AN: Okay. This is my new story that I’ve been working on for a few weeks and have been dreaming about for much longer.
Summary: After being saddled with two ten-year-old brats and being sent out on her long overdue Pokemon journey, she can’t help but wonder… is it ever worth it?
Warnings: This is rated, in my mind, PG-14. There is violence and language, though both may get more graphic later on.
So, without further ado, I bring you my story:
Chapter 1: The Beginning
It was cloudy. Too cloudy.
Glaring suspiciously at the sky between the leaves and branches of the tree, Leah grumbled under her breath as she fidgeted in place. A cool wind blew her dark hair into her face, but she roughly tucked it back behind her ear without taking her eyes from the skyline. She shoved her hands into her pocket and leaned back against the thick and smooth wood of the tree.
Her narrow gray eyes studied the dark clouds in the distance that were rolling towards her at a slow, but threatening place.
A burst of laughter caught her attention. Leah frowned and tried to put her focus sorely on the weather. Though, in the corner of her eye, she could easily make out several huddling, though cheerful, figures ahead of her, not having hardly a care in the world.
She made something of a bitter smirk as she lost her concentration and decided to watch them instead of doing the more important thing in her mind. Unlike the shivering population a few meters in front of her, she wasn’t the least bit cold, having worn a heavy raincoat; just in case the day wouldn’t have been as bright and sunny as the news predicted last night.
And behold, she thought sarcastically. Knowing how her luck went, it would probably be raining and miserable by the time she finally got out of there.
It was definitely not the weather one would suspect for someone’s very first day as a Pokemon trainer.
…Well, technically not her first day exactly. No; she was talking about their first day, the ones that were obviously much shorter and brattier than her. The ones that were stupid enough not to expect a cold day in the middle of July. The ones that were talking excitedly to the people around them about what type of Pokemon they were going to get.
The ones that had no ****ing clue what they were getting into.
She could pretty much guess what they were talking about, even if only hearing the faint buzz of their conversation since she was standing quite far away. They were hoping for a rare Pokemon for their starter. Maybe Charmander, Squirtle, or Bulbasaur, the endangered and highly sought out Pokemon that were usually the starters in the gameboy games; the ‘classic’ starters. Or maybe something more exotic, like Eevee, Dratini or Pikachu. Or maybe even something foreign like Larvitar. Or something like that.
If not talking about Pokemon, they were most likely boasting on how they were going to be a Pokemon Master. How they were going to be the next Champion of the Pokemon League, having sorely trounced the Elite Four. They didn’t care how they were going to do it. They were just going to and nothing would stop them.
Well, whatever they were talking about, all she knew was that every single one of them was going to be disappointed in the end. No exceptions. None. Zip. Nada.
She knew this, could predict this with ease, because she was an ‘official’ Pokemon trainer. Emphasis on the ‘was’, though.
What raced through their minds once went through hers…
But that was a long time ago.
Leah stared at the bunch of brats, mentally counting all the continuous moving figures as they were running and splashing in the mud and small puddles. One, two, three…. Maybe about fifteen, according to her calculations.
It was actually surprising. She had been expecting a bit more than that puny number. Why, when she first became a trainer, there were three times more kids! All of them, including her, admittedly, were eager to get their first Pokemon from Professor Oak. Her ‘generation’ of trainers came from all around Kanto, having looked forward to that day for pretty much their whole lives.
She shook her head and tried to redirect her thoughts. Because that was then and this was now. Besides, what did she care if there weren’t a lot of them? It would be less work for her. She had been watching the idiots for over thirty minutes and she already didn’t like them. They acted so immature and, well, stupid. It just bugged her to think she was once like that.
With a small sigh, she slowly closed her eyes and tried to block out the buzz of chatter.
Oh, if only she could have stayed in bed that morning. Her grandmother was at a conference in Viridian City, so no one could have forced her to get up and get going. She could have skipped the day entirely and have been completely worry free. But, sadly, unfortunately and of-the-most-rotten-luck, she had to go. She had to get up at eight in the morning, walk all the way to Oak’s lab while ignoring the chill, and had to watch the stupid little morons until Professor Oak bothered to come out of his cozy little lab.
If only she didn’t have to deal with them-
“Excuse me!” a loud voice cut into her thoughts and Leah turned her head to stare down at one of the smartly dressed figures that was standing before the crowd of kids and in front of the door to Oak’s lab. His arms were waving at them. “Can everyone look at me, please!”
All eyes turned towards the two men and the kids quieted their talking into a whispering frenzy.
“Uh, thank you,” the man said and cleared his throat. “I am Professor Jones and this is my colleague Professor Mare,” he indicated to the silent and solemn man beside him before continuing. “Professor Oak, unfortunately, will not be handing out the Pokemon today as he is CURRENTLY BUSY-” the man was forced the shout over the moans and groans of the excited, and now disappointed, children.
Professor Jones tried to get their attention again, but couldn’t. He gave his colleague a pitiful and helpless look.
“As Professor Jones was saying,” the stern, but booming voice of Professor Mare said, instantly cutting through the protests and silencing the many voices. “Professor Jones will be handing out the Pokemon, Pokedex and your trainer licenses to you. All other equipment isn’t our concern. If you’d follow Professor Jones, he will brief you on what you will be doing as a trainer-”
“Yes, thank you,” Professor Jones gibbered, obviously not use to handling kids. “Children, if you’d follow me into the lab-”
Professor Jones quickly disappeared behind the soft wooden door of the large building as the trainers-to-be quickly scrambled forwards, nearing running after the professor. They somehow squeezed through the small doorway and all their loud voices were cut off as the door closed quietly behind them.
Leah watched them leave, having not moved an inch from her tree. What now? she thought, hiding her anticipation behind thoughts of boredom.
She noticed that the only ones left outside were herself, Professor Mare and five other people. Like her, the five were all obviously older than ten-years-old and she could instantly tell they were trainers. Of course, some of them having Pokemon out, like the Ekans wrapped around that guy’s neck, did help her out.
She sighed and knew the end had come. Reluctantly leaving her tree behind, she carefully walked down the hill that was somewhat overlooking the lab, her boots making a squishing sound as she walked over the damp grass that was mixed with dirt and mud. Crossing the road and stepping onto the solid cement of the driveway, she lined up with the five trainers, her hands clenched in her pockets.
A slight feeling of nausea started to grow in her chest and she could feel her jacket clinging to her skin. She swallowed nervously and suddenly didn’t feel quite as brave as she felt just minutes ago.
There was no turning back. It was time to face her doom.
“Now,” Professor Mare started again.
“I understand you six signed up for the Trainer Mentorship Program that Professor Oak is hosting-”
Oh yes, Leah thought bitterly, anxious to distract her mind from her sudden swell of nervousness. Though ‘signed up’ wouldn’t even be close to the terms she would use. More like ‘bribed’ or ‘unwilling signed in an attempt to dodge the likelihood of a boarding school.’
The Trainer Mentor Program. There were so many words she could use to describe it, but she liked to sum it up with: ‘annoying’, ‘troublesome’ and ‘the source of all her problems’. The Program was relatively new and had only started up about two years ago. The purpose was, according to her, to travel with a bunch of brats and make sure they didn’t put themselves or get into any stupid situations.
The only good side that Leah could see, was that it only lasted around two to three months. It could have been worse. A lot worse, actually, if what her Grandmother told her about the ‘rough draft’ of the program was true.
The Trainer Mentor Program was also something that she had been positively dreading for the past month. No matter what her Grandmother said, Leah just knew that it would be an awful experience.
“-I, Professor Jones and Professor Oak are thankful to you for lending us your spare time in guiding young trainers on their Pokemon journeys,” he continued, addressing the group as a whole. “You are already Pokemon trainers and you know what to expect and know the dangers that can happen on such a journey. You six are here to prevent any accidents from befalling these young youths.
“This year, there are sixteen new trainers and, as such, four of you will be mentoring three of the children and two of your will have two, each. I have chosen your groups for you and I’d like you all to wait by the mailbox for your charges after I am finished,” he peered at them seriously. “Any questions?”
“Yeah,” the boy with the Ekans, who was standing beside her, piped up, “What if one of them wants to go home? What do we do with them then?”
Leah knew that it was no secret that around fifty percent of all newbie trainers gave up in the first month, and around forty-five percent in the next four months. For whatever reason they had, only around five percent of the newbie trainers would stay in the game, so to speak, and become ‘professionals’. The drop outs, on the other hand, would go back home, go back to school, and mostly forget their dream of being a professional Pokemon trainer.
Hell, she should know; she was one of them. And hopefully, so were the brats she was going to get. She had been watching them for a while and she could hardly see any of them becoming a real Pokemon trainer.
Professor Mare was still talking in an annoying drone, “-I’d advise that you fly them home or drop them off in your travels. Your job of mentoring them is only done when either or both your charges quit, or if your time of a period of two-and-a-half-months is done, or if they gain four or more gym badges. That way, their Pokemon should be strong enough at that time to take care of their trainers.”
Another one of the trainers asked a question, but Leah zoned out of the conversation. What they were talking about wasn’t important. Whichever type of brats she would get would probably, hopefully, drop out after a week. She doubted that she would have follow them around for a whole two-and-a-half months.
Keep thinking positively, she advised herself. The whole situation would go by faster if she did.
“Hey,” the boy with the Ekans whispered to her with a smile, also ignoring the Professor.
Leah barely glanced at him, still submerged in her thoughts. “What’d you want?”
“What Pokemon do you have?”
“None of your business,” she replied immediately, not caring if she was being rude. It wasn’t like she was ever going to see him again anyways.
“Aw, c’mon,” he said with a whine. “I’m curious.”
Leah dodged the question with a furious whisper. “Why you want to know?”
“Because I know all these guys,” he said, indicating with his head at the other trainer next to him, trying not to disturb his Ekans. “A lot of us started together and we’ve seen each other around a lot. I know all their Pokemon and stuff. I like to know my fellow Pallet trainers and what way is best then to start with Pokemon?” he did a small shrug with a grin. “It’s also just a bit odd I’ve never seen you around before.”
“You wouldn’t of seen me around,” she said with a grimace.
“If you two are done whispering,” Professor Mare interrupted with an icy stare as he and the other four trainers looked at them. “I am quite sure that it is almost time for your charges to come outside.”
“So, we wait at the mail box?” the boy asked nervously, looking properly chastised.
“Yes,” Professor Mare said and spoke again just as the trainers were turning away. “One more thing. I would like to remind you all that if you have any problems that you cannot solve for yourselves, get in contact with the Pokemon League or with Professor Oak. Do not keep your problems to yourselves.”
