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“Who do you want to visit next, Eiveen?” Donald asked.

<I think we can visit Max next,> she said. She was silent for a moment, and her dome glowed brightly. Finally she opened a new portal, this one destined for Littleroot Town.

“Max!” Norman called as Donald and Eiveen stepped through. “They’ve arrived.” He walked over to them. “Sorry about Max. He’s been running around with the Eevee ever since it hatched this morning. I hadn’t even given it a bath before he ran off to tell his mom, and when I did get in into the tub, it jumped out and ran after him.” Norman laughed out loud. “I had to soak them both with the water hose to get the Eevee clean!”

Just then the front door burst open. Max raced towards them with an Eevee trailing behind him. “Donald! Eiveen! Look! It hatched!”

“That’s great, Max!” Donald said, taking a few steps forward. Max stopped just short of him and spun around with outstretched arms. The Eevee jumped into them and was given a big, energetic hug, calling out happily in response, “EeeevEEEEE!”

“Well, everything went well,” Norman said. “Everything other than the bath, that is.” He laughed again.

“Hello!” a voice came from behind them. Professor Birch came running up behind them. “You won’t believe this! The egg is hatching right now!”

“Wow!” Max’s eyes twinkled. “Two hatches in one day! That’s amazing! Come on! Let’s go watch your brother hatch! Or sister! Come on Dad!” Max rushed to Professor Birch’s lab. Everyone else took a moment to make sure Donald was coming before following Max.

“Professor,” an assistant greeted them inside the house. “The egg hasn’t completed hatching, but Max and the other Eevee are attending to it.” When they all arrived in the room, there were two Eevees, one soaked in ambiotic fluid, and the other wet with it.

“Um,” Max said apologetically, his gaze directed at the floor. “My Eevee broke the egg.”

“Now, Max,” Professor Birch said, stepping up to him and coming down on one knee. “There is no reason to be worried. It was one sibling helping out another, that’s all. Let’s get them washed up.”

Max wasn’t upset anymore. “I want to give the Eevees a bath!” He turned to Norman excitedly. “Please Dad! Can I?”

“I don’t have a problem with it.”

“Follow me, Max. I’ll instruct you on the proper way to clean a newly hatched Pokémon.” Half way through the bath, Eiveen privately told Professor Birch that her method was better.

After the bath, Max and Professor Birch emerged from the back room. “Another successful bath!” the large man laughed. Eiveen and Donald were relaxing with Norman in the living room. Professor Birch joined them and watched Max and the Eevees at play. Donald and the Professor talked about research for a bit and then conversed about the Petalberg Gym with Norman. Once the Eevees had tired themselves out and curled up, Max sat on the couch beside his dad.

“Hey, Dad? I just thought, we need to name my Eevee.”

“Well, I’m not sure if it is up to us, son,” replied Norman.

Max turned hopeful eyes to Donald and Eiveen. “Please! Please let me name the Eevee! I have a really special name for him.” Donald and Eiveen shared a quick look and then nodded. Max jumped up. “Okay. I want to name my Eevee Norman!”

Professor Birch let loose an excited laugh. “Now that really is a special name!”

“Yeah! Way to go Max!” Donald commented.

“Espeon!”

Max’s dad was silent for a second, a smile creeping across his face. “Wow! Thanks Max! It’s a real honor to have a Pokémon that you hatched named after you. But this is much more special. It is the Pokemon my son hatched, being named after me! I couldn’t be prouder.”

“Dad, you helped me so much. You never let me give up. You really showed me what it was like to hatch a Pokémon. Thank you so much Dad!!” Max sprang forward and gave his dad a big hug. Everyone chuckled happily, unable to fully express their joy with a smile alone.
as said before, masterful writing.
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“Well,” Norman said after letting go of Max. “We have to name Professor Birch’s Eevee now.”

“I don’t really have any ideas,” the Professor said to Donald and Eiveen. “I’ll accept whatever you two come up with.”

“Hmm. Is Butch okay? It’s the closest thing to Birch that I can think of,” Donald said.

“That sounds great!” Professor Birch said.

“No way!” Max said emphatically. “Butch is the name of a member of Team Rocket!”

<Oh that doesn’t matter, Max,> Eiveen laughed. <I think Butch is a good name.>

“It is rather similar to Birch,” Norman thought aloud.

“I wonder if the Pokemon will get your name wrong,” Max laughed.

“I highly doubt that,” said Professor Birch. “But then again, you never know!” he added with a big laugh.

“Espe!” Eiveen hopped over to Butch and began playing with him. They pawed at each other mockingly until Butch walked away. When Eiveen followed, Butch spun around and jumped on her face with a joyful “Eee!” Norman, the Eevee, joined the fun then. The humans all had a good laugh as they watched the three Pokémon playing together.

After about ten minutes, Eiveen was exhausted. Her two babies, however, were still full of energy and continued to play with each other. She got up and walked over to Donald and hopped into his lap. <I need a nap,> she laughed in thought.

<Okay,> Donald thought, hoping she was still listening. <I’ll give you twenty minutes.>

<Thanks… Daddy… I love you.>

Donald, Max, Norman, and Professor Birch talked amongst themselves while Eiveen sleep. Every now and then, one of the Eevees would try to wake her up, but Donald patted their heads gently and nudged them away. Twenty minutes later, Donald excused himself from the conversation and woke up Eiveen.

