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  #51    
Old July 8th, 2009, 08:34 AM
Wyyrlokk
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
So... the plot gets darker and darker. Cynthia's plan becomes uncovered to the reader, and Will turns out to be a child of the lower grades of society (It was obvious to me after he spoke to the gang child and Lucians words about the high ancestry of the other elite trainers, but now it was affirmed. xD). And Sabrina thinks of him as "more than just dumb", that's great. Sadly, she doesn't get the coherence between the boy robbing the Pokemon Center and Will yet.
(Another hint in this chapter was "'Without payment’ He said, wondering if his past ever stop haunting him?"...)

You described the difficult scene with the number and the dark psychos very well - at least I had no problems with understanding what you wanted to tell. xD
  #52    
Old July 11th, 2009, 02:19 AM
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Psychic*Absol
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@CPF
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It helps being on the "inside" when it comes to this story... because Cynthia is of course "borrowed" from me.
XD It kinda does. (Up to the point that I think our fics are AU of each other...) And believe me, you'll be even more on the 'inside' during the epilogue and the next parts. ;-)
Quote:
I enjoyed this chapter, even if there was not too much Cynthia.
*hides* I don't even know when Cynthia appears again...oh, wait, screw that. Beginning of the next chapter. =3
And there will be again much of her darkness. ^.~ In every sense of the word.
Quote:
It's pretty clear now that Lance wanted to give the egg to Cynthia but couldn't, the question is, if he wanted to in the first place, why would it be considered stealing if Cynthia had J retrieve it for her? Or did Lance have no control over his mind when he thought about giving over the egg?
....uh, oh....
I'm sorry to say this, Wyyrlokk, but CPF discovered something we talked about some time ago. You remember the three inconsistences I told you about? Well, CPF just found one of them (and he was faster than you!XD)
Yes, CPF, this is a semi-important plot point. Cynthia has a reason for her actions. ^.~ And it wil be revealed, if I'm not mistaken, next chapter. ;-) (And, surprise, surprise, not even by Cynthia herself...;-) )
Quote:
Either way, it seems to me that if Cynthia wanted to, she could take over the Indigo League right now because Lance is so helpless.
Yes, Lance is helpless (completely helpless, but again, next chapter you'll see), but she does not want to take over the Indigo League. She wants revenge. ;-)
Quote:
And poor Lucian... out of the picture...
I know he is shafted...sue me!XD

@Wyyrlokk
Quote:
Cynthia's plan becomes uncovered to the reader
Not the whole ofher plan or else it would become boring, don't you agree? ;-)
Quote:
Will turns out to be a child of the lower grades of society (It was obvious to me after he spoke to the gang child and Lucians words about the high ancestry of the other elite trainers, but now it was affirmed. xD
Ah, come on, it was not that obvious. >> Okay, we can agree that we all knew by now that something was wrong with his past, but it was not affirmed that he came from a poor family. He could simply have been a criminal or working for TR or something entirly different. ;-) (And heck, I told you he's kinda a street child, so don't think you're Mr. Holmes!XD)
Quote:
Sadly, she doesn't get the coherence between the boy robbing the Pokemon Center and Will yet.
Hm, does she? ;-) And second...Bender is a common name in their world (made that up, but hey, my fic). It's as if you read here "The son of a Georg Schmidt..." That doesn't tell you much. And even if your best friend is called Schmidt, would you immideately make a connection? Of course, for a reader, that's easy, because, come on, it has to be a hint, doesn't it? But for a character in the fic, there are hundreds of guys calles Bender and all of them could be meant.

Now, let's hope that Zammy beta-reads faster and I finally find the point where I can split up chapter7, otherwise, you'll have nothing to read after the next chapter. >.<
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  #53    
Old July 28th, 2009, 11:09 AM
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Psychic*Absol
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*hides from impatient readers* Hey, I did get it up faster this time. XD
Anyway, I'm sorry that I have to correct myself...no real revealing this chapter. >>;;; I mixed something up, the revealing of Cynthia's plan with the Eevee egg comes in Chapter 7 c or d (the one I was writing back then, so yeah, I mixed it up. >.< Sorries.)
Nevertheless, onto the next chapter! (And I double-checked the 'yet' this time, so there shouldn't be so many now anymore...)

6. Chapter, Part 3: Sorceresses

It was a perfect morning. The air was fresh, the sky bright, and spring was getting more and more power, almost dwindling into summer already. It was soon going to be May, yet nights could still get very cold in the mountains. And during these nights, one was happy if he had a warm bed. Even better if one was not forced to sleep alone in an empty bed. Yet, sometimes, the surprise of waking up next to someone was a bit greater than the happiness of it. Sometimes, that ended up as a serious argument.

And sometimes, it was just playful teasing.

“I thought I was sleeping next to a monster!” She laughed so hard, fastening her paces so much Will had to run not to lose her. They were on their way to the dining room, playfully chasing each other over the area of the hotel, a pastime which was really wasting their time, though both of them didn’t feel that way. Both were rather glad that they had the chance to be that close for a few more days. Sabrina was not really angry that she had woken up next to him that day. It had only been a shock for a minor time, for the brief flutter of memory where she had seriously wondered what she had been up to yesterday. But then, everything had come up again, from her computer search to her sleepiness. She had given him a summary of her findings, but he had shrugged it off, thinking that if they kept quiet now, Lance would never notice, and there would be a way to dump the egg somewhere. He seemed to be a bit too careless for Sabrina’s taste, but his positivity had rubbed off onto her and now, she found herself racing after Will like a mischievous child, not caring about her reputation and just enjoying herself. She could scold him with her worries later. Or never.

“Gotcha!” She cried, grabbing his vest’s collar and pulling him closer to her, both ending up in another embrace. Naughtily, Sabrina smiled at her fellow psychic and kissed him, something she now jokingly called ‘training’, as she still had to perfect her skills at French-kissing.

Slowly, he broke the kiss, smiling at her sympathetically. “Still, there’s something I don’t understand...” The elite trainer mused, looking at the bright blue sky above them.

“Hm?” Sabrina leaned back, out of his arms, against the empty air. Yet, a slight blue flickering gave her use of her powers away. “You mean about the Eevee egg?”

Will nodded slowly. “Yeah, and about the whole registration mix-up...I mean, why would Lucian and Cynthia not recognize anything that was registered under their name? That does not make any sense...”

Sabrina shrugged, playing with his hands in hers. “Maybe Lucian was acting? Cynthia didn’t seem to be surprised at all and Lucian...well, for my taste, he was a bit too excited. Besides...” Sabrina leaned closer to him again, with a questioning, yet mischievous smile. “Do we even know for sure it’s Lucian and Cynthia the registration number belongs too?”

Will pushed her away, annoyed, and started to walk to the dining room. “Well, how many even more obvious hints do you want? A Garchomp, Sabrina. And a Lucario. How many of these do we have here in Indigo? Hundreds? I think not.”

She stayed were she was, watching him depart. “Exactly. It has to be a tourist. Any tourist. Indigo City gets a lot of these, you know?” It was almost a sarcastic question.

Will rolled his eyes. “Still, isn’t it a bit too much of a convenience? Now the only thing we need would be the colours of the women’s clothes, and then we would know for sure, you know.” He laughed.

Sabrina mimicked his annoyed expression from seconds ago. “Don’t make fun of Cynthia’s style, as I like it. And anyway, not all Pokemon matched those of Cynthia and Lucian. I can’t remember Lucian owning an Espeon.”

Will froze. “Lucian’s Espeon was on that list?”

The gym leader blinked. She didn’t get her boyfriend’s reaction, his sudden uneasiness. “Um, yeah, there was a male Espeon on the list. It had arrived a bit later, on the same day as the egg, but it was there nonetheless.”

Will looked downwards. He felt dreaded, as if all sunshine had suddenly disappeared, as if time had just spun backwards and it was winter again. Soul winter. He knew that feeling oh so well, it was something he had seen often enough displayed with his girlfriend and now it was his turn. “Cynthia told me about Lucian’s Espeon having disappeared, probably being stolen.”

Sabrina froze as well.‘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.’

~~~~~~~

Karen leaned against the wall of Lance’s office, her arms crossed, eyes darkening, and this time, it had nothing to do with her powers. She was in deep thought, though her mind was troubled. Lance was acting off. He might have always been a bit paranoid, but in his position, caution was better than casualties. Better having locked your door once too much than one bullet more in your chest. Yet, he had never locked himself off in the office for a whole day. And he had certainly never completely ignored one of his elite’s wishes to meet him. He may postpone it to a later date, but never call it off for good, without even suggesting another time or day. This was very unlike old Lance.

However, it was typical for the new Lance. The one that had simply dumped his girlfriend between lunch and afternoon’s meeting, the one that had not spoken once to Claire or their relatives since the break-up and had sent back all her belongings via the post and without one word. The new Lance that clung to Cynthia as if he was her newest black accessory.

Karen pushed herself away from the wall, giving up her senseless and fruitless waiting. There was a chance that Lance already knew about this little incident in his employee’s earlier life and while she did want to bother him as much as possible, she couldn’t if he didn’t even open the door. She might give up as well and try to find someone else to drive mad. And then there was still the little ‘project’ she had taken up...

Just as she was about to leave the hallway, the door did open. But it was not Lance that walked out of it. Lance was not wearing high heels, and he was not wearing a long, black coat. And he was certainly not female.

“Oh, nice to meet you.” Cynthia walked up to the other elite trainer, shaking her hand without even waiting for Karen’s reaction. The dark trainer just stared at Cynthia, emotionless and body stiff, her hand shaking mechanically. Sinnoh’s champ didn’t seem to mind, not even to notice at all. Her smile was never pausing, never breaking. “You must be the second new elite trainer of Lance's, dark trainer Karen Schwartz, right?”

She nodded. “Yes, this is correct.” Her lips pressed together tightly, she wondered just what had mesmerized Lance so much. Sure, Cynthia was beautiful, but Lance had never been the type to fall for superficiality, not when his whole reputation was at stake, not to mention his relationship with his family, who had made him Claire’s destined husband. For the public, Lance had been the clean fighter for morals, even though his money business was not as spotless as he may have wished for. No matter how many times one thought about it and searched for reasons, Lance’s behaviour was just not comprehendable.

“What brings you to dear Lance’s office?” Karen asked evenly, not showing her deep interest in the topic openly.

Cynthia lowered her head, closing her eyes and playing with one strand of her bright blond hair. “Oh, nothing important. I just wanted to ask Lance if I could borrow his two psychics to do me a little...favour.”

“Favour...” Karen repeated, her tongue dancing over the emphasis of the word. She wondered, should she warn the two or was that too merciful? Was there even a reason to worry? About those two? Worry, from her, the dark trainer?

Cynthia looked over Karen’s short, black dress, her bare arms and legs and her slender, shining black lacquer shoes. “We seem to have a lot in common, Miss Schwartz,” she said, indicating her own favour of the colour.

Karen nodded sourly. “And not only that.”

~~~~~~~

“Sabrina, if you freak out, this is not going to help either of us!” Will cried, trying to follow the psychic gym leader, who had been close to running around in circles in her desperation.

“Will!” she growled. He was way too calm for her taste, way too calm for the way she felt. “Lance is going to murder me! How should I not freak out?!”

Her boyfriend crossed his arms, raising one eyebrow in questioning his girlfriend’s sanity. “He is not really going to make that threat come true...is he?”

Sabrina’s eyes darkened. “If he’s not going to kill me, then he will at least dismiss me and that is even worse!”

Will rolled his eyes. “Oh, yes, that is even worse....” He shook his head. “Sabrina, please, just stop worrying, everything will sort out itself, you know, it-“

“Sort itself out?!?” She started to scream, her voice reaching octaves they had never climbed up before, as the calm, resolved Sabrina had never felt the need to scream at someone, especially someone she normally held so dear. But then, she did. “Will, I am going to get into deep trouble, because it’s my fault THAT AN ELITE TRAINER’S POKEMON GOT STOLEN!!” She growled. “It’s not as easy to hide as the mix-up, dear Will. There were witnesses- the post office workers-heck, even Hunter J herself might blame me!” She clenched her fists, closing her eyes tightly to block out reality and some unwanted tears. “I was there, Will. I saw Lucian’s Espeon escaping... I saw Hunter J following it...if someone is at fault, if someone can even be at fault, it’s me. I failed to stop her. So I am going to get blamed if it gets out. And it will get out, as surely as we stand here now. Lucian will want an explanation for where his Espeon ended up, and they will look when it arrived here, and then they’ll find out that it was the day Hunter J attacked the post office. One thing comes to another and, whoosh, I’ll get into serious trouble, ending up in jail if I get especially unlucky, which I just will.” She sat down on the stairs of the entrance to the second meeting room, the very place where she and Will and confessed their feelings to each other. The place now a stage for entirely different emotions. Hiding her face behind her hands, she was close to crying.

Will stood there helpless for a moment, not knowing how to comfort his girlfriend. He did not know about the inner workings of the league, the delicate structures and complexes, as he was all too new to everything. Still, he was sure that while Sabrina was right about it being a tad bit more serious than the egg incident, he didn’t think that it was worth crying and worrying over. Sabrina wasn’t at complete fault; no one could scold her for not being able to single-handedly take down a vicious Pokemon hunter she did not know a thing about, especially when her powers had been blocked.

“Dear, please, don’t cry...” He kneeled down next to her; taking her hands slowly off her face and wiping away the hints of tears that dared to appear. “I promise you...there will be a way out of this. I won’t let you get all the blame for this accident. I won’t let you go to jail. I won’t.” He embraced her, burying his face in her hair as he did so, for once admitting his addiction to her plainly. There had been so many women in his life, but for none of them he had felt this much. None of them had been as perfect as his dear. “Even if I have to talk with Lance personally.”

“No, Will, no.” She pushed him away with a frown, shaking her head. Her tears had stopped, as she couldn’t cry when being this close to him and feeling his concern for her, his comfort. She had realized that crying had no real use; she had to give it up. “You don’t have to do this for me. In the end, it’s something I have to stand up for, something I have to deal with.” She smiled, kissing his cheek. “But thanks for promising help. You’re sweet, you know that?”

He smiled sheepishly. “I’m a gentleman.”

Sabrina returned his smile, stroking what was exposed of his cheek and not hidden by his mask. “You’re right, it was wrong for me to freak out so much...” She sighed. “We should try to get some breakfast now, as the others will surely wonder where we are...after being away for the whole of yesterday.” She laughed. At least yesterday had been quite...romantic. A whole new experience for her. And incredible experience. She still shivered when she thought about her life before and her life then-her new life, finally filled with love.

~~~~~~~

Sabrina almost choked with laughter when Misty rolled her eyes and walked out of the room as soon as she saw the couple, Will’s arm around her waist and Sabrina’s head leaned onto his shoulder. “We must be really getting on her nerves...”

Will laughed as well, kissing her hair quickly. “If she thinks so...I don’t see a reason to be annoyed because of showing true love.” Erica had already noticed their arrival as well, nodding in their direction and patting Misty’s now empty seat.

“Nice to see you two.” The grass type gym leader winked at them. “I hope you’re feeling better, Sabrina. Will told me last morning that you didn’t want to come down for breakfast.”

Sabrina smiled at Will before sitting down. “Yes, I am feeling much better.” She could feel Will’s ease as she said that, knowing that he had still been worried about her, worried that she might not be able to call her mind off the difficult dealing with Lance that laid before her. “I guess I was a bit too tired to come down yesterday, but thankfully, I have a handsome gentleman who is nice enough to bring me breakfast in bed, eh?” Will blushed and mumbled something that stayed unheard.

Erica smiled at that. She had never thought that it would be possible for their seemingly eternal single to find such a wonderful boyfriend. Unlike others, though, Erica was not jealous. She was not interested in Will, not that interested in boys either, and because of that, she was simply happy for her fellow gym leader. Might others disagree with her, she was of the opinion that Sabrina had deserved it.

But as happy as the two now were, Erica wondered how long it would last.

“Getting a boyfriend is not that hard...” she mused, staring at the ceiling with bright, shining eyes. Lance had employed the best artists to paint the walls of their main dinner rooms. “The hard thing is to keep him...”

Sabrina sighed. “Oh, I know how right you are, I sure know that.” She glanced at Will, yet he remained silent, feeling still a bit ashamed to have caused his girlfriend so much pain. She patted him slightly on the back, indicating with a comforting glance that she was not angry at him anymore. He answered her gesture with a sad smile, not completely convinced.

Erica shook her head, sadness playing around her delicate features. “No, no, I don’t mean the incident with Janine. I mean...you have to go back home in a few days, Sabrina. What will become of you two then? You can’t see each other every day then...”

“Um...” Sabrina and Will stared at each, speechless. To tell the truth, they hadn’t thought about a solution for that problem yet. While the fact that they had to depart very soon was openly in their minds, they had expelled it from their consciousness enough to not feel the pressure to think of a way to meet again. Sabrina lowered her head. She knew what Will would ask, without having to read his mind at all, and it felt so bad to turn down his idea. She took his hand in hers and squeezed it slightly, shaking her head so slightly that Erica was not able to notice it. <I cannot teleport every day from Saffron to Indigo, Will, I’m so sorry. I wish I could, yet even my powers have a limit and there’s a reason I came here with the Magnet Train. Indigo is just too far away of a location for me to teleport.> She looked up, trying to cheer him up with a smile. And still she knew deep inside this smile was just not making up for it, she knew she would feel just as miserable and down as he felt then. They had been very close over the span of a whole month now, not really separated by distance yet, if emotional distance was not counted in. No one knew yet how their relationship would react to this new situation, this loneliness. A loneliness which scared both of them.

Erica glanced over the couple sympathetically, even without being able to really depict the complete extent of their pain; she knew how hard it had to be for the two to realize that everything that was left for them was a weekend relationship and looking at how tight both of their schedules were, even that was a hopeful wish clashing with reality.

Sabrina snuggled closer to Will, her cup of tea levitating in front of her face as her hands were still busy holding his. He stroked her cheek silently, before whispering a few words to her, as he hadn’t even started training telepathy yet, so any attempt of his was going to end in failure for sure. “Don’t worry, we’ll find some way out of this, just like with other problems, hm?” She looked up at him, not really convinced but not voicing her disagreement either. Maybe she was realistic, maybe she was pessimistic. Maybe both.

Erica again smiled at this. She nodded with closed eyes. “Love will always find a way, isn’t that true?” The psychics nodded at that, even if just to keep their hopes up.

Several heads were turned around when the door of the dinner room opened and an all too familiar clacker of high heels was heard, echoing off the stony ground. Many faces beamed with smiles at the woman walking in, yet she ignored them as if they were simple air, heading straight for one table, keeping her mysterious, reserved but distantly friendly smile.

Sabrina braced herself already for a catastrophe, unwillingly and unconsciously digging her fingers into Will’s vest, causing him to yelp. She apologized under her breath, her eyes still fixed on Cynthia, who headed straight for them. Will, noticing this as well, kept her hidden behind him, ready to take the assault for her if needed. While Sabrina had insisted on keeping her independency, he was a gentleman and he would protect her, even against her will if absolutely necessary.

Cynthia stopped in front of their table, glancing over Erica, who had welcomed her with a silent nod and had now resumed to eating her toast. Sabrina felt the tension of the situation, yet she did not know why. She knew why she was feeling uneasy, but there was something around them that seemed to make her even jumpier.

Will looked around. Just like Sabrina, he felt that something was wrong, but unlike her, he caught the source after a moment. “Erica, would you please?” He asked kindly, with an undertone that told more than a thousand words however. He was not happy about having to shush off someone, but the silent pressure Cynthia managed to put onto them was unbelievable. She managed to get her own seat without even asking. Silently, Will wondered if that was the so called ‘endless superiority’ every champion called his, or in this case rather her own, but on the other hand, he had never seen Lance acting so offensive. Not even in the years before he became a member of the league, when all he saw of the champion was from TV reports and newspaper articles. And he was pretty sure that the news covered all of Lance’s life, after experiencing that pretty much that was the case now with him. He did not hate the media for that, but sometimes, he felt it was a bit too much for his dear, the way she reacted to reporters...

But that was nothing compared to the way she was acting now around Cynthia. Sabrina seemed almost...frightened. She kept most of her body hidden behind his, only glancing slightly around him. Yet Cynthia kept her never ending, mystifying smile. “I hope I’m not bothering you two.”

“No, you aren’t.” Will answered, though it was rather the ‘right thing to say’ than the ‘right answer’.

Cynthia smiled again. “Well, I’ve come here because I need you two to do me a little favour.”

Will frowned. That was as informative as advertisements. “A little favour, I see,” he said, letting as little distrust in his voice as he could. It was still possible that Cynthia did not know a thing about either the mix-up of the egg and the statue or the involvement of Sabrina in the case of the missing Espeon, so he did everything not make her suspect a thing. “About what, if I may ask?”

Cynthia laid her head into her right hand, glancing around Will and noticing the uneasy Sabrina, who stared emotionlessly at the wall opposite of Cynthia. “Lucian’s Espeon.”

“Ouch!” Will yelped when Sabrina’s fingers bore themselves so hard into his clothes that it left small marks on his skin. He glared at her, for her behaviour was neither helping his body to stay physically unharmed nor her innocence staying proven. Sabrina glared back just as fiercely and Will winced when she nearly tore his vest apart just with her finger nails, reminding him painfully of who was the stronger one in their relationship.

“What is with it?” The psychic elite trainer asked, forcing himself to ignore Sabrina’s actions. He didn’t seem to do very well, as Cynthia chuckled each time he flinched.

The Sinnoh champion sighed, an almost unreadable sadness enveloping over her face. “Well, as I told you after our battle, dear Will, Lucian’s Espeon did not arrive in time here in Kanto.” She closed her eyes. “Now it seems as if it was not only delayed, but also got stolen.”

Her fingers were going to leave some marks on his body, that was for sure now. His side would be covered in bruises, not to mention the cuts in his clothes.

“Now, I just happen to know from investigating the post office files that Espeon arrived on the day Hunter J caused havoc there.”

Will wondered if his inner organs would survive any more squeezing and how it would look like if he just passed out after having some virtual veins cut off.

“And...well, since you were there, Sabrina, I hoped you could...” Cynthia paused. “Ehm, I don’t think it’s that comfortable if you break your boyfriend’s rips.” Sabrina blinked, she had not noticed that she quite close to doing that with, amazing surprise, only her left hand. She had never suspected herself to have that much power.

“No, she’s not hurting me.” Will gasped, knowing very well that reality was proving him wrong. She was not hurting him, she was abusing him physically!

Cynthia laughed. “Oh, of course not, I see, my sweeties. Love makes you invulnerable.” For a second, a split second, anger flashed over her face, as if she had said something that she didn’t want to say, something that was too painful for even her to say aloud, yet that emotion disappeared as soon as it came. “Anyway, I hoped you could help me with getting the Espeon back. I’m fairly sure it’s Hunter J who has captured it, and since she’s a professional, there’s a high chance that the Espeon is already not in Kanto anymore, rather shipped somewhere in the world to a paying client.” Cynthia bit her lip. “But if there’s still a chance that the Espeon has escaped her and is somewhere in these mountains, I know you two could find it. You’re both psychics, you’re naturally bound to psychic Pokemon, isn’t it like that?”

Finally, Sabrina spoke up again, in a voice that was a business as it could get. “Yes, that is right, Miss Mo-, Cynthia, I mean.” She corrected herself, reminding herself of the informality promise they had given each other days ago. “Yet...I don’t see why you haven’t called the league officials. Aren't the police better...equipped for this job?”

Cynthia’s face was stony and noticing this, Will felt the impulse to grab Sabrina’s hands and squeeze them tightly, too. He knew that Cynthia was psychic, and he knew that she was likely a stronger psychic than him. The only thing he did not know what whether she was stronger than his girlfriend- and hopefully, if worse came to worse, protector, Sabrina. “I did contact the police. Earlier than Lucian, if I may add. He...doesn’t seem to care so much about his Pokemon.” Will raised an eyebrow. Just two days ago, he seemed to have completely lost his battle spirit because of his loss. And now he wasn’t caring about that Espeon anymore? Something was off there...

“Yet, I think that the search might be in fact a success if more people are in it. I hope you’re more triumphant than the police, with you actually knowing both the Pokemon we’re speaking of, and, of course, also knowing the mountain area where it might roam.” Cynthia paused, looking over both trainers. “So, will you do it? It has already been cleared up with Lance, so you don’t need to worry about your jobs being at stake if you take a few days off...”

‘Really? Our jobs not at stake?’ Sabrina still couldn’t get over her fear of being accused, so she stayed silent, for the first, and probably also last, time, giving Will the chance to answer for her.

Her boyfriend was just as uneasy as she was. ‘I guess our little mountain adventure will only be out of the news when we’re already married and retired...’ He glanced over her, wondering if she had caught his thought, before remembering that she did not read his mind. Luckily, because the sheer thought of marriage hadn’t crossed either mind yet and Will felt nervous being the first one to do so. A sign?

“Well, I guess we can give it a try...can’t we, dear?” He looked over his shoulder to glance at Sabrina and thus, busting his probably one and only chance at being the boss. She didn’t answer him at first, her eyes fixed on Cynthia, then, she looked back at him. Knowing that telepathy was no use, since Will didn’t know how to properly answer, she just nodded. Fortunately for her, as Cynthia had expected such a thing from the other psychic and was prepared for a quick mind reading of the weaker psychic.

“It’s settled then.” Cynthia stood up, still looking at the two trainers. “I’m afraid I can’t give you more information, as I myself don’t know where the Espeon went. Yet it should be obvious that there aren’t many, if at all, wild Espeon here in the mountains, so if you find one, it’s likely to be Lucian’s.” The champion laughed, but her laugh quickly stopped and she turned serious. “Be careful when you meet Hunter J. As you’ve already experienced”, She nodded to Sabrina,” she's as good as a trainer as well as perfect dealing with her gadgets. She’ll most likely find something to counter your powers.”

“Well, not that hard, considering how weak mine are...” Will joked. Cynthia joined his laughter shortly, before wishing them good luck and leaving. The tension immediately disappeared. Will leaned back with a sigh, causing Sabrina to growl at him and moving out of his way, in the end causing him to fall from his chair onto his back, with his legs still lying on the chair’s seat. Sabrina forced herself to smile at his, and yet deep inside, she felt anything but happy.

Still laughing, the gym leader helped him up again, glancing at the other girls in the room and keeping them on distance with a sharp glare. Even with Janine out of the pool of possible competitors, she still had to stay on alert, knowing now that there was an alliance of enemies. She just didn’t know any of the members, with the exception of Claire, who was prone to be the leader of the union. “Seems as if the last days of the meeting get exciting again!” Will mused while laughing.

Sabrina sighed, rolling her eyes. Her definition of excitement was not exactly met, even if it was spring then, as she still wasn’t that interested in roaming the mountains. Even alone with Will. Societies’ advantages just prevailed. Besides, she had enough camping for a whole year. “Let’s hope we find the Espeon soon, I don’t want to spend a week without electricity and warm water again!”

Will chuckled, standing up and kissing her cheek. “Don’t forget, we had warm water.”

She glared at him, the memory of the hot spring bath and his, in retrospect now clearly identified as one, advancing on her still fresh on her mind. “For one day...” Sabrina answered sardonically, sitting down to finish her breakfast. Will was still standing next to her, irresolutely. “Come on, sit down and eat. I said that we should start searching soon, but I think after breakfast is soon enough.” Will nodded uneasily. He wondered if he should tell her about Cynthia’s powers, unsure if it was wise to worry his girlfriend even more. She had certainly not taken the meeting lightly, his hurting side speaking a clear language regarding that, and if there was one thing he did not want, it was to trouble Sabrina any more, not to mention that he didn’t want to have his skin cut open by her fingernails in case she freaked out again. Maybe he could snuggle this little piece of information past her until Cynthia and Lucian had left, and then it wouldn’t be of any importance anymore. And, who knew, maybe there was no reason for them to confront Cynthia even during her current residency anymore? Maybe the Espeon would be found by the police soon enough for them to cancel their involvement.

On the other hand, Lucian had said that it was Cynthia’s goal to create a scandal with the help of the attack on the post office, and now, thinking about it, it seemed to be obvious that mentioned plan was coming into action and Sabrina had indeed a place in it.

Will looked to the side, swallowing his nervousness. Sabrina had been honest with him, and now there he was, plotting on lying to her, or at least withholding a great deal of important information from her. No gentleman would ever do that.

He sighed. He should tell her and he was going to tell her. But not there, it was not the right place. Biting his tongue, he finally faced the psychic again, who had already started to notice his distress, but hadn’t asked yet, giving him the time to prepare. “After breakfast...could we go somewhere private? There are a few things I think I need to tell you...”

~~~~~~~

Silently, the woman stopped after leaving the room, closing the door behind her so quiet that no one inside noticed it. However, she didn’t depend on the absence of noise. Everyone had seen her enter, if she had wanted to stay shrouded in darkness and mystery, like usual, one could almost dare to say, she would have done it the right way. Now the only thing that was left for her was to wait. Jenny did not need to know about her new pursuers, nor was there any need for Lucian to know about this change in plan. If she would ever consecrate him, it could wait until their trip to Indigo was over, until the news of their break-up had reached Sinnoh. Briefly, Cynthia wondered why she had forced Lance to take care of any overseas reporters that might have had the chance to spread the news, when she had wanted to embarrass Lucian, to break up with him. When nearly everything she had done there had either the purpose of humiliating Indigo’s league or of finally breaking up with the man who cared more about his books than his girlfriend and had managed to ignore her for too long, not to mention that he had ‘forgotten’ her birthday and their anniversary, just because of some stupid book exhibition...