A few of the trainers muttered an affirmative as Leah walked back up the driveway and towards the metal mailbox standing on a wooden post. She stopped right before it and, after a moment of thought, turned to the Ekans boy who followed her.
“Hey,” she said blankly and continued before he could reply. “I’m gonna be up there,” she pointed to the large tree which she was leaning against earlier. “Tell that to the ones that come looking for me.”
Leah had already walked off the driveway and across the dirt road by the time the boy could reply.
“Wait!” he yelled. “I don’t even know your name!”
“I don’t care,” she shouted back without looking as she hopped over the shoddy looking knee-height fence that separated the road from the wild looking grass. She made her way up the hill, kicking up the excess pebbles behind her and stood proudly at the top.
She found that she rather liked the hill as she appreciated the sudden silence. Turning around, she once again leaned against the tree. Her shoulders slumped and she found herself finally relaxing.
Leah thought to herself. The conversation with the Professor didn’t go that bad, though that was probably because she zoned out for, like, half of it. It was short and, well, not that sweet, but it didn’t matter. Actually, maybe it was a good thing that Professor Oak was busy. He would most likely ramble on a lot more and look us straight in the eye to make sure they understood. Or, at least, that’s how Grandmother said Oak acted. Leah had never actually met the guy before.
And now most likely never will. Oh well.
Glancing down, Leah could only spot the bored looking teens, but couldn’t see any of the newbies. How long had she been up there for? Maybe a minute?
“This,” she said out loud and impatiently, “is going to take a while.”
Finding herself watching the Ekans boy as he rubbed the Pokemon’s head, she quickly averted her eyes and scolded herself. What was going on with her? She had much better things to do then to stare at some kid!
…But there was something about that kid that was bugging her.
“What Pokemon do you have?”
Leah blinked. Oh, right. That reminded her.
Digging through her pocket, she pulled out a miniaturized red and white Pokeball that was warm in her hand and was coated lightly with sweat. She stared at it and her lips pulled into a grimace.
“Ew. Have I been holding onto it for all this time?”
Her attention was then caught by a small and very crinkled sticker that planted right at the top of the sphere. The sticker looked a bit like a Bulbasaur that was once green, but the color had faded into an ugly yellow. The sticker would have come off if it hadn’t been held there by a clear piece of old scotch tape.
The sight made her a bit uncomfortable and she wondered why she hadn’t yet taken the sticker off. It wasn’t like the sticker was important or anything like that.
Another glance at Oak’s non-moving door made a decision.
Leah clicked the button in the middle of the ball and pointed it at the ground to her right and a few feet away.
“Sands,” she commanded and flinched as the ball snapped opened in her hand and let loose a white light that gathered beside her. A small rushing sound had her lean uncomfortably to the side as her Pokeball closed, its job being done.
The Pokemon that stood with her wasn’t as classic or exotic or foreign as she would have liked to deal with.
It stood on its hind legs and nearly reached her knee in height. It had a rodent face and body that was covered in yellow plating. Where the protective armor didn’t cover, like its muzzle and front, there was short white hair that was almost bristle in nature. Sticking out of its behind was a stubby tail and the Pokemon had two triangular ears on the top of its head.
The Sandshrew put its nose in the air and sniffed lightly. Its dark beady eyes looked around itself and it made a small squeak as it noticed Leah standing there, arms held firmly at her side.
“Hey,” she tried to give it a smile, but it just ended up looking awkward.
“Shrew?” Sands said with a small whine as it gazed at her with no tiny amount of suspicion.
Sands the Sandshrew. Where should she start? For one, it was her first Pokemon and it was about five years old now. She got it when she first became a trainer and had decided to keep it when she quit being a trainer a week after starting. Truthfully, she wasn’t going to keep the Pokemon, not wanting any reminder of being a trainer, but her Grandmother insisted on her keeping it.
“Guess what,” Leah said, deciding to get down to business. “You’re finally going to become useful.”
It looked at her confusingly.
She just sighed in exasperation. The Pokemon was just an animal with superpowers; she couldn’t expect it to understand what she was saying.
“I’m being forced to become a… trainer, again,” she muttered. “So…”
“Sands?” Sands said.
Leah hated to put it out loud. Saying it just made it more real and she saying it herself was her admitting that tenfold. “Yeah, Sands. Me and you have to try this again. Right from the very beginning.”
Sands sat on its hunches and its ears perked up as chatter suddenly filled the air.
Her attention being caught, she could see that the kids that came out of the door were filled with a new type of energy as they pranced around in excitement. They laughed as they dramatically threw their Pokeballs to the sky and watched as the bright light came down and manifested their first Pokemon.
Bitterly, Leah wondered which one of the brats would be hers. Maybe the blond one in blue or maybe the one with the Meowth? But no. She could see the Ekans kid pointing over at her to two or three of the kids that were crowding around the five teenagers.
“Sands,” she said without taking her eyes off the crowd. “I think I’m going to be sick.”
The dark clouds that had been looming towards Pallet Town were completely forgotten in her mind. Her only thought was centered around a hope that the future would go smoothly.
Though, knowing her, it was doubtful.
AN: So, please review and tell me what you think.
Could've done without the summary, but I think it's pretty good. It's pretty well thought through, and hints at some pretty dark themed stuff. So... Awesome! Can't wait for Chapter Two.
I like it so far! Sounds like an interesting plot!
I wonder what Leah has been doing these past years though...
I have a tad of grammery-type stuff:
In the corner of her eye she could easily make out several huddling, though cheerful, figures ahead of her, none of whom appeared to have a care in the world.
That's still a bit wordy, but it makes sense.
Anyway, it seems like a very original story. You opened up a lot of questions in this chapter about Leah's past so it's a good start.
Not much else to say; I like it.
Chapter two should be up in a week (technically, I've already written chapter two and most of three, but I don't like putting updates sooner then a week apart). Thanks for your reviews!
Hey, this looks interesting! I like the premise and the main character (wonderfully jaded and snarky), as well as the thought it looks like you put into how most people's pokémon training experience generally pans out. I'm interested as to where this story's going—what kind of challenges will come up for Leah and her charges, what caused her to quit training, why she agreed to this in the first place—has a lot of potential. I think I'll definitely be following along :)
One possible suggestion, though:
And I agree with you about the plot-driven stories since I believe that the plot only happens because of the characters' actions and motivations. Besides, I don't even know how to write a plot-drvien story. ;)
AN: Since this chapter is released everywhere else this story is posted, I'm just going to go ahead and post it now and post chapter 3 on Wednesday.
Chapter 2: Charges
Leah took in a deep breath and tried to put a smile on her face that didn’t look entirely fake. The easiest way possible to get through two and a half months of torture was to be as friendly as she could, to be very agreeable, and for people to like her. But, to do that, she had to look happy, and be a nice person and-
Oh, screw it, she thought, as a frown made its way onto her face. If they couldn’t put up with her and her bad mood, then too bad for them. She would just ignore them if she had to.
“Okay, Sands. Here they come,” she said to her Pokemon who was still sitting dumbly on the ground. “Try to look as mean and ferocious as a rat like you can.”
She could spot her ‘charges’ very clearly from where she was standing. The two small figures (thankfully not three) were standing before Leah’s hill. One of them was having problems getting over the weak-looking fence and the other was trying to help. Their small voices drifted towards Leah, and she could hear that the helper seemed to be doing most of the talking.
After they got over the fence, she watched them climb the hill, which wasn’t very steep, but was seemingly a challenge for the ten-year-olds. Leah didn’t say a word when they got to the top and faced her for the first time. She glared a bit in their direction and took some of her valuable time to study their features closely.
The first, the helper, was a boy and he looked positively energetic in his pastel green and white striped shirt and gray shorts. He had shocking orange hair that clung to his head and with hardly a hair out of place. Freckles stood out on his round face and he had an awkward looking nose. Bright hazel eyes widened as he stared at her curiously.
The one that was having trouble was a girl. She had straight black hair that fell to her shoulders and was mostly kept back from her face with a white headband. She was wearing blue overalls with a little red heart sewed in the center of her chest, and wore a dark pink shirt underneath. Her face was pale and she kept her eyes focused on the ground, afraid to meet Leah’s eyes.
Overall, one looked like he would press a button labeled clearly: ‘Do Not Touch’ just because he could, while the other hardly looked like someone who was ready to face the world.
“You our mentor person?” the boy asked loudly as he took in Leah’s messy hair, pale face and worn clothing. “’Cause you don’t look very smart or strong-”
Okay, if she wouldn’t keep them in line by being nice, she’d just have to use fear. Leah rolled her eyes and cut him off. “Yeah, insult the person with the experienced Sandshrew-that-can-rip-you-apart, why don’t you?”
Sadly though, her comment seemed to have the opposite effect. “Sandshrews can rip people apart? Really? That’s so awesome!”
He looked like someone who had realized that Christmas had come early.
Leah didn’t know how to reply to that and she mentally cursed her social skills. “Not to you,” she said casually and a bit cautiously. “My Pokemon will do it to you if you piss me off.”
The boy still had a grin on his face and looked like he was about to reply when Leah’s attentions shifted to the girl, who, with her head still bowed, looked nervous. Her hands were clasped tightly in front of her.
“Can you talk?” Leah asked her.
A struggle seemed to go on in her head as she was silent for a few seconds before responding with a very quiet: “yes.”
“What’s your name?” the boy directed at Leah, obviously never been taught that it was rude to interrupt people.
“Why should I tell you?” Leah said as she turned her head to look at him, losing interest in the quiet girl. “You tell me yours first and then maybe I’ll tell you mine.”
The boy scowled, but noticeably brightened up, “I’m Ed,” he then pointed at the girl. “That’s Ally. She doesn’t like talking.”
“Obviously,” Leah scorned.
Okay, so now she had names to go with faces. The boy was Ed, the girl was Ally. The boy was annoyingly cheerful and the girl was very shy. One was going to be a problem and the other could be easily ignored. Leah would rather have two easily ignorable brats, but she supposed that one troublesome kid was better then two.
But that did bring up another problem. Introductions were pretty much done, so now what should she do? She had know clue on how to deal with kids for an extended period of time.
All her Grandmother advised her, before she left for Viridian City two days ago, was to get to know the new trainers and to make sure that she knew them well enough to keep them out of trouble. Keep them out of trouble and everything would hopefully be smooth sailing, was what her Grandmother told her. Well, and to be polite, but Leah disregarded that command immediately like she always did.
