Mira leaned her head on Florentine's shoulder, careful not to prod him with her hair-like discs. "Thanks..."
Despite the stress of recent events, she gave a warm smile up at him. "How are you finding it?"
she asked in a sleepy mumble. "Learning to use your abilities? Of course, I knew soldier boy would adapt well to any challenge life threw at him."
Given his military past, it wasn't surprising that Florentine was coping best out of anyone with the unfamiliar situation, as well as easily learning to use his new skills in combat. "Do you have any advice on getting the hang of this? Or is it just one of those things that takes time to get used to?"
Being close by him was already easing her tension, as it always did, replacing it with a sense of comfort. Deep down she still felt she should be checking on the situation, but maybe it was best to relax while she and Florentine could.
"What are you even doing? Curl it under here!"
Gabrielle pointed to the fur on her left ear. "And smooth it out here!"
She gestured to a tuft sticking out on her right, rolling her eyes as Simone nearly dropped the hairbrush in her attempt to style the puffy mass. "Oww! Don't tug like that, there's a nasty bruise!""Sorry!"
the Audino squealed. "Uhh, maybe this will help a little..."
Switching off the hairdryer and setting it down along with the hairbrush, Simone put her hands together. A faint pink light shone on the injured membrane, then faded, as did most of the pain. "That's the best Heal Pulse I can manage, sorry about that..."
Gabrielle ran her fingers over the formerly bruised patch to find much of the swelling had gone down. "Hm... I guess it'll do. Now, quit apologising and get me a dress!"
The other rabbit instantly blurted "I'm sor-"
before raising a hand to her mouth. "Uh, yes! I'll try not to be long!"
With that, she scampered from the room.She'd better not be,
Gabrielle thought as she turned her eyes back to the mirror. Back to that face that was no longer the well-known one on TV and magazine covers, but one she couldn't yet associate with herself. Arceus only knew what the press was saying about her now.
She kept glancing at the door, foot tapping on the ground, until she heard the servant hurry up the stairs. The pink Pokemon reappeared in the doorway, a dress draped over her arm, a sewing kit in her other hand. "Is this ok? It's something someone else had around, she said you can have it."
Gabrielle stood, took the dress and held it up. A cream-coloured one with yellow flowers embroidered on the bodice. "It's something of an improvement, though it's rather long, and loose."
Simone gave an awkward smile. "I'll alter it as much as I can."
As Gabrielle tried it on, the fabric trailed on the floor. Memories rushed back, of the dress that had once complemented her figure swamping her within seconds while everyone around stared. Yet another reminder of her lost humanity. Her fingers clenched around the material hanging shapelessly from her new body.
She wanted to protest as Simone placed a hand on her shoulder, but couldn't. Dammit, she shouldn't need comforting. She certainly didn't need pity. It was only when the servant started on the dress that she spoke up again."Ow! Careful with that needle!""Sorry! It's just, these hands...""Oh, quit with the excuses!"
This was going to be one long evening.