Pyrite Town | Sunset
Athena's (exaggerated) smug superiority only continues to grow as the other Pokemon begin to chime in, starting with the Raichu. Her humble suggestion appears to be popular, dooming not only Matt but every unfortunate human to death by sheer embarrassment. Oh? I bet we all have some great stories on our brilliant trainers." You wound me.""Yeah, Athena, what kind of betrayal is this?""The kind where I tell everyone humiliating stories and laugh.""Oh, as if we trainers are completely helpless."
Diane's interjection is a welcome one, as it saves Matt from his dear Gardevoir's evil whims. He gives her a smirk of his own in return, a sort of "take that." She rolls her eyes, but it doesn't hide that amused smile. "Like that time you wanted to get a really close look at a camera, so you started playing with mine despite me telling you not to, and you set the flash off in your face. And walked into a tree trying to find me."
The image brings a sudden burst of laughter from Matt, similar to how he used to react to Chris' awful, but also hilarious puns. Puns were pretty much their thing. Even Athena is chuckling, too; her own encounters with cameras were nowhere near as disastrous, or funny."What about the time you kept saying 'toilet' to all the Kantonian residents while visiting because you got it mixed up with the word for 'hello!?'""... You fight dirty.""Dirtier than the shovel I'm gonna bury you with beneath all these stories of you being a dumbass."
Matt really does not like the look on Athena's face; Arceus, what horrific tales did she know that he's forgotten? He's fearing for his reputation in the middle of laughter, but fortunately, the Gardevoir shows him mercy yet again. Whew. That was a close call. She could've have ended whatever social life he had now with one, fell swoop."Ladies, ladies~! So vicious!"
Wes passes out rations to the rest of them, and Athena can tell that Matt is just about ready to devour the entire thing, food and box alike. They hadn't had much in the way of food this entire day, and honestly, she could probably eat an entire Tauros by herself right now. Actually, there's no "probably" about it; she really could eat an entire Tauros. In this day and age, it wouldn't be the first time they'd had to hunt after wild Pokemon, but luckily there's no need for that tonight. "Let's try and keep it civil, right? Besides, out of embarrassing stories, I'm pretty sure I'm taking the proverbial cake. Ain't that right, Whiskey? Remember the time you walked in on--"
Athena is listening attentively-what in the world had the poor feline seen?-but by now the other Pokemon is no longer at his spot. She keeps her eyes on the Espeon, curious, as he goes to the window. Whatever's out there, it's certainly not close enough for her to sense it past all of the people already gathered here. "There's someone down there. It's not Dean."
Matt immediately turns his attention to the Espeon as well; Athena knows that if Whiskey's specifically mentioned Dean, then this newcomer is very likely to be a human. She and her trainer must be thinking the same thing, that having so many humans converge on this one town is almost too convenient to be coincidence, even including the Pyrite natives. Could this person be...?"Doesn't look like someone on the prowl for trouble."
Wes' comment doesn't give them much information to go on, and so Athena keeps listening. That can't be the only thing he has to say about this stranger. "Hey, he's got an Espeon, too."
With that, her hopes immediately deflate, returning to that lingering sense of despair that the company of other people had managed to squash for some time. Still, Athena knows her own reaction cannot be anywhere close to what Matt himself felt. For those few moments, they'd both believed whoever was out there could have been Rose. I shouldn't have reacted so strongly."So... I think I'm gonna check this guy out. You guys stay cozy up here if you want, ok?"
Wes then leaves with his Espeon, leaving the rest of them behind. The lighthearted, joking mood between Athena and Matt has all but vanished.
Matt isn't getting his hopes up over the stranger being Chris. Yes, his younger brother had a Flying-type Pokemon, and could theoretically have traveled to this region, but what were the odds of that? Besides, he doesn't even have an Espeon, and it would be completely foolish to think he somehow found one. More likely it is someone he and Athena are completely unfamiliar with; you know what they say about Occam's Razor. If Chris had to be anywhere, it would be Hoenn-that's why Mei, Syrene, and Falon'Din are there, searching. They knew Rose had come to this desert, but Matt has not seen his brother or heard anything of Chris' whereabouts since this entire outbreak started. He could be anywhere.
Athena places a hand on her trainer's shoulder, sensing the turmoil he felt over his missing siblings. She would make certain they saw this search until the end, when all three of them were reunited. The Gardevoir isn't going to give up hope yet, not when they had at least somewhat of a lead on Rose, and certainly not when they did not know if Chris survived or not. Neither of them are quitting when there's still a chance.