“Well, it’s been great talking with you all. I hope to do it again soon,” Donald bowed. At the bottom of his gesture, Eiveen kissed him on the cheek and then bowed to everyone as well. The two Eevees saw their opening and ambushed her. They failed miserably at pulling her over, and she laughed joyously. She pulled them off and licked their faces a couple of times each. Then she laid down and told them she was leaving. After a moment of exchanging nuzzles, she opened the portal to Donald’s room.
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When they were back, Eiveen checked with the other four egg-watchers and her eyes went wide. <Daddy!! The hot egg hatched, and it was a Flareon! She’s lit Professor Elm’s lab on fire!>

“We have to go now!”

Eiveen opened the portal and they rushed through to a sidewalk. The lab was indeed on fire. Professor Elm had a fire extinguisher and was aiming it at the Flareon.

<Don’t you dare shoot that thing at my daughter!> Eiveen screamed.

Just then, the Flareon burst forth another wave of fire. It was uncontrolled and not a named attack, but fire none the less. In desperation, Eiveen used Psychic to pull the fire above everyone. The Flareon turned and stared at Eiveen.

Eiveen began to tear up. <Daddy, she is so scared! Why is she frightened? >

“We’ll find out later Eiveen. Right now we need to calm her down.” Donald walked over in front of Professor Elm and knelt down facing the Flareon. “Hey, it’s okay. I won’t hurt you.”

“Flar!!!” Fire burst forward at Donald, and Eiveen barely caught it in time. Donald jumped back and scampered away.

As the burst of fire died, Eiveen began to cry. A few tears ran down her snout and dripped onto the grass. But she shook her head and steadied herself before taking a few cautious steps forward. The Flareon turned and stared at her. Eiveen talked and cooed at her and continued to walk toward her with caution. Finally, the Flareon collapsed on the ground and Eiveen rushed forward. She grabbed the Flareon by the mane, flinched, and rushed her away from the burning lab.

“Let’s put out this fire!” Donald said. He heard the siren’s of the Fire Department as the fire engine sped up alongside the lab. As the fire was being put out, Eiveen tended to her daughter, sobbing the whole time. Finally, the fire was extinguished and Professor Elm talked with the firefighters about the cause. Donald tried to comfort Eiveen, but she was too worried about her daughter. Nurse Joy was called from the Pokémon Center and she revived the fire Pokémon.

It was a mistake. She immediately panicked and began shooting fire everywhere. Eiveen grabbed her and pulled her down as everyone dashed away, with Donald telling them all to stay away. Eiveen cried out in pain as her paws, arms, and chest burned. The Flareon gave a start and stopped spraying fire. After a tense moment, Eiveen released her and quickly led her into the lab.

A few minutes passed before Eiveen asked Donald to enter the lab. Carefully, he opened the door to the lab. Inside, Eiveen and her daughter were on the couch. The Flareon’s eyes grew wide and fearful when she saw Donald. Eiveen immediately began cooing and licking her to calm her down. Donald got down on all fours and crawled cautiously over to them. The Flareon hid her face in Eiveen’s side. Eiveen’s face scrunched up and she turned and hugged her daughter tight and began to cry quietly.

“It’ll be okay, sweetie,” Donald said and hugged Eiveen from behind.

<Sh-she, she’s scared of humans, Daddy!> Eiveen could hardly get the thought through. <What are we going to do? >

“We’ll give her all the love we can. She’ll get better.”

Eiveen turned to him. Her whole snout was matted down with tears. <Promise? >

Donald wiped the snot from her nose with his shirt. “I promise.”

Eiveen began to cry again, but she leaned back into Donald’s chest while holding her daughter. Donald began to slowly feel the fur of the fire Pokémon. He gave it a gentle stroke. And then another.

“Reee…” the Flareon pulled away and hid her face in Eiveen’s fur again. Eiveen hugged her and began to coo her with a labored voice. Donald hugged Eiveen again, firmly. He kissed the back of her head between comforting words. Then Donald noticed the Flareon watching him. He wondered how long she had been watching, how much she had seen. He gently stroked her fur again. This time she didn’t pull away, but she still buried her face in Eiveen’s fur. Slowly, Donald’s hands made their way through the Flareon’s fur. Finally, his hands touched and he realized he was hugging them both together. He slowly, carefully, rubbed the Flareon’s back, his hand rolling over Eiveen’s paws.

“I love you both,” he whispered at last in a quiet, calm voice. But he soon found that his words were wasted; both of the Pokémon were asleep.
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After about thirty minutes, Donald slipped away from Eiveen and her daughter and out of the lab. He walked around New Bark Town until he found Professor Elm at his house, sipping coffee. The Professor solemnly offered to make him a batch, and he accepted. The professor trudged slowly to the kitchen. A few minutes later, he emerged with an overflowed mug of coffee on a saucer.

“Donald, I’m sorry,” the Professor said sadly after sitting down. “I was so excited about gathering a sample that I took advantage of her trust.” The Professor took a long drawl on the coffee and flinched. His exhale blew away some of the stem gushing up from the mug. “We took… I took a fur sample and she seemed startled. Then I took a sample of saliva. I was going to take a bit of skin from her ear, but she run away from me. I should have stopped, but I was so caught up in my research. I wanted to know how and why she evolved from an Eevee to a Flareon before her egg was laid. I wanted to know. Far too badly. And now I’ve made a horrible mistake.” He took another large gulp from mug, his eye watering painfully as gulped the steaming liquid down his throat. “I hope you can forgive me. I hope Eiveen can forgive me.”

