|Kinder| → Cherrygrove City, Route 30
After getting his Pokémon back from Nurse Joy, Geoff did what he finally longed to do: He pulled out his new Pokégear, turned on the radio, and kicked back with some music. In a game that has become about survival, Geoff wouldn't normally do a side-quest like this, but when it involved music, it was completely necessary. He could let time pass by for who-knows-how-long listening to music, and disturbing him while he was listening was a hard task to accomplish.
As Geoff was listening he turned his attention to a girl sitting on a couch across the room from him. He wasn't sure if she was an NPC or not, but he was receiving dirty glances from her. Although she was sitting she seemed relatively short, and probably around 14 or 15 years old. She had a salmon colored blouse on, with a red skirt, and from his judgement 3 inch high heels. Probably not the best footwear for travelling the region, so it made no sense that it could be an actual player. Her green eyes were piercing Geoff's as he looked over to her, and it just seemed cold.
He couldn't take being glared at any longer, he had to get back out into the field and get to Violet City. Sitting here wasn't going to be of any help, and he could listen to music as he walked anyways. He made his way back to the entrance of Route 30, and before he could start back out there, he felt a sharp, shooting pain in his ears.
"OWWW!!" Geoff screamed. Someone ripped the headphones out of his ears. As he turned around to see who did it, there was no one there. "What the hell, who could have --" Geoff started, but as he turned back forward he saw that girl from the Pokémon Center, only now she had Geoff's Pokégear in hand as she ran onto Route 30! "Get back here!" Geoff screamed, but to no avail. His only option was to chase after her.
Thank for Geoff, those high heel were slowing her down, so he could catch up quickly. They reached the fork in the road, where he grabbed her shoulder and turned her around. She still had that glare in her eye, and Geoff didn't like it. He looked her up and down, and realized that she was definitely older than he perceived; at least 16 years old, maybe even 17 or 18.
"Let go of me!" she yelled at him. "This belongs to me now!"
"And you think I'm going to just let you steal the ONE thing in this game that makes me happy? I don't think so," Geoff replied. At this point he knew where this was going, and for her sake he hoped that she was an NPC character. The only thing was, Geoff couldn't handle taking someone else's life, even if it meant him living. No turning on the HUD he supposed, he couldn't deal with the guilt if she really was real.
"Alright |Kinder|, I, Felicity, challenge you!" she ordered as she threw a Pokéball. When the white light finally materialized, a little green and yellow monkey materialized from the ball. "Alright, I'm ready with Pansage, what do you have to offer me?"
Geoff looked at his two Pokéballs. Both Hoothoot and Snorunt would do well here, but Hoothoot would resist any potential grass-typed attacks that the grass monkey had. "Alright, let's go Hoothoot!" Geoff cried as he threw Hoothoot's Pokéball into the air. As Hoothoot emerged, it u-turned onto Geoff's shoulder, getting a good view of his opponent.
"Hoot! Hoo Hoo!" Hoothoot cried. Geoff could see the excitement in his eyes, and he knew he made a good choice, even if he hadn't battled with him yet. He was about to give him a little pep talk for his first battle, but apparently Felicity had other things in mind.
"Vine Whip, and draw it close to you!" she ordered Pansage. It obliged, and vines were quickly wrapped around Hoothoot, and it was dragged off of Geoff's shoulder. It kept getting pulled closer and closer, when Geoff had an idea.
"Use that momentum! Charge towards it using your Tackle attack!" Hoothoot nodded, and as Pansage pulled it closer, Hoothoot used it's own force on it, making him charge at Pansage much faster than it was expecting. The look of surprise popped up in it's eyes, and Hoothoot hit it right in the gut with his Tackle. Hoothoot was released from the vines as Pansaged tumbled over backwards, but it was quickly back up on its feet.
Felicity didn't look happy, as she stomped on the ground and broke her right heel. "Look what you made me do! This is not okay! Pansage, Lick that stupid bird!"
This made Geoff smirk. He knew exactly what was going to come of that attack, although she clearly didn't. He decided to do something that both Hoothoot and Felicity were more than likely to question, but he was fully confident. "Hoothoot, just hold your ground."
Hoothoot turned his head around, giving Geoff questioning eyes. "Hoot?" he exclaimed in a worried tone, but Geoff just nodded, and Hoothoot trusted him. Pansage crept closer and closer, and opened his mouth wide for it's Lick attack. It's tongue made direct contact with Hoothoot, but as expected, Geoff smirked and was ready for his next move.
