"Discovery" by SilverStrings

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Just a fun little Steven Stone romance. He's not in this chapter, but he'll be here soon. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the story~!
Water dripped from the ceiling of the underground cavern and onto your helmet as you walked through its passageways. It was cold and smelled like a mixture of dirt and brine: your favorite smell in the morning–or was it the afternoon? Regardless, the scent would normally leave you feeling relaxed, but you were on a mission that kept you far from it.

You shifted the pickaxe on your shoulder before turning to the tall pokémon beside you. “Could you hurry it up? We need to get as much as we can for the big conference next week.”

Your trusty Gabite snorted as if to tell you that he really didn’t care.

“Hey, you can keep most of the gems if we can find good fossils to showcase,” you told him. “How’s that sound?”

The cave pokémon grumbled before nipping at your elbow in protest.

You winced as you pulled away. “Hey! What did I tell you about biting?”

Gabite closed his eyes and snorted as he turned away, though he continued walking at your side.

You lowered your tone as you admitted, “I know it’s a lot more work than usual, but the conference is next week and we really need to make up for all those specimens that were stolen yesterday.” You furrowed your eyebrows as you looked down and scoffed. “I can’t believe that Maria trusted the museum to keep everything safe after what happened last time.” You waved your free arm around as your voice grew higher in pitch. “What the heck is wrong with people–stealing those perfect scientific specimens? Who knows if we’ll ever find another fossil in such prime condition again? I mean… maybe we’ll eventually find something close, but we’ll probably never find anything as good.”

Gabite froze midway through your verbal tirade, his senses directing him to the wall at your right. A low roar emitted from his throat in an attempt to gather your attention without echoing through the whole underground. You halted your train of thought before stepping aside and placing your hand against the cool rocky surface. Once you located a stable place to begin, you raised your pickaxe and carefully chipped away at the wall. In your search, you managed to uncover a few glittering gems about the size of a marble–not good enough for the exhibition. You plucked them from their perches and handed them to Gabite before backing away. Your pokémon’s eyes gleamed as he stared at the sparkling jewels between his fingers.

As the two of you pressed onward, you returned to your rant. “Maria’s never going to tell Roark like it is, and this’ll just happen all over again!”

Gabite grunted as he inspected one of the shinier gems.

“You know what?” You clenched your free fist as a fierce grin of determination tugged at your lips. “Maybe I should tell him myself. It’s not like our specimens were the only ones lost–the miners lost plenty too. He needs to help set up a real security system for the place.”

As you went on and on again, Gabite’s eyes went wide. After a series of excited grunts and whistles, he leaned in and nipped at your elbow again.

Your free hand flew to the sore spot as you reminded him, “Hey, it hurts when you do that!”

The cave pokémon snorted as he pointed to the wall behind you. Raising an eyebrow, you turned to take a look. Your jaw dropped at the sight. In that large section of wall–probably a good three meters across, spanning from the cavern floor to the ceiling–you could see several pieces of fossil jutting out. To be more accurate, Gabite’s new find looked like it could be one massive fossil. Your lips curved into a wide grin as you grabbed your pickaxe and went straight to work.

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