Donald didn’t speak right away; he couldn’t find the right words. “Professor,” he said at last. “Eiveen is distraught, and I’m sure she will lay into you.” Professor Elm nodded silently, slowly. Donald continued, “But the Flareon is doing fine. Eiveen was holding her, and she didn’t panic when I approached. She eventually let me hold her, but she had her face buried in Eiveen’s fur.”

“Oh thank goodness,” a woman’s voice sounded. It was Nurse Joy. “From what you’ve said, I’m sure the Pokémon will be fine. She was only frightened. She just needed time to calm down. Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t trust you, Professor. We just have to make sure she feels comfortable around more people. I should examine her before I leave.”

“They’re both asleep, right now,” Donald said.

“Then will you wake them for me? I must return to the Center as soon as I can.”

Donald shook his head. “No, but I will go to them. If you don’t mind, I’d like to delay the examination until later. I want her to be more comfortable with me first. I think she may have more trouble trusting people than you think.”

Nurse Joy nodded. “Then please bring her to me later.” Donald nodded, bowed, and left for the lab.
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In the lab, he sat on the burned sofa beside Eiveen and the Flareon to watch them sleep. He wondered what she would be named. He wanted something quick, but nothing clichéd. He rubbed Eiveen’s side.

“Flare…” came a tired, quiet call. Donald didn’t know what would happen. He wanted to wake up Eiveen, but he decided to trust that the Flareon wouldn’t hurt him.

She pulled her head away from Eiveen and looked around. Her eyes came to rest on Donald. He swallowed hard against the fear boiling up inside of him. He steadied himself and then greeted her. She didn’t reply. Instead she pulled back slightly and off the couch.

“It’s okay,” Donald said quietly, so as not to wake up Eiveen. The Flareon’s eyes widened when he spoke. “I know you were really frightened. I won’t let anyone else come near you until you’re ready. You can trust me, just like your mommy does.” He rubbed Eiveen’s side again. “Just come around at your own pace. There isn’t any hurry. I’ll show you all the love that Eiveen will.”

The Flareon didn’t respond right away. She stared at Donald for at least a minute before nudging Eiveen softly. The Espeon stirred awake. “Espe? Espeon?”

“Flare,” she replied. They talked back and forth for a moment before Eiveen crawled to lay across Donald’s lap.

<She thinks you look funny,> Eiveen told Donald. He was stunned at first, but he began to chuckle.

“She’s too cute,” he said, petting Eiveen on the back. “Kind of like her mother.”

“Espe,” Eiveen replied quietly. <Thanks for staying with us, Daddy. I feel a lot better now.>

“That’s good sweetie. How does she feel?”

<Better.>

He stroked her back in an upward motion. <How does she feel about me? > Donald thought.

<She isn’t sure about you, but she feels she might be able to trust you,> Eiveen responded.

<I hope she does. I’m sad that she is scared of me.>

<I know, Daddy. I’ll help her. I’ll do as you told me.> Eiveen’s breath began to labor and her eyes began to water. <I’ll love her as much as I can.>

Donald took off his shirt and wiped her eyes and then her snout. <I know you will, sweetie. And I’ll give her all my love, too.>

Eiveen pounced up from Donald’s lap and hugged him. <Thank you Daddy!>

He hugged her back and held her tightly, his own eyes watering slightly. “Everyone is worried about her, Eiveen,” Donald said. “We should let them know how she is doing.”

<Elm,> Eiveen said acidulously. <Where is he? >

“In his house. He feels terrible.”

<You saw him? > She pulled away and sat on the other cushion.

“Yes. Sometime after you fell asleep I had to stretch out a cramp. I went looking for him. He knows he did wrong. He’s so disturbed right now that he’s on the brink of bringing out the hard alcohol.”

<Well I’m glad he feels bad,> Eiveen said.

Donald nodded. “Say, what are we going to name her?” Eiveen thought for a moment but couldn’t think of anything and shook her head.

“How about Flamera.” Eiveen thought for a second and looked to the Flareon, who nodded.
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<Flamera it is. Where will she stay? >

“Why not with us? Flamera, do you want to come with your mom and me? You will have a good place to sleep tonight.”

She didn’t respond.

<Flamera, it’ll be fine. I promise,> Eiveen said. <I’ll hold you all night long and keep you safe.>

Flamera nodded, hesitantly.

<Good. I’m going to take us home now. Don’t get scared. Daddy, tell everyone we’re leaving please.> Donald opened the lab door and walked outside. Eiveen and Flamera walked out behind him.

Donald walked over to Professor Elm’s house. He was still drinking coffee with a blank expression. “Professor. Eiveen and I are leaving with the Flareon.” The Professor simply gave a slow nod. “I think Eiveen will be able to forgive you in a week or so.” When the Professor didn’t answer, Donald walked in and crouched beside his chair. “Don’t beat yourself up too much. Eiveen and I gave that egg to you because we wanted to know why too. This is your specialty, your passion. It’s understandable, though unacceptable, that you got carried away.”

The Professor turned and looked into Donald’s eyes. Then he put his coffee mug down and put a hand on Donald’s shoulder. “Thank you. You understand so well. It’s encouraging.” They heard Eiveen screech. “When Eiveen contacts me, I’ll have some results.” Donald nodded and walked out to the portal. Flamera and Eiveen jumped through, followed by Donald.

In his room, Flamera buried herself under the covers.

The Eevee that had hatched in Donald’s room looked on silently from Donald’s pillow.

