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"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 worth it?"
Chapter 23: A Promise
William had quite the same reaction as Leah when he first heard what Ed was going to do. Of course, he was a bit more polite about it.
“Ed,” he said as gently as possible, surveying his brother who was sitting on the bed with Ally. “I don’t think it’s going to work.”
Everyone had gathered into Ed’s bedroom that morning, minus Carla and obviously, the parents. Leah had once again propped herself against the wall and William was standing near the window. Leah was a bit surprised that Ed had held off telling his brother about his ‘awesome’ plan until this morning, but that might only be because he had been moping all of yesterday after he came up with it (which made no sense).
“Of course it will!” Ed argued. “Trainers do it all the time!”
William sighed. “That’s fiction; it rarely happens in real life.” He paused, his mind racing. “Ed, if you do run away, what are you going to do?”
“… I’m going to be a trainer!” Ed said, a bit wary that his brother was asking the obvious.
“You can’t be a trainer,” William said and then explained, “If you run away, Mom and Dad are going to call the police and then they’ll be searching for you. As soon as you turn up at a Pokemon Center or try to get a gym badge, the police will know where you are and then they’ll come and get you.”
Ed frowned. “But why?”
“Because, idiot,” Leah spoke up, ignoring William’s glare. “Do you think your parents are going to sit back and let you go? If they really don’t want to get hurt, they’ll have the police after you the entire way.”
“Leah’s right,” William said grudgingly and looked at Ed with his arms crossed. “It’s not worth it having the police after you.”
Looking down, Ed scowled and said nothing.
“Isn’t there some way?” Ally asked. “T- The police can’t follow him all the time, right?”
William was silent for a moment. “No, but they’ll be on the lookout. And honestly, the trail from Fuchsia to Celadon is an easy one to follow. They will catch up, no matter how much of a head start you have.”
Zoning out of the conversation, Leah mentally grumbled to herself. Why couldn’t Ed make it easy for once and just comply with his parents demands? Then, she wouldn’t have to be thinking up another plan to get Ed to stay home. It was so annoying! Just when she thought it was over, Ed immediately tore down that hope.
“But,” William started, eyes narrowed. “Maybe…”
Leah swore to herself. It looked like someone had an idea.
Blinking, William snapped out of his thoughts when he noticed everyone was looking at him. “I think I have something,” he said.
“So, you’ll help?” Ed asked.
William gave his brother a weird look. “Of course,” he said. “I only want what’s best for you and really, I think Mom and Dad are being really unfair.”
“What’s your bright idea, then?” Leah asked. The faster she got the idea, the more time she had to think up a way to counter it.
Moving away from the window, William sat in the middle of the room, cross-legged, and motioned for everyone else to join him. Being stubborn, of course Leah stayed where she was while the other two formed a semi-circle with the older teen, mirroring the one from yesterday.
Wow, Leah thought to herself, if the parents walked in, wouldn’t this look suspicious.
Ed patted the empty ground next to him. “Come on, Leah!” he said. “Join us!”
“Leave her,” William advised him. “She can still hear from where she’s sitting.”
Surprisingly, it was Ally who asked the question.
“What’s your plan?”
“It has a few holes,” William admitted. “But I think it could work if it was pulled off right.”
Leah cut right to the chase. “Just get to it.”
William rolled his eyes. “Fine, fine.” He leaned in closer, his voice lowering. “Okay, Ed, Ally, I know you guys made plans, but you two are going to have to change them. You see, Mom and Dad know you guys are going to go to Celadon next and that’s where everyone will be looking. I propose you head out to Vermillion instead and change all your plans accordingly.”
The older teen raised his hand for silence when it looked like Ed was going to cut in. “Let me finish,” he scolded and then got right back to it. “It’s a long way from Fuchsia to Vermillion and there are a lot of roads, so even if someone does catch on, they won’t really be able to track you. Now, while that’s going on, I will convince our parents to call off any search parties.” He looked at his younger brother. “Ed, even if Mom and Dad did say you couldn’t go, I don’t think they’re that cemented to the idea. If I try hard enough, I should be able to change their minds.”
“And how long with that take you?” Leah asked. “What if we get to Vermillion before you can do anything? What then?”
William waved it off. “It’ll take you weeks, I’d expect. That’s more than enough time for me. Though, before that,” he continued. “We’re going to have to sneak Ed out of the house and without alerting our parents at what’s happening.”
Leah scoffed. “Good luck with that. I’d think they would notice if he just walked out the front door with a backpack on.”
“You’re right.” He nodded. “That’s why he’s not going to be using the front door.” Pausing for a moment, he tried to get his thoughts in order. “Ed, you’re going to have to get up early sometime in the next couple of days. I’d rather you not sneaking away in the dead of night, so dawn will have to do.”
Ally raised her hand, like she was in a classroom, and spoke, “Your parents, won’t they wake up when we try to leave? We’ll be making a lot of noise…”
“Yeah, that’s true.” William nodded. “Luckily, you and Leah aren’t going to be here.”
“What?” Leah said, now getting just a bit confused.
William confirmed it. “That’s right. Tomorrow, you two will leave to continue on your Pokemon journey without Ed. What my parents won’t know is be that you guys will be just checking into the Pokemon Center for a couple nights and then, once Ed joins you, you three can head out to Vermillion.”
The four sat in silence while they digested the plan.
“I like it,” Ed exclaimed, grinning.
Ally agreed, the prospect of going on the journey with Ed looking less far away than she thought.
However, Leah frowned to herself. It actually sounded like a solid plan, but like William said, there were a few holes in it; places where things could go wrong. For instance, if the parents just happened to get wind of the plan, everything would fall apart, right? And Leah really shouldn’t be going against a parent’s wishes for their child. If they said that Ed shouldn’t go, then it was pretty much written in her duty as a Mentor to uphold their wishes, right?
Later that night, Leah was surprised to see William come down to the computer room where she usually was. Not including the first day at Ed’s house, William never really sought her out unless the brats had a scheme in mind.
“I know what you’re planning,” he started as he walked in, looking around with an uninterested eye.
“Planning?” Leah asked, more to herself than to him as she tried to keep up a mask of innocence. “What do you mean?”
William pulled up one of the other computer chairs and sat down, crossing his legs. He stayed silent, not answering Leah’s question and as the minutes ticked by, she started to get a bit unnerved.
“What do you mean?” she repeated.
“You’re going to sabotage my plan,” he said in a matter-in-fact voice and continued sarcastically, “Search your feelings, you know it to be true.”
Leah frowned. Was that a Star Wars quote just thrown at her? She tore her eyes from the monitor and spun her chair around so she was facing William directly.
“What makes you say that?”
Leaning back in his chair, William’s face was a blank mask. “You don’t like Pokemon training, you don’t like Ed or Ally and you just want to go home. Of course you’re going to try to get out of it.”
“Fine,” Leah admitted, throwing down her innocent persona. “You got me.” She looked into his eyes. “What’re you going to do about it?”
William reached back into his pocket and for a moment, Leah thought he was going to get out his old Pokedex. Instead, three small rectangular tickets were taken out instead. He held them out to her to look at and after giving him a suspicious look, she pulled one out of his hand and examined it closely.
It was mostly blue and had a picture of a black ship sailing on dark blue water with two white clouds in the sky. On the picture’s right was a small white tag which had to be ripped of judging by the indents separating it from the picture. The white part had small black printing on it.
“The S. S. Anne,” Leah read out loud and looked up. “You mean the ship in Vermillion?”
William nodded. “It’s where the Pokemon League Convention is going to be held this year. It’s a three-day cruise and I want you to act as a chaperone for Ed and Ally.”
“Don’t I already?” Leah grumbled and placed the ticket on the computer desk before crossing her arms. “No, I’m not going to do it.”
“Too bad,” William said. “You’re going to do it.”
Leah scoffed. “If you care so much, why don’t you take just take them, then?”
“I can’t walk that much with this leg,” William replied, tapping his knee and giving her look like he thought that was a dumb question.
The two stared at each other in a battle of wills and Leah was not happy to admit that she looked away first.
“You know, it’s in your best interest to go.”
“Really now?” Leah asked, rolling her eyes. “And why would I want to go to some stupid convention in Vermillion city?”
William leaned forward and studied her closely, before saying, “Jason Dare.”
Leah’s heart skipped a beat and she felt her face heat up slightly.
“What about him?”
The older teen gave her a small smirk, like he was already celebrating his victory.
“He’s going to be there. At the convention.”
“What?” Leah asked dumbly as she started all her attention was now directed at William. She couldn’t help but repeat, “What?”
“My sources say,” William started, pulling away from her, “that Jason Dare is going to be there. You probably don’t know, but he goes to the convention every year.”
Leah shook her head, trying to get rid of her light-headedness. She knew that Jason was sort of a Pokemon trainer because he owned two Flareon (nicknamed Taffy and Flaffy; if there was one thing Leah didn’t respect Jason for, it was his naming skills), but she didn’t think he actually participated in those sort of things.
“Wait just a minute,” Leah said. “I think I would have heard about something like this. I visit Jason’s blog a lot and I’ve never seen him ever refer to going to a convention.”
“Of course he wouldn’t. If he did say that he goes to the conventions, don’t you think that instead of Pokemon trainers coming, fangirls would?”
Thinking over that for a moment, Leah supposed that that made sense. But wouldn’t she hear something about it? Wouldn’t word leak out if several people said that they saw Jason Dare there? Not only that, but how could Leah know that William wasn’t lying? She hadn’t been that secretive at having a huge crush on Jason Dare and William could easily take advantage of that. And really, she had no way of knowing whether he was telling the truth or not.
Suddenly, a different thought on a completely separate track popped into her head: If Jason was there then Leah had a once and a lifetime opportunity. She might actually get to meet Jason Dare! It was, like, one of her greatest wishes to not only see him in person, but to talk to him too!
Leah crushed that thought after a brief hesitance. No, she would not give in! Seeing Jason Dare meant going all the way to Vermillion City and attending a three-day cruise. Didn’t she want to go home? Go back to Pallet Town where she could just lay on her bed and do nothing with no one interrupting her? Finally leave Pokemon training behind her, once and for all?
Hmm, on one end, she had Jason Dare. On the other, she had several lazy and Pokemon-less days.
It was one of the hardest decisions of her life.
“Fine,” Leah forced out, already regretting it. She hated Pokemon training, that would never change (never), but this was Jason Dare they were talking about. It was just to Vermillion City, then, she promised herself, that she would do what Danny did and just drop the brats altogether. They would probably be delighted that they could go off on their own.
“Good,” William said, pleased, and broke out into a smile. “You made the right choice.”
Leah honestly didn’t feel like it and mentally sighed to herself. There went the rest of her summer…
“Where did you get these things anyways?” Leah asked, motioning to the tickets. “They were probably expensive.”
“Not really,” William replied, his tone pleasant, happy that he got an agreement out of her. “The Pokemon League gives Professor Oak tickets every year to give out to trainers and all I had to do was to ask for some.”
“You know,” Leah started, “you’re doing an awfully lot just to let your brother go on a useless journey.”
William frowned. “Journeys aren’t useless. They help kids grow and learn valuable skills.”
“Yeah, the ones that don’t die.”
“Look,” William said, starting to lose his patience. “I loved going on a Pokemon journey and I know Ed does as well. I don’t want him to lose that like I did.” He paused. “I don’t really think you’d understand since you don’t have any brothers or sisters or even close friends.”
Okay, even if it was a fact, Leah felt a bit insulted. “What makes you think that?”
“Just of what you’ve said all the weeks that I’ve known you,” William said simply. “You never mention anyone except for your grandmother and with your attitude, I really doubt you have that many friends.”
“Aren’t you just a wealth of information,” Leah commented, scowling. Why was he being all rude all of the sudden? “I do have family and friends, thanks. Hell, even a great-aunt in Sinnoh!” She rolled her eyes. “And right back at you. I’ve never heard you mention any friends either and you’re never out of the house. You just sit in your room all day, fiddling with your Pokedex.”
William went silent at that.
“Just go away,” Leah continued, turning back around in her chair. “Fine, I’ll go to Vermillion with the brats, you don’t need to keep sitting there.”
For a moment, Leah thought that she had finally gotten rid of William, but that hope was shattered when he started talking again.
Scowling, Leah asked, “What?”
“I know you don’t want to do this,” William said. “But can you make sure Ed and Ally don’t get hurt?”
“Isn’t that what I’m supposed to be doing?” Leah asked, not really as a question.
William paused. “Yeah, but… if something like ending up on an island happens again, can you keep them together and really keep a close eye on them?”
“Well, sure,” Leah said, rolling her eyes. “As long as we don’t get separated, they don’t want to go exploring and weirdoes start appearing, yeah, sure. It’ll be a piece of cake.”
Another bout of silence was the reply and Leah hoped that he would finally leave her alone since she had work to do. Her eyes stared at monitor as she quickly Google-d Jason Dare’s blog. There had to be something that would tell her if it was all true…
She was so busy browsing that she hardly heard William’s reply.
“… What weirdoes?”
Oh, Leah thought to herself as stopped clicking. The ‘official’ story about the whole Seafoam Island affair didn’t include any weirdoes, so it looked like she had messed up. Being the protective older brother that he was, Leah doubted William would just let it slide.
Leah spun around in her chair again, abandoning the search for the Truth of Jason Dare (temporarily).
William started back at her. “Were there… people on the island?”
“Lorelei said to say nothing,” Leah said, shifting the blame to someone else without regrets.
“What happened?” William asked, his eyes narrowing. “What haven’t you been telling us?”
“Oh, lots,” Leah replied with a wave of her hand. Now, she had a choice here. She could lie her ass off and obey Lorelei’s instructions, or she could tell the truth. It was really easy to deicide since when had she ever cared about someone’s opinion? Besides, the Elite Four were nothing special.
Since William was going to demand every single scrap of information from her, Leah decided to get some info for herself first and started with a question.
“Have you ever heard of an Ice Plate?”
“Ed, take your elbows off the table,” Mom scolded.
Ed scowled, but did what he was told.
Forks and knifes clanged against the plates as food was slowly cut up and eaten with hardly a word. Ed could feel eyes staring at his bowed head, but whether that was out of concern or that he playing with veggies was unknown. There were several reasons why he was in a bad mood, most centered around that he could no longer go on a journey. His mood had only worsened when he had seen Leah and Ally off yesterday morning.
It shouldn’t have been a big deal since he knew that he would see them soon and that they weren’t actually leaving, but he couldn’t stop worrying. What if they left without him? He didn’t know why they would do that, but what if they did? He would be stuck in Fuchsia forever!
From the other side of the table, William coughed into his hand and Dad sent a glance at him.
“I think you should see a doctor, Will,” he commented, putting down his utensils. “You’ve been coughing a lot lately.”
William waved it off. “I’m okay, Dad.” His voice sounded a bit strange. “It’s just a cold, it’ll go away.”
“Are you sure you don’t want any cough medicine?” Mom asked. “I could get you some tomorrow?”
“I’m fine,” William said, not wanting all the attention.
Mom frowned. “No, really. I think I’ll get you some. You’ve been getting up in the middle of the night for a couple of days now. Obviously, you can’t get to sleep.”
William looked embarrassed. “You heard?”
“You come up and down the hall a lot,” Dad explained. “Right past our door.”
At that, William could only shrug, uncomfortable at the attention his nightly activities had produced.
“Eddy!” Carla said over the conversation. “When are you going?”
“I’m not going,” Ed replied morosely, knowing what she was talking about. “I already told you.”
Carla pouted. “Mom! Does that mean I can’t go?”
“Go where, honey?”
Ed cut in. “Dad, can I be excused?”
Looking over, Dad frowned at his plate. “You didn’t eat very much.”
“I’m not hungry,” was Ed’s only reply.
“Ah, let him go, Dad,” William said, coughing afterwards.
Mom stared at her oldest son. “William, I agree with your father, you should go see a doctor.”
“You can go,” Dad told Ed as the topic of William’s sickness once again took the table.
Pushing his chair out, Ed got up and padded out of the kitchen, shoulders slumped. The last thing he heard was Carla asking if she could be excused as well.
Once his bedroom door was shut behind him, Ed put his arms over his head and stretched.
Tonight was the night. Well, the next morning, technically. As soon as the sun rose, Ed was out of the house and onto the streets, or so his brother promised. The family had eaten late tonight, so Ed only had around a couple of hours before bed and he really needed to pack. He would have done it sooner, but William advised him that keeping a full backpack in his room for a few days would be suspicious.
It was weird. Now that his journey was so close that he could touch it, he hadn’t been feeling very happy. Actually, he had been feeling a bit down. Maybe it was because he had missed being home more than he thought he did. He didn’t think he would miss the conversations around the dinner table and sleeping in his bed so much. When he went back on his journey, all he would have was small chatting in the Pokemon Center’s cafeteria and a foreign bed.
Actually, he wouldn’t even have that when he continued his journey. There were two weeks of walking between Fuchsia and Vermillion and that meant spending endless nights under the stars. When worded like that, it sound really cool, but William had once told him it wasn’t as nice as stories made it out to be.
He was really looking forward to his journey, there was no mistaking that, but really, it was just nice to be home.
But enough of that; he had work to do!
Going over to his closet, Ed flung it open and grabbed some clothes. He didn’t need much and he knew exactly what he was going to bring. His Pokeballs were on his nightstand with his Pokedex and William had given him some extra Potions.
He was so busy rooting around in his closet that he didn’t even notice his door opening and a small body coming in.
“Ed,” Carla greeted as she shut the door. “What-cha doing?”
Ed froze and quickly dropped the shirt he was holding. “Carla!”
His little sister came over and knelt by his side, staring curiously at the mess of clothes. “Are you packing?”
“I’m just looking,” Ed muttered and looked at his sister. “Go away, Carla. I’m busy.”
Carla gasped. “You’re going to go now?”
“W- What? I’m not going!” Ed corrected, his mind racing. Why did Carla assume that? He wasn’t doing anything suspicious! He was just looking at clothes!
His little sister grinned. “Yes you are! William said so.”
Ed didn’t know why William had told Carla that, but that wasn’t the problem.
“Carla, you can’t tell anyone,” Ed urged, ignoring the fact that she had been keeping silent for who knows how long. “Mom and Dad won’t be happy.”
“I- I just told you!”
“Arcanine,” Carla repeated. “You’re going on your journey and I want you to get me an Arcanine!”
Ed put his finger over his lips and glanced at the closed door. “Be quiet or they’ll hear you.”
Carla stamped her foot on the ground and crossed her small arms, face set in a defiant expression.
“Eddy? Arcanine or I’ll tell Mom and Dad,” she promised.
