Cool air brushed against my body making me shiver. I opened my eyes to see Jhon standing over me in a lab coat with a facial mask on. He was listening to my heartbeat through a stethoscope. I squinted my eyes, trying to make sure I was seeing things correctly. He moved the stethoscope to one side of my chest. I glanced down. There were a bunch of blankets pulled down to my waist and I could see that I had some stiches on my side where I was shot. I could see a bunch of people lying in beds around me. I tried to sit up but Jhon shoved me back down.
“No,” he said firmly.
“Eh,” I said as if to ask him what’s going on.
He stood up and grabbed a clipboard that was on the bed next to me. He wrote something down before kneeling back down and put the stethoscope on the other side of my chest. Someone nearby started whining about how uncomfortable they were. Jhon sighed in irritation. He got up to go talk to them.
I looked to one side and saw Charlot who was unconscious next to me. On the other side was a pillar. I looked up and saw a stained glass ceiling. I started thinking about what could have possibly happened to me to land me here. Jhon came back and started listening to my insides again when I remembered. Tears started swelling in my eyes.
“No, don’t start this again,” Jhon said, pointing a finger at me.
“Can’t it wait until I’m done?”
I completely broke down crying. Jhon threw his hands in the air.
“Fine, I’ll go get some bandages and wrap you up again,” He yelled.
I grabbed his sleeve as he tried to leave. I didn’t want to be alone half naked in a room full of strangers with various injuries.
“David, let go,” He said, pulling on his sleeve.
“Ung un wunna e unron,” I babbled.
“Yes, I know you’re sorry! You’ve been saying that for the past three days!”
He pulled away then stormed off. I pulled the covers up and rolled onto my stomach. He hates me. Everyone does after I did such a horrible thing. They’re all going to leave me all alone, I just know it.
“David, roll over,” Jhon said, tapping my shoulder.
I shook my head and pulled the blankets over my head.
“C’mon, David, don’t be like this. I have to bandage your entire torso. It’s bad enough that we can’t put people in individual rooms,” He said, pulling at my blanket.
“Unngh,” I growled at him.
“God, why do people have to be so fucking difficult,” I heard Jhon throw something on the ground. “I just want to help people, dammit!”
I wiped my eyes and peered out from the blankets. Jhon was curled up with his knees to his forehead. I reached out to brush his hair when I felt something tug at my arm. I was hooked up to an IV. I pulled my arm back and stared at Jhon. He eventually picked his head up and flipped his hair from his face. His face was red as he sniffed.
“Are you going to cooperate now,” he said, scooting closer to me.
I slowly sat up, letting the blankets fall around my waist. He started wrapping the bandages around my body. We both occasionally sniffed. I rubbed my eyes with my arm.
“Hmm,” I heard Jhon hum, interested.
I looked at him.
“O-Oh, It’s nothing,” He said, looking down.
I nodded. We sat there in silence until Jhon was done.
“I’m sorry,” He said, standing up. “You were really out of it for the past couple of days. You kept wailing and crying about how sorry you were. You’ve been impossible to deal with because of that. I’ve just been overwhelmed being a rookie taking care of all these people.”
“Eh,” I said, surprised that I would be like that.
“You seemed to have returned to somewhat normal. You have to stay here and rest, alright? I’ll be back again later.”
“Eh,” I said pointing at the IV in my arm as he stood up.
“That’s pain medication,” Jhon said.
I settled back down in bed. He grinned at me and walked off.
A couple of hours later, I saw Jamie wandering over to another bed. He sat down next to them and started chatting away. I closed my eyes to see who he was talking to, but all I could see was black. I opened my eyes then closed them again, but still couldn’t see anything. It was kinda cool closing my eyes and not being able to see anything through them for a change. I keep my eyes closed and listened to whatever was going on around me. I heard Jamie tell whoever he was talking to goodbye and then he came over to me. I opened an eye, and then closed it again.
“I heard from Jhon that you were doing a bit better now,” Jamie said. “How are you doing?”
I shrugged and said, “Eh.”
“I didn’t know you could talk like that. You have such a deep voice. Why don’t you talk to us?”
I gave him the middle finger.
“Don’t be like that,” he said, gently hitting my arm.
“Ah,” I said, rubbing my arm like that actually hurt.
“Hey, listen, I’m sorry I tried to kill you that night. I don’t know what came over me. And I know how sorry you are. We all do. So you don’t have to keep apologizing to us.”
