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*authoress bows again* Happy St. Valentine's Day, everyone. No, no coincidence that I post it today. 0=)
Disclaimer: Any possible way to buy ‘Pokémon ™’ on ebay™? No? Then me not owns it. XD
Genre: x-chaptered fic
Summary: “It’s not hard to get a boyfriend. The hard thing is to keep him.” While the league struggles with its own problems- the arrival of two of the most prominent trainers of Sinnoh and a series of mysterious thefts, Sabrina is confronted with how true Erica’s advise rings....
Rating: PG-13, minor swearing, minor adult themes, minor violence
Pairings: Psychicshipping, Blackthornshipping, Snazzyshipping (Cynthia x Lucian)
A/N: Sequel to “A Winter’s Love” aka “Love’s best Friend is Hate”. No translation anymore, the original fic had no sequel. Probably because it took me weeks to get a decent plot and the current one is killing me. x.x
Timeline: A few days after Chapter 4 “Casualties&Confessions”
1. Chapter Occassions&Orders
A world thirsty for scandals and unveilings normally adapts quite well to unexpected events. Normally, people pounce onto everything that might satisfy their hunger for gossip, and speculation. For they want to see that it’s not only them who suffer from break-ups, unrequited love, money problems and lethal sicknesses. They want to see that beneath the shell of power, money and prestige they have, VIPS are still as human as they, the readers, the normal towns- and cityfolk are.
But, as life itself proves, this doesn’t apply to anyone.
And so, sometimes, public is shaken out of its literal hibernation when something happens, something, so unbelievingly, so awkward and unsuspected, that there must be magic behind. Magic or psychic powers.
This time, it was clearly the latter.
For how else could a couple come off that was as different as night and day?
Clearly, everyone who opened his individual Yellow Press paper on the morning of the 19th April either read about the bankrupt of a small, unimportant computer company, yet another interview with one of the recently kidnapped gym leaders- Whitney this time, who babbled on and on for hours yet could not even describe the forest they had been in, or the presentation of a new league couple. It took the average reader five seconds to skim over the headline, get the facts straight into his mind and let them settle down and then drop the paper in shock.
Something unbelievable had happened.
Their league’s freak, the unfeeling, callous banshee, had found love.
For the more romantic feeling folks, it was reassuring, calming, pleasing. They had a weak spot for these tear breaker stories, for these sappy endings. Almost sacrificing herself for the league, Sabrina was saved by the new psychic elite trainer and fell in love with him. How sweet.
How bitter for the masses of fangirls spread around Kanto and Johto, who had been dreaming of such happenings only in the deepest of the nights, only with themselves in the shoes of the damsel in distress. Not one of them realized that it was exactly this kind of girly girl Will didn’t like, didn’t want to love. Many, if not all of them felt jealousy and the gnawing of their unbelieving consciousness asking itself why, oh why he had chosen her and not you. Never mind the physical distance, the psychical difference and strangeness, and every other little factor that played into this as well as fate. Life’s not fair, at least not for everyone and it never tries to explain itself.
Only humans try to find the reasons for things as love, for things that no rational mind can take, things one has to experience and to feel, not to analyze.
Sabrina had only started to realize that.
Just as millions of other citizens, she was sitting in front of a breakfast table. But unlike them, she was staring into space, her eyes not really flickering, not noticing the glass door in front of her, the garden behind, filled with various flowers, trees and other plants the league used to give off the expression of environmentally friendly and yet stylish, modern and exclusive. Neither did she notice her fellow gym leaders Misty and Erica, the former silently reading one of the aforementioned newspapers, her eyes darting from line to line, the latter taking a bite of her toast, enjoying it greatly.
“Goodness, they act as if the world’s going to end…” Misty closed her eyes, shaking her head at the stupidity of some members of society and the ruthlessness and gossip addiction of Yellow Press journalists. “You really should have tried to take things slower, Sabrina, not exactly kissing him in public, ya know…I think that was a bit too much of a change.” Instead of answering, the psychic gym leader continued to sigh and stare, not even reacting. Erica grinned, suspecting how fruitless Misty’s attempts at conversation were. “Really, I’m serious. I know you have trouble with the public; of course one doesn’t get along so good with it when they only printed bad news, all the stuff with the dolls and your split personality…but you don’t help anybody, least yourself, when you let them go their way. Let them rip you and your newfound boyfriend apart. It was predictable that Lance would run to the reporters as soon as we had found the way out of the spring, he tries to make money out of every piece of rubbish. That was his perfect chance...” Misty stopped, realizing that she had probably been better off talking to the wall next to her, as the wall would at least not show openly that its mind was elsewhere, just not in this dining room.
“Oh, come on, stop playing the love dove! That’s ridiculous!” Misty exclaimed, honestly irritated and banged the newspaper onto the desk. Erica put a hand on her shoulder, trying to calm her down. “Don’t waste your energy, Misty. Try to think of how she feels right now. How everything’s new for her. For the moment, she has lost the ability to think rationally, as shocking as that may sound, considering that we’re speaking about Sabrina here.” The grass gym leader smiled at the older girl, who had sighed and closed her eyes, not taking any notice of the conversation right in front of her. “Just let her have her time. She’ll come back from the clouds soon enough. And then, the press will be very sorry that they ever dared to publish such nasty stories about her and her boy.” Erica winked. “Guess that spring will become wide-known soon.” “I hope you’re right…” Misty sighed. “It’s just so awkward seeing her so…different. Cheerful. And daydreaming. That’s just not Sabrina!“ Misty helplessly gesticulated with her hands, her arms over her head now. Erica sighed. Both didn’t seem to mind that Sabrina was sitting not even a metre away from them, theoretically hearing everything they said. Theoretically. Because, to be able to hear, one does not only need ears, but also attention and Sabrina was missing one of these things.
“Like I said, she’ll get normal over the next days, I assure you. Reality will get to her again, I know. It does to all lovers. Sad, but true. Let her enjoy this time as long as she can get. Life will get boring soon enough.” Erica smiled. It was actually cute to see Sabrina in love; she should keep these pictures in mind, for it was never sure that they would ever return.
Out of the corner of her eye, the grass type gym leader could see the door being opened, but as she still hadn’t finished her toast, she didn’t pay it any mind. Misty let herself fall back onto her chair again with a feeble sigh, picking up the papers again, in the hope of finding something that wouldn’t infuriate her and wasn’t too hilarious to read.
Sabrina sighed again. True, she had heard every word of the conversation and she wasn’t too absent-minded to let the meaning flow beside her, but for some awkward reason, she didn’t feel like caring. It didn’t matter. Why should it? Had she ever cared about others’ opinions? Maybe, maybe not. She didn’t feel like thinking too much about it. She had other things on her mind.
With an almost inaudible growl, she turned to the clock. Will was such a late riser! Okay, he had every reason to do so- it was his first ‘real’ week as an elite trainer and the work was almost killing him, not to mention that he didn’t get much sleep during her time in the hospital. Sabrina chuckled. She hadn’t noticed him staying by her side almost every day for a whole month, but now that she did, she found it unbelievably cute. She had been unconscious and still, he had stayed with her…
Suddenly, something white clapped over her eyes. Sabrina backed away in surprise, before noticing the structure of the white, it was leather. White leather gloves. She had to giggle. “Guess who I am!" A voice behind her said, a voice well known to her. “Will! You’re finally up!” She removed the hands from her eyes, taking them in her own while turning around in her chair, smiling widely at him. “Morning, dear.” Will bent down, kissing her on the lips. Misty rolled her eyes, smashing the newspaper down again and standing up fiercely. “Okay, that’s enough! I’m going! You can have my seat, Will!“ She exclaimed, muttering something about, retarded sweethearts‘ while walking down the hall in the search of another seat, one where you didn’t have to bear newfound couples. Erica laughed. Nobody had tested so far how Misty was around her boyfriend...
In the far corner of the league’s ground floor dining room, a small group, consisting of seven madly jealous girls, sat around a round desk, plotting and dropping ideas every minute. Plots to bomb the young love. Anger was deep inside them, mixed with frustration. The feelings that many young school girls had when they found out that their unreachable secret star had found a girlfriend that was probably ten times richer and prettier than them, the measure of IQ not counted in yet. It was foolish love, but fools make the gravest mistakes and these girls didn’t even value the consequences of what they were plotting. They couldn’t yet and the only one of them who was wasn’t willing to voice her thoughts, for she was going to enjoy the suffering.
One of the girls hit the desk’s smooth surface with her delicate, tanned fist, the long, dark blue fingernails crossing over. “Come on, girls! We have to do something. It doesn’t help us if we keep on sitting here and come up with nothing! We have to act soon! So we need some ideas that are actually manageable!” She glared at her side, where another girl was staring at her own fingernails, shining and perfectly polished. “And no, kidnapping the witch and dumping her over a cliff is not one.” Whitney shrugged. “Well, it almost worked once, didn’t it?” She asked nonchalantly. “But it did not!” Claire screamed. She was angry, her own boyfriend had logged himself into his bureau again, trying to make as much money out of this unexpected event as possible. He wanted to do the organization behind by himself, as he assumed only he know what was the best, how the best marketing worked, which newspapers and talk shows paid the most for news and pictures. Lance had his minions, his secretaries and underlings, to do all the dirty work for him, but apparently, this wasn’t any dirty work for him. He loved his work so much he was neglecting his girlfriend, the exact reason why Claire was now sitting here with some of the female gym leaders, trying to find a useful way to get the two psychics to break up again.
That a break-up might get her boyfriend into an even deeper working state did not occur to her mind.
Janine, silent until now, suddenly looked up and spoke, her eyes dashing only seemingly from girl to girl, when in reality, they were searching for her father.
“I have an idea...”
“Come, sit down and eat breakfast with us!” Erica invited Will, knowing that Sabrina was too joyful to think about words. “Misty hasn’t left her seat for nothing!” Will shook his head. “No, thanks, but I’m just here to fetch my dear.” Sabrina blinked, turning around again. “Hm? What for?“ She asked, playing with the forks, unnoticed by the others. “Lance. He wants to meet us in his office. And before you ask…no, he did not say why.” Will put his hands behind his head, staring into space. Sabrina glanced at Erica, who shrugged. “No idea. But you know how much of an eccentric Lance is. I bet he has some peculiar jobs for you.” Erica smiled helplessly.
Sabrina stood up, shoving the chair aside with her head lowered. “Let’s hope it’s nothing about our relationship…” She grumbled grimly. Then she followed Will out of the room, keeping her path close to him.
“It won’t be…” Erica reassured her, even though she was out of hearing range. “Lance isn’t suicidal.”
Lance’s office was at the top floor of the league’s headquarters. Well, that was not completely right; one of his offices was at the top floor. He had many more, too many to count, but that was more because Lance liked to call every storeroom his office as long as it was luxurious enough.
The office the two psychic trainers were called to was kept in a pastel blue, with an at least two inches high carpet that made you feel like walking on clouds, large curtains falling to the ground, hiding the huge glass windows and the view behind from the eyes of every visitor. An office desk made out of dark wood completed the atmosphere, along with equally dark cupboards that easily reached the ceiling and were probably filled with all kinds of important prints and contracts. And probably a few of Lance’s dark secrets, but that was something Sabrina didn’t want to find out, even though she easily had the power to do so. She had the psychic power, Lance the political and economical power and he wouldn’t refrain from denouncing one of his own gym leaders if it was necessary in order to keep his own reputation from fading. No need for her to get into trouble anyway. She had been in enough trouble for the last two months.
Silently, the two psychics stood in front of the office desk, waiting for Lance to speak to them. He was looking over some white, narrowly printed paper, the words so small and upside down so that she couldn’t read them. It might have been interesting to know what Lance was brooding over every day, but she had other things on her mind right now. Lance couldn’t have called them in her just for watching him work; that would be even too odd for their boss.
Finally, he looked up, taking off his reading glasses and cautiously sucking on its frame. “Sabrina…Will…” He started, not looking them into the eyes. “I have a little mission for you.” Now he finally looked up, but glanced sideways, still not daring to cross their eyes. Sabrina started to wonder if Lance was afraid of them. For whatever reason. Either he got to know about Will’s newfound psychic powers- in the middle of the hype about their relationship, everyone had neglected that fact, or the mission he was about to send them on was risky and unpleasant. Normally, Sabrina wasn’t an adventurous person and would have denied any offer to get on an adventure trip. After the rescue mission, nothing had changed. She still wouldn’t throw herself into danger again. Of course, she had experienced that some good could come out of it, but now, all she wanted was to have some time to relax and enjoy her time with Will as long as she could.
On the other hand…how big were the chances that Lance would actually be willing to shove them into life-threatening events again? Not while he had still contracts with three talk show directors running.
“As you may know, the meeting- as it was interrupted in a most unfortunate way will continue for a few weeks. Originally, the champion of the Sinnoh region, Cynthia Monde, and her fellow elite four member and boyfriend,” He paused to look at the two and Sabrina suppressed a blush as fiercely as possible which took her so much effort she didn’t even manage to glimpse at Will to check if he was trying the same,” Lucian Livre, were going to visit us on the last day of the conference, as some kind of ending event, but since Team Rocket attacked the day before, this was of course canceled as the league couldn’t risk the safety of these two.” Sabrina shortly glanced at Will. Both had an idea what their mission was about now, but that didn’t make them feeling any easier. “Now, the league wants to make up for the last time and has invited the two again for next Wednesday.” Lance took a breath now. Sabrina noticed some sweat falling down his temples. It wasn’t warm at all in his office. So he was really nervous. Most certainly it wasn’t them upsetting him- he had never been comfortable around other champions and this Cynthia was rumored to be the strongest- not to mention that she was a woman.
Sabrina snorted inwardly. Lance was so pathetic, the big, energetic champion being afraid of a woman. Noticing Will gulping, though, Sabrina banished these thoughts quickly, grinning awkwardly.
“Though this has caused problems I did not think off before.” Lance let his head rest in his left hand, looking quite tired actually. “I can’t give you details, but the original welcoming gift I had wanted to give the two isn’t…available anymore.” Sabrina blinked, glancing again at Will who was returning her confused look. Something not available? For the head of their state? The man who could get everything and more with a snap of his finger? Was this some kind of one of a kind thing? But even then, Lance would have made it a two of a kind thing and if he had to spent a year’s budget on it.
“Well, anyway…I had to find a replacement and thankfully, I did.” He paused, his mouth staying open. He was thinking about how to continue. Certainly, he was hiding something from them, but Sabrina wouldn’t press him on this matter nor read his mind. Never. That wasn’t in her interest anyway and she wouldn’t benefit. “I just don’t have the time to get it, I’m busy with re-organization, and I’m afraid I can’t even present it to them personally. So I choose you two to do the duty for me.” He smiled cautiously, a formal, artificial smile to get their trust and sympathy. “Right now, I think you two are the best representatives the league has, with all you’ve done for us, you being the new elite, William, and Sabrina being one of the best gym leaders…and, of course, your peculiar relationship.” Lance smiled, both Sabrina and Will blushed even though they were trying hard to hold it back in front of the dragon trainer. It was just demolishing the formal attitude they had to keep, something they had agreed on since the very first day after their confession. Love was all nice and good, but it wasn’t optional to live it up everywhere. Sabrina had already cursed herself for daring to kiss him in front of the hotel a few days ago, a slip simply happening out of happiness, but bacon for the hungry masses of reporters.
“So, what is it that you want us to do?” Sabrina was almost glad that Will was speaking for her, but only almost. Closing her eye, she sent him a telepathic warning not to dare to try to dominate her. She was not lowering her position just because of him, never. And she had just as much authority to speak to Lance as he had, even though their positions said otherwise. To some extent, she still couldn’t get over the humiliation she had experienced merely a month ago, expelling it from her heart seemed impossible, but she would never openly show it. Not now.
She didn’t want to drive the one man away that had fallen in love with her.
Lance started to rummage through his desk, not paying them any attention. Still, Will was very sure that had they tried to use this moment of thoughtlessness, Lance would have had knocked them over by his hiding bodyguards faster than they could ever access their powers. Well, faster than he could react anyway. He was still training with Sabrina- as much as their feelings allowed any serious training, but he had much to learn and was far away from accomplishing anything even near her level. He was happy if he even managed to teleport anything, much less teleporting to any specific direction or even more than one thing at once.
“Not much, actually. Just get to the post office down the south street and give the main operator there this letter.” Of course, the letter was still in its envelope, no address written down, not a single word actually. Also, it had been glued together heavily, lowering any chance of seeing what was inside. Judging from its width, it couldn’t be any more than a single sheet of paper. “That should tell him everything. If not, just call me and I’ll settle the rest.” Lance smiled mysteriously, making Sabrina wonder if he was just going to ‘settle’ things or blackmail the poor workmen there. “Be careful with the gift he’s going to give you.” Suddenly, the man’s mimics had changed from mocking nice to daring serious. A look that told both psychics everything. If they screwed up, some heads were going to roll, even if that meant Lance decapitating the ones that had saved him from the Rocket’s grasp. “Break it, and you’re going to get broken, too. I won’t be there to check for at least a week, I have own matters to attend, but when I come back, I will talk to Cynthia. And I will make sure that everything went well, got that?” His façade dropped. Apparently, the effort to keep looking unmoved had strained his face muscles.
“But I am sure that you two won’t fail me.” He smiled, leaning back in his black leather chef chair, camouflaged by his black cape. “You didn’t fail us once, you won’t fail us twice.” He presented Will with the envelope when suddenly, his phone rang. For a moment, everyone was quiet in the room, then Lance cursed. “Sorry, excuse me.” He shushed them off with a simple gesture and the two didn’t waste any time in waiting. Interesting as it might be to hear who Lance was talking to and about what, that was a definite invasion of privacy and even without the danger of being escorted outside not too nicely by the bodyguards, Sabrina and Will wouldn’t stay to hear him.
“Clair? Yes, I *know* that I have been working late…yes, I*will* come home today…yes, I still got the tickets for tonight…” He scribbled down something, probably a note to his secretary to buy said tickets. “And then, we’ll have the week for ourselves…”
Especially if half a minute of listening was enough to tell them anything.
The young, blue haired woman looked down on her list again, not paying any attention to what the stewardess was saying. ‘One egg, one pokemon..’ She thought, shoving the note again into a pocket of her business dress. She shook her head. ‘That’s what I have been sent to Kanto for. Pathetic. ‘ Of course, it was all a matter of money. And her client had a lot of it. So much he paid for the plane ticket as well as the hotel room and any costs she might face in Kanto.
Looking out of the window, already planning her next actions, she just took a moment to wonder about her customer’s motivations. This was unlike herself, as she usually never questioned any order and just did as she was told, but this mission was special.
End 1. Chapter
The Time goes by Here's my Key Philosophy And take your Time
So naturally A Freak like me To trust in me
While you'll receive Just needs And you'll find
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
I had been concerned that Sabrina and Will would have been broken up by the time of this sequel, but fortunately that was not the case. It's so cute to see them in love... and pretty funny to see Misty jealous of them. I love that you support the Lucian x Cynthia pairing as well, I can't wait to see them arrive in the story. It'll be interesting to see a Cynthia who isn't so... evil. And I'm assuming that last character in the chapter is a Rocket member, perhaps sent to crack an egg? We'll see. Anyway, good first chapter, I'll be looking forward to seeing the rest.
Why should they? because it took me so long to post this?
^^ I suppose I supported it for a long time without knowing, but it kinda fits the story line as well. But you'll see...there's more to their relationship than meets the eye.
2. Chapter: Equivalence & Electioneering
Once they were out of the room, Sabrina leaned against the colourless, cold wall, breathing heavily. Though she did not show it openly, every meeting with Lance was a challenge, even for her. The pressure to stay calm and reserved weighed heavily on her. Mostly because it was dangerous for her to succumb too much to it, her mind wasn’t as stable as it appeared to be. She had to fight falling back into her old ways again, fighting the emotionless state that could always come back. Lance’s orders didn’t help much there.
Secondly...she had never thought it would be so hard to stay still when you’re in love and all you want is to embrace and kiss your boyfriend again and again.