Her Grandmother never gave good advice for situations like this, Leah mentally moaned. What was she supposed to do with the brats? There was no way she was going on a Pokemon journey that day no matter what happened and no matter how much the kids whined. And it wasn’t as if she could drop them off at the Pokemon Center.
What to do, what to do…
She then noticed that an awkward silence had fell on the three trainers while she was thinking. Remembering the Ekans boy’s words, Leah asked with a bit of curiously, “What Pokemon do you have?”
The boy pouted, “But we don’t know your name!”
“I never said that I would give you my name. Now answer my question.”
Ed stuck his chin out proudly and answered. “My Pokemon’s much awesome-er then some Sandshrew. And it’s really strong too!” He bent down and dug around in his bright green backpack that he had earlier dropped to his feet. Getting back up moments later, he held out a brand new Pokeball to Leah.
Patience wasn’t one of Leah’s finer qualities. “Don’t just point it at me. Hurry up and send it out already! I don’t got all day.”
Just as he was preparing to toss the Pokeball in the air with an underhanded throw, Leah reached out and caught his arm.
“Don’t throw it up,” Leah told him strictly. “You’ll probably get it stuck in the tree or something.”
“Fine,” Ed grouched, and let the Pokeball drop to the ground. The ball burst and Leah took a step back from the light that came out.
The new Pokemon, that was quite literally laying at his feet, was just as orange as Ed’s hair. It had smooth shiny skin and a roundish head with big bulging blue eyes. There were three little fangs that were sticking out sideways from its open mouth. It had four crab-like legs and two large claws. But the most strange feature were the two red mushrooms with yellow poke-a-dots that stuck up from its back.
The Paras, going against Ed’s praise, was peacefully enjoying the cold grass, its eyes glazed over, oblivious to the world.
Ed was seemingly in touch with his Pokemon’s laziness. “Paras,” he whined. “Get up, come on!”
Leah snickered. “You call that stronger then a Sandshrew. Sands could beat up that thing easily.”
“It could not!” Ed defended his only Pokemon.
“Could too!” Leah scoffed.
“Could-” Leah cut herself off when she realized that she was arguing with a kid. She decided a different approach.
“Well,” she sighed dramatically and gave a sly grin at Ed. “I suppose we could settle this with the only way we trainers,” she sneered the word, “know how.”
Ed’s eyes glinted and he understood instantly at what Leah was getting at. “Ha! I can beat you in a Pokemon battle any day of the week.”
“You could not.”
Could-” She nearly bashed her head against the tree when she realized that she was doing it again, so she continued on quickly. “Okay, lets battle.”
“Yeah!” Ed said and looked around and pointed to the empty road. “lets go battle down there.”
Leah waved him off. “Nah, we can battle right here.”
Ed made a big showing of looking around at the small space that the hill generously provided. He was incredulous. “Here?”
“Here.” Leah confirmed and grinned. “If your Pokemon’s really so tough, it won’t need a big space to beat my Sandshrew.”
There wasn’t anything that Ed could find wrong in that sentence, so he agreed to the challenge, missing the malicious look in her expression.
Already seeing problems that could arise from such an energetic character, Leah decided that she need to – how to put it kindly? – stop the boy from being so hyper all the time. She had already known him for, what, five minutes, and she already was annoyed. She didn’t mind if someone was cheerful, but she knew that happiness plus ten-year-old plus Pokemon trainer, equaled headaches and stupidity all around.
And a Pokemon battle was the answer to her problems. No ten-year-old (except for the creepy mature ones) wanted to lose a Pokemon battle of such importance. Destroy the kid’s ego and watch him be all quiet and mope-y. Hopefully, it’ll last more then a few days, but maybe it’ll be enough time for her to come up with a more permanent solution at being surrounded by children twenty-four seven.
She mentally patted herself on the back. A fine plan.
“I’m going to win this, Ally,” Ed was telling his silent friend. “My first Pokemon battle!”
Leah had completely forgotten about the girl, but didn’t let it bother her as she waved Ally off to the side, where she stood there as nervous as ever. Leah and Ed took opposite sides of the hill with Sands and the still relaxing Paras in between them.
“I’ll be nice,” Leah said with little friendliness, “and let you attack first.”
“That’s your mistake!” Ed crowed. He, before meeting Leah, had looked up his Pokemon in his Pokedex and found out the attacks it could use. He was absolutely confident he could win this.
The battle was already in the bag. “Paras! Scratch attack the Sandshrew!”
Paras, giving its trainer a lazy look, just sat there, its two claws motionless.
“Paras!” Ed yelled again. Maybe Paras hadn’t heard him? “Attack! Come on! I know you can scratch. That’s what those claws are for!”
Leah just watched as Ed kept yelling at his Pokemon to attack. Amusement coursed within her and she grinned at his ignorance. “You done?”
“No! But-” he looked very confused as Paras ignored every single order he gave it. “Why won’t Paras attack?”
“Because you’re stupid,” Leah mocked. “Your don’t know anything about what a trainer does, do you? They don’t just fight Pokemon battles.”
Ed was still very confused and hurt at his Pokemon’s refusal. “But that’s what a trainer does!”
“We’re called Pokemon trainers for a reason,” Leah said and decided to explain. “Trainers catch Pokemon and then they train them to obey their commands. Pokemon aren’t just going to obey you as soon as you catch it. This isn’t one of those gameboy games where the Pokemon do whatever you say.”
Seeing that Ed still didn’t understand, Leah tried something else. “Pokemon are animals with superpowers; animals aren’t as smart as us. You tell Paras to use ‘scratch’, but Paras doesn’t understand what you mean by ‘scratch’. Being a trainer means that you need to teach your Pokemon to both understand what you’re saying and for them to follow your commands.”
Or at least, that was how the textbook described it in school. She was actually kind of surprised she remembered all that technical stuff since she thought the whole thing was just confusing as hell.
Leah almost didn’t respond to that, but leaned sideways to stare directly at the girl, Ally, who was trying to grasp her attention.
“What?” Leah asked moodily. She didn’t like to be interrupted when she was trying to humiliate someone.
“Uh,” she looked very nervous, playing with one of the sleeves of her shirt. “Is… that why… my Pokemon doesn’t like me?”
Leah shrugged. “Probably.”
Ally looked quite relieved as her words, as if it had been bothering her for the whole time, but Leah paid no mind to that as she was too busy giving her attention to her Sandshrew.
“Hey, Sands,” Leah called out and knew that Sandshrew was listening by the way its ears perked up. “Use scratch on Paras.”
Unlike Ed’s Paras, Sands did know what Leah meant by ‘scratch’ as it slowly got onto its hind legs, holding out its clawed paw.
“Huh?” Ed put his focus back on the Pokemon. Alarm was present in his voice. “What? But Paras can’t attack!”
Leah gave him a look. “This is a Pokemon battle, moron. It isn’t finished yet!”
Sands stood in front of the Paras, looking vaguely nervous at the strange Pokemon. But it did as its master commanded as it braced itself and swing its claws in a downward arc. Paras didn’t defend itself as the sharp nails left three shallow marks on its head, but afterwards it looked a bit annoyed at the attack.
“Sands, keep going,” Leah told it.
Ally let out a frightened whimper and covered her mouth with her hands as a gasp escaped her at the bloodshed. Her blue eyes were wide and she stumbled backwards.
Ed started to panic at his unresponsive Pokemon. He was shouting and begging it as Sands kept slashing away at the hard flesh that adorned Paras’s body. After that didn’t work, he tried to communicate with Leah, but she just ignored him and stared at the one-sided battle.
He really isn’t thinking, Leah thought to herself as she heard Ed’s pleas. All he had to do to stop the battle was to return Paras to its Pokeball and then all her plans would be ruined.
Feeling a bit of guilt at what she was doing to a kid, Leah crushed the feeling and told herself that it would help the boy in the long run. It would be better if he learned that new Pokemon couldn’t be trusted to obey him before he went on his journey. Besides, despite her dislike of the kids, she would rather not have them go through the same thing she did.
Though, maybe she was going a bit too far. Best to wrap things up.
“Finish it, Sands!” Leah said.
But something went wrong.
Sands wobbled on its feet, paws outstretched with its bloody claws gleaming. Leah studied her Pokemon closely and searched her memory frantically as the Sandshrew dizzily tried to take a step back, but fell off its feet. It was looking sickly, its dark blue eyes narrowing. It was acting like its vision was blurring.
Leah eyes widened in panic as she remembered one little fact she overlooked. Paras had two abilities it could be born with: Dry Skin or Effect Spore. Effect Spore was a common ability among bug and grass types that could effect the attacking Pokemon with an invisible pollen that either paralyzed it, forced it asleep or poisoned it.
Damn it all the hell! Sands was poisoned! Fu-
“Sands,” she barked at it as it was sitting, dazed on the grass. “Get up! Ignore it!”
Sands moaned weakly, “shrew….”
Paras, at that time, was extremely annoyed and angry. Its two claws subtly pawed the dirt underneath them and, despite the pain in its head, it forced itself up. Its four legs shook with the effort, but the Pokemon took small steps forward until it was in front of the half-conscious Sandshrew.
“Sands!” Leah shouted. “Up! Or you’re going to lose! Or I’m going to lose. Up! UP!”
But it was too late. Paras had already brought its claw down on the soft flesh of Sand’s stomach, which left a thin, but bloody line. Sands whined in pain and forced itself into a ball, plated head covering its injured front. The bug type didn’t care, however, as it raised its other claw and did it again. Though the attack hardly left a mark on the Sandshrew’s hard outer layer.
Leah roared, “enough!” and returned her nearly unconscious Pokemon to its Pokeball in a thin beam of red light.
And then there was silence.
Slowly, Paras lowered itself to the ground where it rested its heavy claws. A thin trail of blood made its way down the side of its face, but Paras seemingly didn’t care as it went back to what it was doing before it was interrupted: relaxing.
Ed could hardly follow the turn of events. All he knew was that, somehow, Paras had defeated Sandshrew with a single scratch attack. And that he had won.
He had one his very first Pokemon battle.
“I… won?” Ed asked himself in amazement as glazed down on his Pokemon.
Ally slowly took her hands from her mouth and got up from the ground, but kept her distance. Though the battle was over, she didn’t dare approach Ed, still terrified from the real-life battle that had just took place in front of her.
Anger started to build in Leah’s chest at her humiliating defeat and she felt like yelling and throwing things around. She made a tight grimace, her hands clenched at her sides, one of them having a tightening hold over her Pokeball.