Cynthia sighed deeply. The more she thought about it, the more hate rose within her. While she did not want Lance to take up the place as her boyfriend, she knew it would do Lucian right to see her happily together with another man. Maybe then he would recognise his mistake. His mistake to disregard her and, in the end, to believe her that she would come back to him. No. She would never come back.

Growling, Cynthia was suddenly startled when she noticed new thoughts rising in the mind of the weaker psychic. He wasn’t going to tell...no, he just couldn’t!

Cynthia looked back to the door, not sure if she would burst in and stop this flaw in her plan immediately, but then, she relaxed. Who cared if he told her about her powers? There was no chance that she could harm the Sinnoh champ...not as if she would try that, anyway.

Cynthia ran one hand through her hair before closing her eyes and walking down the stairs in silence. It was unlikely that those two would ever bother her. It was a bit sad, though, as they seemed to be such a beautiful couple, and if her plan went on correctly, they would be the main focus of all the blame. It was pitiful.

Cynthia looked back, swallowing. Maybe it was more than just pitiful. Maybe it was wrong.

~~~~~~~

Sabrina had heard and experienced a lot in her life already, especially a lot of myths and rumours regarding psychic powers. She had thought she had literally seen everything, but after the conversation with Will, she had to calm herself down for a moment and settle her thoughts, not to mention her standing up hair. She hadn’t told Will, but she was not only surprised, but also slightly scared. Normally, she could feel the presence of every psychic around her, at least if said psychic had knowledge of his powers and was able to work with them, reason why it taken her so long to notice Will’s powers. It had a lot to do with subconsciousness and awareness, and the fact that before his intense training, Will’s only ability had been a teleport of inanimate things, a skill so tiny that it could slip her mind. After all, when one was around other, weaker psychics all day, the mind could get used to the constant presence of other sources of powers. Maybe that was also the reason why she hadn’t felt Cynthia’s powers before... No, Sabrina shook her head. That was not the explanation. She had tried to identify the champion’s mind from all the others, as soon as Will had told her about Lucian’s revealing, but it had been a fruitless attempt. And that meant either that Lucian had lied, or, and Sabrina started to shudder, that there had finally been one psychic found that was stronger than her.

She was scared.

Startled when Will put his hand on hers, Sabrina looked up. She had been nervous already when he wished to be alone with her, even more nervous when he had invited her to the little restaurant from earlier again, and just ordering coffee for both of them, with Sabrina resisting and insisting on having tea, again. There were just too many kinds to choose from there, especially the special teas produced in the mountains...

But she had never expected her whole view of the world to be shaken.

“Will, this...” She let one hand run through her hair in a nervous fashion, tousling and splitting the ends even more. Sabrina shook her head. “This is not good. Not good at all.”

“I’ve expected this.” Will sounded much calmer than she was, but he didn’t know about the pecking order in the psychic society. Sabrina had been the leader until then, without doubt, yet, if one psychic stronger than her had truly been found, that position was in dire danger. Sabrina gulped. She just couldn’t let that happen. She had trained for so long, literally gave her soul for the authority over Saffron’s gym and its psychics, she would not give up that easily. Hadn’t Will said that Cynthia had kept her powers hidden from the public? Now why had she done something that peculiar? It didn’t make any sense...

Will shrugged. He had wondered about it, too, but he had assumed that it was simply a quirk to keep paparazzi away, as the Sinnoh champ had most likely enough of those already hushing around her. However, that didn’t make much sense either, as Sabrina had proven that she could very well keep the majority of reporters away with exactly those powers, as most unwanted guests knew she had a special treatment for films. He should ask her how the trick worked, Will mused inwardly.

Sabrina shook her head. This was getting way out of her hand and sadly, she did not know any way out of it, either. They had promised Cynthia to search for Lucian’s Espeon now and even knowing that everything was probably a farce, leading to something more dreadful, they couldn’t just snuggle out without a good explanation. And there wasn’t any.

She sighed. “Well, I guess we just have to wait and see now.”

Will nodded, but something was still on his mind. Something that then, at least in his opinion, made a lot more sense. It was just a question of whether Sabrina agreed with him... “Now that we know that Cynthia is psychic...how much bigger did the probability get that she indeed mind-controls Lance, hm?” He allowed himself a smirk, a rare sight for someone as polite as him. At the same time, he couldn’t fight the feeling that his curiosity and mistrust had triumphed over Sabrina’s rationality.

Sabrina sighed, suppressing an angrier growl, swallowing it with a sip of her tea. “They didn’t get any higher, Will. I already told you what is needed to control Lance the way he is right now. Complete knowledge of all of his actions, thoughts, behavioural characteristics, etc, etc... you can’t seriously tell me you believe Cynthia has a book of miracles in her suitcase where every scene in his life is written down, telling her what he would do, say and think. Please, Will...” She rolled her eyes. “Stay sane.”

“Not easy around you and all of that psychic stuff.” He winked at her, weakening his words with a well-placed sip of his own coffee. “Although...” He turned serious again, facing her directly. “Isn’t it a bit weird that Cynthia is psychic, has a plan to ruin Indigo’s league and then, boom, our champion turns unreasonable? Not as if he was before, but this just took the cake, didn’t it kinda?” Will paused, looking at his nearly empty cup. “Not to mention that Cynthia is again directly involved. It’s her who Lance hanging around now. And well, you said that a psychic who has control over someone needs to stay around him all day, and that is what Cynthia does right now, isn’t it?”

“Lance wasn’t around when we met her in the dining room...” Sabrina mused, not able to hide her smile.

Will sighed, putting his hands behind his head. His girlfriend was right, Lance hadn’t been with Cynthia back then. But then again, hadn’t Sabrina also said that any hint of the former relationship would destroy the efficiancy of the dark attack? And maybe Cynthia had viewed the risk that one of them would have mentioned Claire- not to mention that said woman was seated in the same room as the one the conversation took place in, as being too high, and so, she hadn’t taken Lance with her. On the other hand, that meant that Cynthia had to be a dark psychic indeed. And that was just not possible. Or at least Sabrina thought so. But she had also not noticed Cynthia’s powers, so there was a chance that she was now wrong again...

He blinked. Just now, it had crossed his mind that he had forgotten to ask about one particular important detail. One that he was quite sure Sabrina knew about, no matter how dark the matter was. “How do you get somebody mind-controlled, anyway? What’s the technique behind?”

Sabrina snickered. She really had to snicker, each time she started this lesson with her students, no matter what time it was, or what students she had sitting in front of her. And it wasn’t different either with her boyfriend sitting opposite of her. “Well, both mind-control and mind tainting require intimidate physical contact.”

Will blushed and Sabrina literally burst out with laughter.

“Oh, dear, of course that does not mean that said persons have to sleep with each other.” She snickered, putting a finger to her lip and teasing him with her winking. “Though I have to admit it is one efficient way of getting somebody under mind control, though if you can gather the necessary concentration during these antics, I doubt it...” She continued to snicker. “A simple kiss is intimate enough.”

“Okay...” Will couldn’t suppress the shudder that went down his spine, not to mention how uneasy he felt around the topic. If a kiss was enough...

He sighed helplessly. “We’ll start searching for the Espeon tomorrow no matter what. It’s not as if we have another chance, right?”

Sabrina nodded, not commenting the sudden and unexpected increase of self-assertion of her boyfriend.

End of Chapter 6, Part 3
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  #54    
Old July 29th, 2009, 01:10 AM
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I'm happy to see lots of Cynthia in this chapter. Apparently she wants to pay back Lucian for some reason, although I don't ever remember Lucian doing anything to her. That's just typical of her, though.

It seems all is set up for Sabrina and Will to clash with Hunter J, that's where this is headed, I think. Right now I am wondering most about Cynthia & Lucian's relationship and how that will turn out... hopefully for the best.
  #55    
Old July 29th, 2009, 09:33 AM
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^.~ Think back of how Lucian treated her during the first chapters (you know, with ignoriring her beauty and his general behaviour), and then, re-read this "of finally breaking up with the man who cared more about his books than his girlfriend and had managed to ignore her for too long, not to mention that he had ‘forgotten’ her birthday and their anniversary, just because of some stupid book exhibition..."
Cynthia is angry at Lucian because he kept ignoring her and let their relationship go down the drain, so that's why she wants revenge. ^^

Yep, you're right, there's gonna be at least one fight Will& Sabrina vs. Hunter J. ^^
(I'm quite surprised that *you*, of all people, worry about their relationship, considering what you wrote in your fic...*coughs* 0=) )
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  #56    
Old August 9th, 2009, 10:26 PM
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I think Sabrina overreacted just a bit, lol. I almost started yelling at my computer when I Will was considering not telling Sabrina. That would have been very pooh-headed.

Quote:
Cynthia looked back, swallowing. Maybe it was more than just pitiful. Maybe it was wrong.
Whoa. Cynthia, feeling regret? Where did that come from?

Something that kinda bothered me was Sabrina's very different reactions to bad situations. She pretty much explodes when she thinks she will be blamed for losing Espeon, when it seems incredibly unlikely for others to even blame her. Then she takes Will's explanation of Cynthia relatively well.

Other than that, decent chapter. Keep up the writing!
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Old August 10th, 2009, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by delongbi View Post
I think Sabrina overreacted just a bit, lol. I almost started yelling at my computer when I Will was considering not telling Sabrina. That would have been very pooh-headed.
XD I noticed that, too, that's why I changed it in the end (originally, Will wasn't going to tell her and it wasn't suposed to be revealed to Sabrina that Cynthia's psychic too until the next part.)
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Originally Posted by delongbi View Post
Whoa. Cynthia, feeling regret? Where did that come from?
=3 Well, my Cynthia unlike CPF's still has some human features.
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Originally Posted by delongbi View Post
Something that kinda bothered me was Sabrina's very different reactions to bad situations. She pretty much explodes when she thinks she will be blamed for losing Espeon, when it seems incredibly unlikely for others to even blame her. Then she takes Will's explanation of Cynthia relatively well.
Hm, I can see your point. Though I think if Sabrina hadn't taken Will's news that easily, she would have broken down completely, and now that wouldn't have been good at all for my fic. >>
And is it really that unlikely to get blamed? She's a psychic, a gym leader, and she couldn't stop a Pokemon hunter who didn't have any Pokemon with her (and who, besides Sabrina herself and Cynthia knows that Hunter J has a device that can block psychic powers? =3 Nobody, that is.)
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Originally Posted by delongbi View Post
Other than that, decent chapter. Keep up the writing! :)
^^ Thanks. My beta already has the next chapter, so yeah..it should be up sometime this century....
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  #58    
Old September 8th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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*coughs* *does not comment* ...bad thing is, I'll be on holiday for the next week, so the next chapter might be even more delayed. >.< Sorries. But heads up, we're coming closer to the final AND the end of this fic. XD (If that's a good thing...)

7. Chapter, Part 1: Pursuit

It was already late at night when Will finally went to bed. Sheepishly, he glanced at the side when he opened the door. Two days earlier, he had spent the night in the very room next to his, and the night before, he hadn’t spent the night alone. But today was a usual night, as today, nothing extraordinary would happen. Sabrina was already sleeping peacefully, and although she had apologized nervously, he didn’t mind her sleeping in her own bed. After all, that was how it was meant to be. They weren’t that close yet. He giggled quietly. Maybe that would come soon...

Sighing and rubbing his slightly burning eyes as he went into his own hotel room, Will did not notice the shadowy figure that was leaning against the wall. Its wardrobe did not give away its identity, as all it wore was black and nothing. Its hair shined silver in the pale, fading moonlight, its face and eyes unreadable and cold, just a finger with a long fingernail tracing its lips. It moved as gracefully as an elf as it walked through the room, to Will, who had not noticed it yet and so, foolishly, turned his back to it. Moreover, he was sleepy and his attention span was short, his mind nearly in dreamy state already. So he couldn’t even scream when a hand clamped over his eyes from behind, his body turning around violently as a pair of lips closed over his own.

~~~~~~~

Sabrina took a deep breath, feeling the fresh, and already warm spring air over her skin. It was early in the morning, just a bit over 6 AM and no one else-at least none of the other gym leaders-were awake, though she had seen both Lance, Cynthia and Karen lingering around the halls, all more or less awake and not all that interested in talking with her. The only one she had hoped to see awake and had yet been not awake was Will. She had to get him out of bed herself, surprised by the fact that his hotel room door had been left open, not forcing her to teleport into the room. He had been still lying on his tousled sheets, half buried under his cushions, still in his usual clothes. Sabrina giggled at the memory, as she leaned out of the window, waiting for Will to get dressed again. Apparently, she had tired him out a bit too much last evening...

A slight tapping surprised her and she turned around to see Will leaning in the door frame, his arms crossed over each other, eyes closed and looking thoughtful, unusually thoughtful and serious. She raised an eyebrow, but kept silent. Both of them had every reason to be careful that day. Who knew what Cynthia planned on doing? It was unlikely that she would resort to physical violence, rather using psychical weapons. Maybe in every meaning of the word.

“Can we go now?” Sabrina asked politely, snuggling to his shoulder. Will opened his eyes and smiled at her, stroking her cheek with a single finger.

“Well, I have indeed packed, so yes, we can go.” He hadn’t brought much, as both of them hoped that they wouldn’t be searching for more than a few days, not a week, like the last trip into the wilderness had lasted. After all, just like last time, they did not have endless amount of time. Cynthia and Lucian were going back to Sinnoh in a few days and then, the case had to be finally closed, whether they had found the Espeon or the police had. Sabrina closed her eyes. Someone had to find it in the end, that much was obvious. Otherwise...well, if Lucian’s Espeon truly stayed lost, and the knowledge that this had happened in Indigo, because of an Indigo gym leader became public... Sabrina shook her head. No, she didn’t even want to know what would happen to her then. Maybe this was indeed the scandal that Cynthia had wanted to cause. Yet then, it wouldn’t make any sense for her to employee her and Will, of all people, to search for the Espeon. If this had truly been Cynthia’s plan, she would have kept silent about it, at least as long as there was a chance that the Espeon might still turn up. No, this didn’t make sense at all.

But like Will had said yesterday, it wasn’t as if they had a chance to change anything anymore. It was all a question of fate and coincidence.

Will coughed politely as they went to the stairs and stopped. Sabrina, surprised by this behaviour, stopped as well, staring at her boyfriend’s back. First, he stared downwards at his shoes, unsure if he should address her, hesitating for a long time, before he finally turned around and faced her. “I know that this mission is quite important for you...that we have to find this Espeon or else you get into trouble...so...I asked one of my colleagues to accompany us. You know, the more the merrier.”

Sabrina just stared at him. To say that she was surprised would be a great understatement. She was rather shocked. She didn’t want anyone to accompany them. It may be foolish and kind of hypocritical to think of this trip as another chance for them to be alone for a while, to spend some time just as a couple, when in the end, much depended on it, all of it being a rather serious business with a champion involved. Yet...was it wrong to wish for closeness? To live your feelings out? Sabrina felt betrayed and at the same time, she felt guilty. Maybe Will was right...

She sighed. “Well, who did you bring?”

Will smirked at her. “Someone who can take care of psychic Pokemon just as well as we do...in every meaning of the word.”

Sabrina blinked at his words, but when she heard the weak tapping of high heels from down the stairs, she braced herself for an unwelcoming welcome. Since she doubted that Will would actually be as foolhardy as to invite Cynthia for this camping adventure- Sabrina doubted that any spoiled champion would survive in the woods without his personal servants-it meant that the only other known high heel lover of the league would come with them. “My, you psychics sure get up lately. Had a lot of work to do last night, hm?”

Karen.

Sabrina couldn’t hide her growl. While she was getting used to Karen’s general presence, that was no reason to stretch her endurance that much. A darkling...what had Will been thinking?! Of course, Karen could take care of psychics...meaning that it was easy for her to knock them out. And not only Pokemon, human psychics as well. Will had just brought the one person that Sabrina was sure of was dangerous to both of them. If not for her frivolous attitude that might awake her long hidden feeling of jealousy, then for the team of dark Pokemon she most likely carried with her.

“You don’t mind her hanging around here, do you?” Sabrina raised an eyebrow. Did Will just lose his common sense or what? If it wasn’t obvious from her tensed, stiff body, then for the fact that she just kept standing away from both Will and Karen, who had walked up the stairs to meet up with them.

Clenching her fists, Sabrina took a deep breath, looked up and sighed. It was useless to argue now, as after all, Karen had obviously no intention of leaving them anymore, and Will, being the trigger for this unexpected twist of happenings, was no real help for her arguments, either. He would probably just accuse her of being biased and selfish. Of course, he hadn’t been a psychic for so long, so he wasn’t afraid of darklings like she was.

His shoulder didn’t hurt each time she remembered the fangs of a Mightyena.

“Well, I’ll stand her for the time being.” Sabrina mumbled, maybe a bit darker and angrier than she had intended. Better to not irritate the darkling too much, for she could overpower both her and Will easily. Maybe it hadn’t even been Will’s fault. He was too much of a gentleman- and had too less of a backbone to deny a woman’s wish, and Karen could easily blackmail him, as easily as she could blackmail Sabrina herself. The situation had ended in a stalemate, at least for two of them.

“Fine, then.” Will actually smiled, making Sabrina fume silently even more. “Let’s go, no?” He smiled at both girls and took Karen’s arm, shocking Sabrina even more, who did not really feel jealous at first, just rather off surprise and being catapulted into the wrong scenario.

“What?!” She was even too surprised to scold at Will, having frozen in place as the two elite trainers walked down the stairs.

“Well, are you coming?” Will asked, turning his head around to see and wink at her. Sabrina blinked, staring into space and really not getting what was going wrong again. Just being sure that something was wrong.

“Yeah, hm, I am coming...” She mumbled, following the two with a slight distance, body stuff and mind on alert, keen on observing Will a bit more than usual.

~~~~~~~

From her hotel room, a lone, beautiful woman was watching. Her eyes, grey and lifeless, were staring straight at the three trainers walking into the woods, two of them walking next to each other and chatting happily, the first easily to be recognised by his formal clothing, the second by the complete opposite.

And then there was the woman following them, trudging slowly and appearing to be a bit miserable, a mood noticeable even from the distance that kept the woman apart from the group going on a new adventure.

Cynthia bit her lip, wondering if she should interfere. She had not expected another darkling to be around; neither had she expected said darkling to get in the way of her plan. Yet... Cynthia closed her eyes, walking away from the window and waiting in the shadows of the curtains for a moment. Karen was not hindering her. She had her own plans. Obviously. Glancing back at the three, the Sinnoh champion wondered how much more the young love of the psychics could take before it would break apart.

Shrugging, she sat down on the bed again. She had taken enough humiliation from Lucian. Maybe she should advise Sabrina to do as she had done. She didn’t wish for another woman to be broken because of men.

~~~~~~~

Sabrina knew how it felt to be excluded. More than half of her life, she had been excluded. Always because of her powers. Always because of the mysterious things she could do, mysterious to those who never tried to get to understand them better. If it hadn’t been for her powers, if she hadn’t inherited them from her father, she would have been a usual girl, a normal girl living a normal life, going through normal puberty, getting a boyfriend, a job, maybe as a psychologist or at a grocery store or as a journalist or something along those lines. But she had her powers, and had trained them night and day, and thus, she had been different from everyone else and everyone else was scared of her. Too scared to dare to go near her. So, Sabrina supposed she shouldn’t be surprised by the feeling of hurt from being excluded again.

Just that this time, it was people like her excluding her. People with supernatural powers of their own.

Granted, Karen was no psychic, but darklings abused psychics in other, dreadful ways, not in this highly social way. She supposed it was in their nature to be a bit blunter and, well, darker. Karen had revealed herself to be not only frivolous, but also as impolite as one elite could get without being rocketed out of the office the moment she took a step into it. And worse, the person she had believed to be more disgusted by this more than ever didn’t even care.

Of course, she was talking about Will, for she, while having taken on as much politeness as needed, too, was strongly bothered by Karen’s behaviour. And so, in conclusion, about Will’s as well.

He had started to ignore her. During the first day- yes, they were already on the walk for more than a day, but Sabrina had started to lose her sense of time again. It hadn’t been so noticeable, yet now, the loneliness started to bore itself through her heart and soul, hurting her. It was not jealousy that she felt- she knew that for sure, as the feeling she had towards Karen was different from the one she had had when she had seen Will celebrating together with Janine after their double battle. This feeling was more like deep anger, deep mistrust and the inner feeling that something was wrong. She was only unaware of what was wrong. Aside from the obvious fact that Will was spending more time with the darkling then with her now.

It was only talking. Nothing more. Maybe that was why her jealousy hadn’t kicked in, Sabrina could only speculate. Jealousy wasn’t a feeling she was used to. For all of her former, emotionless life, she had failed to grasp the concept of ownership, because she had not seen the value of material things. Of course, she had been, well, kind of obsessed with a few things- her doll collection came immediately to mind. But aside from it... She had never felt the need to long for other people’s belongings, their wealth...yes, she had taken the Fighting Dojo’s gym leading rights from them, but that was nothing physical. And if there was one thing that she could have felt jealous about, even back then, it might have been psychical strength, but only that.

In conclusion, she had never really learned to be jealous and only now, when something existed that she really held dear, something unique, something she didn’t want to lose for all in the world, she suddenly had to deal with jealousy. Another new emotion on her ever going list that was giving her so much trouble and made her wish herself back to the old times, when everything was just an easy game of authority and training.

Sabrina shook her head, watching the two as they decided- they alone, for the third wheel on the bicycle had been long forgotten, to take a break at a small clearing. It was a nice, sunny day and if there hadn’t been the small detail of being a group of three, Sabrina mused she would have enjoyed this very much. Instead, she stared at the two elite trainers, observing them as closely as she could without grabbing their attention. It was getting warmer every day and she had trouble with the sun shining directly into her face, though she could clearly see the conversation on the other end of their resting place. Again, her instincts told her something was wrong, but she could not figure out what. Her first impulse was to assume that something had been done to Will, but she could not think of what that might have been and who might have caused it. Surely not Karen, who was, strangely enough, acting a bit off, too. It was not usual for her to talk so friendly and casual to a psychic. Sabrina tensed. Maybe it was not only one of them being manipulated, but both. In that case, she had to be very, very careful indeed.

Sighing, the psychic came to the dreadful conclusion that her list of problems was growing with every day she spent there in the Indigo Plateau. First, it had been acceptable emotional trouble, for while her crush on Will had indeed caused some inner tension, that strain had been more positive than anything. Then the stay in the hospital and a month-long coma. Not all that good for her already shaky health. The psychic ran her hand through her hair. The mix-up of the egg and the statue seemed to be a minor problem now and still, it had high priority. That probably meant she had been in a state of continuous alert for almost a week, a strain certainly not good for her nerves. If the alcohol hadn’t killed her brain cells, this had. All counted in, it was a surprise she hadn’t faltered yet, but maybe, just maybe, Cynthia was right with her assumption about Sabrina’s stamina.

“Will...Karen...” The gym leader started, well aware of the fact that the chances of them actually listening to her were slim. There was a topic that had to be discussed, no matter how unfriendly the response might be. “I don’t think it is beneficial for us to keep on wandering aimlessly around. I...admit that it is a bit hard to search for a Pokemon without any real clue, but...” The psychic hesitated. She had no confirmation yet that her comrades were listening, but if she waited for a verification, she might as well spend the whole afternoon waiting and staring into space. Or rather into the faces of a man and a woman opposite of her, the former being still very much in her heart, the latter being the stick in her heart, and their friendly talking nearly destroying her heart.

“We cannot just continue it this way. It’s no use. It’s already been more than a day and we haven’t found as much as a clue of the Espeon.” Sabrina stood up and took her cup of tea, as thankfully, with her obsession with the beverage; she knew enough about herbs to make her own, of course non-poisonous and even well-tasting one. She didn’t know what Will and Karen were drinking, but she wasn’t caring for one half of the duo, anyway. And the other half should theoretically know how to get poison out of his body, but with training being the last thing on his mind for a while...

“So what?” Karen smiled viciously at the other psychic, one hand hugging her hip, the fingers of her other tracing Will’s neck who had followed Karen’s gaze over to the gym leader, keeping a stoic, calm face even around the obvious flirtations of the darkling. “It’s not as if Cynthia and Lucian cannot leave without this Pokemon and get it sent on later.” Karen grinned. “Or do you think a little delay could cost your head? How sad...I wonder how well you would fare as a psychic without your most important organ, the brain, isn’t it? Sad that you depend on it so much... the outside counts, too, it sure does, little Brina.” Sabrina rolled her eyes. She knew what Karen meant, but hell would rather freeze over than her wearing clothes of the same ‘category’, if that was the right word, as Karen’s.

That, or other...

Sabrina shook her head. Now was not the time to think of future plans.

“Sorry to prove you wrong, Karen dear,” Sabrina bit her own tongue when saying that, and yet forced herself to mimic Karen’s snicker, though she herself had no real idea, just a dim feeling where the sudden need for competition came from. “But I fear the consequences of the Espeon staying stolen are direr than you can imagine. For once, it’s not only my head that may roll...” Glancing uneasily at the side, Sabrina wondered just how much she could tell these two, given how friendly Will was suddenly with Karen. “It could also cause the whole of Indigo some trouble.”

Karen raised an eyebrow. “You mean because Cynthia might blame it on Indigo?” The darkling smiled. “Oh, don’t look so surprised. I know all of your little theories. Your boyfriend has quite the loose tongue, my...”

Karen was right, Sabrina looked surprised. Very surprised. Her eyes wide open, her face pale, her fingers grasping onto a small branch of the log she was sitting on, she could only describe her feelings with one word. Betrayal.

Will had told Karen all about Sabrina’s hypotheses, about her speculations and, worst, her fears. Her fears of this turning out to be a matter of political affairs, of national wide importance. Of it working itself up to a greater dispute between Indigo and Sinnoh, maybe even with rumours of all of it planned out by Indigo turning up. In a world where Pokemon battling was a legal and an accepted way of making money, where the strongest ones held more political power in their hands than the elected governors and mayors, Pokemon were no more pets, but weapons and, to a degree, capital, a stolen Pokemon was more than a peccadillo, the very reason why Team Rocket kept being the number one threat for Kanto, aside from their obvious hunger for power, of course. And now it concerned the Pokemon of an Elite. Sabrina couldn’t even imagine the consequences of this, and she didn’t really want to, either. She just wanted this to be over as soon as possible.

“Will...” Sabrina glared at the other psychic trainer, wondering what was up his mind. He had changed and Sabrina was fairly sure that this change was not natural. She just had to find out what had happened.

He stared at her, cold, emotionless, and yet there was a difference between him and her former self. She couldn’t put her finger on it, couldn’t name it, but it was there, like a cloudy shadow hanging over him. Sabrina frowned. Maybe there was more behind this description than met the eye...

“Why have you told her this? I thought we would keep this secret...” She sounded...well, she sounded offended. She had thought she could trust him. Could she now? Or was it not his fault? Her fingers were trembling.

Will sneered. “I see no need to keep my secrets from someone I can trust.” For s split second, he glanced over to Karen, and Sabrina thought she noticed a small glimmer in both of their eyes. “And Karen has shown me that she is trustworthy.”

“Trustworthy...” Sabrina sighed. Whoever thought that Karen, of all people, was honest had to be very naive...well, nothing new considering it was Will... “I hope you know what you’re doing, dear...” Closing her eyes, the psychic stood up to throw some more wood in the fire when she froze, her senses picking up a change in the direction of the wind. And before she could grasp the situation, all three of them were startled by the sudden storm forming over their heads, leafs and dirt circling around them after being picked up by the wind. Sabrina hid her face with her arms, afraid of being hurt by little stones that were now in the miniature tornado as well. Fortunate for her, she didn’t see Will holding Karen in his arms to protect her.

After a few seconds, the wind was not the only thing that grabbed the attention of the three trainers. The noise of an engine, getting louder and louder, and the unusual sound of something sucking in air were around them, or rather, above them. Sabrina glanced through her closed hands at the sky. She could only see dust and in-between the brown cloud, something darker, something almost black.

“I don’t want to question our luck, but don’t you think it is a bit unusual for an airship to appear in the middle of nowhere?” Karen asked, her voice fighting to gain enough power to reach Sabrina’s ears, as Will was next to the darkling and hadn’t any trouble hearing her.

“What do you mean?” Sabrina hoped her own voice was strong enough to fight the growing wind, because for once, she was really interested in Karen’s thesis.

“Well, how big are the chances that this is Lance’s newest plaything? Not high, I think, in contrast to his bank account and ego size. And who else has an airship that big and modern? Only our dear J, at least from what I could gather from her international arrest warrant.”

