before she moved to gather her long hair over her shoulder to wring the excess water out of it.

"Aaand that's never happened, either," Hau commented. "Are you okay?"

"I don't think she's going to take no for an answer, cousin," Kukui added, a note of laughter in his voice that made Soleil grit her teeth.

"Be nice!" Night snapped, moving to put herself between the offending starter 'mon and her friend, golden eyes narrowing dangerously even though the Pokémon she was glaring at had the type advantage over her. "Just because someone tells you no doesn't mean you have to be mean about it!"

"Night, it's okay," Soleil reassured, petting the angry kitsune before she climbed to her feet and dusted herself off, annoyed by how her shirt was now soaked and clinging to her. She returned her attention to the little Water-type, who moved to hop back up onto the platform, her attention squarely upon the teen.

"She has a slight stubborn streak, but she's never acted this way before," Hala said, sounding as confused as Soleil felt. "Still, I agree with young Kukui's assessment in that she wishes to change your mind."

"So you want to prove yourself?" Soleil asked, her attention upon the little sea lion, who stood up on her tailfin for a moment and crossed her flippers over her chest before sinking back down on all fours, her dark eyes glued to Soleil in a silent challenge. "Then, we accept. Come on, Night."

"Right behind you," the Fox Pokémon replied as the two ascended the short staircase to the platform. "Type disadvantage or not, I'll be happy to put that blue Seel in her place for doing that to you."

The pair took their place on the left side of the white symbol, with the Popplio by herself over on the right, and there was no warning given as the Water-type spat a jet of water towards the Vulpix.

"Double Team," Soleil commanded, and the fox obeyed, creating a dozen faux images of her which made the Water Gun attack miss its intended target. "Then use Feint Attack."

The shadow images of Night circled the Sea Lion Pokémon, who looked around, trying to pinpoint her true opponent before she resorted to blasting the images away by spitting out multiple jets of water at them, having cleared away half of them when her opponent suddenly appeared to her left and shoulder-tackled her, the sudden strike enough to knock the Water-type off balance.

The Popplio was quick to retaliate, however, hopping back up before she struck the fox across the face with her left front flipper, the Pound attack sending Night stumbling back a few steps. A jet of water soon followed, the contact causing the Fire-type to lose her balance and fall to her stomach, large eyes narrowed at her opponent before she climbed back to her paws and shook herself.

"Jump," Soleil commanded, the little fox obeying her, and Soleil waited until Night neared the height of her jump before giving her second order: "Use Dark Pulse straight down."

"Rokon!" Night exhaled a beam of purple-black energy, of which was immediately countered by her opponent's Water Gun, the two attacks hitting one another in a deadlock that lasted for a few seconds before the Dark-type attack broke through and overpowered the jet of water. The Dark Pulse struck its intended target, sending the little sea lion skidding back a foot or so.

"That's enough," Hala called, raising a hand for emphasis. "Well fought, both of you."

"Aww," Night pouted, her ears and tails drooping. "We were just getting started."

"I know, but look," Soleil told her as she pointed towards the Water-type starter, who looked absolutely dejected about having lost the bout. She was staring at the floor of the platform, tears welling at the corners of her eyes, and she didn't even look up even as the girl approached and moved to kneel down in front of her.

"Hey, you did your best," the girl soothed as she reached out to place a hand on top of the little Pokémon's head. "You know, my mom told me that we moved here because she was hoping that it would help me get over my fear of being around others. To be honest, I should've gone on my journey five years ago, but... circumstances... kept that from happening. And then, here you are sharing her view, and you haven't even met her."

The Popplio slowly raised her head, her dark eyes wavering as they met Soleil's, and the girl kept speaking to her.

"Before we moved here, I never left the house without my mother, and that's the main reason why I was never serious about becoming a trainer even though Night's shown me how much she loves to battle. I just... I just didn't want to hold anyone else back, which is why I didn't want to believe that you want me to raise you but... here I am, away from the safety of my own home, and it's actually not so bad." Soleil paused to take a slow, deep breath before she continued. "I think it's time for me to finally take that journey, and I have you to thank for helping me see this. So, if it's okay with the kahuna, I'd be happy for you to come along with Night and me."

The Popplio perked up at her words, giving a soft, happy bark as she raised herself and placed her front flippers on the girl's knee, a wide smile appearing on her narrow muzzle.

"The only one who has any say in such a matter is this Popplio, and we've all seen her choice," Hala said as he stepped onto the platform. "And in having accepted one another, the two of you will become inseparable."

The teen rose to her feet when the old man moved to hand her the Popplio's Poké Ball, which she accepted and clipped onto her belt with a soft 'Thank you', not yet wanting to recall her new Pokémon until after her mother and Kirrah had both gotten the chance to meet her. She blinked when Hala's brow furrowed as he continued to stare at her, and she was about to ask him what was wrong when he spoke.

"Soleil, may I see that stone you have?"