She sighed and threw a fleeting look at Will who had also taken a break to relax. “You’re alright?” She asked, knowing that this job was harder for him, as he still wasn’t used to the atmosphere at the league headquarters. Not that she was, but Saffron’s high society wasn’t much different and that was a group she often came across. Blinking, she realized that she knew nothing about Will’s family structure. It must have missed her mind to ask him about it. No surprise, seeing as all she had had on her mind recently were...more shallow things. “I think so.” Will turned his head to her, revealing a smile that wasn’t as honest as he wanted it to be. Sabrina shook her head, disproving of her boyfriend’s false attitude. He did not have to play the strong, never faltering hero for her, she wasn’t in need of a prince to save her. At least most of the time. And theoretically, if Team Rocket didn’t try to intervene again, all he had to save her from were dangerously high stacked piles of documents, the possibly poisoned coffee which she didn’t drink anyway and which wasn’t much of a life threat to her as a psychic’s body absorbed poison, well, and of course, Lance’s mood. That might be something to really be cautious of, but it wasn’t as lethal as, say, a Crunch attack by a wild Mightyena…
Graciously, she took his hand in her own. Granted, she felt a bit childish doing that, as the only persons she had seen holding hands so far were all below her age and their love wasn’t near as serious as hers, but she felt better doing that, warmer. And Will didn’t mind, continuing his uneasy smile. She wondered what was going through his head. “Trust me, Lance can get angry, but he would never get so angry that he would willingly throw us out of the league. We’re worth more than his pitiful little present, I’m sure.” Her smile was somehow mockingly, subtly degrading Lance. Now that they were out of his seeing and hearing range, she could dare to do so. For even her, the mighty psychic leader had to bow before the politic power that presented her the daily money for bread and water. Only did her ego not allow that to sink in.
Will might have been more aware of that fact; for he had only recently seen his working contract and the conditions under which Lance let him resident here. But just as much as he felt Lance to be superior, he had started to acknowledge Sabrina’s authority over him as her psychic pupil. He might be the better trainer, but she was definitely the better psychic and for as long as he was studying under her, there was a certain order between them. Once they were back to the Pokemon trainer’s routine, though...
“I hope you’re right.” Will sighed, running his free hand through his slightly out of form hair. “I know rumours about what Lance did to former subordinates and these weren’t nice at all.” Sabrina glanced angrily at him. “You heard the rumours about me as well and yet you don’t seem to be troubled by my presence…” “Hm…” Will smiled innocently. “Who says I’m not troubled by you?” He played with her fingers, stroking them and running them through his own. He liked the smooth feeling of her skin, pale and shimmering as it was. “It’s just the definition of ‘trouble’ that needs to be amplified.” Sabrina started to smile, and though she was not looking down, she felt the sensation and liked it. “Hm, emotion trouble rather.” She turned away, but didn’t pull her hand away. “We should head to the post office now. We don’t want to let the operator wait there, do we?” “You’re right.“ He nodded and followed her to the stairs, one hand still in Sabrina’s, the other keeping close to his trouser’s pocket, where he had put the highly important envelope.
Far away from them, in the sky above the sea, a plane slowly made its way through the cold, hazy clouds, its metallic skin shining in the unhidden sunlight. In it, a delegation of about twenty people sat, chatting silently, sleeping or reading. The atmosphere was different than in the one where the blue haired woman had sat, more formal and reserved here. For this delegation didn’t consist of tourists, not one of them was going to visit Kanto, more exactly, Indigo City, for fun. All of them knew how much work and strain they were heading towards, even expecting to be thinking about and hanging over papers and organization through the few hours of free time they were officially given. For most of these people were used to this, high positioned managers, advisers and secretaries of Sinnoh’s elite.
In the middle row, placed strategically between seven bodyguards, sitting straight and diagonally next to them, two of their most important people were leaned back in their comfortable seats. The kidnapping of the Indigo leaders had alerted not only the public, but also the similar situated neighbour leagues. Now, in the attempt to look more professional, they had stocked up their security staff. Just like Lance and his subordinates, the Sinnoh Elite knew how to make money, but unlike the dragon trainer from Blackthorn, they also knew what to spend it on and what not. Better physical fighting and mental training for their bodyguards, the best equipment in their planes, bullet-proof clothing for everyone important enough and an emergency system most cities could only dream off, and no fancy gothic clothing that makes girls in the middle of their puberty squeak. Certainly, if anyone dared to threaten Cynthia Monde and Lucian Livre, he or she would be unveiled and removed long before they had any chance to even get a glimpse of the two celebrities.
Lucian was slightly bored, resting his head on his left hand and glancing around the plain place. All of his books were in his luggage; he had not been allowed to take anything with him. Without reading, he did not know what to do with himself. Cynthia wasn’t helping in any way. She had told him before that she had to transact a phone call on the flight to Kanto and surprisingly, she had been allowed to keep her mobile phone, but she had just as much money as power. He glanced at her, trying to see if she was finished yet. To his dismay, she wasn’t, still talking quietly, nicely but formal enough to her unknown phone partner. Noticing her boyfriend, the league trainer shot him a quick, innocent smile. Lucian looked at her indifferently. She had told him that this phone call was important, almost as, if not even more important than their visit. Lucian kept his eyes on her, admiring her beauty unconsciously, yet thinking sharply about his role in the national theatre act that was soon to come.
Will admitted that downtown Indigo was much different than the glittering mansion streets he had been used to, since that was where he lived now, having been given an apartment in the attic of one of the few multi-storey houses here in Indigo. League-paid, of course. Now that he had gotten his first cheque from Lance, he might have been able to pay for it himself without getting in debt for years, though he did not know for sure how much his apartment was worth. Technically, he had earned money for doing nothing at all, since there had been no official event he had had to attend save for his inauguration, and certainly no battle save for the one with Team Rocket. But Lance wasn’t one to look for these details and besides, Will assumed that a great deal of this money was exactly the thanks for being saved.
But now, this part of Indigo City reminded him more of his home in the suburbs of Teak City, being more...casual, a cautious tongue would say. A not so nice one would say dirty and filthy. He wondered if said impolite remark would come from Sabrina, but she stayed quiet, not even glancing around like he did. Of course, these narrow streets, filled with slush, rubbish and god knows what else, weren’t the best view, and he assumed that Saffron had even more of them, being known as a bipolar city as well with its ghettos on the one hand and the big, rich companies like Silph Co. on the other. For him, it was something new, not the concept itself, but the fact that Lance allowed it to exist. Had he not claimed to bring wealth and attractiveness to Indigo? Hadn’t he already achieved too much of that with the area around the headquarters, the fancy restaurants and huge hotels, the different brands of jewellery displayed in more than a dozen shops proving him true? He suddenly felt very confused.
“Be careful Will, people might recognize us.” Sabrina whispered to him, actually sounding afraid. This new emotion in her voice surprised him, as he had never before heard her speaking with so much anxiety. Even when she had been laying in his arms, bleeding from the wound the Mightyena had caused, there hadn’t been any fear. Neither in the moment where she had almost lost her life for the first time, dangling above spiky rocks, anything but fear for her life there, even the exact opposite! But now, while walking through a simple street in the middle of the day, when the sun was out and shining, on the way to a post office, which was certainly nothing disturbing...now she seemed to be frightened. Of what?
Will mused if their love had started to soften Sabrina in a bad way, making her rather vulnerable. If that was the case, he hadn’t wanted to cause it. A strong woman attracted him more and before, Sabrina had been the definite definition of emancipation.
“No, I’m not softening up.” She almost growled at him and Will had to chuckle. She had read his mind... “It’s just that his part of Indigo is dangerous, no matter how peaceful it appears now.” She peered a bit out of her coat’s collar, checking their surroundings. “Especially for people that seem to have money.” Sabrina glanced at him. Without words, both knew now what they had to be careful about, though Will couldn’t help but feel a bit sad. To some extent, he could feel empathy for the people living here. There had been times when he had been...
“I suppose if things get dirty, I could teleport us out of here, but I wouldn’t be feeling too safe. If anyone notices that I am- we are psychic”, she corrected herself with a well placed, friendly smile”, they’re going to pull out the dark Pokemon for sure. If one doesn’t have one, his brother or father-in-law has one. Family bonds are strong here.” Will nodded and Sabrina noticed with a surprised look that this didn’t seem to be all new to him. Again, she assumed it must have been connected with his own family, but she didn’t get the chance to ask him about it. Both suddenly felt it and both froze. A lone, empty metal can was kicked through an alley to their left, banging against the stone wall of a shabby house. At first, Sabrina knew that she shouldn’t even look, rather walk away quietly and pretend she hadn’t noticed, for that may be a way to get out safely, but then she didn’t know how Will would act. Before he could do anything stupid, she would rather even dare to take control of his body with her powers, but that wasn’t necessary. Even if they had acted as if they were just innocent bypassers- which they were, technically, the scum living around here would have noticed them anyway, longing for any worthy possessions they might have. Sabrina suddenly regretted accepting this mission and started to think she knew why Lance had rather taken a few days off with his girlfriend instead of walking to the post office himself. Not that he was any more helpless than them, but he didn’t want to put himself under any stress and avoid unnecessary performances or damages.
“Well, see what we got there....” A young boy, who couldn’t be any older than fifteen, with yet black, short hair, scars all over his slightly tanned face and his clothes partly ripped, was standing with a Pokeball in his hand. Sabrina could already feel his comrades hiding behind the bins behind him in the shadows of the alley. They hadn’t shown themselves yet to keep Will and her in the false feeling of safety of only having one opponent. She was ready to take Will’s hand and get them out immediately, but he surprised her by stepping in front with his left hand outstretched, appearing as calm as one could be in this situation. “I know you want to cause trouble, boy, but I think this is a step too high for you.” Sabrina blinked. His voice had changed a bit- not as much that she couldn’t actually recognize it anymore, but it was darker, rougher, actually falling into some slang now and then. It sounded exactly like the words from someone you would expect to see in these ghettos, not like a young gentleman who had just been promoted to elite trainer.
“I hope for you two that you’re not together with that b**** that keeps on hanging around here...nasty s***, stealing our Pokemon and money.” The boy snarled. “No, we’re surely not. Though I would think stealing is the most common criminal act happening here, you shouldn’t be too surprised that it occurs to you, too....” Will answered, his dark eyes still focussed on the boy and the background.
Sabrina kept staring at him, completely stunned, which caused her not to notice Will’s still unsteady telepathic message at first. <Teleport us out, now.> She blinked. It was hard to understand the telepathy of an untrained psychic, as the vital information was interfered and blended with unconscious unwanted nonsense and thoughts that weren’t meant to surface at all, for their owner rather wanted to keep them private. Sabrina had to concentrate hard not to catch too much of this junk. She didn’t want to investigate Will’s mind too much, not only because of the privacy problems, but also because she didn’t simply want to know everything he thought. Some things a man might come up with might just be too embarrassing for someone like her...
However, as soon as she was sure she had clearly made out the central words and cut out everything that wasn’t addressed at her; she concentrated, trying to keep her powers from showing themselves. Normally, a psychic preparing for a teleport was easy to spot, as the glow a dead giveaway, but she wasn’t one of the best for nothing. Only a second later, they left the scene, leaving the boy and his comrades alone.
Crouched next to an empty oil barrel, silent and still whispering into her mobile phone in a way only the best trained agents could, the blue haired woman bit her lip. Something had gone wrong in the plan. It wasn’t her fault, but she was the one who had to try to fix it all now, as her client surely had not chance to interfere. “I’m sorry to tell you that the cargo ship with the targets has not arrived yet, though the one with the required equipment has. The boss doesn’t know anything about it, he still beliefs that it arrived yesterday. And yet two of them are on their way. What should I do?” She waited for a response. It didn’t take much time for her client to come up with an adequate solution.
The blue-haired woman nodded. “Okay, I got it. The same cargo number, you say? It will be easy to find it, don’t worry. I’ll be on my way now.” She pushed the off button and stood up. Unfortunately for the teenage boy, he found her first. “It’s you!“ He growled. She looked at him, no emotion crossed her face, not even a smirk crawling for victory. “Come out, Drapion!” The boy only had seconds before darkness engulfed his senses completely.
Will tried to shake off the involuntary shudder that came down his spine as they arrived in front of the small, ochre-coloured building with the trashy yellow plastic sign reading four dark letters. He didn’t even know why he was trembling so much. It couldn’t be the teleport itself, he had been teleported quite a few times now with Sabrina and it had never caused any fear in his psyche. If this teleport hadn’t been any different today, then it couldn’t be the reason.
He glanced at Sabrina, who was already walking up to the door. She wasn’t addressing him, keeping her back consequently to him. Will gulped. Maybe it was something about his behaviour that, hopefully only for a short time, drove her away from him. Shaking his head, he tried to convince himself that it had been necessary for him to step in, to go out of his usual new adapted way, regardless of what Sabrina might think about him now. He regretted telling her not everything, keeping her in the dark about many things, but he feared she wouldn’t want him around her anymore if she knew the truth.
Was that the true reason for his fear? Losing her?
“Sabrina, dear, wait...!” He called to her. She shot him a fast glance, one that was so white, so colourless, so devoid of all emotions that he backed away. It only lasted for a second, and then, her eyes were back to the dark, calming mix of blue and purple that attracted him.
“Come on, Will, we have to hand over the letter.” He faltered, but started to follow her not much later. For a moment, he knew he had been ready, had found the courage to talk to her, but a second later, his nerves had already been lost again. It was not the right atmosphere, everyone could hear them here, and secondly, she had been right, they had an important job to do.
The air in the office was dry and filled with too many perfumes and different scents coming from the air conditioning. Will was bewildered, why would anybody need air conditioning in the earliest spring? What artificial winds could be better than the blossomy breeze outside? Noticing the tonnes of letter and packages of all different sizes behind the reception desk, though, he assumed that special air and temperatures were needed to keep the paper in good condition.
Sabrina turned her head to the left and the right, looking for the main officer. All operators were wearing the same, dark blue costumes, the only thing that told them apart were the little name tags that did not only give each person an identity behind the identical masks, but also a special rang inside this office. For any normal person, the only way to find the one they were searching for would be to read each tag long-windedly until they discovered the right one more or less by accident, an irritating try and error game. But she wasn’t any normal, she was psychic and as alike as all these persons looked, their minds were quite different. Without hesitation, she chose a young man with platinum-blond, straight and short hair, though his haircut was unbelievable ugly and his face only increased that feeling. Sabrina didn’t notice, she had never sorted humans into beauty categories and even though she knew for sure that she wasn’t the only one finding Will to be handsome, she wouldn’t start the same with other men.
“You there.” “Hm?” The young boy turned around. Will was dumbfounded; he had never thought that someone so young would be found in such a big position. But then…how old was Lance again? And when had he promoted to elite four? At least four years ago, because he had already been there when Karen had won the tournament.
Sabrina couldn’t care less about the guy’s age, she already felt irritated by the cloud of synthetic scents that kept swirling around her head and causing headaches psychics were so susceptible to.
“We’ve got a message from Lance.” She turned her head to glance at Will, who had been staring around the room, not listening in. He blinked when he noticed her stare, then smiled nervously. Sabrina glared at him with an almost unnoticeable growl. “Oh, sorry.” He rummaged through his pockets, awkwardly searching for the envelope. Sabrina gazed over him with slight amusement, thoughts fogged up by the different oils and fragrances. <I swear, if you have to take off your pants, I’m never gonna look at you again...> Will blinked. “Worse if I lost the letter...” The young boy blinked, not understanding what was going on between the two psychics. Sabrina grinned. It was getting harder to concentrate; she wanted to get out of this room as soon as possible. “Here we go!” Will flashed Sabrina a cute smile as he handed her the crumpled envelope, which she answered with a helpless, but not exactly angry sigh. “Good for you.” She turned to the boy, still as clueless as before and not exactly grasping what was going on. He knew how to lead an office, how to command and organize, as that’s what he had been taught for years and years, but the little well-meaning clashes between lovers were new territory for him. Theoretically, for Will and Sabrina, they were, too, but the two psychic trainers did not think too much about how they acted, they just continued their daily life and the small changes in their behaviour were only noticeable for an outsider. Though the way Sabrina changed was more apparent...
With one hand around the edge of the envelope, the other searching blindly for a paper knife or anything else suitable for the job, the boy stared at the letter. Finally, Sabrina got annoyed enough to teleport a small pocket knife into his hand. The way her left hand was clutched at her side, Will wondered if she would have liked to cut the envelope open by herself. But then, she was known to restrain herself in official situations as much as possible and Sabrina, the ‘psychotic witch’, seen with a knife wouldn’t be the best way to make the public feel safe. “Let’s see what we got here...” Sabrina rolled her eyes and Will felt the impulse to put a hand on her shoulder, just to keep her from snapping. She smiled generously at him, leaning back into his arms. “I see, the cargo transporter that just arrived this morning...” Not taking his eyes from the letter, the boy started to walk to the backdoor, probably leading to the storeroom. Will blinked, amazed that someone could even do that without taking wrong directions or bumping into one of the several other persons working here. Seeing as Sabrina, though, was already following the young boy, he shrugged and followed her as well.
Sabrina couldn’t deny her curiosity, for she tried several times to peer around the main officer, trying to catch a glimpse of what he was reading so carefully, the contents of the letter. But the words were too small for her to read and the boy was moving too fast for her to be able to read much. All she could catch were a few numbers, bold, in the middle of the whole text, and emphasized by being separated from the other columns. Snorting, as these numbers didn’t tell her much, she put her mind off trying to find out anything.
There were other things she had to think of. Whatever the present they would be given now was, they had to be very careful with it, not damaging it in the last, or else Lance would do something to them. She was certain he wouldn’t kill them, neither strap them of their positions, but to tell the truth, she did not want to know what he would do in the end. So it was better to do as they were told.
The boy lead them through several shelves, full of different sized packages in different shades of brown and yellow, with strings or without, with white address notes been seen or not. While Will looked around again, surprised by the huge mass of post that was stored here, Sabrina didn’t spend everything a second look. The annoying smell wasn’t gone and her headache was kicking in again.
“Here we are.” The boy stopped in front of a big grey container and opened it with a grey key. The door squealed metallically, the riffled metal bending under the pressure. “Number 986 968 should be somewhere in there.” He smiled widely at the couple, who felt indeed a bit confused. “Ehm...what?” Will’s question summarized quite well a couple of issues that had just come up. Like what the number was supposed to mean, why they were standing in front of this oversized corrugated iron hut, and where the gift was supposed to be.
The boy smiled uneasily. “Well, 986 968 is the registration number of the subject mentioned in the letter. According to my checking list and the shipping documents, it should be in container nine, which we’re standing in front of.” He closed his eyes, still continuing his smile as if the world would end if he didn’t. “We haven’t had the time to unload the container yet, but the letter tells me it’s urgent, so I thought it would be better and faster if you two search for it.”
Will glanced at Sabrina, wondering when would be the right moment to put his hand on her- unhurt! shoulder again- that seemed to calm her down quite well, and keep the poor boy from getting psychically strangled. <Come on Brina, you know better than to take it out on him. There’s still Lance for this.> He tried to get her lightened up a bit with a grin, but she countered with a smile that was so frosty it relieved him of all spring warmness. He knew he should be used to the behaviour of his beloved winter lady, however, she often managed to scare him. <You’re right. We have to get this job straight, and after that...> She paused and Will- who shuddered from the cold tone even her telepathy possessed, continued after a meaningful pause. <Lance’s going to have some explanations ready.> She walked past the boy, into the unlit, uncomfortable container, still fresh with ocean’s air and the fragrance of fish. The elite trainer followed her, shrugging. It wasn’t as if they had much better things to do and at least they were together.