Sabrina couldn’t hide her surprise, though hating herself for giving away a degrading emotion in front of the darkling. “International police forces are searching for her?!” ‘And you’ve looked at the files?’ She didn’t voice her second question, for it would give away her own lack of knowledge of the matter behind. She had neglected to do any research on their enemy, however, Sabrina wasn’t even sure anymore if J was their, or rather, her main enemy.

Karen nodded, her hair whipping around her shoulders wildly. “Well, she’s been on the public enemy list of Sinnoh for god knows how many ages and was recently added to Johto’s one. I think that counts as being internationally searched for.”

Sabrina, ignoring the sharp edge in Karen’s remark, shuddered at the sudden light that had started to shine over J. She was certainly not a newbie villain, nor was she to be underestimated. ‘As if my problems were too small for fate’s taste until now...’ The psychic mused miserably.

The airship had soon left the space above their heads, yet it was clear that it was going to land, considering how low in the air it had been. This, in conclusion, could only mean one thing: J was still searching for the Espeon as well, as otherwise; she would have no reason to leave the safe air space. Besides, she was still in Indigo, not having dashed off to wherever her client was seated, so apparently she hadn’t managed to catch the psychic Pokemon.

Sabrina started to run, wishing she could teleport right to the landing location of the airship, but finding herself to be unable to do this. One reason, of course, was the presence of Karen, but thankfully, the elite trainer had at least the grace to lower her own abilities a bit, which allowed Sabrina to be free of any headaches and shivers caused by dark power.

Still, she hoped for Karen not to own any Mightyena...

“My, my, you like to get into the action soon, don’t you?” Karen laughed, her arm still clung around Will. She had been momentarily startled by the sudden departure of the psychic, but had covered it soon with a laugh and a playful toss of her silvery hair.

Sabrina turned around. As much as she hated having the dark trainer around, it was better to have some awful assistance than none at all. “That might be the one and only chance we have to get a hold of her, so we’re better not wasting it.” She directed this at the two behind her, as they were far behind her already and didn’t seem to have any intention of following the psychic soon. Sabrina hadn’t really wanted to take the role of leader there, as she had wanted this to be an extended date exclusive for her and Will, and had, in no way, anticipated Karen’s coming along. Then, if everything had happened according to her planning, there would be no reason to really worry about the person in charge. And no, not because it was clear that she would dominate over Will...

Karen glanced over Will, tracing his lip with her sharp, black fingernail. “We should better go and save her backside in case she gets herself into a mess again, shouldn’t we, my dolly?” Will nodded without words.

~~~~~~~

Slowly, the woman sat down, blinking as she adjusted her shining black sunglasses. In truth, they were not only sunglasses, but a device filled with so many gadgets that any spy movie agent was about to get jealous. Silently touching the right side of the metallic frame, a holographic map, blinking in neon green, appeared in front of her cold blue eyes. Quickly, she scanned over the map covering nearly all of Indigo Mountains, lines of the blinking light detaching themselves from the artificial level they had created and forming into valleys and mountain peaks. The 3-D picture was not complete, as her henchmen hadn’t managed to download all of the needed material from local satellites yet. Illegally, of course. Satellite maps of Indigo City were not open to the public because of the league headquarters, and she didn’t even bother with asking for them kindly because she knew, even though she wasn’t as well known there as she was to Sinnoh’s upper class, someone would do his or her research and find out. Better let the dirty work be done by someone who was renounceable, like her henchmen.

Hunter J, or ‘Jenny’, as her by far closest client liked to call her, much to Js indignation, ignored the gaps in graph, concentrating of the little white blinking spot that moved slowly over the plain, following what seemed to be an even smaller spot of purple dirt, although it was in truth the psychic signature of a particular special Espeon. Special because it had been raised and evolved in wilderness, never been forced to follow a trainer’s order, never even been touched by a human’s hand. That was, until she, the greatest hunter ever known to Sinnoh, had caught it in the deep, inaccessible wood of Ilex Forest, and pocketed quite the nice amount of money for it from the champion of Sinnoh. J closed her eyes. While all that mattered to her was the money, she had truly started to question her client’s motives. Whereas a wild Espeon was as rare as a silver Eevee and such, the general value of it was not to be enquired, it was more a question of why it was so important to the champion of all people. J could imagine an endless amount of paying clients that would have loved to get the Espeon, clients that had a reasonable want for it, breeders or collectors came to mind, yet she couldn’t imagine why the champion with her already well-trained, full team of six monstrosities had wanted it so badly. So badly to go out of her way and cooperate with probably the second most wanted villain in Sinnoh, only next to the mysterious unknown leader of Team Galactic.

And it was not only cooperation, it was...more.

J squeezed her eyes shut, shuddering inwardly at the sheer memory of the events that had happened...what, only half a year ago? It seemed as if everything had just been a day ago, and then, her whole life being thrown into a loop, one she hadn’t managed to get out of even then. She had never been out of Sinnoh, and in a matter of six months, she had been to both Kanto and Johto. The only region missing was Hoenn now, and knowing Cynthia, it was only a matter of time before J would be assigned her first mission there. And it was useless trying to prepare for that special assignment, as J had the feeling that Cynthia had more various ideas than the usual eccentrics she worked with. Which was saying a lot, considering what background J worked with.

J blinked. Next to the white circle, or, more exactly, right beneath it, another purple spot, though significantly smaller than both the white one and the first violet one, had appeared, an equally small black spot next to it. J frowned, but even someone who might know her well- honestly said, there weren’t many that could fall into this category, that wouldn’t have noticed the gesture from afar.

The woman stared ahead, going through several scenarios in her head. She hadn’t been expecting any interruption; at least Cynthia had promised that no one would disrupt her, something J had not doubted. If the champion wanted something not to happen, said thing just wasn’t going to happen, and if she wanted earth to stop rotating. The obvious- no one without a serious aim would venture into those woods, involvement of these people- a psychic and a dark one even, was unexpected.

J leaned back, though her body stiffened, her fingers playing around the lonely Pokeball at her left side. It was a miracle she had managed to get all of her Pokemon back, but again, she had to thank her unwanted lover for it. Cynthia had not only used the police’s trust in her, but also the naivety of her boyfriend who had volunteered to take care of the Pokemon for the time being. Astounding that he believed in her that much, after they had broken up under more than mysterious circumstances, but again, this was only a trivial detail on J’s mind. Insignificant compared to the thorn in both her heart and mind at the thought that she had seriously needed Cynthia’s help to get her Pokemon back and complete this mission...

“Harry?” She spoke up, her voice confident and cold, demanding. The pudgy man saluted as fast as he could, almost knocking his hat off his head. “Get me the off board camera. I want to take a look at the intruders.” He nodded and within a few seconds, with the simulation her glasses produced still on, J looked down at the main monitor in front of her seat, the picture as clear and full of details as if she was hanging out of the ship and watching the three with her very own eyes, though this method was a lot more safer.

J’s eyes widened. She recognised the people down there, all of them, not only the one she had already met before. Of course, the one she had already encountered was the psychic gym leader, who hadn’t proven to be so much of a threat, just a bit more annoying than her usual enemies. The other two...they were more likely the ones to worry about. J hadn’t really bothered with reading all of the local newspapers, just the articles that obviously concerned her, and yet she wasn’t in the dark about the new elite four trainers William Bender and Karen Schwartz. She had seen them in the yellow press magazines her henchmen enjoyed to read. Most of them writing about Karen though and the ones with Will just read by those henchmen that were a pain to keep.

On the one hand, J was glad to know who she was dealing with. On the other hand, it didn’t make her job any easier. Just harder.

Clenching her fists, she remembered the fight with Lucian. Her poor Pokemon had been beat down, hadn’t had any chance against the better trained ones of the elite four trainer of Sinnoh. Yet, that had been a battle without her, and her, let’s call them technical advantages. Slowly rubbing over the sleek metal of her bracelet, she knew she had the moment of surprise there. These three didn’t know about the little toy of hers, only about the necklace that blocked psychic powers. That should be enough to overwhelm at least one of them, and J was sure the other two, the elite trainer especially, would prove to be challenging on her/his own. Though...only as long as their Pokemon weren’t bronze-coloured shiny statues in her collection for sale.

Closing her eyes, J stood up. “Land the ship.” She opened her eyes again, them being as cold as humanly possible. “I’ll deal with them.”

She wouldn’t allow anyone alive to ruin what may be her biggest coup.

~~~~~~~

Sabrina could hardly hide her frustration as the small group of three finally reached the airship. Since it had high-performance engines, unlike them with their tiny, flimsy legs, the distance it needed for landing was longer than the one they could walk in the same time. And so they would obviously end up too late if J had indeed found the Espeon and this was her reason for letting the airship land. All of this would have been no problem if she had been able to teleport. But because of a certain darkling, she couldn’t, and so, they lost precious time. Yes, she couldn’t deny her bias, she couldn’t deny her hate, hate that had only increased because of Will’s strange behaviour around Karen, but so far, the only thing she could blame on Karen was the weakening of her powers, not the sudden coldness between Will and her. For that, she had no proof.

And right now, she had no time for it.

A strong gust of wind blew her backwards and she had to hide her face yet again from sand tbehind her, both clouded by the grains of sand. And then, silence.

Silence, except for the odd flapping sound of a pair of wings. Sabrina turned her head around and almost jumped back in surprise when she saw a woman, a woman well known to her, standing on a Salamence. She had appeared as if out of thin air, as if she had teleporting powers of her own, yet Sabrina doubted that. She would have felt J’s powers and even if there were some she had overseen- after the experience with Cynthia, it was frightful and still possible, Karen was to make sure that any powers were blocked, from friend and foe alike. Sabrina tensed. To J, it didn’t matter whether Karen was there or not, as she could block the psychic’s power anyway. That was a clear advantage for her. On the other hand, she had lost against Lucian in a Pokemon fight, and now, it was not only one elite trainer against her, but two. Plus a gym leader.

Who wished that she was hopefully neither ignored nor left alone to do all the dirty work on her own.

J stared down at the three, stiff, her right arm hidden at her side. Without another word, she withdrew two Pokeballs from the hidden pockets of her coat and didn’t even bother with throwing them far, just letting them reach a certain distance over her head, where all of them opened at the same time, red light exploding in front of the faces of the league trainers. Two Pokemon, tall and monstrous, stood in front of them, all ready to attack. Sabrina braced herself. She didn’t know Drapion’s type, as it looked a bit like a poison and/or bug type, but she wouldn’t put her luck on it. Ariados, while being a Bug and Poison type for certain, had ghost attacks and so, was still even a threat for her. And Salamence was, without doubt, Dragon and Flying type, so her best try was to focus on that Pokemon, yet that would certain prove to be a bit more difficult, since Salamence was the very Pokemon J stood on. She wouldn’t give it up without a fight, as that would mean giving up her main defence. Not to mention that loosing Salamence would mean for J exposing herself to the attacks of their Pokemon, plus loosening the clear status advantage she had, as she stayed up in the air, barely reachable for them.

She could hear a wicked snicker behind and glanced backwards to see, unsurprisingly, Karen hugging her hip with one hand, the other holding a Pokeball up. “You want to bring it on the hard way, girl, don’t you? Then do it, right now.”

Sabrina sighed. Getting Karen excited sure was easy.

J closed her eyes. “Very well.” Glancing sideways, Sabrina noticed an unusual reflection in J’s sunglasses, one that was physically not supposed to be there. She did not have the time and chance to investigate in any further. J nodded silently to her two Pokemon on the ground and both of them jumped forward, ready to attack. With the teeny little detail that neither of the league trainers had a Pokemon out yet!

It should have been an obvious strategy, especially after everything they got to know about J’s cruelty, or at least what information Karen had gathered. Yet it still seemed to be so unbelievable that a trainer would order his Pokemon to attack another trainer on purpose, something forbidden by law since the very first days of Pokemon training, that they, in their foolhardiness, didn’t expect it. But the only rules that applied to Hunter J’s morality were her own, and she had none.

Knowing that she was in the first row of the attacks, so to speak, Sabrina did not try to run back. Instead she dove forward and just as she had expected, both Ariados and Drapion were too caught up in their massive attack that they couldn’t stop to meet, or rather, kill her in midair. Even more, it gave her the chance of attacking J directly, instead of having to fight her way through the two Pokemon, who were taken care of anyway by Will and Karen, or at least she hoped that was the case. She had her doubts about the reliability of these two now, but she had no other choice than to trust them enough to let them guard her backside for the moment. If Karen and Will decided to flee and Drapion and Ariados decided that she was the easier target, which she certainly was, trapped between J and two of her Pokemon, then there was no chance to get out without an unbalanced battle. An unbalanced battle she could very likely loose.

“Come out, Umbreon!”

“You too, Jynx!”

Well, at least they weren’t going to let her go down.

~~~~~~~

J frowned as she was about to order her Salamence to take off into the direction of the wild Espeon. Her plan hadn’t completely worked out as planned, as one of the three trainers had avoided the obvious battle request and had managed to pursuit her directly. While J was sure that she could easily shake her off with her Salamence’s speed, her simple presence opted the danger of her discovering the Espeon first, and there was the possibility of her owning other Pokemon not of the psychic type, which wouldn’t be affected by the necklace then and in conclusion a real danger for her Salamence. While it was strong, a gym leader’s Pokemon was just as strong, too. And the real trouble was still behind and most likely to put up a good fight, too.

“Kadabra, Confusion! Get her down!” J bit her lip in frustration. Just what she needed. This woman really was risking it. Irritating her. And getting both of them in danger. Better put her out of commission sooner than later.

“Salamence, Leer.” There were only so few attacks she could use from her position without jeopardizing her life, but she didn’t just want to use her bracelet just now, trainers were known to freak out and do irresponsible things if they saw their Pokemon in true danger. Not that J cared much about a trainer’s life, but if she had the chance to cause as little uproar as possible, she would rather do that. She had promised her client to get through this as smoothly as she could.

“Kadabra, Barrier!” The shining plate of energy deflected Salamence’s Leer easily. J let a small surprised frown glide onto her face, she hadn’t expected that Kadabra to be that strong. Nevertheless, it wasn’t likely to deflect a dark attack that easily...

“Salamence, Bite!” J stabilized herself on the back of her dragon Pokemon, as this attack required physical contact with the enemy and Salamence could only achieve this by diving down with her on its back. But J was used to that; she had managed to stay on during much more complicated flying manoeuvres. The danger was a constant part of her life as a hunter, and yet she had chosen this way of life on her own, never doubting it.

So, she didn’t even stagger in the least when Salamence’s mighty body nearly made contact with the earth, then it turned around sharply, blowing a whole wall of sand into Kadabra and its trainer’s face. Immediately after distracting them that way- though it was nothing more than a play-off and not a serious attack, which was coming now, it turned around again to face them, this time, opening its huge mouth, showing its sharp, long, dragon-like horrendous teeth.

Sabrina was frozen, completely frozen. Never in her whole life before she had experienced the consequences of a trauma, but in this very moment, in this unfavourable moment, she couldn’t move a single muscle, but simply stare at the throat that was going to be her end. She didn’t know that she was going to die; there was no single thought in her mind but the clear, painful memories of the events that had happened barely a bit over a month ago, with nearly the same attack tearing apart her shoulder, phantom pain making her unable to move.

But thankfully, she had a saviour.

Not the one she might have originally expected, but it was better than nothing.

‘Kadabra!’ Sabrina blinked, a brownish shadow jumped in front of her eyes, intercepting the attack with its body. The force of the Bite attack, though, and Kadabra’s natural vulnerability to it, sent it into the next tree, knocking it out immediately. Sabrina turned slowly around, her fingers still shaking uncontrollably, the fear still in every cell of her body.

“Kadabra...” Finally realizing that the Pokemon had sacrificed itself for her, to keep her from getting injured. While that had been a general good idea, Sabrina was now defenceless. Defenceless in the meaning that Haunter was anything but a decent fighter. And she didn’t dare to attack J psychically, for the consequences of the last attack were still fresh in her mind and her orthopaedist’s bill.

Still, this wasn’t going to stop her. If she managed to prevent J’s misdoing now, it would maybe cost her a few more nerves and sinews, if not, it would cost her the head and in comparison, the head was a tad bit more important than some inflammations.

Turning around, she got ready to jump. Maybe her reflexes and strength and balance weren’t as good as J’s, but she had the luck of the unprepared and desperate on her side. At least she believed so.

J stared at her coldly. “Salamence, Dragon Claw!”

Until the silver glowing claw of the dragon hit her side.

Surprisingly, the claw didn’t slash her open like an overripe tomato, ripping her flesh and inner organs out of her like feathers out of a cushion, splattering blood all over the place like an eccentric painter did with the colours over his canvas.

No, she could feel something sharp in her back, cutting her clothes and leaving small, red lines over her shoulder blades, and the impact of the attack sending her flying back onto the ground with a painful thud, but nothing more. It had hurt, no doubt, and she was sure she wouldn’t question J’s cruelty anymore, blaming her dumbness for this, but at least she wasn’t dead.

Just a bit dizzy.

Closing her eyes tightly to regain a more accurate view of the world around her, Sabrina wondered why the little colourful stars were coming from seemingly nowhere. Realising that these stars were anything but real, she opened her eyes again just in time to see Hunter J flying away a high rate speed, her back to her.

Slowly, she raised herself up from the ground, one hand rubbing the aching back of her head, the other steadying her body. Or, at least, trying to, as this was the arm connected to her hurt shoulder and she felt an incredible pang of pain as soon as the force of her whole body hit the arm’s muscles and she nearly broke down again. With tears in her eyes and her teeth biting so hard into her lips that she feared they would bleed soon, too, she gathered her concentration. And heard some footsteps behind her.

“Nice of you two to finally turn up.” Not even trying to hide the bitterness in her voice, Sabrina turned around with still half-closed eyes. The pain blocked her rational thinking, her manners, for the moment, she was just p...irritated. Heavily irritated.

“Hey, we had to fight with J’s other play toys, you think that was easy?” Will turned his arm behind his back, smiling nonchalantly and uncaring. He didn’t even try to help Sabrina up, despite the fact that she was still kneeling in the dirt, her left arm shaking with pain. “They put up quite a fight...”

“Ah, just like you did, eh?” Karen grinned, seeing the condition Sabrina was in, her dirty clothes, partly ripped apart, the blood on her back and the dust on her face and arms. Sabrina feared she wouldn’t be too off with the assumption that this actually turned her on in some weird, twisted way.

“Oh, yes, just like I did.” Sabrina grumbled. She didn’t want to make a fool out of herself with saying that she actually tried to jump onto J’s Pokemon as well, without even really knowing what good it would do to her- surely she could not start a box fight on top of a flying Pokemon, one that didn’t even belong to her. Maybe she was getting a bit too desperate in her attempts to catch Hunter J. She was only desperate in getting her head and job saved, in the end.

“Feels good to give everything in for a fight, doesn’t it?” Sabrina couldn’t tell if Karen was being sarcastic or not, as everything that did not include the word ‘death’ didn’t seem to be serious coming from Karen, and even then, there was a 50/50 chance that she was just joking morbidly again.

“Oh, yes, it does indeed feel good.” Well, at least the psychic knew she herself was indeed joking. Psychics were not made for physical fighting, and she, the fragile porcelain doll, was the best example. It wouldn’t take long until her arm was so severely injured that they would be forced to undertake an operation again just to keep it functioning. She didn’t want that to happen, and yet, her actions proved her intentions wrong. But what was an arm compared to your head?

Sabrina looked up, into the sky where Hunter J had taken off. Then, turning serious, biting down the pain in her arm, she turned around to her comrades. “Come on, let’s follow her.”

Karen waited for a second, before nodding to Will. He mimicked her gesture and then the chase after Hunter J began again.

~~~~~~~

Cynthia played with the mobile phone in her fingers, sometimes touching a button without intending to touch it, sometimes hesitating to call a number, to push the little green phone button. In theory, everything was planned out. In theory, her plan was perfect. In theory, she had no morality, no emotions.

In reality, she wondered just what she had destroyed by letting things go. Let things simply flow next to her, only controlling what affected her directly. And Karen’s little input didn’t. Not at all. And still, she felt guilty. She knew about it, and she wasn’t going to do a single thing about it. She was going to watch in delight how these two would finally break up, how another woman would break down because of love. Just like she had. She was not as strong as she seemed to be. She was a goddess of the night, yet even goddesses could be hurt. Myths were full of heartbroken Aphrodites. All of this had to be done because of her pain. And pain it would cause. Just more and more pain.

Cynthia sighed, running a hand through her long blond hair and staring at the black, shining display of the mobile. It would be so easy, way too easy, to call the reporters in, to tell them an exclusive story about Lucian’s stolen Espeon, her affair with Lance, and why Indigo’s league was to blame. That was the plan, wasn’t it? It was the perfect moment. The three elite trainers lost there out in the woods couldn’t do a thing about it, and were helpless against her power of influence. And yet, she hesitated. She, the one who was never unsure, hesitated.

Cynthia closed her eyes and put the mobile down. She would see how this played out. There was nothing else she could do.

Stalemate.

End of Chapter 6, Part 1.
__________________
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
~*~Infinity~*~
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
  #59    
Old September 15th, 2009, 02:32 AM
Crazy Packers Fan
Gym Leader
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
The end is near, isn't it? Let's go into what I liked and didn't like about this chapter.

Liked: The love triangle that has Sabrina on the outside of Will and Karen. Not that I've got anything against Sabrina or anything... It's just fun to watch.

Didn't like: The lack of violence when Salamance attacked Sabrina. Come on, P*A, we can handle a little violence here and there. Even if it means Sabrina's back getting RIPPED APART!

Hated: The "weak" side of Cynthia shown at the end of the chapter. I don't like seeing my Cynthia show her weaknesses.

Of course I enjoyed the chapter, don't get me wrong. So, when do you want me to write the next chapter of my story?
  #60    
Old September 18th, 2009, 10:48 AM
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Psychic*Absol
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Packers Fan View Post
The end is near, isn't it? Let's go into what I liked and didn't like about this chapter.
If you call about 5 chapters 'near'...that's about how many chapters are left. XD!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Packers Fan View Post
Liked: The love triangle that has Sabrina on the outside of Will and Karen. Not that I've got anything against Sabrina or anything... It's just fun to watch.
*No*, of course not....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Packers Fan View Post
Didn't like: The lack of violence when Salamance attacked Sabrina. Come on, P*A, we can handle a little violence here and there. Even if it means Sabrina's back getting RIPPED APART!
>> Now, could I kill my main character before the story's over? Seriously...
You *will* get violence *hinthinthint*, and it will involve Sabrina. In both ways.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Packers Fan View Post
Hated: The "weak" side of Cynthia shown at the end of the chapter. I don't like seeing my Cynthia show her weaknesses.
...my Cynthia has her weak sides, too. You'll see them, you'll see them...she's not as perfect as she claims.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Packers Fan View Post
Of course I enjoyed the chapter, don't get me wrong. So, when do you want me to write the next chapter of my story?
As soon as it's ready? =3
__________________
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
~*~Infinity~*~
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
  #61    
Old October 25th, 2009, 12:57 PM
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Psychic*Absol
Psychic Student
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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*hides* >.< Not my fault! I'm already at chapter 9. XD

7. Chapter, Part 2: Puppet

There was said that there should be nothing in a hunter’s eyes. Nothing: no emotion, no colour, no nothing. Irises just there for watching the world around, full of prey. It would be hard not to apply this to Hunter J. She was the perfect hunter. The perfect human hunter at least, as even humans could not reach the perfection of the natural carnivore Pokemon-Pokemon like Absol, for example. And Espeon.

And it an Espeon that her eyes were scanning for.

It had to be around her, the aura scanner of her sunglasses told her that much. She was getting closer. Yet, the aura scanning told her that those idiots of elite trainers were getting closer, too.

J glanced backwards. She had to hurry or else they would stumble over the Espeon by accident, and how amateurish would it look like if they caught the Espeon by sheer luck, while she, fitted out with the most modern equipment and a nice amount of gold in her pockets, could just stare dumbfound at them? Not professional, not professional at all. And she rather didn’t want to fail in front of Cynthia’s eyes when said woman could get her into jail any moment.

Yet, with the risk of J spilling out the bucket of filthy dish water all over her head.

Would she actually be cruel enough to betray her lover? For freedom, for money? For the chance to do it before Cynthia herself would do it? A hard question. One that J just couldn’t answer.

The woman shook her head. It didn’t matter and those confusing thoughts certainly didn’t help her with her search, either. A cold, skilled mind was needed, not one that was filled and troubled with emotions.

Just in that moment, rustling grabbed her attention. She ordered her Salamence to stop its flight and land as quietly as possible, for her psychic sensors had suddenly picked up a strong, familiar force near them. Without any doubt, it was the Espeon, for she doubted that any of the domesticated, trained Pokemon of the league members could have such a wild, peculiar aura.

A deep, cat-like growl, followed by a high, angry spitting hiss told her that she was indeed right.

J smirked. Two of her Pokemon were obviously lost in the fight with the elite trainers, but she didn’t need them. She didn’t even need Salamence. She just stared ahead, waiting for the Espeon to finally appear, giving her a chance of getting a good aim.

Cynthia had offered to give her a Masterball. A Masterball of all the things. A ball said to be able to catch every Pokemon on the first try, no failure rate, no missing, no mistakes. But she, Hunter J, did not need a Masterball to be perfectly accurate.

And catching Pokemon was one thing. Turning them into stone another.

Clients could be cheated on, and they knew this. So, Pokemon kept in Pokeballs did not sell very good, at least not if you worked on a commission basis. Commissions were just too seldom if you relied on this old way, so she had to find something new. And she had found something new.

Stiffing her body, J waited for the Espeon to emerge out of the bushes. Having the Pokemon covered by a slight, slim layer of stone was safer, as it gave the clients the knowledge that it was exactly the Pokemon they had wished for, and not some random one the hunter had just picked because he had been too incompetent to catch the wanted Pokemon. While she was all too hungry for money, she still tried to keep her reputation as an honest, skilled hunter. She didn’t know herself where her sudden need for morals came from; maybe Cynthia had triggered something inside of her that should have better had stayed bottled up.

‘Here you are, my little sweet boy.’ She rather though instead of saying as a lavender coloured paw made itself visible through the leaves and thorns, soon followed by a second paw, and a short, muscular chest, very unusual for a psychic Pokemon. But this Espeon was not usual by any means. It had grown up in this rough environment, so fighting for survival was nothing new for the creature, neither was fighting for its freedom. It had already met this human weeks ago, and started to despise it. It had stolen a part of his memory, and carried him in a small, wooden container with stony bars and hay beneath his paws. He had been carried away from his home woods, away from the lands and rivers and dungeons he had grown up in as an Eevee, from the clearings and meadows he had hunted in, from everything he had been used to.

To wake up in a human settlement.

He had thought he would be free again after his container broke, after he was able to escape from the humans' metallic cave of enslavement, after he had found woods, trees, grass and prey again. But now, this woman had been persecuting him, had followed him through days and nights, never leaving him a chance to rest. It was time for the deciding battle between human and Pokemon.

Oh, how he hated humans! Humans, who enslaved his race, his friends, his family, everyone he knew and held dear. And not only them. No Pokemon was safe; none had its freedom guaranteed for a lifetime. All they could do was hope, hope and hide. And get stronger, for then, they could fight the trainers’ Pokemon and defeat them, stripping them of all chances to catch them.

He felt the rage within him, building up his unseen forces, burning deep in his heart, making him growl and extend his claws. He hated humans, but for this woman, he felt more than simple hate. Deep disgust. She had done so much to him, stolen his freedom, his home and he feared that he would never see it again. All because of her. Baring his fangs, he wanted to taste blood. Her blood preferably. He would only feel satisfied once he was walking through her guts, feeling seas of blood beneath his feet and knowing, knowing that she had finally paid for everything.

He pushed himself onto the ground, his body tense and then, he lunged towards her, all of his energy concentrated into this one jump, onto the thought of taking revenge.

But that glorious moment never came. He saw a light, couldn’t even identify the light’s colour- was it white, red or nothing?- and then, his body froze.

J stared down unemotional, though her stressed body allowed itself to relax. Finally, she had finished the order. Well, not completely finished, because she still needed to get the Espeon to Cynthia, but now that she had caught it, what could go wrong anymore?

“There she is!”

A lot.

J rolled her eyes inwardly at the thought of deeply unwanted interruption, being again disturbed in her work by this idiotic trio of trainers that couldn’t just get it into their thick skulls that she, J, would not stop before she had fulfilled her mission. She had never stopped a mission before she hadn’t gotten her money, and though she had a great amount of the cash already in her pocket, she wouldn’t leave the rest behind. At least she hoped she wouldn’t leave it behind, and Cynthia wouldn’t send her on yet another mission in Kanto, or worse, Johto. Then, she would finally call this woman insane.

Insane, and insanely attractive. Was that the true reason she wanted to finish this? For Cynthia?

J closed her eyes, shutting any emotion out of her mind. Mechanically, she reached for her phone, typing in the number of her henchmen instinctively and ordered them to manoeuvre the ship over her without thinking about her words. Had anyone the sheer idea of asking her later what she had said, she wouldn’t be able to answer.

She looked up, her Salamence already starting to fly up again. They would never reach her, never be able to interfere with her plan once she was up in her airship. And these fools were never fast enough to reach her in time. Not unless they could miraculously use Teleport again, but with the necklace, this was impossible. The area around her was protected.

