A Talk With Yang
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When we made it back to my new apartment, Yuna retreated back into her ball. Together with Faye, Terri, and Yang, that made four in total. And three more waiting for me inside. It really would be crowded if everyone decided to leave their balls.

Tired, I set three of the balls on my dresser before taking out Lina’s pokeball, replacing it with Faye’s. There was a dial right under the holder, and when I twisted it 90 degrees clockwise, there was a satisfying click as a metallic cage flipped into place over the pokeball, locking it shut. I didn’t think that Faye would cause me any more trouble after tonight, and I doubted she could break free of the pokeball on her own, but I didn’t feel like taking any chances.

As for the rest…

That could wait until tomorrow. Today had been exhausting. This entire week had been. Had it really only been a week? I needed a break. I stripped down to my underwear, collapsed into bed, closed my eyes, and went to sleep.

At least, I tried to.

Turns out, emotional exhaustion differs completely from physical, and as tense and stressful as today had been, I’d woken up in the afternoon after sleeping throughout Saturday.

My stomach rumbled. I vaguely remembered that pizza I’d gone through earlier, but I could feel my stomach gnawing at me for more. Grumbling, I walked into the kitchen to see if there was anything I could whip up into a midnight snack. The refrigerator hummed softly as I opened the door, and I smiled to myself to see that Lina must have got it fully stocked.

My eyes scanned the contents of the refrigerator, taking in the variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, and neatly arranged meats and cheeses. I grabbed some bread, cheese, and cold cuts, then closed the door, leaving the refrigerator to continue its gentle hum. I set to work making a sandwich, appreciating the quiet of the kitchen and the simple task at hand.

“Hmm…” I scanned the kitchen, looking for the toaster. There wasn’t one. I liked sandwiches, but I liked them about half-again as much when they were toasted. The kitchen had a nice-looking oven… but my grumbling stomach wasn’t going to wait that long.

“How hard could this be?” I thought as I took out a frying pan and laid a single piece of bread down on it. So far, I’d used my fire powers to light myself on fire and propel myself through the air. Compared to that, making toast should be easy. Right?

I focused on my hands, concentrating on the fire that I knew I could create. I didn't need a full-fledged flame, just enough heat to toast the bread in the pan. I extended my palm towards the pan, feeling the heat emanating out.

At first, nothing happened. And then it all happened much too fast, my hand igniting with a whoosh of rushing air, the intense heat instantly turned the bread into charcoal. “Crap, crap!” I shook my hand, trying to put out the flame. When that didn’t work, I ran water over it from the sink, a big faceful of steam hitting me before my hand finally cooled down.

You know what? Untoasted sandwiches really weren’t that bad.

I sighed, tossing the charred bread into the trash and praying it wasn’t some kind of metaphor for the way things had been going lately. Me, not knowing what I’m doing, screwing things up, then coming out of it unscathed while the bread around me became burnt toast.

Burnt toast. Pokegirls. I thought about the little I’d been taught in school. Pokegirl wasn’t an official term. Like the name of this place suggested, they were Pocket Monsters. In other words, Monsters that had been sealed and tamed. Hundreds of years ago, most of them were simply monsters. Inhuman creatures that would sow chaos and destruction. Vampires that would hunt virgins. Goblin gangs that would ambush travelers along the roads. Legendary dragons that would threaten whole cities with incineration should tribute not be paid. It was said that they were immortal, that killing one would only curse another soul to be possessed by that same monster, and so the solution they came up with was Sealing, converting a monster into its pure essence and capturing it within a container. Paper seals. Gems. Amulets. Though these days, everyone used the pokeballs. And then, as the process became more refined, the monsters weren’t just sealed away. We started using them. Having them battle their own kind so that humanity could be at the top of the food chain again.

But since coming here, I’d had a lot of that flipped on its head. It wasn’t exactly public knowledge that pokegirls came from corrupted trainers. Or that pokegirls could be so human. What would Helen look like if she was cut off from humanity? As the corruption grew, would she turn into a literal hell hound? I had no idea.

As I finished assembling a sandwich of cold cuts, cheese, lettuce, mayo, and a touch of cayenne, I mumbled under my breath, “Starting tomorrow, I really need to figure this stuff out.”

I sat on a stool next to the kitchen island and ate my sandwich, the only sound the refrigerator’s hum and a ticking clock. Eight people in one apartment, and I’d never felt so lonely. Right, right. One person, seven monsters. And for Faye, Yuna, Terry, and Yang, the only one to blame for it was me. I don’t know if that made me a prodigy of a trainer or the kind that should just drop out.

Halfway through the sandwich, when I was thinking of pouring some water to help wash it down, I heard a tumble and thud come from the bedroom. “Now what is it?”

Expecting the worst, I stood in the doorway to have a look.

