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It was a lovely spring day in Coumarine City. The flowers were all in bloom, and the city overall held a very peaceful feeling –


-That was broken by a sneeze.

Mairin turned to look at Alain, who had turned away while holding a tissue to his nose.

“Bless you”, she said, then asked, “Are you okay?”

Alain turned his head to her. She was a little alarmed by the redness in his eyes and the crustiness around his nose.

“I’m fine,” he said. His voice sounded nasally, and he sneezed again.

“You’re not fine,” she stated, putting her hands on her hips and frowning at him. Alain frowned back, but then suddenly turned his head and sneezed hard into the crook of his elbow. He took one look at his elbow, cringed, then put his pack down and, kneeling, rummaged through it, hoping to find something he could use to wipe the snot off his sleeve.

He groaned, realizing he had used all of the tissues and napkins he had stored in his pack. He’d have to go pick up some more at the Pokemon Center, or wherever they went to eat…

Something white suddenly came into his vision. Alain looked up to see Mairin holding out a mini-pack of tissues. Quickly thanking her, he took the pack of tissues from her hand, taking a tissue out, wiping his sleeve and blowing his nose quickly.

Sweet Arceus, he could finally breathe through his nose again.

“Is that better?”

Alain turned to Mairin, who was smiling down at him. He straightened himself, then said, “Yes, much better. Thanks, Mairin.” He held out the tissue pack, but Mairin shook her head. “Keep it,” she said. “I have more in my backpack in case you need them.”

They both then started walking towards the Pokemon Center, Mairin chattering away about her upcoming gym battle with Coumarine’s Gym Leader, Ramos, while Alain listened with a soft smile on his face, adding in his own comments about Ramos’ Pokemon.

Once they reached the Pokemon Center, Alain secured a room for them, while Mairin had their Pokemon healed by Nurse Joy. She also managed to secure a face mask and more tissues for Alain, whom had sneezed no less than 10 times on their way to the Pokemon Center.

Poor Alain and his spring allergies, she thought. It affected him more than he let on. Once spring started, he would sneeze more often than not, and he constantly had a runny nose during those first couple of weeks of spring, when the pollen was drifting through the air.

After dropping their stuff off to their room, they went out to explore the city, Alain making sure his face mask was secure. While it provided some protection against the pollen that had decided to drift through the air, it didn’t completely protect his poor nose. So he had made sure he had more tissues on hand and in his pack.

They stopped at a nice cafe, where Mairin placed their orders (while Alain hoarded more napkins). As they ate, they continued their chat, topics ranging from the research Alain was helping Professor Sycamore with to the Pokemon Mairin was planning to use against Ramos’ Grass type Pokemon. When they finished, after the mandatory fight over who would pay (Alain won) they picked out some poffles for their pokemon (Alain won that fight too) and headed out, Alain making sure the mask was over his face before he went out.

They headed towards the Pokemon Center. Alain was planning to contact Professor Sycamore to check up on the research, while Mairin would train her Pokemon for the upcoming battle.
It was a mostly peaceful walk, up until a kid walking by with her mother asked, “Mama, that guy’s wearing a Psyduck face mask!”

Alain promptly froze in his tracks as the child’s mother quickly ushered her away, tossing an apology in his direction as she left. He turned to Mairin, who had turned her head away from him and was now looking a bit sheepish.


She turned, a sheepish grin on her face.

He stared at her, and she stared back.

Then she collapsed into laughter.

“T-The opportunity was t-too good to p-pass up…” She got out, then continued laughing.

Alain sighed to himself, mentally cursing spring allergies. They were a pain in the ass.