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July 6th, 2009 (11:19 AM).
*hides from readers* *hides especially from Wyyrlokk* XD No, I have not forgotten about the fic. *I* haven't. *cough*
6. Chapter, Part 2: Scandals& Sincerity
Just minutes later, the two psychics were sitting at a table just outside of a smaller restaurant, enjoying the fresh spring air. Sabrina relaxed, feeling much better now that she was outside with her headache being gone, and, most importantly of course, together with Will again. For now, she just wanted to forget what had happened before: the breakup, her near breakdown, her excess...she just wanted to spend as much time with him as possible and enjoy it, and that was what she did. Will, on the other hand, looked uneasy. This didn’t stay hidden from Sabrina.
She raised an eyebrow, watching her boyfriend carefully. She could both feel and see his discomfort, yet she did not know why. And just as she had promised mere hours before, she would never read his mind to find out. There was a more direct and honest way. “Will...what’s distressing you?” She took a sip of her tea. “I can see that you’re upset. I can feel it.”
Will closed his eyes. There were several reasons as to why he was upset, and many of them were connected to each other. It would be hard describing what was going on inside him. Yet there was especially one thing that confused him greatly. “Have you read the newspaper today?”
Sabrina silently took another sip, glancing at Will. “Of course not. Do you think I cared about the newspaper when I was drunk?” she smiled, actually not mad at Will, yet teasing him. “Besides, I had no chance to buy the newspaper yet. Maybe I could ask Misty to lend me hers...” She glanced at the man sitting opposite of her. “Why do you ask? Did they write nasty stuff about us again?” Sabrina grinned, rolling her eyes playfully. “Likely after yesterday...”
Will shook his head. “Not about us, dear. About Lance. Lance and, well, you know, Cynthia.” He bit his tongue. Should he tell her about Lucian’s revealing? How big were the chances that the Sinnoh trainer had told him the truth?
Sabrina glanced at the waiter, who didn’t seem to have noticed them at all yet. She was getting a bit impatient, but since they had nothing else to do that afternoon, she wouldn’t hurry. “Lance and Cynthia, I see. Well, it is quite the gossip, isn’t it? Lance was the designated husband for Claire-family issues, you know. The dragon trainers want to keep to themselves, what with all the honour and purity they have piled up.” Sabrina rolled her eyes, yet she couldn’t deny that psychics tried to exclude themselves from the rest of the world, too. Or maybe they were forced to. It wasn’t easy to tell. “And then he falls head over heels for Cynthia.” The psychic giggled. “Well, I can understand him; Cynthia is more beautiful than Claire, yet, that he would dump Claire that suddenly...” She shrugged.
Will nodded carefully. “That’s exactly what astonished me, too. It’s so...unexpected. Out of the blue. And completely untypical for Lance. He’s always trying to be the Mr. Clean of the league: no affaires, no bribing, no dark patches...nothing. And then, suddenly, he throws everything away for a woman?” Will shook his head. “That’s not Lance.” He paused, glancing at the ground uneasily. “Say, Sabrina....can psychics take control of someone’s personality?”
Sabrina looked up, oblivious of Will’s suspicion. “You mean taking control of one’s mind? Oh, yes, we’re able to. Yet...” She closed her eyes. Slowly, she became aware of his conclusions. “If you think that’s the case with Lance, I have to disappoint you, that’s just not possible. For once, Lance’s bodyguards always carry some dark Pokemon with them to intercept any psychic influence on the champion. And secondly...” She paused, as the waiter had finally decided to take notice of them and was taking the order now.
“Can you recommend the Italian soufflé?” Before the waiter could even come up with the beginning of a responce, Sabrina continued with a mocking smile. “Never mind, I’ll take it anyway, as long as it doesn’t include any meat.”
Will looked up. “You’re vegetarian? Never knew that...”
Sabrina again smiled at this. “I am. I could never eat something that was able to think....” She shuddered. “Call it a psychics’ issue, but I distaste meat greatly...”
Will grinned, thinking that this was not the only reason. “Too bad that a certain psychic Pokemon is liked widely as the main dish, eh?”