“Some lighter wouldn’t be so bad, you know...” Will almost cursed when he hit his feet against something metallic and hard. He bit his tongue, cursing wasn’t usual for him and especially not in the presence of a woman. “Use your powers, stupid.” If there hadn’t been the teasing edge in her scolding, he would have started being angry with her. He wasn’t as used to these powers as her yet and it still took him much concentration and energy to activate them. “It would be easier if we knew what we’re looking for...” He mumbled. Everything was stacked up to the ceiling, and though he remembered the number- or at least tried to remember it, he wasn’t sure he could even read in this darkness. How to read ink with psychic powers? Was that even possible? He was just about to ask Sabrina when his foot again hit something and he tripped over without support. To his surprise, though, he didn’t hit the hard, metallic ground, but something soft...and warm.
“Ouch...” Will shook his head, trying to get rid of this small dizziness, yet his eyes were fixed on Sabrina under him. Hopefully, he hadn’t hit her shoulder too hard. She growled. “I know what you want, boy, and I know it’s dark and we’re alone, but this is neither the right moment nor the right time and if you try to advance on me, you’re getting double the pain I’m feeling in my shoulder right now!” For a moment, he wondered what she was talking about, but suddenly, he jumped up, almost falling down again because he hadn’t found his balance yet and chuckled nervously. “Sorry...” Sabrina’s sigh didn’t hide her smile- and her redness, even in the dark. “Thankfully, at least one of us is concentrating on finishing this job.” She pointed up to a huge, quadratic package, on top of a wooden shelf. “Could you get it for me, please? You’re taller.” Will blinked. He had actually not noticed this until now, but it was true, she was noticeably smaller than him. And, for the fact, smaller than most women he had come across. Of course, even if that hadn’t been the case, he wouldn’t have denied her that favour. He was a gentleman after all.
Sabrina stepped back, still uneasy in her movements and feeling not completely well herself, too. She had understood the subtle hints, the unconscious thoughts snapping in that moment they had been so close. In a way, it had been similar to the moment back at the spring, where had caught her and held her close to his body. But then, they hadn’t been an official couple, both official to the public and their minds. Now they were and the scene had changed. It was true that she liked his warmth, having him close to her, but there was a step ahead that she wasn’t willing to tackle yet. She crossed her arms defensibly. She hoped she wasn’t overreacting, but Will didn’t seem to have noticed at all. He was just as relaxed as usual. Sighing, she tried to fight the butterflies in her stomach and not think too much.
“Goodness, that thing is heavy...” Will stumbled back a bit, with the box in his arms; he had no chance to support himself anywhere. He was just about to crash backwards when he felt an invisible force paralysing him completely. To his own astonishment, he wasn’t shocked, but had rather felt this coming. He knew too much about Sabrina and her powers, and psychic powers in general, now not to have the slight hope of being helped this way. The trainer smiled inwardly. His life had changed drastically, but he didn’t mind in any way. After all, it had changed to good.
“What is it?” Sabrina asked, leaning forward and slowly levitating the package downwards. “I don’t know.” Will let himself fall back, taking a deep breath and wiping away some sweat from his forehead. “I just know for sure that it’s not lightweight construction.” Curious, and brave as she was, Sabrina rubbed a bit off the brown package paper, peering beneath it. To her dismay, she only saw her own reflection, pale and framed by her black hair, darkness beneath it. At least that told her something about the present’s nature. “Glass....” She whispered, tilting her head. „Hm?“ Will looked up, he hadn’t listened in. „It’s made out of glass.” Sabrina repeated, walking around the present to sit down next to her boyfriend. “That explains why we’re supposed to be so damn careful with it.” Will glanced past her. “And why it’s so heavy.” Sabrina sighed, blowing a lose strand of hair out of her face, cooling Will’s at the same time and started to lean against him. “I’ll help you with carrying...” Throwing a short, sharp look at him, she put her finger on his lips just as he was about to say something, then silenced him completely with a kiss. “You don’t have to be the gentlemen every time. Let me play the gentlewoman for once, too.”
Minutes later, the couple walked slowly out of the office, carefully carrying the huge glass object between them. Will had to walk backwards and more often than once, he was about to trip and Sabrina had to stabilize him, causing laughter.
The blue-haired woman watched them with a seemingly unmoved expression, yet her eyes widened the smallest bit when she saw them. ‘It can’t be!’ She realized. ‘Something went wrong, they weren’t supposed to find anything!’ With a movement that could almost be called frantically in her case, she reached for her mobile phone, not bothering with the number, just picking the automatic re-deal button. “Client M?” She asked, nervous yet still keeping her voice down, scraping at the necklace she was wearing. It was supposed to dimmer psychic powers, but who knew for sure? She never trusted anything supernatural; she was more familiar with her own technical devices that worked on the laws of physics. “We have a problem.”
End Chapter 2
As you can see, the chapter went a bit slow. >.< Chapter 3 will probably not up for a while (= at least a week) as I only recently started to write it.
The Time goes by Here's my Key Philosophy And take your Time
So naturally A Freak like me To trust in me
While you'll receive Just needs And you'll find
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
So Lucian and Cynthia showed up, but not as long as I'd hoped... I love how Lucian was just staring at her beauty, that was cute.
And the object is made of... glass? That's surprising, because I thought it was going to be an egg, actually. And it's big and heavy too, what could it possibly be? It's for the Sinnoh couple, right? I wonder what they want with it.
Sorry, I'm not the best at reviewing. I enjoyed the chapter, I like all the cute little portions of Sabrina and Will's relationship. I just am not so skilled at being able to comment on it, after all, I'm too much of a minimalist. Just know that I enjoyed it and am looking forward to more, especially to seeing the Sinnoh couple talk. (Speaking of which, Cynthia's English voice is awful... awful! Oh, I want to wash out my ears after hearing how awful it was...)
^^;;; Sorry, I know I should have warned you...but their next appearence will be much, much larger and you'll get to know a little more about them...if you catch the subtle hints in the next chapter, that is. 0=)
0=) No telling here, as that's a plot point.
Really, no problem there, CPF. ^^ I'm happy that someone at least reviews *pokes Zammy*, so the review can be that short.
And the two will talk. Or at least Cynthia will talk *snickers*.
I haven't heard it yet *goes to youtube*, but I assure you that her German voice is...okay. Not good, but not bad either.
The Time goes by Here's my Key Philosophy And take your Time
So naturally A Freak like me To trust in me
While you'll receive Just needs And you'll find
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
Next chapter. Hints of a new pairing, action slowly starting, etc, ... Just read it. XD
3. Chapter: Lies& Lures
The next morning, miles away from downtown, the small, private airport of Indigo City was in uproar. More than double the usual security men framed the glass house and the related runway. The usual staff had been raised as well, almost tripping over each others’ feet now in the chaos of the incoming plane containing the elite. Without Lance’s leading hand- which was probably now on Clair’s more delicate body parts, they were free, but lost as well. Without his loud, commanding voice, the hallways were peacefully quite, until frantic screaming of the employees entered them. “They’re coming! They’re coming!“
The next second, last second preparations were taking place at several different offices at the same time, all coordinating the small airport into a gigantic, almost living fortress, ready for everything, even an atomic war if necessary. They couldn’t allow a second fiasco to happen, a second kidnapping or anything even near that. They would all be doomed if that happened, Lance not only stripping them of every meaningful position they had, but also erasing their very existence from the books of this world. Not to mention that Sinnoh’s citizens would laugh their heads off, pointing with their filthy, bony fingers at them for being the useless puppets they always had been in their eyes.
Cynthia started to wonder if Sinnoh’s people were any better than Indigo’s.
Reflecting the morning sun, appearing to be dipped into pure white, not a single colour visible, the plane materialized on the sky, the few clouds that were left almost seemed to be parting for the high visitors they got. Slowly, it dived down, taking all the time it got. It was a nice day; they weren’t in a hurry to land. The official welcoming ceremony was going to take place in a few hours, still giving the two celebrities all time to relax and prepare themselves. For their delegation, the time was to be used for several official meetings and, of course, the organization taking place here, everything that couldn’t have been planned back home in Sinnoh.
Then, finally, the plane was down. As soon as its wheels touched the ground, a swarm of security men crawled nearer, shielding it from any influence from the outside. It took the door an seemingly endless moment to open, but then, the pride of Sinnoh stepped out, her blonde hair flying in the fresh air, paralleled by her long black coat that hid her silky, long legs, stuck in long, fur-coated boots. With a smooth movement, she put on some pitch-black sunglasses, tilting her neck and looking all over the place. Curiously, some shadow crept up behind her. It was Lucian, today dressed in a black and grey suit, with a grey jacket loosely worn over it. Cynthia glanced back at him, her lips slightly open, shining with the new, pale pink lipstick. “It’s a wonder you’re so tanned when you rarely go outside.” Lucian raised an eyebrow, walking past his girlfriend and down the plane stairs with an unreadable expression, his hands in his pockets. “They have windows in libraries, you know.” His voice was so casual one could have thought he was talking to his neighbour, but not Sinnoh’s champion. But then again, she was his girlfriend and he could talk to her in any way he wanted to.
Cynthia turned up her nose and pressed her lips together strongly, but didn’t say anything. Everyone could see her now; there was no chance to scold him.
“Champion Cynthia Monde, Elite Four Lucian Livre, it’s such a pleasure to have you here.” “Yeah, sure it is.” Lucian smiled generously, though no one could tell if his smile was real or not. No one, except for maybe Cynthia. She glanced at him before smiling at the head of the airport, shaking his hand happily.”The same could be said on our side, mister, it’s so nice to be finally able to visit Kanto, after all they trouble you’ve been through.” She lowered her head as if in shame, but it was all tactical. Sinnoh had enough problems; she couldn’t care less for Kanto’s. Team Galactic, Team Rocket…they were all nasty flies in the golden soup of triumph.
The little man nodded, his fake hair almost falling down, not to mention that the strong breeze was a killer for it, anyway. “You’re going to meet two representatives, William Bender and Sabrina Bennett, in a few hours. I would recommend you to rest until then.” Cynthia nodded. “Then we’ll do that, won’t we, dear Lucian?” He blinked openly in her direction, but then nodded without word.
One hour later, in a small hotel room near the league headquarters, a young man was fiddling with his bow tie. “Argh, Karen, can’t you help me?” The young blonde, raising an eyebrow as she watched her roommate close to strangling himself, had crossed her legs in a way that compensated for her daringly short dress. She stood up, Will wondering briefly how someone could even walk on high heels that high, before lack of oxygen took his consciousness. “Really, Will boy, normally you’re able to do this on your own, aren’t you?” She slapped him on the back and ripped the cloth from his neck harshly, but in a fashion one could almost call erotic. “I’m nervous.” He whispered, throat sore. Karen grinned evilly, playing with the tie between her long fingernails. “I see.” She again took the two ends of the bow tie and leaned forward to place it. “You’re sure your little girlfriend won’t mind if I do this?” She asked, breathing next to his cheek, her lips almost touching his. Will gulped. He had wondered if Sabrina could help him, too, since she was only a room away, but now, it was really hard to think at all.
“Karen, please...” She smiled, then, suddenly, pulled the knot together so strongly he had to yelp. “You should be more careful with certain things.” She said before walking out of the room.
Cynthia was sitting in a luxurious armchair, head resting gently on her bare left arm, gazing out of the ceiling reaching window. She was only wearing a black bathrobe, the belt so loose it wouldn’t hang in if she stood up. One of her furry, equally black slippers was gliding down, revealing a delicate, slim foot with black painted nails. A slight shudder should have gone down Lucian’s spine, seeing his girlfriend so attracting, yet he was absorbed in a book about Kanto’s culture.
He looked up. “You should get dressed.” He commanded. Cynthia slowly turned her head around, gazing over him. “Yes, you’re right.” She answered.
Yet another half an hour later, both Sabrina and Will were standing in the big entrance hall of the league headquarters. Will was fiddling with his bow tie again and again, walking around in half circles around a potted palm, while Sabrina was leaning against a wall with half closed eyes.
Will’s shoes caused a rhythmic, dull clacking on the marble ground. Sabrina took a deep breath. “Will?” “Hm?” “Please stop it.” Her sudden glare caused him to froze. “Okay.” Uneasily, he put his hand behind his head and leaned next to her. “I’m nervous...” Sabrina smiled. “Really?” Her voice was teasing him and to his own surprise, he felt more relaxed, just because of her. Not only her presence, but also having her talk to him. “Just think that you’re going to meet people like me and you. Ordinary people.” Will raised an eyebrow, thinking the teasing game could be played by two. “Oh, we’re ordinary?” “You’ve got nothing- what?” Sabrina paused, realising what Will had said just now. She chuckled. “No, of course not.” For a moment, she faltered, her formal image shattering, as she took his chin in her hand and kissed him. Deep in the back of her mind, she knew she shouldn’t do that, shouldn’t show her affection so openly, as that could only cause pain and harm to their still fresh and young relationship, but it was so hard resisting your feelings when they were overthrowing you, overthrowing you after years of their absence, now stronger than ever and...
“Ahem.” Sabrina broke the kiss abruptly, startling both Will and herself, staring at the two Sinnoh trainers in shock. She hadn’t noticed anyone coming in. Again. Her powers seemed to have dimmed down since she had met Will. Or at least they were dimmed down each time they came closer. Or kissed. It was a curse, as if she could only have either her powers or Will, almost as if fate didn’t allow her to be completely happy.
Sabrina coughed, shaking away any troublesome thoughts and instead concentrating on her job again. She had to gather enough concentration to teleport the gift once they were ready to. Or she should just leave the job to Will...
“Welcome to Indigo Headquarters, Ms. Monde, Mr. Livre”, Sabrina walked up to them, lowering her head and taking Cynthia’s hand first, then switching with Will who had welcomed Lucian first. A small smile was shared between the two psychics, Lucian and Cynthia mirroring their expressions lifelessly. “I hope you had a good flight.” “Oh, yes, we did.” Cynthia’s voice was high, songlike and pleasant, almost too pleasant. “Yeah, sorta.” Lucian rolled his eyes, not appearing to be bothered at all. “Do you like Indigo so far?” Cynthia shrugged, glancing at her side for help, but her boyfriend was already inspecting the architecture. “It is nice. We haven’t seen much of it so far. Only the airport, the hotel and parts of the headquarters. The airport seemed to be really security-loaded, the hotel as well.” Cynthia stopped, and even though her powers were staggering a bit, Sabrina’s instincts told her that Cynthia was just about to mention the awful case of the kidnapped trainers now. “But I supposed with these dreadful things happening recently, it’s needed.” The smile returned onto the blonde’s face. “I heard what happened to you, Sabrina- we may use first names, won’t we? You’re feeling alright, hopefully?” Sabrina nodded. She didn’t know so far if she should like Cynthia or not, but the champion hadn’t given her any reason to mistrust her so far. It was her instinctual hate for champions, persons in an unbelievable powerful position that made her cautious. “I am alright. I got out of the hospital a few days ago.” Cynthia clapped one hand over her mouth, while Lucian didn’t show any reaction. “Only a few days ago? Oh, my God, and you’re already taking jobs for the league again! My, what a stamina!” Sabrina smiled slightly, amused and embarrassed at the same time. “I was there for a whole month until I regained consciousness; it took me quite some time to recover...” Will interrupted her, defending his girlfriend. “She is strong. She was quite close to death, but she survived.” He put his arm around her waist, pulling her a bit closer to him. At first, Sabrina gave in and leaned in his direction, but then her consciousness kicked in again; she coughed in an awkward way and steadied herself again. “I don’t think we should keep discussing this.” Sinnoh’s champ nodded sincerely. “I know that it left scars on your soul.” Sabrina wondered how right she was...
It had certainly left something on her soul, but that wasn’t exactly a scar...
Cynthia’s face changed again to a cheerful smile. It was amazing how emotional she was, in contrast to her boyfriend, whose only expression was the visible sigh now and then. “I don’t think standing around here is the right atmosphere for a friendly welcome, now is it? This hall is all too lifeless and bare for my taste!” Sabrina chuckled inwardly, noticing that this was Lance’s style of formality. Realizing this, she wondered how Sinnoh’s league headquarters were designed and what kind of style Cynthia preferred. Anyone that thought metal and white were overused here couldn’t be emotionally cold and Cynthia certainly wasn’t. Lucian, on the other hand...
“What do you mean?” Lucian blinked, but even the movement of his eye lids seemed to be robotic. “The view around the hall is fantastic, the interior is modern and stylish and the room’s division is just perfect.” He raised his arm, the sleeve of his chestnut-coloured suit falling back a bit. “See that pillar over there? Just p...” „Lucian.” Cynthia pushed his arm down again, shaking her head in his direction.
Sabrina was taken aback a bit. If this were how relationships usually worked...then, well, she was quite glad not to be the normal kind of girl. Judging from the look on Will’s face, he was agreeing with her.
“Well, we could go to the cafeteria...” Will suggested. For a moment, Sabrina wanted to step on his feet on purpose, as she thought this was barely the right location for this well-known couple. They had to be careful, not only because of Team Rocket, but who knew if they had blackmailed or bribed someone there into poisoning the food? And no, she was certainly not paranoid, just...careful.
“Oh, of course!” Cynthia clapped her hands together, a little bit too enthusiastic for someone who was made champion, but then, characters were different. “I would like to go there! Don’t you think so too, Lucian sweety?” “Yeah, right...” If he had even heard her question, his real answer would have been miles away from what he had just said, it didn’t take Sabrina psychic powers to know that. The next thing, though, wasn’t foreseen by her...“You’re leading, handsome?” Will gulped and yet couldn’t stop himself from nodding. His intuition told him Sabrina was just millimetres away from committing double murder, possibly sparing Lucian, but then, this seemed to be Cynthia’s kind of speaking- after all, Sinnoh had a different language, hadn’t it?, only did Sabrina not realize that consciously.
“He will.” Sabrina growled, grabbing Will’s collar and pushing him in front of the group. <So Cynthia doesn’t even get the chance to get near you!> Will winced. Even her telepathic voice sounded angry. <Dear, it’s not my fault.> He whined, trying hard to keep in path with her and not trip over his own feet. <I...oh...yes, you’re right, it’s not. I’m sorry.> She apologized, a sad smile placed over her face. Will quickly forgave her, kissing her cheek. Cynthia smiled at this, while Lucian just continued to roll his eyes, his hands in his pockets.
Minutes later, the group consisting of four trainers was sitting at a round, white plastic table in the league’s cafeteria. Lucian had ordered for the group, seemingly happy to get away from the convention for a moment and was now just returning with the tablet. “The waiters must have gotten the day off...” He mumbled, his voice quite low and almost inaudible. Cynthia took her chocolate without commenting his manners, staying rather cheerful. “Quite an unusual meeting so far, isn’t it?” “Sure is.” Will said, leaning back, linking his hands behind his head. Sabrina sighed, forgiving him his behaviour only because he was new to this and had never met any officials from other countries. She hadn’t either, but she was in contact with enough people in powerful positions. Cynthia grinned. “Let’s lay off the formalities, shall we?” ‚If we haven’t already‘, Sabrina thought dimly. “So, you two’re a couple?” Sabrina coughed and almost choked on her tea, while Will was just surprised. Almost instinctually, both were ready to fight a blush, but to their surprise, there was no reason to do so. They had become used to being called a couple by now and it was...an unusual, but not bad feeling.
“Yeah, for...some weeks now...” Will hesitated, glancing at Sabrina first to get her agreement. She didn’t mind. There was no real reason to postpone the date, since it had taken both of them some time to realize their love and there was no real, fixed day that had started it all...after all, Sabrina had confessed much later than Will, due to her condition.
Cynthia nodded at this. “Lucian and I have been together for almost five years now.” She didn’t notice Will and Sabrina’s coordinated shudder. ‘So this is how we’ll end up in a few years?!?’ ”Love is magical at its beginning, but it gets...” She stopped. Sabrina wondered in what fashion she had wanted to end that sentence, but she had a good feeling. Something like shallow, boring, dull or just an annoying reminder that there’s still someone who hangs around with you yet you’ve realized that you actually can’t stand that guy and just don’t have the courage to tell him.
Really, the future looked bright for her and Will, didn’t it?
Sabrina shook her head, fighting back any sad thoughts that darkly clouded her mind. The false cheerfulness of Cynthia only increased the nagging feeling.