“Uh,” I said, opening my eyes.
“We’re still friends, right,” Jamie said, smiling brightly.
I held out my hand and he grasped it. I knew I had such an unbreakable bond with these guys. He’s right, you know. Friends fight sometimes.
He told me what happened after the battle. The big boss Ranger who’s in charge of the entire Kalos region came out here and yelled at everyone. She was not happy at all that it had come to this. All the Pokemon Rangers on that base were suspended without pay and were to be relocated on the other side of the region. She assured the Guardians that something like that would never happen again. However, the next time they were having problems, they were to notify her directly.
Riley also got in a lot of trouble since it was sort of his fault in the first place. At worse, he could be deported from Kalos to Sinnoh, but the Ranger boss said it most likely won’t happen. Or at least not under her watch. But she did say that a while away from Atmora would be more than enough punishment. There wasn’t much that could be done about the rest of village other than having a four foot eleven inch woman scream at them for two hours.
I asked Jamie what about me and he reassured me that we’d be long gone before they can decide what would happen to me. I folded my arms at him as he laughed, rubbing the back of his head.
“So the rest of us have been ‘working’ if you want to call it that,” Jamie said. “James and Seviper are working on helping build a church, CG’s telling everyone how to plant berries and take care of them and stuff. As you can tell, Jhon volunteered to help take care of the people who were wounded. Tom and I don’t have much to do, though. So I’ve been here talking to people.”
I pointed over to where he was before he came to chat with me.
“Oh, I was talking to Jack. He has a pretty nasty burn on his back and was in shock for quite some time.”
I sunk down into my bed.
“No, he’s not mad at you at all. He was actually impressed that you were able to use his weakness against him like that. When you get better, you should go talk to him. You know him. He loves a good battle. I think it would do you some good seeing how he won’t shut up about it.”
I held up my hand and motioned for food.
“Ah, crap, I forgot,” Jamie said, bolting up. “I was supposed to start cooking a community meal like I said I would. I’m sorry. I’ll tell someone else that you’re hungry. If there’s some left over, I’ll get some for you. I gotta go, see ya!”
I watched him sprint down the row of beds, nearly running into a nurse. I pulled the IV stand around the bed to the other side and rolled over onto my stomach. I closed my eyes and could see faint blue colors in the shape of bodies. I frowned.
I spent most of my recovery watching Charlot sleep. He eventually woke up and we spent most of our time from then on, chatting when my friends weren’t around. Whenever Jhon would pass by, I’d whistle at him and he’d get all mad. He couldn’t figure out which one of us was doing it since we were both giggling. He threatened to seduce us both if we didn’t stop doing that.
When I was able to get up and walk, the first thing I did was go visit Jack. He was curled up in a ball with his hair in a ponytail. I slowly kneeled down and stared at him until he woke up.
“David,” he said, lifting his head up, “por que?”
“Eh,” I said, pinching his cheek.
He sat up and rubbed his eyes.
“I haven’t seen you around in a while,” he said with a yawn, “where have you been?”
I pointed at my side.
“You were injured too?”
“Go figure that was hell of a battle according to Jamie. I got a bad burn on my back and I guess I was in shock for a long time after that.”
“And then I had a nasty fever after that. It’s like, the first thing I remember after that. Uh, I don’t remember the fight at all. It sounded really awesome though. Looks like you won the rematch.”
I cringed while he started laughing.
“What are you looking at me like that for? Whatever it takes to win, right? Besides, I was the same way before. Maybe I kinda deserved it.”
“Uh, no,” I said, shaking my head and placing a hand on his shoulder.
“In any case, I do have a vague memory of lying in the fire. My only thought was, ‘Well, shit.’ It was really strange. I couldn’t feel anything in that moment. I wasn’t scare or nothing. Do you think it’s weird?”
He went on and on about what little he did remember from that night. He said he did try roasting a marshmallow at one point, but when it caught fire he freaked out and dropped the stick. He then wanted me to stick a lighter in his face to see how he’d react. I held up my hands and shook my head. I certainly didn’t want to scare him after what I’d done to him. He pouted, rolled over and told me he didn’t want to talk to me anymore. With his back exposed, I could see where his burn was. Though most of the wound was covered in a bandage, there was a little bit of red, raw looking bit around the edge.
He lifted his head and said, “What? Are you expecting me to sleep some more so you can watch me?”