Sabrina glared at him. “I would rather starve than eat a Grumpig, you’re right. And don’t even dare to order it now because of me, because I
leave immediately if you do so!”
Will shrugged, itching to order the beef burger now to make fun of her, yet it in the end, he did not. He didn’t want to lose her ever again, and especially not over a minor thing like that. He loved her too much. Not so much that he would actually start being a vegetarian himself then, as he had starved too often in his life to not enjoy the advantages of having a steady and well-paid job.
Sabrina sighed again, leaning back after the waiter had left. She was a bit uneasy; she had never been invited by someone before and the prices
steep, after all. Will noticed this and had the right assumption. “Don’t worry, my dear, I
pay and I do have enough money to pay.” He laughed as he leaned back, crossing his arms over his head. “Actually, I have more money now than in my whole life before!”
Sabrina raised an eyebrow. Something about this did not sound right to her. “But doesn’t the main part of the elite’s salary come from the money won by battling trainers? I’m not sure, but that’s what I heard from former elites...and you haven’t had a usual battle yet at all...”
Will winked at the other psychic. “So what? It’s still more than ever before...” He stared at the sky, content and calm.”I’m rich....I still can’t believe it...I got rich...”
Sabrina rolled her eyes. “Well, where did I end....ah, Lance.” She smiled at Will. “Secondly...psychics
control minds, but I’m fairly sure Lance isn’t mind controlled. The way mind control works doesn’t correspond with the way Lance acts right now. To keep full control of a person, said psychic has to stay around the victim 24/7, and that is at least in seeing range. No one here could do that without getting unwilled attention, right?” Will nodded, and yet he was sure there was someone who could...someone he strongly suspected to be an unfair player then. “Not to mention that Lance...well, aside from this affaire now, does he act out of character?” She slowly took a sip of the tea. “Did he suddenly decide to donate all his money for charity? Give everyone free health care? Modernize the Pokecenters? No.” She answered for him, smiling. Will was doubtful, though. “The thing is, a person who is being mind-controlled acts
out of character, because the psychic controlling him influences all actions, all thoughts, all decisions. There is nothing left of the original person. It’s just a body with the face of the original; a shell, nothing more. Its personality left. You can’t just mind control certain parts of a psyche, it’s all or nothing. And no one can copy the victim so much that the change is not noticeable. I’m certain that Lance is not being mind controlled. I would have noticed if there was a psychic strong enough to do that around here.” She smiled at Will, hoping to have crushed his fears. Yet he had crossed his fingers and stared at the table.
‘A psychic strong enough...’ He was frightened.
Sabrina turned her head to the side, still watching Will. She could feel his continued distress and wondered what it was about. “Will...” she whispered, glad that they had chosen a lone and exclusive restaurant for going out, one where the chances of a reporter suddenly popping up were slim.
He looked up and the seriousness in his eyes scared her. “Sabrina, is there a psychic stronger than you?”
She laughed, she laughed so hard he thought she wouldn’t stop for quite some time. Her grin was almost wicked, malevolent, as if she dared anyone, especially her pupil Will, to question her status; the brave challengers expecting nothing more than a dreadful defeat. “No, Will.” The darkness in her voice scared him deeply, scared him so much that he simply wanted to teleport away again. This was really his girlfriend?! “There is no known psychic stronger than me...there were some in the past, hundreds of years ago...but not in the present.”
Will, still frightened by Sabrina’s pure presence, couldn’t help but remember what Lucian had said. The public did not know about his and Cynthia’s abilities. So, no one had judged them. Yet.
Sabrina had closed her eyes, pausing until the waiter had arrived with their lunch, giving her the chance to lower the intimidating atmosphere she had created. On purpose. If there was one thing Sabrina loathed, it was anyone questioning her powers. She had spent way too much time training them not to be rewarded with the title of the strongest psychic. Her ego would not allow anyone to be above her.