The female champion, noticing this, decided to try to cheer her up. “Lance told us he got us some kind of gift.” “Yeah, he surely did.” Will sighed, causing Sabrina to chuckle. That had been some story.... “I’m not sure what it’s about.” Sabrina stopped herself before she could say any more. “Of course we didn’t look at it, or tried to find out what it is, or...” “Sabrina, stop it, you already gave it away.” Will laughed, Cynthia and even Lucian joining in. “No problem. We don’t mind.” Sabrina nodded at her boyfriend and he concentrated. It was the first time that he tried to teleport anything that big and heavy on his own, but he had trained a lot.
And he managed it.
Cynthia’s eyes widened the smallest bit when she saw the almost two feet high statue, but the change in Lucian was more obvious and more unexpected. He stood up, his chair almost falling back, and his dull eyes started to shine with an excitement one could rarely have expected from him.
“Oh, goodness, this architecture!” He clapped his hands together. “Fabulous! Wonderful!” He clapped his hands around the sides of the glass cube, to see the interior more detailed. “That’s Alamos Town, isn’t it? And the tower....wonderful, just wonderful!” Lucian smiled, Cynthia rolled her eyes with a well-meaning smile, while Sabrina and Will were quite confused. They didn’t really know what Lucian was talking about. And the other psychic elite trainer didn’t seem to want to explain it to them either, too caught up in his eulogy. “The small little driving mechanisms, do they work? I hope they do...oh my god, this is just fantastic!” Cynthia sighed and decided to finally give an explanation to the two very confused psychics. “Alamos Town is quite famous in Sinnoh for its architectural structure, especially for the tower you see in the middle.” Letting her head rest on her hands, she smiled at Lucian and his new ‘plaything’. “It’s actually the biggest music instrument of the world, but I should leave explaining the whole technology behind to Lucian. He knows more about it than I, more than many professional architects as well, I suppose. It’s his little ‘hobby’.” “Quirk is more the right word...” Will muttered, pressing his lips together to hold down a smile. Lucian, noticing this though, glared at the other psychic trainer darkly, finally cutting off his attention off the model.
“Well, anyway...you’re still new to the elite four, aren’t you, Will?” The young man nodded, quite happy that Cynthia had called him by his name and not by some adjective. He didn’t know- and didn’t want to know either, how Sabrina would react to this. Her jealousy was understandable, as their love was still young and she probably hadn’t forgotten how the other girls of the league had swarmed around him. It was her right to be on alert, but if she at least wouldn’t show it so openly...she was psychic after all, she could easily read Cynthia’s mind if she wanted to. “I’ve been officially appointed roughly a month ago. No official fights yet.” Lucian took a casual sip of his black coffee. “The first days are the easiest. It just gets harder as soon as the trainers find out about your little habits, your tricks, your strategies...being an elite is not an end to your career. It just means that you train and train and still stay at the same spot forever if you don’t manage to beat your comrades.” Lucian’s look was disapproving, almost contemptuous. “You should at least be able to fight that muscle-head, whatshisnameagain, Bruni? And that ninja fighter, Coca, right? Judging from your element...” Sabrina took a deep breath. She didn’t know how Will would react to criticism; he wasn’t used to it yet. Cynthia just stared at Lucian blankly and Will…Will looked as if someone had thrown a wet towel directly into his face. “I....” He looked away. He didn’t know what to say. He didn’t know what to say at all. He was completely beaten. “Of course, one could think that it’s your background that made you only go for the least favourable position, after all, coming from...” “SHUT UP!!!”
In a matter of seconds, the situation had changed again. Will had stood up from his chair with force, knocking it away. Mildly, Sabrina was reminded of the way she had reacted to the news of not being promoted to elite and was surprised how similar she and Will acted. But then she saw the tears.
“Shut up! This is nothing that should concern you!” His eyes were blazing, but the way they were shining told Sabrina that Will really had to fight more tears from pouring. She gulped. “It’s...” Will’s voice quavered. He stopped to take a breath. „One more word about it and you’ll regret coming here, guy.” With that, Will stormed away. Sabrina looked after him. She felt the need to run after him, to calm him down, to keep him from crying- even before asking him what the heck this had been about, and she was surprised about these feelings. She had never felt the need to comfort somebody, nor had she ever thought that she was suitable for this job. But judging the alternatives...she was the only one she herself would trust having around Will now. So she made her decision, which would probably cause Lance to discipline her deeply, but she couldn’t care less about the air balloon head right now.
“You two don’t mind if I take care of him, first, now, do you?” She directed this at Cynthia, getting the feeling that Lucian’s reply would infuriate her more than it would be useful. The Sinnoh champ nodded, not looking at Lucian either. “Of course.” Sabrina hesitated. “I wish we could have continued this conversation, but for now, it has to end. Maybe we can continue it later?” Cynthia shook her head. “Lance has planned a city tour for us for the rest of the day, so I fear that will be impossible.” Sabrina nodded, glancing back. “I’m sorry about that, too. But I have to go now.” With that, she dashed off, hoping to find Will soon.
Silence fell over the cafeteria, before Cynthia, taking the last slip of her chocolate, turned her small grey eyes to Lucian, her face now stony and serious. “We’ve got a problem, honey. They got the wrong one.”
Sabrina only realized after turning around a few corners in a speed that was unusual even for her that she did not know where Will had gone. She had blindly started to run, not thinking about detecting him with her powers first. Now she wanted to curse herself for making this stupid mistake, but her luck kicked in. Will was just standing a hallway away, still in sight, his head down, leaned against the staircase’s wall, half hidden behind a potted plant.
“Will!” She stopped herself from running to him, though her legs almost hurt walking so slowly, not to mention how much her heart was aching, seeing him so sad and her having to take her time to calm down herself. All she wanted to do was touch him again, feel him, and it confused her so much she was close to tripping. On a perfectly smooth marble ground. Unwanted miracles happening...
“Hi.” He looked up after he had noticed her. Sabrina froze for a second. If he was trying to smile...he was failing. Failing miserably. One part of her wanted to ask him the millions of questions that swirled around her mind, all at once. The other part didn’t care about information at all, only wanting to console him. In the end, that other part won and she put her arms around him, leaning her head against his body. “Sabrina...“ She didn’t answer, having closed her eyes and calmed down her troubled breathing. For a minute, they just stood there in silence, in this embrace, soothing them both. Yet at the same time, it hurt Sabrina to be so close to him now and know, or at least fear, that one day, they would be a mirror of the couple Cynthia and Lucian, just living their lives parallel to each other, having lost all the love and empathy.
“Sabrina, what’s wrong?” Will asked gently. Sabrina sniffed, she hated herself for being so emotional, yet she liked her new emotions, the ones that didn’t make her look like a crybaby anyway. In a way, Will had softened her up, but she hoped that phase would pass over. “I...” She swallowed, fighting back the unwanted tears. Originally, she had come to comfort him, and now it was her who was crying. How ironic. “I...you’ve seen how they are...Will, I never want us to be like them.” She stared into his violet eyes, tightening her grip on him at the same time. “Never. Not....not...this isn’t love anymore. It’s just a joke. It’s as if they’re just together because they have to, because they don’t know anymore how life without each other is, yet everything they do is...artificial. Acting. Acting as if they’re in love.” She shook her head. “I’d rather...” The psychic gym leader was close to biting her tongue, because the next words hurt. It hurt only to even think about them, yet they had to be said, if she didn’t want to be hurt even more some time in the future. Hopefully in a time that would never come. “I’d rather have us break up then end up like this...” Again, she buried her face in his clothes, crying.
Will was confused. Not because he didn’t get what Sabrina was saying- no, not at all. He understood her perfectly. He was rather surprised that she, the cold, unfeeling girl, had noticed the wrongness of what they had just witnessed. Of course, it could be because his definition of love had changed since the moment he had finally found his girlfriend, but it didn’t mean that he had to accept everything other people thought to be ‘love’. The way these two talked to each other...there couldn’t be much they had to talk about anymore.
And yet, he felt so good knowing that Sabrina agreed with him. And nothing, nothing in the world would keep him from giving her that promise.
“Never, Sabrina.” He slowly raised her chin to his face, smiling at her graciously. He was actually glad she hadn’t brought up the topic of his unwanted disappearance from the meeting, because he had expected her to interrogate him on it. Maybe that would come later. Then he could at least prepare.
“I promise you that will never happen.” With that, the two sealed their promise with a kiss, the longest they had so far, and no one watching them in the lonely hallway.
That evening, in the darkness of a hotel room, a young woman was watching the moon, her body only covered by a silky, transparent blouse. Her eyes, appearing to be grey in the pale moonlight, were unmoving, yet their blaze was intense.
The door was opened by a second figure, a young man, his wavy hair still wet from washing. He only wore a towel around his waist and watched the young woman with interest. He didn’t have to ask the question.
“I was already informed beforehand, but I didn’t want to believe it until I saw it with my own eyes.” The woman turned around. Through the small crack of light the open bathroom door left, it could be seen that her blouse was open, no cloth beneath it. She was truly beautiful, like a goddess coming from heaven. “It was the wrong one.” “Then our plan is ruined?” The man questioned, standing still. The woman shook her head, her hair falling around her delicate, pale face. “It is not. The right gift is coming tomorrow.” She stood up, in a way that made her blouse almost fall down from her shoulders, yet it kept hanging in to hide at least parts of her arms and her back. Slowly, she put an arm around the man’s muscular neck and kissed it, her long, blonde hair falling over his bare chest. “I’ve already arranged everything. You need to get the girl, Sabrina, tomorrow to the post office. Then, the right container will arrive and you just need to get her near it. You think you can manage that?” He nodded, closing his eyes. “Good.” Breaking the kiss, she stared into his eyes. “Then we can have our fun now.”
The next morning, an unusual silence was over the league headquarters. The dinner room used for breakfast was filled with people, yet if someone had been walking down the hall in front of it, he would have thought it had been left empty, for there was not a single conversation going on, every word was whispered, whispered so quietly Blaine and Pryce wished they had taken their hearing aids with them. It was the sound of apprehension.
Today, the two most celebrated Sinnoh trainers would eat with them.
Sabrina rolled her eyes. Again, she was sitting at a table with Erica and Misty, the latter one ready to jump away any moment. Any moment would be the moment Will came around. Apparently, the water type gym leader couldn’t stand the love cooing of the two. Sabrina couldn’t understand her. She couldn’t understand many of her fellow gym leaders, neither did she know why they were so anxious about Lucian’s and Cynthia’s approaching presence. As she had experienced yesterday- not to mention that she knew that before, too, these two were as human as everybody else here, with the possible exception of being a bit more powerful as trainers and influences on their country’s policy.
Sighing, she shook her head. She, especially she, should know that people’s emotions were unpredictable and that strong persons- no matter what field they were strong in, had them cover in fear. Fear of reprisals, fear of being oppressed, fear of...being hurt. Sabrina gulped and looked down at the table, her appetite disappearing quickly. She had given her colleagues reasons to fear her, hadn’t she?
“Good morning, dear.” Sabrina was startled when someone touched her hair, only to realize it was Will, who hadn’t actually sneaked up on her, much to her surprise and dismay. He had come through the front door, clearly visible even to her, yet she had been too caught up in her thoughts to notice him. Had she? She sure hoped it wasn’t her powers loosening intensity. That would really be the worst case scenario, and the lesser evil of that would be that she wouldn’t be able to train Will properly anymore.
“Hm, good morning to you, too.” Will raised an eyebrow. “You don’t sound that happy. Something wrong?” He smiled. „Or you’re just not a morning person?“ He was teasing her, she knew, yet she wasn’t in a mood to be teased. “It’s nothing.” Will shrugged, when suddenly, the silence of the room switched to a nervous squeaking and giggling, close to that of a herd of Rattatas who had just found the larder. Cynthia and Lucian had arrived.
Cynthia came into the room first, beaming with happiness. She wore a loose, black blouse underneath her black coat. Sabrina blinked. She hadn’t noticed this yesterday but....now she was close to asking herself...were all champions colour blind and fashionable unbearable? She could see the reason behind Lance’s fetish- he wanted to impress the fangirls who did not know yet that black capes did not equal complete coolness and supernatural powers, but Cynthia... if she wanted to have the same effects with her clothes, then Sabrina would seriously think about declaring war on Sinnoh for pure stupidness. A country led by such a person could only be easy to defeat.
Or maybe she was a true gothic. Considering how all the clothes she had seen on Cynthia so far were indeed black, that was the more realistic motive. Though Cynthia’s mood surely did not fit into the gothic category...
“Good morning, everyone!” She shouted, catching everyone’s attention and interest, if she hadn’t gotten it yet. The reactions of Kanto’s and Johto’s gym leaders were different. Some just nodded in her direction, not that interested in getting in contact with her. To her dismay, Sabrina noticed the group around Clair actually greeting her with delight. It wasn’t as if they really wanted to be friendly...they just thought that hanging around the more powerful would give them a piece of the cake of influence. Or at least that’s what their thoughts projected to the young psychic. She shook her head, slightly disgusted with all these false emotions. She was happy enough she had real emotions now, why faking them then?
“By you two, I’m going.” Misty declared, taking her plate with her. Sabrina followed her with her eyes, wondering just what was wrong with the younger girl. Will watched her too, before sighing and shrugging, sitting down on the seat the water type gym leader had just left for him. Erica just continued smiling. “She’s just jealous. Ash has been ignoring her for some time now. She fears he has gotten another girlfriend in that new girl that travels with him and Brock, Dawn.” Will frowned. „Cheating on her? How rude!“ Sabrina took a sip of her green tea, just watching her boyfriend and Erica silently. If Misty was truly jealous...it was no reason to act this way. Will and she had nothing to do with Misty’s personal problems.
“Ahem.” Sabrina blinked. She knew that voice…but hearing it so close to her somehow scared her. “Lucian...what are you doing here?” She looked up, studying his face but founding it to be as rough and unemotional as ever. His smile, following her question, wasn’t flattening that illustration. “Cynthia’s talking with the girls, so I thought it would be better for me to leave her alone for the time being. Besides, we didn’t get to talk much yesterday, did we?” Sabrina raised an eyebrow. ‘It was you who didn’t talk much, boy.’
Lucian grabbed the coffeepot, not bothering with milk or sugar at all. “Actually, would you mind if I lend your girlfriend for some while, dear William? I would like to talk with her...you know, psychic trainers sharing their knowledge.” The tension in the room was almost visible and this time, it wasn’t just the simple arrival of someone. Sabrina actually had to take a breath to swallow a rude comment that desperately wanted to escape her. How...what....what arrogance had this Lucian just displayed! Not only that he openly tried to take her away from Will- in itself a reason for her to smack him hard, he had also openly cut Will out of the psychic trainer category, without any attempt to hide his offensiveness. How could someone that had no respect for a trainer that was probably just as skilled as him be an elite trainer? They were public figures; too, the press watched every one of their steps and speeches, too. Of course, in this dining hall, the atmosphere was calmer, more casual, but that gave him no right to threat Will as if he was just air. Lucian was a guest, nothing more.
“Sure, why not?” Sabrina stared at Will, her eyes wide awake. Had she just heard him right? He had actually agreed? Was he that naive or just plain stupid? Or...did he not care as much for her as she assumed, to let her get taken by another man that easily? Sabrina was confused about her boyfriend’s behaviour, yet she did not get to ask him. Lucian nodded, taking the last sip of his coffee- he had drunk it in a rate of time that shouldn’t be possible for any human to accomplish without burning his tongue, yet there weren’t any signs of pain on his face. It was as unmoved as ever. But even with all the indifference, he didn’t remind her of her old self, the one split with the doll. She had been emotionless, but in every meaning of the word. She couldn’t even be rude. Not that she could be now; it was just against her personality, but Lucian...it was as if he hid his true character somewhere outside of his body, as if he was just a shell that spoke without caring about anything, or anyone. How could Cynthia just continue living with someone like him?
“We can go, Sabrina?” He asked, his voice smooth, uneven, but without any real emotion. “I suppose so...” She threw one last glance at Will, but he looked as confused as her, glancing at Erica at his side, who blinked. Apparently, she was of the same opinion as Sabrina concerning Lucian’s actions, but as Erica was quite polite, too, she didn’t interrupt. Sabrina sighed inwardly. Apparently, she was lost with Lucian for the moment. Not really the way she had pictured spending the morning, but she had to get along with it for now, for a certain someone didn’t seem to have the guts to chase away a rival courting his girlfriend...
As Lucian dragged the rather miserable Sabrina away, two sets of eyes watched them out of the corners. The ninja girl Janine allowed an almost invisible smile to appear on her face before giving Clair a knowing nod. It was time to start their plan.
The second person watching Lucian and Sabrina was thinking exactly the same...
Sabrina was watching Lucian with mistrust. She didn’t know why he had dragged her outside and yet, now that they were on the main street and alone, he was silent. She supposed it was in his character to be so...incomprehensible and odd, yet that didn’t mean she had to put up with him. If he wanted to steal her time, the few time she had left with Will...well, she could always teleport away. There was nothing keeping her.
Then, suddenly, he did start talking.
“Sabrina...what do you know about the league?” She blinked. Now this was a question she wouldn’t, couldn’t answer honestly. If Lucian had wanted to made it any more bluntly that he was here to spy on Kanto’s league...well, he should have been wearing a tissue around his neck with the big, red word ‘spy’ on it. Although that might blend in with his red suit...
Lucian noticed her bewildered expression and started to laugh. His laugh was mocking, like the laugh of someone who was amused at a person that had just made a fool out of itself. “Oh, no, no, I’m not talking about this league. I’m talking about all leagues, the leagues in general. What do you know about them?” Sabrina stopped. “What are you getting at?” She asked, her voice sharp. She would never be threatened by him. He might be a more powerful trainer, but she was a psychic, that was an advantage he did not have.
Lucian stopped and turned around to face her. Sabrina noticed only now where they had been walking to. It was the area around the post office. Coincidence or not? Should she start being worried now? “I see you do not know much. I am not surprised. Lance is embarrassed by the...social background, so to say, of the league, so he kept that well hidden.” One hand in his pocket, the other gesticulating around, Lucian sure looked confident. And weird. But since no one was watching, he couldn’t care less. “Our league, the Sinnoh league, handled it in a quite different way. We stand by our history, we do not try to hide it shamefully and cover up the hints by allowing any scum into our league.” Sabrina bit her lip. What was he talking about? Lucian opened his eyes. “You don’t get it, do you?” Well, he was speaking the truth, but Sabrina wouldn’t dare to confirm his theory. “I should have known...after all, he hasn’t told you anything. Coward. He should just stand by it as much as we do... well...” Lucian sighed, a clear disappointment with whatever this male person hadn’t done. “Do you know who formed the league? Who started it, who the first members were?” Sabrina blinked. Of course she did not know...to her shame, she had never asked. Lucian smiled. “The king. The king of the region. The elite trainers were the strongest princes, the gym leaders the different rulers of the bigger towns. That’s how the league system we have today came to be. One king, four ‘elite’ princes, then the dozens of smaller ones ruling their own area. No chance that a simple worker, craftsman or farmer would ever, ever get that far, may they be as talented or even more talented than the king himself. Or the queen, for the matter.” Lucian waved with his hand, shrugging. “That system survived for quite some time. Of course not with kings and the likes, no, we don’t have such anymore. But the people in the most popular positions were declared elite four and champion...not the strongest trainers.” He smiled uncaringly. “Even now...look the league trainers. Lance is a descendant of a family of dragon trainers that have ruled Blackthorn and the mountain region of Johto for hundreds of years. Loreley’s family probably has more influence on the Orange Islands than its government, reason why she retired now. More chance to play out the cards there than here. Agatha...wasn’t she in a relationship with Prof. Oak, the most intelligent authority in the field of Pokemon research?” He laughed. “Our Bertha’s actually a close relative of her. Coincidence? I believe not. Even Cynthia…her grandmother’s a well-known Pokemon professor in Sinnoh...everyone knew of her before they got to know her celebrated granddaughter.” He chuckled. “And I can’t say that my family is unknown in Sinnoh....Fantina, one of our gym leaders, is distinctly related to me, too...hence my French family name.” He pushed his glassed farther up his nose. “I doubt it’s any different in Hoenn, I heard Steven’s the youngest son of an influencing big company in Hoenn.” “Devon Corporation.” Sabrina blurted out, knowing of the rivalry between Devon and Silph. Lucian shrugged, putting his other hand in the other pocket, too. “See? All places filled by persons that were strong and well-known even before their joining.” “Now why are you telling me this?” She had the distinct, unpleasant feeling that she knew why, that he would mention her own family’s wealth and the influence it had on Saffron, especially about her father... But he surprised her once more.