I was let go soon after that. I went to the place I’ve been staying at during my time here. I found my backpack by the door. The book was by the bedstand. I looked through my backpack to make sure everything was in it. Then I grabbed the book and lied down in bed to finish reading it.
The book talked about what I had felt during the latter part of my battle with the girl with the Mismagnius. Apparently, a Guardian’s power is heightened during a time where they feel the need to protect something the most. During this time, they are able to use their power with ease. But, they can use up all of their power easily and they faint when their aura gets too low. It was unknown if a Guardian could die or lose their power from this.
The last chapter talked about Riley’s hope for Aura Guardians everywhere and urged anyone that was one to talk to him about their experiences. In the end, he admitted that although published, this book was still a work in progress and he was eager to add more to it.
As I put the book down, I heard a knock on the door. I opened it and Seviper was there, all sweaty with a basket in hand.
“Gosh, it’s hot in here,” Seviper said, wiping his brow and setting the basket down on the table. “Aren’t you hot too?”
I was so pre-occupied with the book, I wasn’t really thinking about how hot it was. I turned on the air conditioner while Seviper sat down in the chair.
“I’m sorry I didn’t come and see you before,” he said, taking a piece of bread from the basket. “I couldn’t bear to see that guy that was next to you since I did try to kill him after all.”
I took some bread from the basket as well and sat down next to him. He talked about the church they were building. He knew nothing about doing that sort of thing and was eager to get back to Cyllage so that he can start working on the warehouse. He asked me if he could use my shower and I nodded. While he was in there, I ate all the bread he had. When he came out with only a towel wrapped around his waist and went to eat some bread, he threatened to shoot me. I sat there and grinned, knowing he wasn’t going to do that because I was his best friend.
The time came when we had overstayed our welcome and had to leave. The villagers were generous and gave us more than enough food to get to the next town. We left early in the morning and everyone that could came to see us off. I felt a sort of warmness as I felt, knowing of the kindness of everyone here. Well, except for Pons who came up and yelled that he was glad I was leaving.
“I love you too,” I said, turning around.
I’m sure I made him red in the face, embarrassing him in front of everyone. My crew stared at me in shock, not knowing what I was truly capable of.
That afternoon, we stopped for lunch by the river. We all sighed, dropping our backpacks.
“It’s so hot,” CG said. “It’s like being in a desert only in a forest.”
“I know, right,” Tom said, taking out his water bottle. “Hopefully October will be better.”
“Nooo,” Jamie whined.
“Then it’ll be cold and everything starts dying!”
“Exactly,” CG said. “That’s why fall is the best!”
“Why am I even friends with someone like that,” Jamie asked himself.
We all laughed and settled down to eat. Lunch was head cheese, regular cheese and a ton of crackers. While we were eating, I took out my journal and looked through its pages. I had completely neglected to use it for its initial purpose. I tore out the pages I had used while in the village and crumbled them up.
“What are you doing that for,” CG asked.
“Probably something embarrassing,” James said.
“That just makes me want to see what it is,” Jamie said.
I threw the crumbled up pieces of paper at him.
“What do they say? What do they say,” CG said, peering over Jamie’s shoulder.
“Well, these aren’t interesting at all,” he said. “They’re kinda boring, actually.”
“They don’t even make sense,” CG said.
“I want some juicy stuff, give me that journal, David,” Jamie said.
I shook my head.
“C’mon, we’re friends, right? I won’t tell anybody what’s in it.”
“That’ll be the day,” CG said.
Jamie shoved CG aside and came after me. I got up and ran away. We ran around in circles around everyone. Jhon stuck his leg out in front of me and I jumped over it, but Jamie didn’t. I waited for him to get up and ran over to the river.
“I got you now,” he said, lunging at me.
I dodged to the side and into the river Jamie went. He sat up and spattered while we all laughed at him. He ran his hand through his hair and got out of the river.
“Hey, I have an idea,” he said. “Since we’re all hot, why don’t we all soak in the river some?”
“Nah,” we all said.
“What? Why not?”
“I’d rather take a nap,” Jack said.
“A nap sure sounds nice,” Seviper said.
“Eh,” I said.
“Let’s all take a nap then,” Jhon said. “And hopefully SOMEONE won’t get kidnapped and then leave us again.”
“Yeah, David,” CG said.
I looked around, confused.
“That means you, dumbass!”