She lost to a Paras. Sands lost to a Paras, she corrected herself, but that didn’t take any of the anger away. Because she was the one who forgot about the Effect Spore ability. She lost all because of a stupid mistake that could have easily have been avoided. She, a fifteen year-old, lost to a ten-year-old. How embarrassing. How humiliating. She hardly ever felt like wanting to hide her face in shame or becoming invisible, but it seemed that those feelings were coming back with a vengeance.
Taking a deep breath, she tried to steady herself, but that hardly helped in the least.
She need to leave, Leah decided to herself as she gritted her teeth, or she was probably going to start saying wildly inappropriate things and just making a further mess of herself.
“I’ve had enough,” Leah muttered out loud as she turned her back on her two charges. “I’m getting out of here.”
Ed couldn’t shake the grin from his face, but it dimmed just a bit when he heard Leah’s quiet words. “What?” he said in confusion as he turned. “Why? Where you going?”
“Home,” was his only reply as Leah recklessly walked down the hill without a regard to her own safety, kicking away anything in her path.
Confused, Ed tried to exchange a glance with Ally, but she avoided his look and stood there silently, nervously glancing in Leah’s direction.
Coming to the conclusion that their mentor didn’t care if she left them behind, Ed returned Paras to its Pokeball and swung his backpack over his shoulder. He then took a running start and tore down the hill. Ally watched him skid to a halt at the bottom and turn around to look at her.
“Ally!” he shouted. “Come on! She’s going to leave us behind!”
Very hesitant, Ally cautiously and slowing climbed down the hill, where she met Ed at the bottom. He was making impatient looks down the road where Leah was walking. Their mentor was getting smaller and smaller as she got further away and she didn’t even look back at them once to check if they were following.
But were they supposed to follow? Ally wondered reluctantly. What if their mentor didn’t want them to? What were they supposed to do then? Should they follow?
Ed obviously thought so as he grabbed Ally’s hand. “We have to follow her,” he said, like he was reading her thoughts. “We gotta catch up ‘cause if she gets away, we’ll probably never see her again, then we can’t go on our Pokemon journeys!”
Ally was aware that she had no choice when he said it like that, but she still couldn’t help but look back at Oak’s lab to see all the other trainers like her having a fun time with their new Pokemon and experienced mentor.
“I don’t really like her,” Ed said suddenly as he led the way. Ally looked at him in confusion. He elaborated. “She’s mean and stuff. And she attacked Paras when she didn’t have to.”
“Paras is hurt now too,” Ally said.
“Yeah,” Ed replied, but he didn’t seem very concerned at that fact, like that was normal for a Pokemon.
Ally frowned and didn’t speak again. There was silence between them once they could no longer see Oak’s lab.
All they could do now was to follow their mentor’s retreating back. They had to become Pokemon trainers.
There was no alternative.
Alright here we go. Grammar comes first.
The over-use of the comma:
No need for the comma after thought.
No need for the “and”. Instead:
He had shocking orange hair that clung to his head, with hardly a hair out of place.
He looked like someone who had realized Christmas was coming early.
It just flows a lot better. There is nothing wrong with your original grammar, it is just doesn’t flow nicely.
I think you meant, “Not you,”
“What’s your name?” the boy directed at Leah. He obviously had never been taught that it was rude to interrupt people.
It should be “Keeping them out of trouble….”
Also, this section illustrates another tendency of yours. You often repeat yourself. The second sentence seems unneeded. There are a few other instances where this happens. I would try to avoid repetition, unless there is reason to believe the reader will not remember something.
In addition, I would avoid starting sentences with “and” or “but” because they tend to be fragments. For instance:
Why not just start with “A”.
Unneeded comma again.
Then should be than.
Again, no need for the comma.
Your should be you.
Should be needed.
Err… why? There are plenty of alternatives.
Another grammar-related comment: You tend to change tenses a lot. Try to stick to one. For the most part, the story is in the past tense so stick with that.
I already love this kid.
I have to say, I liked the first chapter a lot better, mostly because there were not nearly as many grammar issues. I highly recommend revising your chapter multiple times before posting it as well as having someone else read over it.
Aside from grammar, I liked the actual content. Leah has a very interesting character, and though she is extremely judgmental, I find her intriguing. I like Ed, but I’m not sure about Alley yet…
I liked the battle and was extremely surprised when Ed won.
I’m definitely excited for the next chapter (hopefully more revised though)!
Delongbi: Whoa. I never knew how many grammar issues I had! Seeing them is making me a bit embarrassed. I’ll have to triple check (and then triple check again!) later chapters to make sure I kill all the mistakes. Thanks a bunch for pointing them out or I’d probably never notice them!
I’m glad you liked the story and yeah, Ed’s an awesome kid and I love writing him and Leah. Though Ally is kind of awkward to write since she’s a shy character, but she should be getting more of a personality in the next few chapters.
Chapters three and four are already done, but I’m going to have to go over both of them with a magnifying glass. I hope I’ll get chapter three up by Friday or Saturday, though probably Saturday.
Thanks for taking your time to review!
Okay, I know this is a bit delayed, but my Internet’s been screwy and I haven’t been able to get online the better part of this week.
Before I get to into this review, Dagzar, I must say that I’m finding this more and more of an invigorating read as it goes on. But, there are a few issues I’ve spotted that you could probably work on.
First off, you should gender the Pokemon. I feel a little sorry for Sands because you call him (or her) an “it.” Why is that? I mean, all writers should know that you have to make known whether or not a Pokémon is male or female, unless it really is genderless like Magneton. Even if the gender isn’t clear right off the bat, most people assume an organism is male. Don’t mimic the games’ inability to accurately discern between the sexes; it’s just bad showmanship all around.
Secondly, this is a minor issue, but I think you’d do well to cut back just a little bit on the soap/anime-type drama and immature sounding stuff. Like that prelude to Leah and Ed’s first battle against each other… It just spoke badly to me because it was just too childish to be believable in a PG-14 fic.
Also, little comments like “Damn it all the hell! Sands was poisoned! Fu-” detract from the flow of the story. Be more outright with stuff if you can. I could have figured that this was what Leah was thinking had you just said that Sands got poisoned by Effect Spore and described her reaction, instead of out and ranting it.
Hmm… And that’s about all I wanted to make known…for now, at least. I really love how you handle the literary writing style. For some reason it reminds me vaguely of my all-time favorite game, Final Fantasy IV… Maybe it’s the way you write or how you let stuff unfold.
Thanks for reviewing Skunter!
Okay, surprisingly, I actually have an explanation for Sands’ gender. I’m going to say right off the bat that Sands is male, but this is in Leah’s POV (well, most of it is) and she’s the one who’s referring to Sands as an ‘it’. Leah doesn’t care what gender her Pokemon is since it doesn’t matter to her, so therefore, poor Sands is constantly being treated as an ‘it’. Don’t worry though, that’s not going to last for long and I’ll be giving my trainer’s Pokemon genders as they get to know them.
About the anime-type stuff, now that I look back at the scene, I see how immature and cliché it really was. Sorry about that. I’ll make sure that that type of stuff doesn’t squeeze into later chapters.
Thanks a lot for the advice! This’ll definitely help later chapters!
Heh, and Finally Fantasy IV? I’ve never actually played any of the Final Fantasy games (shocking, isn’t it?), but maybe I should now. I’m getting curious. ;)
About the next chapter, I’ve finished chapter three, but I’ve no clue when it’s going to be up because I’ve now got a beta! Censored has kindly agreed to look over my story for those evil spelling and grammar mistakes.
So, I have no clue when I’ll be back, but stay tuned! :D
Okay, I see how you were going about Leah's character now, and it makes more sense too that she'd just call Sands an "it."
As for that anime-mimicry... Yeah, avoid it when you can. It just comes across as bad to most reviewers.
And, you're not the only person here who hasn't played FF; so don't feel like you're missing out too much. Even I've only played like seven of the games (I through VI and XII: Revenent Wings for the DS), and while they're all good, some are a little generic.
Whoa, nearly a month has gone past since my last update. That can't be good. Anyway, I'm back and I'd like to thank Censored for betaing this chapter!
Chapter 3: Plans
Leah subtly glanced behind her. They were still following her.
With a snarl on her face, she sped up her pace. Damn it! She thought she lost them when she took that sharp turn at Marlin Street. She certainly didn’t see them for about ten minutes afterwards, but they must have caught up somehow!
Argh! She did not want them trailing after her like lost puppies; Why couldn’t they just leave her alone? Did Leah ask them to follow her? No! They just started to do it by themselves for whatever stupid reason they had. They didn’t need her and she didn’t want them! The brats could just find a new mentor.
Were they really that set on going on a Pokemon journey?
Leah mentally chided herself for her ignorance that she displayed earlier that morning. Of course, she would get the stubborn ones. Who did she take herself for, some lucky person?
Feeling the burst of anger fading she downgraded her snarl into a scowl and finally loosened the grip on the Pokeball that was still in her pocket. Walking even faster, she wondered what the point was. If they would follow her even when she started to run, then they wouldn’t be put off by a little speed-walk.
“Stupid brats,” she muttered to herself, exhaustion clouding her voice. Her once quick pace became slow and lazy as she slouched and sighed in defeat. There was no getting away from them.
Her eyes turned upwards to the cloudy sky that had hardly a blue patch in sight. It would start raining soon, she just knew it. She had to go home soon if she didn’t want to be caught in the rain.
She pulled the woolen strings on her hood and felt the jacket collar tighten around her neck. Almost deciding to put her hood up, she decided not to unless it actually started to pour or otherwise she would look stupid. Not that there was anyone to see it.
Distinctively hearing the crackle of the gravel underneath her, she sighed again and stopped in the middle of the road. She wasn’t worried that a car might come by since Pallet Town, being the quiet, boring place that it was, hardly had cars for some reason.
Oh, wait. Maybe it was because the town was mostly populated by old people who didn’t like to drive. Or that the town was so small, it was just easier to walk.
With a half-hearted glance to the left of the road, she could see the Turner’s house. Vaguely, she remembered that their daughter used to go to school with her. Well, before the girl left on her Pokemon journey and was never heard from again. Next door to the Turners were Clerks and next door to them were the Damsons. Every single house that Leah could see, she could identify.
Pallet Town was a town where everyone knew each other, even if only vaguely. The only visitors this town got were people who either were there to see Oak or to take one of the small ferries to Cinnabar Island.