“Well, what do you think Lance searched for when Loreley and Agatha retired? Again a prominent figure? Someone that would bring his publicity and agents with him?” Lucian stared out at the horizon, face unreadable. “No. He went for something different. He chose normal trainers. Normal trainers no one had seen before so far, except for the fact that they had been outstanding in the tournament they had won.” Sabrina remembered back, both Will and Karen had won an Indigo Tournament. “Lance wanted to state an example with this. He wanted to break with the old ways.” Lucian turned to her. “And he did, didn’t he? Will and Karen are more celebrated than many of the older elite trainers, more than Koga, because they’re as fresh and new as a blossom. No one knows anything about their background...” Sabrina’s eyes widened, yet she couldn’t form a question. Both of them heard the scream and without thinking, both of them went into the post office.
End Chapter 3
CPF, you'll see how much you influenced me...yet I'm quite happy I manage to keep my Cynthia and Lucian different from yours. Very different right now. XD!
So naturally A Freak like me To trust in me
While you'll receive Just needs And you'll find
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
Wow, excellent. I loved Lucian's character, he really seems like he fits that mold perfectly, an aloof, distant character who's more interested in intellectual things. Cynthia? I love her gothic style, that's of course like her, but she's too cheerful for me.
I notice how the Elite are from "royal" backgrounds... though they're not exactly kings and queens, like in my story.
The best parts came when Sabrina took Will aside for their talk, and of course your descriptions of Cynthia's beauty. After all, she is really beautiful, so I like how you captured that (and then at the one point where Lucian hardly cared).
I hope that Lucian and Cynthia's love warms up more, at least in public... or do they only show their love to each other in private?
Anyway, very good chapter, I enjoyed every bit of it. Obviously I'm not a very detailed reviewer, but just know that I really liked it and I'll be looking forward to the next chapter.
I've never read one of your stories, but have always been curious. I guess this is a sequal to a story I never read. I'll have to go back and read that when I have time.
I've only read the first chapter, but I like it a lot. Your chapters are long so it may be a bit before I have time to read and review another one.
Here are a few grammar errors I found:
Other than that, it looked great. The plot seems extremely interesting, as do the characters. Sabrina seems a bit paranoid, though.
My only suggestion for now is to consider breaking up paragraphs a bit more just to make it easier to read. You have very interesting content so it's not horrible that some paragraphs are often long, but it's sometimes tough on the eyes.
I really cannot wait to read more. I only wish I had less homework and more time...
*celebrates* A new reviewer! For anyone who writes about crackparings rare pairings, that's great!
So far, I have written only a few (around four) English fanfics, and most of them are not published.
The 'prequel', so to say, is "Love's best friend is Hate". Haven't got the link handy, but it should be around here somewhere.
(I'm actually surprised there are so few grammar mistakes, since my beta...quit. lol)
I'll think about that. I don't like breaking apart a paragraph that closely belongs together, but you're right, it's easier to read.
(Semester break is fun, isn't it? g*)
@CPF: o,o You like that Lucian...that surprises me. I thought you wouldn't like him, because he's, in my eyes, unlikeable, like I said. XD
And Cynthia...well, pay attention to little clues if you want to know more about her character. It's like the relationship she has...
They aren't kings and queen, though they have the same power.
^.^ That part was fun to write, too. After all, this is a romance story (with a lot of action going on next chapter...).
You know an author really loves a character when he spends too much time on describing the beauty of said character. *ggg*
Already explained this in the other thread, so...yeah. *sweatdrops*
The next chapter is started, but I'm not sure how long it will be. If I can keep writing, it could be finished this weekend, not sure yet.
Edit: Link to the 'prequel' (over a month old, so no posting there anymore) http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=159037
So naturally A Freak like me To trust in me
While you'll receive Just needs And you'll find
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
I'll look for any of these clues next chapter, because I want to understand her character more. She can't possibly be just the super-sweet, nearly naive woman from the anime... she has to be more than that. (Because obviously your characters are developed more than any of those static anime characters.)
There is already a clue in this chapter, CPF, and theoretically, it's obvious.
Of course, I'm the writer, everything is obvious for me...
lol, more developed is the right word...again, I ask, has Will ANY character in the game? >>;;;;
So naturally A Freak like me To trust in me
While you'll receive Just needs And you'll find
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
First off, I read your other story (the prequel) and liked it a lot. I really like Sabrina's character. Anyway, this review is supposed to be about this story, so...
Grammar things for Chapter 2:
And that's about it for grammar errors in chapter 2. Nice.
Another technical grammar thing... Technically when a new person speaks, a new paragraph is supposed to be made.
I like the mystery of this chapter, and you really have great character development. Well done.
Ahh, I can't wait to read more. Hehe, and I will because chapter 3 is already posted!
On to chapter 3!
Also, random question. Is Will actually in the games? I can't seem to remember him...
Yay, I'm finally caught up. Alright... nitpicky grammar things first.
Also, you need a comma, not a period after dressed. It should be:
"You should get dressed," he commanded.
Same goes for the you're right. If you use words like said (describing how you say something), you need the comma, not the period.
Anyway, I loved this chapter! I can't really find anything to criticize about your actual story. The plot is interesting, as are the characters. You have great description, and just the right amount of it.
Oh, and I really like Lucian! His relationship with Cynthia is strange in an intriguing way...
Can't wait to see what happens next and find out about Will's past!
Goodness, that guy needs love, too, now people don't even hate, just forget him. XD!!!!
Two questions: Where is that 'Or you're' typo, I tried to find it, yet I'm too blind to see it, I suppose. >>;;;;;
Edit: *Now* I noticed why these typos occur...you have to know, in German, you use the „“ and not "". XD!!!
Second question, since you like to nitpick about grammar (lol): General feeling, have the typos increased from Chapter 1 to Chapter 2 and 3? Because the last two chapters were written without a beta, just me 're-reading' it a few times, and I'm unsure if I should convince force my first beta to get to work again.
So naturally A Freak like me To trust in me
While you'll receive Just needs And you'll find
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
XD!!!! See, see?!?! Everyone forgot that poor guy, never got an anime appearence, too....now, tricky question...do you remember Karen and Janine? *g*
Hm, in that case, I'll talk with him as soon as he gets online...I didn't really lose him, it's just that he quit beta-reading in the middle of the first chapter and I decided to try and post it without. Hehe, it worked. XD
Regarding Chapter 4: Probably won't be up this weekend, I'm sorry. >.< I didn't write for three days and so, I'm still at the beginning of it. >.<
So naturally A Freak like me To trust in me
While you'll receive Just needs And you'll find
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
*bows to readers* Next Chapter. My beta returned. *thanks, Zammy* You won't like that chapter, CPF. Zammy kinda liked it, so yes, you won't like it.
Two new shippings in here. And a warning.
Warning: This chapter contains hints of f/f, yuri, shojo-ai, homosexual love, whatever you want to call it. Do not like, do not read. It's the last paragraph. ^^
4. Chapter:Thefts & Tension
The whole office was in chaos. Stamps, envelopes, ink, paper, glue, strings, everything was mixed onto the ground, forming a slippery mass of structures. Sabrina stopped herself from falling by holding onto a nearby cupboard, while Lucian was not so fortunate, falling down. “What’s going on?” he asked, his eyes closed as he was rubbing his back. Sabrina didn’t bother with helping him up, and rather scanned the area. The people working at the office couldn’t be seen anywhere, yet there was a not so quiet murmur in the storeroom. Narrowing her eyes to a sharp glance, the psychic gym leader started to wonder if this had something to do with their own presence there yesterday. The connection was just too obvious.
Without hesitating, she levitated over the mess, landing in front of the door to the storeroom. First, Lucian tried to follow her by walking, but this prooved to be impossible. Unwavering, he pulled a Pokeball out of his pocket. “Come out, Bronzong!” The giant metal Pokemon appeared, and Lucian clung to it, having it levitate over the ground. Sabrina couldn’t help but snicker. “Interesting way, dear Lucian.” She commented, not caring to make the amusement in her voice disappear. So far, she had only assumed this, but now she was pretty sure that Lucian was no psychic. Of course, psychics were rare, and there weren’t that many trainers that developed supernatural powers just because of the closeness they may share with their Pokemon- otherwise, her gym might be flooded with amateurs. Lucian didn’t say anything. Instead, he studied the door and, without hesitating, ripped it open.
Sabrina blinked, stunned. It might have been more careful to listen for a while to what was happening behind, but if he thought this reckless action was more useful...
She let her Kadabra out as a precaution before following Lucian into the storeroom. The same chaos that had been in the front room awaited her there, too. Packages had been thrown down, ripped apart or..burned? She leaned down, observing one of the parcels. It was no burn; it rather looked as if the paper had been melted away. “Be careful.” She coughed when Lucian roughly pulled her away. “That’s acid. It’s vitriolic. I would put my hand away if I were you.” Sabrina snorted, of course she knew that...even for a psychic like her, who could withstand poison easily, the effect of acid was harmful.
“Drapion, Poison Sting!” Sabrina jumped up, right out of the way of the attack, but only in the last second. Lucian let himself fall to the side, avoiding the attack as well. Both of them looked up to see a young woman in the back part of the storeroom. She had- again, black, stiff, form fitting clothes. The most interesting thing on her, though, was a metallic device on her left arm. Sabrina tensed. Whatever this was supposed to mean, she had to be very careful. Lucian straightened himself, sitting up and facing the woman. “Hunter J,” he growled. Sabrina glanced at him from out of the corners of her eyes. He knew this woman? “What are you doing here in Kanto?” he asked, glaring at her hatefully. The woman did not react much. Behind her, Sabrina could see the dozens of office workers, all tied up and pieces of cloth in their mouths.
“I’ve got an order. Sadly, you two had to interrupt me.” Opening two other Pokeballs, Lucian and Sabrina suddenly found themselves confronted with an Ariados and a Salamence, too. “Keep them occupied while I keep on searching,” Hunter J instructed her two Pokemon, including the Drapion that had shot the Poison Sting. Then, she turned around, leaving Sabrina and Lucian to deal with them.
Lucian glanced back at Sabrina, his Bronzong already at his side. “You follow her and keep her from whatever she tries. I’m the better trainer so I’ll take care of the Pokemon.” Sabrina nodded while pressing her lips together strongly and biting her tongue, recalling Kadabra at the same time. As painful as it was, she had to admit Lucian was right. He obviously was the better trainer, after all, even Will had beat her and he was the first elite, while Lucian was the last and strongest one- behind Cynthia, of course.
Not looking back at him, as she knew he could take of himself quite well- and yet at the same time not caring about him either, Sabrina ran behind the group of captives where this woman had disappeared. She took a breath, looking around. Hunter J was nowhere to be seen, but if she was this much of a threat that even the Sinnoh Elite cared about her, she was a professional, no doubt. Hiding was not a difficult discipline for her. Sabrina smirked. Hunter J may have thought that she had the advantage here, dealing with a gym leader who knew nothing about her, and surrounded by high stacks of boxes and paper, she was well hidden too. But there was something that gave Sabrina the clear upper hand. Her powers.
Closing her eyes, she concentrated, blocking out the sound of the Pokemon battle going on in the other part of the room. It was a bit more complicated than usual, searching for someone she hadn’t met, hadn’t even touched yet, but she was one of the strongest psychics, and there wasn’t much she hadn’t accomplished by then. Unconsciously, she shuddered, even more while looking for the dark mind of this woman, because in a way, they were so similar...
Opening her eyes suddenly, Sabrina smirked again. ‘Found you.’ Slowly, she walked around the locker filled with uniforms where the other woman was hiding. She didn’t want to give off the impression that she had felt her, for the element of surprise might be essential there. Unlike Lucian, she knew nothing about Hunter J, and that device on her arm made Sabrina cautious. Though, in the end, she could always trust her powers, and a quick teleport was more useful that maybe being shot. Lucian could save his own a**.
In the end, it was not really apparent who of them had the power of a surprise attack on her side, because, to tell the truth, both women were quite startled when the locker door burst open with the power of a Psybeam, as clothes, now partly ripped apart, as well as other accessories that landed onto the nearby cupboards flew out and blinded Sabrina. She fell onto her back, and only managed to push some dark blue cloth out of her view in time to see something lavender coloured jumping through the storeroom window. Then, something hit her and she rolled to the side, biting her lip in pain. Her shoulder wasn’t exactly able to take the strain...
“Damn it!” Sabrina tried standing up, yet her shoulder was aching so much she wanted to scream. ‘What a stamina...yeah, right, Cynthia...right now, it’s rather the question of how masochistic I am...’ Through half closed eyes, she could see Hunter J trying to jump after the...thing, but the window proved to be too high for her to just jump through it, leading Sabrina to the question of how the fugitive had managed to reach it. At least, it gave her the chance to catch up with the hunter, even with her wound. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed something cream-coloured rolling into view, but she did not care. “Wait there!” She growled, causing Hunter J to look back at her. “Oh, you’re still up. I thought that kick would have put you out of commission.” Sabrina smiled weakly. “It takes more than someone’s boots to knock me out.” ‘Let’s hope she had no dark Pokemon...’ Lashing out with her powers, Hunter J was thrown against the wall, not so much that she was seriously injured, but it was definitely supposed to hurt. Just the amount of revenge Sabrina allowed herself to take. She couldn’t allow herself to become too cruel again.
Grunting, the older woman sat up, glaring at the gym leader. “So you’re the psychic...I should have known.” Slowly, she started to smirk. “But thankfully, I’m prepared for this kind of interruption.” She pushed a little button on her arm device, causing Sabrina to yelp only seconds later. She had completely blocked her powers.
“See you later..not.” With an elegant jump one could not have expect from a woman wearing those stiff clothes, Hunter J used a bag filled with letters to raise herself to the level of the window, climbing out easily while Sabrina was left disoriented.
Hunter J looked around the plain street. The Pokemon she had been looking for was nowhere in sight. Angrily, she kicked a stone away, hitting the wall of the post office. It had gotten away. Snarling, she reached into her cape, just to notice that the package she had found and carried with her had disappeared as well. She growled in deep anger, close to screaming out in frustration.
Both of her targets were lost.
And her side hurt.
And her Pokemon were still inside with that Elite Trainer.
Today was just not her day.
Today was her day.
Janine had thought it would be hard to get Will off the breakfast table and get him for a small-talk walk through the league headquarters, but it was the exact opposite. Without his girlfriend, he seemed to be kind of lost, not knowing what to do. And of course, she, Janine, would take his hand and lead him to the right, shining path again.
Out of the darkness this wicked girl had bewitched him on.
No matter that it had been only coincidence she had been chosen to sneak him away, and to get his mind off the psychic gym leader, Janine now felt as if it had been fate. Written into the stones of history years and years ago. She was the perfect girl for him. She had already known this when he had first appeared there, as she had been the one he had given his roses to, as he would now give her his love. It was all so perfect.
“Now, Janine, I don’t think you’re really searching for the restroom.”
Okay, maybe her excuse hadn’t been perfect. So what? She was alone with him now and nothing could stop her from confessing her true, everlasting love to him.
“Will, there’s something I need to tell you.” She coughed. It wasn’t hard for her to form a blush, an artistically perfect blush, just like the attractive actresses in cinema. After all, they always got their mister perfect, and there was always a happy end in movies, wasn’t there? And just like the screenplay heroes, Will would find his true love in her, and not in the manipulating witch that tried to scheme behind the scenes.
“Hm?” Will raised an eyebrow, arm behind his head. Janine giggled. He was so cute! She couldn’t believe her luck to have been chosen by fate. Unexpectedly, she threw her arms around his neck, hugging him and rubbing her cheek against his. “I love you! I love you so much and that’s the truth! There is no other man for me on earth anymore! You and me, we were made for each other!” She cried, her eyes closed and her heart beating in a speed not thought to be possible for a human being.
Sabrina stumbled while trying to get onto her feet, steadying herself with one hand, the other rubbing the side of her aching head. She should have been prepared for an assault on her powers, yet she hadn’t had the time to react. Without her powers, she was simply helpless, like a newborn baby, without any way to defend herself, even without a real way of orienteering herself. She was so used to these powers, since she had been born with them, had trained them her whole life, that even a few minutes without them were like being reborn into a completely new body, having a new existence.
Coming to the conclusion that her legs just weren’t ready to carry her yet, she let herself fall again onto the pile of ruined clothes that had formed around the locker. Sighing, she looked around her surroundings. There was no way she could catch Hunter J anymore, but whether she had prevented her from fulfilling her mission, the psychic gym leader wasn’t sure. After all, she didn’t even know what the woman had been there for; it could be anything, even just causing havoc. Though that would be waste of force. Hunter J was no amateur, even her name- an alias, most likely, proved this.
If her boss wanted someone to cause havoc, he- or she, could have simply employed more dumb villains. These often managed to turn everything upside down and back again.
Leaning against the locker and wincing when her shoulder touched the cold metal, Sabrina noticed something to her left. It was the cream-coloured ball-like object that had already almost managed to catch her attention back when she was still fighting with Hunter J. Only now she realized that it was no ball, but, in fact, something entirely different. Something that may even, or may not anymore, live.
“A Pokemon egg?” She wondered out loud, reaching out with her hand. Indeed, it was no copy, it was a real egg. But it had turned cold, having been out of its container for more than ten minutes already. Sabrina knew if the Pokemon inside should get a chance at living anymore, she would have to act soon. Looking around, she searched for anything she could wrap around the egg to keep it warm. She almost slapped herself when she realized that, after all, she had been sitting on the perfect material, the pile of pieces of cloth. Carefully picking up the half of a post uniform, she hid the egg in it. Still, that wouldn’t do it. The egg itself had no warmth to keep; it needed to be warmed from the outside. Standing up and sighing futilely at the same time, Sabrina already regretted deciding to take care of the egg. The only one that could warm it right now was her, and the only way to do that was...awkward.
“I swear, any reporter that sees me now is getting his head ripped off. After his camera says goodbye.“ Carefully, she stretched her pullover over the egg and even more carefully, tiptoed to the backdoor of the post office, in the hopes of avoiding Lucian and the chance of him seeing her like this. She would have rather teleported, but thanks to Hunter J, her powers were blocked out for a while. She had to walk.
It was going to be a dreadful afternoon for the paparazzi. And for Sabrina, but she did not know that yet.
“Eh, Janine, I don’t think...” It was useless. Any Pokemon trainer knew how hard it was to detach a stray bur from his Pokemon’s fur and Janine, even though she certainly was not a plant, didn’t differ from these small brown appendages. It would certainly be painful to remove her, as she had dug her long fingernails, not fit for ninja antics at all, into his back, and wasn’t planning on letting him go any time soon. Worse, it didn’t look as if she wanted to let him go at all. She, caught in her dreams, wanted to melt into him, to become a part of him and stay at his side, or rather, as his side forever. It was the best moment her young life had offered her so far and she didn’t want to end it, to ever end it.
Sadly, it takes two to begin a relationship and the essential second part of her dream love wasn’t that interested in riding on pink clouds. At least not with her.
“Eh, Janine, please, could you let me go? ...this is a bit awkward.” Sadly, he lacked the confidence and rudeness to just shove her away. Will was a gentleman and while it was a clear rule for all gentlemen to stay faithful and prove it with their actions, he couldn’t just bluntly tell Janine that he simply didn’t love her. He knew, and now regretted it deeply, that he himself had fuelled the girl’s hopes with his playful flirting just a bit over a month ago. It was his own fault. And he didn’t know how to sneak out of it now. He didn’t want to hurt Janine, he really didn’t. After all, the girl had confessed to him and that proved, at least in his interpretation, that she was honest, and that he really meant something for her.