Will only regained his composure after a while, with the waiter bringing the food being the main cause, relieving the mood. “Then...” His voice staggered. He could just not get the images out of his mind, the images of what Sabrina was capable of doing. He knew he, he of all people, shouldn’t be afraid of her, but that was anything but easy. “Is there any other way of controlling minds?”
Sabrina was quiet for a while, but Will knew without doubt that she had heard his question. She was just teasing him. And she loved doing that. “Yes, there are. Channelers can, but I don’t know enough about their ways to explain it properly. It’s...kind of using voodoo, if you know what I mean. Yet then, it’s not a real mind control, rather a body control. And then...” Sabrina looked up, thinking hard. “Then there’s mind tainting.”
“Mind what...?” Will wasn’t sure he had gotten the word right, and he was just as sure that the explanation behind would be just as confusing to him. Not growing up as a psychic was a disadvantage. Yet when he thought about how he had grown up...he laughed inwardly. No way anyone in his family would have ever thought about him turning out to be psychic.
“Mind tainting. It’s what people with dark powers do. It’s even more complicated than mind controlling or voodoo. Basically, you take a piece of someone’s personality, let’s say, a certain phobia, or a certain talent, and you manipulate it. Turn it into the complete opposite, lower it, or do whatever you want with it. Yet its radius is also limited. You can’t expend a person’s physical potentials to infinity; neither can you stop a person’s will to breathe.” She laughed. “Yet, I think the legal possibilities are scary enough. Of course, not that it’s truly legal...but darklings do it nevertheless.” She smiled helplessly. She knew what darklings did...she knew that oh so well. “I know what you’re thinking. Someone could have manipulated Lance’s mind and made him fall in love with Cynthia.” Will looked up. She was right, that had been exactly what he had been thinking about... “Yet, that is not possible either. Lance’s mind could have been very well manipulated, yet just because of that, he wouldn’t dump Claire all of a sudden. Thing is, mind tainting only manipulates the mind. Not the actions. Meaning that you could be forced to think that you’re a Geodude and you try to prove that by banging your head against the table and then you’re surprised that it doesn’t break and your head hurts.” Sabrina smiled darkly at him. “Not to mention that most mind taintings are very, very feeble. We psychics don’t mess with emotions, memories, and the like for a good reason. It’s just too dangerous. You can destroy more than you think. We even have a rule not to influence others by a greater deal, though I have to admit that we never really defined what ‘a greater deal’ means. Generally, I guess, it’s that we don’t damage people’s personalities with our powers. Surprisingly, that’s something even I followed during my dark days.”
Will stopped her. So far, he had listened silently, but now, it was just getting a bit too much for his mind to grasp. “Give it a break, Sabrina, and just tell me why Lance cannot be mind painted!”
Sabrina sighed. “Tainted, Will, tainted. And I was just about to explain...mind taintings are fragile. They break the very moment you are confronted with ‘reality’, with the real happenings, your real body, and
your real emotions
. Will, the very second Lance sees anything that indicates a relationship between him and Claire, he forgets everything about Cynthia. That’s not the way it was planned, right? The
way I could see such a manipulation working would be if said person was both psychic and dark. Than it could control Lance’s body with its psychic powers and keep him from seeing Claire or any hint that they were together, and influence his love life via mind tainting. That could work.”
Will looked up. “That could work?”
Sabrina nodded. “In theory. But not in reality. There are no dark psychics.”
In the dinner room of the league, several of the big, dark brown wooden tables had been pushed together to create one big table. Covered with one equally big white sheet, it looked as if someone had been preparing for an important meeting. And while it was no official meeting, the one in question was important for all participants.
Sitting in the middle seat at the longer side of the table, Claire, the initiator of the secret convention, clearly claimed the role of the leader for herself and only herself. Even with rings whose diameter rivalled that of a medicine ball under her eyes, a melting ice bag on her head and her third cup of coffee standing in front of her.
Around her, five other girls were sitting, chatting angrily. There was only one general topic of interest right now: The sheer unbelievable mass of recent breakups. And the unpleasant consequences.