<You know Daddy, we haven’t named this one.>

“Hey, you’re right. I was going to wait until all the egg watchers got together, but…”

<Donna! Her name is Donna.> Eiveen declared matter-of-factly. <She is named after you.>

“Thanks sweetie! I love it! I hope you do too, Donna.”

“Eev!” she replied happily.

“Good. Donna, this is your sister, Flamera. But don’t be too quick, she’s… shy.”

Donna greeted Flamera, who called a greeting back.

“Or not. Okay, I think we need to brush and go to bed. We’ve had a long day.”
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The next morning, Donald saw something that made him smile. Eiveen, Donna, and Flamera were bundled up together, sleeping quietly. Eiveen laid on her back and stretched out across the bedspread, holding Flamera loosely. Flamera loosely held Eiveen as she laid diagonally across her so that their chests pressed together. Donna slept curled up on Eiveen’s belly with her fluffy tail draped across Flamera’s side.

He watched them sleep for a moment before getting up to make breakfast. A few hours later, the Pokémon emerged from the bedroom as a group. Eiveen gave them a tour of the house. When the rest of Donald’s family began to show, Flamera rushed back to the bedroom and refused to come out again without Eiveen beside her. She played with Mittens without care while Donald, Eiveen, and Donna were the only ones present. Soon she tired and fell asleep next to Eiveen.

Donna shied away from Donald’s family and Mittens, preferring Donald’s lap and Eiveen’s side. When Andrew picked her up without warning, she shut her eye’s tight and balled up as best she could, whimpering “veeee.” Eiveen took her from him and made a mock bite at his hands. After a quick verbal exchange, Andrew left for his room and Donald suggested reviewing their progress with the Egg Watchers.

<We only have Professor Oak and Mikey to meet with. Maybe we should have lunch with one of them.>

“I’ve always wanted a luncheon with Professor Oak…” Donald said lightly.

<I’m sure you two would discuss Pokemon research at your luncheon,> Eiveen giggled.

“God, you know it!” he replied a little too fervently and woke up Flamera. She stared at him wide-eyed and Eiveen licked her snout. “Sorry, Flamera. We were just talking about Pro… someone I admire.” Eiveen licked her snout again and she laid her head back down.

<I’ll ask him. It’s after one as it is.> Eiveen went silent for a moment, her dome glowing faintly. <He accepts!> she said at last. <And he accepted that there will be no talk of research.> She smiled broadly. Donald glared mockingly.





Around seven that evening, Donald gathered the Pokemon into his room and locked the door. He cautiously approached his bed where Flamera and Donna were playing. As he got to the edge, Flamera broke off and watched him. He reached out to pet her and she turned away, her ears down and eyes closed.

He dropped his arm. “Flamera,” he said softly, disappointed. Eiveen rubbed against him roughly.

“Come on daddy, change into something presentable!”

“Sorry! Sorry, just trying to connect, you know.” When he finished changing, he added with a laugh, “Flamera is already tucked into bed.”

“Espeon,” Eiveen said sharply and pulled the covers off her daughter. <She really needs to stop trying to hide.” She opened the portal.

“Oh, is that what it is.” He hesitated a moment, watching Flamera pulling the covers back on. “Girls,” he called to them. They both looked up. “I love you.” He darted through the portal.
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“Why hello again Donald,” Professor Oak greeted him. “It’s a great day for a lunch with friends. Tracey’s just finishing up in the kitchen.”

“That’s great. I can’t wait to see what’s been prepared. How have you been?”

“Busy, as usual, as you can imagine. Gary’s been sending me data about his research. It’s quiet fascinating. I’ll have to show you sometime. But right now, Eiveen’s prohibited me from talking about research!” He laughed. “She’s really set on meeting her daughter.”

“It’s a girl? The one we hatched is a girl too! She’s pretty shy, nothing like Eiveen.”

“Oh this one is probably out in the field exploring as we speak. I can hardly keep an eye on her. Every chance she gets she rushes outside to play with the Pokemon. Then she comes back hours later so dirty it’s as if she’s been digging with Diglett.”

“Can’t keep her still, huh?”

“Oh no!” he said, taking a chair at the table. “We tried to keep her inside the day she hatched. She searched every nick and cranny. She even found the old wallet I lost. It still had the money I left in it.” They both burst out laughing.

Just then the phone rang and Tracey came out with a large pot.

“I thought we’d have miso soup for starters and then egg rolls on noodles as the main course.”

“Sounds great Tracey,” Professor Oak said as he reached the phone. Delia Ketchum’s face appeared on the monitor. “Hello Delia.”

“Hello Professor. I found her in the garden again.”

“This is the third time this week,” the professor said, sounding mildly irritated. “At this rate, Pewter City will be calling me in a month!”

“Oh, do you have visitors? Ah! Donald! Hello! How are you?” She waved emphatically.

“Hello Mrs. Ketchum. I’m doing well, how are you?”

“I’m fine! Mimey is doing great too!”

“Mr. Mime!”

“Well, should I send her back, Professor?”

“Well the food will be cold by the time she gets here. I’ll just pick her up.”

“Okay, see you when you get here. It was good to see you again Donald! If you see Ash, tell him I love him!”

“Sure will,” Donald said and waved goodbye. The screen went black and the Professor left.

“Sorry about that. The Professor has had a hard time with her. He wants to keep her around to make sure she is safe, but he’s busy with his work and she has a tendency to run outside.”

“Yeah, he was just telling me. It must get frustrating after awhile.”

“Especially today, when he wanted to make a good impression.”

