Thread: [Pokémon] Convergent Paths
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Old February 24th, 2011 (08:33 AM). Edited February 24th, 2011 by nokyo-chan.
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nokyo-chan nokyo-chan is offline
Oatmeal? Are you CRAZY?!
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: In the middle of nowhere.
Age: 24
Gender: Female
Nature: Quirky
Posts: 125
Chapter Thirty-Seven

Cassandra had just about had it with Ellia. She had tried everything to get that Ponyta to listen to her, even looking up ways to train Ponyta on the Internet. She didn’t want to give up, even though that seemed like what it was all her Pokémon wanted, Ellia included. The Ponyta had learned, grudgingly, that fleeing was useless, but she was doing everything she possibly could to resist Cassandra’s training, even at personal risk.

After a long bout of useless training, Cassandra came back into the room and got out her laptop. “Hi, Karen,” she said in a dull monotone. The pink-haired girl was lying on her bed and coloring as usual.

“Hi,” Karen replied.

Wig!”

“Tuffly says hi.”

“Hi, Tuffly,” Cassandra grumbled, opening up her e-mail and sifting through. Suddenly, she became delighted as she saw that Terra had emailed her back. “Yes!” she cried happily, clicking it.

Cassandra,

I sure am glad Belle has friends like you and Alyssa to worry about her. I had noticed a lag in her emails, but I thought it might just be something to do with the fact that I’m her mother, and therefore am far less interesting to talk to. I didn’t know that she was no longer traveling with Derrick, so I’m afraid I don’t know the reason for that. Thank you for bringing me your concern; I know exactly how to remedy this situation.

Oh, and thank you for asking about Derek. He’s doing just fine. He’s already thinking about what Pokémon he wants when he gets older, and I’m thrilled to say he might want one that is the same type as his mother’s first Pokémon. Of course, he also might want to go a different way and get a Charmander like his big sister. Either way, I’ll be happy for him.

Anyway, thank you very much for your email, and try not to worry too much anymore—Momma T is on her way to fix everything!

Love,

Belle’s mom (I know that’s what you call me )


Cassandra felt a huge weight lift off her chest. Terra was going to fix it. Good. She closed out her Internet and turned off her laptop, no longer needing to get her mind off anything; she felt perfectly fine now. As she stuffed the laptop into her bag, she glanced over at Karen and Tuffly coloring together.

“Hey, Karen,” Cassandra said, stretching out on her own bed. “I have to ask you something I’m really curious about.”

“Hm?”

“Does Tuffly have a Poké Ball?”

Karen glanced up at her. “You haven’t asked a lot about me,” she remarked, putting her crayon down.

“Um…no, I guess I haven’t.”

“You haven’t asked me about my parents or anything.”

“Well, you haven’t asked me about mine, either.”

“Your dad’s Gerald Étoile, an executive for Devon Corp. He’s big and jolly. Your mother, his wife, is Joanna Étoile, and she seems evil.”

“Well, you only got that from meeting them on the telephone and putting a name with a face.”

Karen shrugged. “True. I guess we’re both inconsiderate. Tell me about your family.” She sat up, crossed her legs, placed her hands on her ankles, sat up straight, and looked straight at Cassandra across the gap between the beds, her head cocked slightly to the side.

“Um…you sure you want me to go first?”

“Yes.”

“Okay…well, we’re pretty rich, I guess.” Cassandra launched into a description of their family—mean Joanna, fun Gerald, and even Dorothia, the cook. When she was finished, Karen nodded simply.

“Okay. Well, I’ll tell you about mine now.” She adjusted her shoulders. “My mom’s name is Chryssi—it’s short for Chrysanthemum.”

“Chrysanthemum?”

“It’s a type of flower.”

“I know—”

“Her parents were botanists. Dad’s name is Enja. It’s short for Benjamin.”

“Why didn’t his parents just call him Ben?”

“They did. He hated that name. Enja sounds a lot cooler.”

Cassandra nodded and decided not to ask any more questions.

Karen’s family was actually very interesting; they lived in a small house in a sparsely populated area of Rustboro City, and every day Chryssi and Enja pushed their cart out beside the PokéMart and attempted to sell herb and root supplements as replacements for Potions. They had perfected the art of making them taste sweet instead of bitter, and people and Pokémon both could use them. Because they didn’t have a lot of money, they all made their own clothes—Karen, apparently, was the one with the best fashion sense, and could sew much better than her parents. “I have a little trouble with sleeves,” she added, offering out her arms as proof; the sleeves of her shirt hung down almost past her fingers. “But that’s the style now, so it’s okay.

“You asked if Tuffly had a Poké Ball,” Karen continued, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear.

“Yes.”

“We don’t believe in Poké Balls.”

“You don’t?”

“No. We believe that if a Pokémon wants to be your friend, they’ll follow you and be with you of their own will. We don’t capture Pokémon—we befriend them…kind of like Rangers, but without the use of any technology.”

A strange sensation started in Cassandra’s gut. It felt a little like…guilt. “So…has everyone ever tried to capture Tuffly with their Poké Ball?”

“Once or twice, but either I or Mom blocked it.”

“You should try capturing Tuffly in a Poké Ball and then not making him stay in it. That way, if somebody tried to capture him, the Ball would just bounce off.”

“But then I’d only be able to have six Pokémon with me,” Karen replied. “My way, as many Pokémon as I want can follow me around, and I don’t have to send them to the Pokémon Lab.”