She didn’t like Pallet Town, obviously. Unfortunately, she happened to live in such a boring place for most of her life.
Starting to hear the tell-tale signs of voices, Leah broke out of her monologue and she half-turned. She watched as the two small figures in the distance seemed to get bigger and bigger.
Oh, why is she letting them catch up? That was the question she kept asking herself that she couldn’t come up with a reasonable answer to it. Well, maybe it was because she was tired, her feet was sore and she couldn’t remember the last time she had walked so much in her life (not including That Week). She also just wanted to get the brats over with so she could go home and rest.
The only reason she hadn’t gone back home yet was because the two brats would just follow her and nothing was worse than letting people you don’t like know where you live.
“Maybe I should just tell them to go away,” she said to herself. But shock went through her when she realized that that just might work! With rising hope in her heart, she dreamed that maybe they thought they had to follow her, that it was some type of test. If she popped their little assumptions, maybe they’d leave?
Maybe, hopefully, please god yes.
Leah blinked out of her thoughts and there they were in front of her. They looked tired and they were gasping for breath, their skin matted with sweat. They looked cheerful, though. There was a beaming grin on the boy’s face and the girl had a small smile on hers. Leah also noticed that their hands were bound tightly in-between them.
She couldn’t really stop what next came out of her mouth. “Are you two dating?”
Ally blushed a deep red and immediately jumped away from the boy while Ed just crossed his arms, but didn’t seem all that embarrassed.
“Why do you keep running away?” Ed huffed. He obviously didn’t understand the concept of ‘running away’ was to get away from something they didn’t like.
“I’m going home, moron,” Leah said with sarcasm and quite nastily. Technically, the boy didn’t really say anything wrong, but she was still bitter at the battle that took place a while ago. Who wouldn’t be upset at being defeated by a ten-year-old?
Ed wasn’t satisfied with her answer, “But why? You can’t leave us behind!”
She shrugged, “Why not? I don’t want to babysit you guys.”
Ally started, “but… You have too,” her voice was pleading, “Because then we- we can’t…”
“Do you need to go on journeys?” Leah asked. Despite herself, she was a bit curious. “Can’t you just stay at home and battle people there?”
Ed’s grin dimmed, “No,” he said frostily and he obviously wasn’t going to change his answer. Ally’s response was similar to Ed’s as she shook her head back in force several times in a definite refusal.
Leah thought on their replies for a few seconds.
“Well,” she said casually, “sucks to be you then.” Her decision was also not going to be changed. She was going home, damn it! “Go get a new mentor if you really want to go, because I’m not taking you.”
Ally’s expression floated between panic and despair, but Ed stepped forward, his face the example of determination.
“You’re going to take us,” he said.
“And why should I do that?”
“Because if you don’t,” his voice lowered, “We’ll never leave you alone.”
Leah laughed, “What’s that? Some type of threat?”
“Yeah,” Ed nodded and stood his ground; Ally at his side, “We’re not leaving anytime soon. Are you going to walk around all day, ‘cause if you are, we’ll follow you. You go back home, we’ll follow you. You go anywhere, we’ll follow you.”
“We can follow you for as long as we want. You’re not getting rid of us at all.”
Leah started to panic when she felt a bit of her resolve crumbling. She didn’t want to go on a journey at all, but she also just wanted to go home right then and there. When she got home, she imagined that she was going to rest in front of the television, or maybe lie on her bed and sigh dreamily at her shrine.
There was no way she could enjoy those things if she had two brats following and pleading with her and sitting on her doorstep all day long…
“Fine,” Leah snapped. She spun around and walked noisily back down the street. Disappointment ran through her at giving up against a single threat, but she also felt relief that she was finally going home. Hearing the other two following her, she could just see the relived grins on their faces.
“Shut up,” she said to them without looking back, “Don’t say a word; I don’t want to even know you’re following me.”
Hearing Ed sniffle a giggle, she growled at them.
“Is this your house?” Ed asked as he stared at the… unique structure before them.
“Shut up,” Leah shot at him as she stomped up the wooden stairs, not bothering to hold the untouched, cobweb-ridden railing. Ed and Ally exchanged uneasy glances behind her as they looked at the old, beaten house.
It was a Victorian building that stood awkwardly in its lonely patch of land. The whole placed seemed deserted and uncared for. There were no plants in the garden and the grass was wild and uncut. Pale green paint was flaking off the house and they could distinctively see one of the old-fashioned window shutters flapping uncontrollably in the wind. Heavy curtains on the inside of the windows stopped anyone from look in, but also from anyone looking out.
It was like one of those cliché haunted houses you saw in movies. But in real life!
Leah struggled with the door; she got it unlocked, but the door refused to open like it always did. She solved the problem by slamming her body against the door and felt it open against her weight. Leaving it ajar for the two behind her, she lazily threw her jacket in the corner.
That was the first thing Ally saw as she cautiously entered behind Ed.
“Um,” she asked as she noticed the ball-shaped bulge in the pocket of the discarded jacket, “What about your- your… Pokemon?”
Leah scoffed, “It’ll live.”
Ed kicked off his shoes and looked around curiously at the bare walls and floor. He wrinkled his nose at the odd smell, “It doesn’t look lived in.”
Ignoring his comment, Leah entered through a door on her right where a plain, but clean kitchen greeted her. There wasn’t much in that room either. Just some counters, a fridge, a small oven and a white, circular wooden table. Actually, almost everything in the kitchen was wooden.
The first thing Leah did was to drink a cold glass of water from the tap. She gulped it down in relief and refilled the glass for a second time.
“Where’s your parents?” Ed asked as he poked around.
Gulping down the last drop of water, she hissed, “Told you not to talk! And don’t poke around!”
Ally put her backpack on the table and sat down on one of the two chairs, her hands folded on her lap, her back rigid and as stiff as a board.
Ed invited himself to a drink of water once he found the glasses in the cupboard. He offered one to Ally which was politely accepted after a glance at their mentor showed that Leah didn’t care.
In reality, Leah did care that they were helping themselves to her cups, but was too busy dialing one of the only numbers she knew and pressing the phone against her ear.
“Oh pick up already,” Leah muttered.
The clipped voice of her Grandmother answered with the familiar and never-changing message.
“I’m busy and can’t answer the phone. Call back at a better time.”
Leah slammed the phone back into its hook on the counter. “Damn her! She never turns her phone on!”
“Who?” Ed asked, looking up.
“None of your business!”
Shrugging, Ed went back to the red Pokedex that he had been looking at for the past two minutes. Clicking the circular button on the side of the screen, he scrolled through the main screen options until he found a map of the region of Kanto.
“Hey, Ally,” he said after another few minutes of silence, his eyes were glued to the pictures that rolled across the screen when he clicked a certain location of the map, “Where do you want to go?”
“What- what do you mean?”
“Like, you know, on our journey. Places, cities, forests,” He continued with a grin of wonder, the map giving him ideas, “See, I wanna go to Saffron City and explore Sliph Company, the place that makes all the Pokemon stuff. And I wanna see the Pokemon Tower in Lavender Town. It’d be so cool see ghost Pokemon!”
“Yeah, before they rip you apart,” Leah cut in. She had tried her Grandmother’s number another time before giving up, which had left her in a worse mood than usual. Trust her Grandmother to never be available when she needed her.
“Um… I’d like to go to Celadon City, maybe,” Ally said shyly. “All my friends say that they really liked it.”
Ed beamed. “Okay, then we’ll go to Celadon on our journey! We can make a list of all the places we want to visit!”
“What makes you guys so sure that you’re even going on a journey,” Leah asked sharply.
“’Cause you’re taking us,” Ed shot back, “Besides, haven’t you ever wanted to go to places like Celadon and Saffron City?”
Leah snorted. “No.”
“Yeah right. There’s gotta be a place you’ve always wanted to see.”
Despite knowing that he was only bribing her to take them on the journey, Leah seriously considered it. She lied, there were places that she’s always wanted to see, but telling them that would just add more fuel to the fire. The Safari Zone in Fuchsia City had always interested her and so had Cinnabar Island. She’d also always wanted to back to Pewter…
“No,” Leah insisted, shaking her head, “I just want to stay home.”
“Well,” Ed said, mocking her, “Sucks to be you then.”
Leah felt like strangling him.
“Um,” Ally started, “Are we going to- to Viridian City first then?”
Ed put in his opinion. “Yeah! It’ll just be like the games and the cartoon. Viridian first, Pewter second-”
Turning his head to look at Leah, who was leaning against the fridge, he failed to notice the way her eyes glazed over or how pale her skin had turned. Her hands were clenching hard enough the make the skin around it turn white.
Ed grinned triumphantly, mistaking Leah’s word for something else. “Hah! You’re joining in on our planning, that means you’re admitting that we are planning our journey, which means you’re going! You just admitted it yourself, you can’t take it back now.”
But Leah wasn’t listening, instead she was staring at Ally with a black stare, her face expressionless.
“Were not going to Viridian City from Pallet Town. Not now, not ever.”
Leah started to breathe deeply and felt a shiver go down her body as old memories stirred up. She sternly ordered herself, don’t think about it, don’t think about it, don’t think about it…
Not noticing Leah’s behavior, Ed said, “Okay, whatever your name is, where are we going to first then?”
Ed’s words were just a dull murmur in her head, she could hardly hear them over her loud thoughts. Nausea swelled up within her and she placed her hand over her mouth. Fear grabbed her, but she viciously shoved it down as she tried to get a firm grip over her emotions.
Not Viridian City. Not again, not again, never again.
She thought fast and gasped out, “Cinnabar Island!”
The two kids looked up, startled at her sudden words.
“We can take a ferry from the dock and be on the island in four hours,” she continued quickly. Please say yes, please say yes…
Grinning, Ed said. “Cool. I’ve heard that Cinnabar Island’s volcano is still active. Wouldn’t it be cool if it blew up-”
Ally was the only one who noticed that Leah wasn’t looking too good. She looked at her mentor with curiosity and quite a lot of nervousness. Was their mentor sick? Was she going to collapse?
“Be in my room,” Leah grunted as she immediately left the kitchen and entered the living room that had old, dusty furniture, but that was ignored in favor of the staircase that was against the wall. She rushed upstairs and walked all the way down the hall and entered the last door. Entering, she closed the door behind her and flicked on the light. Her eyes squinted against the brightness and nearly tripped over the pile of clothes on the ground.