Sadly, it was only the area, and not her airship.

Sabrina had already anticipated another blocking of her powers, and, as she depended very much on them, had searched for a flaw in J’s plan. To her satisfaction, she had found one sooner than expected. The ‘force field’ around J, as it could be called, was surely able to protect her and individuals in a certain span of area around her, but its power to extend itself was limited to a few metres. So, in fact, she could follow J easily, she just couldn’t teleport right next to her. But that shouldn’t be that much of a problem. A bigger problem was the fact that she could not teleport when Karen was near, as said darkling would then be the second source of blocking.

Sadly, the chances that Karen would not want to follow them- as Sabrina certainly intended on taking Will with her, were quite slim.

But the very limited amount of time they had left before J’s ship would be out of teleporting range forced her to act quick. She haltered and turned around to her two followers, surprised and a bit irritated at the fact that Will was still very much mimicking every one of Karen’s movements and even running in pace with her. It was creepy.

“I could teleport up there.” She nodded in the direction of the ship and J who was already getting closer to it. Karen followed her gaze and Will did the same, though his eyes seemed dull.

At least, the darkling seemed to notice the obvious problem. Maybe the delay in attention was also a bit Sabrina’s fault, but she was not one for pointing out the obvious to a sworn enemy of psychics. It was already scandalous that she had to work with her. And that she did nothing about her more or less certain influence on Will. But for now, life came before love. For the moment.

Was that even moralistic anymore?

But then, what was more immoral? Working with Karen or leaving Will be as he was for the moment?

“I see the problem.” Karen lowered her head, smiling wickedly. “Yet, I don’t see the problem. You can teleport up there with your sweet masked boy and I use my own shadowy methods. So, what’s holding us up?” Sabrina didn’t even want to hear a definition of Karen’s ‘shadowy methods’.

She wouldn’t grasp them anyway.

“If you...say so.” She didn’t want to argue with the older woman, too. While it was nice having another powerful trainer around, and Sabrina was glad that the two of them had defeated J’s Pokemon, she didn’t really want to have Karen involved more than necessary. Not anymore. Not as if she had wanted her to be involved at any moment...

Karen nodded, and in a blink of an eye, she had disappeared into the shadows. And Sabrina couldn’t express it differently than ‘literally’. She blinked, shuddered a bit and then shrugged the behaviour off, noting to herself to not spend any more mind on it. If everything went well, they would see Karen soon enough again. If everything went for the best, they wouldn’t see her again for a while.

“Come Will, we have to get up there.” He nodded and walked next to her slowly, one step after another, as if he had lost his balance just minutes ago and needed to be careful not to trip over his own feet. Yet at the same time, he didn’t watch the ground, and just stared ahead. Sabrina took a deep breath, she had to do something about it soon, too. But for now, she just didn’t have the time and mind to spend on it. It was not easy dealing with Hunter J; dealing with your seemingly brain-dead boyfriend kind of didn’t help matters along.

Slowly taking his hand and grasping it tightly, she ignored the coldness the leather emitted. That was usual for this material, wasn’t it?

Closing her eyes, she concentrated. For a split second, for the single moment between here and there, the moment before the teleport unfolded its true might, in the moment between times and universes, she saw black.

~~~~~~~

Her fingers were twitching. The nervousness still hadn’t left her mind, and yet, she was wondering if it had not only started to surface now, being buried by her concentration until just then. She could see the blinking phone on her airship’s control station’s tabletop, as it was beeping louder and louder and soon, with the vibration alarm on, it would fall from the top of the table, having jumped to death by itself. Sardonically, J considered this option for herself, too, the flying altitude was high enough for a try, she mused. How far had someone sunk when one would rather kill himself than do a simple phone call?

The answer was, way below J’s usual standards.

Finally, she took a deep breath, grasping the phone so firmly with her hand that she almost crushed it and pushing the little green button down with shaking fingers. Instantly, she could see Cynthia’s smiling, innocently smiling face on the mini screen. ‘That woman is a witch.’ J mused, though she couldn’t help but switch the first letter out in the back of her mind. “You told me you have the Espeon?”

“I do.” J whispered, her voice too weak to fight the crumbling of the identity that was herself. “I will come over immediately. Where will we meet?”

Cynthia closed her eyes. She was lying on her bed, only wearing what appeared to be a black, or grey, transparent dress and playing with a small bottle of nail varnish between her fingers. From the look of it, she had tortured her mind slave, the champion, with it and the poor guy would wake up out of his trance soon and find both his finger- and toenails coloured in bright pink. Well, it would fit his hair colour anyway.

“You can visit me at my hotel room any time, you know?” J gagged. She knew that well. And judging from how she touched Lance’s back, the naughty female champion had clear ideas about that night. Sadly, J’s ideas were a bit different and did not involve the number ‘three’ in any way.

“I would rather appreciate it if we meet in the backyard of the hotel.” She answered in a voice that clung into sounding business, but staggered too much. J prayed Cynthia wouldn’t understand it the ‘wrong’ way. But then, there was no ‘wrong way’ for this champion, just ‘her way.’

“I see...you dirty little girl, the backyard, where the bins and the dust are and no one cleans out...” J rolled her eyes. She reminded herself to never answer a call from Cynthia again when it was getting late. Maybe even to never ever answer a call from her at all. After all, her business with Cynthia was soon over. As soon as she reached that backyard and had, more importantly, the money in her bag. Then, sweet freedom came back to her, clients that did not glue themselves into her consciousness and her home.

“Until then.” J forced herself to say, forced herself to cut off the connection as soon as she had said those words. Normally, she wasn’t this...impolite, after all, she depended on her clients, or rather, their money. But Cynthia was by far not the usual client anymore and a little rudeness was allowed, she knew the younger woman would not care. In fact, this might even turn her on even more. Cynthia was a rough woman, after all. Though no one would believe her that if she told them, though J had proof. Physical proof.

Silently, she touched her right wrist, and closed her eyes. Memories surfaced and J gulped. She didn’t want to remember. And, fortunately, an alarm sound pulled her out of her nightmares. J opened her eyes widely and turned around, just in time to see Harry stumbling through the automatic doors. “J, we have a problem! Intruders!”

She stared him into the eyes; her mind was working a bit slower than usually, but she still grasped the situation as fast as she could, which was considerably faster than a usual person would have, given what she had been thinking about mere seconds ago and the inward shuddering it had caused. “Intruders?” She cursed. Nobody was supposed to get into her ship without her noticing, there were motion detectors all over the place and only her henchmen had the identification chips that allowed them free movement all over the place. Normally, anyone who dared to venture into her airship was found the second his foot touched the metallic ground. But from the look of sheer surprise and shock on Harry’s face, she knew something had gone wrong. Most likely the intruders going too far.

“Where are they?” She asked coldly and stood up, close to kicking Harry in the stomach for not telling her the details immediately. He had to take a few breaths as he was still lying on the floor, holding his hurt knee. “Area 4, Room 8.”

J paled, though, with her already quite pale face, it was hard to see. “The warerooms...” Her luck was turning worse and worse. She knew, without looking at the camera files, that the intruders had to be the two elite trainers and the psychic. Anything else wouldn’t make sense. And with their sheer luck growing by every minute they spend in her presence, it seemed, they had found the room where the Espeon was being kept on the first try. She clenched her teeth. She should have kept the Espeon with her until she was sure that Cynthia had it safely. ‘That’s what you get for trusting your technology too much...’ She mused angrily. Now it also made sense as to why the security system hadn’t caught upon the three of them. It was only designed for relatively ‘human’ beings, and although she had thought about installing teleport identifying software, too, she had only bought the handy version for her googles in the end. How should she ever have anticipated being pursuited by a group of psychics- and, by the look of it, someone with quite different powers, too?

No matter, it was no time for standing around baffled, she had to act. She shoved Harry to the side rather rudely, but she couldn’t care less about manners right not. This mission had been interrupted so many times, it was not amusing anymore. For Hunter J, no interruption was funny.

She wouldn’t allow it to end unfinished.

~~~~~~~

Sabrina stumbled when her feet touched the ground again and she wondered why this happened. Usually, she was perfect with teleport, simply perfect. She didn’t just stumble. Maybe it was her nervousness, though this couldn’t be said for sure. Her mind was clouded, but it wasn’t as bad as it had been several times before, in situations set quite differently. She had to close her eyes for a moment, adjusting them to the artificial light of the airship, and then, she opened them again to take a more detailed look at her surroundings. They were in a quite modern airship, no doubt, and Sabrina almost felt herself being sent back into Lance’s personally designed headquarters, with all the metal and inhumanness being around. “Well, here we are...” Sabrina rubbed the back of her head, thinking hard. They were on the airship if her sense of teleporting direction and her common sense were not completely malfunctioning, that was a plus point. On the other hand, she did not know where in the airship they had ended up, it could be anything, from the board’s restaurant to the...

“Warehouse.” Well, for once, their luck had rolled onto the good side. Maybe Will was a bit too less enthusiastic about his discovering, but Sabrina wouldn’t question little details now. She looked over the door, finding no key hole, rather a number pad embedded into the wall next to the door. Its function was obvious, but Sabrina was not going to give up easily. Besides, technological devices that were not build to withstand psychic powers were toys for her...

She reached out with her hand, yet hesitated when she was close to touching the buttons with her fingertips. Something felt not right, something was wrong. The gym leader looked up and checked her surroundings again, but found nothing to be of any worry. Shrugging her worries off, hoping that she actually had a reason to believe that they were better being shrugged off; she let her fingers rest over the small metallic blue pad. Closing her eyes, she used just a minimum of her energy to intercept the electric barriers that normally kept the door closed tightly for anyone without the knowledge of the right code. Of course, if she had the time and the leisure, she would have found out the code anyway, as not all of J’s underlings had probably the guarding of devices that blocked psychic powers, but for now, a little brutality was appropriate. Even then, it was not really violent, as her powers only damaged the inside of the pad. From the outside, it looked as good as new, not used or manipulated at all. Another idea she had had, for now, if everything went well, J would not even notice that they had broken into her storeroom.

Or maybe that was only wishful thinking.

After a second of nothing happening, a stream of air coming from the direction of the door told them that it had, in fact, worked and their way was free. The door was not particularly loud-a good thing, Sabrina decided. They had been there for almost five minutes, were at least a few imaginary steps closer to the Espeon and so, to safety, and no one had noticed them yet and alerted the commander of the ship. It was almost creepy to know how much luck they had had so far. Logically, that luck just had to turn around any second, Sabrina knew and felt that, but if she let her superstition control her, she would have never made it that far in life. Maybe that was the only bad thing about her powers. Unwanted, bad promotions.

The room was not lit, the only light coming from a single window, one that was so small that the small ray of light it produced only made a part of the floor visible, a line covering the distance between the room’s door and the window itself. Yet, with her mind’s eye, Sabrina could see so much more. Just like everything else on the airship, the room’s floor and ceiling were made out of metal-dark blue metal this time. At the left and right side of the room, already reaching the ceiling, boxes of various different sizes were stapled. Sabrina blinked, because for a single moment, these boxes reminded her of something they should not, should never remind her.

They were made out of glass. Just like the cube the model she and Will had given to Cynthia and Lucian had been in. This couldn’t be coincidence...

Sabrina shook her head, not believing her own thoughts and wondering what kind of poisonous gases that came from the airship’s mechanics had clouded her rational thinking. This had to be a coincidence; there was no chance that there could be a connection between the two cases. Her fear had apparently made her a bit paranoid.

But then, something else entered her mind. She looked up, for anyone not knowing about her powers, it seemed as if sheer nothingness was mesmerizing her. But it was not the blackness, though said word clearly triggered some distant, but already gladly forgotten reminder in the psychic’s memory. It was something in the darkness, a presence, one she easily detected, though not recognised. It was another psychic’s mind, that much was for sure and though Sabrina’s contacts with Espeon had been spare and distant up to then, she was fairly sure the missing psychic Pokemon was kept here. The gym leader allowed a small bit of pride to seep into her consciousness for achieving this, because now that she had a specific location to concentrate on, it became obvious that the Espeon had not much of a chance to radiate any kind of psychic power. It was covered in a metallic brown substance, shining in the darkness. Superficially blind, she walked through the room with closed eyes, letting her powers leading her way through the room, until she stood directly in front of the cube that contained the Espeon. She let her hand rest on the cold glass, sighing and breathing quietly. She could not even see the faint outlines of the Espeon thanks to the darkness, but its aura was unique. Maybe even more unique than the aura of the usual, everyday Espeon, but Sabrina couldn’t put her finger on the specialness of the pokemon. It was just there, she would have to ask Lucian, or rather, find out by herself later. There was just no chance that she would ask the Sinnoh elite four trainer when then, the even now very obvious relation between the disappearance of his Pokemon and her trouble with Hunter J would get brighter than the rings of an Umbreon at midnight.

The psychic opened her eyes again. She had to find out how to get the Pokemon out of the cube, because it was quite apparent that she couldn’t transport it to Lucian in this condition without looking a bit too suspicious to get away unnoticed. Yet, how to remove the covering? There was no handbook to handle the containers around, obviously, and could she manipulate it as easily as the number pad outside without damaging the Pokemon inside? To tell the truth, Sabrina didn’t want to find out by trying.

But she didn’t have to, because something tackled her from behind, making her fall down, her head hitting the glass cube and shattering it.

~~~~~~~

Hunter J hated to run. While one reason was her stiff clothing that made it a bit difficult to run at high speeds, it was also the heavy bracelet that made her left arm drag behind and would cause powerful aches in it not much later. It was one thing to posses such a device, and know about the power that lied beneath the shell of metal, but another to carry it around with oneself all day, being forced to be prepared for an ambush and the need to use it every second. Thankfully, she didn’t have to wear it during the night, the only time where her arm could rest, covered in salves to make the pain numb, but even then, the bracelet was kept next to her on her nightstand. J was not in any way feeling too suspicious, neither did she think of herself as remarkably endangered on her airship. After all, how many enemies were out there that could, firstly, get through the most modern shielding one could find on the world and secondly, even if someone saw her ship, would said person really try to enter it? J could not deny that the police were always on her heels, but as those fools were not even given a tenth of the budget she had by simply accommodating her client’s wishes, the chances that they would actually be able to catch her where quite slim. What was a simple motorbike against four six-wheel-vehicles and a custom built airship?

Sadly, the elite trainers proved to be a challenge even without any kind of financial support by the league.

Dimly, J wondered if she should over think her priorities, think about if it was possible to be successful without being rich, but her mind shushed those thoughts aside. Self-doubt and, even worse, doubt of the own life principles were not useful in a dire situation that called for actions. And, after all, this way of living had done her quite well all of her life before, and it was so much easier than the ideal and moral driven way of mania her younger brother lived, after all...

J turned around the corner, her henchmen following her like sheep followed their shepherd, but she stopped abruptly when she came to face a wall made of...well, the easiest way to describe the wall would be ‘black, misty something that extended vertically from the ground to the ceiling, effectively blocking the way and view through the hallway, but looked too creepy and ugly to be called a comfortable door’, which, in conclusion, sounded very much like shadows, but that just couldn’t be. J knew that there was a Pokemon’s attack, called Smog or something, that could cause dark mist that blinded your view, but her instincts told her this was definitely not a Smog attack. It didn’t look as airy as Smog definitely did, but it was too wavy to be solid. J bit her lip. She had no idea what this was, but she had to get through and yet, she didn’t want to risk any consequences, might they be physical or psychical. So she turned around and motioned for one of her henchmen to come nearer. Of course, all of them were as confused as she was, not to mention how scared they were, and no one really volunteered.

J glared at them. She didn’t waste any time with useless threats. “Either one of who will move his backside over here and walk through that thing or all of you will be turned into stone and thrown through it!!!” ‘Either that, or sold to someone who would play his sadistically games with them.’ Nothing kept her from selling humans, too. As long as she made profit, she didn’t care what she sold and who bought it.

At least as long as that person wasn’t over earthly beautiful and a champion at the same time...

Gulping, one of the men was shoved forward. J grinned. “Harry, how nice of you...now go!” The man nodded, drops of sweat lining his pudgy cheeks. He swallowed again, then took a deep breath and walked right into the shadows.

And screamed.

And disappeared.

A pair of pale eyes shone in the darkness, a black fingernail trailing luscious lips. ‘No, Jenny Hunter, *I* am the only one playing with the psychics here.’

~~~~~~~

Sabrina fell forward, closing her eyes as soon as she was certain that her forehead was going to make an unwelcome, painful contact with the edge of the glass cube, in order to protect them from said edge. She wasn’t as prepared for the force, though, as she believed, the sudden hit and the cracking surface scaring her at first. Then, the countless shards of glass flew around her face, cutting her cheeks and lips, but thankfully avoiding any vital organs, may they have been unconsciously directed by her powers or not.

For a second or more likely even less, she lost all perception of her surroundings, being covered by complete, soundless darkness. But then, her mind kicked back again, forcing herself to stay awake, even though it felt as if someone had used a baseball bat on her brain. She had no idea who had attacked her, as she hadn’t felt any intruders and was fairly sure her powers weren’t blocked at the moment, so her first priority was to find out who had tackled her, why and, maybe most importantly, how to fight.

The psychic gym leader turned around and quickly corrected herself.
Not to fight. To defend.

And, maybe, to ask herself again what the heck was wrong with Will.

Grumbling, she knew she should have asked herself that question a bit earlier, and not only that, but also should have tried to find an answer as soon as possible. Because by now, she was fairly sure he was not himself anymore, but the poor boy was not the one to blame, he was way too weak as a psychic to defend himself from any attacks, not to mention that he could have been possessed by a darkling just as well.

Yes, possessed was the right word. Though he lacked the stereotypical red, glowing eyes, Sabrina felt the difference in his whole being as soon as she had a second to probe it. Bracing herself, the younger psychic wondered if she should shield herself with a barrier and wait for him to snap out of it, or if she should do something about it. While the former was the safer idea, it wasn’t going to work well in reality, considering that she did need Will to battle Hunter J, and in his possessed status, teamwork was not an option. That, and she simply cared too much about him to not do a thing about it.

Yet, was she really ready to attack him? Even if forced, she felt that it was too drastic. She couldn’t attack Will.

But thankfully, in the end, she didn’t have to make this decision herself, as a not so powerful psychic attack picked up a lone, already cracked glass cube in a corner of the room and threw it at her, Sabrina barely able to dodge in her instable state of mind. She stared ahead. Yes, it had been Will, but again, he was too weak to really hurt her, and Sabrina was too hesitant to attack him.

The gym leader sighed. “Ever since we met, I had not one week of peace. I hope for your sake that this does not continue.”

He didn’t answer. Instead, his eyes glowed in the same eerie blue haze Sabrina’s eyes did when she accessed her powers, and the stable of metallic cages behind her began to shake. Sabrina turned around in alarm, before jumping to the side. Just a second later, the whole construct collapsed, burying the bronze Espeon beneath it.

“You’re really not making it easy...” Sabrina whispered, looking behind her and wiping some strands of hair out of her face, only to be confronted by the fact that she was bleeding from the small cuts created by the glass shards. She shuddered for a moment, remembering the view and smell of blood much too well from her experience at the Team Rocket Headquarters, but again, her rational mind took over soon enough. It seemed as if it was going down to be a fight between them but...did she really want to fight him?

She was stronger than him. Much stronger.

“I don’t want to hurt you, Will.” She whispered, staring him into the eyes with a sad expression.

He did not care in the slightest and although she did not want to admit it, Sabrina had expected this. Expected, and feared. While it was much easier to attack an emotionless opponent, Sabrina wished the same could be applied to her. Then, she wouldn’t feel any guilt, any fear of hurting him too much.

She looked up, staring straight ahead. It wasn’t as if she had never fought against another psychic in a combat way, but either she had been in her more emotionless state and thus, not caring about her own students at all, or the fights had been arranged and each part knew what to expect and how far to go. Battling in the psychics’ way could be serious, but it could also be considered a cooler, more aesthetic way of showcasing power. While she was not one for physical fighting, psychical fighting was a completely different thing.

Normally, she would even go as far as suggesting that she liked psychical fighting. But not here.

Will had again looked for a suitable weapon and had found it in the form of a lone iron rod, which he twisted between his fingers to make it rotate. A small amount of his powers was seeking into the material, making it glow as well. She didn’t know what he was attempting to achieve with it, but it certainly looked as if he had a strategy.

And then, suddenly, he shifted his body to the side in such a smooth, fast movement that Sabrina was barely able to catch it with her eyes. She quickly realised that her earthly senses weren’t going to be of much use here, just like they weren’t in any real psychic battle, so she shut them off completely, closing her physical eyes and relying on her mind’s eye. There, she could see him again, not only as a blur like any normal person would, but as a colourful outline of psychic energies. She waited for a few seconds, if not even less, until she realised that something was missing. ‘Did he...?’ A quiet humming warned her, and again, the gym leader had to jump, ducking downwards, the metal scratching the back of her head. It flew further in Will’s direction and to Sabrina’s astonishment; he caught the wildly spinning rod in his bare hands, looking as if he had never any problems with timing. But then, he was not himself, and the possession seemed to have at least sharpened his senses. That was not uncommon, though the real reason could also be the person controlling him being around there and watching the scene from a point of view where directing was easiest. It would give her opponent a clear advantage, as he, or she, had literally four eyes.

Sabrina noticed, a moment too late maybe, that the ‘psychic boomerang’ he had used was not the only intended weapon. The many cubes and cages around her had that unmistakable blue tingle around them, a disturbance in the air that told her he was ready to swing them at her at any moment.

Any moment was now.

There was clattering behind her and suddenly, metal nails, ripped out of the cages by pure metaphysical force, shot at her. Sabrina managed to hold them off with a single barrier, but she hesitated to send them back, which was usually a simple task for her. But this time, she simply let the nails fall to the ground, their sounds echoing on the metallic walls, loud in the silence of the room. The gym leader looked down as well, the bangs of her hair hiding her dark eyes. She was lost in thoughts, but not as deep as to not be alert to keep an eye on the fighting. Only seconds after the nail attack had failed, the leftover plates of metal were thrown at her as well, again clattering loudly, even during the flight, and then, they crashed against her barrier, and, just like the nails, fell to the ground. Will snarled, an unnatural sound for the ears of his girlfriend, and she shuddered inwardly. Yet again, she could neither do something about this, nor could she simply attack him. She wanted to cry, but she had cried far too much recently to allow it. She had once been a strong woman, and she would be strong again.

The non-existent natural light, making room for the supernatural light of their powers emitting, casted equally unnatural shadows over her dark eyes as she opened them again.

“I cannot fight you, Will. Not because I love you...” She took a deep breath. Maybe, one day, she would really fight him. But for that, he had to get stronger, so she wouldn’t... “But because it would be too dangerous. I could easily hurt you. I could seriously injure you. I could easily...” She swallowed. “.. kill you.”

“Though whatever has happened to you...I will not fight you.” She let her barrier down, but for any non-psychic, it was barely visible, just a small flicker of reflections in the middle of the room, as the barrier had mirrored the psychical lights.

“But I will try to get you back.”

~~~~~~~

She traced her upper lip with her finger nail, the poor, trembling guy completely at her mercy, lost in the darkness that was her element. No, not only her element. She was the darkness. She could disappear in and appear out of it by pure will, every time she chose to. Yet, she needed light as much as she needed shadows, for the one could not exist without the other. She depended on the light side as well. Did that mean that she depended on the psychics? Psychic was seen as the opposite of dark, as the ‘light’ element, but that held as much truth as the old fairy tale of Murkrow being the bringers of misfortune.

She knew better.

She watched the two psychics with excitement, as anyone else would watch a fine movie. The difference here being that it was no movie, but reality, and the involved actors didn’t have any stunt-doubles, nor were both of them in this on their own will.

The woman snickered again. She loved playing with her dolls- an ironic pun, considering who she was playing with. Yet, she wanted to see just how this would end.

Would Sabrina be actually able to pass her test? Or were emotions still a bit too much to handle for her?

~~~~~~~

In the first moment, it seemed as if nothing had changed. Of course, what should have changed, only because Sabrina had decided to do whatever she could in order to free her boyfriend from whatever spell he was under?

Sometimes, even that was enough to bring a person back to his or her senses, but Sabrina knew enough about psychic powers to know that a strong possession was not easily dealt with. To her shame, she had to admit that she had neither ever tried to try out the technique by herself, neither had she ever been forced to break a spell herself, because they were so uncommon. Both facts had the same background, there were rules in the psychics’ society that most members silently approved and followed without voicing any disagreement. And even she had not broken the unwritten rules, even though she had both the authority and power to do so. In conclusion, Sabrina wondered which psychic dared to go against the usual ways, and her first unconscious response of her mind scared her.

At first, Will froze, but it didn’t seem like any human being would freeze, much less Will. It was a robotic movement, and he stared into nothingness, his eyes white and dull. He closed his eyes, but Sabrina was not one to relax just then. She waited, and slowly took a step towards him, but ready to jump back and put up a barrier as soon as it was needed and possible.

She had to be prepared for anything.

And she had a good reason.

Suddenly, Will opened his eyes. Sabrina was startled, for one moment, she did not know what to do and if this was supposed to be a good or a bad sign.

He smiled, and his smile told her everything.

~~~~~~~

The woman grinned. She enjoyed her view. She was going to see a lot more struggle, she knew.

The battle was not over yet.

~~~~~~~

His wicked smile told her everything, but before she was able to react, something hard had hit the back of her head and she stumbled forward. She kept herself from falling, though, and looked up. She hadn’t accounted for his self-made boomerang to be still in action-a mistake, obviously. Will had used something that was so uncommon in psychic battles that she had not anticipated. He had used her distraction in order to attack her from behind, in a way that she even had no chance to see his attack at all.

‘And he claims to be a gentleman?’ Sabrina wondered bitterly. She had to remind herself that this was not the real Will she was battling, and that he probably was not at fault at all, if not for his gullibility to trust whoever had put this spell on him. For that, she could probably kick his back later. But not for hurting her. He had promised never to hurt her again, and so far, theoretically, he had held his promise, because it was certainly not him smiling this evilly. He, the Will she knew, was not even able to produce a smile this malevolent. There was not one evil cell in him, her naive, cute and gentle boy...

Sabrina sighed. Just years ago, she would have turned anybody who even dared to attack her into a doll without second thoughts, without any moral aftershocks and...

She froze. Of course, she could just turn him into a doll! ‘Why haven’t I thought of this earlier?’ She scolded herself mentally. This way, he wouldn’t be physically hurt in any way, and secondly, she could study his possession without endangering her own safety. He would simply be helpless and not able to attack her either.

She had to concentrate to do this, and she couldn’t risk Will’s attacks distracting her, so she created a full body barrier, surrounding her from all sides. She could hear- but more feel, the nails again clashing the barrier loudly, Will’s own infuriation transferred into their speed and pressure, but she did not pay them any mind. She concentrated on her surroundings and once again, much easier this time, she found Will’s aura, the premier experience in battle certainly helping her.

~~~~~~~

The dark one opened her eyes, snickering, not evil, but corrupted in her own way. ‘Oh, no, don’t think that it’s that easy, my poor doll mistress.’

~~~~~~~

The psychic opened her eyes suddenly, shuddering, not shocked, but surprised in her own way. ‘Never expected that...’ He was not controlled by a psychic, now she was certain of that. Yet, in some way, it didn’t make much sense. His psychic aura was still there, of course, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to attack her at all. But it was not his psychic aura that was hindering her. Never in time would this have been able to block her powers.

But a dark one could without trouble.

Sabrina shook her head, confused, not believing her own senses anymore. She herself had told him that no person possessed both psychic and dark powers, and now, he himself was standing in front of her, proving her wrong. But that simply could not be! It was impossible!

She bit her lip, still inside the barrier, thinking it over again slowly. There was another solution.

Will was no darkling; she would have felt that for certain at one point or another. Plus, it would have influenced her relationship with him for certain, but Sabrina would never admit that to herself consciously.

But to get a certain amount of dark powers, they had to be transferred to him from someone else who had them. So far, she had not, couldn’t have been sure if he had been possessed by another psychic or a darkling, but by now, she was fairly sure it was a darkling.

Which left only one option of who it could be.

Karen...’ Sabrina snarled. ‘Just what do you think are you doing?!’

~~~~~~~

Karen smiled. ‘Oh, so now, you’ve noticed my interference. But will that help you?’

~~~~~~~

Which didn’t make fighting any easier.

~~~~~~~

‘No, of course not. You still have not passed my test.’

~~~~~~~

Sabrina was sure that, once she got her hands on the dark trainer, there wouldn’t be much left of her dangerously daring attitude. For all the weakling she was usually, she supposed she could get out of hand just as easily as other women did and, if forced to, could bite and scratch just as well. It wasn’t typical for her, but Karen deserved it. She had followed them without her permission, put Will under her spell for no apparent reason, which gave him no chance to rate the situation of his own, much less have a serious talk with Karen about where she belonged and what she may and may not dare to do, left him without the possibility to prove himself and prove that he had the guts to defend his girlfriend and defend himself from other women. And all of that, just for...for what? For fun? Considering that she was talking about Karen, this was the most possible explanation. The darkling wanted to have her fun, and who better to use than the helpless psychic who was, as a bonus, cute enough to seduce him unconsciously.