“What? Him? He wanted to make a good impression? On me?” Tracey nodded, though he looked as though it shouldn’t be such a big surprise.

<Daddy must think so highly of Professor Oak that it is too weird for the admiration to be reversed,> Eiveen commented, sitting patiently in her chair with her eyes closed.

“I guess so,” Tracey said.

“It’s true!” Donald confessed. “He’s my idol! If I could live here in the World of Pokemon, I would be a Pokemon Professor just like him. I’d try my best to apprentice under him. It would be the greatest honor.”

“It sure is! Although, after living with the Professor, you forget just how much of an honor it is.”

<So Tracey, you said that Professor Oak is busy most of the time. Who takes care of my daughter when she is not running around alone outside? >

“Oh, I do. I give her baths and prepare her food, and then she lets me sketch her. I’ve made a number of sketches. Here, have a look.” He pulled out his sketchbook and began flipping through the sketches. “I made this one as she was hatching. And this one is of her retrieving the Professor’s old, lost wallet.”

“You got the dresser really well.”

“Thanks. Oh, here comes the Professor. Let me show you my favorite. This was when she wandered into the Rapidash stalls.”

“Eeeessssp!” <She’s so cute!> Eiveen was looking over Donald’s shoulder. <You’ll have to show me the rest later! Please? >

“Of course. It would be my pleasure.”
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Professor Oak appeared in the doorway, holding an annoyed Eevee. He laughed softly, “Well, here she is; dirty as she usually ends up after venturing outside. I’ll have her washed up quick.”

“Peon, esp! Esp!” Eiveen had her paws out in front of her. He gave her the Eevee, and she set her down on the table. The two Pokemon had a short verbal exchange and Eiveen started licking her daughter clean. Tracey was immediately sketching and Professor Oak was watching closely. Donald kicked back and waited until she was done.

“I’ve witnessed all sorts of interactions between Pokemon,” the Professor said, “but I found this cleaning most intriguing.”

“But Donald didn’t seem interested at all. Thanks for the sketch, Eiveen.”

“Esp.”

“I saw her lick the amniotic fluid off the Eevee that hatched at home. Dirt isn’t nearly as bad.”

“I would imagine not. Now I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I’m starving,” the Professor laughed. “Let’s eat.”

They quickly polished off the soup and then devoured the eggrolls and noodles. They were content to let the dishes sit while they continued to converse.

“So you want to get all of the Egg Watchers together?” Tracey inquired.

<Yes. I think it would be good. Everyone should have a good time and get to know each other,> Eiveen replied. <You are all official guardians as far as I’m concerned, although there is one I’d very much like to disown at this point.> She glared at the table.

“Who? I hope you don’t mean the Professor!” Tracey motioned to Professor Oak.

<No, Professor Elm!> Eiveen bared her teeth to nobody in particular, but everyone leaned away from her cautiously. The Eevee edged slowly to Tracey. <He scared my daughter so bad she is afraid of Daddy!> Her anger softened into sadness.

“How did he do that!” Professor Oak snapped.

<I don’t know… Daddy? Did he say anything? >

“Yes. He scared her when he took a fur sample, and then he moved in carelessly to get a skin sample. She attacked and set the lab on fire.”

There was a slap. Everyone turned to see Professor Oak recover from a face-palm. “How many times have I lectured him about paying attention to the Pokemon’s emotions? If he attends this Egg Watcher meeting I will certainly have an extra firm lecture for him!”

“Esp!”

“I hope you do,” Donald said. “He feels horrible as it is, so he’ll be more receptive after this.”

There was an awkward silence for a moment, broken by the Eevee’s low whimper. Her face was buried into Tracey’s arm. He rubbed her and said, “It seems you really unnerved her when you snarled, Eiveen.”

<Oh! I’m so sorry, Mudpie!> she pleaded, pawing at the air gently.

“Is that what you’re calling her?” Donald laughed. “Mudpie?”

“I hope not,” Professor Oak said. “I’ve got a proposal for her name. If I may?” Donald and Eiveen both nodded and he continued, “Eevee for Oak, tamed by Tracey, both share one name.”

They all thought about the poem. Suddenly Tracey gasped. “You mean to name her after me?!”

“I do. She was my responsibility, and I found her too much to bear along with my research, depressing as it is to say. She was too quick to hide in the grass and venture off into the fields. But I found that, day after day, she seemed to grow closer to you. You would always sketch her around the lab, and she got used to having you watch her. I had to accept that you did what I was asked to do without effort. And so, it’s only appropriate that she is named after you. Thank you for all your help Tracey.”

“The honor is all mine!”

“It’s perfect!” Donald clapped his hands together.

<You earned it Tracey, good work!> Eiveen said. She leaned over and licked him on the cheek. <And thank you so much.>

“I don’t know what to say. Thank you! All of you, really.”

Everyone laughed joyfully and Donald offered to put up dishes. They all decided to wash their respective dishes. Afterwards, Donald and Professor Oak walked around the field to talk about research. Eiveen and Tracey watched the young Eevee get dirty all over again.

After an hour, Eiveen inquired with Mikey and the Eevee Brothers about the last egg. She was invited to come over and see her child. She hugged the two Traceys good-bye and rushed off to find Donald. A few minutes later, she hugged the Professor and opened the portal to Donald’s room.
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Flamera ducked under the covers as soon as Donald’s foot hit the carpet. Eiveen hopped up on the bed to pull them off, but he objected. The portal closed and was promptly reopened to Stonetown. Donald went to pat the Flareon on the head, but he pulled back when she flinched and snapped her eyes shut. He sighed disappointedly and walked through the portal. Eiveen offered a few sweet words before following him through.