Collapsing on the bed, she sighed peacefully at the touch of the warm sheets that soft against her tired body. She half-consciously lifted her head up to pull her dark brown hair from her ponytail, which settled beside her. Her erratically cut bangs brushed her face, but she didn’t get rid of them as her arms were suddenly too heavy to lift (which was a fancy way of saying that she was too lazy to move again).
Actually, her whole body was feeling heavy right then and Leah couldn’t tell whether it was from her tiredness or her sudden case of nausea. Not only that, the experience downstairs had left a bad taste in her mouth, one that was bitter and sour.
She always felt like that when memories from That Time came up. It was really annoying, those memories and feelings. Afterwards, they would make her feel depressed and forced her to avoid the outside world like a plague.
And she definitely didn’t want the brats seeing her like that, it’d just bring up awkward and annoying question that they would un-doubtfully bombard her with.
But they weren’t going to see her like that, however. If she could take her mind off the memories, then she’d forget about the aftereffects which then wouldn’t even bother her.
This brought her to the main reason why she was in her room in the first place: her shrine.
Her room was just a bit larger than your average bedroom. It had plain tan walls with little white designs on the bottoms and the floor was wooden just like the rest of the house, though her bed (which was pushed against the wall) was seated comfortably on a soft red mat. There was a dresser in the corner, that contained all her clothes and jackets, and such.
There was also her closet, which was wide open and was directly to the right of her bed, which gave Leah a full view. Not containing clothes, her closet had a different and much more useful purpose. There was a single picture in the space, a large poster that took up much of the closets wall. A single figure was posed dramatically, one of his hands outstretched towards the sky and the other holding a microphone. Dressed in stylish red and black leather with a long white scarf around his neck and a pair of black sunglasses, he looked absolutely dreamy.
Leah sighed happily. If there was one way to get someone’s mind off things, it was a hot guy. And Jason Dare was that and more. He was the lead singer of Phantasy, one of the best bands she had ever heard of. The band played exclusively in Kanto and it was one of Leah’s dreams to go to one of his concerts.
That dream would be realized no matter what happened. She would certainly see to that.
Now, Leah would have loved to gone to sleep at that moment (naps were a hobby of hers) and dream about Jason Dare, but she just couldn’t. Not when she realized that she had left two idiot strangers in her kitchen, without supervision. They’d probably do some thieving if they found anything that was actually worth something… Okay, maybe not the girl, but the boy was definitely the type.
So, why was she upstairs and laying on her bed like some loser? She was feeling much better, so there wasn’t any reason that she should still be up there.
Regretfully taking her thoughts away from Jason Dare, she thought about what she was supposed to do. They weren’t going to Viridian City anymore, they were going to Cinnabar Island, so there was no point in thinking about that anymore. Even if the island was packed because of the summer months and tourism, it was loads better then Viridian could ever be.
Feeling the nausea edge away as she laid there, surrounded by blankets and pillows, she said, “I really should go check on the brats.”
She didn’t move an inch.
Ten minutes later, Leah had finally wandered down to the kitchen again where she found the brats studying their Pokedex. The girl had a small blue notebook in front of her and a pen in hand. Light flowed into the window beside the table, the drapes having been pushed apart.
“Where were you?” Ed asked as she came in.
Leah answered shortly, “Busy.”
“We’re making a list,” Ed pronounced suddenly with a smile at Ally, “of all the places we’re going to go to and what order we’re going in,” He added, “It was all Ally’s idea.”
Leah held herself back from saying that it was obvious. Instead, she said nothing as she leaned over the girl’s shoulder. Ally flinched away from the sudden close proximity, but let Leah read the notebook without arguments.
Raising an eyebrow, Leah was a bit impressed in the work they put into it, but pointed out one of the only flaws in their plans. “How’re you going to get from Saffron to Pewter?”
Ed shrugged, not overly concerned, “We’ll think of something when we get there.”
“Uh-huh,” Leah said doubtfully.
“Oh!” Ed said loudly as he completely turned around to face their mentor, “You’re coming on our journey.”
Yeah, their two week long journey. “What of it?”
Ed’s face showed complete curiosity, “You gotta tell us your name now. I wanna know.”
Leah shrugged. She supposed they’d waited long enough for it, “My name’s Leah.”
“Finally!” he cheered. Ally also looked happy that she could finally put a name to a face.
Ed grinned widely as he patted his backpack, “So, when are we leaving for Cinnabar Island? Maybe an hour? Two hours?”
Okay, now thing were getting out of hand.
Both Ed and Ally protested immediately, though Ally was much more polite about it.
Leah held out a hand and was amused when they silenced themselves. Well, at least she could make them shut up when she wanted.
“’Cause I don’t feel like it,” Leah said firmly. “And,” she said the next part with a frown, “I’m the mentor and what I say goes. Got it?”
Ed nodded with a grumble, his arms crossed and a pout on his face while Ally looked relieved for some odd reason that Leah had no interest prying into.
With a long look out the window, seeing the dark storm clouds in the sky and hearing the pitter-patter of the rain against the ground outside, Leah shuddered. No way was she going outside in that weather and certainly not on a boat on a stormy sea.
That’d be suicide.
Yeah, I've never had much use for betas myself. They get TOO preachy about minor stuff, and it usually takes a lot more time to get stuff done than it would if you were writing without their so-called "help."
But, I'm glad you got this up finally, Dagzar.
Damn, where do I begin? No real mistakes from what I spotted, but it seemed like there were some pretty suspenseful spots in this chapter that got me wondering how stuff was going to turn out. That kind of took me aback to another fic I've been reading, Anima Ex Machina, for some reason. Maybe because it wasn't just the stale drama too many other fics work with, and was something a little fresher.
Yeah, though the only real reason I use a beta is because I don't want stupid mistakes dragging down my story.
I'm glad you liked the chapter. I myself wasn't really happy with some of it because I thought I might have been over exaggerating character reactions, but I'm happy it seems to be okay. And I have to say, if you're already curious about how something is going to come out already, you’ve seen nothing yet.
Yay, another chapter!!! I was starting to think you had gone to the dark side...
Okay, grammar errors first. Getting a Beta did help, but there were still a couple of errors.
If you start a sentance with:
Ally started, "....."
That is right. "Started" could be replaced with any number of words that indicate someone is speaking.
However, when you write, "her voice was pleading," there is no actual verb to indicate Ally is speaking, and thus no comma is needed.
I think this is best illustrated through example. It should be this:
Ally started, “But… you have too.” Her voice was pleading. “Because then we- we can’t…”
Additionally, you did not capitalize "but" and did capitalize "you". It should be vice versa.
"Because if you don’t-” His voice lowered. “-we’ll never leave you alone.”
This was a bit of a weird case because you were interupting a sentance with "His voice lowered."
"Shut up,” she said to them without looking back. “Don’t say a word; I don’t want to even know you’re following me.”
You messed up this comma rule a couple of other times, but I stopped copying and pasting every instance.
I'm not sure I did a good job of explaining the comma rule. I would google it to make sure you understand when commas should be used with quotation marks.
Besides a few grammar issues, this chapter was very good. I like all the mysteries you throw in, and I like how these three are not following the classic journey path.
Thanks for writing! I'm excited for the next chapter!
Thanks for explaining the comma rule, delongbi! I would have never noticed any of those mistakes if you hadn't pointed them out. And wow, there's a lot of them! I understood your explanation just fine, so don't worry. Though it looks like I'll be having to go back and edit chapter four, so I better get cracking! ;)
Hopefully there won't be such a long wait for the next chapter. Chapter four is done and should be posted by next Saturday or Sunday, though I can't make any promises.
I have just found this story and am here to say it is great.
I'm not really the kind of person to point out grammatical mistakes simply because I can never see them myself, and because you have some other users keeping tabs on that for you. So I'm going to evaluate the only aspect I can: the characters and plot. [triumphant fanfare]
I've never seen a plot quite like this before. A mentor for the 'brats' to turn back on and demand they chauffeur them home if and when that happens? It's definitely an interesting premise, and the main character Leah's annoyed attitude towards it only makes the experience better. xD I'm pretty sure I know what That Week is. Could it possibly be the time when Leah was a Trainer before she backed out on it? She was extremely unhappy about going through the forest, which is the normal route for fledgling Trainers...
Assuming it's not that her parents died in there, in which case I would be banging my head on my scanner.
And now, the characters. Leah seems like a rather cold protagonist, which I feel like I have seen a bit before. Once her character started to develop, though, I've grown on her a bit more. Ed seems like a rather normal, hyperactive child, but Ally irks me a bit. I have never seen a ten-year-old who's been that reserved. (Also, for some strange reason I imagine her with a thin frame, a black dress, and straight black hair...)
BOTTOM LINE: This is a lot of fun to read! Aside from the slightly unlikely case of Emma's personality, I see nothing wrong with this fic. Keep going.
I can’t really answer any question about ‘That Week’, but I have to say, you’re pretty close. ;) Though, I’ll tell you right now, Leah’s parents aren’t involved in what happened in any way, shape or form.
About Ally, you’re probably right about her being oddly reserved. I’ve never really interacted with a ten-year-old kid before so I have to no clue if I’m characterizing the kids right. Thanks for pointing it out, I’m going to see if I can fix it a bit and make her more kid-ish.
Thanks for the review, Giratinasaur! I really appreciate it. :)
No problem. Thanks for writing this fic. :3
And a personality like Ally's is usually just played for laughs when the writers are trying to poke fun... kids don't get that reserved until they're twelve. -pokes little sister- x3
A/N: Hi guys! Remember me? Don’t worry, I still exist and this time, I’ll try to make sure such a long wait between chapters won’t happen again. This chapter has once again been beta-ed by Censored and should hopefully be mostly mistake-free.
Chapter 4: Departure
One of her favorite things to do.
Peacefully floating between dreams and reality, awareness of the world started to come back to her. She shifted and hugged her blanket closer to her chest. A cool breeze blew lightly on her back, keeping the temperature from getting too warm. It was a nice and cozy moment for her. The buzz of her faithful fan helped her drown out annoying sounds like the squeaking of the floorboards or the opening of her bedroom door.
Unfortunately, the fan was not loud enough to drown out a snicker.
Keeping her eyes shut, she tried to burrow further into her dreams, hoping that if she ignored the noise, the noise would ignore her. That wasn’t the case, unluckily for her, as she found herself listening at the sound of a panicked, feminine whisper. A boyish voice answered the whisper in a low tone as the voices got closer and closer…
“Get out of my room or I’ll kill you,” Leah said loudly, not moving. Her voice was crystal clear and didn’t betray her groggy state in the slightest. There was a surprised yelp as two sets of feet ran out of the room. Most likely as an afterthought, the door was closed quietly a moment later.
