[WAR XI] An Act of Kindness [Judged] (And finally finished!)
I stared at it. It had stopped flopping around the moment my shadow fell on it, and I was amazed a bird Pokémon hadn't gotten it yet, considering it was flopping around in a puddle on the road. I kind of wished a bird Pokémon had gotten to it--my aunt would kill me if she knew I had seen a Pokémon in need and left it alone rather than help it, even though I despised Magikarp for being such a weak, useless Pokémon. The single eye the could see me rolled around frantically as the fish seemed to search for anything but me, and eventually realizing there wasn't, it landed on me and stared back. After a few moments of our staring contest, I glared at it; however it just kept on staring at me. Upon nudging it with my foot, it went back to pointlessly flopping about for a few moments before it seemed to remember me and froze again. I had wanted to kick it, but I knew that wouldn't get me far--I knew they were heavy, too heavy to kick very far, no matter how much I wanted to. With a sigh, I straightened out of my crouch over the Pokémon and continued to glare down at it.
"You know, this is pathetic," I told the Magikarp. "You ended up in a puddle on a road when the river flooded because of rain. Now you're stuck here with no one but a Magikarp-hating little girl to save you."
"Magi...?" the Pokémon seemed to respond dumbly, still unaffected by my glare. Ugh, it had no idea what I was saying, who was I kidding? It was just a stupid fish!
"You better be glad I'm Professor Redwood's niece, or I'd leave you out here, beached on the road. Because if she knew I found you and just left you here anyway, Aunt Redwood would kill me." The Magikarp continued to stare, seemingly unaware that it was my relationship to my aunt that saved it, and I just shook my head.
Now here was the thing--how was I going to get this thing back to the lab? I couldn't carry it even if I wanted to; it was too heavy, but then again... I turned to the Pokémon my aunt had basically assigned to be my bodyguard. "Hey, nanny," the Houndoom growled softly in response to the nickname, as he hated it just as much as we both hated him having to constantly follow me around as per my aunt's orders, but moved closer. "Got any ideas?" The large, dog-like Pokémon simply looked at me like I was crazy. "Hey, I hate Magikarp just as much as you do, but you know Aunt Redwood would kill us if she knew we found it and left it here," the big guy shook his head slowly, like he couldn't believe I was serious. I simply shook my head in return, at this point, my patience was growing thin.
"Fine, I'll go to town and borrow a tarp or something. You stay here and watch it." This elicited a snarl from the Houndoom, to which he received a roll of my eyes. "What? You hate following me around, I hate you following me around, and no one in town is going to kidnap me or anything, Aunt Redwood is just paranoid." He growled at me for that one. "You know she is, Cerberus! In spite the fact I'm eight and more organized than she is, Aunt Redwood seems to be terrified someone in a town of perfectly nice people is going to kidnap me. Besides, more to the point, I can speak English, you can't. I know you get the point across well enough to Aunt Redwood and I, and even some other lab assistants, but not everyone can understand you," I told him, and the Houndoom hung his head in defeat before shaking it again.
"What? You got any other ideas?" I snapped finally, and for once Cerberus did something that surprised me; he moved forward and gently latched onto the Magikarp's tail before looking back at me expectantly. "Oh, so we're going to drag it through the mud?" At this point, Cerberus's "look" became a glare. I knew he was looking for a compromise that doesn't involve letting me out of his sight because he didn't want to get in trouble, but still! The Houndoom let go of the tail with what appeared to be a sigh before moving around it and indicated the fins on the top and bottom of the fish Pokémon. Great, so not only was I going to save a Pokémon I hated to spare myself from the wrath of my aunt, but I was going to smell like fish, too? This stank in more ways than one.
With a groan, I followed Cerberus's suggestion and grabbed a fin in each hand and stood at the front of the Magikarp while he took the tail fin again and we slowly lifted it and began to move back towards the lab. This was a rather long process, between us nearly dropping the Magikarp multiple times due to its habit of suddenly flopping around and us needing to stop and set it down in the occasional water puddle in the road for all of us to rest. By the time we finally got the thing back to the lab, I hated the thing even more than I already had when I agreed to pick it up. I had complained about how much easier the tarp idea would have been to Cerberus a time or two on the trip back, but he didn't bother to answer, seeing as his mouth was full of Magikarp tail.
When we finally got to the lab, our slow process was greeted by stares from most of the lab assistants and my aunt’s receptionist. "It was in the road," I huffed while they stared on. "Can someone please get my aunt?" Of course, by the time someone finds Aunt Redwood and sends her to me, Cerberus, the Magikarp and I had all made it to what has commonly been called the "clean-up room" and Cerberus had downed tons of water to get the fish and mud taste out of his mouth, I'd washed my hands multiple times, and I'd shoved the Magikarp into one of the small shower stalls and cranked on the cool water.
"Liz, what is this I'm hearing about a--" before she could finish, I pointed to the shower stall with the Magikarp in it and the water on.
"Magikarp? I found it in the road, probably got washed out of the river in the flood, and figured you'd kill me if I left it there, so I talked Cerberus into making himself useful," the Houndoom growled again, "and we carried it back here. I figured it needed water, and the shower was the only thing I could think of. Got anywhere in mind that we can put it that isn't the middle of the road between here and town? So it doesn't, you know, die?" I explained rather quickly and impassively, much to my aunt's displeasure.
"Liz," she sighed, looking down at me and adjusting her glasses, "firstly, Magikarp is not that hard a Pokémon to determine the gender of--this one is a he, not an it," she told me slowly. "Secondly, how hot is that water? You know it can't be--" I cut her off almost boredly as she wandered towards the shower.
"It's not too hot, Aunt Redwood. I checked before I put it," this got me a glare from my aunt, "I mean, him, in there. It's pretty cool since I figured it, ah, he, was pretty hot from being stuck on the road." She wasn’t satisfied until she stuck a hand under the water herself, but my aunt seemed to come away from that rather satisfied.
“Well, we can keep him in the pond outside, but I’d like to observe him and make sure nothing is wrong with him first,” Aunt Redwood said thoughtfully as she turned to face me. “And since you brought him back to the lab, I want you to help me take care of him, Liz, since you brought him in and I want you to learn about process some, too. After that, I’d still like you to take care of him when we move him to the pond since Magikarp aren’t exactly the fiercest Pokémon out there. I want to be sure he’s eating well… You don’t mind, do you?” I had to force myself to keep my jaw firmly in place. She really expected me to take care of this thing?! One of the Pokémon I completely despised?! Yes, yes I minded, I wanted to tell her, but I knew I would end up worse off if I tried to protest it.
“No, Aunt Redwood, I don’t mind,” I told her and gave her a faked smile. My oh-so-wonderful aunt then clapped her hands and gave me a huge smile.
“Well then, why don’t you give our new friend a nickname?” I cringed at the suggestion. I wanted to name the stupid fish about as much as I wanted to take care of it—which was not at all. I bit back the whine of ‘Do I have to?’ and took a second to think. She was going to make me name the thing whether I wanted to or not, and if I was going to be made to take care of it, I might as well not name it something stupid and fluffy like I knew she would. I sighed as nothing came to mind beyond how I found it/him in a puddle…well, that was better than nothing.
“How about Puddle?” I asked, and my aunt did that stupid thing with the clapping and beaming again—how old did she think I was, three?
“Puddle! That’s adorable, I like it!” Those were the words that began the daily routine in my life involving the Pokémon I now hated more than any other. Who knew an act of kindness would turn around and bite me on the butt like that?
Last edited by Winter; 07-20-2012 at 07:16 AM.