The ride was a tedious and uneventful one but this hardly bothered the youthful Peony who lost track of time as she lost track of the ever-churning waves. The ocean was a brilliant blue, despite the hanging mist surrounding Castelia. Peony hated that concrete-slathered jungle of a-- Now, now. Hate was a terribly strong word. There was plenty to appreciate about Castelia. The ice cream was delectable and the many tucked-away alleys were a joy to explore.
Castelia just never quite appealed to Peony as Nacrene had. She'd only moved into that apartment for about a week but the cozy atmosphere had already made her feel at-home. It was urbanized but to a degree. The neighbors she had met were lovely folk, though they fretted about her far too much. Always asking to help her out, and they asked so many questions! They could use a vacation, Peony thought with a light smile on her face. Fortunately she'd been able to tote all the plant life she'd stuffed into her place in Nacrene. Except that one fern, the poor chap. Gladiolus adored that one. It was a shame to leave it behind. She hoped the neighbors kept their promise in caring for it. Returning to see it wilting would melt her Carnivine's heart.
Oh, but the Virbank pier was in sight now. The city seemed a bit less crowded than Castelia, but still too city-life for Peony's taste. Ah well, the next ferry seemed even roomier than the one they'd all be crammed into. Wasn't that lovely? Eventually, the bags were packed onto the boat ride to Sinnoh, that one Peony was reluctant to take. Going back to the region she'd recently escaped would be unpleasant, but not too unpleasant. Nothing was unbearable, after all. Gladiolus wanted this; he claimed that dream was something important, and the answers lay somewhere in Sinnoh. And Peony trusted his word above all else. Who else would doubt a talking Carnivine?
Perhaps the boat felt so spacey because she and Gladiolus were the only ones aboard. Oh wait, that boy from earlier! The one with the greasy hair, light bags and bored expression. He'd seemed sad, so she's smiled at him. He also had a little trash bag-looking Pokemon. He was awfully cute. Peony smiled him too, though the Pokemon only blinked in response. Oh well, at least they'd acknowledged her. She settled down on the second ferry, though Gladiolus, oddly, did not. He was still rested atop her head and shoulders, though his body and roots dragged on the floor of the open boat. He whispered through his gaping green mouth, into Peony's ear.
"Hey. That boy." He made a flopping motion with his leafy arm, motioning towards the hooded kid staring out into the ocean. Peony was doing the same, so she hadn't noticed him or even Gladiolus until he hissed again. "That boy," he repeated. "You should talk to him."
Peony studied the stranger. He seemed young adult, just as she was. He had a spooky, sunken look to him, with tight skin like a skeleton. Halloween-ish, and Peony enjoyed Halloween in all of its light-hearted spookiness, so she thought little of the boy's appearance. Besides, his earlier actions were anything but frightening. He seemed like a nice fellow.
"Why talk? Because he's bored?"
"No. Because." Gladiolus flopped down further into her curly blonde locks and Peony chuckled. This was his way of saying something intrigued him. Their entire journey was based on that itching feeling of the Carnivine's. And, again, she trusted him, so she slowly made her way to the boy on the opposite side of the boat.
Baxter noticed the little girl before Casper had taken a glance. His slimy hand reached out as his companion's sleeve, dangling down from the human boy's position along the ferry's edge. Casper swung his legs around, no longer balancing with one hanging just over the waves. The captain had called out to him, telling him to sit correctly, but he had ignored him. Now, he sat upright, still risking falling over into the chilling Sinnoh waters as the brown-skinned female inched towards him. There was a sort of reluctance in her stance, as if she felt obligated to interact with him.
She was a curious girl, for sure. So curious that it was hilarious, and Casper burst into the laughter. The blonde-haired girl was so short in stature and with that bulky green mass of a Pokemon balanced on her head, she looked almost foolish. He almost took a grand tumble into the ocean water if Baxter weren't there to balance him onto his feet. From behind the wheel, the captain almost had a heart attack.
"What's so funny?" the girl asked innocently as Casper recovered from his fit of laughter, wiping tears away from the sleeves of his sweatshirt.
"Nothin'." His answer was simple. He didn't want to offend this girl, anyway. Still, she seemed undisturbed by his fit and her earlier confusion was replaced with a warm smile. Casper returned it. What a nice lady, she was, though awfully young by the look of it.
"How old are you? Shouldn't your parents be with you?" he inquired, though he received no answer. An awkward silence betook them for quite a while. The boy and his Trubbish exchanged nervous glances before the girl gave them an answer.
She hadn't heard a word he said.
Casper sighed and started again. "Where are your parents, girl? Shouldn't they be with you?"
She looked bewildered. "My parents? In Sinnoh!"
"So you're going to go see them?"
"Nope!" Now it was Casper's turn to be bewildered, though the girl grinned brightly, unaware to any confusion her statement might have caused. It all made sense in her head, by the looks of it.
"So, why are you going to Sinnoh?"
The girl exchanged glances with her big plant-looking Pokemon, just like Casper and Baxter had. Finally, she spoke again. There were always pauses between her words. "I dunno. Gladiolus knows though, but he won't say."
"Gladiolus? Is that your Pokemon's name?"
"Mmhmm. What's yours?"
"Baxter." The Trubbish hardly moved, even at the sound of his name. Still, his eyes followed the conversation and he was obviously paying some sort of attention, though his brain might not have been processing the information.
"Cool! I like that name." How positive she was, this girl. She smiled yet again. She never seemed to run out of those toothy grins, which Casper was more than content with. He returned this one with his own fang-like smile. The two exchanged names and then left one another alone.
It was only coincidence, their similar situation.