“Oh! Ben. Hey. Uh…”

Standing there in my room was Yang. She still had the cat ears, but the pink glow in her eyes was gone. She looked at me and a smile curled on her lips. “I can’t believe how cool you were in the arena! Three for three! I guess that training I put you through really paid off, huh?”


“What, surprised to see me? I was feeling cramped inside that thing, and, uh… I don’t suppose you’ve got anything I could wear?”

“Oh. Right. Jeez!” I blushed and looked away. I’d grown so accustomed to nudity, I had almost not noticed. I found one of my shirts, and it fit loosely over her, going just past her hips. “Thanks. I mean, I can take it off if you want me to, but you look like you’re not really in the mood. Right?”

“I, uh… no. It’s been a heavy night. Are you okay? This has got to be confusing… I don’t know where I should even start,” I said as I leaned back against the wall, looking at her.

“I think I’m mostly caught up. Being inside the ball… you do a lot of sleeping, but you can hear and feel things from inside too.”

“Wait. Does that mean… were you awake for all of that… with Yuna and Faye?”

She nodded, pulling her legs up under the shirt, stretching it out as she curled up. “Yeah. I’m still really super angry at Faye for what she did, but jeez… I feel so bad for the both of them.”

<And you too. This is all my fault. I tried to help you and all I did was cause trouble. Getting cold feet in the morning. Getting caught by Faye. Nearly killing you in that fight! I made a huge mess of all of this and now you’re looking so sad and miserable and I just wanted to help, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry…>

The thoughts flooded in with a sharp burst, condensed and repeating. I shook my head, “What? Yang, no, this is all on me. I started this. I corrupted you and Yuna both.”

<Oh. Oh right… um… hi, Ben?>

“Is it weird that I’ve missed the way you read my mind?” Her cheeks tinged pink, and she let out a nervous laugh. “And you didn’t corrupt me. I mean, you kind of did. But I wanted it. I mean… I called you Master, remember?”

We both remembered that night at the same time, and recollecting while reading her mind, the memories mixed together, giving me a powerful surge of arousal. “Yeah. I thought we were, ah, roleplaying.”

<Stupid idiot dummy of course he doesn’t want you-->

“No! It’s not like that! I just don’t want to coerce you, or… I don’t…” I glanced over at the pokeballs. If Yang had been listening in while she was stuck inside…

Lina and the rest would probably be asleep, but I could just imagine them watching while tossing popcorn into their mouths. I grabbed Yang by the hand and dragged her out into the living room with me, having her join me on the couch.

“If you want to be my pokegirl, I want that too. I just don’t know why you’d want that. It seems like it’s the short end of the stick.”

“I don’t think it’s all bad. I think I grew at least another cup size,” Yang said, flattening the shirt taut against her chest so I could see the twin dots of her nipples poking the fabric, along with the round shape molded over her breasts. “Plus, it feels… good. Like I’m who I was always supposed to be? Is that weird? And… and I really like the idea of having you as my Master. ”

<You’re so nice and hot and powerful and god, you look so good without a shirt on, it’s so unfair>

Every word she said had pure, honest, vulnerable sincerity behind it. It was kind of strange hearing just how much of her attraction to me was purely physical, but there wasn’t just lust in her thoughts, but a real infatuation with me. Or… her idealized version of me. Yang didn’t know the real me at all.

…but I knew the real her, didn’t I?

“{Yang, take off that shirt.}”

“Really?” She asked, eyes twinkling, and then her hands were pulling the collar up over her head. “Oh! Yeah! I guess so, Ben!”

As she tossed it to the floor, I fired off another command. “{Kneel.} And it’s not Ben tonight. It’s Master.”

Immediately, she rolled off and hobbled on her knees in front of me. She looked up at me and inhaled sharply, tense as a violin string. “Yes, Master!”

My feet planted on either side of her, I reached down and grabbed her head, one hand lightly gripping her neck while the other toyed with the white fluff of the interior of her new cat ears. “I know how much you like me, Yang. And I really like you, too.”

<Mhmmmm…> There weren’t any verbal thoughts in her mind. Just pure security and comfort floating above a sea of primal arousal.

“You’re my pokegirl. Got it?”

I could feel the pain in her chest, her heart feeling like it was going to explode. <Don’t cry, don’t cry!> Tears filled her eyes, as if I’d just proposed marriage. “Yes, Master!”

It might not be marriage, but it was a Bond all the same. And I was going to keep it. “I promise, I’ll always take care of you. The two of us helping each other. Stronger together.”

“Me too, Master.” Yang leaned forward, pushing her cheek against the bulge in my underwear. “Forever.”

I was feeling just a little teary-eyed myself. “Okay. Then as your Master, my first order is—”

“Ah! Wait wait wait. Master, Master… I really want to make tonight special for you. So do you think, would it be okay, um… can I make a somewhat selfish request?” Yang cutely begged while she was nuzzling into my crotch.

How could I refuse?

“Sure. What do you want?”