The dark elite trainer deserved some humiliation. And Sabrina did not even feel biased thinking that.

Yet, first, she had to get Will out of his trance, and sadly, she had no singly idea on how to accomplish that. She had no real experiences with dark possessions, and thankfully, none of her students had ever been possessed for as long as Will had to be by now, and most of them had managed to get their minds straight again by their own, had needed no help and the few ones who had mostly got help from their family and friends, not their teacher. In conclusion, she had never been involved in any of these cases, had mostly just been informed of them, as she was the psychics’ leader, after all. She was, to be honest, a bit at a loss now.

Obviously, Karen had left her a little break, because Will had paused in his attacks, albeit still with this unusually creepy smile and dull, white and lifeless eyes. Even that break was only that short, and when she looked up, still in deep thought, in search of hope, she barely managed to duck in time to avoid a dark blue plate of metal heading for her, well, head, ready to cut it off with its rough edges, torn by corrosion. Sabrina spun around, and by now, she had realized his strategy and was ready for the same plate flying in her direction again after cutting a corner sharply. Instead of using a full body shield, which obviously took up more energy than she could spare right then, she simply created a smaller one around her left hand and punched the plate away, before pausing in realizing another petite, yet central fact of Will’s, and thus, Karen’s strategy. Her boyfriend had so far not directly used his powers to attack her, but had hidden behind the few useable weapons scattered in the wareroom. For anyone else, this would not have mattered much, as an attack was an attack, not matter how it was formed, but Sabrina knew there was more behind it than met the eye. For once, the most obvious explanation was of course that Wills powers did not reach her level by far, and thus, it was useless for him to attack her directly, as she would simply shrug it off, if she even noticed it at all. Her natural shielding was, after all, not to be underestimated, either. One the other hand...it meant that Karen knew about his power level.

And this was by far more frightening.

Of course, at first glance, it didn’t seem to be of that much importance. So she knew about his powers, so what? Yet, even the main part of the public did not know that Will had become a psychic after meeting her, and the few persons that knew had either ignored it or spent not much thought on it at all. Karen had and that meant she had taken it more seriously than the majority of the yellow press readers. In conclusion...she had planned this ahead. It was not a last second operation; it was planned.

And who knew what else Karen had had in mind for days, if not weeks.

~~~~~~~

‘Yes, I have planned ahead. I have planned this from the very second on that you two kissed...’

End of Chapter 7, Part Two
__________________
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  #62    
Old November 5th, 2009, 11:49 AM
Crazy Packers Fan
Gym Leader
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Very interesting chapter... if I'm reading this correctly it seems that Karen is controlling Will, so now Sabrina has to fight Karen, Will and J... making the upcoming battles all the more interesting. And when I torture Sabrina, I do it in ways that aren't so visibly disturbing - the sight of her hitting her head on glass is enough to make even me shudder!

Sorry I didn't respond earlier, I didn't check this section as often as I should. And I probably should say more, but I just can't think of what to say, after having just read it... I guess I'm pretty shocked that it was Karen controlling Will, not someone else.
  #63    
Old December 18th, 2009, 10:19 AM
Psychic*Absol's Avatar
Psychic*Absol
Psychic Student
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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My beta-reader returned from exam land nowhere, so now we can finally continue this. Until my exams start, actually.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Packers Fan View Post
And when I torture Sabrina, I do it in ways that aren't so visibly disturbing - the sight of her hitting her head on glass is enough to make even me shudder!
...that sight makes you shudder. That sight makes you shudder. The one who ripped off her hands. Yeah. Okay. ...wtf?!?!?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Packers Fan View Post
I guess I'm pretty shocked that it was Karen controlling Will, not someone else.
Let me guess...you wanted it to be someone named C., right?

7. Chapter, Part 3: Passion

He jumped onto the stable of empty und occupied boxes, the sound of metal clashing against metal echoing in the room, and Sabrina wondered how long it would take J to hear the noise that came from the warehouse, and how many seconds would be left before she would become yet another trouble source. As if dealing with Will was not enough yet.

Said elite trainer had again found another weapon of choice, this time, it was the lonely ceiling light he could reach from the top of the mountain of boxes. Yet, instead of ripping it completely out of the wall, he removed it more carefully, so the cables connecting it to the main electricity source would not be cut off. At the same time, the light suddenly flickered on, first weakly and unstable, then bright and strong. He smiled his continuously wicked smile as he flung the lamp at her. Sparks flew everywhere as the length of the cable was not enough to cover the distance between Will and Sabrina, and power was cut off suddenly, creating a domino effect that turned off the lights of the gangway next to them as well. By then, Sabrina was fairly sure that J needed to be blind to oversee it.

Unbeknownst to her, J was more or less blind, but for a completely different reason...

The gym leader jumped backwards to avoid the crashing ceiling light and hid behind another ceiling, reaching a row of boxes, and some lockers mixed in them as well, which were apparently for the Pokemon that did not fit into the small boxes. The row extended to the wall with the small window on the one side, and on the other, to the wall next to the warehouse’s door. Just a few gaps between the boxes and lockers were left, but they gave her enough room to run from side to side if necessary. She was certain that Will wouldn’t be able to see her, and if she raised her detection barrier a bit, he wouldn’t be able to feel her either. Finally, she had a moment of peace, a moment to take a much needed deep breath of relief and to over think her strategy. Or, well, rather, build up a strategy at first.

Sabrina had just closed her eyes and was about to slump down against one of the lockers when she felt something breathing against her cheek, and then a hand making contact with her neck. Startled, she opened her eyes and froze. Violet eyes stared into blue ones, and she shuddered as she touched the glove covered hand that tried to suffocate her, but hesitated. Hesitating, playing, waiting for her to lose her nerves. She wouldn’t give Karen that satisfaction.

And yet, he had found her as soon as she had disappeared. Going by logic, it couldn’t have been him who had found her. He had no chance to do so. She doubted that there was any obvious flaw in her plan that had helped Will to not only find her mere seconds after hiding behind the lockers- she had expected him to find her sooner or later, just not that soon. The surprising thing was that he had teleported right next to her, had found her on his first try with an unbelievable blind luck. Either he was really lucky, or he had another pair of eyes. Literally.

Sabrina growled, knowing now that Karen would hear her. She had to be around here.

“What kind of dirty game is this for you?” She asked through gritted teeth. She paused, but decided not to say any more. If Karen wanted to know, she would have her ways of finding out. And there was not much more that Sabrina wanted to know beside the reason for this amusing show Karen presented them with.

That, and maybe how to snap Will out of it.

Laughter. Then a disembodied, hollow voice that would have scared grown men out of their wits, surrounded her, but Sabrina was way too used to telepathy to be scared by it. Even if it was the dark twin of telepathy. ‘Show? No, by no means is this a mere show for me. Neither is it for you.

‘Obviously.’ Sabrina thought darkly. She had never liked game shows and one where she directly involved without agreement was not going to remove them of their unloved position.

This is not a show, but a test. A love test.’ The hollow voice laughed, and had Sabrina found the air to breathe properly, she would have laughed as well. How overrated were love tests, all kinds of them? There was no measurement for love, no questionnaire that could record all of its facets. ‘One that you still have to pass, I may remind you, dear Sabrina.’ The gym leader snorted. How could one pass a test if not even the rules were known, much less the goal, the result that had to be achieved?

Either Karen did not hear her, or she ignored her subconscious question on purpose. ‘I would recommend you to try to find a way to pass my test, otherwise, you will never get your boy back.’ There was a snicker as Will answered his mistress’ statement wordlessly. ‘Otherwise, he’ll be my little puppet forever...

Sabrina froze. She hated the word ‘puppet’, she hated it for a reason, and she was sure that was the very reason Karen used the term. Yet, it described pretty well the state Will was in. “Why?” she asked, forcing herself to close her eyes and not cry. “Why do you do this? Can’t you keep us alone? Can’t everyone just keep us alone?!” She was fed up. Fed up with having to fight with other girls, with disproving dozens of newspaper articles, with dealing with so much stress. She wanted, for once, her peace.

There was no answer from Karen. Either she didn’t have an answer, or she did not bother with talking to the psychic anymore. Or maybe both. It wasn’t as if Sabrina cared, if Karen had just given her a tip, a single clue...

Again, the psychic felt tears starting to form at the corners of her eyes, and again, she fought back as harshly as she could. She gritted her teeth even harder, and, with strength she did not know she had herself, grabbed Will’s arm while getting up to a standing position again. She looked him directly into the eyes, and although her own where shining, she was not crying.

“No matter what Karen has done to you, I will get you back, I pro-“ She had not expected him to pull her fiercely back.

And so, she tripped.

And fell onto him.

~~~~~~~

Karen looked up, raising an eyebrow. ‘This way, you’re not going to pass...’

~~~~~~~

Sabrina rubbed her head with her free hand, wincing as she could feel a few drops of blood falling down her lips, as she had accidently cut open the small wounds through biting while being stunnrd by the fall. Will seemed equally surprised, or, rather, Karen had to be equally surprised, as she was the one who controlled Will.

The gym leader could not help but look into his eyes and shudder. She had fallen so deeply in love with this man that it hurt her to just think of losing him, of losing him for no reason, for a obscure ‘test’ that did not make much sense at all. Her heart hurt.

“I cannot lose you...” Bending her neck, she pinned his arms to his side as she moved forward, their faces coming nearer. Then, she kissed the still stunned man, wincing at the burning pain the fresh wound caused upon contact with his lips.

~~~~~~~

‘What?’

~~~~~~

There was a moment of silence. A moment of apprehension, of suspense, of complete stillness.

Then, she could feel him returning the kiss.

And everything in her just broke down.

She was trembling, Trembling with happiness, with the power of long withheld emotions leaping out again, forcefully breaking their way through her normally stoic appearance. She stroked his cheek with her free hand, forcing herself not to bite his tongue off in an overenthusiastic act. It was the very first time she did not feel awkward during a French kiss, and yet there were too many emotions inside her to count, even less identify all of them. She was happy, stunned, shocked, and mesmerized, just to name a few.

Slowly, after a seemingly endless time outside of any ether and any eon, she broke the kiss, staring into his eyes and a single tear fell down as she leaned her head down on his cheek, her hair cascading down on the cold floor next to them.

Will blinked. “Uhm, did I miss something?”

Slap.

In a matter of seconds, Sabrina’s expression had gone from complete calmness to an angry, irritated stare and she had slapped him.

Hard.

In her opinion he deserved it. After all, she had gone to hell and beyond to get him back and all he could ask was if he had missed something?!?! ‘Oh, no, you have not missed anything at all, it’s just that mere minutes again, we fought a battle of life and death and if I had let you, you would have scalped me with this metal boomerang of yours!

Sabrina growled. “Get up, boy, we have to get that Espeon out of the rubble!”

Will, supporting himself with his arms while sitting up, rubbed his burning cheek, confused as hell. Then, he sighed, carefully quietening his words, in case she was listening to him. “First a lustfully kiss and then slapping...who would have thought that you differ in any way from the usual b...”

“What did you say?” Her eyebrow twitched and Will gulped, sweatdropping.

“Nothing, dear, nothing at all.”

~~~~~~~

‘It should not have worked. It should not have worked at all! Why did it...although, if she...how long has it been that she was in hospital?’

~~~~~~~

Will was confused as hell, but seeing Sabrina fuming silently to herself made him squish all intents of asking her what had happened during the last few...minutes? Hours? Days? His sense of time was damaged and the numbers on his watch told him nothing more than the current time, not how much time he had spent...away, he guessed. Something had happened, he was sure of that, otherwise, he wouldn’t have had so many blackouts in such a short amount of time, and secondly, his girlfriend wouldn’t act so oddly.

Not to mention that he had no idea where they were and how they had managed to find the Espeon... Last thing he remembered was going into his room to catch some sleep, but that had to be at least a day ago, so, in short, at least one day of his life was so full of holes that it was nearly missing completely.

He sighed and kneeled down to move another piece of metal around. Sabrina had said that the Espeon was buried somewhere under the chaos, and to his unasked question, obvious by his confused looks, she had said that Hunter J had turned the Espeon into stone, so it was most likely unhurt and unable to move at the same time. He looked around the plain blue storage room and could not imagine what kind of action had taken place there minutes ago. Many boxes were destroyed, their metal twisted beyond repair. Obviously a psychic’s doing, but had it been him, Sabrina, or someone completely different? He did not know, and Sabrina was too occupied to answer him, unfortunately. The elite trainer looked up, shivering at the gaping hole in the middle of the room, in the shape of a long, thin rectangle. He hoped that the airship they were on- that was at least something he had found out on his own, had thicker walls than their looks might tell, because even though the sky was usually a beautiful view, in this case, it wouldn’t be as gorgeous as usual.

“Stop daydreaming and help me!” She snarled, but he could hear a desperation and fatigue in her voice that hadn’t been there when he had last heard her, before his blackout. He nodded silently. His first instinct was to take her into his arms and calm her down like he had done before, but deep inside, he knew that right now, business came before love, and she would be even angrier at him if he didn’t help her.

He lifted another piece of metal and was almost startled when he looked right into the metallic brown eyes of a Pokemon. An Espeon, to be precise. He blinked. So that was how ‘stonified’ Pokemon looked like...

“Found it!” He exclaimed, and Sabrina turned around, a small, tired smile beaming at him like a ray of sunlight.

~~~~~~~

‘So my plan has failed. What a pity. It would have been the ultimate test, and at least it would have made these fools’ club of Claire shut up. What a pity...’

The dark woman closed her eyes, turning around to the shivering man.

“I have no need for you anymore. Not for you and any of your comrades.” She licked her fingernail. “Though I would have a fine job for that sexy b...bandit your have as a leader there. I wonder if she’s into girls...”

Harry blinked with watery eyes, his tears not dried yet (and neither were his pants, but that was another thing).

The trainer waved her hand. “Nah, too uncomfortable here. Let’s see...let’s see if I can turn the tables around again.”

And the dark mist disappeared, along with the blonde woman.

~~~~~~~

“Well, sometimes, you are good for something!” Sabrina exclaimed, walking over to him and helping him with getting the Espeon out of the mountain of destroyed boxes and other metallic pieces that had no use other than to be melted again, as their forms were nearly unrecognisable.

Will raised an eyebrow. “What?” He wasn’t sure if he was supposed to take her insult serious or if she was just kidding around, her voice was too tired to give him a definite hint of its intentions.

Sabrina grinned as well. “You gave me a whole lot of trouble, but let’s not talk about this now. We have to get going. The Espeon is still in a state where I think Lucian would not like to get it back. Hopefully, while we get out of this thing, we’ll come across one of her henchmen who can nicely tell us how to turn it back into flesh.”

Will nodded silently, not commenting. While he had the feeling that Sabrina was a bit too optimistic about the worker’s intelligence and knowledge, he didn’t want to argue with her either. Something had obviously happened that made her a bit snappier than usual and he didn’t want to increase that level of bad temperedness.

He glanced at her face and could not help but wonder what had happened to her. Her forehead, cheeks and lips had small cuts; her hair was shiny from sweat, just as if she had recently been through a series of serious physical exercises. And then, definitely suspiciously, there was a small red mark on her throat just as if someone had been trying to strangle her. Will clenched his fists; he wished he had been conscious, so he could have punished whoever had dared to try to hurt his girlfriend.

But then, disturbing him more than the simple injuries themselves, she had tried to hide the mark on her throat from him by covering it with her collar every time he looked, in the end failing and making it much more obvious to him that something was wrong. Will swallowed. He wanted to know...what had happened...but she wasn’t going to tell him, was she?

“Sabrina...” he whispered, just as she had managed to pull the Espeon out of the rubble and, not expecting it to be much heavier than usual, fell backwards, and, for the probably first time in her life, laughed at her own clumsiness. It took the woman a moment to notice his sad expression, then she stood up again, brushing the nonexistent dust of her clothes.

“I know what you’re pondering over, I know, Will.” And this was not even a result of her powers. Or maybe it was, depending on which powers were meant. “But this is not the time to talk about it. Please, I’m not mistrusting you”, she swallowed, as if she had to convince herself of that statement, too,” we simply have no time to talk about it now.” The man nodded silently, he had to be satisfied with that explanation for the moment. “You could rather help me with the Espeon, seems as if it gained a few pounds...or a few more...”

He laughed. “Ah, and you’re too weak to carry it? Of course, a gentleman has to help in this case...”

Sabrina glared at him. “Excuse me if I’m a bit drained from fighting you...” she whispered with dark eyes, just quiet enough for him not to hear it at all.

Together, they carried the Espeon to the door, with Sabrina walking backwards and being forced to open the door with her feet, creating a humouristic stunt Will had to laugh about.

Yet, she did not have to open the door herself, as it swung open with the force of a non-artificial explosion, caused by the power of an infuriated woman who had too much on stake and too much on her mind, including a few portions of too much caffeine.

“What the heck do you think are you doing?” she bellowed, clenching her fists and staring at the two psychics through her cold, darkening sunglasses. Behind her, a few of her men stood, equally startled and huddled together as if they were more afraid of their own boss than of the two, without doubt powerful intruders. Which was actually the more likely scenario.

“We’re carrying the Espeon to a bleacher, as it obviously caught too much sunlight.” Sabrina snarled, irritated by J’s more than obviously dumb question. Will had to snicker at his girlfriend’s sarcasm. He hadn’t known that she possessed it at all. “No, we’re rescuing it, idiot!”

“Idiot?!” Harry whimpered, praying to Arceus above that the dark mist would swallow him again. It was like choosing between plague and cholera, but at least he was safe from J in the dark mist, while out in the dark, not literally, he was not safe from the strange blond woman that had trapped him.”Are you calling me an idiot?” J shouted back.

Sabrina rolled her eyes. “No, you’re hearing ghosts. I said ‘shallot’!”

Will blinked, staring in her direction and, even though the situation was not one for replaying the last episode of ‘Who wants a billion pokedollars?’, dared to ask a question that seemed to come right of its handbook. “What is a shallot?”

Sabrina shoot around and glared at her boyfriend, while J was still confused, probably because she did not know the meaning either. “Of course, what else to expect from a cannibal....it’s an onion-like vegetable.”

“What?” Before Will had even the time to voice his disagreement with being called a cannibal- though he wasn’t sure if psychics that had indeed eaten another psychic, even if it was a Pokemon, didn’t deserve to be called cannibals, a bright, orange ray of light shot between them. He stumbled backwards, losing his grip on the Espeon. Out of the corners of his eyes, he could see Sabrina falling back in a similar way. He glanced back at the direction the light came from and saw that its origin was a small device on J’s arm whose purpose wasn’t completely clear to him, though after the few clues Sabrina had given him; it obviously had to do with both the beam and the Espeon’s stonification.

J growled, unnerved by the pile of flaws in her plan. “Couldn’t you take care of your own problems and not get involved?” Her voice was deep, snake-like, and yet at the same time, there was a higher pitch in it, indicating increasing frustration. “This was the biggest mission, the major coup, the finale triumph and you two had to smash it.” J snarled, her eyes glowing with invisible fire and fury.

Will glanced at Sabrina and swallowed. She was holding her head with one hand, one eye closed tightly. She wasn’t as confused as him, who had no real idea what J was talking about. Why was this Espeon so damn special? Of course, it was Lucian’s Espeon, the Pokemon of an elite four trainer, but he had thought that someone like J, being the legendary Pokemon hunter she was, would never use superlatives that casually and would always find a higher step. He had believed it not to be only his own ambition...

J put on a vicious, malevolent smile and touched something Will could not make out around her neck. From far away, it seemed to be a necklace of some sort, but it was too big to be comfortable and Will doubted that someone like J, who really depended on her fitness and mobility, would wear jewellery. For a split second, just after the villain had touched the mysterious appendage, there was a flash in his vision, and startled, he closed his eyes, and the flash disappeared too quickly for him to really recognise what it had been in the end. Yet, a sound coming from the other end of the room caught his attention. Sabrina groaned, glaring at J with furious eyes. Will concluded that this probably had to be the way J had shut off her psychic powers, just like the blue haired woman had done days ago in the post office.

J crouched down and pulled the Espeon, which had been left unattended in the chaos, towards her. “I’ll take this with me”, she said darkly, starting to turn around to leave through the open door. Will blinked, suddenly realising this turn of events and how J was going to flee.

“No, you’re not!” he screamed and jumped to his feet, running after J. He barely managed to get a grip on the psychic Pokemon before J turned around so violently that it was snatched out of his hands and he stumbled again. He couldn’t even see J’s angry expression as she threw the Espeon into the guts of on her henchmen, knocking the air out of his lungs.

“So, you don’t want to cut it out, do you?” J grinned. “But I can cut you off.” She closed her eyes as she pushed a button on the wall next to the door, nodding to her henchmen as they left the room. Momentarily, Will was surprised that she didn’t just try to ‘shoot’ him again with her bracelet, but knew that whatever she was going to do now would be just as effective. She surely hadn’t called off her henchmen because of anything dangerous...

At first, nothing happened, but then, the elite trainer heard the metallic screech of doors opening and he looked in horror behind him to see a door opening itself, cold wind suddenly rushing into and through the room.

Before he had any real time to react, there was a buzz behind him, and some kind of electric cracking. From the other end of the room, he could see Sabrina screaming something to him- and really, he could only ‘see’ her scream, because the noise in the room had increased dramatically. Now it was not only the howling of the wind, but also the charging of J’s bracelet-...

Will turned around, but it was too late. The orange beam, hot like the glowing sun and hissing like an Ekans after encountering prey, was already aiming for him at top speed.

Fortunately, the beam did not hit him with the expected force, the question if J had intended this left unanswered as she didn’t even stay long enough to see the impact, rather turned around with a whip of her coat, following her henchmen through the door.

Yet, even when being noticeably weaker, the energy was enough to knock Will off his feet and dangerously close to the open tailboard. He had closed his eyes, feeling the rush of wind around his face and body, his clothes flapping violently. And then, he couldn’t feel any ground beneath him anymore.

Still with closed eyes, the elite trainer couldn’t help but be amused. It felt like a déjà vu, only with reversed roles. And without the obligatory explosion, but that was something he could do without. An explosion was the last thing he needed.

For a split moment, he wondered if this was how his Natu felt, when they took off for the first time. It was very unusual for these small bird Pokemon to learn how to fly, but he had never seen the reason not to try it and he had trained with them and trained with them and trained with them, until they were ready. For them, it must have been a wonderful feeling to overcome this frontier, to go farther than anyone had ever thought them to be able to go. Just like him.

Briefly, he also wondered why so many people were afraid of flying. Of course, there were logical reasons- but he had thrown logic out of his life the moment he was informed that he was a psychic himself. Logic had no place in the life of a psychic. There was no gravity for them anymore. There was only the power of their mind and the spirit of what they wanted to do with it. It was not mind over muscle, it was mind over nature. He could bend the laws of nature to his own will any moment he wanted to.

Something grasped his arm.

‘This really feels like a déjà vu’, Will mused through closed eyes. He didn’t open them; he didn’t know why he didn’t open them.

Then, reality rushed in again and his fall was suddenly, harshly stopped. Will yelped at the pang of pain that shot through his left arm and during this second of confusion, he opened his eyes.

And then, he couldn’t close them anymore. He stared at his girlfriend above him, her eyes closed tightly, teeth gripped together as if she was in pain and taking short, raspy breaths. She had her hand closed firmly around his arm, her surprisingly short and uncoloured fingernails not bearing themselves into his skin, just leaving a fine line on its surface, barely visible.

Will was surprised, to say the least. He had never expected Sabrina to do this for him. After all, she didn’t need to. He could help himself. Didn’t she...trust him?

Sabrina snarled, audibly out of breath. “I do trust you...I trust you more than anyone else on this world...” She winced and Will, horrified, could see a small trail of blood flowing down her arm gracefully, a miniature river of thick, red water, crossing the border of their skins and touching his own. It felt warm against the cold winds.

‘Her hurt shoulder...she’s holding me with her hurt arm! The wound... the stitches must have broken open again...’ Will realised and twitched uncomfortably. She was hurting herself for him...

“Sabrina...please, you don’t need to do this...” Even without confirmation, he was sure she knew what he was talking about. It was rather obvious. After all, the wound was the very result of a similar scene. It was scary how fate loved to play with them...

She snarled again, but he assumed rightly that it was more out of sheer pain than out of anger. “I have to do this...Will, I trust you. I trust you to be sure that you would be able to teleport out of this. Or heck, even levitate, even though we didn’t even train this yet.” She smiled weakly at him, her eyes nearly closed. “But I could never forgive myself if you didn’t manage and... I could never forgive myself if I let you go and you die...” She paused. “I don’t want to lose you because of some foolhardy slip that could have been avoided.”

~~~~~~~

Sabrina winced at the stinging pain in her arm. In some way, it was almost comical at how the two of them kept saving each other's lives’. She just had to keep on hoping that her, their luck wasn’t going to fade away like her strength.

The doctors had told her not to stress her arm too much for a while and she wondered, with dry humour, if saving her boyfriend from death was considered ‘stress’. It was likely, though.

‘When this is over, a simply operation won’t do it anymore...” She groaned slightly. ‘I can probably forget about ever using that arm again...’ She wondered if this was really worth it, but quickly dismissed those thoughts. It wasn’t even sure if they would both come out of this relatively unharmed otherwise...

Another shot of pain made her flinch and she felt her arm becoming powerless...

~~~~~~~

He knew he was going to fall. But he smiled. He knew he was going to survive, no matter what happened.
He had his dear to live for.

~~~~~~~

A drop of blood fell.

~~~~~~~

The blond woman stared at the duo with wide open eyes, not believing her eyes. Then, she swallowed, overthinking her whole plan again. She had to do something now. She had to interfere.

She had been wrong.

And yet, she had been right in the end. She had felt it deep in her heart all the time. These two belonged together. Alone, they would be nothing. Now, if one of them died, the other would be lost.

In the end, the dark woman had to admit that...Sabrina had indeed passed the test. Just not in the way she had intended it.

~~~~~~~

The blond woman stared the duo with wide open eyes, not believing her eyes. Then, she swallowed, over thinking her whole plan again. She would have to do something about this later. She had to make things right again.

Oh, she had been oh so wrong.

All of it had been a mistake, she saw that now. Giving up the ones you love is the greatest mistake you can ever do. Especially when you know, know deep inside that those still love you. It’s often that they just cannot show it in the way you expect it, but this is a common human flaw. One she had not expected herself to have, but she was not flawless. She may have had the looks of an angel, but she was not flawless.

But she had the chance to change it all for the better.

She took the mobile phone and quickly called in a number. Yet, seconds before the ringing stopped and the voice at the other end of the line could make a sound, she hesitated. A few teardrops were falling down her pale face, framed by hair whose beauty could only be rivalled the rays of sunshine. Then, she smiled. She had an idea. She knew how to prove her love to him again.