“Donald!” the three older Eevee Brothers roared in greeting as soon as the portal closed. “Now that you have plenty of young Eevees, what are you going to evolve them into?”

“A bunch of Flareons, right?” Pyro offered, holding out a handful of Fire Stones.

“Why not a school of Vaporeons?” Rainer asked, his hands full of Water Stones.

“If you want power, go with a set of Jolteons!” Sparky declared forcefully, offering them a basket of Thunder Stones.

“Uh, we haven’t…” Donald started.

“Alright!” The three brothers roared together. Sparky added boldly, “We’ll decide for you with a battle royal! Let’s go Pyro! Rainer you too!”

<You’re not deciding anything.> Eiveen shot at them.

“Oh,” they sighed together. “Want to battle anyway?” Sparky asked.

“Yeah!” Pyro and Rainer yelled.

Just then, Mikey ran up. “Donald! Eiveen! Look, I have the Eevee already in a Pokeball.” He released the Pokemon. Eiveen took to him immediately, conversing quietly.

“He just hatched this morning. I cleaned him up quickly and let him get used to us before putting him in his Pokeball for a nap.”

“You’re the only watcher to put your Eevee in a Pokeball. I bet Professor Oak could have benefited from that idea…”

“Pro-Professor Oak?!” Mikey stammered. “Professor Oak is taking care of one of your Eevee?”

“Yeah…” Donald was momentarily distracted the trio of battling Eevelutions. “Sorry. Uh, yes. He is. Well, actually, his assistant Tracey is. He’s a Pokemon Watcher and looked after her so he could sketch her.”

“A Pokemon Watcher came through here last week. He was actually a hiker, but then he took up the Watcher thing since he was in the caves so much. He used neon ink to sketch with.”

<Um, I think we should go inside. They are getting a little too rough; my little boy might get hurt.>

“Oh yeah. Come on in.” Mikey took led them inside and made tea.

“Thanks,” Donald accepted the tea and sipped at it. “We are letting the Egg-watchers name the Eevee. Do you have an idea for a name for him?”

Mikey thought a second. “No, not really. What have the other watchers named their Eevee?”

<Professor Oak named his Eevee after his assistant Tracey. We named the one hatched by Professor Elm Flamera because she evolved into a Flareon in her egg...>

“Woow… evolved in her egg…” Mikey’s voice gently interrupted, his eyes wide with amazement and his mouth hung open after the words had escaped.
Eiveen smiled and continued. <Professor Birch’s Eevee was named Butch. Another watcher named his Eevee after his dad. Officer Jenny at the K-9 Training Facility named her Eevee after the fighting Gym Leader in Johto, and I named the Eevee we hatched at home after daddy here.>

“Wow, three Professors… Uh, why did Jenny name her Eevee after the Gym Leader?”

“Because the Eevee is really competitive and aggressive, much like fighting Pokemon,” Donald answered.

Again, Mikey thought, but for a longer period. “Well, I guess I should name him after someone that inspired me. One of my brothers, but that would almost require I evolve him into my brother’s Pokemon. A certain trait then? Nothing really jumps out. The only other person that inspires me is…” he trailed off.

“Who, Mikey?”

“Misty. The Gym Leader from Cerulean City.”

<But she’s a girl. Is Misty a boy’s name too, daddy? >

He shook his head. “No, and a Pokemon named Mister would just be silly.” Mikey chuckled and nodded in agreement.

“Well, I could name him after you Donald, but that would be two Pokemon named after you.”

“What about after Eiveen?” Donald offered.

“Esp!?” <Me? Really? >

Mikey shook his head. “No. It wasn’t you who beat me, Eiveen, it was Donald. He was being your trainer then.”

<You should do as you feel is best, Mikey. Whatever you decide will be right by me. And daddy too.> Donald nodded silently.

Mikey’s eyes darted around for a few minutes before he finally spoke. “Maybe Misty has someone that inspired her. Do you mind if I call her about it?”

“No, but I didn’t know you two kept in contact this whole time.”

“Oh, yeah. We talk all the time. I was going to call her later today anyway, but now seems as good a time as any.” He walked over to the phone and dialed a number. Misty’s face appeared on the screen. Mikey picked up the phone as Eiveen’s voice echoed in Donald’s mind.

<Do you have any idea what name Misty will pick, daddy? >

He shook his head. <Perhaps Brock? She’s encountered so many trainers, it’s hard to say which one inspired her, or how she would define ‘inspired’.>

<But you know so much about Pokemon. Surely you have a guess? >

<I don’t want to get my hopes up for a name, or yours. You told him whatever name he chose would be accepted by us.>

<Given it isn’t completely off the wall, yes.>

Donald laughed. <You mean like Squirtortoiseon; the Eevee named after the Squirtle evolutionary line? >

“Esp?” <Only you could think of a name like that, daddy.>

Just then Mikey returned. “Sorry to take so long. She said a good, strong name I could use is from one of the Orange League leaders. So,” Mikey picked up his Eevee. “His name is Rudy!”

Mikey hugged Rudy, and Eiveen looked to Donald as he thought out loud. “Rudy did give Ash a run for his money, that’s for sure.”

<He did, daddy? I guess it fits then.>

“Misty also said that Rudy was really resourceful. So I know Rudy is going to be a great battler!”

