Jan 27, 2020 11:19 PM
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"Uh, sure, I guess. If there's somewhere to do it. Bar, is there a good place for my 'mon to spar?"

Try the back yard.

Bella picks up Dusk and heads for the back door.
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The two follow after her.

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"Dusk versus..." Bella looks around at the backyard, the lake, the forest. "Mm, let's say Branch." She tosses a ball; a deer with antlers in summer foliage pops out. She pets him. He's considerably bigger than Dusk. "Sparring time, boys! Get warmed up, I'll cue you."

Dusk takes to this instruction more readily than Branch does; he pounces on the larger Pokémon, nips him on the ear, leaps off. Branch halfheartedly aims a kick, which Dusk dodges.

"Come on, you can do better than that, Branch. Horns, you've got horns."

Branch bows his head and manages to catch Dusk on his horns and toss him into the air. Dusk rights himself in midair and lands on Branch's back, nips his neck, jumps off.

"Dig," Bella says, "gently," and suddenly Dusk is underground with astonishing speed. Branch dances nervously around the environs of the hole, and is knocked over by an equally rapid ascent under his feet; Dusk pounces on him while he's prone, lightly nips Branch's foreleg, and jumps away again. Branch gets up.

"Horn Leech," Bella says, "again, gently, gently," and Branch aims his horns at Dusk, who yelps indignantly when they connect; Branch looks leafier and less bitten. "Solar Beam," she adds, squinting up at the cloudy sky. Branch starts glowing. "Faint Attack -" Dusk jukes left, then zigzags around to leap up and kick Branch in the head. Branch retaliates by aiming the glowing at Dusk, who is driven a few feet backwards by the blast but gets right up again and obeys Bella's "Shadow Ball" order. This does nothing whatsoever to Branch, apparently, but it looks very impressive, Dusk forming a wad of spherical darkness that passes completely through Branch's torso and dissipates before it hits the ground. "Return -" Branch obeys, but misses; Dusk takes advantage of the confusion to sneak in a scratch to Branch's flank.

"Psychic." Dusk dances away from Branch for optimal range; the scenery distorts slightly and Branch whines. "Megahorn." Branch scoops up Dusk in his horns again, more emphatically than before, and flings him; he lands on the ground, conscious but a little the worse for wear. "Good. Stop," commands Bella, and Branch begins unconcernedly eating grass. Dusk trots over to her to be picked up.
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Both of the sisters clap at the show.

"That was interesting. Veeery interesting."

Ann opens her mouth, but Sabrina elbows her in the ribcage without even looking.

"I want one of those. Scratch that, I need one of those. Also, Lucy would love it."
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Ann laughs.

"You're absolutely right. She would give it a silly name, cuddle it and take it everywhere with her."
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"So, how can I get my hands on one of those?"

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"Uh, you can catch them or buy them or get them as presents - I'm really attached to all six of mine, though."

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"In your world, right? First we'd need access to it. And currency. Did you come here through the door too or is there some other method?"

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"Through the door. I thought it was a shop."

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"That was implied, yes. I was just making sure. So somehow the door leads to both your world and ours. Ann, do you think it's time we grill the Bar some more, maybe check if the door has come back?"

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"Sure, sounds like a good idea. Are you coming with us?"

The last she asks Bella.
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"Yeah, sure." She returns Branch to his Pokéball but carries Dusk, back in. "Hey, Bar, how does the door work?"

Her answer is a long and thoroughly explanatory napkin which must be unfolded to reveal all its text.
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"So now we just need to keep ourselves entertained, the door will come back sooner or later. Bella, you don't happen to have a deck of cards or something like that with you?"

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"No, just my Pokétch and notebooks and field equipment."

I can loan you a deck of cards, if you like, says the bar.

"Oh, neat."
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"Nice. Do you know the rules to Kalooki or Cassino?"

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"Nnnnnope. And I'm betting you don't know Cloyster Catch or Ten Bugs."

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"Never heard of them. In that case we have two options, are you in the mood for learning or explaining?"

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"I'll learn something, why not."

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She hears the rules to Cassino.

"Usually the easiest way to teach this to novices is to play a few games with everyone's hands on the table face up."
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"Sure."

And with borrowed cards they play cassino.
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The first few games go to Bella by a wide margin. The sisters are too busy sabotaging each other to pay any attention to her cards.

After the third loss Sabrina sighs.

"This is not how it's supposed to be played. Are you ready to play blind, Bella?"
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"I think so."

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Games are played, won and lost. After a while...

"I think I'm getting hungry enough to try my luck with a free drink from the magic bar."
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I also serve food, mentions the bar, when she approaches, but only the first beverage is free.

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"Oh, food, even better. Can I please see the menu?"

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