"This?" she asked, reaching into her shorts pocket and pulling out the stone Tapu Koko had left behind, the old man gently taking it from her when she held it out to him. To be honest, the girl had forgotten she even had it.

"Not only were you rescued by Tapu Koko, but she even gave you a stone..." the kahuna murmured as he turned it over and over in his hands, brow furrowed as he examined it before he turned his attention to the caramel-blond. "Would it be all right if I borrowed this? Worry not, I will return it to you in time. As little Popplio helped demonstrate, I believe that you have the potential to become a fine trainer, and it would be an honor if you were to join us for our festival tomorrow evening."

"O-of course," Soleil replied, bowing her head for a moment. "I'll need to let my mother know first, though. I don't want her to worry."

"Hey, cousin," Kukui called, catching the teen's attention before he hopped up onto the platform, and she tilted her head to one side when he held out a package. "A few gifts from me to you, I'm sure you'll like them, yeah."

"Th-thank you," the girl said softly as she took the offered parcel.


"G'night, cousin, see you tomorrow evening for the festival!" the professor called, waving over his shoulder as he headed back towards his lab, which Soleil had been shocked to learn that the location of it wasn't too far from her new house. Once the initial shock had worn off, she felt better about it, and deep down, she was amused to compare where she lived now to being in New Bark Town.

Hau had wanted to battle Soleil, only for his grandfather to remind him that the girl's Pokémon were both tired from their bout (which Night had denied, even though only Soleil could understand her), and that he would be battling her during tomorrow's festival.

"Um," Lillie's soft tone brought Soleil out of her thoughts, and she turned to regard the taller blond. "I want to thank you again for your help, and even though I don't like seeing Pokémon getting hurt, I'll be happy to watch your match with Hau tomorrow."

"I really appreciate it, and you're welcome," Soleil replied gently, giving Lillie a soft smile. "You know, maybe we'll see Tapu Koko again one day, so we can thank her for her help."

"I hope so," the other girl replied, nodding firmly before she turned to leave, only to stop in her tracks when she heard a squeak, and both humans looked down to see Nebby making a beeline for Night, who looked none too happy about getting more attention from him.

"No, go back in that bag," the Vulpix snapped, ducking behind Soleil's new Popplio, who blinked in confusion before giving a soft giggle.

"I think it's adorable that he likes you," the little Water-type stated, speaking for the first time that night.

"Adorable?! That puffball nearly got my friend killed earlier!"

"I didn't mean to," came the apology, and both mammals looked over to see the little Nebula Pokémon floating nearby, his bright yellow gaze fixed upon Night. "I was trying to Teleport, and it didn't work. It rarely works when I want it to..."

"Thank you," the vulpine 'mon replied, padding closer to Nebby before she sat down. "I'm sorry for being rude to you like I was earlier, but when you didn't apologize right away, it made you seem like you didn't care about what could've happened."

"So... you don't hate me?" he asked hopefully.

"Of course not, I -- H-hey, wait a second!" Night cried, only for her eyes to become as wide as saucers when the little ball of puff suddenly closed the distance and latched himself onto her neck in a tight hug.

"Eeeee, thank you, Night!" he chirped, nuzzling her before he released her and sailed back to Lillie's side.

"He's never shown that much attachment to anyone else before," Lillie said, a hint of amusement in her tone before she knelt down, and her next statement was directed to him: "You'll get to see them again tomorrow, I promise."

The little creature gave a resigned 'Pew...' before he settled down into Lillie's duffel bag, but not without waving an appendage at the others before he disappeared, and Lillie waved to the trio before she turned and headed in the same direction that Kukui had gone minutes earlier.

"Why me?" Night sighed, visibly drooping for a moment before she began to groom the fur on her neck back into place.

"I think it's cute that you have an admirer," Soleil teased, smirking even when her Vulpix shot her a glare that could melt paint off a wall, a light blush turning the fur on her face a deeper gold.

"Not another word," Night muttered before she turned to stalk up the stairs leading to the front porch.

The Popplio gave vent to another soft giggle before she and Soleil joined the Fire-type on the porch before the human opened the door.

"Mom, we're home!" she announced as she and her two Pokémon entered the house, and the teen took a second to shut the door behind her.

"Welcome back, Sundrop!" Emiko exclaimed, beaming at her daughter as the dark-haired woman emerged from her bedroom. "And I see you've brought a new friend h--"

"Uh, Mom?" Soleil asked, her eye widening when Emiko slowly crossed her arms over her chest, her expression becoming stern.

"I told you so," Night whispered.

"Young lady, where's your hat and why is your shirt ripped?"

"Uh... well, you see..."
Stardust Chapter 2
Second half of the two-parter and these are the only two chapters I'll post for now even though I have the fic written up to chapter six. I want to see if anyone is even interested in reading this before I post the rest.


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My top two interests are kaiju and Pokémon, but I also really like The Legend of Zelda series and the Mass Effect series. I'm not the greatest artist in the world, but I try my best, and photography is only a hobby for me, but it's high time I finally do something with this account. I may post some written fanfiction here sooner or later as well.


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