Gabrielle didn't want to be pitied, but couldn't deny that the earlier shock and panic had given way to tiredness. "Yeah... It certainly has been quite a day," she mumbled, standing up and skulking back to the guest room. The first thing she did was wash the food stains from her wrist fur, only to have it weigh down her arms again. Sighing, she started up the hairdryer. She may have only been a Pokemon for a few hours, but that was no excuse for her of all people to make an idiot of herself.
She settled into the massive four-poster bed, pushing the covers off herself five minutes later. It was so damn hot with all this fur. How did regular fluffy Pokemon manage? At least this was better than the wilderness she'd nearly had to spend the night in. She curled up, trying to block the memory. Despite what she'd been through, sleep came easily, letting her put the day behind her.
As morning light shone through a gap in the curtains, Gabrielle opened her eyes... then closed them. She didn't want to see a room that wasn't hers, or a body that wasn't hers. Maybe she had been dreaming after all, and now awake, could go back to her usual life... her fans, her friends, her family...
Yesterday's events swept away the fogginess of sleep, sharpening sensations. She could still feel that thick coat of fur. The birdsong outside sounded louder than it would to human ears. Sighing, she allowed herself to look. Sure enough, she was in the same guest room. Could she even call herself a guest? She'd become a prisoner here, or as good as, and she'd stay that way until somebody found a way to lift the curse.
All she wanted to do was curl up and block everything out, but a glance at the clock revealed it would only be half an hour until breakfast. She rolled over, right onto one of her ears. With a yelp, she sat up, scowling as she stormed to the bathroom and showered. Hopefully that wouldn't set the tone for today.
It was after she'd spent the longest time trying to get her fur dry that she acknowledged today really wasn't starting well. Twenty five past eight, the clock read. She'd be in trouble if she didn't hurry. The bunny turned the hairdryer up to its highest setting, only for the fuzz on her arms and ears to frizz like she'd been out in a storm. Cringing, she brushed it, which just made it worse. How did people even manage without stylists? She opened her mouth to yell for Simone, then thought better of it, recalling what Jean had said about the Audino's keen hearing.
Time ticked on without improvement. No choice, then, but to go downstairs looking not just like she'd been dragged through a hedge backwards, but forwards again, then lengthways all around a fifty acre garden. She pulled the dress on, hurrying downstairs and hoping the others wouldn't mind her lateness. Surely they wouldn't be too annoyed about ten paltry minutes. Surely they wouldn't be as critical as her father had been yesterday.
Given Gabrielle's treatment of Simone, Mira hadn't wanted to bother her. Even so, the Audino had insisted on alleviating her headache to the extent that she could. Able to get into bed without her head ribbon throbbing as much, the Gothitelle dozed off quickly, but something else disturbed her sleep.
While brief, the images seemed all too real. Gabrielle, whimpering and running, blood matting her fur as a four-legged shape chased her through the darkness. Mira woke with a start, staring around the safe, quiet room. She exhaled in relief, but underlying worry lingered. Had Gabrielle been hurt worse than she'd let on? No, those Mightyenas hadn't drawn blood, and Simone would have dealt with any wounds. Which meant the vision must have shown what would have happened if Gabrielle had stayed in the wilderness any longer. A disturbing thought, but at least those events hadn't come to pass. Maybe it hadn't even been a psychic dream. Maybe it had just been a plain old nightmare brought on by a stressful incident.
Mira tried to drift off again, but sleep came fitfully for the rest of the night. She gave up at seven AM, climbing out of bed with a groan, heading into the lobby to see who else was up and what duties needed attending to.
Setting up the dining hall for breakfast kept her occupied, but she couldn't shake the feeling of unease, especially when Gabrielle failed to turn up. Mira frowned, glancing towards the door every now and then. It was nothing, she told herself. If something were wrong, she'd have felt it when she'd walked past Gabrielle's room. Even so, the more time passed, the more anxious she grew.
"I know she's probably just slept in or something," the Gothitelle said, "but should one of us go check on her?"
Just then, she felt a presence approach. Footsteps pounded, and a particularly irritable-looking mass of puffy fur burst in. Mira let herself relax. So that was all it had been, trouble getting ready. Nothing disastrous, although Gabrielle would probably disagree.
Alyssa was the first to greet her, sunny-toned flowers bobbing as she leaned forward. "Morniiing! Did you sleep well? Don't worry, everything's still warm, ooh you'll love today's breakfast!" The gardener's peppiness only deepened Gabrielle's scowl.
Mira gestured towards an empty chair. "Ah, good morning, do take a seat. Is everything ok?"
With a huff, Gabrielle sat down. "Oh just fine, except for, you know, the whole getting plucked out of the limelight and trapped in the middle of nowhere thing. And of course this." She pointed at her static-filled ear fluff. "Which I expect someone to help me with right after breakfast."
Even if there was no crisis of yesterday's scale to deal with, Mira thought, it was still going to be a tough day for everyone.