They talked for a few more minutes before the three brothers returned. Pyro danced in with his hands pumping overhead as he sang to his victory. Rainer and Sparky sat on the couch and dropped their heads into their hands, occasionally offering a sarcastic, “woooooh” to go along with Pyro’s song. Donald and Eiveen watched for a time before they returned home.
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Chapter 19: The Busy Pokeweek

The next morning, Donald logged into the Blackboard site to download PowerPoint presentations and compare lecture notes. He worked alone for an hour before Donna stirred awake and drifted into his lap and then back to sleep. It wasn’t long before Eiveen got up. Immediately she pulled the sheets off of Flamera.

<She was watching you from under the sheets again,> Eiveen frowned.

Donald grunted thoughtfully and after a silent moment said, “its fine, sweetie.” He picked up Donna and rubbed his nose to hers as he cooed in a high-pitched voice, “you’re so cute! Yes you are!” Donna pawed at him playfully and laughed. He peeked askance at Flamera to see her watching them play. He could tell by her expression that she was sad.

Suddenly, Donna drew her paws in and tucked her head down. Her head was turned just enough towards the bed for Donald to know that she was aware that they had an audience. He set the Eevee down and offered to make breakfast. They all gathered in the kitchen were Donald made eggs and sausages with fruit on the side. He fed Eiveen a few pieces of fruit and wiped her mouth, and she used her Psychic attack to hold up a chunk of egg for him. After the meal, Eiveen offered to do the dishes so Donald could resume studying.

Donald spent most of the day studying while Eiveen monitored her daughters to keep them from disturbing him. He could predict when Flamera would run into his room and under the bedcovers very accurately; whenever the rest of the family was moving about the house, the Flareon charged in. She was directly followed by Eiveen, who promptly carried her out by the mane. The fifth time they ran in, Donald asked Eiveen to leave her. Despite her objections, she obliged.

Every now and then, Flamera would begin making her way under the covers to the opposite end of the bed where Donald was. But each time she turned back, usually when she heard the rest of the family outside of the room. Realizing this, Donald folded back the end of the comforter to expose a third of the mattress and returned to his notes. Very slowly, she made her way under the sheets. It took close to ten minutes, but she eventually poked her head out and stared at him.





After a couple of hours, he stretched and sighed deep. “Time for a break.” He closed his eyes and summoned Eiveen the way she had taught him.

<Hi, daddy. Ready for a break?&gt;

<Yes,> he replied. <But when you come in, don’t throw the sheets off Flamera like you usually do. Instead, kiss and lick her. Make her feel comfortable.>

There was a long silence. <Okay, but, I don’t know why you are protecting her.>

<You’ll see. Come on in.>

A moment later, Eiveen and Donna came into the room and jumped up onto the bed. Eiveen nuzzled her Flareon daughter and licked her nose with a giggle. Then she brought over the Gameboy and asked him to play Pokemon for them. So he did for 15 minutes. Then Mittens wondered in and jumped up onto the bed. Flamera got out from under the comforter and began to play with the family cat while Donna cautiously nestled up next to Eiveen.

After a few minutes, Mittens ran off with Flamera in hot pursuit.

“Oh wow. Is it three already? I need to make lunch.”

<Don’t worry about it, daddy. I asked grandma to make everyone sandwiches. I’ll bring yours in.> Her dome began to glow, and a minute later a can of soda and a plate loaded with a sandwich and potato chips floated in and landed on the mattress beside him.

“Again, don’t let her catch you calling her that,” Donald said, adding, “thank you.”

Eiveen smiled. <Go on and study. Everyone else left, so it should be quiet, except for those two.> She and Donna left and Donald ate his lunch before returning to his studies. He continued until late in the evening when everyone returned. Kathy cooked dinner while Andrew played video games in his room and David watched the news. The three Pokemon watched Andrew play, with Eiveen the only one of the three above the covers. At the family meeting, Eiveen formally introduced the two new Pokemon and announced that she was planning an Egg Watcher meeting. Kathy was quick to tell her that the Echler residence was not available for the meeting. After dinner, Donald retired early for bed.

The next morning, Donald returned to his studies. When Eiveen woke up, she got a pen and paper and started making a list of potential guests for the meeting. Thirty minutes later, Donna and Flamera woke up and Donald decided to take a break.

<Daddy, do you think anyone else should come? > Eiveen asked, holding up the list with her Psychic attack. He perused it quickly and thought a moment before shaking his head.

“That looks like everyone I would invite. Besides, we both know the same people.” He thought for a moment. “Say, how would you like to put it together?”

<Really? Can I? > Her face lit up with excitement.

“Sure. You can do the planning, and I’ll look it over after my exams are over. I’ve got six this week. I’m sure the meeting will be great!”

“Esp!”

Donald made toast and returned to studying. Donna napped on his bed as he worked quietly for the next couple hours. Then it was time for the first round of finals. On his way out he found Flamera playing with Mittens near Eiveen, and he moved in to kiss the two Pokemon good-bye. The Flareon stopped playing and backed up against the sofa. Eiveen petted her daughter on the head with her tail and licked Donald before returning to her list of potential meeting places.