Once the sound had completely died down, she took a deep breath and relaxed into her bed, the issue of her intruders immediately forgotten.
Some time later, she was startled awake by a voice, who interrupted her dreaming from behind the safety of the closed door. His voice was a bit muffled, but she could unfortunately hear him well enough.
Go away! She mentally yelled as she pulled her sheets over her ears.
“Come on! Wake up!”
No! Go away!
“It’s eleven! We waited long enough! It’s time to go on our Pokemon Journey!”
“Scram!” Leah suddenly shouted at him as she whipped her only pillow at the door, or at least, where she guessed the door was. The thump of the projectile hitting its target had the boy running down the hall, laughing as his heavy steps blasted Leah with the cold, hard face of reality.
Bemoaning the thought of facing the day, she laid her head on the mattress, staring forlornly at the wall. She didn’t want to get up, she just wanted to keep sleeping. Was that too much to ask?
She was just about to go right back to sleep when the door opened. Leah turned her head to greet her visitor (read: victim), though she was momentarily distracted by the light from the hallway. She squinted and was able to make out the blurry figure of an orange headed moron.
“Go away,” she hissed at him, “and turn off the damn light!”
“That’s not very nice,” Ed pouted and with a grin, flicked on her bedroom light.
Leah snarled and pulled her blanket over her head, her arms covering her eyes for extra protection.
“Turn it off!”
“No,” he said happily as he bounced in the doorway. “We’re going on our journey today! So you gotta wakeup now! It’s time to go!” He then disappeared, running back down the hall.
Knowing that he would never shut up, she reluctantly let her eyes get used to the light and got up, throwing her blanket off of her. She rubbed her eyes and peered around the room as she stood there, dazed. What was she supposed to do again? It was only when she reminded herself that she had someone to kill that she started to get ready for the day. Throwing on some random clothes she found in her drawer, she sleepily descended the stairs and threw a glare at Ed when she entered the kitchen.
He was the only one there; Ally was nowhere to be seen. Ed bounced in his seat as he energetically played with the half-eaten cereal that was seemingly his breakfast. He spun it around with his spoon until he looked up at Leah with a beaming smile.
“You!” Leah growled at him.
“Me!” he answered proudly. Generously offering the box of cereal he found in the cupboard, he said, “You want some?” Though he quickly warned, “You gotta be fast though, we’re leaving in five minutes.”
Leah yawned. “What?” she said, shaking her head, “but I just got up!”
“We woke you up half-an-hour ago,” Ed explained. “But you went back to sleep as soon as we left.”
“I did? I don’t really remember that…”
Ed was clearly impatient and changed the topic. “C’mon! You gotta eat fast, Ally’s waiting outside for us.”
She just stood there.
Treating her as if she was a Pokemon, Ed pointed at the empty chair. “Sit,” he commanded. “Eat!”
Leah stared at him with a black look. “You,” she said slowly, pointing at him. “Shut up and play dead.”
It was fifteen minutes later when Leah found herself suddenly outside the house, jacket on, and stuffed backpack strapped to her back. Nearly tripping over Ally, who was silently sitting on the porch, Leah skid to a halt in front of her house.
“C’mon!” Ed whined as he jogged up the driveway. “We’re going to be late!”
“What time is it?” Leah asked him as she glanced up the cloudless blue sky.
Ed answered quickly. “11:21. Now let’s go!”
Leah refused to take another step. “No,” she snapped. “This is going way to fast. I’m tired, I woke up less then half-hour ago and there’s no rush!”
Ally was caught in the middle as she stopped half-way between the two, giving both of them confused looks.
“But-” Ed said, fidgeting as he stood still. He blurted out: “I want to get to the gym first! A lot of people left yesterday and they’re probably almost at the next city by now! I need to catch up!”
The brat was competitive too, Leah thought. Go figure.
“Oh, they’re definitely not even close to Viridian City yet,” Leah said darkly. “And besides, we’re going to Cinnabar Island, not to Viridian!”
Ed sulked. “Yeah, I know that, but I wanna get to the gym as fast as I can.”
Taking a seat on the poach where Ally had previously been sitting, Leah crossed her arms in defiance.
“I’m not moving until I feel like it, so too bad for you.”
Ed tried to reason with her, but Leah was firm. Unlike the last time, Leah was going to abide by her decision and nothing would change her mind. She wasn’t going to move and that was that.
Not being able to do anything about it, Ed just brooded on the spot and every once in a while he grumbled to himself with threats in mind.
Leah rested silently in the shade of the porch, eyes closed as she wished that she had the ability to sleep sitting upright. It would be useful for situations like the one she was in now. Technically, she could go back in the house and back to bed, but she was already dressed and wide awake, so there wasn’t a point to it. Besides, the brat would no doubt follow her upstairs to make sure she wouldn’t go back to sleep.
Hmm. Brat: a singular tense.
Raising her head, Leah took a long look at the other half of her of her problem. The girl was standing stalk still in the middle of the driveway, having not moved an inch since Leah had sat down. Leah hadn’t even heard the girl speak all morning. Generally, Leah should have took it as a good thing as it would be one less annoyance, but her grandmother had always said never to underestimate the quiet ones. The quiet ones were much more subtle and were most likely planning something devious and evil in their quiet little heads. Then, they would unleash their evil scheme when you least suspected it and take over the world.
Okay, it was an overstatement, but it would be best to make sure such thoughts never got off the ground.
“Hey!” Leah called out to the girl who turned towards her in puzzlement. “Come here!”
Ed looked up in this exchange, but Leah just gave him a bored stare until the boy turned back to his sulking.
Ally quickly went towards Leah, her face the picture of conflicted emotions.
Uh oh, she was stuttering. Time to bring out the big guns.
“Got a question,” Leah said bluntly and gave her a hard look. “Why are you so damn quiet?”
“Um-” Ally looked surprised. “I’m not- I don’t know-”
Leah took pity on her (or was probably just impatient) and said, “the kid over there,” she pointed at Ed, who was oblivious, “keeps mouthing off and being cheerful while I hardly see you say or do anything. It’s creeping me out.”
The girl was so taken back, she just stared at Leah silently.
“Okay, you know what,” Leah said as she pointed at Ally. “I’m the mentor and I make the rules, so if you want to go on a journey, you have to obey them, right?” she waited for Ally to nod before continuing.
“Then, I’m ordering you to be more talkative.”
Ally tried to protest as she wrung her hands together. “But I-”
Leah held up a hand. “No buts! Trust me, you’ll be thanking me for this later.” Or not since Leah would never be seeing Ally again after one or two weeks, but the rule should stop anything unpredictable from happening. Hopefully.
“Can we leave yet?” Ed asked pleadingly as he walked up to them. “Please?”
Wow, the brat was actually trying to be polite.
“No,” Leah said.
“Aw, come on! We’ve been sitting here for ten minutes!”
Leah thought and then suddenly pointed at Ally. “You! Be talkative and give an opinion.”
The girl looked like a deer in headlights. “I-”
Seeing the narrowed glare that Leah gave her, Ally gulped and took a shuttering breath. “Uh- I think we should- should go now.”
Leah got up, stretched and swung her bag over her shoulder.
“Okay, let’s go.”
Ed’s jaw dropped. “You were waiting for Ally to say something?”
“No,” the mentor replied casually. “I just think now’s a good time to go.” And to piss you off, she added mentally.
Leah turned to face them once she was at the curb to see them still standing back at the porch. She raised an eyebrow. “Well? You coming?”
They ran to catch up as Leah walked undisturbed down the road.
“We missed it?” Ed shouted at the billboard. “By twenty minutes?”
“Hmm,” Leah said wisely. “Maybe we should have gotten here earlier.”
That about summed up their problem as they looked out to an empty harbor. The wooden docks were lifeless and not a single person was around. The ferry, which would have taken them from Pallet Town to Cinnabar Island, had already left.
While Ally went over to comfort Ed, Leah looked closer at the scraggily looking notice.
“Not many times to choose from,” Leah said out loud to herself. “Well, at least we got here three hours early for the next one.”
“That’s not a good thing!” Ed whined. “Three hours? What are we supposed to do for three hours?”
Leah shrugged and took off her thin raincoat. “Dunno about you guys, but I’m going to relax.” She sat down on the raincoat, which had been spread out on the wooden platform, and crossed her legs. Taking a deep breath of the ocean air and grimacing a bit at the salty smell, she propped her head on her hand as she stared forward, withdrawing into her thoughts.
She should have brought a book.
“Ed?” Ally asked hesitantly as she took off her backpack. “Do- do you… want to work on our list?”
“No,” Ed said sullenly, looking out to the sea. “I don’t feel like it.”
The girl looked hurt at his adamant refusal. Her face scrunched up and shoulders hunched as she swallowed. “O-okay then.”
Looking around for something to do, Ally caught Leah seemingly staring at her. Glancing at Ed again, and seeing that he wasn’t paying attention, she picked up her bag and wandered over to where Leah was sitting.
“Leah?” Ally asked shyly.
Leah mumbled as she snapped out of her daydreams and realized one of her problems wanted something.
Ally nervously looked back at Ed, “Um- can I sit with you?”
With a start, Leah mentally sighed and realized she should have seen it coming. You be nice to some stray dog and the dog would think you were a nice person and would follow you around asking for more attention.
“Sure,” Leah replied blandly, but didn’t move over to make room on her jacket.
Either not noticing or not caring, Ally happily sat beside Leah on the cold ground, only half-sitting on the mentor’s coat.
Leah didn’t reply. After all, it wasn’t as if she could have said ‘no’. If she did, then all of her work that morning would be undone and the girl would go back to being the silent introvert that would probably snap when Leah was least suspecting it.
Not that the current version was much better.
The three trainers sat (and stood) in silence. The only sounds were the waves which crashed against the dock over and over again.
Leah thought to herself furiously for something to do. She was quite content at the peaceful silence from the brat for once, but since she was stupid enough not to bring anything that could entertain her, she was stuck with her own thoughts for company.
Looking over at Ally, Leah was surprised to see her eyes were closed and her head bowed. Her hands were clasped tightly together and she was swaying back and forth like she was in a trance.
Actually, it was almost as if she was praying.
Leah mentally shrugged and wondered a bit if the girl was religious. Though it didn’t matter either way, the mentor was curious despite herself. Now that she thought about it, what did she know about Ally? Well, she was ten years old, shy, silent, possibly a secret evil mastermind…
Everything else though was just blanks. Her hometown, why she was a trainer, what Pokemon she had-
Wait, what Pokemon she had? Shouldn’t have Leah found that out yesterday?