While the breakup of Sabrina and Will had caused some joyful celebrating there, it was only short-lived, as they became reconciled the very next night. All in all, the breakup had lasted for twelve hours, if at all. And the only one profiting from it had been Janine. The traitor. Who hadn’t dared to show up. Of course, it was only good for her own health, as she wouldn’t have been treated nicely here now anymore.
Claire moaned, every sound way too loud for her sensitive ears, and the colours too bright for her more sensitive eyes. If it hadn’t been for the urgency of it all, and the need for a fast decision, she wouldn’t have got out of bed yet, rather continuing to cure her hangover. But hell, it had been worth it. What did Lance dare to, to just forget her after years of being together, to throw away all her belongings, smash their photos, all their memories of being together. It hurt.
Finally, all the girls had sat down, now looking at Claire with mixed hopes. Would their little alliance even continue to survive now that their leader obviously had other priorities on her mind? Would they manage to survive without Claire, when it had been her idea and her initiality? And after seeing how fruitless their first idea had ended...with them losing one member, losing the chance to fight again for their target’s love, and worse, probably even strengthening the bond between the witch and Will...
Claire stood up. She recognized the expectations resting on her and she stared ahead with strong eyes. “Girls...we may have lost the battle, but not the war. We need another plan.” A wave of enthusiastic crying and screaming hit her, making her smile and making her, for once, feel like her beloved Lance, the war leader.
“In war and in love, everything is allowed. And this, my dear followers, is both. So anybody got an idea?”
Karen, so far being certainly one of the quietest around there, slowly stood up, silencing the mass instantly. With her cold attitude, her daring outfits and her general presence, she scared many. “They say opposites attract...maybe I should give it a try.” She smiled evilly. “After all....no one has infected little Will's mind with dirty things yet, right?”
A combined shudder went through the group, yet no one dared to differ, for all, all of them, feared Karen. Claire nodded. “Okay, give it a try, Karen.”
The dark trainer sat down again, smiling to herself. ‘These fools...they have never seen true love. Otherwise, they would pray to Cupid that he forgives them for their sin of interfering with his ways....’
Will looked up, his glass of water waving around. “You say that’s not possible? Why?” He paused. “I admit I don’t know much about the genetics behind psychic powers, but apparently, they can be both inherited from relatives or one can become accustomed to them after being close to psychic Pokemon for a long time. Now, I don’t see why someone couldn’t get dark powers when he’s already a psychic!”
Sabrina paused and, in Will’s opinion, she took a very long time to answer. “You’re right about the two ways of getting psychic powers. You can inherit them- like I did, and your Pokemon can carry over some of them to you. Former method is the more accepted and idolized version, as these psychics generally get stronger, may it be by longer training time or other reasons we haven’t found out about yet. Though, it is also verified that for a child, it doesn’t matter whether its parents got their powers through the genes or through closeness to their Pokemon. Said child still has a greater potential than a child with only one psychic parent, and the same chances as one with both parents being psychics by birth.” She eyed him. Will looked confused, not knowing why she was edging around that topic. The psychic gym leader sighed. She feared how the elders would react to her boyfriend; she really feared they wouldn’t accept him,
he hadn’t been born as a psychic, but that was definitely something she did not have to discuss with him. Yet. Maybe later.
She coughed uneasily. “What I wanted to say is...there cannot be someone with both psychic and dark powers because they cancel each other out. Dark powers block psychic powers, yet the energy that is needed to block the psychic powers reduces the dark powers to zero as well. The conclusion is, said person has neither psychic nor dark powers.” She looked up, right into Will’s eyes. “There are no dark psychics, or psychic darklings, for that matter. These powers are incompatible.”
Will looked downwards. “If you...say so.” He trusted his girlfriend, as after all, she knew much more about supernatural abilities than him, yet the nagging feeling that she could not know
stayed in the back of his mind. To relieve himself of his unwanted tension, he again shifted the topic to something he could at least comprehend better and probably contribute. “Say, what happened to the egg?”