The decision wasn’t a hard one. Even if he had always thought Houndoom was way cooler than Arcanine, he definitely wasn’t going to take the chance of Carla telling their parents.
“Yeah.” Ed shrugged. He didn’t know where you could catch an Arcanine, but maybe he could pick one up while on his journey. Though, he doubted his parents would be too pleased if Carla suddenly gained a giant fire dog for a pet.
Carla suddenly came closer to Ed and hugged him around the middle with her tiny arms, smiling up at him. “You’re the best!”
Reaching out, Ed patted his sister on the head (her hair was done up so he couldn’t ruffle it properly).
“I’ll be back soon with your Arcanine, okay?”
Carla frowned at the thought of a wait, but after a moment, said, “Okay!”
“Great!” Ed exclaimed, as his sister pulled away. He once again picked up a shirt while keeping an eye on his sister. “So, remember: tell parents and no Arcanine.” He paused. “Now go away. The faster I pack, the faster you get an Arcanine.”
Carla bobbed her head quickly with a big grin on her face and got up, racing for the door. The door shut behind her with a click and Ed once again turned to his task.
That night, all was quiet.
The room was dark, the only light coming from the open window. The two cords on the end of the blinds clicked and spun as the wind forced them to dance to its tune. On the bed, Ed slept on, pulling his covers closer without a thought, his mind elsewhere.
With hardly a sound, the knob to his room turned and the door slowly creaked open. Padded feet made their way across the room, taking only a moment to nudge a lone toy out its path. The figure breathed in deeply as he stood at the side of the bed, watching the child sleep peacefully. In a single move, he outstretched his hand grabbed Ed’s shoulder, turning him onto his back.
“… Will?” Ed asked sleepily, bringing on of his hand’s to his eyes, rubbing the sleep out of them. “Is it time?”
William nodded and didn’t say another word, keeping his ears open for any signs of trouble.
Still in the dark, Ed covered his mouth as he yawned and got up, stumbling his way towards his dresser. His outfit had already been planned and he slipped them on, letting his pajamas fall to the floor in a heap. After that, he went to his closet and felt around until he grabbed his backpack, which was cleverly hidden under piles of clothes.
Ed was still sleepy and tired and he was hardly aware of what was going on. He got a glance at the glowing, red-lettered time (6: 32) before William lead him out his room, gently closing the door behind them both. The hallway was pitch black, but William seemed to have night vision as he had no problems getting them through and into the kitchen.
“How’d you see?” Ed whispered, still a bit out of it. He could hardly see, but had a feeling William was grinning.
“I’ve been practicing. Now, come on.”
The lock clicked and then William opened the backdoor, letting a cool draft into the room. Ed shivered. It was much colder than he thought it would be. Together, the brothers went onto the balcony and descended the stairs, Ed keeping a good grip on the railing.
Above them, the sky was a night blue, but lighter shades took up the eastern sky with a dash of gold, signifying the sun’s rise. The sun was still low on the horizon, but provided enough light for Ed to at least see faintly in front of him.
There was a faint mist that morning that hung above the grass and it was not disturbed in the slightest as the brothers walked through it, the grass tickling their shins. They came up to the wooden fence and stopped.
“Okay,” William said a little louder. “This is it.”
Ed felt a bit intimidated by the tall fence. He had to get across that?
“How am I going to get over?”
Kneeling down, William linked his fingers together and held them out. “I’ll boost you. Throw your backpack over.”
Ed took his backpack off, having a bit of trouble with the straps. He bent his knees and with all the force his tired body could handle, threw the backpack upwards. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough as the backpack merely slammed into the fence at about William’s height and made a loud banging sound.
The brothers winced in union and looked at the quiet house, listening for any sounds (not that they could hear much from there anyways). It didn’t look like anything was disturbed and the only evidence that the noise happened was the slight vibrating of the fence, aftershocks from the backpack’s assault.
William got up and grabbed the bag. “I’ll do it.”
In a much more graceful move, he easily tossed the backpack underhand and it soared over the fence, landing on the other side with a small thump.
“We have to hurry,” William said, once more kneeling down and making a step with his hands. “Mom and Dad are going to wake up soon.”
Ed hesitantly put his foot in William’s man-made step and put his fingers through parts the cross-shaped design at the top of the fence to steady himself.
“Whoa,” Ed said as William lifted him up and Ed quickly grabbed the top of the fence, his other foot trying to find friction on the smooth wood. Once Ed’s foot was at William’s waist, Ed hooked his other foot over top of the fence and heaved himself over, falling to the ground on the other side.
As William wiped his dirty hands on his shirt, he went up to the fence and asked, “Are you alright?”
On the other side, Ed lifted himself up, feeling the long wild grass under his hands and knees.
“Yeah,” he replied, getting up. “The grass is soft.”
Since Ed’s house lived at the edge of the suburban community, there wasn’t another yard behind him, but a small grassy area instead. It was littered with bushes and shrubs and even a few of Ed’s favorite dandelions, the fluffy white ones where he could blow the seeds off and make wishes. No one ever came to the area and it was mostly ignored, though Ed always used to play back there.
Ed grabbed his backpack and hoisted it over his shoulders.
“Will, now what do I do?”
Instead of a reply, a red and white Pokeball sailed over the fence and opened to reveal William’s second and lesser used Pokemon, Pidgey.
Despite his vision having not quite adjusted to the dark yet, Ed could still recognize Pidgey’s familiar brown and tan feathers. Pidgey flapped and hovered at Ed’s level, waiting for a command from its trainer.
“Leah and Ally are waiting for you about a block away,” William said from behind the fence. “Pidgey will guide you.”
“Okay.” Ed nodded and took a step away from the fence, intent to head out, but something stopped him.
He hadn’t said goodbye yet.
“Will?” Ed asked, putting his hand on the cold wood.
Ed swallowed. “Uh, I’ll see you later, right?”
“Of course,” William replied and Ed had a feeling he was rolling his eyes at him. “Look, I’ll be here when you get back. Though, could you do a favor for me?”
William paused. “Do you best, okay?”
“… Okay,” Ed said, his brother’s words taking a firm root in his mind. “I’ll be the best.”
“You do that, bro.”
Taking a step away from the fence, Ed stood still for a moment. He gave another look to the fence that held the home he was leaving and took a deep breath. At the edge of his hearing, he could hear the flapping of wings and with one last glance, Ed moved forwards and disappeared into the mist.
Wow, was she tired. Not only did she have to get up at six in the morning, but she didn’t even have the rest of the day to look forward too. She could already picture the waiting and the walking and the travelling. It was a nightmare and one that lasted more than a day, in fact.
The bus rumbled from beneath her and sunlight streamed into her face from outside the bus’ window. Leah groaned, closing her eyes and wishing the world would just go away and leave her alone already. Unfortunately, the world followed her like a lost puppy, one that was disguised by cuteness but hid its mad yapping and carpet wetting.
The journey from Fuchsia to Vermillion would be long and hard, but at least Leah could be grateful for the fact that the bus was doing some of the work for them. The bus would take them out of Fuchsia, as far as it could go, and them she and two brats would have to start walking.
Giggling was quite prevalent from behind her seat as Ed and Ally enjoyed the bus ride and each others company. Leah’s genius plan at sitting up at the front when she knew kids went straight to the back was thwarted as both young trainers just took the seat behind her. It was almost as if they were trying to make her life a living hell on purpose; there was no other answer.
“Can you two just be quiet?” Leah asked them, her eyes still closed.
“No,” Ally answered with cheer in her voice, demonstrating her new found confidence, one that did not help Leah’s mood in the slightest.
“I like your phone,” Ed commented to Leah, head on a completely different track.
Leah looked behind her to see her pasty white cell phone being manhandled by her young charge. It looked like he was just randomly pressing buttons and Leah could only hope that he wouldn’t snoop.
“Remember,” Leah said coldly. “You may only use that cell phone when you want to call your brother. That’s all. So, if you’re done…”
Ed held the cell phone close to him. “No, no. Not yet.”
Before she had left Ed’s house, William had practically thrown his cell phone number at her, demanding “weekly reports”. Apparently, Leah’s tale about Seafoam Island had unnerved him. He told her that while he didn’t know what an Ice Plate was or why anyone was after it, he just knew that it was nothing good. So, in exchange for weekly reports, Leah would get any info William dug up on these ‘Plates’.
Giving contact between William and Ed was just a bonus.
“Will said that Mom and Dad are really angry,” Ed said. “They don’t know what to do.”
Leah turned back around. “Hopefully they don’t send the police after us, then.”
There was pause. “Hey, Leah…”
There was teasing tone in Ed’s voice. “If you and Will exchanged numbers, does that you mean you like each other?”
“No,” Leah said, venom dripping with the single word as she crossed her arms and tried to ignore their laughter. Her face felt warm and she grimaced. Her heart was only big enough for Jason Dare; he was all she needed.
To distract herself, Leah looked at the ticket in her hand and thought at what the convention would be like. Jason Dare would be there so that meant it couldn’t be all bad, right? The only thing that made her pause was that the convention was on a cruise ship. Seriously, whose bright idea was that? It sounded weird to her.
Now that she thought about, didn’t Danny mention going to a convention in Vermillion? Did that mean he would be there? If so, then Leah supposed that the convention would at least be interesting.
Leah looked out the window and tried to ignore the laughter in the seat behind her.
It was going to be a long, long trip to Vermillion.
"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 worth it?"
Last edited by Dagzar; September 3rd, 2009 at 08:36 PM.
Continued, because the forum finally decided that my chapter + author notes was way too long (this has never happened to me before!). <_<
A/N: And, Fuchsia is finally done. Wow, this chapter gave me a bit of trouble. No matter how much I went over the Leah / William scene, I just couldn’t get it to be how I wanted it to be. It just came out all awkward. To tell the truth, as Fuchsia went on, I seriously played with the idea of letting William join the trio on their journey, but had to ditch it because William’s leg wouldn’t allow it. <_<
Anyways, I’m sorry for the wait. Hopefully, this chapter is good enough and thanks for reading!
"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 worth it?"
I like the Jason Dare trick, good idea.
Um, I think Will needs to see a doctor.
Something something ponies!
I only found one problem: you put 'run away' as one word, which would make it 'runaway' as in someone who's already run away (as opposed to the correct format, run away, which is the act of... running away). I, as a follower of short chapters, think you could have ended this before the Pidgey-Will-Ed scene, but I guess that's just me and my laziness speaking. xD Keep going on this! It's very fun to read, and I can't wait to find out how Ed's parents are going to react to their son runningaway... [brick'd]
Yay! New chapter(s)!
I was expecting today's (yesterday's) delivery with a bit of anxiety. Mentor is one of the two or three fics I'm following here at PC.
Now, for corrections, what Bakphoon バクフーン and Giratina-of-Never-Turn-Back said above. Also, some things that may sound a bit stange, you may want to check them out:
Then again, it may be just me.
And, of course, my personal comments:
Why does having a little bro/sis always end up bringing trouble? Oh well, there may be some things not even the most powerful Pokémon can solve... The simplicity with which she exudes her threat, yet at the same time the familiarity with which she offers her brother the "obvious way out", tells me that this girl either agrees with her brother but just wants to get something out of it, or that she gets an understanding of how a dream can be crushed so early (as she has asked if the same thing that happened to Ed will happen to her) and instinctively wants to desperately secure herself a fluffy companion that can soother her and lick her tears. Both figuratively and literally.
Now, seeing how she is a little sister, I'm leaning towards choice A myself, but choice B is so interesting and heartwarming, in a way.
After all, this scene slightly after the Koga battles I find quite revealing of her relationship with her brothers.
It's more that when compared to Blaine's battle and taking into consideration the mystery of these "forms", I have the impression that Koga willingly held back or tried to make the battle simply end quickly.
It was a bit less apparent during Ally's battle, but he still sent out a Beedrill of all things, when sending another (fresher) Grimer or having Venonat use the Supersonic strategy he would later use against Ed would have had far better results against that particular Voltorb if Koga had really done the ninja analysis he seemed to have done when he spoke to Ally about her Voltorb.
Or maybe I'm just a bit bitter that the last time I player LeafGreen, Koga somehow managed to almost crush the entirely of my team. The whole "gym levels" issue makes reading a novice-level battle against such leaders as Koga or Blaine always sound a bit strange.
Or, taking a third option, it may have just been the whole "Fuchsia is getting too long" factor.
Or, taking a fourth option, he's just getting old and soft so we'll soon have Jasmine as a Gym Leader?
Whatever it was, it made the battles sound more interesting, but at the same time, at least for me, their conclusions were a bit more disappointing when compared to what happened during the course of the battle.
Also, kudos on William's plan including that part where he fakes illness to disguise an anormal nighttime behaviour. I'll have to remember that part the next time I want to really, really get out from home.
Now, coming back to Leah...
It's very interesting the way how you put out Leah's priorities in life. On one end, she has essentially the everygirl's life she may want to have, devoid of Pokémon training (and, unfortunately, of Sands...) with the plus of being filled with fangirlism, poetic hopes, and a more personal sense of adventure. On the other hand, she has essentially the same life, devoid of Pokémon training, and with the plus of being, the way I see it at least, more truer to herself. I think I can see Leah's conflicts shifting axis, from a mere want v/s neccesity conflict, apparent in the Islands in the way she mentally tried to drop responsibility by keeping herself close to Ally, to a deeper and more loosely connected fairness v/s clearness (as in "getting what she deserves, or what she fights for, versus getting only what life throws at her). If this is the intended direction you are pointing her character development towards, is going to be the new high point that will keep me attached to this fic (not counting Sands of course).
Speaking about Sands, I didn't miss him this chapter, but I think I can smell something in the air... an evil plan... yes, you're taunting me! Because when you asked...
So is that, or I'm really reading waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much into the story!
Hey! I told you your story has me tremendously lured here! :D
Now, to finish and seeing how Fuchsia City and Leah's happiness are left behind, I can only say this:
You better make that Jason Dare guy as neaty and yummy as Leah seems to believe he is, or I can foresee William getting in an endless world of hurt. And that would be quite fun to see!
I'll keep reading this, then!
Thanks for reviewing, solovino!
Chapter 24: Silence
“Okay, that’s enough,” Leah gasped out as she stopped in the middle of the trail, trying to catch her breath. “I need a break.”
Ally, who was farther up the path, turned around and gave the older girl a confused look.
“I’m not tired yet.”
“Yeah,” Ed agreed, standing tall, his face flushed red with exhilaration. “Me either. You’re older than us; aren’t you supposed to be able to walk more?”
“Oh, shut up,” Leah grumbled. Her feet ached, her legs felt like jelly, her heart was pounding and there were several other things that she could complain about. Never in her life had she walked more than she walked now. Not even on her own journey, way back when she was ten.
It was ridiculous.
They had been walking for about a week and a half now and Leah was really getting tired of everything. What would she give for the comforting sights of a city or town, with all its cement glory? The only positive thing that she could say about her surroundings was that it varied quite a bit, surprisingly. Trees came and went, and sometimes, an actual dirt road had graced them with its presence (and it had cars too!) – Which said a lot about her current mental state if she was excited by just some random road.
At the moment, trees surrounded her from all sides and had been doing so since that afternoon. The trees showed that autumn was fast approaching, yellow leaves peppered amongst the green ones. Leah had been starting to notice that it was getting colder too. Summer was leaving and taking the heat with it, which wouldn’t have been that bad if she and the brats weren’t walking outdoors all the time.
Rarely, if ever, did they get to sleep in a Pokemon Center. When was the last time she slept in a bed? Maybe five days ago? In her mind, all the days of walking and traveling blurred together, only making themselves known if something interesting ever happened, like when Ed tripped that one morning and fell into a ditch.
Of course, due to her unfit self, she and the kids weren’t covering as much ground as they could of. Leah had to take constant breaks to rest, while Ed and Ally could run around all day without any side affects.
Damn brats and their ability-to-never-get-tired!
“I wanted to see the bridge today!” Ed whined. “I don’t want to stop yet.”
“Too bad, so sad,” Leah replied and looked at the sky from where she stood. “Besides, its getting dark out. I refuse to walk at night.”
Ally tried to protest. “But it’s not that dark yet.”
And that was true. The sky, despite being a much darker shade than it was an hour ago, still provided lots of light. However, that wouldn’t last for long. Already, the western sky was painted with pinks and golds, a beautiful sight to most people, including Leah, since it meant that she could finally take a nice long break.
Sighing, Leah crossed her arms and wondered how anyone could think that the sun setting meant it was not getting dark. Were the brats that oblivious?
“Yeah!” Ed nodded his agreement to Ally’s statement, anything to convince Leah to keep going. “And what about the bridge?”
“Too bad,” Leah said again, looking around.
Though, despite what she said, that was something that was on her mind constantly for the past few hours: the bridge. They should have come across the bridge by now, or said the map they were using. To tell the truth, Leah was a bit worried that they somehow took a wrong turn somewhere. She knew that they couldn’t have missed it since the trail they were using went right by the bridge.
So, unless she was being slower than she thought, Leah supposed that she should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque.
“Can we please keep going?” Ally asked again.
Leah grimaced, getting really annoyed by her charges’ constant questions.
“No! And that’s final!”
It was already close to the end of summer, Leah thought to herself bitterly. And it had all been wasted on a useless journey with two brats she didn’t even like. Soon, school would start and it looked like Leah wouldn’t even be there soon enough for that. It wasn’t like she was fond of school, but if she didn’t get there quick enough, she might have to repeat a semester or something. And wouldn’t that be lovely?
“We need to find some place to sleep before its get too dark,” Leah informed them, wondering where that place might be. She supposed they could sleep on the trail, but she would feel more comfortable to just find some convenient clearing somewhere.
Ed shuffled his feet and looked around. “But were in the middle of a forest.”
“So?” Leah repeated, going off the path to look between a few trees. Hmm, there had to be a clearing around somewhere…
Ed kept protesting, “Pokemon will be all around us when we’re sleeping!”
Looking back for a moment, Leah just stared at him with a blank expression. “… We’ve always been surrounded by Pokemon while we’ve slept.”
“But those were Rattata and Spearow,” Ed said. “Forest Pokemon are different!”
Turning back to her task, Leah rolled her eyes. “No, they’re not. Besides, Spearow eat the flesh off dead people and I didn’t see you freaking out when they flew close to us.”
“… Spearow don’t do that.”
“Yeah they do. Didn’t you know?”
Ed thought for a moment before concluding. “It’s a lie just to scare me, isn’t it? Like when you told me Sandshrew could rip people apart.”
“You remember that?” Leah muttered to herself, now several steps off the trail and into the trees. She then raised her head. “Oh! I think I found a clearing! Come on!”
Ed and Ally, however, stayed on the trail, only staring at Leah’s back.