Cassandra nodded. “I think I’m going to start keeping everyone out of their Poké Balls.”

“Even Ellia?” Karen asked, grabbing her coloring book and stretching out on the bed again. “You know what I think your problem is with her?”

Usually, when it came to Ellia, Cassandra didn’t want to talk. She was too determined—no, stubborn—to listen to Karen’s advice. This time, however, she had Karen’s Poké Ball story circling in her head. “What?”

“You don’t respect her.”

____________________________________

Cassandra walked out to her training ground under an umbrella with Swablu perched on her shoulder and Finny and Fluffy walking on either side. In her hand, she clutched Ellia’s Poké Ball.

When they came to the place, she let Ellia out of her Ball. “Wait before you try to kick me or anything, please,” Cassandra said. She stepped forward and slipped the bridle off Ellia’s head; she had put it there after taking advice from an Internet site. Surprised, the Ponyta tossed her head and looked down at Cassandra warily. “Yeah, you have every right to look like that.” With a sigh, Cassandra shifted. “Look. I’ve been going about this all wrong. I haven’t been treating you with the respect you deserve, and for that, I’m sorry. I’m willing,” she added, looking up at Ellia, “to be a lot—and I mean a lot—nicer to you if you’re willing to stay with me. If you want to go free, I’ll release you. Do you want me to do that—release you? Knock your hoof on the ground once for yes, twice for no.”

Ellia didn’t do anything for a very long time. She simply stood there, eyeing Cassandra, her mane and tail shifting and seeming to eat every piece of ash that fell on them. Finally, after a while, she lowered her head and bumped it directly into Cassandra’s chest, very gently. Her fiery mane didn’t burn Cassandra; it didn’t even feel hot. Vaguely, she recalled seeing something on the Internet that said Ponyta and Rapidash don’t burn people they trust. Ellia nickered softly and thumped her hoof against the ground once.

Cassandra sighed and placed a hand on the Ponyta’s neck. “Okay. I’ll miss you, but if it’s—”

The hoof thumped again.

“W-was that a no?”

Ellia nickered, and even without Karen Cassandra could tell it was the answer she wanted. She laughed happily as her Ponyta stepped back and tossed her head. “Thank you! I’m sorry, and I’ll make it up to you—first by letting you run around as much as you want. Go on! Gallop! Oh, wait though—do you like the name Ellia?”

The Ponyta had been on her way to gallop circles around the little training ground, but she paused and looked back over her shoulder at Cassandra. After a brief moment, she knocked her hoof once before shooting off to run laps.

“Well, Swablu,” Cassandra said, glancing sideways at the Pokémon sitting on her shoulder. “I’d like to have you be an Altaria before the next contest. You up for that?”

“Blu!” Swablu took flight and spiraled up into the sky.

“Okay, sparring session, Finny and Swablu! Come back when you’re ready, Ellia!” Cassandra called, and her two Pokémon took the field as Fluffy sat by her feet, tall and proud, a guard Pokémon. “Fluffy,” she added as an afterthought. “You’ve never showed much interest in Contests…did you want to try one?”

The Mightyena cocked its head, looking up at her. He patted his paw against the ground twice before turning his attention back to the upcoming spar.

“He’s more interested in battles, he says,” Karen’s voice said, drifting out from somewhere behind Cassandra. She turned around; Karen was walking under her pink umbrella, Tuffly waddling along behind. “I was bored of coloring,” she added by way of explanation. “How are things going with Ellia?”

“Good…I gave her the option to leave, but she didn’t want to. Fluffy, contests are battles, too.”

Fluffy made a series of barks and growls; Karen came up beside Cassandra. Their umbrellas bumped. “But it’s all frilly stuff. I’m not interested in points and glamour.”

“Do you want to battle Gym Leaders?”

“No. You saved my life. Now I’ll spend it protecting yours.”

“Did he really say that?” Cassandra asked, looking up at Karen. The girl nodded matter-of-factly.

“I only say what they say…Pokémon usually get mad when I translate wrong, anyway.”

Cassandra smiled. “Would you mind sticking around and helping me train up for my next contest? Something tells me I could really use your help.”

Karen frowned and bit her lip, crossing her arms. “That would seriously cut into my coloring time.”

“Please?”

“Well, we all make sacrifices, I guess.”

_____________________________________________

To: thompson_alyssa
From: dancing_through_life
Subject: Life.
_______________________________________
Hey!

Did you get Belle’s last email? She didn’t even tell us how the battle went. She doesn’t seem very excited about Viridian City being her last Gym Badge, either. =( I’m really worried about her, but luckily Terra emailed me back!!! I’ll forward you the message.

Ooh, so you and Ian are hanging out, huh? Is anything going to happen? Hmmmm? XD I’m so excited for you!! And I’m also really glad that you’re not gonna pull a Belle.

Yeah, one day you’ll have to meet Karen. She’s…something else. She gave me some good advice about training Ellia, which I actually TOOK, and now she listens to me. I’m thinking about entering her in the Slateport Contest when I get there…I want to put Finny in the Fallarbor Contest again to prove that he can win and he’s not totally useless.

Well, gotta get to bed early! I’m waking up early tomorrow and training…the next contest date is rushing up!

Love much,

Cassandra

____________________________________

To: dingdongbelle
From: dancing_through_life
Subject: You.
_______________________________
How did your battle go?

Are you excited about getting your next (and LAST) Gym Badge?

Have you caught any more Pokémon?

Has anyone evolved?

TALK TO ME.
__________________
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