Sabrina smiled. She had been wondering when he would bring that up... “The Eevee egg, you mean? Well, Nurse Joy takes care of it. It was barely alive when I brought it to her, yet she says the chances that it stays alive are high enough to risk intensive treatment. If everything goes well, it should hatch in a few days.”
“Eevee egg? It’s an
egg?!?” Will couldn’t hide his astonishment. “Sabrina, do you know how
these are?” She nodded. “Not to mention how expensive...” he added quietly, yet Sabrina still caught it and laughed.
“I know that, my dear. Yet I couldn’t just let the egg freeze to death when I found it, could I? Nevertheless, you’re right, it is rare and therefore, I’m sure someone is missing it in his or her mail right now.” She played with the forks a bit, letting them spin around the table and startling Will with it. “I had planned on contacting the post office as soon as possible and find out together with them who the egg belongs to. The egg has to be given to its true owner before it hatches.” She noticed his frown. “Don’t worry, I won’t keep it. Sure I would like to, Eevee are rare and cute...”
“And evolve into Espeon...” Will whispered, apparently absent-minded, yet with a sly grin.
Sabrina laughed. “Yes, and that. But still, it’s not my Pokemon and someone out there surely is waiting for it, so I’ll do anything to find that person and give him, or her, the egg back. Unlike Hunter J, I’m not a thief.” She closed her eyes. “That’s actually what I plan on doing for the rest of the day. It should be pretty easy, considering that I got the registration number of the egg and the post office keeps track of all oversea shipping and, by giving me the passwords, allowed me to get into their data base.”
“No mind manipulation there?” Will asked, honestly confused as to why the post office would trust a, well, not a complete stranger, but someone completely out of the background, with such delicate information.
“No, not at all. I guess they didn’t want to have to search through all the data themselves and were happy that someone volunteered to do it without payment.”
Will looked away, slightly distressed. ‘Without payment...’ He said, wondering if his past ever stop haunting him?
An hour later, Sabrina was sitting in the huge, yet as good as empty multipurpose foyer of the league, which was kept in the same semi-modern style in blue, silver and white as the rest of the complex. She would have rather done the task on her own laptop, but that had been one condition of the post office’s head: no copying of the files onto a private computer. Yet she wondered if a public one was that much safer...
“Phew...I correct myself, this is going to take some time...” ‘The whole afternoon, if worse comes to worse...’ She thought angrily, staring at the columns of numbers and dates and names. The only clue she had was the Eevee’s registration number, but not even the date of its arrival, which would have made the search for its rightful owner a bit easier.
Sighing, she decided to use the search engine instead of going by simple luck. ‘Let’s see...where is that stupid note again?’ She rummaged through the folder she had taken with her, finally finding the small, blue piece of square paper with the number written on in narrow black.’896 986, well, let’s see if that gets me any farther...’
After a moment of waiting and the computer’s searching, a long column of items showed up, longer than the whole screen. Sabrina rolled her eyes. Just as she had feared, but not expected. The owner of the Eevee had almost registered and shipped over a whole household. She could see various bags with clothes on the list, both for men and women, and things of everyday life: towels, toothbrush, books, make-up...it seemed as if someone had decided to spend his holiday in Kanto and wanted to take his soon hatching egg with him. Yet, the only thing missing on the list
the egg. There were several Pokemon shipped over under the number; too, as Sabrina could see the coding for an Espeon, a Girafarig, and a Lucario. Yet there was no trace that the egg had been under them, even thought it would make sense with a male? - Espeon being one of the shipped Pokemon.
Sabrina rubbed her forehead, confused and slightly irritated. She was just about to close the page and call the post office again to see if they had given her the right number when she noticed something weird. Very weird. The present Will and she had given to Lucian and Cynthia was listed here, too. Yet that was just not possible. The present had been registered under a number of the Pokemon league and those numbers were given exclusive for each item, so there were just not several listed under one number like it was the case there.
‘I don’t get it...why is it here?’ Sabrina shuddered when a breeze of cold wind swept through the room. “Who the heck left the windows open?” She snarled at no one in particular, just trying to take out her anger at humanity in general. But since no one really bothered to spend any attention to the psychic, or rather, no one dared to take the responsibility and the risk of being punished by her, she had to close the windows by herself. Not really easy, when you were just a bit over 5 ft 3 in tall...