“What, is there a spider on my back or something?” Leah’s voice sounded from the darkness. “Come on!”
After a brief glance at each other, the two kids swallowed their nervousness and went off the trail.
“I don’t see why you guys are so nervous,” Leah said, sitting herself down against a tree and having a drink of her water bottle. “Seriously, it’s just a forest. You’ve slept in forests before.”
“Yeah,” Ed agreed reluctantly, glancing at the trees. “But this place is a bit more… creepy.”
Leah raised an eyebrow. What’s this? Was the brave and entirely too reckless boy actually afraid of something? Could it be true?
After taking a brief glance around, Leah still couldn’t really spot the problem. Sure, the forest was much denser than all the others she had come across, making the shadows between the trees darker, but other than that, it was just a random forest.
“What Pokemon are around here?” Ally asked after she and Ed seated themselves across from Leah.
Leah shrugged. “No clue. Probably the regular ensemble of bug types, though.”
“Maybe there’re ghosts here?” Ed said, more as a question.
Leah had another sip of her water. “Maybe.”
Before silence could even start to descend on the area, Ed continued his trail of thought.
“If ghosts are here, would they attack us?”
“That’s a stupid question,” Leah scoffed. “Why would they do that for?”
“They’re ghosts,” Ally whispered, like the ghosts would here her. “Aren’t they attracted to emotion?”
Leah put down her water bottle down and propped up her head with her hand. “Sort of,” she replied and then paused. “Wait, are we talking about ghost-types or ghosts-ghosts?”
Frowning, Ed said, “Both.”
“Oh, come on,” Leah said, rolling her eyes and losing interesting in the topic. “They’re not the same thing! Look, ghost-types are Pokemon that are made of gas and rely on emotions. Ghosts are the spirits of dead people and those don’t exist.”
Ed wasn’t convinced. “How do you know that?”
“Because there’s no proof that they do exist.” Leah shrugged. “End of discussion.”
Suddenly, there was a growl and both Leah and Ed looked at Ally, who was red in embarrassment.
“S- Sorry,” she said. “But I’m getting hungry.”
With a sigh, Leah unzipped her backpack. “Fine, we’ll eat now. Ed, go get some sticks and bring Paras with you if you’re really that scared. Ally, get out Amber and let’s get a fire going.”
After dinner, Leah prediction proved to be correct as night descended upon the forest quickly and suddenly. The sky was a dark shade of blue with only the last few rays of sunlight proving that the day existed. Now, the only light they could really rely on was the yellow glow of the fire Amber started.
“Vul!” Amber said happily as Ally scratched him under his chin, his favorite place. Her other hand continuously petted her Pokemon’s back, basically spoiling the fire-type with all the attention it could possibly receive.
A little further away, Sparks sat silently, staring at his trainer and fellow Pokemon. He didn’t approach anyone (and glared at Ally when she tried approaching him), but he also didn’t attack anyone, which was considered an improvement from some nights.
“Hey, Ally,” Ed said, staring at her Vulpix. “I think Amber’s tails are splitting.”
And what he said was true. It wasn’t very noticeable, but both of Amber’s were starting to split down the middle, starting from the tip.
“He’s getting older,” Ally confirmed, one of her hand fingering the two tuffs of fur at the end of one tail, playing with them.
Ed looked back at his own Pokemon, who he also let out. Paras had positioned himself away from the fire, but close enough to feel a bit of the heat. The bug-type was as apathetic as ever and Ed tried to think of the last time his first Pokemon had shown emotion.
Unlike Paras, Coarlie was happy to spend time with its trainer, something that Ed was taking full advantage of.
“Okay, Coarlie!” Ed said, his purple gooey Pokemon in front of him, having already instructed it on what he wanted it to do. “Transform!”
The Ditto jiggled for a moment before it melted down and started to rearrange itself. Or, try to. Attached to the purple muck, a single brown-ish orange tail flopped around on the ground and a couple of orange stick-like legs stuck out in random directions. The form Coarlie was trying to take was composed of other things, but they melted before they could even form properly and Coarlie was forced to revert back to its original shape, having failed in its task.
Coarlie seemed to be sad as it bowed its head in shame for letting down its trainer.
“Aw,” Ed said, pouting. “It didn’t work.”
“I think they’re too different to be combined,” Ally said, still petting her Vulpix.
Ed nodded. “Yeah.” He brightened up. “Hey, what about a Vulpix and a Sandshrew? Aren’t they in the same egg group?”
“No, Sands can’t join your experiments,” Leah said without looking up. She got the gist of what they were doing by their conversation and she wondered if it hurt for a Ditto to transform like that.
“And stop torturing your Pokemon,” she added as an afterthought.
“Aw.” Ed said, but not really sounding that sad about it. “Though, wouldn’t it be cool if you could combine a Dragonite and a Tyranitar? Wouldn’t that be awesome?”
No longer interested in listening to Ed and Ally’s rapid fire conversation, Leah retreated back into her own mind. Obviously, she was bored. True, she hated the walking and the traveling the journey provided, but at least it was something to do. In-between the traveling and the sleeping, however, was just nothing. She didn’t have anything to do and as much as she liked doing nothing, she would rather do it in her own bedroom, at home, thanks very much.
“Do something,” she told Sands, her voice dull and on the verge of monotone. “Entertain me.”
Sands merely yawned, showing his small fangs, before going back to fawning over his Fire Stone, which somehow got back into the Pokemon’s possession. Leah always wondered if Sands somehow learned to operate zippers or something because she certainly never gave him that stone. The stone always distracted him when he should have been focusing on her.
Wasn’t that what Pokemon were supposed to do? Entertain people?
“You’re a terrible Pokemon,” Leah accused him, but Sands had long learned to ignore her when he wasn’t in battle.
Since Sands wasn’t providing her with any fun, Leah turned her attention back to the conversation behind her. Again.
“… I heard there was a haunted mansion in Eterna Forest,” Ed said, who had apparently gone back to the ghost topic.
“Is Eterna Forest in Sinnoh?” Ally asked.
Nodding, Ed explained further. “I heard that if you go to the mansion at night, you’ll start seeing ghosts. And there’s supposed to be a TV there that’s really haunted. It’s always turned on and I’ve heard that if you watch it, you’ll die!”
“Oh, does a girl climb out of the TV?” Leah asked, rolling her eyes.
Leah coughed. “Never mind.”
“Hey, Leah?” Ed asked now that Leah had drawn attention to herself. “Do you know any haunted places?”
“I don’t believe in ghosts.”
Ally spoke up, nervousness making itself known. “T- There’s the Pokemon Tower.”
“That’s just an old cemetery that happens to be in a tower,” Leah told her. “There’s nothing scary about that.”
“What about your house?” Ed asked, leaning forward. “It’s old. Is it haunted?”
Leah opened her mouth to say ‘no’, but closed it again. Well, her house technically wasn’t haunted, but…
Finally, she said, “You slept over and nothing happened.”
“What about that mansion you went to on Cinnabar?” Ed pressed. “You were pretty freaked out about that one.”
“That mansion wasn’t haunted. It was only falling apart and really creepy. That’s it; no ghosts there.”
Thinking back to the mansion, Leah half-smiled at how stupid she acted. The atmosphere of that place was so creepy that she had convinced herself that the stone Kadabra had actually been real once and had been ‘magically’ turned to stone.
Ah, how she wished she were back in that mansion instead of stranded out in the middle of nowhere.
“You scared, Ally?”
Leah snapped out of her thoughts just in time to see Ally nod her head.
“Ghosts are scary,” Ally admitted, holding her arms like she was cold.
After a pause, Ed turned to Leah. “Hey, can I call William now?”
As random as the request was, Leah still pulled her backpack over and took out her cell phone.
Though, before she handed the phone over, she told him, “You called him this afternoon so five minutes at most. I don’t want you wasting my hours.”
Not that Leah ever used her cell phone.
Ed nodded and took the electronic device, flipping it open. His eyes scanned the small screen as he pressed some buttons.
William, despite Leah’s attempt to forget about him, was not leaving anyone’s minds so easily. Two times per day Ed used Leah’s cell phone to update William on their journey and despite that nothing happened on some days, Ed still called his brother loyally. Of course, after Ed spent nearly an hour on the cell phone one time, Leah was forced to put limit on how many minutes he got.
Because, it wasn’t like William was providing any useful information. Sure, he updated them on the parent situation (current info: the parents still didn’t know what to do and he was still grounded for getting Ed out of the house), but other than that, he was rather useless. And that wasn’t even mentioning the Plate mystery since William had hardly gotten started on that (William being grounded meant no leaving the house and no computer).
Leah looked up at the snap of the cell phone and saw Ed looking worried.
“No answer?” she asked.
Ed swallowed. “No signal.”
Huh. Well, not too surprising. They were deep in a forest so Leah supposed that the cell phone had to fail sometime on their journey.
“Did you talk to him this afternoon?” Ally asked.
Shaking his head, Ed said, “There was no signal then either.”
Leah sighed. “You know, that would be kind of nice to know beforehand.”
Technically, Leah didn’t care. She just felt like scolding Ed for something.
“I thought we were going to be out of the forest by then,” Ed said, trying to justify his actions.
“Well, we’re not,” Leah said dryly. “So, I guess that means you can’t speak to your brother tonight.” She paused. “And we’ll be all alone in a dark spooky forest at night and with no contact with the outside world.”
Ally frowned at the older girl’s words and looked at the ground, trying not to look around herself and fuel her imagination.
“I think we should go to sleep now,” Ed suggested, having the courage to stare into the pitch black openings between the trees.
Leah checked her watch.
“It’s only eight thirty.”
“I- I’d like to go to bed,” Ally said.
Shrugging, Leah waved her hands to their sleeping bags. “Alright then; go on. Goodnight, hope the Darkrai don’t bite.”
Leah smirked at their uneasy expressions.
In the middle of the night, Leah awoke. She did so slowly, hardly being aware of her surroundings except for a cold draft. Shivering, she blindly outstretched a hand and felt around until her hand closed around the cold piece of metal that was her zipper. The sleeping bag shuffled as Leah pulled the zipper up more until she found it satisfactory; the cold draft having been decreased greatly.
Once her job was done, Leah hardly made a coherent thought before she once again slipped into the realm of dreams.
But only for a moment.
The next time she awoke, she only felt a dribble of annoyance. She had become used to waking up in the middle of the night because, who wouldn’t? The only thing separating the hard ground from her body was pretty much a waterproof blanket.
As thoughts swirled around her head, she started to get more and more awake by the minute. She tried to smother the thoughts and go back to sleep, but they wouldn’t go away no matter what she tried. So, all she could do was just lay there and just hope against everything that she would go back to sleep.
A small cracking sound changed her mind.
Instantly, Leah was awake and aware. Her body tensed against her will and her mind raced.
Just ignore it, she told herself. It’s just a Pokemon or something. Just ignore it and it’ll go away. If she got up and saw that nothing was there, she would feel rather stupid, right? And then who knows how long it’ll take her to go to sleep.
Against her will, she cracked open an eye, having to physically fight herself from immediately closing it again. All that talk about ghost Pokemon from the night before had made her feel paranoid. What if there was something like a Gengar out there? No, better yet: What if there was a Scyther out there? Did Scyther even live around the area? Actually, the better question would be: did Scyther eat people? They had to eat meat because what else could those large bladed arms be for?
Why was she thinking about Scyther? She should go back to sleep.
She wasn’t hearing anything else out there so that meant it was nothing.
Taking a deep breath of the night air, Leah let her eye close and snuggled back into her sucky pillow.
Out from beyond her sleeping bag, a sound came to her ears, one that sounded suspiciously like a footstep on the forest ground.
Damn it. There was something out there. Probably.
Now, what was she going to do?
Would she stay where she was and do nothing or would she get up and scare away the Pokemon? Could she chance doing nothing? If she didn’t do anything, would she be killed and eaten in the middle of the night?
“Sands,” Leah whispered, feeling the warmth of the small body pressed against her back. The body shifted as she once again called his name, waiting for the answering growl that came only moments later.
Leah kept her voice as low as possible. “There’s something out there. Get up and use Poison Sting on it, okay?”
The next growl seemed more like a grumble and Leah felt the warmth leave as the body got up.
Keeping all ears open, Leah heard Sands walk away and over where the kids were sleeping, on the other side of the drenched campfire.
At that point, Leah was feeling a bit silly. Oh yes, she had heard a sound in a Pokemon infested forest and had sent her small rodent-like creature to confront it because she was too comfy to get up. It was probably only one of Ed’s or Ally’s Pokemon getting up to go find a convenient bush.
Wow, she was really overreacting-
“Shrew!” Sands shrieked and Leah’s body moved on its own as a rush of adrenaline went through her. She forced herself up and kicked off her sleeping bag, rising to her feet as she stared out into the darkness. She was sure she was getting her socks dirty, but didn’t care.
“Sands!” she said, looking in the direction of where her Sandshrew went.
Her eyes still hadn’t adjusted, but she could see basic shapes. There were two pitch black lumps on the ground that she assumed were the brats curled up in their sleeping bags, and near one of the lumps was another shape. It was small, not taller than a human child, but due to the darkness, that was all Leah could make out.
But, it was good enough for her.
There was a growl and a whoosh of air, and Leah could only assume that the attack was fired.
There was a small sound from the intruder, but it didn’t sound like a cry of pain, more of a snort of laughter.
“W- What?” A voice said groggily and Leah could now see that it was Ed that the intruder was looming over.
Leah shouted a warning, “Get away!”
“A- Amber!” Ally said, having just awoke and seen the current situation on their hands. “Ember! Make light!”
A flash of light erupted from near Ally, and Leah looked away from its brilliance, shielding her eyes with her arms. Weird colors swirled beneath her eyelids and she was sure her newly acquired night vision was just shot to hell.
Not facing the scene, Leah kept her face purposely in the other direction since she was even having trouble looking at the light of the fire on the tree trunks.
“Paras, Stun Spore!” Ed said as he quickly got away from the intruder, going near Ally. “Get it!”
“Sparks! Use Spark!”
There was another flash of light and Leah squeezed her eyes shut again, hoping that at least one of the attacks connected.
From behind her, there was a gasp and thump.
Leah turned around, squinting and trying to see what was happening. Unfortunately, the bright flashes of light kept messing up her vision. Finally, she just asked, “What’s happening?”
“It threw Amber back!” Ally replied and Leah heard footsteps as the younger girl seemingly ran to her Pokemon’s side.
“It’s really strong!” Ed added. “I don’t think any of Paras’ attacks are working.”
Taking a deep breath, Leah walked over to where she heard Ed, ignoring the pokes of the sharp rocks from under her feet. She held out a hand and waved it around until it hit the brat’s soft orange hair.
“Ow.” Ed was close enough that Leah could see him rubbing his head. “What was that for?”
“Focus,” Leah scolded and took in the dark blurry shape of the small intruder that was still hanging around Ed’s sleeping bag.
Ally’s voice sounded from behind them. “W- What is it?”
Sighing, Leah tried to calm down and think about the situation. It was a bit hard to concentrate since her body was mostly on autopilot and she couldn’t see a damn thing. All she knew was that a Pokemon was threatening them and the three of them were fighting back, trying to scare it off. Other than that, she had no clue what was really going on. And it didn’t help that everyone was making a lot of noise.
Suddenly, Leah’s thoughts were interrupted when a silence fell upon the night. Opening her mouth and intending to ask what was going on again, the words were caught in Leah’s throat as a wave of tiredness overtook her. She stumbled back, putting a hand on her head and tried to blink away the sleepiness.
There was a yawn from her left as Ed forced out, “W- What?”
The yawning was contagious since Leah unleashed a breath as well. Why was she suddenly so tired? Was the adrenaline wearing off or something?
‘Hypnosis’, a part of her mind provided and before Leah could even think, her legs had started to move on their own and she found herself walking away from Ed and Ally. If a Pokemon was attacking, she might as well get out of its range, right?
There was a whoosh of air from behind her and Leah got the strange feeling that she just dodged something. She turned back around just in time to see Ed’s limp body falling to the ground, making only a thump.
“Ed?” Leah asked, rubbing her eyes and had to put effort on staying on her feet. “Ally?”
There were no answers.
Leah mentally groaned. There must have been a second Hypnosis!
Turning her head, Leah looked at Ally’s fallen form for a moment before calling out, “Sands?”
This time, there was an answer as her Sandshrew was kind enough to come up to her and nudge her shin. Leah would have liked to kneel down, but she was afraid that she would be too tired to get up again if she didn’t keep standing. She may have avoided the second Hypnosis, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t tired as hell.
Okay, Leah thought. Now what was she supposed to do? Ed and Ally were down for the count and she had no clue what happened to their Pokemon. So, it was only her and Sands against some Pokemon that snooped around human camps in the middle of the night. And might eat people, for all she knew.
“Sands, let’s get it,” Leah told her trusty Pokemon and stared directly at the dark shape that was now coming closer to them. The attacking Pokemon seemed light on its feet as it made no sound as it moved and it almost looked like it was floating. For once, Leah wondered whether she was facing a ghost… type. But that idea was thoroughly squashed when she heard the rustle of Ally’s sleeping bag as the Pokemon stepped on it.
Okay, definitely not a ghost.
Sands brought her back to reality. “Shrew!”
“Scratch it!” Leah commanded, shaking her head. “Bite it if you have to.”
The Sandshrew left an empty hole at his trainer’s side as he went off and Leah suddenly realized that apart from Sands, she was completely alone in this battle.
Swallowing, Leah quickly walked in a wide arc around the battle and came up behind the intruder. After a second of thought, she went over to Ed’s backpack next to his sleeping bag, which she picked up with a grunt of effort. She didn’t want to fight any unknown creature with just her fists, thanks. Ed’s backpack could probably make a good weapon. Though, seriously, how could Ed carry something so heavy?
Heaving it over her shoulder, she abandoned the slight fear that had worked its way into her chest and went directly over to the attacking Pokemon.
At that moment, Sands had jumped onto the intruder and dug his claws into its skin, but the Pokemon spent little effort at bucking the Sandshrew off. Sands rolled on the ground before picking itself up and growling.
“Hey” Leah greeted, going around the intruder so she could confront it face to face. In the process, she stepped in front of Sands, and the opposing Pokemon looked at her with narrow eyes. Now that she was so close, Leah took in the human-like creature’s appearance with its long nose, yellow skin and pointed triangular ears.
In one motion, Leah let the strap of the backpack slide off her shoulder and into her hand, where she let the weight of the bag control her motions. The backpack swung back until it hit her side and then Leah used her whole body to swing the bag forward, right at the Pokemon. The backpack hit the intruder squarely in the face and that’s when things went weird.