She just needed to make a second, quick call.

~~~~~~~

Sabrina felt as if she was going to faint, she didn’t know from what, either blood loss or simple exhaustion, but the darkness was crawling closer.

Literally.

Something suddenly grabbed her hand and stabilized it, relieving it from the strain. Surprised, and quite a bit startled, too, she opened her eyes and looked to her side.

“Karen?!”

The dark women grinned at her. “Heh, always in for a surprise are we, eh?” Then, she turned her head to face Will again, who was just as surprised as Sabrina was, yet his surprise seemed to be of another kind. The gym leader couldn’t put her finger on it, but she was quite sure that Will had expected this to end quite differently.

Just like she had after she had lost grip.

Karen stretched her bony, muscular fingers and dark mist surrounded her hand, yet it only stayed misty for a few seconds before twirling around itself and winding itself into a rope of some sorts. The rope wrapped itself around Will’s wrist, curling and swirling and getting thicker with every new sheet that was formed out of nothing but darkness, and suddenly, Karen jumped back, getting Will on board of the airship again with a single powerful pull. Both elite trainers fell, Karen on her back, Will on his stomach, while Sabrina jumped to the side to avoid being hit by either of the two. The rope disappeared with a puff of smoke, nothing left of it aside from a few pieces of black ash.

Karen rubbed her head briefly before starting to stand up, smiling at Will, who was still sprawled before her and had a bit of trouble getting up. “Humans are not meant to be able to fly, sweetie...” she whispered, knowing Will’s thoughts and intentions very well, more than Will really wanted to.

The dark woman turned her head to the side, watching Sabrina with a thin layer of sadness on her pale, unmoving face. The psychic was pale as well, in comparison to Karen even paler and had her eyes closed in pain, as a few drops of sweat fell down her face. She held her arm with the other, still functioning one, pushing it tightly against her body. The blood, once flowing down her arm freely, had now pooled around her shoulder, leaving the part of her jacket soaked with it.

“Oh, dear...” Will whispered, honestly worried about Sabrina. He started to get up, almost tripping over his hands and falling over again as he was so troubled and he wanted to get close to his dear as soon as possible. Yet, a hand in front of his face stopped him.

“No. I wouldn’t get near her now...” Karen whispered, with an almost inaudible snicker. “You would certainly disturb her concentration...” Will looked up at Karen with such a helpless, dumbfound look that the other elite trainer had to try hard not to break out with laughter, which would certainly disturb Sabrina even more.

Gesturing towards the younger woman, Karen closed her eyes and snickered. “She’s going to use recover...smart move, I have to say. Even modern surgery wouldn’t help her arm now anymore, so ancient powers have to take over. What the irony...” Will blinked and followed Karen’s hand.

Sabrina still had her eyes closed, but Will knew, or rather, felt that something was different now. She was concentrating, indeed. It was as if she was gathering her powers, focussing them in a single point and then, slowly, directed that point of energy towards her shoulder. That was the only way Will, the novice, could describe it.

He yelped when white light literally broke out of her and everything was bathed in complete white for a few seconds. Will stumbled back, unsure if he was near the opening and thus, again in danger, but he could not feel any gust of wind and thus, concluded that it was safe to fall back. He rubbed his eyes once he was sitting again and surprisingly, the whiteness had already stopped and was replaced by the normal, shadowy colouring of the room. Karen was still standing next to him and had an even more persistent snicker on her face. He turned around to face Sabrina and, automatically, felt more relived. She was still pale and there was still blood around her shoulder, but she was way more relaxed, as if she wasn’t in any pain anymore and apparently, the wound had stopped bleeding, too. “Dear...?” he whispered, unsure and still a bit worried.

Sabrina opened her eyes and glanced wordlessly at him, before getting up and walking up to Karen. “Come on, we need to get the Espeon back...again.”

She didn’t pay him any other mind and walked out of the door, Karen wickedly grinning at him before following his girlfriend, her short, black, transparent dress billowing out in the wind.

Will smiled reassured and closed his eyes as he got up in order to follow the girls. ‘She’s alright...’

End of Chapter 7, Part Three.
__________________
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
~*~Infinity~*~
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
  #64    
Old December 18th, 2009, 12:12 PM
Crazy Packers Fan
Gym Leader
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Wait, does that mean Sabrina won't lose her arm? Awww... I was so excited, I thought you were going to take after me and disable her permanently. Of course she wouldn't be nearly as disabled as she will be in my story, but it would make her more interesting as a character. Oh well...

So this was a love test by Karen to see if Sabrina and Will belonged together? And I assume they pass, that's for sure. Strange part of the chapter where it almost repeats itself, but I assume you meant that.

Where's Cynthia? I thought she was important. And how much longer until the end?
  #65    
Old February 10th, 2010, 01:39 PM
Psychic*Absol's Avatar
Psychic*Absol
Psychic Student
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: on earth
Age: 24
Nature: Quirky
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Some general notes: No, I haven't stopped writing. In fact, this story *is* finished. It's just that my beta couldn't finish beta-ing it in time, so yes, this chapter will be posted as it is, not beta-read, typos and grammar stuff included. Sorry for that.
Plus, this chapter is very plot-talk-heavy and may be hard to understand. Sorry for that, too.

@CPF No, Sabrina won't loose anything there. The only one who *might* loose something is Hunter J. 0=) And Karen, but that's just for jokes. XD *winks at Zammy*

And Cynthia was speaking. She was the second blonde woman. 0=) I did not repeat myself, that was done on purpose.

Chapter 7, Part 4: Pact

Hunter J didn’t pay much attention to the things she should have paid attention to in this moment. Her mind was troubled enough with sorting out what she had experienced during the last hours. Hunter J rarely had to fight so fiercely to get a mission completed and she could only remember one group of three teenagers sabotaging her as badly as these league trainers had.

So she didn’t notice that her cell phone had been blinking and beeping loudly for at least ten minutes, and she didn’t notice that a large group of her henchmen had taken off into another direction, either out of fright or of simple lack of orientation, as her airship wasn’t easy at all to navigate through and she hadn’t been stupid enough to put up maps in case of an nearly impossible invasion which had, proven by the current circumstances, still happened in the end.

The woman stopped and gasped for air, taking one moment to over think the situation. She had to phone Cynthia and tell her that she would have to give her the Espeon now, no further delays allowed; otherwise, the whole mission was in danger of getting blown. She looked around frantically. Were the league trainers already taken care of? She didn’t know, she hadn’t stayed to watch, but she was fairly sure that she had closed the door behind her. But closing was not an equivalent of locking off...

“Wah!” She stumbled forward and hit the wall hard, the air knocked out of her lungs and she herself nearly knocked out. Something, or rather, someone, had tackled her from behind and grabbed her waist to pull her down. And, sadly, said someone had succeeded so far, but Hunter J wasn’t one for giving up. She still held the stonified Espeon tight in her arms, having taken it again from her henchmen. She had thought that the Pokemon would be more endangered if one of her less than dumb workers took care of it, but apparently, she had been quite wrong.

Someone else stepped in front of her. Hunter J looked up and saw the shining leather of black boots and a quite angry woman dressed in red wearing them. She glared at the Pokemon hunter, before allowing a smirk to appear on her face. And then, she stepped on the hand that was still grabbing the Pokemon, while bending forward and ripping something from the other woman’s neck. Hunter J yelped in pain as her knuckles cracked loudly and, against her will, she started to cry.

Will gasped for air and steadied himself, before blinking in surprise. Karen had managed to make Hunter J fall, and Sabrina had just taken the Espeon from her, at the same time hurting her fingers seriously. He had not known Sabrina to be so full of revenge, such cruelness had rather been the speciality of Karen, but it seemed as if the two women had changed places for the time being.

Sabrina stepped to the side, not paying Hunter J any more mind, while Karen pushed the helpless, whimpering woman against the wall, holding her fiercely by the collar. With her bony features, Karen certainly didn’t look like it, but she seemed to have the strength to overtake many enemies physically. That or her powers were the deciding factors here...

Speaking of powers...Will blinked, but before he could form the question, Karen had started to interrogate Hunter J with a snarl.

“So now, little “Sabrina forcefully ignored the word”, tell me who you’re working for!”

“Never!” J answered fast and harshly, not facing Karen.

“Hmpf, I wish- and you’ll wish too, that we could have settled this the easy way...” The dark trainer snickered. “Maybe you’ll be more talkative after I’ve ‘clouded’ any disturbing thoughts from your mind...” Will could swear that Karen’s voice had just gained an inhuman amount of seducing, and Hunter J had gained a paleness that equalled Sabrina’s.

“Please, we don’t need to be aggressive.” Sabrina smiled and Will shuddered again. Out of all the women in the room, there was only one that didn’t scare him anymore, and that was the villain...

“I can rip the answers right from her mind, my powers aren’t blocked anymore.” Will raised his hand as if he was in school, feeling that any more open gesture would cause the two female league trainers to turn their aggression towards him. Sabrina sighed and glared at him, just answering him telepathically. <You weren’t watching her when she used that blocker necklace of hers, so yes, indeed, your powers weren’t blocked.>

Karen shrugged. “Your decision. I guess both methods leave her more or less mind raped.” She bit her tongue in a lascivious way; Sabrina rolled her eyes and muttered that she hadn’t been so interested in causing a future prisoner who could be of value for *two* leagues to spend the rest of her life in a madhouse.

“No, no, no!” Hunter J had gained a bit of colour, but only in certain places, leaving her to look like a Spinda with measles. “I’ll talk, I’ll talk...just...never *this* again! Oh, please, never!” She grabbed her face with both of her hands, hiding it in shame and fear. Sabrina and Karen stared at each other, then shrugged, though Will couldn’t help but notice that Karen looked a bit disappointed.

J was shuddering, her teeth nearly chattering and Will wondered if she was in shock or what else caused the strong hunter to act like this. But even if he had known what had happened months ago in a hotel in Sinnoh- that alone would have surprised the heck out of him, he wouldn’t have been prepared for what J was about to say, rather deciding that going into shock was an adequate option. Thankfully, both Sabrina and Karen were steadier than him and took the time to listen and combine.

“It’s Cynthia.”

“What?” Will exclaimed, but Karen hit his arm with her heels and he was silenced, and speechless. The two women just continued to stare at J.

“She...she told me to steal the Espeon and the Pokemon egg that were on their way to the Indigo Plateau.” J held her head down. “Please, that’s all I know. Don’t do anything to me, please, no....” She whimpered, and Karen, who still pushed her against the wall, turned around.

“As surprising as this is, I have the feeling it just opens more and more questions, don’t you, too?” Sabrina nodded, staring at J with a hard to read expression. To tell the truth, Will, who had so far assumed that he knew her well enough to decipher her emotions anytime, was completely clueless about what she was thinking about.

Karen stood up, leaving J to slump against the wall, crying and sniffing there like a helpless baby. The great hunter had just crumbled her image as surely as a wallet wielded by the right woman would have done it. “We knew that Cynthia was about to fob something off the league, right?” Sabrina nodded sourly while glaring at Will, who was even more clueless than before.

Karen closed her eyes. “Now the question is...how did she want to achieve this?” The dark trainer turned to Sabrina. “The mix up with the real present and the fake one....what do you think? Could it have been planned out by Cynthia? I’m no expert on international relationships, but I suppose presents, even symbolical ones, are required to keep positive feedback of each other...especially for the host.”

Sabrina bit her lip. She felt uncomfortable talking about this, but to solve the puzzle she had to give in her pieces. “You’re right about the importance of presents in this...superficial society.” She hissed the last words. “But then, Cynthia should have known about the egg, right? And... she can’t have manipulated the two ‘presents’. In this case, she would have sorely depended on the fact that Will and I mix up the numbers and that there isn’t a suitable present with the wrong number.” The psychic gym leader shook her head. “That can’t be the solution.”

Karen nodded. “So...we know that Cynthia wanted to hurt Indigo’s League. We know she hired some Hunter to steal an Espeon and an egg which was supposed to be given to her as a present...” Karen raised an eyebrow. “There has to be a reason. I mean...why would she friggin steal something that would be given to her anyway? And since she ordered dear J here to steal the egg, she knew it was the secret present. Hm...”

Will raised his hand. “We know another thing. The egg and the Espeon were sent too late.”

Karen took a deep breath. “Now, was this an accident or not? Knowing Cynthia and how much planning she seems to have put into this, probably not.” The dark woman walked around the plain, dark blue room.

J coughed, not sure if she was allowed to speak or even if she should speak, knowing her situation. “No, I was ordered to steal the egg with the official date of its arrival here given. If Cynthia had known that it would be delayed, she wouldn’t have ordered me to wait for it on that date.” She shook her head, strains of her blue hair drained with sweat. “I even phoned her when I saw that the container with the egg and the Espeon, seeing as both were supposed to arrive on the same day, was not here yet. Lance didn’t know about it, either.”

“Well, seeing as he is Cynthia’s mind slave now” Both Will and Sabrina stared in deep shock at each other when Karen blurted this out, “he’s likely to have been manipulated for a long time, maybe Cynthia made him not know about it.”
Everyone else nodded. “There was, though, a change in plan when the egg and the Espeon did not arrive.” J looked up. “I told Cynthia who the two representatives were”, she nodded to Will and Sabrina,” and she ordered me to observe them.” While the two psychic trainers exchanged looks which rated from surprised to shocked, Karen nodded.

“It does make sense in a way...” Sabrina mumbled that she had never questioned the logic behind, but Karen ignored her. “See it from Cynthia’s point of view...in the end, she had two chances to demolish the league. First, if everything had went well, you two wouldn’t have any present for her, because if it had arrived in time, J would have stolen it! And while you come to her empty handed, Cynthia could triumphantly announce that her secret Sinnoh agents or whoever would play the clown’s role had found out that Kanto’s league has not been able to keep a known, dangerous criminal away from highly official artefacts- not mentioning that her own league has problems of its own with Hunter J, of course.”

Said woman blinked and blinked, and Will and Sabrina did pretty much the same. Karen was concluding a bit too fast for them.

“But then...several things that were not planned happened. First...the container was delayed. Apparently, Cynthia did not know about this, from what J here said, but we can’t be 100% sure about it. But assuming that Cynthia had not planned the delay...well, she had a problem.” Karen closed her eyes. “Fortunately, you two found an equally valuable and acceptable present.”

Fortunately?” Will asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Of course! See, that way, there could be a comfortable change in plan, it didn’t have to be completely dropped.”

“In that case, wouldn’t it have been much better for Cynthia if we hadn’t found anything? Not only would Lance have beheaded us, but we would also not be able to give her anything...besides our bowings, that is.” Sabrina mused sarcastically.

Karen was speechless for a moment, not knowing what to answer. Surprisingly, it was Will who came up with an explanation. “I’m not sure, but a delay in the transportation wouldn’t be as demolishing as a personal failure of the two members the league chose to represent them. Politically thinking, I mean. After all, if that had truly been the case, we would have blamed it on the post, not ourselves.” He nodded to Sabrina, who wordlessly agreed with him.

Karen, slowly recovering from her mental blackout, found the thread again. “Anyway...do you remember what happened the day after you had given them the present?”

Will shrugged, but Sabrina growled with a clearly visible miserable and angry expression, dark shadows around her eyes. “Lucian invited me for a little walk, don’t you remember?” She hissed and Will backed away, swallowing.

“Uhm..no?” Slap.

Wrong answer.

Karen chuckled. “I’m not paranoid, but this invitation seems, in the light of recent events, highly suspicious. After all, we know now that his girlfriend was J’s boss here, and J was ordered to take the Espeon and the egg, and then, Lucian leads you to the post office the day J attacks. Now if that is coincidence, I’m going to wear a pink dress with frills.”

All the others in the room started to snicker, even J, who didn’t know much about Karen’s clothing preferences, but had her prejudices, considering that Karen was indeed dressed in all black and high heels and...not so suitable for the wilderness at all. And there was this frivolity that made J shudder...

“I think that it was planned for you to see J and interrupt her. Maybe Lucian played the ignorant, we don’t know, but it’s likely. In this case...” Karen closed again her eyes. “It was also planned for J to be interrupted by you,” there was a loud yelp as J realised that she had been used as well by Cynthia, not even knowing all of her role in this plan and blindly believing what she had been told, “but I suppose that it was also planned for you to lose against J. After all, Lucian stayed behind to fight her Pokemon, so that he would not be associated with the Espeon and the egg at all. I doubt that her plan involved you keeping the egg, but she doesn’t seem to have made any effort to get the egg back, now, has she”? Karen turned to J, assuming that the older woman was the best source regarding this kind of info.

J shook her head. “Cynthia told me that the egg had been destroyed in the fighting, so we didn’t pay it any more attention. I didn’t even know that it still existed and had been taken until right now.” She looked at Sabrina, but the psychic stayed silent, not daring and not wanting either to give her more information.

Karen raised an eyebrow. “How should Cynthia know what had happened to the egg? She is psychic, sure, but that is not something you can find out with these powers...”

J struggled with herself, biting her lip as she was caught between loyalty and fear. In the end, fear won again. “She got to the post office in order to fetch my Pokemon from the police officers there, and I guess while doing that, she took a look around to see if the egg was around.”

There was a moment of silence, until Sabrina broke it again with a level, even voice. “That’s all nice and so, but why would Cynthia want me to lose against J? It must have been a major point in her plan, otherwise, she wouldn’t have used Lucian. He trusts her, as far as I can see it, and I doubt that Cynthia hasn’t let Lucian into her plan and so, he would be of value at any point of her ‘operation’. But so far, she seems to only have used him once....and that was to get me to the post office...” Sabrina closed her eyes, stopping in her musings.”...it doesn’t make much sense...”

Karen shrugged. “She broke up with Lucian shortly after, so what...? He’s not of any importance for her anymore, and so, he’s not for us, too...and for why you should lose...” Karen snickered. “It’s not easy to figure out, but once you get the idea, it seems pretty obvious. And I think, Sabrina dear, you should have figured it out by yourself, too.” She looked directly at the gym leader, and her eyes started to sparkle. “You were to blame for the disappearance of the Espeon.”

Sabrina opened her eyes widely and stared at Karen in shock, grabbing Will’s arm tightly as she did so, and Will had to admit that he didn’t mind.

“You, and the Indigo League with it, in the end.” Karen sat down, not even bothering to check if Sabrina had recovered enough to take more of these shocking revelations, fuelling her inner fears. “After all...there are two possibilities, both of high probabilities, and both would make you the culprit. Either you would have simply not been able to hinder J at taking the Espeon, which would be, in my opinion, the less painful option. Otherwise...well, Cynthia could still accuse you of having taken the Espeon for yourself.”

“What?!” Sabrina blinked, even more shocked than before.

“Well, it’s fitting, isn’t it? You’re a psychic trainer, you don’t have an Espeon, Eevee are hard to get, even for a gym leader and you did say you would like to have an Eevee for yourself, didn’t you?” Sabrina intensified her pressure on Will’s arm, but this time, clearly on purpose. Of course, the poor guy could not know that he had been controlled by Karen when he had told her all these things, and in the end, had forgot about all events from the moment on that she had kissed him until Sabrina had broken the spell.

Sabrina whispered quietly. “And then, Cynthia ordered us to find the Espeon for her...I can only assume that, had we indeed managed to get it from J, she would use the excuse that we, or rather, I had more or less ‘stolen’ it, because it had not officially been announced that either Lucian’s Espeon has been stolen or that we have been ordered to search for it.”

“There’s only one thing wrong with your conclusion, Sabrina.” Karen’s eyes had again the sparkle that told them she was about to say would be quite new and stunning for them. “Lucian does not have an Espeon.”

“What?” This time, both Sabrina and Will exclaimed this question at the same time, feeling fooled. They should have expected Cynthia to lie to them, but they had never bothered to check something this obvious. Which Pokemon a league trainer owned was something that could be checked easily by anyone, so at first glance, it seemed to be something that couldn’t be lied upon. But apparently Karen, who was not even directly involved in this operation, had taken her time to check the facts and she had drawn the right conclusion, showing them what trick they had fallen for. Will certainly felt ashamed, while Sabrina’s pride didn’t allow any feelings of this kind to enter her consciousness, at least in front of the darkling.

Karen snickered. “Unlike you two, who lost your minds quite easily in the chaos of the past days, I found the time and thought to check the Sinnoh data bank. And viola, Lucian has no Espeon. Never had, and doesn’t plan to get one. It can never be his, despite all the things you’ve been told. Either it belonged to someone else or it was wild...”

J nodded without reacting in any other emotional way. “Indeed, it was a wild Espeon I was ordered to fetch...”

“Nonsense, there are no wild Espeon!” Will exclaimed. “Eevee evolve by friendship and love from a trainer into Espeon and Umbreon, at day and night respectively, and a wild Eevee obviously has no trainer it could get love from.” He glared at Karen. “You should know this, too, you own an Umbreon!”

Karen rolled her eyes. “Of course I know this, I know the basics, thank you very much. But I’m sceptical about your fairly radical theory. Why shouldn’t a wild Pokemon feel so loved by anyone, be it human or Pokemon, in this case likely Pokemon, to evolve? Granted, it has not been witnessed yet, but that doesn’t erase the simple possibility.”

Will snorted. “But then, why should Cynthia go into the trouble of having to catch a rare, possible not even existing wild Espeon, when she, being prominent and rich, has easier ways of getting it?”

“For once, she didn’t have to get it herself, she employed J, as far as I got it, and second...because she can?” Sabrina chuckled at her own joke, but Will didn’t even acknowledge her.

Karen shrugged as well. “I guess it’s because stealing a trainer’s Pokemon is something Cynthia does not dare. That itself is a delicate move, even more for a champion, and considering that it’s the exact crime she wants to blame on you...overkill, anyone? She would not only be released from her position, but rather catapulted out of it...”

There was a moment of silence, which was suddenly destroyed as the airship was caught in turbulences and J used the moment of surprise to get onto her feet and attempt to flee. A short-timed attempt, as Sabrina stopped her with her powers, inwardly surprised that they worked to well even with Karen being near.

“No, sweety, you’re not going anywhere before you’ve turned to Espeon back into flesh and bones, understood?” J grit her teeth, knowing now for sure that this was so not her day. She just wanted to get out of this mess, out of Kanto, back to her sweet home Sinnoh and there, hopefully, into a bathtub filled with hot, relaxing water and pink bubbles.

“Just push down the lever down the glass tube and remove the glass dome.” The hunter struggled against the invisible force, but Sabrina wasn’t going to let her go. She didn’t know what Cynthia was going to do once she realized that her plan had been blown, and considering that Cynthia was a psychic, Sabrina feared that it might end in a battle...but she couldn’t just let the chance slip away of, at least partly, redeeming herself by getting one of Sinnoh’s most wanted into prison.

Will picked the lone glass tube, left alone in the trouble, up and slowly pushed the lever down. Immediately, colour returned to the Espeon and it blinked, confused. The young Elite trainer smiled and removed the last restraint on the Pokemon, setting it free again. “There you go, boy. You’re free.” But apparently, the Pokemon wasn’t as gracious as its saviours had expected. It hissed as it recognized J and decided that the woman deserved some beating. And the other humans who were with her as well. They were all the same, imprisoning Pokemon, enslaving them, all the same...

He noticed that one of the human women he was about to attack was a darkling, but it didn’t matter to him anymore. He had overcome worse. His red pearl started to shine.

Will hat trouble avoiding the first psybeam, even though Sabrina had warned them seconds before, sensing the incoming attack. He stumbled backwards and hid his eyes from the blinding light. He heard someone cursing and saw that J had escaped Sabrina’s psychic grasp, as his girlfriend had concentrated on sparing him a nasty headache by intercepting the psybeam.

Karen was torn between helping Will- with her dark Pokemon, she had the advantage, and following J. In the end, she grabbed Sabrina’s hand and pulled the gym leader behind her while turning her head around to face Will and scream to him a few short-timed orders. “You take care of the Espeon, we’ll take J!”

Will blinked at Karen and Sabrina leaving, before a hiss caught his attention and he barely had seconds before another psybeam was aimed in his direction.

“Gee, thanks girls...”

~~~~~~~

Cynthia bit her lip. She was frustrated and everyone who knew her well enough knew that a frustrated Cynthia was not something that should be ignored, much less underestimated. When she wanted to get something done, it had to get done, and may the earth stop rotating, it didn’t matter.

Yet, a cell phone that was turned off was out of Cynthia’s physical and psychical reach and so, she had no other choice but to wait.

She didn’t hate waiting, but when it was about something she was eager about, something that made her fingertips prickled and filled her with suspense and a sense of welcoming foreboding. She could see the rest of the plan unfolding in front of her mind’s eye, it was as clear as if someone had filmed it with his digital camera. But it was all just imagination, nothing had happened so far.

She had phoned J three times by now, and by now she had started to wonder if J was deaf or if she had turned off her phone. Or if something more serious was happened there that kept her favourite secret agent from answering. Either way, it had become obvious that J was not the one she would speak to today.

Sighing, Cynthia called another number. It only ringed once or twice before a shivering, male voice answered here. “Henchman Harry here?”

Cynthia smiled as she instructed him over the phone. Now she was happy she had asked J to give her the main number of her airship, the only way to contact not only her, but her henchman as well.