“Hey- uh, Ally?” Leah asked, the girl’s name feeling odd on her tongue.
Ally perked up. “Yes?”
“What’s your Pokemon?”
“M-my Pokemon?” Ally asked nervously. “Um- why do you ask?”
Leah didn’t want to have to explain herself, but did anyways. “Because I’ve seen the other kid’s Pokemon, but not yours.”
The girl shook her head. “My Pokemon’s not- not very interesting.”
“So?” Leah scowled. “It’s not like a Paras is very exciting. What’d you get? A Pidgey?”
Ally muttered a name under her breath so low that Leah couldn’t hear.
“What’s that? Say it again?”
Shaking her head again, Ally folded her hands together on her lap. “He doesn’t like me,” she said in a quiet voice.
“Who? The brat?”
“No-o, my Pokemon,” she whispered, like it was some big secret. “He hates me!”
Leah gave her a look. “So? Sands hated me when I got him and now- well, he still doesn’t like me,” she admitted, “but he’ll still obey.”
“I tried to touch him,” Ally explained in greater detail. “But he just glared at me and shocked me! And it hurt!”
“Shocked you?” Leah said, eyes narrowing. She could already feel the cliché. “Please tell me it’s not a Pikachu,” she almost begged.
Ally bowed her head. “I wish.”
The curiosity would seriously kill her if conversation dragged on more. “What’s your Pokemon?”
The girl hesitated. “I- I’ll show you him.”
She got out her Pokeball from her bag, its new shiny surface gleaming in the sun. Ally lightly touched it in wonder, as if it was some ancient relic that would bring peace to the world. Then with a tiny sigh, the girl pressed the button and the Pokemon revealed itself.
It was immediately apparent that it wasn’t any ordinary Pokemon. There were no legs, or arms, a tail, or even a body. There was just the lone head which was as smooth as a Pokeball. Colored red on the top and white on the bottom, it had an uncanny resemblance to a super-sized Pokeball. It was just small enough to fit comfortably on Ally’s lap, but it obviously wasn’t happy about it as its pinpoint pupils immediately swerved until they settled on a target. The Pokemon gave Leah its fiercest glare.
Oh. Oh ****.
Somehow, Leah was able to rocket backwards and get up on her feet in the blink of an eye. With wide eyes, she stared at the Voltorb that Ally had tightened her arms around in semblance to a hug.
That was the last straw. Leah now knew for a fact that she was somehow cursed. That was the only reason that she could think of that explained that one of her charges had a violent and literally explosive creature for a first Pokemon.
Leah wished that she never asked what Pokemon Ally had.
“I would of preferred the Pikachu,” Leah said, groaning and then quickly continued with just quite a bit of fear. “Let go of the Voltorb!”
Ally looked hesitant as she hugged her Pokemon tighter. “He- he’s not going to explode.”
Could baby Voltorb explode? That wasn’t something that Leah had ever come across in school or on the internet, and she wasn’t willing to be the first to find out.
Ed came over, curious of the commotion, but even he kept his distance when he saw the Voltorb.
“I thought you weren’t going to bring it out again!” Ed said, panicked. “Remember what happened last time?”
Ally seemingly wasn’t aware of the danger she was in. “Why doesn’t he like me?” she asked sadly as Voltorb visibly struggled.
Leah jumped back another couple of steps when Voltorb finally broke free of Ally’s grip. It rolled a few feet away until it stopped of its own accord, its head-shaped body upright and eyed the trainers who were standing around it. A few sparks came off its body as it became obvious at what it was planning to do.
Yelling, Ed forced himself out of the way as Voltorb sped past him. The boy stumbled towards Ally and broke out in a run as Voltorb stopped and, spinning in the other direction, came right back at him.
“Recall it!” Leah told Ally, who stared at her in surprise. “Recall the damn Pokemon before its blows up!”
As Ed came towards her, Ally hurryingly got up and tried out of the way as Ed barred past with Voltorb at his heels. As they went past, Ally’s Pokeball was knocked out of her hands and crouched down to pick it up again.
There wasn’t much space left to run as Ed ran along the dock and saw the fence which separated the wooden platform from the water. A simple plan started to form in his head as he made a sharp U-turn and ran at Voltorb, but just before they were about to hit, Ed easily jumped right over the Pokemon. Voltorb stopped just before the fence and turned its body towards the fleeing Ed, who had shoved his hand into his pocket. Pulling out his Pokeball, Ed flung it vaguely behind him while Voltorb was distracted.
The Pokeball bounced on the ground and opened in the air. Paras materialized in an instant and lazily survived the scene. Voltorb was rushing right towards it, but Paras was quite content in doing nothing at all, not seeing the threat.
“Paras!” Ed shouted as he circled to stand beside Ally. “Scratch!”
The bug Pokemon had no clue at what ‘scratch’ was, but it didn’t matter anyways as Voltorb smashed into it with a full speed tackle. Paras went flying backwards and hit the pavement with a lifeless thump while the electric type was knocked back by the force of the collision.
Paras never had a chance.
“Ouch,” Leah muttered to herself, though not disturbed by the short-lived battle. Voltorb had left her alone and she would abide by that decision and physically stay out it. Unless she wanted to get attacked, which she didn’t, of course.
“Recall it!” Leah told Ally again.
Ally nodded and held out her Pokeball, arm shaking. “R-return,” she called out hesitantly.
The beam of red light shot out, but missed Voltorb by a foot. The girl’s arm was shaking so badly, she couldn’t even aim the stupid Pokeball!
Leah watched Ally try again, but returning the Pokemon made it harder when Voltorb regained its composure and started to move.
One Pokemon down, Leah told herself as she watched Voltorb turn towards the brats. And one to go.
Locating her abandoned jacket which had been left alone by the battle, Leah ran towards it and picked it off the ground. Pulling out the Pokeball from the pocket, Leah expertly threw it right between Voltorb and the two kids.
Sands came out, looking a bit tired, but seemingly healed from the beating it took from Paras yesterday. The only thing that remained of the battle was a faint line across its chest.
“Sands,” Leah called out. “Run! And this time, don’t you dare lose!”
Making the first move, Sands got on four legs and ran directly towards Voltorb, who took the challenge and started to roll faster.
“Stop and grab it!”
Just before they collided, the Sandshrew did as its master commanded and skidded to a halt. It got on its hind legs and held its paws out. Voltorb ran into it, but Sands was firm and was only pushed back. Gripping onto it tightly, Sands winced when Voltorb erratically spun against its tender stomach. A thin line of electricity danced over its spherical surface, but it didn’t bother the ground type.
Sands wasn’t looking that good, Leah noted. It probably wouldn’t last that long. Not that it needed to.
“Ally!” Leah said, a bit amused as the two brats jumped, startled. They had been paying attention to the battle closely and were waiting for Leah to make Sandshrew do something.
Leah continued, “recall Voltorb now, while it’s standing still!”
“Y-yes,” Ally said in a small voice as she tried again and this time she steadied her hand and said in a seemingly confident voice, “Return, Voltorb!”
The red beam of light caught Voltorb underneath Sand’s paw and pulled it back into its Pokeball. The Sandshrew relaxed its arms and patted the bruise that was forming on its stomach. It didn’t even look up as Leah returned it to its Pokeball.
“Well,” Leah started in the silence that followed. “That was an entertaining ten minutes, but let’s not do it again.” Underneath her casual attitude, Leah was still trying to calm her pounding heart.
“Why doesn’t he like me?” Ally repeated to Leah with a depressed look.
Leah shrugged. “Dunno, but it’s a Voltorb, what else do you expect from it?” She then added, “And don’t call it a ‘he’, Voltorb are genderless.”
“Voltorb aren’t genderless,” Ed said, jumping into the conversation.
Leah glared. “Yeah they are.”
“No they aren’t.”
“Yes they are!”
“No they aren’t!”
Ally surprisingly cut in. “My Voltorb,” she said hesitantly, “is a boy. I want him to be a boy. He’s not an it!”
Holding her tongue from saying anything that would start another argument, Leah changed the topic.
“Why do you care what Voltorb acts like anyway?” she asked. “Pokemon don’t need to like you, they just need to obey.” She stressed the last word.
“I don’t want him to obey me like that,” Ally said doubtfully. “I-I just want to be his friend.”
“Don’t worry, Ally,” Ed comforted, patting her on the shoulder. “Voltorb will come around and then me, you, Paras and Voltorb will be great friends!”
As the boy blabbered on about friendship, and love and all that sort of crap, Leah thought to herself grimly.
That attitude of theirs would be a problem later on, she was sure of that. They didn’t understand what Pokemon training was all about. Pokemon were to be caught, trained and then paraded to the cheering crowds. Pokemon trainers were entertainers that trained their Pokemon to love the scent of battle, blood and death.
Pokemon were tools; not friends.
Mentally shrugging, Leah assumed that the brats would come around eventually. All trainers did, after a while.
Besides, she had other things to think about.
Like, for example, what was she supposed to do? No books, no music, no Jason Dare collection and no blogs to rant on. She really should have been prepared to wait for hours on end, especially since she knew that she would have lots of free time. After she checked the internet last night to see when the ferry times were, she even put down a book in plain sight on her desk! But since she stupidly forgotten it, all she had was just an empty port, the sea and less then stellar company.
With a glance at the puny trainers, who were talking cheerfully to each other, Leah couldn’t help but pity herself.
It was going to be a long three hours.
Don't worry about getting this up quickly, Dagzar. My own chapters usually take up to three or four weeks to get to the point where they're decent enough to post, which is why neither Dark Nostalgia or Biohazard have been updated yet.
As for this chapter, for some reason it struck me as just bit more relaxed than the last one. Maybe with the whole thing about sleep in the beginning I was lulled a little. Still compelling though. Leah and their others' personalities are really coming out nicely, I think. If anything was off, maybe this could have been just a bit more active in the first part. Just my thoughts though...
Thanks for the review, Skunter!
I know I don’t need to update quickly, but chapter four has been done for a month (aside from being beta-ed) and it makes me fidgety when I don’t update regularly. Well, that and I like updating. :) I’m glad you liked the chapter. I myself thought the first part of the chapter was boring, which is why I kind of rushed through it to get it out of the way.
Chapter five should be out next Saturday and this time, it won’t be late (hopefully). And then things will get interesting.
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