As Leah swung the bag, her arms suddenly felt stronger as the bag seemed to lose weight. It was only then that she realized that Ed hadn’t closed his bag properly and now everything was falling out it. Because of that, the weight of Ed’s bag didn’t have the impact Leah hoped it would have.
Leah swore as she realized the situation. Damn it, Ed!
The Pokemon, meanwhile, stumbled back and then took a few more steps back of its own free will. It apparently wasn’t used to get such a fight from its prey. Not only did a bunch of Pokemon attack it, but so did a human directly, which probably freaked it out quite a bit.
“Hey!” Leah shouted as the Pokemon turned tail and started for the forest.
Oh no, it didn’t! That Pokemon had disturbed her sleep, forced her to actually get up, threw her Pokemon around, put Ed and Ally asleep, made Leah make a mess of Ed’s bag (not that she cared) and now it was running away and not letting Leah beat it up? How dare it!
In an offended rage, Leah picked up one of Ed’s now scattered items and hurled it at the fleeing Pokemon’s back. It was only when the item left her hand did a surprised dread overtook her.
Unfortunately, her throwing skills were top notch and the Pokeball gracefully sailed in the air and hit the Pokemon right on its back. There was a click as the Pokeball opened, and with red light, the intruder was stopped in its tracks and was pulled inside the ball. With a crackle of branches, the Pokeball fell into the bushes just out of the clearing and Leah held her breath.
After only a moment, there was a second click and the Pokemon didn’t reappear.
There was silence on Leah’s part, her hand still partly raised, too shocked to put it down again.
What did she do? … What did she do!?
“Sands,” the Sandshrew said happily as he trotted up to his trainer and sat on his hunches, assuming that he won the battle since the opposing Pokemon was no where to be seen.
Leah was still silent.
After a minute or two, Leah snapped out it. “Screw it,” she said, shaking her head and looking at the mess around her in disgust. “I’m not dealing with this.”
With tired motions, Leah walked over to her sleeping bag and sat down; brushing the excess dirt off her socks before she entered her crappy bed-replacement and zipped it up again. She placed her head on the pillow and when Sands followed her and sniffed her face, she gave him a glare.
“I’m going to bed. Goodnight.”
And that’s what she did.
The next morning dawned with a clear blue sky, signifying a beautiful day.
“What happened?” Ed asked for probably the thousandth time as he checked around the camp to see if he had forgotten to pick something up.
Leah sighed from where she sat. “I told you. The Drowzee went through you backpack before I could stop it and then me and Sands scared it away.”
Pouting, Ed crossed his arms. “That’s it? Really?”
“Oh course,” Leah replied, in a tone of voice that suggested she was insulted that he doubted her.
“Don’t Drowzee eat dreams?” Ally questioned, feeding Amber a treat from her hand. “Why was it going through Ed’s backpack?”
With a shrug, Leah answered, “How should I know? I don’t know Drowzee.”
As she said those words, though, Leah couldn’t help but glance at the bushes where the Pokeball still laid. The image of the Pokeball flying in the air and catching the Drowzee kept replaying over and over again in her mind. So much so, she had almost convinced herself that it was a dream.
“Ready, Amber?” Ally asked her loyal Pokemon and Amber answered affirmative with a bark. The girl had a quant little smile on her face, like the last night shenanigans had never happened.
Looking up to meet Leah’s eyes, Ally blushed a bit as she assumed that the older girl had noticed her mood.
“Sparks obeyed me!” Ally explained, hardly able to keep the words in her mouth. “Last night! Didn’t you see?”
Leah snorted. Was that it? It was only one attack; nothing to really be excited over.
“The electric attack was pretty bright!” Ed said, giving Ally a grin. “I guess Sparks is starting to like you now!”
Ally nodded in agreement, beaming. “Yes!”
Before Leah looked away from the disgustingly cheerful scene, she noticed Ed was starting to wander over to the bushes where the captured Drowzee was.
“Alright,” Leah said loudly, getting up and making a show of throwing on her backpack. “Let’s get moving.”
Ed turned his head with a frown. “But I’m still looking for my stuff.”
Waving it off, Leah turned her back on them, looking out to where the trail was.
“Just leave it. It can’t be that important.”
“But I don’t want to waste Pokeballs!” Ed whined, still having not moved away from the bushes. “I’m still missing one!”
Leah felt herself pale, but quickly regained her composure. “No! You want to get to the bridge, don’t you? Hurry up!”
“Maybe you miscounted?” Ally suggested as the boy finally started to back towards them.
“I guess,” Ed said, still frowning.
Guiding them away from the clearing, Leah only stopped when they were back on the trail. She kept glancing back at where they were.
“What’s wrong?” Ally asked her.
Leah held up a hand, a plan forming in her mind. “Uh, Sands still hasn’t come back yet.”
“But I thought you returned Sands to his Pokeball?” Ed chimed in.
“No,” Leah lied, feeling the familiar weight of Sands’ Pokeball in her jacket pocket. “I let him go off for a bit. I thought if it looked like we were leaving, he’d come back.” She then continued without waiting for a reply. “Look, you guys stay here, I’ll get go get him. It’ll only take a minute.”
Before their mouths could even open, Leah was off, getting back to the clearing in only a few seconds. With a glance behind her, she saw Ed and Ally trying to peer through the trees.
“Sands?” Leah called out for her charges’ benefit, going over to the bushes in front of her. “Where are you…?”
Leaning over the bush, she pushed the branches apart, revealing a Pokeball sitting in the dirt, grime covering the white portion of its form.
“There you are,” Leah muttered, picking it up. The sphere was cold from staying outside all night and she rolled it around in her hand, getting a feel for it.
She didn’t like Pokemon. That would never change. But that didn’t mean she was just going to leave a captured Pokemon in the bushes. Rarely could a Pokemon break out of its Pokeball after being captured and unless some person released it, Pokemon couldn’t escape their prison. In fact, just a few months ago, a Pokeball made headline news after it was found, having washed up on the beach. Apparently, the Pokemon inside had been trapped in the Pokeball for years and had long died of starvation when it was released.
That news report made her shiver. There was just something about being trapped somewhere for years at a time, alone, that made her feel very uncomfortable.
Since Leah didn’t know how to release a Pokemon properly (it was more complicated than just letting it wander off, that she knew for sure), she didn’t have much choice but to take it with her. The next time she came across a Pokemon Center, Leah promised herself that she would release the Drowzee and be done with whole matter.
Of course, it was best to keep her new Pokemon a secret from Ed and Ally. If they got wind of it, she was sure that they would try to force her to keep it. They would do anything to make Leah accept being a trainer and not just randomly ditching them one day.
“You get him?” Ed asked when Leah reappeared on the trail.
Leah felt both of her Pokeballs in her pocket with her hand and grimaced.
A/N: Sorry that I didn’t update yesterday! This chapter really needed tons of work and I spent two hours last night touching it up and another hour today just to make sure it wasn’t totally sucky. Despite that, I still don’t really like how this chapter came out (the ending is fine, but the beginning? Don’t get me started).
Anyways, I have two questions for you guys (technically, three). First, there’s a three-part-chapter coming up and to make sure it’s in its top form, I’ll have to purposely skip a week to get a chapter ahead. So, do you guys want me to skip next week’s update or the week’s after that update? It makes no difference, but I just wanted to ask anyways.
My other questions are just out of plain curiosity: I want to know what your guys’ favorite and least favorite chapters are, if you wouldn't mind.
Okay, first thing's first: DROWZEE! YES!!
...Um, sorry, Drowzee is actually one of my favorite Pokémon. Moving right along.
There were a few errors here, but I could only find one upon re-reading:
Dagzar, you've done it again :D
Drowzee? heh, I love how alost all of the Pokemon that are appearing are the ones that are regularly forgotten and looked over, despite being awesome.
Now, if sombody were just to catch a Farfetch'd....aw, never mind. Still, your chapters are still looking good. I noticed one or two errors, the one that giratina pointed out and also:
I dunno, that just seemed an odd use of hyphens to me. I would have thought it would work better without them, but it's not exactly important.
You convey the personalities of your characters well. I truly like how you capture their expressions as well.
"To me, jumping out into the rainy sky on a mad night is nothing more than a bit of fun to go with a drink." -Kinzo
Thanks for reviewing you guys!
Wow... I started reading this today and could not stop. I'm still nowhere near the latest post. It's just so grabbing to the reader, a quality that every writer wants... I can definitely see how it's so popular.
Okay, so you write the first part of the chapter. Release it, but name it 'ChapterTitle Part One' or something. Then write the second part, release it, and title it 'ChapterTitle Part Two' and so on until you finish the chapter. Basically, cut the chapter's storyline into pieces and write each one as a long 'part'.
Is that any better? D:
So, yeah, I also want to let you guys know that I’ve decided I’m going to skip next week’s update. I have lots of things to prepare.
Chapter 25: Vermillion City
Finally, finally they had arrived in Vermillion City.
It was a fact Leah just couldn’t get over. For two long weeks, she had survived in the wilderness with just two brats and a lazy Pokemon for company. Now that she was away from that, it felt so weird to not be surrounded by trees anymore. Not only that, but it was quieter than the annoying sounds of nature of Pokemon. The only thing that she could hear were the cars on the road outside her room’s window and the constant footsteps of people going up and down the hallway from beyond her door.
Other than that, it was dead silent.
“This is much better, Sands,” Leah commented, more to herself than to her Pokemon. She continued, “I mean, wow! I never thought I’d be so glad to lie down on an actual bed!”
Sands merely yawned, showing his disinterest in the line of conversation. From on top of the bed, Leah glared at him for not appreciating the fact like she did. The only thing that Sands seemed to care about was that stupid Fire Stone. If you starved him, beat him or even threw him into a river, he probably wouldn’t care as long as he had his precious, precious Fire Stone.
God, sometimes Leah hated the Fire Stone.
Silence made itself known and Leah basked in it. It was probably going to be one of the only times she was ever going to be aloud to since Ed and Ally could come back any minute now, bringing back the noisiness with them.
Actually, now that Leah seriously considered it, when would the brats be back? How long did it take to explore a Pokemon Center, anyways? There couldn’t be anything interesting downstairs that was worth looking at. So, that probably meant that either they were getting lunch (not likely since they only ate a couple hours ago) or were getting into trouble. And if there was one thing Leah couldn’t underestimate them in, it was getting into trouble.
Which would be fine with her if Leah wouldn’t have been getting into trouble with them. You see kids running around and making a mess of things: blame the parents. You see kids that didn’t have any parents around and were making a mess of things: blame the people currently responsible for them; meaning Leah.
That would have been reason enough for getting up and going downstairs, but unfortunately, the bed was too comfy to ditch it.
“Seriously,” Leah asked Sands with a bit if disbelief. “How can you sleep on the floor all the time?”
Sands opened one eye, but closed it again without reply.
Leah just grumbled, “Stupid Pokemon.”
Pokemon; now that reminded her. What was she supposed to do with it?
With much effort, Leah lifted an arm and reached for her backpack that was leaning against the bed. After a bit of time, she was able to free the Pokeball from the clutches of her bag and held it up above her face so she could glare at it properly.
She still didn’t know what to do with it. Having still not forgiven the Drowzee for messing up that one night and causing such a problem, Leah was thinking of how to get rid of it. Because honestly, there was absolutely no way she was going to keep it. That was for certain. To start, she didn’t want it. Second, it wasn’t like she was going to be a trainer for much longer anyways, so there was no point in keeping it. And thirdly… she didn’t like it.
And that last reason was a valid concern! She couldn’t name any trainer that used a Drowzee, famous ones or just trainers she vaguely knew from school. If people wanted a psychic-type, they’d go for Abra or maybe even a Psyduck, if stupid duck Pokemon suited them. But Drowzee? They were ugly and weren’t as strong as an Alakazam or Golduck could be. Not only that, but Drowzee had a certain… reputation to them (though, to be fair, that reputation was mostly centered on its evolved form, Hypno).
So, she had to get rid of it. But how? She could have just left it where she caught it and hoped some other person would find it, but it just rubbed her the wrong way to leave a Pokemon in a Pokeball for a long time. She could have also just released the Pokemon right then and there, back in that clearing, and just do something with the Pokeball later, but… she wanted to make sure that the Pokemon was released properly.
“Goodbye, stupid Pokemon,” Leah muttered to herself and used all of her will just to motivate herself to sit up. Instantly, she wanted to lie down again, but she reluctantly crushed the feeling.
She had work to do and the faster she got rid of the unwanted Pokemon, the better. It was only a bonus that she could check up on Ed and Ally also.
Sands looked up at the wrong moment and caught Leah’s eye.
Pocketing the Pokeball, Leah knelt down next to her Sandshrew and kindly patted his head before she grabbed him around the middle and took him into her arms. Sands yelped and couldn’t do anything as Leah held him like she would a cat, only holding his legs and letting him look over her shoulder. She didn’t need to devote another arm to him as she felt the pinprick of his claws as the Pokemon held onto her shoulder.
“Shrew!” Sands called out to his Fire Stone, which was sitting abandoned on the floor.
“You like that thing too much,” Leah explained, opening her room door and locking it when they were in the hallway. “If I gave the Fire Stone to Amber and let him evolve, you would probably have a heart attack or something. This is for your own good, Sands. I’m only helping you.”
By ‘Helping’, Leah meant that she just wanted to watch him squirm.
The hallway was a bit busy, people scattered throughout it. Leah dodged them, not apologizing when she bumped into anyone, and went to the stairwell. Once at the bottom, she opened the main door and entered the lobby of the Pokemon Center.
To most people, the lobby would have been very busy and packed, but all Leah had to do was think back to the Cinnabar Island Pokemon Center and dismiss the notion.
Since the Pokemon Convention was only days away, people were already arriving in Vermillion City from all over the region. Due to that, the whole city was irregularly busy, so much so that when Leah asked to have a separate room from the two kids, she was denied because there wasn’t enough room.
Leah glanced over the lobby.
“Alright, Sands. Who should I ask for help?”
Since Leah had no clue on how to release a Pokemon properly, she might as well get some help. Unfortunately, now that she looked, the two people behind the front desk looked busy and Leah didn’t feel like waiting.
They really should have more people down here, Leah thought to herself as she went to the payphones. Since all the real people were busy, she would just have to call someone and ask. She knew some people, right? They could help.
It was only when she picked up the phone, did she wonder who she should actually call.
“What do you think, Sands?” Leah asked, putting the receiver to her ear and holding it with her shoulder as her now free hand went to the numbers.
Sands didn’t reply, only shaking his head when Leah’s hair got into his face.
“I guess Grandmother could help,” Leah mused out loud. “But…”
Since her grandmother was the one who forced her to go on her journey, Leah wasn’t feeling any friendly emotions towards her. The only time she had ever been in contact with her closet family was after the Seafoam Island incident, where Leah was kind of forced to call since she was in the hospital. Even then, her grandmother wasn’t that concerned or surprised; only asking to know if “she was having a good time” in her creepy, laughing-behind-your-back tone of voice.
So… yeah. Grandmother was out.
Who else was there? … Actually, the better question would be whose phone numbers did she know?
Leah scowled and hung up the phone again. “Damn it.”
Well, she supposed it wasn’t much of a problem. She didn’t need to call anyone. All she had to do was go find a computer and look up the information. See? Simple.
It would have been a nice idea if she didn’t get distracted.
Turning her head, careful not to disturb Sands, Leah looked up in time to see Ed and Ally coming towards her, Ed waving a hand just in case the older girl somehow didn’t see them.
“What?” Leah said as they stopped in front of her. “Got bored?”
Ed dodged the question. “Did you know there’s a fan club down the street?” he asked excitedly.
“It’s really nice!” Ally added.
“There’s fan clubs everywhere,” Leah replied and then frowned. “Wait, you went out of the Pokemon Center?”
“We just went down the street,” was Ed’s excuse.
Leah’s frown grew deeper. “Don’t leave the Pokemon Center without me,” she scolded. “If I lose track of you guys, I’ll really be in trouble.”
Waving it off, Ed tried to hurry the conversation along. “Yeah, yeah. Anyways, at the fan club, someone there has some Pokemon eggs and she’s letting people buy them! Can we have one?”
The sudden change of topic caught Leah off guard. “What?” She paused to process the information. “Pokemon eggs? No, it’s probably just someone trying to scam you. And don’t you have your own money?”
“She won’t let kids have them,” Ed huffed and then brightened. “So, can you get one for us? Please?”
“I don’t think we’re getting scammed,” Ally added. “I’ve never seen Pokemon eggs like them before and I’ve studied eggs in school!”
Yeah, Leah thought sarcastically, like a fourth grade education allows people to pick out scams.
Leah mentally groaned. They weren’t going to stop with the pleading any time soon, would they? She didn’t have the patience to deal with it.
“I’ll look at them,” Leah conceded and glared at the happy expressions that formed on her charges’ faces.
Ed pointed out the Pokemon Center door and grinned at Ally. “Come on! Follow me!”
And so, Leah took a firmer hold of Sands and followed the brats out the door, a scowl on her face the whole way.
Having returned Sands to his Pokeball (because she didn’t want people to mistake her for a ‘fan’), Leah was able to get a good view of the club.
Alright, she supposed that the fan club did look rather cool... if you were a five-year-old.
“This place is…” Leah started, but was forced to stop as she didn’t know how to describe it. The wall paper was decorated with Pokemon patterns that catered to younger children and the floor had a giant Charizard on it. The fan club did seem rather popular though, even if most of them were children, parents or stupid younger trainers that somehow found the place interesting
“Cool, right?” Ed asked, but didn’t wait for a reply. He instead raised his hand and pointed at a door on the very far side of the room. Leah doubted Ed could even see the door properly because so many people were between him and the place he wanted to go.
“That’s where the eggs are! Come on!”
Leah frowned. “Hey-”
Too late, as before Leah knew it, the two brats disappeared into the crowd, leaving her behind.
Did they have to rush? Leah thought to herself with annoyance. The eggs wouldn’t all be gone five minutes later.
Alright, Leah admitted, she supposed that the eggs probably weren’t a scam. They didn’t look like regular eggs, not with their pale pink shell and darker pink markings… But there was just something about the girl who owned them that made her neck prickle. She looked rather pleasant and had a small smile on her face, though there was something about her demeanor and her tone of voice that suggested that she didn’t like being around kids.
“Please?” Ed whined after Leah had had a good look over of the eggs. It was at that point Leah wondered if the egg-seller-girl would keep quiet if she strangled the annoying brat right in front of her.
“Are you going to buy one or not?” the woman directed at Leah, the one who was most likely to have money.
Leah glared at him. “Give me a minute.”