The truth would hurt her. To lie to her would hurt her even more. Not to mention that it would hurt his own heart and, goodness, Sabrina’s, too. Nervously, he bit his lip. He didn’t know what to do...
And in his confusion, he made a mistake.
“Janine, could we talk about this somewhere...privately?” He whispered, head hanging. He hoped he could talk her out of this nonsense, talk to her like any sane human being could, yet he was severely mistaken. Lovers couldn’t think like normal persons and Janine was more than a victim of hormones.
“Of course, my sweetheart!” she giggled and clung to him once again, walking out of the league hallway yet not letting him go at all, which made walking a lot more difficult. Will sighed. Just what kind of mess had he gotten himself into again?
Sabrina almost tripped when she felt a small, electric like shock going through her mind. Pausing and concentrating, she soon relaxed again. The blockade of her powers was over, so she could finally use them again.
With a slightly annoyed grin, she noticed that she was already pretty close to the Pokecenter and that it wouldn’t make sense to teleport now. She could walk the few metres; after all, it wasn’t her legs that were hurting. It was only getting harder to hold the egg beneath her clothes, as her right arm was getting numb and her left one was just useless after she had managed to get her shoulder hurt again.
Glancing around, Sabrina decided to check first if she wasn’t wasting her time and energy already. For all she knew, the Pokemon inside could already be dead now, having frozen to death. But to her surprise, that wasn’t the case. There still was some life left inside, or at least her powers detected a weak life source. Having an existent incentive now, she didn’t waste any time with identifying the kind of Pokemon she was caring for, as that was the last thing on her mind now. Instead, she immediately teleported away into the Pokecenter.
Where Will and Janine where sitting at a table and drinking coffee together.
Will sadly sipped his white coffee, trying to keep his half closed eyes from Janine. This wasn’t easy at all, as Janine had chosen to sit next to him, despite them having the whole table with two couches for themselves. Well, she was not even strictly sitting next to him, rather shoving herself onto his lap, ignoring his weak, futile protests. He had come here to talk her out of this, to convince her that their love had no future at all, yet now his tongue was frozen in place and it was not the coffee’s fault. If there had been one thing proved true in life he had learned, it was that women did not like to be rejected and a woman full of hate was the worst thing you could come across.
Yet, it looked as if he had no other choice. Either he turned down Janine and would have the vengeance of a ninja on his head or he...no, there was no ‘or’. He loved Sabrina and he would never betray her. Never, as long as he lived.
He would just have to convince Janine of this, too.
“Janine, I don’t want to hurt you with this, but we have to be straightforward. I’m not exactly on the market anymore...” To his surprise, and slight horror, she snuggled closer to him, so close he had trouble keeping his hot coffee from pouring all over her chest. “Of course you aren’t”, she grinned. “I already bought you...” And before he could react, she had placed her lips on his, forcing her tongue into his mouth.
He had never French-kissed so far and from Janine’s struggling, she never had either. Just what had messed up that girl’s mind?!
Will stared at the ceiling and started to pray. ‘Dear Arceus in heaven above, please...I’m too young to die...’
Sabrina felt as if she wanted to die, too.
“What...just...” She stared at the two, Janine still sitting on Will’s lap, facing him, her arms around his neck and just breaking the kiss now, so slow, so slow that it was almost in time with her heart beat. She wanted to fall on her knees, to block everything out and for a second, she felt herself loose the grab on the egg, yet the psychic gym leader managed to steady herself, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. It hurt. It hurt to breath. To think. To be. Everything hurt.
“Sabrina, please, it’s not what it looks like...” Will knew it was useless to try to save the moment, but what else could he do? He couldn’t just pretend he had actually wanted this to happen, though it was his own fault his girlfriend had ended up seeing him this close with the unwanted appendage. He should have tossed Janine off earlier.
“Of course.“ Sabrina’s snarl cut into his soul. She was hurt, deeply hurt, not to mention how angry she probably was at him. “It’s always not what it looks like, right?” She glared at him, but her eyes weren’t cold, weren’t stony and lifeless. They were shining. Will gulped. She was close to crying…
“It’s always not what it looks like...it’s always not a lie...” She started to sob and for the first time in his whole life, Will felt the impulse to slap a girl. Janine. She had caused this pain and strangely enough, he wanted to make her pay. This was not like him at all.
Sabrina looked up again and it became clear that she had started to cry. “I should have known...” Her words were almost inaudible over her sobs. It was the only sound that reached Will’s ears. The rest of the Pokecenter was still talking, yet it didn’t matter to him anymore. All he was aware of were Sabrina and Janine. Janine snickered, clinging even closer to him. Every inch she came closer seemed to drive Sabrina the same distance away from him. And yet, it was impossible for Will to stop the process, as Janine had bored her nails into his back so deeply that it would hurt to push her away. Yet, it would hurt even more if he did nothing at all. Hurt him and Sabrina.
“I should have known...someone as popular as you doesn’t deserve me...” she replied darkly, not daring to look at the two. She felt cheated on and for all that mattered, she was indeed. She had thought he had loved her, had loved her for real...and now she just teleported and there he was, kissing another girl. Somewhere in the back of her mind, Sabrina knew she shouldn’t freak out, shouldn’t feel this deep betrayal, the venomous effects of jealousy. After all...Will could tell the truth. There could be a different story behind, maybe even something funny. But her soul, stuck in its helpless weeping, didn’t want any other explanation, didn’t want to ask, to confront itself with the facts. It wanted to be alone. To get away from the scene, from the conflict, even from humanity itself. Shadows clouded her thoughts, shadows whispering to her, whispering that she should have known from the beginning that it would never work out. She would never find love. She, the psychic, the ghoul, would never find love.
She teleported away, unable to find any more words. Only the faint silhouette of her tears staid in the place between the worlds, the ether.
Will stared at the empty air, his body and mind lumb. He didn’t feel anything, and yet, everything was a dream to him. No, no dream. A nightmare. He had registered Sabrina’s departure and yet, there was nothing he had been able to do about it. He was left helpless.
And then, anger rose in him.
It was not only his fault. It was partly his fault, yes, he admitted that he wasn’t innocent for the anguish Sabrina probably felt now. Yet, Janine wasn’t innocent at all. She had flirted with him when it was plain obvious that he was taken, that he had a girlfriend and absolutely no interest in ditching her. He had gone through so much with Sabrina, had fought with her and for her and now he was going to lose her because of a stupid misunderstanding?
Will stood up, pushing Janine aside who blinked. “I’m sorry, Janine, but this has to end. Now.” He glared at her and even though there was only one of his eyes visible, Janine flinched slightly. “I have something to take care of.” He turned around, not willing to pay her any mind anymore. Without a second thought, he concentrated, following Sabrina’s teleportation path. To his horror, this was easier than he had thought; because she was so upset and that had left marks in the invisible trail. Swallowing his worry, he teleported away, leaving Janine alone.
The young ninja closed her eyes, sipping the rest of her coffee. “The end? No, Will”, she smiled. “This is only the beginning.”
The young woman had just finished combing her long hair when the door was opened quietly as a shadowy figure stepped in, its hands at its side. The room, bathed in the milky light of a cloudy April afternoon, didn’t give away the person’s identity, yet the woman wasn’t frightened. She had the natural talent of recognising her boyfriend’s aura. There was no need for her to be afraid.
Gently, he laid his hand on her bare shoulder, a single strand of her blond hair slipping through his slightly tanned fingers. His voice was even, steady, yet barely reaching her ears even though he was standing behind her, and had lowered his head to her level. “Hunter J thwarted our plans,” he said, a tiny bit of bitterness slipping into his sentences. “She appeared in the post office and caused chaos. I doubt there is anything left of our plan to save.” Without commenting, the woman continued to stare ahead. The man kissed her hair silently, before leaving the room.
Facing her picture in the mirror, a small, wicked smile appeared on the female’s cheeks. Her phone rang.
With eyes clouded completely by tears, Sabrina reappeared outside of the Pokecenter, falling to her knees as soon as the glow had faded from her body. Almost not even able to breathe properly through her sobs, she hid her face with her hands, balancing the egg on her knees. But it wasn’t as if that thing mattered to her anymore. She couldn’t believe it. She had been cheated on. All her life, she had stayed as far away from men as possible, not believing that anyone would take interest in her. And hadn’t she been right? Right, as she had seen it with her very own eyes just seconds ago? It was wrong to fall in love, just wrong, as it would only hurt you. There could never be true love, at least not for her.
Her hope- shattered. All of her happiness- gone. Replaced by despair and depression. She had been such a fool to believe that a man as handsome as Will- she nearly broke into another crying fit just thinking of him, would choose someone as unlikeable as her. She was doomed to be forever lonely; she should have realized that long ago and shouldn’t have tried to mess with fate’s ways.
But...it had felt so true! Everything had felt so wonderful, so honest, so...she couldn’t describe how good she had felt with him around, in his embrace, in his kisses...how could all of this have been a lie? If it truly was a lie, how could she not have felt it? She had never read through his entire mind, but there had been no indication that it had all just been a game to him. And wasn’t he calling himself a gentleman? Would he go this far, going against his own ways, just to play with her heart?
And just like true gentleman, Will was going to resolve the mystery.
He appeared by her side not even half a minute later, gulping when he saw his crying girlfriend. His heart ached, seeing her so distressed, but he had to tell her the truth first, as he feared she wouldn’t accept his love anymore otherwise.
“Sabrina...” “Go away...“ <Go away…> If she hadn’t repeated her order telepathically, he wouldn’t have understood what she had said. Taking a step towards her, then kneeling down next to the psychic, he carefully wiped away the tears that still fell down her pale cheeks, now freckled with red and glistening. He had never seen her so upset, and he never wanted to, either. Even worse, he had caused her misery. Just how good of a gentleman was he, actually?
“No, I won’t go away,” he whispered softly, trying to look her into the eyes, yet she was avoiding his gaze. “I want to apologize.” She stopped her crying, finally looking at him again. “Apologize.” Her low voice had a mocking undertone, yet one that was so weak it was very hard to detect. Will felt it nevertheless and it made his heart hurt more.
On the one hand, there was nothing she wanted more than his apology, and with it, everything going back to the way it had been before. Before their love had been tainted. She crawled for the intimacy they had before. On the other hand, she knew it would never be the same. Never again. It had all been too good to be true.
“I...please, forgive me,” he swallowed. He wished he knew the right words, the ones the perfect gentleman would use now and which would make every girl melt right into his hands, forgiving him of every mistake he might have committed. Yet there were no right words, only his intuition. “I shouldn’t have let her go this far...it was my mistake. Please, forgive me, Sabrina...” She stared at him and he wished, he wished so much he would know what she was thinking right now, only a glimpse of what was going through her head. Yet she remained emotionless, something that reminded him too much of the way Sabrina had been before the beginning of their relationship. The cold, unfeeling girl. Was it returning?
Sabrina knew she would falter even before he had said the words. She knew she would turn out to be the weak one there, the one admitting defeat, because she, as painful as it was to confess, had no intention of fighting over this, as she had lost the spirit to argue. It was the only way of keeping herself from breaking down. It wasn’t the right way to end this, she knew, yet she couldn’t help it. She wanted to get him back and if that would cost a great deal of her self-worth...it was a price she had to pay, she supposed.
Breaking into a heap of tears again, she fell into his arms. The hate for being so emotional was there again and this time, it reached her consciousness more than necessary, almost destroying the moment she had thought to be calming, the moment she returned to Will. She hoped everything would end well, yet the nagging feeling that something was not right stayed in her.
“Sh...it’s alright, it’s alright...” ‘Nothing’s alright.’ She wanted to scream at him, yet she was too weak to do so. Somehow, this was not her, not the true Sabrina that was sitting now there and acting like a crybaby, or worse, like the blond- haired valley girls with bright pink lipstick and mobile phones glued to their cheeks from the dumb road movies. Dear Arceus, she started to hate herself...what had love done to the once so strong and unapproachable psychic gym leader of Saffron?
Will pushed her away a bit, helping her with sitting upright again. He smiled with relief. She seemed to have accepted his apology; at least she wasn’t trying to rip away his limbs or...turning him into a doll. He had been sure he wouldn’t get safely out of this, yet it had ended almost anti-climatic.
Sabrina shook her head. She had to think straight again, and stop crying now damnit. She felt overtaxed and she didn’t even know why she had ended up next to the Pokemoncenter when she could have teleported straight to her hotel room, which was a more appropriated place for resolving relationship problems. She blinked openly and cursed herself. “The egg!” “What?” Will raised an eyebrow. “The egg! Great, I completely forgot about it!” She pointed to the bulge she had hidden with her coat so far. “Ehm...I didn’t know psychics laid eggs...”
Sabrina slapped him, not as hard as she might have if she had been serious about it, but it was still supposed to hurt. Just to remind him, and her, too, of who was in charge. “Idiot. Of course not. I found it.“ Will rubbed his burning cheek, glancing at her. “Found it? One doesn’t find a Pokemon egg just sitting around here...” Sabrina stood up, brushing the dust out of her clothes. “It’s a long story. Come on, I’ll tell you about it while Nurse Joy takes care of the egg.”
The phone rang again. Finally, a slender, pale finger reached the button for the speaker.
“Unfortunately, I have to inform you that both targets were lost. The Pokemon escaped, though I’m currently trying to locate it, but it will take some time to regain control over it. The egg...was taken by the woman, Sabrina Bennett.”
“It’s perfect I said. I didn’t even have to set up the trap myself, she built and fell into it all by herself! Either that useless excuse of a boyfriend I have will be declared guilty and I will finally be able to get rid of him, or Kanto gets all the blame and is at Sinnoh’s mercy.” A high, female, malevolent laughter. “It’s a win-win situation for me anyway. You did well, dear Jenny.” A quiet, amused snicker. “You want me to pay you off in a more...natural way?”
The voice on the other end paused. “No.”
“Oh, come on, I know you still long for me...”
“I do not.”
“You do. I can hear it in your voice.”
“I would lose all trustworthiness if it were to come out that I sleep with my clients.” Another pause. “Plus, both you and I know that you love that psychic trainer. Not me.”
Another snicker. “If you...say so.”
The line went dead.
End Chapter 4
So naturally A Freak like me To trust in me
While you'll receive Just needs And you'll find
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
Sorry, got sidetracked before I could read the chapter. Thursday is the one day I watch a bit of TV...
Anyway, the chapter.
No grammar errors I noticed. And...
THAT CHAPTER WAS AMAZING!!!
It's hard to list all of the great components, but I'll try.
1. Your plot is keeping me completely hooked. I love the little flashes with Cynthia, and cannot wait to find out what she is planning.
2. I can feel for your characters. I felt so bad for Sabrina when she saw Will, and I wanted to slap Will for not confronting Janine. The fact that I felt connected with your characters is a sign of great writing.
3. Much better with the style. I know it seems like such a little thing, but breaking up the paragraphs more made it easier to read. You still did not always create new paragraphs with a new speaker. For instance:
4. I don't really watch the anime any more, but I've read of Hunter J on various websites. Her and Cynthia in a relationship... lol.
I'm sure other reviewers will shoot me for saying this... but I kind of like Janine. She makes everything so much more interesting!
Anyway, great chapter. I think it is the best so far. I can't wait to read more!
Yes! Cynthia is evil! Oh, how I have influenced you! Seriously, not even the yuri or whatever the y-word is could stop me from loving the fact that Cynthia... is... evil! You've made me completely forget about Janine, and Will, and Sabrina, and the heartbreaking romantic story. Okay, maybe not. Poor Will, he got backed into a bad situation. It really isn't fair to him, and of course I feel bad for Sabrina too, because she must be really hurt.
But yes, yes, yes, Cynthia is evil... oh, how perfect! This chapter is by far the best, not just because of that (after all, the Sabrina-Will-Janine story was great), but that just pushes it over the top. I love you, P*A! Maybe just for that I'll let Sabrina survive in my story... (you know how much I love teasing you with that)
*headdesks* ....great, two reviewers like Janine (second one is my beta-reader) and the other forgot all about the love story and only cares about his Shirona anymore.
Authors like me always get the freaks.
j/k, I was really rofling when I read your reviews, it's so funny and great at the same time. ^_^
j/k, she will be there, she's essential to the plot. Sadly. >>;;;
I don't know when the next chapter will come out, it could take a while as I have only started it (one page so far). My first guess would be two weeks, but it can be anything from 9 days to 19. *g*
So naturally A Freak like me To trust in me
While you'll receive Just needs And you'll find
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
Thanks to Alakazam's signature, I now know why Hunter J is so popular. Even May would be jealous...
I loved the whole story with Sabrina, Will and Janine, it was great. I'm sorry, I was just so overwhelmed by Cynthia being evil that I couldn't help myself. I can't decide whether I like Janine or not, though. I think I want to root against her, because all she wants is to cause trouble between Will and Sabrina.
So sorry that it took so long to update. ^^;;;; The chapter was ready a few days ago, yet my beta needed a bit longer than usual. ^^;;; Yet, heads up, people, the next chapter is almost finished, so Part Two will be up very soon.
Just for the update, the two new shippings introduced in the last chapter were MindScrewShipping (Janine x Will), and BlueVelvetShipping/ArtemisShipping (Hunter J x Cynthia), the latter named by me and Zammr (though ArtemisShipping is my own idea..cookies to everyone who gets the name. 0=) )
Last shipping on the last will be introduced in this chapter.
5. Chapter, Part 1: Battles
The dining room of the league was again in quiet tension the next morning. Sabrina, feeling unusually unwell, was sipping her tea very slowly. Will hadn’t turned up yet. She knew it was probably paranoid to think that he would go after another woman, yet she couldn’t help but fear the worst. After all, Cynthia hadn’t appeared yet, either.
To make the miracle complete, she had let Lucian sit next to her, who looked just as miserable as her. He had told her that he had managed to fight off Hunter J’s Pokemon by himself, yet the three of them had escaped by the use of ‘brutal force’, as he explained it, surprisingly with a term Sabrina often used for the fighters’ dojo next to her gym. More accurately described, it meant that Salamence had created a hole in the wall with its Hyper Beam, separating Lucian and Bronzong from them with the pile of rubble.
All in all, the league had a hell lot of public donations to get for the rebuilding of the post office, and the psychological therapy of the employees.
Lucian blamed himself for all of that.
And Sabrina marvelled just why she was even giving that agony aunt’s role a try. She had better things to do, after all...hadn’t she?
“Lance will surely be angry at us once he comes back today...” Lucian whimpered, playing with the coffee cup between his fingers in a way that made Sabrina wonder just why he was not able to burn his fingers, or let a single drop of black liquid fall onto the white tablecloth.
Yet, that was not the only thing that had her blink. “Lance is already coming back? I thought he would spend some more time with Claire...”
Lucian shrugged. “I just got a note this morning that we- Cynthia and I, are going to meet Lance this afternoon. Nothing else.” Sabrina nodded, yet she wasn’t really listening in. Her mind was elsewhere. And Will had still not arrived.
“...no serious battling, just give them some time to demonstrate their power- a bit of showing-off, you know? Give them all they want, all that will please them.” Lance let his aching head rest on his equally aching wrist. He was tired, oh so tired, and yet this was not the only meeting that lied ahead of him. The league’s head knew he should get a new secretary as soon as possible, but with the events surrounding his last one, he had to be more careful than ever, and had to take more time choosing one. Time he technically did not have. His timetable was already filled to the brim, days appearing to have more than twenty-five hours and still, he had so much to do, so much still on his plate.
And Claire dared to beg him for more romantic dates with her.
In some way, he could understand her. He wanted to have her around him more, too, yet she, especially she should know that the job he had was very important. There were not only a bunch of four talented idiots who lived off his renting and noble donations depending on it, but the whole land of Indigo, with its thousands of people and thousands of stacks of office papers.