Sighing, Sabrina looked out of the windows, gazing over the beautiful landscape. She wished she could have spent a few more hours with Will, yet she had to find the owner of the Eevee, there was no way around it. Slightly saddened, she returned to her seat, just to realize that the note was not there anymore.
“Oh great!” It just got more and more frustrating. There was no way she could remember the number, and she needed the note to inform the post office operator about his mistake and probably correct it. Thankfully, the little piece of paper had only been blown away from the table. “Hah, got ya!” She exclaimed, reaching for it and standing up, throwing one glance over it and then over the computer’s screen. “Huh...?” Now this was even more weird. She was sure she hadn’t made a mistake when typing in the number, yet now, the note showed a completly different number than the search engine’s box. Confused, Sabrina fiddled with the note in her fingers until the realization almost hit her...
“Oh, no, please don’t tell...” She let herself fall back onto the seat, massaging her strained temples. “896 986 is 986 968...just upside down! Argh!” She hit her forehead with her palm and her fingers almost tripped over each other as she searched for the new number. And viola, there, the egg was, registered with a date, a number and a description. What else could she wish for?
‘No...not this.’ The owner actually having a genuine name. The only things written in the box labelled ‘Person of responsibility’ were a few letters. ‘I.L., c/o L. Grey’. Yet Sabrina, being a member of the league for many years now, knew what that meant. The egg was property of someone no less than Lance Grey, their state’s head.
And now, dread washed over Sabrina, because she had come to yet another conclusion.
She closed the second window, opening the one with the wrong number again and scanned the other coding. More and more familiar Pokemon names came to her mind, Pokemon like Garchomp and Bronzong. And when she clicked on the date when these Pokemon had arrived and, at the same time, compared it to the date the egg had arrived, her theory was, unfortunately, confirmed.
Finally, she leant back, supporting her aching head with her hand. “Oh, goodness....I hope Lance doesn’t murder me the second he finds out...”
Opening her eyes again, she tried to puzzle together all the pieces without panicking too much. She and Will had messed up. Greatly. The statue was not the real present; it had all been a mistake. Just because of the stupid similarity of those two numbers. The package with the model had been upside down, so that its real number, 896 986, had appeared to be the number of the egg, 986 968. And they hadn’t checked the package’s shipping’s formulas once they were out of the post office with it, so they had never noticed the slip-up.
And the real present, the egg, had arrived just a day too late. Of course, now Lance’s explanation, that the first present was not ‘available’ anymore, made sense. Just like the egg, the first one was very likely to be close to hatching when it had been supposed to be given to Lucian and Cynthia, but due to Team Rocket’s interference, the meeting had to be cancelled. And the egg had hatched in between, so Lance had to get a new one. One that was now in the possession of Indigo League’s Nurse Joy.
Sabrina rubbed her eyes, taking a deep breath to calm herself. There was still some way to save the situation, there
to be some way. Yet, she knew she could never find the strength to go to Lance and tell him about it personally...
For the moment, everything was okay, since neither Lucian nor Cynthia seemed to have noticed the error yet and Lance, too, hadn’t called her to his office, so he was just as clueless. Maybe she could smuggle the egg out of the Pokecenter somehow, hide it and get rid of it later. She knew a lot of trainers that would gladly take care of an Eevee. Herself being one of them, too.
Sabrina sat up, ready to leave, when she slipped and, rather by accident then by pure will, touched the enter button again, yet the search options now labelled with the addition of ‘ten years ago’.
Annoyed, Sabrina wanted to close the multiple searching windows as soon as possible, but hesitated when she read a name that was oh so familiar. ‘Bender....?’
More out of pure boredom then out of real interest- since Bender wasn’t that of an uncommon name, she sat down again and decided to do a quick search.
The Time goes by
Here's my Key Philosophy
And take your Time
A Freak like me
To trust in me
While you'll receive
And you'll find
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