Hoping her headache would go away soon, Leah took a deep breath and tried to think things over. Now, she didn’t care at all which Pokemon Ed and Ally caught and how they got them. She didn’t care if they wasted their money on something that would probably turn out to be a stupid Jigglypuff. Keeping in mind that if she said ‘yes’ to them, the brats would probably be delighted and would stop their whining and then Leah could once again enjoy peace and solitude. If she said ‘no’, they would be all grumpy and then they’d never leave her alone.
It should have been an easy decision, but Leah had the habit of thinking ahead and knew saying ‘yes’ would just cause problems. If her charges got a Pokemon egg, the egg would have to be taken care of a great deal, so whenever the brats got bored and wondered off (which they did most of the time), Leah would be the one looked after the egg. And more work for her was always a negative in her book.
Besides, Leah didn’t like the egg-seller-girl for some reason. She seemed… off.
“No,” Leah finally said. “A Pokemon egg is way too much trouble.”
Ed’s face fell. “But-”
“You don’t want to look after it all the time, right?” Leah verbally pounded into his head. “Besides, once it hatches, it won’t be able to battle until a few months down the line.”
“I wouldn’t mind,” Ally said.
Leah ignored the girl. “We’re not interested,” she said to the egg-seller-girl and then pushed the brats towards to exit.
Ed was still pleading. “But we’ll look after it!”
“No you won’t,” was Leah’s chilled reply.
Once they were back into the sunlight and onto the street, Ed and Ally’s moods were quite evident.
“It was probably a Mew,” Ed grouched to Ally. “We could have had a legendary!”
Leah snorted as she walked behind them. “Don’t be stupid, Mew are extinct. It was probably a Jigglypuff, and everyone knows how annoying those are.”
“I would have looked after it,” Ally said, not letting the idea go. “Baby Pokemon are cute! It wouldn’t have to battle.”
“You have a baby Pokemon,” Leah pointed out.
Sighing, Ally looked dejectedly at the ground. “Amber’s tails are splitting; he’s not a baby anymore.”
“But that’s good, right?” Ed asked, leaving the Pokemon egg discussion behind. “Amber’s going to be even stronger now! And maybe, you can evolve him into a Ninetales!”
“I don’t have a Fire Stone...”
Ed pointed back at Leah. “Leah has one.”
“No,” Leah said, not even thinking about it. “Sands would freak.”
Looking back at the older girl, but still walking, Ed asked, “I thought you didn’t care about Pokemon.”
Leah confirmed, “I don’t care about Pokemon, but I need Sands for this journey. I can’t piss him off.”
That was partially true. Leah needed at least one Pokemon for the journey or she wouldn’t be much of a trainer, right? But she also couldn’t help but think that she was starting to care too much about her Pokemon’s feelings. Who cared if Sands lost the Fire Stone; it wasn’t as if he really needed it. Despite that, ‘Sands would freak’ was the only reason that Leah hadn’t thrown the Fire Stone into Vermillion Bay yet. It was like a rule that had somehow glued itself to her brain and no matter how many times she scrubbed, it wouldn’t come off.
“Do you think I should catch another Pokemon?” Ally wondered out loud.
“Yeah!” Ed exclaimed, thinking to himself. “We should all catch more Pokemon. More is better, right?”
Leah sighed and, not bothering with Ed, talked with Ally. “You’re still having trouble with Sparks,” she told her. “You should hold off until you get him under control.”
“… I guess,” Ally agreed after a pause, looking a bit sad. “But most trainers should have six Pokemon by now…”
“Look at me,” Leah said, pointing to herself. “I’ve been an ‘official’ trainer for five years and I only have one Pokemon.” She paused, though, as she remembered the second Pokeball in her pocket, but quickly started talking again. “Besides, those six Pokemon must be pretty weak. Those ‘most trainers’ are stupid.”
For a moment, Leah thought she heard Ally mutter, “No, they’re not stupid.”
But the older girl mentally shrugged and wrote it off as her imagination.
“Hey, I know!” Ed spoke up, pointing to a sign that hung above the road. “Let’s go see the S. S. Anne!”
Leah looked up to read the sign Ed was talking about. It was your standard road sign and all it said was that the ferries were close by.
“Why?” she asked. “We’ll be seeing it in two days.”
Grinning, Ed forced her and Ally to stop in the middle of the side walk so they could talk without distractions.
“But I want to see it now!” was Ed’s well-thought up reply.
“It would be nice to see it when it’s not busy,” Ally added.
Well, Leah thought to herself, it wouldn’t matter too much. Other than her Drowzee problem, which could be taken care of later, it wasn’t like Leah had anything better to do at the moment.
… Leah couldn’t help but wonder if she was going soft. She was actually willing going with the brats to sight-see?
It was a first time event.
“Fine,” Leah said, watching Ed grin widely and exchange a small high-five with a giggling Ally.
Damn it, she was going soft.
“Wow,” Ed said, craning his neck to look upward.
Ally agreed. “It’s very pretty.”
For once, Leah was also staring with a bit of awe. She knew that the boat would have to be big to fit all the passengers….
But this thing was enormous!
The S. S. Anne stood tall and proud with a gleaming white body. The sun hit it in all the right angles and made it look even better. It had windows all along its mass, all in neat little rows and some even had balconies. Though, since Leah and the brats were right up close, it was a bit hard to tell. Backing up a bit didn’t help at all since the ship was just so huge! How many floors did the ship have? Twenty or something?
“Whoa,” Leah finally said, but then shook her head. It was a ship! That was all. There was no need to be impressed by it.
In an effort to get the image out of her head, Leah looked backwards at the long, ten lane road behind her. It was nearly empty at the moment, the last ferry having departed nearly ten minutes ago, though there was a stray car or two waiting at the front of the line for the next one.
The chain-linked fence, which separated them from the water, clanged, the metal hoops straining against each other as Ed leaned forward, putting nearly his entire weight on the fence.
Leah grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back, the fence clinging back into place.
“Stop that, you’re going to break it.”
“Sorry,” Ed said, but obviously didn’t mean it, his smile betraying his mood.
Ally was a bit gentler with the fence, only curling her fingers into it. “I wonder what being on the boat will be like.”
“Cramped?” Leah suggested.
But Leah honestly didn’t believe what she was saying. The ship was huge! It was too big to be cramped. You could probably fit the whole city on there and still not run into people in the hallways.
Since Ed and Ally were too taken to the ship to be any good conversation, Leah started to look around again, her eyes pausing over the small building that functioned as a waiting area, a place that probably sold snacks and drinks. Well, she was a bit hungry…
“Getting food,” Leah told them as she started to walk away. She kept her ears open, but didn’t hear any signs of Ed and Ally hearing her.
The shop was only about ten meters away, not far to walk and a bell jingled on the door as Leah walked inside the shaded room. There was no one there, just empty seats, the plastic type you’d find in an airport or some place like that. There were two doors at the side with the boy and girl bathroom signs on them and on the far wall of the room were three vending machines.
She went up to them and read one of the labels.
“Three fifty for a bag of chips?” she asked out loud, feeling rather insulted. There were cheaper chips at the Pokemon Center for crying out loud! What a rip off.
Leah went into her pockets anyways, looking for change. Even if the prices weren’t that great, she was hungry and that was all she really cared about.
As her hands searched her pockets for something more than a few coins, she happened to look up and out the window.
And something happened to catch her eye.
It was a truck; just a truck. There was nothing special about it from where Leah was standing. The truck sat at the bottom of a hill (though, judging by how steep it was, ‘cliff’ would be the better word) and on top of dirt and sand. It was really close to the water, close enough that Leah wondered what would happen when the high tide came in.
Though, that wasn’t the strange part.
The small alcove the truck was sitting on was surrounded by either cliff or water; there was no road of any kind.
“Wonder how it got down there,” Leah wondered to herself, abandoning her search for money when she couldn’t find enough.
Just before she turned away from the window to go back outside, a movement grasped her attention.
Now Leah was puzzled. “A guy too?”
The figure stood close to the truck, standing completely still after having moved from behind the vehicle. He was looking out towards the water, at the S. S. Anne. Other than the dark-colored hat and what looked like blond hair, he appeared rather plain with a blue hoodie and jeans.
Leah looked at the door behind her, and wondered if Ed and Ally would mind if she just amused herself by staring at the guy for a few more minutes since he seemed to be the only interesting thing around.
Not that she cared about the brats’ opinions, of course.
Seconds ticked by as Leah amused herself by staring at the guy, but he still didn’t move, being so still that she wondered if he was asleep on his feet. But then, like he was reading her mind, the guy looked up and turned so that he immediately caught Leah’s gaze.
They held each other’s eyes and a beat went by before the guy broke it, turning his head and bringing a hand to the flip of his hat, pulling it lower.
Leah frowned. Oh yeah, like trying to hide your face wasn’t suspicious at all. Was the guy doing something illegal? If so, then she’d best get out of there. She didn’t want to get caught up in things like that; it’d be much too troublesome.
But still, she didn’t move, her curiosity overriding her logic. What was that guy doing? If he wanted to watch the boats, somewhere higher up would be better suited for the task.
Apparently thinking that she had left, the guy looked up again, but looked away just as quickly.
Maybe he was shy? Leah thought to herself, having fun entertaining thoughts of what the guy was doing.
Suddenly, the guy moved, pulling something from his pocket and letting it drop to the ground. Light manifested and a Pokemon took shape, one that Leah didn’t recognize. The only thing she could tell of it was that it was around knee-height, had a white coat and a long tail. Since those characteristics were pretty common, Leah supposed that she wouldn’t know what the species was any time soon.
“Oh, what now?” Leah groaned, listening to a repeat call of her name from outside the waiting room. Just when things were getting interesting, the brats just had to interrupt her, didn’t they?
Looking back to see how the guy was doing, Leah’s eyes widened.
He was gone!
“Leah!” Ed said, the door jingling as he and Ally walked in. “Let’s go!”
“What?” Leah asked, turning to face him with a frown, trying not to turn back and stare at the empty space beside the truck. “I thought you wanted to look at the ship for longer?”
“I’m bored,” he said with a shrug, demonstrating how low his attention span was.
Ally looked like she disagreed with her friend’s opinion, but still said, “Can we get something to eat?”
Waving her hand at the vending machines, Leah replied, “Go right ahead.”
“Good thing I brought lots of money,” Ed commented, bending down so that he could get a better view of the selection.
Leah scowled at the boy’s back as Ally went over to join him. It was like the boy was mocking her…
“Oh!” Ally exclaimed, pointing to one of the items and turning to Ed. “It has Poke-Treats! Our Pokemon would love those.”
Ed took out a dollar bill from his pocket and fed it to the machine. “I remember Poke-Treats,” he said. “I used to eat them all the time when I was little.”
“They’re not for humans,” Leah pointed out, going over to the plastic chairs and sat down.
The vending machine made a small growl and Leah could see the two metal coils that held the food in place open up, the food being pushed to the front. The packet of Poke-Treats fell down and Ed reached downwards into the opening of the machine to grab them.
“They look just how I remember them!” Ed exclaimed as he examined the bag.
The two kids came back over to Leah and took the two seats next to her, Ally, thankfully, sitting next to the older girl rather than Ed.
Ally went into her pocket and pulled out a Pokeball, enlarging it. She released Amber in front of her and the Vulpix stood on his two back legs to put his forepaws on Ally’s knees.
“Aw.” Ally smiled, patting his head.
“Come on, Leah,” Ed said, copying Ally to send out Paras. “Sands can eat some too.”
Leah pulled out a Pokeball, but then hesitated. “How addictive are these to Pokemon?” she asked, not wanting Sands to get obsessed with food. The Fire Stone was good enough, thanks.
Opening the bag, Ed took a piece and popped it in his mouth, ignoring his companions’ disgusted looks.
“Pretty good human food,” he admitted, before answering the question. “I know William sometimes feeds Squirtle and Pidgey these, but they don’t go crazy over it.”
“… Fine,” Leah said, deciding a few scraps of food couldn’t hurt that much.
Leah threw the Pokeball instead of just opening it, always amused at how Pokeballs bounced like a rubber ball without breaking. The Pokeball impacted the wall, opened, and then smoothly bounced back to her hand, like a Basketball.
“Sands-” Leah started, but stopped.
The Pokemon in front of her wasn’t Sands.
Its upper body was colored yellow while its lower was brown, the colors separated by a single wavy line. It was as tall as Leah’s waist and since Leah’s mood just went to hell, she could honestly say it looked as fat as it was tall. The Pokemon didn’t look very beat up from that chaotic night three days ago, with only a couple scratches here and there.
Ally squeaked and Ed jumped up, managing to stop his bag of Poke-Treats from spilling.
“Oh, god ****ing dammit,” Leah swore, not caring that she shouldn’t be using those words in front of ten-year-olds.
The Drowzee said nothing, only staring at the group with narrow eyes. Then, it turned its head, its small trunk lifting slightly to give it an image of being confused.
“Zee?” it finally said.
Ed broke out of his shock, swinging around to face Leah and pointed an accusing finger at her.
“Y- You have a second Pokemon!”
“No I don’t,” Leah said quickly, not wanting them to think that she wanted it. “Its capture was a complete accident.”
Ally was quicker on the uptake. “You caught it when it attacked us?” she asked, watching the Drowzee as it took slow and careful steps around the room.
“I was going to get rid of it this morning, but you guys pulled me away from that,” Leah told them.
“You’re going to get rid of it?” Ed asked, not being able to comprehend. “But… it’s your Pokemon!”
Leah couldn’t see his problem.
The Drowzee, after walking an entire loop around the room, came back to the trainers, standing in the same spot it was when it was released. It didn’t seem as confused as before, its ears perked up as if it didn’t want to miss any information that might come its way.
“I’m not keeping you,” Leah said to the Pokemon, raising the Pokeball so that she could return it.
“Drow,” the Drowzee said and, in a complete disregard for the unwritten rules of Pokemon training, sidestepped the red beam of light.
Leah frowned. “Look, I’ll return you to the wild, so stand still.”
“I think it wants to stay with you!” Ed said, jumping onto a theory. “It knows if you return it, it won’t be able to stay.”
“Being a trainer’s Pokemon,” Leah countered. “Means doing what the trainer wants you to do. And I want it to go away.”
Everyone fell silent as the Drowzee approached Leah, being useful by standing right in front of the outstretched Pokeball. Leah stared at it, confused and that only heightened when the Pokemon raised its three-fingered paw and placed it on top of Leah’s.
And then things got weird.
Leah had always heard stories of psychic Pokemon. One’s where they could telepathically communicate with people and seemed more human then animal. Personally, Leah had always scoffed at those stories because if psychic Pokemon were so smart, why did they fight for humans? It made no sense.
Well, turns out the stories were half-right.
Fields of color flashed before Leah’s eyes, the pictures too vivid to be her imagination. Hues of yellow and orange swam in her mind, and with it came a feeling of happiness that rose from her gut to her head and made Leah feel like laughing. There was a sense of determination intertwined with joy, an ambition to be strong and not be defeated. A couple of thoughts swirled around, ones that were much too different and simplistic to be Leah’s own.
However, just as quickly as those feelings and thoughts came, they disappeared when the Drowzee took her hand away.
Leah shook her head. “That was weird.”
“What happened?” Ed asked as Leah lowered the Pokeball, letting it roll onto the empty seat beside her.
“Apparently-” Disbelief was evident in Leah’s voice and she knew that if she wasn’t the receiver of those feelings, she would never have believed it. “This Drowzee here doesn’t want to leave.”
“How do you know that?” Ally asked, coming closer when it didn’t seem like the Drowzee was going to attack again.
Leah paused. “The Drowzee… told me? Something like that.”
“So, you’re going to keep it?” Ed questioned.
“She,” Leah corrected shortly, putting off answering the question. “The Drowzee is female.”
Ed, however, wasn’t going to let her get away that easily. “Are you?” he pressured.
Staring at the Drowzee with narrowed eyes, Leah crossed her arms.
No, she wasn’t going to keep it. Even if she played with the idea of getting a psychic-type after seeing Lorelei’s Slowbro- No. Leah refused to follow that line of thought. The only thing those thoughts would lead to were fantasies, and those had the habit of convincing her to do stupid things.
She didn’t want a second Pokemon.
Although, a psychic-type could be pretty useful-
The Drowzee was rather powerful-
Unfortunately, Leah’s mind must have been corrupted by the Drowzee’s… psychic-thingy, because it turned against her, allowing her to see the benefits of having a second Pokemon.
She wouldn’t have to rely on Sands as much and, no matter how much she tried to convince herself, psychic-types were some of the most powerful Pokemon. Of course, it wasn’t like she had dreams of becoming a Pokemon Master, but psychic-types could do things other Pokemon couldn’t, like predict things. Also, Leah couldn’t help but think on how having a second Pokemon would benefit Sands as well. With a Pokemon friend, Sands wouldn’t need his Fire Stone anymore and then Leah could finally be rid of the thing.
It was an answer to a lot of her problems!
“I’m only tagging along until your fourth badge,” Leah told Ed and Ally, frowning slightly. “Then I’m going home. Sands is small, I can keep him around, but not a Drowzee.”
Ed, for once, saw where the conversation was going.
“I’ll take her!” he exclaimed, volunteering himself.
Ally nodded. “We’ll look after her when you’re done.”
Alright, Leah thought, that took care of that…
So, really, there wasn’t anything else holding her back.
“Fine,” Leah said, looking at the Drowzee. “I’ll take you, but there’s no way you’ll be staying with me longer than a month.” She hesitated, still unsure if the psychic-type could understand what she was saying. Leaning forward, she placed a hand on Drowzee’s bald head.
“One month, then you’ll with those two.”
The Drowzee blinked, then nodded, and before Leah took her hand away, a flash of yellow obstructed her vision.
The Pokemon was happy then, Leah deduced as she finally returned the Drowzee to her Pokeball. The Pokemon was pretty cheerful. Were all Drowzee like that?
Throwing another pellet of Poke-Treats in his mouth, Ed grinned.
“You should nickname her.”
“No,” Leah said and glared at him. He and Ally convinced her to keep the Pokemon and now they were trying to get her to nickname the Drowzee? Would they ever be satisfied? She added, “And don’t lecture me about not giving nicknames. I don’t see your Paras having one.”
Despite that, Leah started to wonder what a good nickname would be for a Drowzee. Her Sandshrew was nicknamed ‘Sands’, part of his species name. So, following that logic, a good nickname would be something like ‘Zee’, right?
Leah shook her head.
No, just… no.
A/N: Nothing to comment on this one. Thanks for reading!
Chapter 26: The S. S. Anne (part one)
“I can’t see!” Ed whined, standing on his tip toes and trying to see over the heads of the crowd in the doorway
Turning to Leah, he asked, “Can you give me a boost?”