The champion had always dreamed of owning a harem...

~~~~~~~

J jumped through the gate that separated the storage rooms from rooms used for more ‘office’ like activities. She grimaced, finally feeling a bit more relieved as she couldn’t see her pursuers anymore. Most likely, they had lost their ways after a few minutes of sprinting after her, due to the labyrinth like construction of the airship. It was no surprise that some of the freshly new employed men got lost here a few times. But not J. She had the instinct and orientation of a Pokemon, had the perfect memory, she was smart and would not easily be taken down, never...

“Gotcha!”

“Eeek!” J slipped and tripped, swinging her arms around her body to keep her balance. She fell down and moaned, her chest and abdomen aching because of the fall, as if she had hit something hard. The hunter looked up to see the elite dark trainer standing in front of her, hands on her hips, her legs spread as wide as possible without making the sexual arousal too obvious, a light scraping coming from the heels of her boots. The psychic was standing next to her, slightly rolling her eyes. “Keep it clean, Karen...”

The darkling grinned. “Of course, I’ll keep it clinically clean, if you know what I mean.” Sabrina rolled her eyes even more, while J shivered. What did she mean with ‘clinically clean’? Was it, hopefully, only sarcasm or was the elite trainer serious?

Obvious, at least, was the fact that the psychic trainer had enough of her colleague’s antics and shoved Karen aside, glaring at her. Karen didn’t react, she had every opportunity of embarrassing her at any moment she chose, but the dark trainer had had her fun for today. Nearly destroying a relationship while trying to plumb its strength in reality was enough for a while. That, and she had started to like Sabrina in a way.

“If you scare her so much that she ends up mentally irresponsible, then we’re never going to get any kind of confession and neither of us is going to be awarded by the league.” Sabrina glanced at Karen over her shoulder. “And you can’t seriously tell me you’re not going for that, too.”

Karen shrugged. “I never said I wanted to win Lance’s golden medal of licking butts...” J winced, yet neither of the league trainers took notice. Another noise had caught their attention.

It was the sound of heavy, military boots walking along the metallic floor, apparently going into their direction. And there was a light, though distinctly male voice, weak and feeble, but forcing itself to be steady.

“Indeed, we have already started the landing process.”

Sabrina and Karen stared at each other, stunned. Neither of them had noticed that the airship they were on was already landing, and while Sabrina was wondering why her enhanced senses had failed her, she guessed it was because of the modern technology crafted into the vehicle that allowed it to be even more stable and quieter than most planes.

“ We will be landing in about ten minutes, right in front of the hotel’s yard, Client M. We have activated the invisible shield, so there should be no problems with unwanted witnesses.”

“Who’s this ‘Client M’?” Karen asked, her voice not above a whisper in case the unknown intruder had unusual good hearing.

“That would be Cynthia herself...” J snarled, not in the need of trying to hide her identity. She knew her employee’s voice too well, this was Harry, and she wondered what he was doing around here when it clearly wasn’t his workplace and why, and that was the more unsettling point, he was talking to Cynthia...

Sabrina raised an eyebrow, but decided not to press on this matter and instead pushed herself against the wall in order not to be seen, in case the unknown owner of the voice turned in their direction. She was silent again, hoping to catch more of the conversation.

There was a pause. “Are you getting the tapes?”

Karen had to clap her hand over Sabrina’s mouth to keep her from yelping. This was Cynthia’s voice, clear and plain to hear. The three women, and this time, all three of them indeed, flinched and pushed themselves so hard against the wall that their backs were going to hurt, they didn’t want to be seen in any case, for this could cost them their honour, their job and/or their head.

“Yes, I’m getting what you wanted.” He swallowed, obviously nervous. There was no one not nervous right now, except Cynthia herself.

“Good. I’ll be getting the Espeon myself in the meantime.” There was laughter. “And then I’ll take care of her myself. She’s influenced and boycotted my plan on way too many occasions.”

Karen suddenly knew how Will must have felt when Cynthia had confronted the couple in the league’s dinner room and Sabrina had suddenly turned very ‘clutchy’. The psychic gym leader had chosen her forearm to be her next victim...

“Is there anything else I should prepare for you?” The frightened young man asked, slowing down his steps.

There was a pause, a pause in which Sabrina thought her heartbeat slowed down so much that it seemed not to be existent anymore. The thought of dying crossed her mind briefly, how quick and simple it would be to end it all, and easy for a psychic like her. One attack aimed at her own body, her own brain and she would be dead, or at least comatose...

Sabrina snarled inwardly. She started to despise herself, but even more, she hated Cynthia for making her feel so...degraded and weak. There was so much more in her life, so many things she had yet to experience, and to feel... The gym leader sighed. She would welcome the moment Cynthia’s plane took off to Sinnoh again. On the other hand, she would never have this kind of adventure if it hadn’t been for Cynthia and her insane plan...

Silently, the psychic vowed to take her revenge on day. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, maybe not even this year...but one day, she vowed, Cynthia would pay.

There could only be one psychic playing the master cards.

But for now, she had to think hard of how to slip out of this.

“Hm, yes, there is something. As soon as you’re landing, get me J. There’s another change in plan. She’ll have to claim the Espeon as her own.” Another pause, and Cynthia’s voice dropped an octave, getting considerably quieter. “That will not even be a near fitting punishment, but it will have to satisfy me for now.”

The man gulped. “That is not easy, I mean, ehm, well, the Espeon is obviously not easy to handle and even J has had troubles catching it and it never was her own, so to say...it never was anyone’s Poke-“

“Silence!”

J wanted to facepalm, but knowing herself, that would be loud enough to catch Cynthia’s attention. And the Pokemon hunter didn’t want to know what the champion considered a ‘more fitting punishment’. She should have made sure that in case her client phoned the airship and not her personally, a more competent henchman would pick up the phone. Harry was too blunt and dumb for this. He flinched when Cynthia’s booming voice echoed off the metallic walls.

“This is my order and you’ll do as you’ve been told, understood?” She snarled. “Since your oh so perfect boss has failed me again, I have to resort to false accusations once again.” She snorted. “At least this way, an Indigo gym leader will be accused of stealing, and even if it’s just the Pokemon of a known criminal, there will be punishment.” She fell silent. “Nothing you have to know too much about, though. Get me J as soon as possible.”

“Understood.” Harry fell silent, Cynthia as well.

After a while, the hallway was silent, too.

Karen dared to look around a wall, glancing at every side. They were away. She sighed, but it was nothing compared to how Sabrina calmed down physically. She slumped down against the wall, eyes closed, wiping away the layer of sweat on her forehead. Forcing herself to stop shuddering and give off the impression that she was controlled and calm again, and that in no way the whole affair had managed to shake her off. Glancing at the Pokemon hunter, who squirmed uncomfortable between them to try to get out, she thought about what she could do now anymore.

There was no way they could escort J to the police and right into prison anymore. Cynthia would catch them and do her own thing, bringing her own plan forward. As they had witnessed, she was going to use J as a fake actor, an innocent victim of circumstances and an overenthusiastic gym leader who tried to fix things that were not broken and obviously not even illegal. Cynthia sure was smart, but she had not considered that the three women would overhear her. That was the only advantage they had. And Sabrina already had an idea on how to use it.

She stood up; glancing around the corner just like Karen had done minutes before. Then, the psychic gym leader turned to aforementioned darkling and sighed deeply. She hated to do this, she really did, but she had no other chance. Karen was the only one who had comparable powers, and even better, they were of the polar opposite origin than Sabrina’s. She couldn’t completely trust the dark trainer yet; she had been the one to manipulate her boyfriend. And while Sabrina had learned to trust and like Janine, who had done a very similar thing, the case of Karen was an entirely different thing.

“Listen...” Karen looked up; interested in what her fellow trainer had to say. “Obviously we’re not able to get anyone official involved in this anymore, or else Cynthia gets our heads easier than J got this Espeon.” J snorted, but no one really noticed. “Apparently, the champion wants to put all blame on me, and she wants to use J as a witness, as unethical as it seems.” Sabrina lowered her head. She felt uneasy. “I think the easiest way for us- or rather, me, to get out of this is if we eliminate J.”

“What?!?!?” The hunter stared at the two women in fright, shivering and backing away. She was dealing with two women of supernatural powers, ‘eliminating’ could mean anything, even- and J certainly didn’t want to think that far, killing her. But they wouldn’t seriously commit murder...would they? J swallowed hard.

Sabrina smiled. She couldn’t hide her amusement at striking fear into the heart of a person, innocent or not, but she would never admit this consciously. She wasn’t as evil as certain other trainers, at least not on the surface.

“Eliminate? Sabrina, sweety, what’s on your mind now?” Karen asked, her voice as smooth as silk.

“Not her, exactly.” The psychic paused. “Precisely, her memory. I want to wipe her memory of everything that happened on this airship and possibly before. That way, Cynthia will not be able to use her as a witness.” She closed her eyes. “And to make sure that Cynthia, who’s apparently a psychic as well, won’t be able to unearth them again, I want you to seal them with your powers.”

Karen was surprised. While she had the feeling that there was the possibility of her and Sabrina warming up, she had never thought that the egoistical and airheaded psychic would ask for her help. But apparently, this trip, the forced comradeship had driven some sense into her. She wasn’t completely keen on playing the solo mission anymore, finally realizing- and even admitting, that friends weren’t as useless as she had thought them to be. Even if they were of the opposing element.

Then, the darkling smiled. “Of course.” She closed her eyes. “Suit yourself and start. I’ll watch and do my part once you’re finished.”

Sabrina nodded, closing her eyes as well and placing her left hand above J’s forehead. The hunter squirmed and tried to move away, but her attempts were fruitless as Sabrina multitasked, knowing her abilities well enough to know how much she could do at once and froze J’s body at the same time as starting the memory wipe. J shuddered, then her eyes rolled back and she fainted, her mind overtaken by Sabrina’s powers.

Karen smiled. The only difference between dark and psychic was the colour of their appearance, and even that was fading.

End of Chapter 7, Part Four.
__________________
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
~*~Infinity~*~
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
  #66    
Old February 11th, 2010, 10:36 AM
Crazy Packers Fan
Gym Leader
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
So now they know for sure it's Cynthia behind everything. A lot of explanations in this chapter, always nice to see.

When it comes to beta-reading, the only mistake I saw was this one:
Quote:
“So now, little “Sabrina forcefully ignored the word”, tell me who you’re working for!”
I was confused on who was talking there.

Quote:
“In that case, wouldn’t it have been much better for Cynthia if we hadn’t found anything? Not only would Lance have beheaded us, but we would also not be able to give her anything...besides our bowings, that is.” Sabrina mused sarcastically.
Sabrina bowing to Cynthia? I wonder where you got that from. Please make it happen!

Quote:
She started to despise herself, but even more, she hated Cynthia for making her feel so...degraded and weak.
Awesome. That's Cynthia's job, to make Sabrina feel worthless. Isn't it sweet how Sabrina turned from the most powerful trainer in my story to being utterly worthless and weak after Cynthia had her way with her?

Please post the next chapter as soon as possible, thanks!
  #67    
Old February 11th, 2010, 11:16 AM
Psychic*Absol's Avatar
Psychic*Absol
Psychic Student
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: on earth
Age: 24
Nature: Quirky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Packers Fan View Post
So now they know for sure it's Cynthia behind everything. A lot of explanations in this chapter, always nice to see.
Phew, and I thought the explanations were a bit too long. ^^
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Packers Fan View Post
When it comes to beta-reading, the only mistake I saw was this one:

I was confused on who was talking there.
That sentence was added last minute (as I had forgotten to self-censor my fic) so yeah, that was bound to be confusing. It's Karen speaking and Sabrina ignoring her slang.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Packers Fan View Post
Sabrina bowing to Cynthia? I wonder where you got that from. Please make it happen!
*rolls eyes* From Santa Claus. No, of course I got it from you. And nope, it won't be Sabrina bowing to Cynthia. Not happening here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Packers Fan View Post
Awesome. That's Cynthia's job, to make Sabrina feel worthless. Isn't it sweet how Sabrina turned from the most powerful trainer in my story to being utterly worthless and weak after Cynthia had her way with her?
*Sweet* isn't exaclty the word I would use. Stupid would be a better one.
You continue with this and I fear what will happen to Cynthia in the sequel.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Packers Fan View Post
Please post the next chapter as soon as possible, thanks!
Wait a week or so, maybe I can get my beta back in time.
__________________
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
~*~Infinity~*~
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
  #68    
Old February 25th, 2010, 12:23 PM
Psychic*Absol's Avatar
Psychic*Absol
Psychic Student
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: on earth
Age: 24
Nature: Quirky
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Chapters are now going a bit faster, (ironic, considering that we're almost done XD) yet still not beta-read. >< Sorry.

Chapter 7, Part 5: Poacher

“Calm down, boy, calm down...” Will gulped, knowing full well that the Espeon was anything but listening. He had to admit his last experience with a wild Pokemon was years ago, when he was still an average trainer in his middle teens and he was still building up on his team. Since then, he had not made any addition to it, rather training up the Pokemon he already had (and doing a bit of breeding with them- but that was something he did not like to talk about this, as it had been anything but intentional).

All in all, he felt a bit pi...irritated at his girls for leaving him completely alone – or rather, at the mercy of this rabid Espeon.

The Pokemon hissed and lunged at him; Will quickly jumped out of its way, a wall stopped his fall as the airship suddenly rocked, making the Espeon fall to the ground as well and rolling to the other side.

“Is the pilot drunk or what?” Will asked angrily while getting up, wiping a few strands of hair away from his eyes. He didn’t have much time to muse about the airship’s navigator’s condition as there was another hiss behind him and he gulped at the sight of the Espeon being ready to leap at him again.

“You obviously don’t want to give me an easy time with this, eh?” He asked as he started to pull out a Pokeball from one of his suit’s pockets, enlarging it in his hand. He had been briefly thinking about which Pokemon to use, because he feared the Espeon knew Bite, which was pretty obvious from how it behaved. And Bite, being a dark type move, would hurt all of his Pokemon equally. In the end, he decided, it didn’t really matter much. He had the choice between fleeing- and most likely getting caught and mauled by the psychic Pokemon, and fighting himself- a great idea with his psychic abilities being a joke, and fighting the traditional way. The normal traditional way, as he assumed that his girlfriend wouldn’t have minded a Pokemon versus human battle being called traditional.

Maybe he should ask her if there had really been battles between psychic Pokemon and psychic humans, the rumours were there, after all...

“Essss...!” He jumped to the side, out of the range of a Psybeam, just in time to open the Pokeball and calling out one of his Xatu. The mystic Pokemon didn’t need to be told what to do, it spread it wings and intercepted the attack. Since Xatu was partly a psychic type too, a Psybeam didn’t hurt it that much, but Will was surprised at how much damage the attack managed to land anyway. Either his Pokemon had weakened significantly- something he doubted, after all, the Xatu were his self-declared signature Pokemon and he took great care in training them intensively, or the Espeon was extraordinarily strong. He bit his tongue, feeling slightly surprised, but then, this Espeon apparently had evolved, despite all his doubts, in the wilderness, and had been trained by nature itself. Wild Pokemon tended to be a bit tougher than the ‘pet’ Pokemon of trainers.

“Night Shade!” He called, ducking out of the way of another attack, feeling the ground move again. Whatever the airship was doing, it wasn’t flying steadily. He cursed under his breath, but decided that this wasn’t giving him much of a disadvantage in battle. After all, the Espeon wasn’t defying gravity, either.

The waves of darkly violet energy rushed towards the Espeon, who didn’t made any attempt at fleeing. Will wondered what the Espeon was intending to do, until he remember its move set. “Reflect...” He swore under his breath again, clenching his fists. Although Reflect was not a move Espeons regularly learned naturally, it was a move they could easily copy after watching it a few times, just like many other psychic moves like Teleport. This Espeon was strong.

The Espeon crouched down, a slight evil grin on its face, which alone told Will to be careful again. Suddenly, the Pokemon dashed to him, leaving his Xatu behind and just a few inches before his face, the Pokemon stopped, with the same evil grin. The elite trainer half expected to get a Psybeam aimed straight at his face, until he noticed that something was glistering around the Espeon’s paws. “Huh?” It took him to long to notice that the Espeon had, due to the lack of a natural environment that was required to use this attack, simply teleported some sand up into the airship and was about to use said substance for a nasty attack.

“Espeon!” Snickering, it threw a pawful of sand into his face, and using his temporarily loose of orientation for escaping.

“You bi...” Will stopped himself, reminding himself that the Espeon was apparently male and the word he had intended to say was anything but fitting, and sadly, there was no male equivalent for it either. “I may be half-blind, but that’s absolutely no reason to make fun of me!” He screamed after the Pokemon, but it didn’t even think of paying him any attention anymore.

Will sighed and turned to Xatu, who was patiently waiting for his master to recover. The Espeon had run into a lonely, quiet and wide hallway which was ending in an even wider dead end. The Pokemon was obviously not happy about this, snarling and scratching at the wall that blocked his escape, but nothing he did could open an entrance to freedom. And worse, he could hear the weird human-the human was certainly weirder than every other one of his race the Espeon had met before, coming closer again.

Will had just spotted the psychic Pokemon again when the airship shook again and he had to steady himself by holding onto the wall. He blinked as he could feel the airship starting to softly land on the ground beneath them. He had not noticed that the landing process had been started by now, but apparently they were already very close to the ground.

There was a sudden ripple in the air and Will, already knowing a bit about psychic attacks in general, half expected a Psybeam to be aimed at him and ducked to be on the safe side in case this was really happening, but to his surprise, a strong breeze of cold air suddenly swept over his skin.

The psychic trainer looked up. Before him the entire wall had opened up, leaving an open gab in his place. Will backed away, afraid to fall out of the airship once more, just that this time, there was no one here to safe him, for he doubted that his Xatu would be able to carry him and the Espeon would, if it even cared in any form for him, rather sabotage his plans of saving himself instead of doing anything useful.

But as he had expected, the airship had already landed, leaving a beautiful mountain scenery in front of them. The Espeon waggled its tail happily and started to jump out of the airship, just as Will was climbing up and starting to follow it. “Hold it on!” He screamed. “This battle hasn’t finished yet!”

The Espeon turned back to him, its eyes glistening with anger and annoyance. It wasn’t as if it didn’t want to battle- this Espeon had won many battles and participated in even more, but for now, it wanted to enjoy its newfound freedom, something it had been longing for a very long time. No human should disturb, or worse, hinder him from walking away right from this scene, from the cruel, cold und unfeeling humans that loved to take away the right of a Pokemon to choose where it wanted to live by itself. He disgusted Pokemon that were owned by a human. May the humans think they had the perfect training methods and facilities for Pokemon, may they think they cared wonderfully for them and they loved and adored them until death and beyond...it was all a joke, a farce to rip them of their own mind. He had seen Pokemon getting caught against their will, crying, whining, screaming, lamenting their fate. And, and he bit his tongue as he looked back and saw the Xatu, standing there still at his master’s side and ready for every order, he had seen Pokemon going willingly with the humans.

He couldn’t understand it. He couldn’t understand the weakness of these Pokemon, and he assumed he didn’t even want to know about it. Yet...this human was psychic as well. The Espeon had heard of psychic humans, the strongest of them rivalling the power of weaker psychic Pokemon. That, on the other hand, fascinated him. If humans could develop the same powers as he had, when he had evolved from Eevee...he had been so confused, so unsure and shy about his powers. It was an assumption without any real base, without the facts to prove it, but he supposed that humans, once confronted with their own supernatural powers, felt similar emotions. Maybe, and even though he was aware of the blasphemy of that thought, humans could feel empathy for Pokemon, and vica verse. Maybe it was just a question of circumstances.

The Espeon smirked. This time, he was ready for a battle. A real battle.

Will blinked. The Espeon had stopped and was now staring at him, its tail lashing out, all four paws steadily on the ground, claws out. Will had to wonder why he was surprised at Espeon having claws, after all, they were feline Pokemon and just because they were known as loyal, sophisticated psychic Pokemon didn’t mean that they weren’t perfect hunters. The Espeon obviously proved it.

A slight hiss and suddenly, another Psybeam lashed out, but surprisingly, not at Will himself, but in the direction of his Pokemon. The trainer jumped to the side, rolling onto his back and watching the scene from behind. Xatu had lifted his wings to protect himself from the Psybeam and that had worked pretty well, despite the disadvantage of being attacked by surprise on their side. Xatu looked at Will expectantly and the young man realized that the battle had been started from anew now. He stood up, looked over to the Espeon who seemed stunned, then commanded his Pokemon to use Confuse Ray.

Espeon bit his lip and prepared himself for the upcoming attack. He hadn’t expected this stupid bird to be so powerful! Then again, there were rumours between the Pokemon of his home, the ones that lived near the human settlements at least, that even between the humans, there was some sort of ‘hacking order’. That there were humans that were looked upon, leaders of some sort, simply because they had stronger Pokemon than the usual human. He could understand that even between the cruel and unfeeling bastards- or maybe especially between them, there had to be some kind of order, some people had to guide and some had to be the lower classes. It was just natural, the Pokemon were no different at all. He just now realized what little to none difference was between the Pokemon society and that of the humans.

And he seemed to have the bad luck of encountering such a human leader and his Pokemon. And maybe, judging from how powerful the woman that had caught him had been, with her commanding the powerful, mystic and legendary Dragon Pokemon, she was very likely one of them, too.

Calling upon a Reflect, the Espeon tried to avoid the Confuse Ray, but Xatu had expected this with his Future Sight and directed the Confuse Ray around the Espeon’s wall of Reflect, seeing as the Pokemon hadn’t bothered to do a full body shield. The lightening-like bolt of ghostly energy hit the feline psychic Pokemon straight on the head, thus being even more effective than usual. Will smiled, but only till he could see that the Espeon, in its confusion, was stumbling down the ramp which had been opening from the airship. The Pokemon finally fell into the fresh grass outside, shaking its head as it was trying to get the swirly rays of perplexing thoughts out of its head.

Will looked around, he wasn’t sure where J was, or if his two girls had managed to overwhelm her, but he surely didn’t want to let to the Espeon get away, may it be wild or not. A flash of an idea crossed his mind briefly, but he casted it aside for the time being. Mainly because he had to avoid another Psybeam that was originally aimed at his Xatu, but the Espeon, still slightly confused, couldn’t tell the two moving similar blobs of different colours apart.

“Note to myself: Confuse Ray is not a good move...” Will cursed, recalling his battle with Sabrina months ago, the battle where he had ended up confusing a Pokemon and its trainer. Now, the later consequences of said battle hadn’t been so bad at all, but still, neither a confused Pokemon nor a confused woman were things he wanted to come across again.

He turned again around to watch the Espeon, deciding to go for damage instead of status changes. “Xatu, Me First!” The Pokemon nodded and dashed off. It was so fast that the Espeon didn’t even know what was striking it, falling to the ground before it could do any damage. “Now, Psychic!” Will cried, pretty sure that this would be the finished move, seeing how much damage Me First had dealt. He was going to be wrong.

Angrily, the Espeon opened his eyes and looked his enemy right into the eyes, despite the pain. He fought to get up again, avoiding the psychic attack as good as he could and ignoring the pain that the part of attack which still hit him caused. Almost blinded himself by the sheer pain, he spun forward with lightened speed, and even though tackle was not the most useful of all attacks, it still did good against a fellow psychic Pokemon, he knew just so well. The Xatu fell back, surprised by the sudden attack, but didn’t retreat. Most likely because its trainer hadn’t told it to, the Espeon thought with an infuriated pang in his heart. Pokemon in nature never fought longer than needed, at least if it was just a training battle and not one of life and death or, the Espeon trembled inwardly, for mates. That was something he had never thought about before, of course, he had been the oldest and strongest male in his clan when he had still been home, but that had never mattered much, because all the females around were related to him. And he had never thought about leaving his territory to find other members of his species, because...it was home, wasn’t it? And now he wasn’t home anymore. He wanted to get back, though, and so, the chances that this unwanted move may offer him had never crossed his mind.

He shook his head and looked around, searching for the Xatu. He couldn’t see it, but he was pretty sure the human would never have recalled it to its ‘prison’ as long as it was still able to fight, which it obviously was. The Espeon was completely shocked as he heard some flapping in the air above him and bent his neck to see the Xatu flying above him. It was, or at least he had assumed that it was common knowledge between humans that Xatu couldn’t fly, even though Pokemon knew of course that they very indeed able to. Again, this special human had managed to surprise him, breaking the prejudices he had against the common ignorance of humanity.

“Xatu, Fly!” Will smiled, he liked the fact that the Espeon had managed to hold its own quite well in this battle, showing strength against the Pokemon of a trainer, an elite four trainer even. Nature itself was a good trainer, he had always known, but now he had the very proof in front of his eyes. Again, a certain thought played through his mind, but this time, his body copied the imaginary movements, as Will reached into his suit and pulled out an empty Pokeball, playing with it between his fingers. Xatu noticed the silent note of his master and nodded.

It fell like a stone from the air, but that was only a tactical move, nothing dangerous and certainly not a crash landing. The trick was to make the Espeon believe it wouldn’t be hit, that the attack would miss it. It was, to some extent, cheating, but Will didn’t care about that.

The Espeon hadn’t completely failed to notice Will pulling out a Pokeball, and the meaning of that action didn’t miss the Pokemon, too, but his mind, still confused by the Confuse Ray, couldn’t put two and two together. Neither could he correctly judge the angle the Xatu came crashing down, thus coming to the conclusion that the Pokemon was going to hit him and he jumped to the side. The wrong side, sadly, as he crashed into Will without intending to do so obviously.

Will yelped, yanked out of the airship and into the fresh, bright green grass. Xatu stopped his landing just as he saw what had happened, flying over to his master and the other psychic Pokemon. Espeon quickly got onto its feet again, trying hard not to stumble too much. The world was spinning, spinning around, and green and grey and blue were mixing and fading into each other. He shook his head and hissed. He couldn’t allow himself to falter in the middle of the battle, he knew too well what happened to Pokemon who did.

“Xatu, Peck!” The Espeon was surprised and reeled back, not knowing where the attack came from. He took too long to finally notice that Xatu was again over him, and by the time he saw the bird Pokemon, there was no time left for him to dodge the attack. He could either try to defend himself by using Reflect again or he could start a counter-attack, which might have a similar effect.

In the end, he decided to wipe out the Xatu if possible, and therefore, he used his strongest attack. Psychic. In nature, no Pokemon had managed to withstand this attack of him, the mystical power knocking them unconscious and making his ego grow widely over his head. He had been a strong Pokemon back at home, he was nearly sure that he had been the strongest Pokemon, both in his clan and his territory. And he had underestimated a trainer’s Pokemon, clearly underestimated it. Maybe that was going to be his downfall, maybe he needed a rip back to reality and earth’s surface. Or, maybe, he was going to triumph once more, and show the world that wild Pokemon didn’t have to hide from trained Pokemon at all, that they were equal in every meaning of the word.

He could feel the energy waves of the Psychic attack surrounding him, protecting him from the beak of the Xatu as good as they could, but the Xatu wasn’t going to give up either. Its eyes closed, it literally hang in the air, the body even stiffer than usually, every ounce of power concentrated in this single attack. And then, the Xatu started to come down, falling, coming closer...

And closer...

Until there was nothing that held the Xatu anymore, the Psychic attack vanishing into nothingness, the feeble blue lighting that zapped around it fading quickly. Xatu crashed into Espeon, sending it flying farther away into the grass, drops of dew wetting its sensitive fur. The Espeon could feel every drop of water hit him, but he was too weak to shake them off anymore. He could feel the world blurring, fading into grey which slowly turned into black. All the noise around him disappeared as well, leaving him in blissful, silent darkness, the only sensation being the coldness of his soaked hair.

Will smiled as he played with the Pokeball between his fingers. He was waiting for the right moment, the right second to throw it. He had not planned to catch the Espeon, at least not for a long time. Once his Xatu had started to fight with the Espeon, though, the thought had crossed his mind and he had to admit that he hadn’t thought of the consequences yet. He hadn’t been training a new Pokemon for years, he had had his team for a whole decade by now, which was maybe one of the main reasons why he had managed to win a league tournament and become an elite trainer. And all the paper work that he was now going to face, seeing as Lance liked to have everything recorded and on white and yellow paper and possibly with several signatures and twice and in Latin and Chinese...he was going to spend more hours on filling out the papers needed to register a new Pokemon than he was going to train said new Pokemon.

But the Espeon had intrigued him. He had never believed that there could be Pokemon that depended on happiness to evolve to be able to do this in the wild, but he had been wrong. He admitted that he had been wrong, but he didn’t feel ashamed about it. To tell the truth, he was tempted to study the Espeon more than train it, finding out how it had managed to survive and evolve in the wilderness, knowing that all wild Espeon that had been registered so far had been former Pokemon of trainers and had escaped from their home for various reasons. These Pokemon were spoiled, as unpleasant as it was to admit that, and more often than not, they crawled to human settlements as soon as they found out that food didn’t come in handy tins out there. Or when winter came. Whatever realization came sooner.

Maybe that would calm Lance down in the end and keep him from suffocating Will in paperwork. Though scientific research on a Pokemon was anything but not paper consuming, either.

He twisted his fingers a bit, feeling the cold, smooth plastic beneath them, just waiting, just waiting...and then, he threw the Pokeball.

The Espeon had already fainted, there was no doubt in him about that. It was only a question of whether its will to continue a free life was stronger that the beating it had taken. He couldn’t be sure about that, many Pokemon in a condition worse than the one of the Espeon had managed to escape. He wouldn’t be angry, or disappointed if that happened here, too. He would just try again.

The Pokeball hit the Espeon, engulfing it in a pale, transparent red light. The Pokemon’s form blurred, the outline disappeared and was sucked into the Pokeball, which fell to the ground with a thud and lay there, moving slightly. Will tensed, his eyes fixed on the Pokeball, not even noticing what was happening behind him, not hearing the approaching steps, not noticing who was arriving.

The Pokeball stopped moving.

Will proudly walked over, his Xatu watching silently while glancing backwards. The young man couldn’t hide his happiness anymore and jumped into the air, holding the Pokeball over his head with one hand as he did so. “Yes! I caught it!” Xatu croaked, rising an eyebrow as he watched his master.

“Lovely. You caught an Espeon. Big deal, genius boy.”

Will blinked and turned around as he heard the smug, female voice. He sighed as he recognized it.

“Nice of you to show up now, girls.”

Sabrina snarled and jumped down, out of the airship, and walked over to him. “While you had the easy walk with the Pokemon, we had to take care of J herself, if you didn’t know. “ Will backed away but didn’t say anything, as he didn’t want to infuriate his girlfriend anymore. Maybe she was just jealous because she didn’t have an Espeon, and now he did.

“What are we going to do now?” He asked, using the option for a change in topic.

Sabrina glanced at Karen, who nodded. “We’re out of this. Going back to the league I mean.”

“What about J?” He asked, curious as to why the girls hadn’t brought her with them, possibly tied up and unconscious.

“There were certain problems with the original plan, we’ll leave that for later.” Sabrina glanced around. “For now, we’ll have to get away before Cynthia shows up or else we’re as good as toasted.”

Will raised an eyebrow, but didn’t comment again. The two surely had their reasons for this. And he would be damned if he dared to ask them about it.

~~~~~~~

J blinked, the world around her swirling and dancing smoothly in and out of focus. She didn’t really know where she was, why she was here and why there was a herd of men in similar clothing, yet of very different stature crowded around her, watching her with kind, yet fearful and hesitant eyes. She blinked a few times, running her hand over her forehead and noticing a few bumps here and there, knowing full well that they weren’t supposed to be there and would give her a lot of pain later. She must have been in some kind of fight, but then, why didn’t she remember any details...?

Suddenly, the sea of men before her parted and through watering eyes, she could see the tip of a black furred coat, swinging smoothly around long, thin legs. J looked up and saw the grey, lifeless and harsh eyes of a woman. And unlike the events of the last hours, she remembered the woman...all too clearly, one might say.

“Client M...” J tried to get on her feet, but failed and almost fell down, if it hadn’t been for Cynthia, who held her upright without moving so much as a finger. Only her lips tilted into a small smirk, the rest of her face unmoving.

“I got what I wanted. Therefore, I declare our cooperation to be finished. You’ll get your final payment from a co-worker of mine. You may move back to Sinnoh if you wish to do so, I’ll cover the costs of the ticket.”

J blinked, trying to follow the melodic words as her head was still spinning. Finally, she nodded, deciding that anything she might add would only worsen the situation and she was better of silent.

Cynthia walked away from J, still smiling to herself as she did so. She hid one of her hands under her coat, holding a small, black package, containing several video tapes.

She smirked. She had a lot of watching to do today. Maybe then- and her smirk disappeared, leaving her with a disturbed, almost frightened expression; she would understand what had happened between the two psychics. And why the same couldn’t happen to her and Lucian.