"Ghost moves don't work on a part normal-type like Hoothoot here!" He explained. "Now Hoothoot, use a Peck attack on its tongue while it's still out of it's mouth!"
"Hoo hoo!" Hoothoot replied as it started Pecking away at the poor Pansage. Flying-typed moves are already super-effective on grass types, but doing the attack on its tongue was almost adding insult to injury.
"Scratch!" Felicity called out. Geoff was expecting Pansage to be stuck where it was, but it's claws were raised up into the air and it slashed Hoothoot right across the face, knocking it backwards into a nearby tree. It was an unexpected counter-attack, but Geoff should have realized it could do something when the only thing he was attacking was the Pansage's tongue.
"Are you okay Hoothoot?" Geoff asked, as Hoothoot pulled itself back onto one foot to stand ready for another round of attacks. "Hoot!" he replied, and Geoff knew it was going to be okay. That Pansage had taken more blows than Hoothoot had, and it was looking tired, as it was breathing heavily as it was hunched over.
Geoff looked over to Felicity, as he knew this battle was coming to an end. He noticed that on her side she had more Pokéballs, which meant that knocking out Pansage wouldn't mean her whiting out if she was a real person. It was the one inevitability that had to happen at some point, but Geoff didn't want to deal with it now.
"How about this --" He started. "Winner of the battle between Hoothoot and Pansage gets the Pokégear, and then it's over. That way no one whites out."
Felicity's eyes changed suddenly. Instead of being that glare that never left her eyes as she battle fiercely, it turned to a calmer, almost more understanding look. At this point, Geoff knew, even without turning on his HUD, that she had to be real. An NPC wouldn't flinch at that offer, as losing didn't have any real implications for them. "Deal. Now Pansage Vine Whip!"
Geoff was almost lost in the moment, but the battle call brought him right back in. "Dodge it in the air Hoothoot, then charge with Tackle!" Hoothoot obeyed swiftly, flying in the air over the vine's that were extending from Pansage, and charged it head-on, knocking it into the road sign at the fork to Mr. Pokémon's house. Pansage was down for the count, and both Geoff and Felicity knew it.
"Alright, you win," Felicity stated as she returned Pansage to it's Pokéball. She walked over to Geoff with the Pokégear in hand, and returned it to him. "I'm sorry I took it in the first place, I was upset when I returned the egg to the Mayor I didn't receive the Pokégear. I guess I had to talk to her first to receive it, and I just really wanted one."
Geoff sympathized with her. He knew the feeling of wanting the same thing so bad, but he got lucky in getting the quest first, and when he did he was a bulldozer getting it. "It's okay, I was the same way when I got the quest in the first place. We can listen to it for awhile if you want to?"
Felicity nodded, and the two of them sat down at the base of a tree listening to whatever stations they could find, with Hoothoot perched above them on a branch. They talked about music for a good hour, both the music that appeared in the game, and the music in the real world. They didn't share a large amount of overlapping interests, but artists like Jason Mraz were common ground for the two of them.
After the hour Felicity stood back up, breaking the heel on her left shoe on purpose, and laughed. "Might as well be even, right?" Geoff chuckled at this, and nodded in agreement. "By the way, my real name is Felicity too, what about you?"
"I'm Geoff. Being called |Kinder| is still kind of weird to me, but I guess I should get used to it since that's all people really see unless they get to know each other like we are."
"Well Geoff, this is farewell for now. But I'm going to see you again," Felicity said with a smile as she ran off back to Cherrygrove City to heal Pansage.
Geoff didn't have time to reply, but he had a smile on his face. It was nice having human contact again after all this time. He was sure should would pop back up somewhere, but who knows how soon? He watched her run into the distance until her figure disappeared into the horizon, and Geoff made his way back foward, with Hoothoot sitting back on his shoulder again.
"You know, if we're going to spend this much time together you should probably have a name," He started. "Then again, so should Snorunt." As Geoff pondered names, one obvious one came for Hoothoot. "Alright, you're going to be called Gaebora. How does that sound to you?" Geoff asked the little owl, who chirped happily at the name. He guessed it was a keeper. He couldn't figure out one for Snorunt yet, but he had an entire journey to do so.
Continuing down Route 30 using the left path, he expected to see the route riddled with a few trainers like in Gold and Silver, but there was nothing there. Then he noticed smoke billowing in the clouds above him, and as he got closer to the entrance of Route 31, and entire fire.
"Well, that's not good..."