“What? No,” Leah answered, not quite sure why Ed was so upset that he couldn’t wave goodbye ‘properly’.
It was your regular cliché, people from the ground waving goodbye to the cruise ship as it went past and people on the ship also waving their hands in the air from all available decks. Or, not quite a cliché since it apparently happened in real life.
It was around nine in the morning and the cruise ship, S. S. Anne, was just departing from Vermillion City, although it took its time while doing so. From what Leah could tell, people were lined all the way along the dock down below, waving goodbye to their family and friends on the ship. Having always thought herself to be quite tall, Leah was annoyed to admit she was having a bit of trouble looking over people’s heads as well.
“Over here!” Ally called out from a bit further away, having found a hole within the wall of people in front of one of the windows.
Ed jogged over and after a moment of thought, Leah went to follow him.
As the two brats pretty much pressed their faces against the window, Leah only watched from a distance as the ship past the crowds, who were cheering and waving their arms in the air. The people on the ship were joined in with cries of ‘goodbye!’ and ‘I’ll miss you!’ Due to that, there was a continuous roar of noise that made Leah wince and wish she was somewhere quieter.
Actually, now that she thought about it, Leah could admit that it would be the perfect time to ditch the brats and go start her hunt for Jason Dare. Unfortunately, Leah had only been to her and the brats’ room once so far (just to drop off their bags) and she wasn’t quite she would be able to navigate her way back.
“Are you done?” Leah asked.
“We’re still waving!” Ally replied, showing her point by exaggerating her waving a bit.
Ed agreed with a small, “Yeah!”, as he was too focused on outside events to pay any attention to what the teen was saying.
Luckily, Leah had looked at the brochure she got for the trip and knew exactly how to counter those types of attitudes.
“Really?” she asked, smirking. “You know, since everyone’s here, there’s not going to be any line up for the ice cream parlor, right?”
That did the trick as both kids stopped what they were doing to turn to Leah with wide eyes.
“There’s ice cream?” Ed asked, incredulously.
Leah made a show of shrugging. “Well, yeah. But, since you’re too busy waving, I suppose we could stay here…”
“You’re bribing us,” Ally accused the older girl, but showed she had no problem with it by smiling.
In under a minute, Leah, Ed and Ally had ditched the cheering crowds for the semblance of normally that was the hallway.
“Where do we go?” Ed said.
Since Leah only knew there was ice cream on the ship, but not where, Leah pointed at Ally.
“I know you have a map. Let’s see.”
Without complaint, Ally reached into her bag and handed it over, Leah immediately unfolding the monstrosity. The map took time to unfold from the rectangular brochure sized parchment that Ally had wedged it into, and as it got bigger and bigger, Leah’s expression grew blanker.
“… Alright,” Leah finally said, the map nearly reaching down to her knees. “Ed, grab that corner; Ally, get that other one.”
With a bit of experimentation, the three trainers managed to get the map between them, held out like a blanket that was about to be folded.
Leah looked over the map with gray eyes. “Ally, there were other maps, right?”
Blushing, Ally kept her eyes focused on the map. “Yes, but I thought just getting one would be less trouble.”
“I don’t see any ice cream,” Ed said, not really caring about how big the map was.
“Keep looking,” Leah grunted. Her end of the map happened to be a map of the three decks on the ship. The only thing that really came out of her search was that the S. S. Anne had two swimming pools, something that would have been interesting if Leah had brought her bathing suit.
Ally smiled. “I think I’ve found it.”
Looking over, Ed followed Ally’s finger to see a little square box with the number ‘32’ on it, and then noticed that up at the top, ‘32’ was labeled ‘Flotsam’s Ice Cream’.
“That was fast,” Leah commented as the map was quickly and messily folded up again and given back to Ally.
Leah led the way. “See?” she said. “Isn’t this more exciting than waving?”
Coming up beside her, Ed nodded eagerly, seemingly already tasting the ice cream.
Along the hallway were more doors that tapered off to the other areas of the ship, but those weren’t the ones Leah wanted. The door at the very end of the hall, on the other hand, was exactly where she wanted to go. Leah hardly had to put any effort into pushing open the very light doors and once they opened smoothly, all three of them froze in the doorway.
Having taken a different route to get to their room, the trio had avoided the main entertainment area entirely and seeing it for the first time was definitely a shock.
There was only one way to describe it: it was a mall.
A mall on a freaking ship.
Leah’s shoes thumped on the pale brown carpet and her eyes darted all around her, staring at the signs above the shops and into their windows, seeing the merchandise on sale. Walking forward, Leah stopped in front of a gold-colored railing and she put her hands on the cold metal, noticing in the corner of her eye that the staircase was only a few feet away.
Then, she leaned over the railing and looked down.
And then up.
“How many floors does this thing have again?” she asked, a bit dizzy. There were only two floors above her, but below… well, that was another story.
“This place is amazing,” Ally breathed.
Ed was also looking around, his eye pausing over the items on sale. “There’s a lot of stuff here!”
It took a moment for Leah to snap out of it. “Let’s go,” she said, leaving the railing behind to go towards the staircase, the kids following behind her. Luckily, the Ice Cream Parlor was only one floor down and not, like, five. It was especially lucky since the staircases didn’t move.
After getting to the next floor down, it didn’t take long for anyone to spot the Ice Cream Parlor and its pink and white banner above it. There was no sitting area, unfortunately, so Leah had to stand off to the side while Ed and Ally went up to the man behind to counter and badgered him with orders. After about a minute, Ed and Ally came trotting back over to her, Ally holding a single scoop of vanilla and Ed holding a double scoop of chocolate ice cream.
“Can we go explore?” Ed asked.
“You’re eating,” Leah pointed out, but then scowled at herself. Why should she care? If the brats weren’t satisfied with just ice cream and wanted to go explore as well, there was no point in saying no. Casually, she asked, “What floor is our room on?”
“Nine,” Ally said between licks.
Ed smirked. “Do you think you’re going to get lost?”
“No,” Leah lied. “I only want to see if you two know where our room is.”
Thankfully, Ed let it go and as the he and Ally went off, he called out, “See you later!”
And then, she was alone.
Leah took a few in a random direction before stopping.
Now what was she supposed to do?
From where she stood, she could still see Ed and Ally’s backs, mostly because there weren’t many people around. She supposed she could catch up and just follow them around for a bit until she got used to the layout... What was she thinking? She didn’t have time for the brats! She only had three days to find and meet Jason Dare; there was no time to waste, especially with a ship this big.
“Alright,” Leah said out loud and then continued her jaunt in a random direction.
If she walked enough, she should run into Jason Dare eventually.
Eventually, being the key word.
Two hours later, and Leah’s patience decided that ‘eventually’ wasn’t good enough. Since the ship had left the harbor, the people waving goodbye had spread out, doing what everyone else was doing: exploring. Because of that, a crowd was starting to form and no matter where Leah walked, she could never get away from it. Not only that, but the noise was atrocious. People just kept chatting and chatting and chatting; it was really annoying, especially since they were doing it loudly.
And she wasn’t even going to get started on the Pokemon. It was all well and good (and annoying) that people showed their love for their Pokemon by letting them out their Pokeballs while exploring, but really! Weren’t there any restrictions on it other than size? Hardly ten minutes ago did Leah see some kid walking along with his Charmeleon, the fire Pokemon’s tail swinging like no tomorrow.
Another thing: being on a cruise ship seemed to transform everyone into loud-mouthed brats. Everyone wanted to have a good time and would bash anyone who got in their way.
Leah rubbed her should and glared at the guy’s retreating back. He didn’t even apologize for pushing her!
There were so many people that Leah had trouble keeping an eye on all of them. Just in case Jason Dare happened to walk by, Leah had to be alert and focused. The crowd was so thick, however, that Leah could only assume that she had walked past the celebrity without noticing a thing.
Finally, Leah’s patience wore out and she finally answered the pleading of her legs to go find a chair somewhere.
‘Somewhere’ happened to be in a Technical Machine store.
Yeah, she also surprised when she spotted a few comfy chairs in a store that obviously didn’t need them. Though, to be fair, the TM shop seemed to be sharing the chairs, and its space, with something that looked like a magazine store.
Leah winced as she sat down. Maybe if she had given up sooner, her legs wouldn’t have been screaming at her now. Looking around, her eyes wandered over the shelves of small boxes, knowing that each one contained a colored disc. Some of the boxes, she noticed, were in a different style than the others, looking more… cool, for a lack of a better word.
Trying to amuse herself while she rested, she picked up a magazine from a rack beside the chair and looked at the cover.
The cover was rather enthusiastic, showing a young woman with short blond hair and what Leah could only describe as a ‘sexy’ smile. She was posing in a rather revealing pose, showing off her slim body, made all the easier by the tight jumpsuit she was wearing. Above the woman was a caption with bright letters, proclaiming, ‘Pokemon Master Jade Rogue does it again!’
Chuckling, Leah flipped over the cover, always ready to be entertained by Jade Rouge’s antics.
Whenever Leah was watching the news, she almost always got to listen to the latest scoop on Jade Rouge, the youngest Pokemon Master in Kanto. She was a celebrity on par with the Elite Four, though it wasn’t clear whether is was mostly because of her almost supernatural ability in Pokemon battles or because of the scandals that always surrounded her.
Leah read the article, smiling slightly, but was also a bit disappointed because the article was just repeating old news. It was about the celebrity’s recent views regarding Pokemon battling and whether it was considered slavery or not.
Huh. How boring.
The Pokemon / slavery debate was a bit exciting at first when it popped up a few years ago, but now it was just old news. Obviously, Pokemon thrived on fighting and it was what made them grow and develop. Sure, some Pokemon didn’t fight, especially when they were kept as pets (a fate usually befallen by Meowth), but that wasn’t very healthy for them.
Oddly, in the past year or so, thinking that Pokemon battling was wrong was starting to become a bit of a fad. Pretty much every day celebrities came ‘out of the closet’, so to speak, and spoke out against trainers. Jade Rouge just happened to be the most hilarious with that view since she was a trainer herself. One moment, she was scolding people in general at letting Pokemon beat each other up and the next, she was proud to admit that she beat Whitney (some gym leader from Johto) in a no-holds Pokemon battle.
It was hilarious, really.
Personally, Leah had no opinion on the debate. She didn’t care about Pokemon, and if it was slavery, why should she care? She’d still send Sands out into battle, no matter what people said. Because if not, then what was Sands useful for?
Leah put the magazine back into place and considered picking up a different one when a head and a familiar voice popped up from behind her.
“Well, well, well. If it isn’t the Sandshrew Girl.”
Her heart somehow leapt into her throat and jerked her head towards him, startled.
“Yup,” Danny said, grinning as he took a seat in the chair next to hers. “It’s a surprise to see you here.”
Leah got a hold of herself. “I guess,” she replied, surveying him. He looked almost exactly the same since she last saw him nearly four weeks ago, though he did look a tad scruffier, if that was possible.
“So,” he started. “What’re doing here for? I didn’t think you’d be the type to attend a Pokemon convention.”
“I got dragged,” Leah said, not mentioning the other reason she was attending.
Danny nodded, sympathizing. “Then what’d you do with the brats, then? Ditch them?”
“They ran off, no clue where they are.”
“And you’re not worried they’ll run into trouble?”
“I don’t care,” she told him and he smiled, like that was the correct answer.
“Cool,” he said and looked around. He got up and went to the nearest shelf and silently read some of the labels under the boxed TMs. “Hey, you getting one of these?”
“Why should I?”
He shrugged. “Dunno.” Picking up one of the boxes, he grinned at it and then tossed it to Leah, who caught it with a surprised expression.
“You should teach your Sandshrew that,” Danny said, picking up another box. “Then, maybe you’ll have a chance against Lucifer or Teddy now.” He added, “They’ve both gotten way stronger.”
Leah snorted after reading as she read the box and lightly tossed it on Danny’s abandoned chair.
“Like Sands could use Earthquake properly.”
“True,” he admitted. “But it would be rather cool to see your little Sandshrew moving the earth like my Rhydon can.”
Not putting down the box in his hand, Danny held it and read the label again and before going into his pocket to bring out a wallet.
“I’m definitely buying this,” he said to Leah as he went over to the counter to pay, Leah’s head turning to follow him.
After the TM was bought and bagged, Danny motioned for Leah to get up and follow him.
“Come on,” he said, the white bag swinging from his hand. “It’ll be more fun to explore together.”
Leah glanced up at him, thinking. She wasn’t quite interested in exploring, but it was true that she had been rather bored at just walking around all alone. Ed and Ally were nowhere to be found, and wasn’t like she had anything better to do than walk.
So, under the protest of her still tried legs, Leah got up and followed the older teen out of the store.
“It looks ancient!” Ed exclaimed. Just when he thought things couldn’t get any more awesome, something comes up to surprise him.
However, Ally wasn’t as impressed.
“It looks weird,” she said as she bent down to get a better look in the glass case, eyeing the old-fashioned Pokeball. It was the same size as a regular Pokeball, but as the caption posted on the glass said it couldn’t minimize, making Ally think that it must have been really tiring to carry around. The button on the center of the Pokeball was stuck out in an awkward fashion and had grooves all along it, for trainers to turn and open easily.
It didn’t look very pretty.
Ed continued, “I would have loved one of these!”
For around ten minutes now, Ed and Ally had been exploring the mini museum that they had stumbled across. It was rather small, though, and contained old Pokemon artifacts, ranging from Pokeballs to statues.
While Ed enjoyed the sight of the Pokeball, Ally started to wander, going towards the wall where some old tapestries hung. They mostly depictured ‘legendary’ Pokemon in bright colored strings that were all weaved together. The tapestries were much nicer in Ally’s eyes, although she giggled at how odd the Pokemon looked with their outstretched limbs and ghastly faces.
“An Entei!” Ed exclaimed, coming up from behind her, also looked at the tapestry Ally had paused before. “Cool.”
The Entei looked close to what it looked like in the present with long brown fur and the crystal-like spikes that stuck out of its back. Woven like it was running with its outstretched legs, the legendary’s white tail was trailing behind it. Entei’s most unique feature, its three-part mask, looked poorly sewn on, like the person who made it didn’t know exactly what the Pokemon looked like.
“I wonder if there’s a Suicune painting,” Ally asked herself, liking Suicune more than the other legendary beasts.
“Hey, Ally!” Ed exclaimed a few feet away, staring down on one of the other glass cases in the room. “Look at this!”
Ally walked over to see what had gotten Ed more excited then usual.
It was in a glass case and was rather uninteresting at first glance. It was a slab of stone, its edges perfectly cut and it sat on the cushioned floor of its case. It was more rectangular than square and it had a brown hue. On its surface were little squiggles in a language Ally didn’t understand.
“It’s nice,” Ally said and noticed the stone seemed to sparkle in the light, like it had tiny little jewels in it.
Kneeling down, Ed read the caption attached to the glass.
“It’s from Sinnoh!”
“That’s far away,” Ally commented. “I wonder how it got in Kanto.”
Ed shrugged. “Dunno, but it looks pretty cool.”
‘Cool’ was an understatement. There was just something about the slab of rock that made Ed never want to take his eyes off it. Maybe it was because it sparkled, but whatever it was, it somehow gave off the feeling of strength. Like, if Ed picked it up right now, he was sure he could do anything and would be even stronger than Leah! And then Leah wouldn’t be able to drag him around anymore!
Taking Ed’s place in front of the caption, Ally said, “It says that the rock doesn’t have a name.” She paused, thinking. “I wonder what it is. If it’s in a museum, it must be important.”
“I bet Leah would know what it is,” Ed said, nodding to his answer. “She knows lots of stuff!”
“Maybe,” Ally replied, but secretly didn’t think so. Leah only knew basic stuff and she wasn’t that helpful most of the time. So even if Leah knew what it was, Ally doubted that the teen would even tell them.
Ally turned to look at Ed and noticed that the boy had his arms crossed.
“I think we’re being watched,” he said, casting suspicious glances around him.
The comment seemed a bit random to her because not once for the entire time they had been in there did Ed ever act anything other than enthusiastic.
“Watched by what?” Ally asked.
Ed took another look around before saying, “Ghosts.”
“Don’t worry, Ally,” Ed said, noticing her slightly hesitant look and returned it with a grin. “I’ll protect you.”
Ally was still unsure if Ed was being serious or not, but decided not to play along.
“Can we leave?” she asked, Ed’s words making her aware of an uncomfortable feeling at the edge of her mind. It felt a bit like she was being watched.
Ed nodded quickly. “Sure! This place is getting boring anyways.”
Together, the two trainers left the museum behind, although Ally continuously shot looks back behind her.
“We need to stop there too,” Ed said, pointing at one of the shops.
Ally nodded, stopping in the middle of the hall so she could mark it down properly on her new, much smaller, map. There were already several blue marks on the places both Ed and Ally wanted to visit, so many that Ally wondered whether they would have enough time tomorrow and the next day to visit all of them.
With a whoosh of air, Ed pushed open the door to the second floor shopping center. It was rather crowed, people and their Pokemon everywhere.
Unfortunately, there were only weren’t enough hours in a day and it seemed she and Ed had dilly-dallied at the museum for a bit too long (if fifteen minutes could be considered ‘long’). By the time they got out of there, it was nearly three and now an hour had gone past just by looking into stores. Already, they had looked in several places so far, including a Pokemon merchandise store that sold several items like Hyper Potions and Revives, and a Build-a-Bear workshop, where Ally had enthusiastically promised herself to visit tomorrow.
“Hey,” Ed exclaimed and Ally looked up to see him pointing, not at another shop, but into a crowd that was forming around a doorway a bit further off. “I think I see Leah! Come on!”
Grabbing his companion’s hand, the two trainers were swallowed by the crowd as they pushed and shoved their way to the front.
Turning her head at the shout, Leah mentally groaned when she saw them. Just when she was starting to have fun…
Danny said her thoughts out loud with a grimace.
“We’ve been spotted.” He narrowed his eyes in thoughts. “Damn. You know, I would run right now, but I really can’t miss this.”
“I’ll take care of them,” Leah said with a similar scowl. “Though, if you happen to have any candy that could possibly bribe them with, better speak up now.”
Since the older boy had no such bribing merchandise, the two teen could only watch the brats come towards them.
“There you are!” Ed said, paying no attention to the strange teen with her.
Ally, however, did and looked down when he turned his dark-eyed gaze towards her.
“You guys need something?” Leah asked, wanting to get the brats out of the way quickly and neatly.
“Not really,” Ed said, drawing out the last word. “Well, there’s this museum-”
Danny entered the conversation. “Oh, the one of the fifth floor?” He turned to Leah. “Don’t bother going there; it can’t even compete with the Pewter City Museum.”