“Understood?” he asked, the rings under his eyes even more visible as the light of the desk lamp fell diagonally onto his face. Lance looked old now, yet he was not even in his forties. The strain put on him had its consequences, even more after yesterday’s...incidents. The post office getting attacked, the police not arriving soon enough so one of their guests had to fight the assailant off, and the ‘little argument’ with Claire over his idea of bringing his laptop to the candlelight dinner.
“Yes, Sir, “ both Will and Karen said in unison, nodding formally in front of their boss.
“You’re dismissed,” Lance answered, leaning back in his black chair. He looked so tired that Will, though there were many questions still raising in him, went out as soon as possible, Karen following him, in a way that made him wonder how the material of the heels of her shoes could take it, not to mention what kind of bone material her ankles had to be made of. Gravity must also have lost its effect on her, because he was sure any normal human being would have slipped, if its hip made movements similar to Karen’s.
“So, what is this all about actually?” he asked once they were out of the room and he had closed the door tightly, leaving Lance alone in his shadows and headaches.
Karen shrugged. “I don’t know. How should I know? I’m no psychic, I can’t read minds. If one of us should know what this was about, it’s you.“ She grinned, licking her lips as she continued to walk down the hall. “Besides, what does it matter? Lance wants us to battle the two trainers and loose. That’s not actually a big task, is it? Losing itself might be hard for some, as they’ve become so skilled at winning.” Will had to think of Lance, yet Sabrina’s image pushed itself into the foreground of his mind, confusing him. “Yet, seeing as we’re only two lousy elite trainers below both the level of Cynthia and Lucian, I doubt we will have any trouble accomplishing that duty.” She looked back at him with that glimmer in her eyes, that almost lustful glimmer that made him very nervous. He had a lot to make up for, concerning Sabrina and his unwanted rendezvous with Janine, and seeing Karen so close to him was no good sign. He had to end this now before anything more drastic could happen.
“Ehm, Karen...” He closed his eyes tightly. If only he could find the courage to actually tell her the blunt truth.
The dark trainer turned around and raised her eyebrows. “No need to tell me, Will. I know you love only her. I won’t question that.”
Leaving him behind, confused and a bit mad at himself, Karen walked down the stairs, readying herself for the test.
Lance leaned farther back in his chair. He wondered where he had left the Aspirin pills, yet he could not remember. The constant hammering in his whole head kept him from thinking clearly, and the world around him was swirling. He knew he should have refrained from drinking champagne and coffee together last night, but the expensive liquid had been left from the disastrous date; he couldn’t just let it go to waste and coffee was what he usually drank at 2 am to keep himself from falling asleep on the keyboard. Of course, usually, he didn’t combine it with champagne and so, he wasn’t prepared for the effects it had on his mind, but he was quite sure even if he had avoided letting the alcohol-caffeine mix into his blood, today wouldn’t be better.
A quiet knock on his door woke him from his near slumber and Lance realized, only half awake, that almost an hour had gone by without him doing anything, and his guest was already behind the door. Lance cursed silently. He was clearly behind schedule.
“Come in, please,” he said as loud as he could without giving his condition away. It was one thing to appear unshaved, crumpled and sleepy before his own underlings, another one to embarrass himself in front of an equal.
The door knob was turned around and a slender, pale hand appeared, holding onto the door frame. With a few steps, the woman stepped into the room, her long, black coat wiping around her legs.
“It’s my pleasure to finally meet you, Lance Gray of Blackthorn, leader of Indigo.” Lance nodded. His eyes were getting wet from being strained too much; he could barely grasp the outline of the young woman in front of him, who had sat down and let her head rest on her hands gracefully.
“Yes, it is”, he coughed. He hoped his breath didn’t smell drunk anymore, but if it did...well, at least it would smell like a one hundred and twelve year old champions’ champagne from Fuchsia, its price close to that of many expensive perfumes. “First, I have to ask...did you receive the welcoming gift I had bought for Sinnoh’s league? The Eevee egg?”
“Yes,” Cynthia answered, her smile as innocent as ever.
“Good.” Lance took a deep breath. At least that had worked out perfectly. “Then I want to explain today’s afternoon to you.” She nodded, not commenting him yet, yet looking at him as if she had much to say on this matter. And that smile of hers...it was bewitching, in every sense of the word.
“You and Lucian are going to battle the two new elite trainers we have, William Bender and Karen Schwartz. Just a simple three-on-three battle, nothing more.” He looked up. “It will be recorded and shown by some public channels, though. Are you okay with that?” Cynthia nodded without caring at all. ‘For publicity, Lance would sell his soul and his mother’s, if anybody asked. How...disgusting.’
“That’s everything for today.” Lance leaned back, stroking his shining hair. Might it be hair gel or the sweat from yesterday’s stress, Cynthia did not care. For a seemingly endless moment, she stared at Lance with her pale, grey eyes and innocent, silent smile, then she walked over to his chair, grabbed his collar and lifted him up, unhindered because Lance had never thought of needing his bodyguards with another champion in the same room. And it had been yet another thing he had forgotten to organize after the last night.
Lance could only stare with bright, open eyes at the young woman, before she pressed him against the wall and pressed her lips against his.
During the last hours, most of the clouds had decided to disappear, leaving a clear, bright blue sky above the Indigo League Champion’s stadium. It was a perfect day for battling outside and so, Lance had of course taken the opportunity and reserved the best place for Pokemon battles one could find in the whole of Indigo, personal preferences not taken into account. Usually, the finals of the Indigo Tournament took place there, almost always at night, with thousands of people sitting on the seats placed around the battle field, screaming, laughing, celebrating, and cheering for their favourite, with maybe even double the amount of people watching it on television. Normally, two aspiring trainers stood there below the watchers and the glassy eyes of the cameras, facing each other, both ready to give everything they had, for this was the moment they had waited for, some for years, some for decades.
But today, it was strangely quiet.
As security measurements had increased heavily, no spectators had been allowed into the stadium, at least no one without a VIP identity card. And since these people were rare, and not even all of them cared enough to come, the stadium was almost left empty. Only a few of the gym leaders had decided to spend their free time there, though it was right to ask if they hadn’t been blackmailed by Lance, who at least wanted to keep the image that the league trainers stayed together as much and were as close as possible.
Certain relationships between certain trainers only helped that along.
Sabrina shuddered, unusually cold in the warm April sun and the slight breeze blowing through the rows of seats. She hadn’t seen Will all morning and that made her not only sad, but also increasingly nervous. What was up with him again? She knew his work took up a lot of time, yet she had hoped, maybe dumbly hoped that he would at least greet her and tell her what his absence had been about. Maybe it was delusional to hope that he would try to meet her when Lance had probably chased him around the whole time, yet... Sabrina sighed. Was it that wrong and selfish to worry?
Damn it, she already missed him.
Just how was this going to work out once she was back in Saffron again? She couldn’t just travel to Indigo every day, and teleporting around would take a hell lot of energy.
“Don’t worry, sweetie, he’s alright.” Sabrina jumped when she heard the sinister, snickering voice next to her ear, almost losing her balance and falling over the row she had been standing on. Glancing at her side, her heartbeat still way faster than what was healthy anymore, she recognised Karen, the dark trainer.
Glaring at her, not trusting her in the least, Sabrina replied darkly. “And you know how?” Karen grinned, tracing her pale lips with a black coloured finger nail. “Lance called us to a meeting this morning. He was there and afterwards, we were told to wait here and prepare ourselves for the battle. That’s why he had no time to pay his little girlfriend a visit.” Sabrina snorted. She didn’t like the way Karen talked about her and Will. It wasn’t that Karen had called her ‘little’- okay, she wasn’t tall, but that was nothing to mock her with. No, the unspoken words behind, the melody of the sentence, everything made her tense. Closing her eyes, Sabrina tried to calm herself down again. Karen was a darkling, and dark powers frightened her, even more after her injury.
Sabrina turned away from Karen. There was nothing she had to talk about with her anymore.
“Yet...I refused to battle today.”
“What?” Sabrina wasn’t sure if she had heard right. An elite trainer, even worse, a fresh, new elite trainer, refusing an order from Lance? Had the league’s head finally turned senile or had Karen done something to him? The psychic gym leader backed away slowly.
Karen laughed out loud. “Yes, sweetie, I refused. Old Lance seemed to be a bit shaken up today. So I used the chance to snub out. I thought I would give someone else the chance to battle together with Will.”
“What?” Sabrina knew that it looked dumb to ask the same, simple answer twice within a short amount of time, yet she couldn’t help it. There was no other question she could ask right now. Her heart beat faster and faster and she could feel the warmth rising in her. If Karen was telling the truth, she suddenly had to prepare for a battle herself. Her, battling the Sinnoh Elite Trainer, alongside Will. It was a wonderful thought, yet it make her incredibly nervous. There was no way she they could win against Lucian and Cynthia, yet maybe it was worth a try. They had shown they weren’t that bad of a team and if she had another chance of being close to Will, she would surely use it. It was at least going to make up for the loneliness she had felt this morning.
Karen smiled at this and pointed downwards with a slender movement of her hand. “Look down.”
Sabrina followed her indication, yet, she could feel her body getting colder again, the beat of her heart staggering slightly.
On the left side of the stadium, standing close together, were Will and Janine.
Will felt his hands trembling as he walked up the stairs to the challenge’s podium. Janine next to him was chatting nonstop and grinning and laughing and clinging to him...
Boy, did he feel bad.
There was nothing he wanted more than just shoving her off and postponing that battle, yet it was impossible. Lance was watching, the other elite trainers were watching, cameras were watching, around 10% of Indigo’s population were watching, the gym leaders were watchi- Will grinded his teeth. The gym leaders were watching. ‘Oh fu** it!’ How could he have forgotten? Now he was really in trouble...
“Are the trainers ready for the battle?” Will turned to the left, where the judge had already taken his place and raised the flags. He really felt uneasy now, not very good for the coming battle, yet he couldn’t stop but worry. Sabrina surely was watching him right now and for once, he was happy he couldn’t read her thoughts. If he wasn’t distracted already, Sabrina’s thoughts would surely manage that.
“We are.” Lucian answered for both himself and Cynthia, as the woman seemed to gaze disoriented around, admiring the scenery rather than concentrating on a battle. Will raised an eyebrow, wondering if the champion was even taking them seriously or, if not, what was wrong with her and why Lucian was not reacting to it. He stood directly next to her and yet, it was as if they were worlds apart. And they were really boyfriend and girlfriend? Sure, relationships worked different for different people, but what Will was sure of was that the flame of love had long been turned out for these two.
Which unpleasantly reminded him of his own dear again.
“Then, battle start!” The judge raised the flags above his head and the second he flicked them back at his sides, Lucian had already thrown his Pokeball, the movement almost too fast to be seen, yet pliant and rounded. He almost paraded his entrance, so well he seemed to have tested it out various times before. Well, he had been an elite trainer for some time now, longer than Will anyway and the masked man supposed that after years of practice, a certain routine crept in.
“Go, Medicham!” He cried. Will briefly wondered why a psychic trainer like Lucian would use a Psychic/Fighting Pokemon, yet from the gossip he had picked up, Sinnoh’s elite wasn’t so strict on using just the element a trainer had applied for. Heck, Cynthia had even decided not to rely on one single element at all!
Reason why she was rumoured to be the strongest champion of all. Being restricted to one element just made you weaker, more inflexible.
“Gastrodon, your turn.” Cynthia’s voice was calm and even, almost sleepy. Either she wasn’t completely on this earth anymore, or she had taken something that had a creepy influence on her attention and consciousness.
Glancing at Janine, who was eagerly checking her Pokeballs and commenting each of their inhabitants, Will decided that it was time to choose his own battler. He was nervous; because this was his first official, albeit foretold, battle. He already knew Janine and he were going to lose, even if there wasn’t the clear advantage the champion of Sinnoh had, Lance had ordered them to lose. Or, more accurately, had ordered him to lose. Janine was clueless, having filled in for Karen at the last second. Hence her enthusiasm. If only he could share those feelings...
Will closed his eyes. He didn’t know much about Sinnoh’s Pokemon, but Gastrodon looked like a Water Pokemon, with its snail like body. And Medichan was, of course, Psychic/Fighting. His Xatu would be of most use here.
“Crobat, go for it!”
Will glanced again at Janine, slightly surprised. Apparently, she was playing along his lines, using a flyer as well. Maybe she had realized his tactic.
“Use Supersonic!” Or maybe not.
Will glared at her, yet he wasn’t willing to scold the young ninja. He didn’t want to talk to her, didn’t want to have to do anything with her. Sabrina was watching, she shouldn’t get the wrong impression.
If she hadn’t had it already.
“Xatu, Fly on Medicham!” Obvious scheme, yet, he wasn’t supposed to win anyway.
“Medicham, Thunderpunch.” Will reeled back. Who should have expected this Pokemon to know this move?! He was screwed, severely screwed. Well, him and Janine, but she wasn’t so affected, still passionate over her battle. Well, seem from her point of view...
“Xatu, Confuse Ray, then Psychic!” The idea was simple. Confuse Medicham so it wouldn’t be able to hit Xatu, then take it out with a simple Psychic. Will winced inwardly when he remembered that he used a similar tactic to battle Sabrina and wished his mind would focus on something else, just not her.
“Gastrodon, Stone Edge!” It might have been a mistake not to have practised double battles ever before, Will realized now. His attention had to be divided onto two Pokemon. Thankfully, Janine reacted as well. The Supersonic of her Crobat hadn’t affected Medicham much, so now she focussed on Cynthia’s Pokemon. With the result of Gastrodon’s attack being blown away by Crobat’s Wing Attack, and Will’s Xatu being given the chance of attacking Medicham without distraction.
The violet spheres of the Confuse Ray, swirling away from Xatu’s eyes, hit Medicham, whose own eyes turned into swirls as well. Stumbling over its legs, the Pokemon couldn’t direct its Thunderpunch anymore- and hit its own partner!
Will wanted to smile, even though it was uneasy showing that while knowing that you were disobeying your own boss right now. Well, maybe that was the case, but Lance hadn’t said how close the battle was supposed to be, right? Maybe they were allowed to deal a few hits.
But to his surprise, Gastrodon shook the Thunder Punch off like it had been nothing more than the simple static shock happening between woolly clothes.
Will frowned. Either Gastrodon was really strong or...no, this couldn’t be the reason. Even though Cynthia was the champion and her Pokemon weren’t to be underestimated, Lucian was an Elite as well and his Pokemon’s attacks were just too strong to be simply shrugged off. No...Will came to another conclusion. Gastrodon was not only water type...but water/ground type! This made things a bit easier, knowing that ground attacks couldn’t hit both of their Pokemon.
“Gastrodon, Sludge Bomb on Xatu.” Will tensed. His Xatu was the worse flyer, so an attack requiring good aiming was better being used on the less mobile target.
“Crobat, Wing Attack!” Again, Janine tried to keep the projectiles away from his Pokemon. He had to admit, that girl wasn’t so bad of a double battler. Either that or her obsessed mind came up with strange ideas...
Yet, it worked. The brown coloured sludge balls fell into pieces, creating a rain of dirty water.
“Gastrodon, Muddy Water.” Gastrodon’s attack got mixed into the already existing rain left from its last attack, making more and more small puddles on the battlefield. Biting his lip, Will wondered what Cynthia was planning. Both of their Pokemon were currently flying, so the slippery ground didn’t affect them at all. Even worse, she had dug a possible grave for her partner’s Pokemon, as Medicham needed steady movements to attack properly. Lucian apparently thought the same, giving Cynthia a confused, shocked and even slightly angry look, yet not facing the cameras as he did so. Cynthia just continued to smile and whispered something to her boyfriend that Will couldn’t understand. Anyway, it didn’t appear to lighten Lucian’s mood.
“Again Wing Attack!” The psychic trainer was close to face palming. Yes, Janine was a rookie, but even new trainers knew that it was certainly no good strategy using an attack too often. Your enemy could prepare for that attack and chase you into a dead end.
Yet, this time, maybe he could let that slip. After all, it had done something good. The hard wind brushing against his body had caused Medicham to fall onto his back, landing directly in one of the many puddles. It was his chance.
“Xatu, Psychic Attack, now!” Noticing the dire situation, the Bird Pokemon didn’t hesitate at all and shot wave after wave of blue light over the helpless Medicham. Sooner or later, this was going to knock it out.
“Gastrodon, Stone Edge.” “Argh!” Again, he had forgotten about the second Pokemon and now it was too late to dodge. Stone Edge was certainly going to be the final attack his Xatu saw...
“Crobat, intercept it!” With a sharp hiss, the bat-like Pokemon dove down, positioning itself between Xatu and Gastrodon. Yet, now without any defence itself, Crobat was hit by the swirl of jagged, accelerated minerals. It couldn’t even withstand the assault for a few seconds before losing the strength to stay in the air. Finally, Crobat collapsed and landed onto the ground next to Xatu and Medicham. Using the small confusion for his advantage, Will let Xatu take flight again, the rest of the Stone Edge Attack hitting now Medicham, knocking it out as well.
The judge raised his flag, indicating a short break to give both trainer couples a chance to recall and possibly change their Pokemon.
“Come back, Crobat.” Janine held out her Pokeball at arms’ length, the red light consuming the fallen bat. “You did very well.” She smiled at Will, blushing slightly. “You, too,” she whispered. To his own surprise, Will nodded. They had actually managed to beat one of Lucian’s Pokemon. ‘Not bad, not bad at all.’
Lucian didn’t say anything while recalling Medicham. He kept his eyes, hidden by sunglasses, on the Pokeball, before closing them and sighing. Again there was a short conversation between him and Cynthia, with Cynthia mostly staying quiet and only smiling now and then, yet Will really wished he knew what was going on on the other side of the stadium.
To both Will’s and Janine’s surprise, Cynthia recalled her Gastrodon shortly afterwards. The Pokemon didn’t seem as if it had taken any direct hit and was still fresh for fighting, yet Will wasn’t one going to doubt the judgement of a champion and, of course, the owner of the Pokemon itself. If Cynthia thought it was better to have Gastrodon rest, it was her decision. He would keep on using Xatu.
Again, the judge raised his flags, indicating that the battle was continuing.
“Go, Bronzong.” Will had to smile. He had seen this bell-like Pokemon before, yet that didn’t mean it looked any less weird now. ‘Well, like Pokemon, like trainer, eh?’ He glanced at his Xatu, stiff, calm, said to be staring into the future, present and past at the same time. ‘...’
“Gligar, your turn!” The psychic elite trainer just had to smile, no matter who was watching right now. Janine really tried to keep along with him, using a second flying Pokemon now. It may work, after all, their teamwork hadn’t been so bad in the first round.
“Lucario.” Both Indigo trainers turned their heads to the side. After Gastrodon, Cynthia had called out her Lucario, said to be one of her strongest Pokemon, behind her signature Pokemon, Garchomp. If Will had doubted until now that she wasn’t taking them serious...well, he had been severely wrong. She was taking them serious.
Was that a good or a bad sign?
Shrugging it off, Will decided to focus on the battle once more. “Psychic!” Lucario was Steel/Fighting, at least one of these types was weak against Psychic. Sadly, both Pokemon they were fighting against were partly Steel, so Janine’s Pokemon were at a complete disadvantage here. Briefly, Will wondered why Cynthia and Lucian hadn’t used their superiority earlier. But then, maybe he was right with his theory. Maybe the first round had just been about testing their abilities as trainers and double trainers and now both Sinnoh trainers took them seriously and played their real trump cards.
“Gligar, Attract!” Will blinked. Now while attracting a Pokemon wasn’t a bad strategy in itself, the chances of it working were only 50/50, depending on the other Pokemon’s gender. He wasn’t sure, but Bronzong looked clearly like a genderless Pokemon, a thing which even Janine should have noticed, so that meant her attack had to be aimed at Cynthia’s Lucario. Yet...wasn’t it common knowledge that most trainers only used Pokemon of their own gender? Conclusion, Lucario would be female as well. Now, either Janine was sure that her Gligar was male or...