Donald had two back to back exams. After they were done, he went to the on-campus library to continue studying. During breaks, he would walk around his table to stretch his legs. After a while, one of his friends from the Psychology department came by and asked about the Pokémon. Donald told him about Flamera and how she was afraid of him and other humans. The next thirty minutes were spent conversing about Flamera’s behavior and the different theories’ suggestions of how to alleviate her fears.
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Donald returned home tired and just in time for the family meeting. Eiveen seemed just as tired as he did. After dinner, she got ready for bed and continued working. When Donald came in, she let him see the different places that the meeting could be held at. The list had grown considerably and seemed to tell the story of their time together. He told her he wanted it held in the World of Pokemon, but she wanted it in the Real World. He won the argument after pointing out that nearly all of the guests were from another dimension and that no organization would take her request seriously.

The next day, Donald had an early exam. He stopped by the bookstore and bought some supplies for a final project and returned home. Eiveen kept Donna and Flamera in the living room while she worked on the location and time of the meeting. Every now and then Andrew would come out of his room. The sound of his door unlocking and whipping open in one fluid motion was the only signal needed to interrupt the baby Pokemon’s play and send them rushing beside the sofa.

In the middle of the afternoon, Donald heard Eiveen cry out, “PE-ON!” He came out of his room cautiously, with Andrew following close behind through the kitchen. When they entered the living room, Eiveen had her face buried in the arm of the sofa with her arms on top of her head. Flamera and Donna shared both the same recliner on the other side of the room and the look of shock on their faces.

“What happened?” Andrew ventured.

<What happened is that this meeting will never happen!> Eiveen snapped at him, and then lowered her ears ruefully.

“Well, duh,” he snapped back. “You’re trying to get lots of people together at one time, on short notice. Of course it’s going to be hard.”

<Thank you Uncle Andrew,> she said sarcastically. She added in a softer tone, <I didn’t think it would be this hard.>

“Keep trying and eventually it’ll work itself out. Just like a fart.” He turned around and started back to his room. Eiveen snickered and thanked him, wholeheartedly this time. Donald came around the sofa and saw her list on the floor, most of the locations crossed out. She turned to look at him and rubbed her eyes.

<I need a break. Let’s go for a walk.>

Donald nodded. “You girls coming?” Flamera responded by crawling behind her sister and peering out at Donald. Eiveen sighed and slid off the sofa and headed for the front door, and the two sisters followed after her. As the four went around the block, she told him that everywhere she tried to have the meeting, the host would be able to have it on certain days and at certain times. Then she would start going through the list of guests to ask who could make it only to find that half or more could not make it.

“Oh, sweetie, those are good places, but there’s no reason for all those guests to come if it is just a meet and greet for the Egg Watchers. It needs to be a place where people would want to go anyway.”

<Any suggestions? >

“Well, I didn’t see any gyms or contest halls on your list.”

<Why would it be at a gym or contest hall? >

“At a gym, people get to learn about Pokemon, and gym leaders are kind of like celebrities. And contest halls are just cool places to begin with.”

<But Stone Town is cool too.>

“Yeah, but who wants to be harassed about evolution? Plus the brothers aren’t exactly famous.”

<I don’t know. Do you think they would just let us have a gym or contest hall? >

“Only one way to find out.” At halfway through their walk, they decided to jog the remainder of the course. Flamera and Donna were both gasping when they got back to the house. Donald rubbed their heads and returned to studying, and Eiveen took her daughters into the bathroom for a bubble bath before returning to the living room.





Around five in the afternoon, Kathy began cooking dinner. An hour later, David came home from work. Flamera skulked off to Donald’s room and jumped on the bed. A couple hours later, Eiveen came in to get them for the family meeting and gasped.

<She’s not under the covers! Daddy look!> She leapt happily onto the bed and smothered Flamera with licks. Then she pulled the Flareon onto her belly, wrapped her front and rear legs around her tightly, and curled up. Eiveen’s tail draped over her legs as she rocked from side to side.

Finally she uncurled herself and let go. “Espeon,” she said and began leading her out. <Family meeting daddy,> she sang. She occasionally licked Flamera during the meeting and dinner.

The next morning, Donald stirred awake a few minutes before his alarm went off. He was startled to find that Flamera had fallen asleep right next to him. He decided to turn off the alarm so it wouldn’t wake the Pokemon. As he reached up for the clock, Flamera jumped up suddenly. He jumped himself, yelped, and fell out of the bed. Eiveen and Donna snapped awake and Eiveen was on her feet instantly. Even though it was still night, Donald could feel their eyes staring.

<Daddy, are you okay? >

“Yeah, I’m fine. Just a little shaken. Flamera you scared me, jumping away like that.”

“Esp?”

“She was sleeping right next to me, and when I moved to turn off the alarm, she bolted over there. Scared the crap out of me. I thought she was going to bite me. Or breathe fire.”

<That’s it!> Eiveen whipped around and snatched the Flareon by the mane. She carried her over to the bed side and set her down. <Pet her.> She had obviously told the whole room because Flamera began to whine and shiver violently.

“But Eiveen…”

“Esp!” she ordered and slapped down her paw, causing the quivering Pokemon to jump and shriek.

Donald bent down and put his hand on her head slowly. He shushed her softly. “It’s okay. It’s okay,” he reassured her repeated in a calming tone. After a few minutes, she stopped whining but continued to shiver for a few minutes more. He petted her some more after she had calmed down.

He whispered to her, “I have to go take some exams now, so go on back to sleep. I’ll see you when I get home.” He paused for a moment before adding, “I’m going to kiss you now.” She didn’t respond, and he bent forward and kissed her between the ears. “I don’t know how many times I’ve told you, but I love you Flamera. Please believe me. It hurts that you don’t trust me.” He rubbed her head one last time. “Good bye,” he finished and left.

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