Ed frowned, the teen finally getting his attention.
“I thought it was cool.”
“Yeah, well-” Danny shrugged with a grin. “Maybe for a kid like you it is. When you’re older, though, you’ll be able to spot these things.”
In an act of teasing, Danny ruffled Ed’s hair, the younger boy visibly tensing and scowling.
“Don’t do that,” he snapped.
“Leah,” Ally said, positioning herself so that she stood closer to Leah than the other guy. “There’s this stone in the museum and the caption didn’t say its name. Do you think you could tell us what it was?”
Leah listened, a bit curious. It wasn’t like a place like a museum to not label their artifacts. Well, she didn’t know much of museums, so maybe that was common?
Ally did, the image coming easily to the front of her mind and she used her hands to show the older girl its shape and size.
Surprisingly, Leah also had an image come to mind, though it was a bit different than what Ally described. Instead of some dusty pink color, it was a light blue, and instead of it coming from a museum, it was from an icy little island.
“Dunno,” Leah answered, keeping the knowledge of the Ice Plate to herself. As far as she knew, there were no other Plates that existed. And if there was, what was it doing in a museum? If it was incredibly important (or that’s how Lorelei acted), wouldn’t it have been stolen already?
Suddenly, there was a click and the door the four were standing next to opened and a head popped out.
“It’s ready,” the random guy said and quickly disappeared as the crowd shifted forward.
Danny hissed, “It’s open. Let’s go!”
“Where are you going?” Ed asked, following Leah and Danny thought the doors, Ally beside him.
“Watching a battle,” Leah said truthfully, ignoring Danny’s frantic head shaking.
Ed’s reply cemented his decision.
Together, the four exited the dark hallway and entered a bright arena. Rectangular lights hung from every spot on the ceiling, illuminating the whole area, leaving nothing to the shadows. Surrounded by bleaches on three sides, the familiar white boundary lines marked the center of the floor where the battle was to be taking place. It looked like the stadium was two floors high, the bleaches standing all the way to the ceiling, giving plenty of room.
Danny scanned the bleaches and pointed out a good spot around five rows up. “Up there!”
“Wait for us,” Ed said, frowning as he pulled Ally up the steps and managed to snag the quickly disappearing seats around the two teens.
“You sure you want to watch this?” Danny asked the two kids, leaning forwards so that Leah wouldn’t get in the way of his stare. “It’s probably going to be pretty boring.”
Ed crossed his arms. “It’s a battle! It can’t be bad.”
Slouching, Danny leaned over to Leah. “You sure you can’t get rid of them?” he asked in a low voice.
“I can hear you!” Ed said loudly, keeping his eyes on the battle field.
A tap on his shoulder had the younger boy looking at Ally.
“M- Maybe we should move,” she said, making sure not to look at Danny. “I wouldn’t mind.”
“No!” Ed declared, giving a glare at Danny. “We’ll stay right here!”
Danny was about to reply, but Leah scowled at him.
So, for around twenty minutes, Leah was forced to be the middle-man, keeping both her ears open as she tried to listen to two conversations at once. Danny and Ed seemed to be fighting for her attention (Ally being smart enough to stay out of it). Luckily, the boys weren’t fighting each other, both pretending that the other didn’t exist.
Unfortunately for Danny, Leah was reluctantly taking Ed’s side. Ed was ten so he was allowed to be a brat (as much as Leah hated to admit it). Danny was older than her, so he technically should be the mature one.
Around her group, the noise level was pleasantly low toned, the seats having been filled up very quickly. It seemed like no one wanted to miss the battle, and if everyone was acting like Danny was (anticipation with a side order of fanboy-ism), then it was apparently every trainer’s destiny to watch the battle.
Luckily, any further arguments were interrupted when a loud electronic shriek sounded above their heads. Almost everyone in the small stadium covered their ears and muttered to their neighbors.
Leah tilted her head back and looked at the roof. Due to the lights, she was able to spot the speakers above everyone’s heads.
“Attention everyone!” an unseen person said, the words vibrating around the room. “This is an exhibit battle hosted by the Pokemon League. Thank you for waiting patiently, the battle will begin shortly.”
Down on the empty floor, a door opened a four people walked into the stadium, each leading a Pokemon.
Since Leah wasn’t that high up, she was able to recognize the Pokemon as a Mr. Mime. It was rather obvious, really, with its human shaped body pink and white body and its odd dark blue hair.
“What are they doing?” Ally asked, watching the Pokemon being led onto the platform by their trainers.
“Maybe they’re going to fight?” Ed suggested.
Danny sighed loudly. “They’re going to put a barrier around the platform, obviously. What do you think will happen to the crowd if a Pokemon used Flamethrower? We’d be toast, of course.”
“There are never any barriers on TV,” Ed said, frowning.
Leah gave Danny a warning glare before cutting in.
“Barriers are usually invisible so everyone can see what’s going on.”
The trainers watched the proceedings. The four Mr. Mime were positioned around the white square, two of them standing in the trainers’ boxes. The Pokemon raised their hands at the same time and almost instantly, a barrier rose between them, flashing several colors in the light, reminding Leah of liquid gasoline in sunlight. Then the colors faded and the Mr. Mime lowered their hands, immediately being led out by their trainers.
“So the barrier’s still there?”
“Yes,” Leah answered, hoping Ed would shut up now that it looked like the battle was going to begin.
Suddenly, a roar started to form and Leah looked down to see two figures walking out the door the Mr. Mime walked out, side-by-side and getting up onto the platform. They separated, each going to a trainer box and then stood opposite of each other. One of the trainers was a man with slick black hair and wore an unbuttoned black business suit. The other trainer couldn’t have been more different. She was old with graying hair and looked like your regular old lady, although Leah knew better.
Leaning forwards with wide eyes, Ed spoke up, “Is that-?”
A referee also entered the stadium and stood in-between the trainers, outside the invisible barrier. He raised both his flags and spoke, the microphone pinned to his shirt amplifying his voice.
“This is a battle between Gym Leader Giovanni from Viridian City and Elite Four Agatha from Pallet Town!”
Over the roar of the crowd, Leah could here Ed shout, “Look, Ally! It’s Agatha! Agatha!”
“I told you that you wouldn’t want to miss this!” Danny yelled in Leah’s ear.
Leah, unfortunately for Danny, wasn’t too impressed, despite feeling her heart beat like crazy.
Agatha of the Elite Four. Now, what was she doing here of all places? Giovanni, Leah could see; it wasn’t uncommon for gym leaders to go to conventions. But a member of the Elite Four? That was entirely different.
Though, Leah didn’t have to think long on why Agatha was here. An Elite Four member in the same place where a very important artifact might be?
What a… coincidence.
A/N: Sucky end to chapter is sucky.
Anyways, sorry this wasn’t up yesterday; I got distracted while editing and was forced to complete it this morning. This chapter isn’t as exciting as I quite wanted it to be, but it’ll do.
Yay! And this story continues.
Adventures in the grass, road to Vermillion that is not free from certain dangers. I liked how you made Ch. 24 an exercise in tiredness and how you swiftly overstated that Leah was in pretty bad shape for a girl ten-and-somethings years old who is supposed to go around happily training five Pokémon and an HM slave. Add to that that Ed and Ally will be happy to point that out and you get the kind of good scenes that, well, you get in this fanfiction:
That brings me tos the whole thing with the intruder/attacker/whatever at night. Trying to get something out of the packs, so Leah sends (why not?) Sands. And the intruder using an hypnosis attack, interesting (and revealing the identity of the intruder at that point). Now, for some reason I didn't like how the "battle" turned out in the end, but the whole skirmish in the middle of the night was a nice way to add some sugar adrenaline to the adventure. I liked that Leah had to go from Plan C to plan C (from the second hypnosis) to Plan C (when Drowzee tried to run). I liked the attitude she expressed during that attack and how it seems to reflect what should be contained during Leah's battles with the Ekans Kid. Maybe what I didn't like was the Drowzee simply trying to run and the actual capture being so accidental, but, granted, it added an extra level of development to two characters. Well, yeah, Drowzee are ugly... but at least they are a good Pokémon to have... maybe... let's all bow down to the Hypnotoad Drowzee.... this review has not been carried out under the influence of my favourite Drowzee and expresses a completely impartial exercise or my authentic, unadultered free will...
Wait, what was I talking about?
As for the latest chapter, I want to start by asking one simple question that has me a bit intrigued: just how frigging large is the S.S.Anne????? Leisure cruiser, I get it. But... A mall -- not just a store but a *mall* -- inside a ship is no small thing, I seem to remember Americans have a particular fascination with malls that they have to be big enough that anything and everything can be bought there and if possible an independent government can be established inside... like this cartoon I saw once where the protagonist walks into a mall and there are roads (as in car roads) and a weapons corridor where you can buy your own helicopter! -- O'kay, enough with the malls! There's also the ice cream shop, a battle arena (and this is Pokémon, so a battle arena has to be big, Mime barriers or not), and if that's not enough well the walking and leisure areas have to be tremendously large, I mean this:
Poor Leah having to walk around what must have been the equivalent of a city downtown... I'd guess it makes sense she didn't wanted to use the elevators, because with corridors being that cramped and people letting their Charmeleon out...
...And the elevator music by the way? I'm surfe it would be like these 33 1/3 jazz vynil tracks. Don't ask why... I just... think... and laugh...
But seriosuly, you managed to write in a very damn big setting and you did it pretty good. Every part where you describe something about the ship leaves very clear that there's too much to describe in every direction.
And Sands. Being pulled away from his beloved Fire Stone at every chance. Zippers? Nah, if it suited him I'm sure that Sandshrew would manage to learn to pick up money from the wallet and buy a chain for his Fire Stone just in case. And Leah admitting so coldly that she can't afford to upset Sands is a very notorious reminding of her relationship with him.
These chapters have been really good; unfortunately I haven't had the time to read them slowly and deeply, as a matter of fact only after I write this review I'm saving the fic for further read, let's see if I can at least help with something grammar-wise. But rest assured I remain faithful to this fic. The interactins between the characters are way too good to miss. I mean Ed v/s Ekans Kid... what the heck is going on there??? D:
Thanks for reviewing, solovino! Heh, just as I was about to update, too.
Anyways, it’s Friday! So, chapter:
Chapter 27: The S. S. Anne (part two)
Nidorino growled, jumping back to dodge Gengar’s swipe of its ghostly hand. The poison-type growled again and lowered its head, showing off its horn to its opponent. Gengar chuckled, narrowing its bright red eyes as ghostly matter started to take shape in its paw. With a roar, Nidorino leapt at its foe, horn first.
“Is that the best you can do, Giovanni?” Agatha asked, cackling. “You’ll have to do much better than that!”
“Agatha,” Giovanni replied smoothly, eyes trained on the battle in front of him. “I know exactly what I’m doing.”
If there was one thing Leah hated doing, it was waking up early in the morning. Especially when doing it willingly. By waking up early, it meant that she would be more tired later in the day, which meant that she was so tired that she had to go to bed early, and thus, a cycle would start.
An annoying, vicious cycle.
It was almost worrisome on how her eyes weren’t complaining in the slightest at being wide open. She didn’t feel the need to close them, so she was left to just stare into the darkness of her cabin. There were no windows, so the whole room was pitch black, enough that she couldn’t see her hand right in front of her face.
Turning onto her back, Leah brushed some stray hair from her face and sighed. She knew it was early, but since she was wide awake, and had been for the past ten minutes. Because of that, she really had nothing better to do than to get up.
So that’s what she did. Throwing the blankets off, she sat up, only to bash her head against the metal bed above her.
Leah fell back down onto the bed, holding a hand to her head and wincing.
No matter how cool the room looked when she first saw it, she had to say, the design was rather annoying.
Since the ship didn’t have infinite space (which surprised her), rooms were usually squished together, and so, the design of a room, especially a cabin, had to be creative. Leah’s bed was your regular bed and was situated in the center of the room, the headboard against the wall. The other two beds, however, instead of being beside her, were above her and on both sides of her bed. They were like bunk beds, but instead of having a bed underneath them, there were dressers instead. Which made everything rather cramped as Leah always had to bend down to reach anything and the floor space was pretty much zero.
This time avoiding both beds, Leah’s bare feet finally reached the floor and she stood up, stretching.
Since she happened to be up, she might as well be mean and get the brats up too.
Actually, it was rather a first. Leah could hardly remember any time that she had gotten up before the kids. They were always up first and waiting for her, sometimes even forcing her up when she least expected it. Although, she supposed that she should just be grateful that they had never tried throwing water on her.
“Rise and shine!” Leah said loudly, smiling as she flicked on the light switch. Her eyes shut for a moment to get used to the sudden brightness and when they adjusted enough, she looked up to the beds, expecting to see the brats’ sleepy faces.
Unfortunately, her daydream popped when she saw the beds happened to be empty.
“… How can they be up this early?” she said, her shoulders slumping. Just when she thought that she had finally gotten up before them…
Quickly, she got dressed, throwing her pajamas on her backpack. Once she flung on her jacket, she reached over to the dresser and grabbed her two Pokeballs, putting them into her pocket.
The hallway was unsurprisingly empty, and since Leah had no clue what to do other than look for the brats, she picked a random direction to walk in, knowing both ways would take her to a stairwell. The hallway seemed to go on forever, the only scenery being the identical doors she kept passing on both sides of her.
Luckily, or unluckily depending on whether she was trying to sleep or not, it wasn’t silent. In the background was a dull hum, a sound that had continuously plagued the halls throughout the day and night, never stopping. Leah knew that Ed and Ally complained about it the night before, but she wasn’t really bothered by it. It was hard to hear over the brats’ late-night discussions.
“Finally,” she muttered, seeing the stairwell ahead. She entered through the door and then blinked at the natural light coming through the windows. Pausing for a moment, wondering whether she should bother, she finally decided to go up to one of the windows and look out it.
There wasn’t any type of pretty scenery; just an endless ocean. The sky was a bright blue, but not that pale shade that you see in the morning. Nope, it looked like your regular afternoon sky.
Leah sighed and searched her pockets. Unfortunately, her cell phone was missing, as usual. Ed had started to make a habit at taking her cell phone when Leah wasn’t looking and she could only hope that he wouldn’t waste hours talking to William on it.
However, with no cell phone, Leah had no way of telling the time… She should have brought a watch.
Going up the stairs until she was on the fifth level, Leah was panting by the time she pushed open the Exit door and entered the mall area. It was teaming of people, none whom she recognized. Pokemon were everywhere too, of all shapes and sizes.
After watching some little girl walk past her, pulling some struggling purple balloon Pokemon behind her, Leah started to walk. There wasn’t any place she wanted to go to. All the stores were centered around Pokemon, which Leah wasn’t interested in. She could go for breakfast, but she didn’t feel that hungry at the moment.
So, really, all she could was just walk around. Hopefully, she’d find a clock somewhere.
Around ten minutes later, something interrupted her boring walk around the ship.
Since the voice seemed to be shouting in her direction, Leah turned to see Danny coming towards her with one of his hands in that air and a grin on his face.
“I’ve been looking all over for you,” he said as a greeting, stopping in front of her.
“I just got up.”
“Really?” Danny said, checking his watch. “It’s ten-thirty! You sure slept in a lot.”
Leah only sighed. So the brats had gotten up long before her.
“I heard Agatha is giving a presentation this afternoon on ghost-types,” he said, Leah following him.
Danny grinned. “I thought it be cool if we both checked it out.”
“Not interested,” Leah answered, not at all caring about the Elite Four member.
“Come on,” he said, pressuring her. “This is Agatha! Trainers would do anything to actually see her in person.”
Unfortunately for Danny, those types of tactics never worked Leah.
Leah gave him a glance. “I’m not a trainer, remember? Why should I care about some old hag?”
Danny actually stopped in the middle of the crowd, apparently shocked that anyone would insult an Elite Four member. Leah didn’t care that he stopped and only kept walking.
After a moment, the older teen caught back up.
“I can’t believe you-”
“Believe what?” Leah asked, rolling her eyes. “I’ll admit, the battle last night was really good, but I don’t care for her.”
There was silence for a moment.
Danny shook his head. “I think this is the first time I’ve met anyone who didn’t like the Elite Four.”
“I don’t dislike them. I mean, Lorelei was pretty cool when I met her, but-”
Danny laughed. “You get around a lot, don’t you? You’ve really met Lorelei?”
“In my six years of Pokemon training,” Danny started, “I’ve never met any famous trainers before. I try, but I always miss them somehow.” He turned to Leah. “Which is why I’m not going to miss this chance to see Agatha.”
“Alright,” Leah said and waved her hand. “Go off then. I don’t want to see her, so I’ll go find something else to do.”
Danny sighed. “You have no clue what you’re missing.”
“Yes, I do,” Leah muttered to herself.
“Well,” Danny said loudly, pretending that he didn’t hear her. “I still have an hour and a half then, so…” He peaked at Leah, who wasn’t looking at him. “Care to go for breakfast?”
“Haven’t you already?” she asked.
“Yeah, but that was three hours ago; I’m hungry again.”
Since she didn’t have anything better to do, Leah only shrugged and said, “Sure.”
“You fell overboard?” Danny asked in disbelief, his muffin pausing before his mouth.
Leah swallowed some milk. “Yeah,” she said. “Is it really that surprising?”
Leaning back, Danny said, “Well, yeah. My journey definitely hasn’t been as adventurous as yours.” He grinned. “I’m really jealous.”
“Don’t be, it’s been hell ever since day one.”
“Really?” Danny said, taking a bite out of his muffin. “You know, maybe you’re just not giving this trainer thing a chance. If you try to get yourself involved in it, you’ll probably like it.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Leah asked suspiciously, pushing her almost spotless plate away. “I’ve been being a trainer; I’ve been battling and training and stuff like that.”
Danny rolled his eyes. “Not that. I mean, like, gym leader stuff. Have you ever challenged a gym leader before?”
“Then maybe that’s you problem. There’s a difference between battling a gym leader and a regular trainer. Gym leaders are way above everyone else and they usually have pretty interesting Pokemon.” He rolled his eyes. “Not at all like the Pokemon trainers send out at me these days. All they use are Pidgey, Rattata, Sandshrew-” He quickly backpedaled when he saw Leah’s glare. “No offence to your Sandshrew; yours can actually be a challenge.”
Leah thanked the waitress who took her plate away before turning back to Danny.
“Can actually be a challenge?” she repeated. “You didn’t win against me once and you’ve been training for around six years now?”
“Lucifer and Teddy are still inexperienced,” he defended. “And you had a type advantage on Lucifer, so I was at a disadvantage.”
Leah shrugged. “Sure.”