The ninja girl smiled at him. “I read in the papers that Cynthia’s only male Pokemon is Lucario.” His eyes widened as he realised that Janine knew more about the champion than he did. A simple, new gym leader knowing more than an Elite trainer. Yet...maybe it was only because he had started to really despise yellow press papers recently, with all the rubbish they had been saying about Sabrina and him.
Will winced, yet again reminded of the one spectator that meant most to him.
“Bronzong, Flash Cannon on Gligar!” Apparently, Lucian had seen through their tactics as well and was now preventing Gligar from attacking. There wasn’t much Will could do, none of his attacks would really stop Bronzong. He would only try to change the direction Bronzong was aiming in.
“Xatu, Quick Attack!” Will could feel his Pokemon’s pain at is crashed head first into the cold, blue-grey metal of Bronzong. ‘I’m sorry, old boy, I’m sorry.’ At least it worked the way he had wished for. Bronzong’s aiming was completely off, not hitting Gligar at all, rather endangering Lucario. But to his surprise, the wolf-like bipedal Pokemon created a sphere or bright, blue energy between its paws and threw it in the direction of Bronzong, splitting the bright white beam with ease. It was quite close to hitting Bronzong itself with the attack, yet the Steel/Psychic Pokemon glowed seconds before the energy ball could hit it, which prevented the attack from dealing too much damage.
“That attack from Bronzong was Iron Defense...but what was Lucario using?” Janine asked, not really caring who answered her question in the end, because it wasn’t Will.
“That was Aura Sphere, Lucario’s signature attack.” Both Indigo trainers looked up to see Cynthia smiling innocently at them, yet without a real emotion on her face. A simple fact, it was nothing more to her. She was very different from Lance, yet Will supposed that champions had the right to be a bit weirder than usual people.
“Bronzong, Flash Cannon again!” Will was startled, he hadn’t expected Lucian to use their distraction, but then, this nasty tactic was to be expected from both sides. He glanced at Janine. “You take care of Lucario, okay?” She nodded, while Will was left to deal with Bronzong. “Quick Attack, then Psychic!” He had to avoid the Flash Cannon, for he was quite sure his Xatu wouldn’t survive such an attack. If the Bird Pokemon came even close to Bronzong afterwards, it was a nice bonus, but not the main point.
He glanced at his side. Janine had clenched her fist, her attention completely consumed by the raging battle. Her Gligar had managed to hit Lucario with Attract, yet Cynthia’s Pokemon seemed to be trying hard to shake off the effects, holding its head and having closed its eyes tightly, while Gligar was flying around its body, hitting it again and again with Slash. Cynthia just watched unmoved.
A loud screech caught his attention again. Xatu hadn’t been able to hit Bronzong with Quick Attack properly, its claws rather just scratching the surface of the metal, creating this unbelievable nauseating sound. Will backed away, clapping his hands over his ears. It literally hurt him...
And then, it stopped. Will grasped the round steel restriction posts on their platform, supporting his week knees. “You’re alright?” He blinked. Janine was kneeling next to him, rubbing his back with one of her hands. “Yeah, I think so...” the girl smiled. Getting up, Will looked around. Cynthia looked as indifferent and uncaring as ever, only Lucian appearing to be a bit unsteady on his feet, too. He wondered why he had been affected by that sound, yet he assumed it has something to do with his newfound powers.
“Let’s continue.” He whispered to both himself and Janine. The girl nodded.
“Gligar, Slash again on Lucario!”
“Xatu, Psychic attack!” There wasn’t much use in trying to use weaker attacks; he had to go for it. His Xatu was already weakened; it wouldn’t take that much more.
“Bronzong, Gyro Ball!” The metal on the Pokemon’s skin- was it actually skin? seemed to melt, dropping at its front side into a growing ball of hot, white liquid. Will knew he had to act fast, that attack looked quite powerful. “NOW!”
The psychic waves and the melted metal shot towards each other at rapid speed, all while Lucario and Gligar were still having their own battle. Lucario was trying to claw its way through the slashes of Gligar, while the airborne Pokemon frantically tried to avoid them. Finally, Cynthia decided to change her tactic. “Aura Sphere.”
In the end, no attack really hit the target it had been destined for.
Xatu’s Psychic was not strong enough to overthrow Bronzong’s Gyro Ball, so the steel attack just kind of swallowed the weak psychic and aimed straight at Xatu. Yet, Gligar, fleeing in order to avoid Lucario’s Aura Sphere, ended up straight in the Gyro Ball’s flight path, getting hit instead of Xatu. And Lucario, trying to aim for Gligar, ended up shooting the Aura Sphere in its general direction, yet too far to the left to hit. Will knew he had to use the few chances he had been given, so he ordered Xatu to take control of the Aura Sphere with its psychic powers and aim it at Bronzong. He knew, there was no other way he and Janine would ever be able to beat Bronzong, not with their own Pokemons’ attacks. So what else was there left but to take advantage of the enemies’ attacks?
And he got rewarded. Bronzong was knocked out.
Again the judge’s flags were raised, indicating yet another break.
Both Janine and Lucian had to recall their Pokemon, while Cynthia wasn’t giving any sign if she would recall Lucario like she had recalled Gastrodon before. Will closed his eyes, thinking deeply. Would it be smart to recall Xatu? Probably not. It might have sounded cruel, but the most efficient way was to let the Flying/Psychic Pokemon deal as much damage as it could before being forced to recall it, too.
He smiled at Janine. They were doing quite well. The battle was still even, with both sides having lost two Pokemon so far. No doubt he and Janine were going to lose in the end, his other Pokemon weren’t quite as strong as Xatu, yet, he felt unusually good, battling together with her and doing so well.
On the spectator’s side of the stadium, a high, girlish squeal came from many throats, growing and ebbing like waves crashing against the shore, echoing against the stony walls. “Oh my god, isn’t he just great?” “Of course he is, did you ever doubt that?” “He took out two of Lucian’s Pokemon!” “He’s so strong!” “He’s perfect!” “My, what a battle!” “Janine’s so lucky!”
Yes, Janine was lucky.
Others felt their heart breaking.
Sabrina could only stare downwards. She hadn’t moved at all since the beginning of the battle, only keeping on staring down. Staring without any word, without any sign that behind the cold mask she had built up over the years of psychic training, she had some feelings after all.
Because right now, she didn’t want to feel.
And yet, she did.
She felt cold, colder than ever. Cold and...what was the word? Despair?
It hadn’t been a lie after all. It had been the blunt truth. He didn’t love her. He loved Janine. He had never needed her. There was nothing between them, their poor, pitiful little adventure only being an episode in both of their lives, nothing more. He had never loved her.
She swallowed, fighting back tears that tried to form. She couldn’t cry. Not here. Not in front of all the other gym leaders, who only knew her as the strong, unfaultering psychic. Yet, even if she had been all by herself, with no one watching, she wouldn’t have been able to cry. Not anymore. She had enough of crying. It wasn’t herself to cry, not herself to break down. She wanted to cry and to break down, yet she couldn’t, couldn’t allow herself. She had to go on.
She had to live. Without him.
Feeling someone nudging her, Sabrina looked to her side, recognising Erica. She looked at her with a compassionate smile. Apparently, she knew. As if it wasn’t that obvious to see her pain. Yet...Sabrina didn’t even want anyone to notice her misery. She didn’t need the sympathy of any of these dumb, shallow girls. Even Erica was close to the line.
“What was his reaction to Xatu’s scratching about?” Erica asked, glancing at the battlefield again. Sabrina sighed. She should have known...all they cared about was her knowledge about psychic powers in general, not what was going on inside her.
“Psychics are hyper sensitive towards certain frequencies. If they’re hit with the right one...it hurts them psychically.” Erica turned again towards her. “And why weren’t you affected?” ‘I doubt even a dark attack would have managed to get me out of this lethargy...’ “It only works close ranged. I was too far away.” That was a lie, but Sabrina couldn’t care less about the truth right now when the blunt truth had just hit her straight in the face, destroying everything she had dreamt of.
“I see.” Erica walked away, leaving her alone again.
How ironic. She was truly alone.
So naturally A Freak like me To trust in me
While you'll receive Just needs And you'll find
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
(Continuation, chapter was too long ^^;;;)
“Please continue the battle!”
Will swallowed hard as the judge cried out those words. In the end, Cynthia had changed her Pokemon again. She had called out Garchomp. Garchomp, her signature Pokemon, her favourite, her star, her strongest Pokemon.
On the bright side, it meant that the champion was taking them more than serious; they were most likely going to see a spectacular battle and had a chance not many trainers even dared to approach, battling one of the strongest Pokemon in the care of a trainer.
On the not so bright side, this battle was going to be short.
On the dark side, they were screwed.
“Do your best, Ariados!” Will sighed. Janine didn’t know it, but her wish was most likely just that: a wish, nothing more. Garchomp had taken out whole teams without a scratch and, heck, so far, they hadn’t really managed to get even one good hit on Cynthia’s Pokemon. Both Gastrodon and Lucario left the battle as good as new.
“I choose Girafarig.” ‘Well, apparently that’s a Pokemon popular with psychic trainers...’ Will mused, thinking about his own Girafarig. He could as well use it, but with Garchomp outside, he had a better idea. And, after all, his Xatu was still standing more or less.
“Ariados, Night Shade on Girafarig!” While Will was really happy that Janine’s Pokemon knew such a handy attack, it left him to deal with Garchomp and that wasn’t great at all.
Momentarily wondering if he should again go for the direct hit or rather trying to weaken Garchomp by confusing it, Will didn’t notice Xatu’s eyes glowing. In the end, he didn’t have much time to muse over a strategy, because Cynthia wasn’t bothering with long theories and going over to the practically part right away. “Dragon Claw.” “Psychic!” Not sooner than he had blurted out the word, Garchomp’s claws already connected with Xatu’s body, making it fling all over the field and crash into a wall. Worried, Will turned around, but to his relief, Xatu was just knocked out, not hurt or...killed. The young psychic couldn’t really tell how he knew, just that he knew it for sure. Most likely, it had again to do with his powers. It gave him a better understanding of and connection to his Pokemon.
“Come back, Xatu.” Will smiled, sighing. That had been to be expected, Xatu had taken a lot of hits recently. And with Garchomp’s sheer might....well, it was worth a try, yet, nothing more.
“Go, Jynx!” Janine squealed, surprising Will a bit. It wasn’t often that girls actually liked his Jynx seeing as it was, even he had to admit, a bit ugly. But with Pokemon, the outside didn’t matter so much, as long as they could pack quite a punch.
And Jynx could.
“Ice Punch!” Will knew that wouldn’t take out Garchomp, for sure, but at least it could weaken it. And that was the point, Janine and he weren’t supposed to win anyway, so all he could- and would, was show that he was a true elite trainer.
And in theory, it worked perfectly, Jynx hit Garchomp’s left wing, freezing it instantly. Briefly, Will wondered why Girafarig wasn’t bothering him, yet glancing at his left side, he noticed that Ariados had fixed Girafarig with String Shot and the Psychic/Normal Pokemon had trouble getting on its feet again, while at the same time, it shot Shadow Balls around, trying to hit Ariados. For the moment, Girafarig wasn’t something he had to worry about.
But then, the ice broke.
“Dragon Claw.” Again, Garchomp’s wing glowed white, hitting Jynx straight in the face, yet surprisingly not knocking it out in an instant, something Will had surely expected then. “Double Slap, then Lovely Kiss!”If there was nothing else you could use, then at least use the fact that your Pokemon is close to your enemy’s.
“Cute!” Janine giggled, wrapping her arms around his neck. Will smiled nervously, yet dared to place a kiss on her cheek, causing Janine to laugh even louder and blush.
Down at the battle field, Garchomp’s cheeks had turned red as well, but rather from the fact that it had been constantly hit by Jynx’s large hands. Yet shortly before the human-like Pokemon could kiss Garchomp, surely scaring the poor thing for the rest of its life, not to mention that both Jynx and Garchomp were female, Cynthia decided to interfere. “Giga Impact.”
Will bit his tongue. With that short of a distance between Garchomp and Jynx, his Pokemon wasn’t going to get out of the attack at all.
Garchomp covered itself in a ball of pink energy, and jumped at Jynx. Smoke hindered the sight, shrouding the result of the impact in mystery, yet only theoretically. There was no way Jynx had gotten out of this, and Will knew it. Most likely, everyone knew, yet there was still a surprised murmur when the air was clean again and Jynx lay on the ground, its eyes closed. Wordlessly, Will recalled it.
“Girafarig, Psychic!” Will grinded his teeth. His last Pokemon wasn’t even out yet and Lucian still dared to attack? Technically, this could get him disqualified, yet Lance would rather behead the judge than allowing this. Cynthia and Lucian were guests; they had all the rights they wanted to have.
“Go, Girafarig! Crunch!” He had to help Janine, for her Pokemon wouldn’t be able to withstand the power of a direct hit with Psychic. So before Lucian’s Girafarig could actually hit Janine’s Araidos, Will’s own Pokemon intercepted the attack, biting the other Girafarig hard into its leg. It cried out in pain, falling to the side, with the string shot still wrapped about its other legs helping a bit.
“Garchomp, Dig.” Even before Will or Janine had the chance to turn around, Garchomp had already disappeared into the earth, disappearing from their view as well.
“Oh no...” Janine was really frightened, knowing that Garchomp could appear anywhere now, without her and Will being able to prepare for it. The battle could be over very soon now. Yet, Will smiled. He had some advantages now the usual trainer hadn’t and he started to wonder how he had managed to get this far without any psychic powers. Now that he had them, many things were much easier. Detecting a Pokemon beneath the ground wasn’t just an exercise of good concentration and good eyes anymore, but simple reaching out with one’s mind and concentrating on the only aura that wasn’t visible to the eyes, too. He was glad Sabrina had taught him so much, after all, he was really getting better.
“Girafarig, jump to the left!” He wished Janine would have followed his example, yet she wasn’t fast enough. The few seconds that were between his powers recognizing Garchomp and screaming out were enough for the Dragon/Ground Pokemon to break through the surface and hit Ariados with a force unbelievable to be contained by a single Pokemon. Instantly, Janine’s last fighter was knocked out.
“Your turn now.” She smiled at Will, taking his hand as she recalled Ariados. The psychic trainer nodded. He could at least try to knock out one more Pokemon, but that would depend on his luck and whether Cynthia decided to attack his Girafarig now or later. Two against one was never a fair battle, yet it ending like this was to be expected.
“Girafarig, Crunch again!” “Shadow Ball!” “Giga Impact!” Will winced. Two attacks at the same time. No chance he could avoid both, and if he had the choice to choose between them...Shadow Ball was a Ghost attack, partly strong against his Psychic Pokemon, yet Giga Impact was...well, he had seen its might. There was no word even close to describing how powerful Cynthia’s Garchomp probably was. It felt amazing to battle it, so much he could sympathize with all the trainers dreaming of beating the Elite four once in their lives.
But for now, he had to think of some solution himself.
“Girafarig, bite it in the leg, then fling it to the right!” The idea wasn’t new at all, yet Lucian seemed completely shocked. Well, he was, but Cynthia....her face was unreadable. If she knew what was going to happen, she didn’t try to hinder him. Not at all. Almost as if she wanted her boyfriend’s Pokemon to get hit by the Giga Impact.
And that was what happened. Will knew there was no chance he would get out of this tight spot, so he put up with his Pokemon being hit by the Shadow Ball and weakened through it, when he was able to keep Lucian’s Girafarig from fleeing that way. Both Pokemon were in the direction of the Giga Impact and both would be taken out that way.
If he had to end this battle, it would be with a bang. Sacrificing his own Pokemon to beat at least Lucian.
It worked, but not in the way Will had thought of.
Only seconds before the Giga Impact could hit both Girafarigs, Lucian held out a Pokeball at arm’s length. “Come back, Girafarig!” He looked up, staring Will into the face, not caring about what was going on down there. “I give up.”
Will blinked in surprise, not even realizing that his own Girafarig had long blacked out. Lucian gave up? It wasn’t that incomprehensible, as no one really could ever want his Pokemon to be hit by such an attack if it wasn’t dire emergency, yet it seemed untypical for the smug elite trainer. Something was wrong with him. He seemed to be far too weak for a real elite trainer, after all, Will was a newbie and he had sorta been able to beat him. With Janine’s help, of course.
Said girl hugged him suddenly, rubbing her cheek against his. “You were so great! It was amazing! You made Lucian give up!” “Yeah, I guess I did...hehe...” Will smiled uneasily. She was close to suffocating him...
“Your little girlfriend here is right; you were doing well, William Bender.” Will looked up from Janine’s smiling face to see Cynthia climbing up the stairs to their platform, carefully because of her high heels.
“You weren’t bad yourself, Miss Monde. A great battle, really.” He bowed, Janine nearly falling of his neck and hitting her head on the stones as a result. Cynthia smiled at the clumsy, love-struck ninja.
“You must be Koga Kiyo’s daughter. I heard a lot of your father. He is famous person, both as a ninja and a poison trainer. A very good decision from Lance to promote him to Elite.” Cynthia nodded to herself, while Janine awkwardly tried to get on her own feet again, almost knocking over Will in the process. She was deeply red. “Yes, that is right, Miss Monde. It is...it is a pleasure to meet you.” Bowing, too, and hitting Will with her pony tail, Janine showed her respect. Meanwhile, Will looked over to Lucian, who walked out of the stadium without paying them, or any other trainer for the matter, any more attention, his hands in his pockets.
“Is something wrong with him?” He asked, actually concerned with the well-being of the other psychic trainer. He had wanted to see the true strength of the elite four of Sinnoh and now he felt as if he had only witnessed the power of the champion.
Cynthia shrugged. “I guess he’s a bit worried for one of his Pokemon which hasn’t arrived in Kanto yet. All of his were shipped over safely, except for his Espeon. He is worried it might have been stolen or something...” Will nodded. That was understandable. He would be troubled too if one of his precious Pokemon was not with him and he had no idea where it might have ended up.
“Oh whoa, such a great battle!” “The two really did well!” “That Garchomp of Cynthia...amazing, just amazing!”
“I wish I had such a Dragon Pokemon...”
“Yeah, right, as if you could control a Dragon Pokemon, Lily...”
“Heh, I could try!”
“As if...leave that to the true Dragon Trainers, no, Lance?”
“Hm? Yeah, maybe...”
While everyone was chatting about the end of the battle, a lone woman had made her decision.
The wise eye of a father watched silently.
It had taken Will almost ten minutes to get from the platform to the spectators’ rows, because of all the people rushing to and around him. He could barely walk, as all the girls congratulated him, and, occasionally, teased Janine for being able to battle with him. The young ninja was beaming with joy, laughing and clapping her hands together in her sheer happiness. There was so much she could tell her friends now, she much envy she could cause now, it was almost too much for her young soul to take. She wanted to scream out to the world that she was now the happiest girl on Earth, yet, in front of all of these cameras and her father’s wise eyes, that wasn’t so much of a good idea.
Will just smiled at her. He was glad he had made her so happy; it was nice to see her smiling brightly and everything.
But then, he looked up.
On the top row, directly in front of him, stood Sabrina.
Will swallowed. He had forgotten about her...
She stared at him with those cold, unfeeling eyes. It was as if she wasn’t alive anymore, rather a ghost, a projection of herself, without emotions. She just stood there, staring down at him, and yet, he felt the weight of what he had done to her on his heart. There was nothing she had to do to cause these feelings of guilt inside him, as her simple stare, her simple presence was enough. And it was no psychics’ thing.
“Sabrina, it’s, you know, I’m sor-“
She shook her head. It seemed as if the whole world around them fell apart, only their presences remaining before an endless black background.
“It’s over, William.”
End of Chapter 5, Part 1, and the end of a relationship.
So naturally A Freak like me To trust in me
While you'll receive Just needs And you'll find
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
Okay, this is all stuff I already read, so I can just go on with the review... I want more evil Cynthia and more Cynthia x Lucian. Though Cynthia x Lance is pretty cool as well, you've got to love Cynthia just going up and kissing him. And I trust that Sabrina and Will will get back together soon. (Maybe I should threaten to stop reviewing in order to get my way in your fics, wouldn't that be nice?)