Anana heard the pitter-patter of footsteps following the jingle that signified another customer had entered the shop, and turned to greet the potential client. No sooner had she bid the Pokemon a good afternoon did she realize that it was hardly a customer, but her frazzled, seemingly upset sister. The way the purple seemed faded, a bit gray even, told Anana everything she needed to know about her sibling’s current emotional state. It was just so terribly obvious to her.
However, Payapa had nothing to say to Anana. She was after something else. “Dad! DAD! Quick... I... I need something, Dad!”
Agave lazily looked up from organizing the coins and bills in the cash box momentarily before returning back to his task. It seemed he had half a mind to ignore her.
Payapa paid that no mind. “Dad! I need your help! There’s this... well, I need something, there’s a friend, and he’s sick. I need something to make him all better. I need a doctor or something. Dad! Stop it... pay attention to me!”
Agave quickly tired of her impatience. She went to yank on his tail, something she’d done when she wanted his attention since early childhood, but was met with a smack across the face instead. The force was enough to knock her stumbling a couple of feet backward, and Anana turned away so as to not bear witness to the scene. Instead, Anana decided, she would recount the number of flower pots. There were fourteen.
Payapa grabbed at her cheek and pawed it; she looked at her palm, as if she expected to find drawn blood, but there was nothing. It just stung. Too shocked to properly react, she just stared at her claws, mouth gaping. Why? Why had he done that?
Without interrupting the work of counting stones, coins, and bills, he spoke. “Don’t you go touching me with those grubby little paws o’ yers. You want somethin’ from me, you best be givin’ me somethin’ in return.”
Clink. A coin dropped where it belonged.
“Yer old enough now that that’s a fair deal. We don’t get no work from you in the shop really no more anyway, so you might wanna be looking for a new place ta rest that sorry hide o’ yers soon if’n that don’t change right as soon, girly.”
Clatter. Another few coins back in their place.
“So you want my help? Gimme somethin’ for it. Fair trade. Doctor or somethin’? I’ll tell you about that for a price.”
Payapa was no less stunned now than she had been prior to the unexpected smack. Having to... pay him? To help her out? Charles was... he wasn’t doing well, he needed help... and she didn’t have the money for that! She didn’t have the money and didn’t understand...
Didn’t quite understand...
In the haze of the situation, that question formed once more: why had he done that? Why was he still acting this way? Couldn’t he tell she was distressed? Didn’t he know?
She had nothing to give him, not even tears. She backed up and into the wall before scrambling to her right and back out of the shop. The only reasonable thing to do here was find someone who would help without a stupid fee.
Anana was very glad her father didn’t notice that she was trembling with fright. She excused herself at the earliest possible opportunity to take a lunch break, and then became ill in the sand in front of a few concerned Pokemon.
Part 17 of "Complementaries"
edit: there are not 15 pots! there are 4, 3, 3, 4!