“Anyways,” Danny said, trying to turn his conversation away from his losses. “Are you sure you don’t want to see Agatha?”
Scowling, Leah said, “I’m sure. Besides, I don’t care for ghost Pokemon. They’re pretty boring.”
“… You’re weird,” Danny declared, finishing off his muffin. “I can’t see how anyone can dislike ghost-types. I’ve been trying to catch one for years now and I’ve never managed to.”
“They’re not that hard to catch,” Leah replied, raising an eyebrow. “Just stop them from leaving, beat them up and then throw a Pokeball at them. Easy enough.”
Danny sighed. “Yeah, I know. But it’s harder than it looks. They can turn invisible and intangible; it makes attacking hard.”
“Why don’t you use Foresight?”
“… Foresight?” Danny repeated, narrowing his eyes. “Damn, what attack is that again?”
Leah stared at him. “Are you stupid or something? Foresight stops a ghost-type’s intangibility and invisibility… Shouldn’t you know that if you’re going after ghost-types?”
There was silence on Danny’s end, before, in one move, he took out a blue Pokedex and started to press buttons.
“I can’t believe it,” he said, a bit dazed. “How did I miss this technique? I thought I checked everywhere! I wonder if it’s a TM.”
Then, he looked up.
“Wait,” he said. “How do you know about this move? It seems to be a really obscure fact.”
Leah crossed her arms. “I pick up things here and there,” she said vaguely. “What time is it?”
Thrown off guard by her blatant change up subject, Danny looked at his watch before he paled a bit. “Whoa! It’s past eleven-thirty! I have to get going if I’m getting a good seat.”
“Fine with me,” Leah said, getting out of her chair and then pushing it in. She pulled out her wallet and threw some change onto the table.
“So, what?” Danny asked, also getting up. “You’re just going to walk around some more?”
Danny followed Leah out of the small restaurant and into the hustle and bustle of the mall.
“I heard Giovanni is giving a seminar on gym leaders,” he said. “It starts in ten minutes, but if you hurry, I’m sure you’ll be able to make it.”
“Agatha and Giovanni are having lectures at the same time?” Leah asked. “That’s pretty poor planning.”
Danny shrugged. “I heard they’re doing lectures and stuff throughout the day, so if you miss this one you can just go to another one later.”
Leah looked around, trying to find something that caught her interest.
Seemingly accepting that answer as good enough, Danny turned. “Well, I’m going now.” He paused. “Look, Agatha’s seminar is done around one, so why don’t you come back here around this time and I’ll meet you? You still owe me a rematch, after all.”
Leah smirked. “Sure.”
Leaving, Danny disappeared into the crowd and Leah watched him go.
“What am I doing here?” Leah asked herself, sitting in a plastic chair in a front row seat of a small lecture room, one that looked like something she would see in a university. The room wasn’t that filled up, however, empty seats peppering every row.
Ultimately, Leah decided to go with Danny’s advice and attend Giovanni’s seminar on gym leaders. Because, really, walking was getting boring (especially since she hadn’t seen or heard a wisp of Jason Dare ever since she got on board. It was bad enough that Leah was starting to seriously consider that William had lied to her).
“Stop squirming,” Leah told Sands, who kept wiggling in her grip.
After a bit of consideration, Leah decided to let Sands out since he hadn’t been out of his Pokeball since she had gotten on the ship. The mumblings of the people around them seemed to scare him a bit since she didn’t think the Sandshrew had ever been around that many people before.
Finally, Leah let Sands down by her feet and the Pokemon immediately jumped up onto the chair beside her, his claws making a scraping sound as he got himself comfortable.
“Oh, great,” Leah said, looking at the tiny claw marks that were rather noticeable on the chair. She hoped no one noticed that.
She didn’t want to get sued for damaging property.
Finally, the chatting died down as Giovanni himself walked into the room. Looking the same as yesterday with a black suit and slicked black hair, he looked around for a moment, appearing a bit disappointed at seeing empty seats, but he still walked behind the small podium and got started.
“Is this everyone?” Giovanni asked, looking over the his five row room. Nearly half of the room was empty.
The gym leader sighed and clapped his hands together, surveying his audience. “Agatha must have stole all my potential audience members then. I’m lucky I at least have this many people, I suppose.”
“Anyways,” he said. “I am Giovanni, gym leader of Viridian City, and you are here because you want to know all about gym leaders.” He spread his hands. “And I’m here to teach you that.”
He clapped his hands together. “So, since there aren’t that many of you, instead of just going with a boring speech where I possibly give you a history on gym leaders, I’m going to let you to ask a few questions first, just to get us started.”
Some trainer in the back raised his hand and Giovanni pointed at him. “Yes?”
“So, uh,” the trainer seemed a bit intimidated at being called first. “How do you become a gym leader?”
“Well, obviously, you have to be a Pokemon trainer,” he started and then added, “And be over the age of eighteen. I do know of some gym leaders that have been able to pass the rule, such as the twins Tate and Liza from Mossdeep, over in Hoenn. But if you are underage, you must be a very superb trainer before the Pokemon League even looks at you.”
He paused. “Now, despite what you might think, trainers don’t just go apply to be a gym leader. Gym leaders are chosen by the Pokemon League whenever they are needed. Although, usually, gym leaders have ‘understudies’, that take over whenever the regular gym leader is absent or are unable to fulfill the position anymore. If you do want to become a gym leader, my advice to you is to apply to study under a gym leader and maybe you’ll be able to take over one day.”
There was another raised hand, and Giovanni once again pointed at it.
“How’d you become a gym leader?”
Giovanni rubbed his chin. “Well, that was a long time ago, now that I think back. Around ten or eleven years ago. My predecessor, Patrick, took ill, and I was called up from Pallet Town to take over the gym until he got better. Though, Patrick never did return as he retired around a month later and I’ve been gym leader ever since.”
There was another question, this one from a young girl. “Do gyms ever switch types?”
“Sometimes,” he said. “Although, that’s rather rare. I believe Pewter City’s gym was once a flying-type gym, but that changed over to rock when the new gym leader, Flint, took over.”
Leah sat back in her chair, watching as the gym leader chose another hand and started to answer another question.
She had to admit, Giovanni definitely wasn’t what Leah thought he would be. From rumors, he was said to be very smart and tough on his Pokemon. Charming, but also rather strict and a bit cold, usually avoiding the public eye.
This Giovanni wasn’t like that, though. He did sound a bit awkward at first, but he seemed kind of dedicated as he warmed up to his audience.
Leah snapped back into attention in time for the next question.
“Yeah,” the trainer who was pointed at started, “I’ve been to your gym a few times, and I’ve always noticed you’re almost always away. Why is that? Don’t gym leaders have to have their gyms open?”
Giovanni smiled slightly. “Well, my criminal organization can’t run itself,” he joked, pausing for some chuckles to finish before continuing, “Seriously, being a gym leader is hard and more often or not, we’re constantly being called to the Indigo Plateau for important conferences.” He rolled his eyes. “And since I’m the Viridian City gym leader, my opinion apparently matters a bit more and I have to attend double the amount of conferences the other gym leaders attend.”
“Depending on which gym it is,” he continued, “Gyms usually have certain days off where the gym leaders are able to relax. Sometimes, the understudies take over the gym for the day and take challenges from trainers. For me, my days off are Saturday and Sunday, a habit that has been with me since my school days.”
Another person was chosen.
“This isn’t really on topic, but why did you choose ground-types for your gym?”
“I didn’t,” Giovanni explained. “The type came with the gym and I was just lucky enough to be a good ground-type trainer. To me, ground-types are the best type, though I’m sure the other gym leaders would say I’m wrong. Not only do electric attacks not affect ground-types, but ground-types are ‘super’ effective against five types of Pokemon. The only other type of Pokemon that has that much power is the fighting-type.”
“Shrew,” Sands said quietly and Leah shushed him.
Maybe this was a good idea, Leah thought, listening to Giovanni. The seminar was definitely more interesting than walking around or listening to Agatha blather on and on about ghost-types.
Getting comfy, Leah prepared herself to listen for a long while.
It was too easy; much too easy.
There it was, right in front of him, sitting on its padded seat, glimmering in the light from above. It looked much like the Ice Plate, but it was browner, and the writings carved on it were different.
Placing his gloved hands on the glass, Blue wondered what the catch was.
The Elite Four knew someone was after the Plates, and it was no coincidence that the Fighting Plate (or Fist Plate, as some people called it) had turned up on a cruise ship where Agatha was attending. Right in front of him was the bait for a trap that the Elite Four had set, and Blue was honestly surprised that they were risking the loss of another one of their Plates. It seemed like a gamble, especially since they were only trying to catch him.
Actually, the trap was set up rather well. Because the Plate was on a moving ship, it meant that Blue couldn’t teleport in or out. It was quite well known knowledge that you couldn’t transport on a moving object. Well, you could, but it usually ended rather messy, and Blue would rather not be spread across a large body of water
Taking a glance around, Blue tried to look for any hidden cameras or Pokemon, but it was hard to do it subtlety with the security guard watching him. The fact that Agatha trained ghost-types made the whole thing even more frustrating, since ghost-types could turn invisible and walk through walls; definitely something he couldn’t really defend against.
If Blue ran into Agatha, he was quite certain he would lose. Hell, he would have probably lost against Lorelei if that battle went on for longer. Taking hostages wouldn’t work either. Even if he was surrounded by people, Agatha’s ghosts could just phase the hostages out of his grasp, or sneak up behind him and knock him out.
No, the trick here wasn’t just getting off the ship with the plate; it was getting out of the ship without running into Agatha. She was the real threat, which was why Blue chose to steal the Plate while she was giving her presentation. As a bonus, most everyone on the ship would be at her presentation, which meant the halls would be mostly clear.
There was also Giovanni that he need to look out for. Blue didn’t really perceive the gym leader as a threat, but it was best to be on the safe side. Last time he let down his guard, he was defeated by a Poison Sting from some Sandshrew and its trainer.
He couldn’t mess up; not this time.
“Is everything all right, sir?” the security guard asked as he walked up to him, apparently noticing Blue’s heavy breathing.
“Yeah,” he replied, smiling slightly. “Just a bit worn out at all the running around I’ve been doing. This ship’s pretty huge!”
The security guard seemed to relax at Blue’s kind demeanor. “This ship is pretty big,” he said with a laugh. “I’m still not used to it.”
“Hey,” Blue said, patting the glass case in front of him. “Do you know what this is called? It doesn’t have a label on it.”
Kneeling down, the security guard examined the glass and the square shaped blur where the label had once sat. “Hey, that’s weird. I wonder where the label went?” He then narrowed his eyes. “Oh, it must have been those kids who had been spending lots of time here this morning. They ran off about half-an-hour ago, but they were quite willing to tell me that they’d be back later.”
Blue nodded, taking a step back and then kicked upward with his foot, hearing the small crack as his foot impacted the guard’s chin.
The guard fell, wheezing and holding both of his hands to his jaw. One of his hands went to his belt.
“You-” he gasped out before Blue delivered another blow to his head.
Blue didn’t really care if the security guard lived or not, but after a moment of thought, he decided it was best if the guard died. Even if there were cameras in the room, the guard saw his face and that simply could not do.
“No hard feelings?” Blue asked, kneeling down as he pulled out a knife from his back pocket.
After that business was attended to, Blue stood up again and looked at the Plate, stepping around to the other side of the glass case to avoid the spreading pool of blood.
“This is going to take some thought,” he said to himself, taking out and enlarging a Pokeball.
Starmie was released and the Pokemon hovered in front of its trainer, slowly twirling in mid-air as it awaited an order.
“Close the doors and make sure they don’t open,” Blue commanded and the Pokemon went off to do that.
It would definitely be bad if someone just happened to walk in when Blue was in the middle of things. Especially since the task would take longer then necessary due to… complications.
Glaring down at his arm, Blue’s eyes narrowed. He still hadn’t been able to go to the hospital for his Poison Sting injury, and he doubted he would ever be able to. True, he could just lie and say he had an accident with one of his Pokemon, but it would be hard to explain why his body temperature was so dangerously low and why he hadn’t come to the hospital sooner.
Luckily, or unluckily as he was starting to think, the pain in his arm hadn’t lasted beyond a week and it had faded until he couldn’t feel it at all. It and everything else. His arm had been completely numb ever since, and due to that, the arm was pretty much useless unless he was looking directly at it. Otherwise, it usually just knocked things over. Not even his arm’s appearance had gotten better! It was still abnormally pale and his veins were still very apparent on his skin.
It (and several other small problems) was enough that Blue had tried very hard to keep the image of the girl that did that to him in his mind. He had half-made plans in his head of somehow tracking the girl down and violently killing her for dare messing up his life like this. Unfortunately, the only things he was able to remember about her was her brown hair, her general age (older than thirteen, not older than eighteen) and, of course, that Sandshrew.
Blue clenched his hands into fists, but then relaxed them.
No, he didn’t have time to think about that girl now. He had things to do. Not only did he have to steal the Fighting Plate and dodge Agatha, but he also had to prepare himself for the long sea bound trip back to Vermillion City and getting the Plate back to his boss.
The girl could wait until later.
Half-an-hour later, and Leah was getting bored.
Giovanni had stopped taking questions a while ago and was now talking about what it was like being a gym leader, how his day usually went and stuff like that.
Her first opinion that the seminar wouldn’t be that bad had been overturned as the subject matter had suddenly become rather dull, and Leah had half a mind to just get up and walk to the door. She would like to, but the problem was that she didn’t have anything better to do. It was all very annoying. She thought there would be tons of things to do on the ship, but that obviously wasn’t the case.
“Shrew?” Sands asked quietly, watching the presentation with half-lidded eyes.
Leah nodded slightly and gave a few pats to her Pokemon’s head, her fingers playing with his ears. Sands shook his head to bat Leah’s hand away and the trainer took it back, grumbling to herself.
Suddenly, there was a small beep from down that podium. Giovanni stopped in mid-sentence, his hand diving into his pocket to take out a phone. His eyes stared hard at the electronic for a moment before he looked up.
“I’m quite sorry,” he started, “But something has come up. You’ll have to excuse me.” He started to walk off stage, but he stopped at the steps and then he turned around and went back to the podium to give one last message.
“I won’t be gone for that long, so feel free to stick around. I’ll answer more questions when I get back.”
The crowd murmured and whispered to their neighbors as Giovanni went to the steps, the phone pressed to his ear.
Leah, who sat next to the stairs, was able to hear a snippet of the conversation as he went by.
“- are you sure? It might be a false alarm- No, you’re right, Agatha. The Plate-”
And then Giovanni was gone, having left through the door on top of the stairs.
“What was that all about, Sands?” Leah asked, looking at her Pokemon as her mind kept turning the word over that caught her attention.
Was Giovanni talking about the type of Plate that Leah had encountered at Seafoam Island?
Leah’s curiosity was urging her to get up and follow Giovanni. She had been ever so curious about the Plates, ever since encountering one on Seafoam Island. William was being useless and not providing any information, so if she wanted to know something about them, she had to go look for the info herself.
But of course, her mind was quite firmly against her curiosity. Last time she followed her curiosity, she went upstairs in that abandoned mansion, and as a result, Sands got addicted to a Fire Stone.
Sands seemed to be reading his trainer’s mind as he jumped down to the floor, jumping over Leah’s feet and scampered up the stairs.
“Hey!” Leah said, getting up. “Where are you going?”
The Sandshrew didn’t seem to be in a hurry, as Leah was able to grab him once at the top of the stairs.
“Why did you do that?” she asked him, holding him in her arms. “I thought I trained you not to go off.”
Leah looked up, finally noticing that she was right next to the door, the ‘EXIT’ sign glowing above it in red letters.
Well, since she was already there…
As Leah pushed open the door, she roughly threw Sands over her shoulder for better mobility.
“I’m warning you, Sands,” Leah said, catching a glimpse of Giovanni’s retreating back. “If you get addicted to a Thunder Stone, I’m throwing it into the water, your feelings be damned.”
A/N: Yeah, I skipped Giovanni and Agatha’s battle (except for the small part at the beginning); please don’t kill me. As an excuse, I don’t think I’d have enough room for it and I doubt I’d be able to write a battle that epic anyways. Also, I am changing Giovanni’s personality around a bit, but only a tiny bit, so don’t panic. And yay! Blue’s back after twelve chapters of absence. Now, things are going to get interesting.
Last edited by Dagzar; October 10th, 2009 at 07:24 PM.
What? New chapter already...?
New review already!
Sorry, couldn't wait. Also I'll take the chance to update on things that I forgot to do during the previous review.
First and foremost, a nice way to begin the battle. Nidorino v/s Gengar reminds me of something. Only one thing:
The entire conversation between Ekans Kid and Leah was driving the chapter quite nicely, not only by allowing us to read in short about the kids' personality and his training style (as the fact he completely missed Foresight, of all moves...), but also describing nicely the activity that is going around the ship. I love rotatory conferences, and I have had to hold some myself. Just not in a place like... well... larger than your usual collegue building. So seeing the attendance (if Leah can be convinced, that is) will be interesting.
Then it turns out Leah attends the conference with the slicked-hair, black-suited Gym Leader of Viridian City. Thanks for warning us (of late) that you modified the character slightly, but it seemed to me that Giovanni was quite natural, after all, he does some things such as this:
...And so Leah managed to listen just a bit more about the Plates. And from the look of things she will get in all that mess again, but now we have the plus that Blue wouldn't be happier if meeting her and dealing some payback. Plus Agatha... I hope things turn even more interesting.
I found no spellchecking mistakes that I could easily spot, maybe some minor things with pronouns at some points where there was a bit of repetition (about the brekafast talk) but since I'm not sure, well, I'll leave it at it. Someone better will surely point them out. I only found this apparently unnecessary comma at CHapter 25:
Also, don't worry about the battle between Nidorino and Gengar. Some things are better left to imagination, such as what would really happen if now Sands gets addicted to a Thunder Stone as well... Nice work!
I’m glad that Giovanni came out okay because I really wasn’t too sure of him. I’ve never written a character like him before, and it’s especially hard since I haven’t played Leafgreen in a while (I’m too lazy to pick up my Gameboy these days <_<).
Over all nice chapter, I like this Giovanni, seems more like a real human.
(also, a whole chapter with out the brats D:)
Something something ponies!
Thanks for reviewing, Buoysel!
I must say, when I decided to look for a random pokemon story on the internet, I clicked on this one and I sat for two straight nights just reading for about 6 or 7 hours. Your writing skills are amazing and I really love the entire concept. Just keep up the great writing and bring me moar chapters! lol when do you usually upload new ones?
Its sad when you sell all your pokemon games and then realize you still like it
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