Or could it?

~~~~~~~

The group had been walking in silence for quite a while now, and it was starting to bother Will. He knew something was still up, and he certainly wanted to know what that was, but he didn’t know how to approach it. There were some questions that still bugged him. He hadn’t had the time to ask his girls before, so he decided that now might as well be the time to finally get some answers. They were already getting closer to the league’s headquarters, after all, and he was quite sure that once they had reached the complex and once they were inside, they would be interrogated about their adventure and the girls would have the chance to avoid him and his questions.

“Um, girls...?” He started, staring at the two backs that walked in front of him. Neither stopped and his courage dropped. “I just wanted to know...I was kinda, well, out for some time...” He hesitated. “At least I can’t remember all of today, and yesterday...and the days before...it’s like a blur.” He looked up, hoping that they wouldn’t completely ignore him. “I want to know what happened.”

Sabrina stopped, but from the looks of it, she wasn’t too cheerful. “Maybe you should ask Karen about it, gigolo.” She glanced angrily at the woman at her side, who merely shrugged her shoulders and curled her lips.

While Will had no idea why Sabrina was annoyed and why she was calling him a ‘gigolo’ of all types of men, he knew that Karen would answer him. Even if it was a bad thing to get answers from the dark trainer...

“Ehm...so...what...happened?” He asked shyly, fighting with every word.

Karen snickered, then sighed. “Okay, I’ll tell you. Yet, before I do...I’ll apologize. I’m sorry about what I did to you two.” Sabrina looked over her shoulder, suddenly interested, but suspicious as ever, considering that she was talking to the woman who had dared to steal Will from her and had not Janine’s naivety as an excuse. Karen paused, biting her cold, dark lips. “Will, you were...under my dark mind control for some time. To be exactly, since the moment that we met up in your room...no, nothing serious, he didn’t even expect me, much less notice me.” She calmed Sabrina down, who was already fuming, fists at her side. “Well, at least until I kissed him...” Karen snickered, but jumped to the side just in time before Sabrina’s left fist would have connected with her right cheek and left a not so nice mark there.

Will reeled back. His memories, or at least a part of them, returned to him in a rush. He suddenly remembered something kissing him on the lips as soon as he had entered the room, but not being able to see who it was due to the darkness- a darkness that now that he was clearly thinking about it seemed more unnatural than ever. And then, he had just blacked out, and the next thing he consciously grasped was the kiss of Sabrina back in the airship. There was nothing in between...and he doubted that he even wanted to know what had happened in the meantime. Sometimes, it was better to stay blissfully unaware.

Sabrina snarled and turned around, walking in front of the small group without caring so much about what was happening behind her back. She knew why she was angry- she was jealous, no doubt, but it irritated her even more that she could do nothing against that feeling. Sure, she could try to hit Karen again, but the elite trainer would just dodge, and she couldn’t even attack her psychically. Sighing inwardly, the psychic gym leader decided for herself that jealousy was not a good feeling, one of the few that she would gladly scratch from her list.

“Uhm, yeah...and how...was that spell turned off?” Will asked, looking between the two women. Karen sighed again, pushing some hair out of her face.

“I’m not sure...theoretically, Sabrina’s kiss shouldn’t have worked...we’re not in a fantasy kids movie here, the kiss of true love doesn’t work...” She paused. “Though, I have a theory. Sabrina, dear, how long has it been that you’ve been out of hospital?”

Sabrina blinked and stopped, startled by the unusual question. “Um...let me think...today’s the 28th...about ten days. ...why?

Karen smiled. “That explains it. I can only guess, but from knowing how badly attacked you were by the Mightyena, I guess they gave you a whole bunch of anti-dotes?”

“Anti-dotes?” Will interrupted her, confused.

“Not for poison, they’re literally designed for the effects of dark attacks...” Sabrina explained in a rush, not taking her attention from Karen. “What do you mean, Karen?”

“Simply. These things are supposed to have a long-term effect; otherwise, the dark energies could still kill you off after a few weeks if your body was too weak. I can only guess that your body, and thus, your blood, was still pumped to the rear with the anti-dotes and when you were fighting, you got a wound around your lips, and when you kissed him, he accidently tasted some of your blood.” Karen smiled maliciously. “Kinda romantic, isn’t it?” She laughed. “That one drop of blood seems to have been filled with enough chemistry to break the spell upon him, to repulse my dark control over him.” She raised an eyebrow. “You must have really been filled with tons of this stuff if one drop was enough to completely block my powers.” Sabrina didn’t answer.

“I guess that must have been the ‘three times the normal dose’ the doctors were talking about...” Will whispered.

Sabrina closed her eyes and finally nodded. “Yes, that is true. But, I still have a question on my own, darkling...” She hissed. “You said this was some kind of love test...and yet, you said before that you had no interested in him.”

Karen nodded slowly. “Yes, it was, and you’re right, I had and have no interested in your toyboy.” Sabrina snorted but stayed quiet, while Will raised an eyebrow at the unusual title-giving. “Psychic and dark just don’t mix well, you see. I...I was merely interested in...how much you fit him.”

“Fit him?” Sabrina was not contented.

“Yes, fit him. See, I really like Will...as a friend. He’s really sweet, but naive. And that’s the problem, I was afraid he would fall into the hands of a real ***** or fall in love with the first woman he comes across. He is that inexperienced.” Karen sighed ruefully.

“What?!?” Will exclaimed, but Sabrina next to him nodded.

“When Janine managed to lure him away from you, I knew I had to take things into my hands for the time being. I was afraid you were not the...right one for him. After all, we all know how emotionally troubled you are.” Sabrina snorted, rolling her eyes. “I was worried that you wouldn’t be able to return the commitment he gave off. That you wouldn’t be able to completely return his feelings, because of your past and your split mind.” Karen paused for a second. “From what I saw when we were captured at the Rocket’s headquarters, Will was certainly ready to give his life for you, his life and a few more, less important things.” The male elite trainer raised an eyebrow, but he didn’t want to question Karen, as he had a feeling what kind of answer he had to expect from her. “On the other hand, though, I saw that you couldn’t trust him. Had you really trusted him, you would have known that the whole affair with Janine was nothing but a buff, nothing but an accident, a trap he had fallen into due to his naivety.” The woman sighed and Will felt again as if she thought of him as a five-year old when that state of mind was nineteen years behind him. “There was no reason to dump him then. It was not his fault. But you did and he worried over you and worried over you...and it was all for nothing, because it had been a stupid thing to worry about.” Karen chided her. Will backed away, feeling that another cat fight was not far away from breaking out. Better to get into safety now than later...

“Therefore, I wanted to test your ability to trust him.” Karen hugged her hips and sighed. “And even though you didn’t pass the test in the way I had intended it, you passed in some way or another, so...I won’t interfere with your love life anymore.”

Sabrina had clenched her shaking wrist, a bubbling vein appearing on her forehead. Will backed away a few more steps, slowly, trying not to attract too much attention. ‘Better let the women fight it out for themselves...’

“Nice of you...” Sabrina snarled, glaring at Karen. Suddenly, the psychic jumped forward and pinned Karen against the stump of a tree, wood splitting as Karen’s shoulders hit it. Sabrina, normally physically weaker, glowed with an inhuman strength as she howled in an even more inhuman voice. “NEVER...TOUCH...HIM...AGAIN...!!”

And kicked her knee right into a very special area.

There was some knack. A few intelligent birds decided to flee from the scene before their nests were put into any danger.

Will winced with intensive phantom pain.

Karen squeaked, then her eyes rolled over and she fainted, slumping unconsciously down.

Sabrina took a few deep breaths, smiling like a maniac as she held her fist upright, her eyes closed. “That felt good.” She cooed, with a bit too much pleasure for Will’s taste. “Nothing’s like a good egg cracker.”

‘Egg cracker?’ Will wondered, but never in heaven and hell would dare to ask.

He sighed and mumbled. “I should better not get in your way, otherwise...”

Sadly, Sabrina heard him and turned away, her expression only comparable to that of a mass murderer after completing his last job and being interrupted in the middle of composting it.

Will felt like the next victim. “What did you say?!?" Screw that, he was the next victim.

“I just said...I mean...eheheh...” He sweatdropped, trying hard to talk himself out of the mess, but it was too late. “I should better not get in your way, otherwise, you can put any family planning on ice.”

“Wrong thing to say...” Karen spit out.

Will wanted to say something along the lines of ‘d’oh’, but there was even no time for that. Sabrina had started to spurt after him. Will yelped before he realized that he was better off running away, doing exactly so.

After a few rounds of chasing, which would have amused anyone had there be anyone around that was capable of being amused right now, Sabrina finally caught up with Will and pinned him against a tree, just like she had done with Karen minutes ago.

Will looked up at heaven and started to pray that she wouldn’t hurt the crown jewels too much. He was too young to get neutered.

Sabrina held his shoulders tight, snuggling closer up to him. He winced when he could feel her kneecap up his leg. He didn’t want to be a eunuch, even if he was going to be her eunuch...

She smiled and pulled herself up, her lips less than an inch away from his neck. “Children, eh? I’ll think about that...” She whispered right into his ear.

Then, she suddenly let him go with a smile and walked away, while Will slumped against the tree, too, blinking and wondering what had just happened, yet being incredible happy about being completely himself still.

End of Chapter 7, Part Five (and definitely the *last* part of Chapter 7 XD)
__________________
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
~*~Infinity~*~
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
  #69    
Old February 28th, 2010, 12:30 AM
Crazy Packers Fan
Gym Leader
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
This last part of chapter 5 was as always well-written, and it certainly serves the story well. It makes perfect sense, I like where it's going. I especially like that Cynthia's planning something evil. Unfortunately there wasn't enough of her in this part.

I wasn't too big of a fan of "nice" Karen, and I was even less of a fan of raging Sabrina. Sabrina of all people would be someone who could control her emotions, and take revenge in a more subtle way. But here she comes off as really mean. I don't like Sabrina as a tsundere. That's just not her character.

Anyway, very much looking forward to the next chapter, where maybe that Espeon Will caught will end up paying dividends for him...
  #70    
Old March 14th, 2010, 12:34 PM
Psychic*Absol's Avatar
Psychic*Absol
Psychic Student
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: on earth
Age: 24
Nature: Quirky
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Business as usual, chapter not beta-read. Will's backstory is, of course, fanon, but that poor guy has nearly no story at all in the games, so I gave him one. =3 Nothing more to say, I guess. =3

Chapter 8: Incision

Hours later, the three trainers had arrived at the league’s headquarters and since they hadn’t spotted even a tip of Cynthia’s coat yet, they felt safe enough to treat themselves a coffee or a tea respectively at a small café near the building. It was still warm, despite being almost 9 pm, and even better, the stars in the sky above were clearly visible due to the fresh and clean mountain air.

Karen, who had been walking in a rather embarrassing kind of way for the rest of the trip, literally fell onto her chair and gave off a deep sigh. “Finally! Couldn’t walk anymore, seriously...anymore and you might had have to carry me...” Sabrina’s glance was enough to shut her off. For a few seconds at least. That, and she changed the topic, just as Will was getting inside the café to see if there was still some waiter awake.

“I must admit, I wasn’t completely honest when I said that he trusted you completely...” She leaned her head on her right arm, running her other hand through her hair. Sabrina blinked. Karen’s hair seemed almost like liquid silver in the moonlight. She wasn’t ugly at all, the psychic had to admit. It wouldn’t have been such a big surprise if Will had fallen for her. But then, no man really seemed to fall for Karen on his own free will, so one, there was something fishy about the dozens of Karen’s bedtime stories, and second, she seemed to use her mind control more frequently than Sabrina had originally expected it. Karen also looked a lot older than ‘just’ twenty-six, and while it wouldn’t surprise the psychic if the dark trainer had ‘doctored’ her ID a bit in that aspect, assumptions could deceive.

“So? What do you mean?” Sabrina looked to the door of the café, wondering when Will would come back. She could really do with a cup of tea after this stressful day, to fall asleep later easier.

Karen sighed, and looked away, surprisingly not daring to look Sabrina in the eye anymore. “Really, sweetie, I’m not the one to break it to you, but Will has some secrets that you should better get told about, or else your relationship might collapse under its weight.”

Sabrina raised an eyebrow, but didn’t really believe Karen. She had no reason to. She still didn’t feel as if she should trust the woman who had nearly backstabbed her with a reason as stupid as the combined force of the girl’s army that tried to separate her from Will. And it wasn’t as if any secret could really break them apart, was it? After all, she had her secrets, too, and just as she didn’t feel too inclined about telling Will about them, he had the right to stay quiet about his secrets as well. It was fully his decision.

“Heh, didn’t think that they would still be open at this time, but everything’s different in the Indigo Plateau, hehe. You can even go into a café at 9 pm and you won’t get robbed. Not even by the owners!” Will laughed as he sat down with the cups, then suddenly noticed the chilly atmosphere. “Um, something’s wrong?”

Karen looked at him with the slightest hint of a smirk and stood up, taking her cup of midnight black coffee as she did so, placing a note on the table. “5th April 1989.” She paused. “Pay up for me, boy. I’ll leave you two alone.” She silently disappeared into the darkness of the night.

Sabrina raised an eyebrow. She was completely clueless, yet Will...

He had clenched his fist and stood up, staring after Karen. “Hey, wait! How can you...Karen! Wait up! Don’t you dare...this is...” He closed his eyes tightly, snarling unknown words. He had his back to her, so Sabrina couldn’t see her expression, but did she have to guess, she would say that he was angry, deeply angry. But why...?

Then it dawned on her. 5th April 1989 had been the day that...

“...the Pokemon Center of Teak City was robbed by a 14-year old trainer...”

Sabrina gulped. Now it couldn’t be a coincidence anymore. Will was twenty-four, so, ten years ago, he had been fourteen. And the father of said boy was a George Bender...

Will turned around, smiling weakly. “Yeah, George’s my dad...” He whispered, as if answering her thoughts instinctively, sitting down, his head and shoulders hanging as he didn’t dare to look Sabrina into the eyes, staying quiet. He was ashamed, Sabrina could see and feel that, but she wasn’t sure if she should feel sorry for him yet or not.

“But, but...why, Will?!” She stared at him, shaking her head as she did so, not really believing her ears. “I mean...a Pokemon Center of all things!!! Pokemon Centers don’t have anything worth enough to steal, not even enough money! You were a trainer, you had to know that there was nothing! Pokemon Centers have nothing of their own, to rob them is...well, it’s like robbing a baby!” She said, taking a sip of her tea.

Will sighed and fought with words. This was a dark and embarrassing, very embarrassing chapter of his life. He was so ashamed of it that he had actually tried to cover it from Lance, but the head of the league had known about it before actually; as he was in charge of organizing the old documents of the league, so hiding it was of no use anymore. Yet, it seemed to have been nothing too important or criminal in Lance’s eyes, as he hadn’t interrogated him; neither had informed the public about Will’s lapse.

Grimly, the elite trainer decided that he would have gladly taken Lance’s interrogation over that of his girlfriend any day.

“Well.” He paused. He didn’t even know where to start. Truthfully, he had his reasons on why he had tried to rob a Pokemon Center, but he felt that he was not ready to reveal them to Sabrina yet. He didn’t want to drive her off...

Shyly, he looked up at her and managed to bear a small smile. “I was too afraid of robbing a bank, for starters...”

Sabrina rolled her eyes. “Great, genius! As if robbing a bank is so much better...”

Will smiled at this, before his head hang down in shame again. “I know...”

Sabrina waited for a response, but when none came, she sighed deeply. “I’ve noticed that you seem to value money more than many of the other elite trainers, but...was it really so bad?”

He looked up at her. Maybe, just maybe, he could trust her enough to tell, maybe... Will sighed. She was his girlfriend, she deserved to know, and besides, there was no way he could snuggle himself out now. “Yeah, it...kinda was. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen the suburbs of Teak City, but...”

“You mean Teak’s scum ghetto? The one that’s flooded with immigrants?”

Will winced and Sabrina quickly apologized, not knowing that her words would hurt him so much.

The man sighed. “Yeah, exactly that. Though it’s not so full of immigrants anymore, most of them have been there for over fifty years now, so they’re already in the second or third generation, and you can’t really call them immigrants anymore...they’re pretty okay, they even speak our language pretty fluently...aside from the usual accent, that is.” He smiled. “My family’s not one of them, though. Not technically, at least. Been there for over six generations, heh.”

Sabrina took another sip of her tea. “That doesn’t answer my question...” She paused. “Though I have to say, from what I heard about the suburbs...the situation’s there not pretty.”

Will nodded. “Not pretty at all, indeed. You can survive there, of course, otherwise, I wouldn’t be here, heh. But, like I said, absolutely no jobs there, crime’s all around, hygiene’s a foreign word, drugs and alcohol on the other hand are common, children not going to school and instead teaming up in gangs and all that stuff.” He sighed. “I know it all, I’ve been around it, heck, I grew up in the middle of that mess.” He looked to the side. “You can’t get it through to you, though. You have to get used to it, ignore it...otherwise, you’ll get mad. Or you become part of the system, and then, you drown in it. Down and down the spiral, until you’re at the end and dead. I’ve seen people who were happy to get into prison, because there you get a bed and food. And then they get out and die of hunger.” He trembled. “I’ve seen Pokemon used as weapons, drugged Pokemon, pumped with steroids and...awful stuff. ” He could see Sabrina paling, but she tried to keep her calm face, even though the storm raging behind was more than visible. “I didn’t want to be part of that...I wanted to get out. And, surprise, what’s the only way for a young, but poor boy to get out of the ghetto? Pokemon training. Take it seriously, aim for your goal, and train, and train...don’t return home.” He swallowed hard. “Of course, there is the problem of money. Even I did not win every battle, and the money you get from the league’s a joke. Can’t survive off that, and I learned to survive with nearly nothing.” He snorted. “Because that’s what my family had to spare for me. Nothing. I remember being hungry, Sabrina, and my Pokemon do as well. That’s what we were most of the time until I really got the hang of battling and started to win enough money to live a life. Before that...well, I was insane enough to rob a Pokemon Center. Insane, and desperate.” He smiled weakly. “That robbing was actually the first time in four years that I had to contact my family again...the league, or more precisely, Charles Goodshow, fortunately, turned a blind eye when he was told about our misery and the only thing needed to get me out of trouble was an apology letter...” He laughed. “He remembers to this day and I think he still hopes that my siblings turn out as ‘noble’ as me...” Will sighed again. “But I doubt it, as my parents didn’t have the money to support me on my Pokemon journey, and the other eight children will...”

Sabrina spit out the tea she had just drunk.

EIGHT CHILDREN?!?!?”

Will blinked. “Um, yeah...heh...” He sweatdropped. “I didn’t tell you about my siblings, did I?”

Sabrina shook her head, as pale as the moon. “Eight...wait, no...nine children. ...ARE YOUR PARENTS MAD?!?!?”

Will blinked, staring at her, before he broke out with laughter. “They hardly are, Sabrina dear. They hardly are.” He calmed down. “In the society I grew up, having nine children is not an exception.”

Sabrina coughed, fearing that her heart just stopped in shock. “Don’t tell me that’s the average number...”

Will almost spit out his own coffee when he had to laugh again, but stopped himself just in time. “Nah, I suppose the average number is about four or so, but heh...” He sighed. “You’re right, I...grew up in kinda the big family, no?”

“Very big family...” Sabrina mused, thinking of her own parents and how that was all she could call ‘family’.

He sighed. “Might as well give you a few details, eh?” Sabrina didn’t nod, but she looked at him with interest. “All in all, I have five brothers and three sisters. I’m...” He paused to think. “The fifth, I think. Yes, the fifth. Three older brothers, two younger brothers, the twin girls are younger, one sister is older.” He looked up so register Sabrina’s reaction, who had paled again. She still was quiet stunned and knew that it would take her a long time grasping the fact that she would have nearly a dozen brothers and sisters-in-law- taken that she and Will ever got married, she realized with a quick blush. Regularly, it was normal for fiancées to meet the parents and the family of their future husbands, and vice verse of course, but she felt a bit uneasy at that thought...did she really want to meet with some family who lived in poverty? In a ghetto? She was obviously not used to that, while Saffron did have its own kind of ghettos, they were not half as bad as Teak’s, from what she knew. But then...if they had managed to produce such a handsome man like Will, they couldn’t be completely terrible...could they?

Sabrina coughed politely, and Will stopped, yet she did not know what to say. She had the feeling that everything she could say would add salt to the wound, a wound that had not completely closed over, as Will had kept this away from her. It was something very personal, and only now could she understand how much he trusted her when he allowed her to know about his background.

Will smiled silently, before sighing. “No, I don’t know why my parents decided to have so many children, they never told me, heh. I know that they themselves have many siblings, I have about nine uncles and three or four aunts, and I doubt that is even all of them, as I have never met some of them in my whole life. While a lot of them live close, the other part decided to do it my way and get away as far as possible. Dunno what happened to them...” He waited again, but Sabrina stayed quiet, staring at him with a calm, stoic face. It was a bit much for her to take, and she was still trying to grasp it all. “Maybe...” And he leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms behind his head and staring into the starry sky. “Maybe they wanted to even out the gender imbalance in my family. You see, we have way more guys than girls...before my first sister was born, my parents had three boys. And after her...” He started to laugh. “Well, there I came. Another boy. Though probably the most girlish out of all of them, at least in their way of definition. And then, directly after me, my twin sisters. Fits, eh? All the girls in a row...” He laughed hard, while Sabrina took a sip of her tea and raised an eyebrow. She couldn’t completely understand the joke behind, but she assumed that was more because of her natural talent for ignoring humour in all of its forms.

Will stopped laughing for a moment, smiling at Sabrina, before he sighed again, yet his smile stayed. “You know, we have not much space, which is, well, understandable. Not only don’t you get a big house easily in the suburban- especially not if you have a big family, and...oh, well, you might get a house with ten rooms or more, but then, out of them ten, only five are inhabitable. That is, not lethal for anyone living in them. Like the ceiling crushing down on you or Rattata eating your nose off.” He took another sip of his coffee, Sabrina being amazed at how calmly he explained all of that...mess.

“To get to the point, we have a house, but it’s not only my parents and siblings living there, but also some of my uncles and aunts. And their families.” He sighed deeply. “And they don’t have any fewer children. I’ve lost count of my cousins even before I escaped and I guess by now, I got even more...now that I think of it, my youngest brother was four, so by now, I might already have another sibling I do not even know about. Funny, isn’t it?” It was anything but funny.

“And now...everyone needed a bed, right?” His smile returned, to Sabrina’s surprise. “My older brothers are ten, eight and six years older than me, respectively, so of course they got their own rooms. Especially since most of the kids younger than them were girls, so...” He stopped. “Then there’s my sister. She’s three years older than me. And my twin sisters are two years younger than me. Then there’s a gap of five years between them and my second-youngest brother. And my youngest brother is again three years younger than him. So...” He still smiled at her, while Sabrina didn’t feel as if she was really getting it. It only explained to her that his mother at least didn’t have a child every year. Still, having nine children was...insane.

“We had three rooms. Most logically would be three children for every room, right?” He sighed. “Only bad that some of them are so far away from each other, hm? Relatively far away, at least. So my parents had the greatest idea ever...the smallest room, not much bigger than a closet, for my youngest brothers. The second-biggest for my older brothers.”

“Oh.” Sabrina got it and gulped.

“Yes. The biggest one for me and my sisters.” He chuckled. “I was forced to share my room with three girls for eight years. That forms your character, I say. While my brothers played soccer, wandered through forests, got into fights and started with drugs and weapons and Pokemon early, I was forced to listen to lectures about make-up and dresses.” He stopped chuckling, shaking his head. “You see, I was forced to grow into a gentleman. My sisters wouldn’t have allowed anything else. I had to please them or else life would have ended up as a pain in the butt for me. These twelve years taught me more about manners, women and what they want from men than any lifestyle magazine or show could ever have. And after a while, it even ended up as fun. And useful. You see, when people see that you come from the lowest part of society they can imagine, they don’t expect anything from you. They don’t expect you to be gentle and well-mannered and careful, you know? I guess a greater part of my luck and my later reputation comes from that. Besides,” He shrugged. “I like being seen as a noble man now. It something not even Lance really has. He’s the super hero, I’m the gentleman.” He winked at her. “And while I have no numbers, I assume I have just as many fangirls as he has.” Will stopped, taking her hand, lifting it up to his face. “But I was never fascinated by them as I was by you, my dear.”

Sabrina allowed herself to let a blush escape. She was too tired to hide it, besides, she didn’t want to hide it either. Not from him, at least.

Will sighed and leaned back, looked at a clock that was hanging from the wall of the café. “Already ten pm, my dear...we should head off if we want to get into our hotel rooms in time, before they close.” He laughed. “I’m not sure about you, but I certainly don’t want to sleep in the wilderness anymore. Although...” He winked at her. “I admit, I am quite sure that you neither want to sleep on the floor tonight.” Sabrina nodded. To tell the truth, she was very tired. She had fought several hard battles today, one even against her boyfriend, and the emotional torment she had been through was straining her nerves and body. She hadn’t told Will yet about their battle, but she planned on doing so, soon. If possible, tomorrow morning, when she had caught a bit of sleep and felt more at ease and relaxed. Now she just wanted to sleep.

Will got up and yawned, when he suddenly heard some footsteps behind. He turned around, surprised to see Karen move out of the darkness again, as if she hadn’t been away at all. He tensed, suddenly getting the feeling that this might just have been the case and all the time, the dark trainer had been hiding in the shadows and spying on them. He didn’t like that, he didn’t want to have anyone hear his story that detailed, neither did he want to see someone share gossip about it. Karen was the least likely to do that, though.

“Don’t worry, Will, I’ve heard nothing new.” Karen answered his thoughts, coming closer and touching his cheek with one of her over dimensional finger nails. Will shivered, her nails were cold like ice. Sabrina, on the other hand, was too tired to torture Karen’s reproduction organs again, so she just glared at her. “All you’ve said is old stuff for me, as I already got to know that from yourself when you were under my control.” Will felt the urge to ram his leg into inappropriate regions himself. “Never mind, I’ve got some...news for you.” Both tensed, as they still knew that Cynthia was around and they knew she could be up to something, and most likely was.

“I’m incredible sorry about what I caused...”

“Yeah, sure...”

“Yeah, sure...”

Will and Sabrina stared at each other, mesmerized that they had said the same thing at the same time.

Karen coughed. “I AM. And therefore...” She snickered. “You know, Will and I share a hotel room. I, heh, decided to quit my room for tonight and trade it with Sabrina.”

“What?” Aforementioned woman blurted out, not believing what she had just heard. No one had told her about this, it was...

Karen nodded. “Yes, sweety, you’ll have the chance to sleep with your honey tonight. It’s up to you what you make out of it, heh. You can take me literally, if you want to...” Sabrina was again too tired to hide the blush. Was she really ready to think about it, even? She didn’t want to risk her relationship; neither did she want to rush it. She felt uncomfortable, and wondered why, when it was almost well-known that she had already slept in the same bed as him.

“But, but...” She tried, her voice quavering. “I never agreed to this!”

Karen smiled. “I know, but the hotel manager and Lance already did, so it’s not as if you have any chance...”

Sabrina knew that there was no chance to argue with that, so she turned to Will, snarling. “You’re going to sleep on the couch, understood?”

“We have no couch...”

“Then the ground, whatever!” The psychic gym leader whined, turning away from the two, while Will and his aching back prayed that she wasn’t being serious...

~~~~~~~

Not even a mile away from them, a lonely woman sat in her hotel room on a lonely, slightly uncomfortable chair made out of reed that crunched with every move she made. She had already put a cushion underneath her as to make the chair at least a bit softer, for she knew she was going to sit in it for several hours, probably the whole night. The man behind her slept with a quiet snore coming from him. She couldn’t help but glance and smirk at him. She was going to like the sight he would be once he woke up and the league would laugh over it, too. She just had to make sure that the stilettos would stay on, but there was nothing a small speck of glue couldn’t fix.

Turning back, she pushed a longer strand of pale, blond hair out of her face, her grey night dress rustled, barely hiding her silky skin. Pushing the button on a black plastic remote control, she watched the small TV set in her room flickering to life. The screen gave off an eerie, ghostly, silvery light, enlightening her face and chest, revealing that underneath the night dress, she wore nothing. She wasn’t cold, for coldness was close to her element, and the spring was coming to an end, so the nights were getting warmer and warmer.

Cynthia closed her eyes as the video recorder gave off a quiet click and the video tape started to play again. The pictures weren’t as blurry and black and white as the security camera videos back in Sinnoh’s league headquarters she was used to, a sign that J really made use of the newest technology. She liked that, she didn’t expect anything lower from her associates, and J was one of the few she got along. Kind of.

Cynthia bit her lip as she saw what she had expected to see deep inside her heart, but had never wanted to see, consciously at least. It hurt her, her morality, her beliefs, her way of living, to some extent.

She had known that the other darkling, Karen, had put some spell on the psychic elite trainer. Now, Cynthia didn’t know what the reason was, neither did she really want to. It didn’t concern her, her plans didn’t clash with Karen’s so far. But still, she had watched the events, or rather, she was watching the events on J’s airship via the security videos she had gathered from one of J’s henchmen. She didn’t know why, she didn’t know a lot of her quirks and sometimes, she was confused by her own acting and doings, but what she did know was that she had to find out how this had played out. And why Sabrina had, in the end, forgiven her boyfriend.

This was something that had really stunned Cynthia. Stunned to the point that she thought the other woman crazy. If there was one thing Cynthia would never do- or at least one thing she had thought she would never do, it was forgiving the person that had hurt and betrayed her. But Sabrina had. She had even fought against, and for, her boyfriend, had risked injuries and psychical pain, just to get him back.

Cynthia flinched. It annoyed her, annoyed her to the point that she wanted to lash out and destroy the interior, that she wanted to...strangle something. She hated to see a fellow woman being treated like this, but now, she had the feeling that Sabrina wouldn’t feel the same way. After all, the one she had physically hurt in the end (in a way Cynthia could only snicker about) was Karen, her fellow ‘sister’. Yet, Karen was the one who had made Will cause her pain, so...was Will at fault? If Cynthia had to be honest, that was a question she couldn’t answer without feeling her stomach churn, a sign that she knew deep inside she was wrong, but wasn’t willing to show it openly. Or admit it to herself. She had always thought that she was the mistress of right and wrong, of laws and rules, as she had made the rules herself as long as she was the league champion, the true ruler and empress. But there was a level above her, a level she felt she could not simply reach. The level of true and honest emotions, and of forgiving was not opening its gates for everyone. For to truly forgive someone and overcome your own emotions, you had to be more than just a champion.

Cynthia sighed, turning off the TV and leaning back in the chair, staring at the now pitch black ceiling. She didn’t really know why, but she had the feeling that she had to forgive someone herself.

She had been wrong, and now she felt lonely. It probably was the price she had to pay for being wrong, she guessed. Sabrina now wasn’t lonely, and although her boyfriend had done things that were a lot more disgraceful, she had lived through it. And she, Cynthia, had dumped Lucian because of a forgotten date and her big ego. She was pathetic, wasn’t she?

Even if he was more at fault than Will, he should have been given a chance. Or she should have at least tried to talk with him about it. Had she talked to him, he wouldn’t have drunk until he was nearly poisoned by it and her league wouldn’t have a clown story of its own. Never mind that she had planned on corrupting Indigo’s league, that had been her little amusement for the time being, although it seemed small and unimportant right now, too. Tiny compared to the real matters of life.

Cynthia closed her eyes and when she opened them again, a transparent, black mist escaped her eyes, touching Lance and engulfing his face. The female champion turned around, her expression serious, yet with a frown. She waited. He stayed asleep. Cynthia relaxed and stood up, dropping her night dress as she did so, and then slowly slipping into the warmness of the bed, her fingers tracing Lance’s muscular chest. It was going to be their last night. A term Cynthia felt would also soon apply to the other new couple of the league, but unlike her and Lance, the dark psychic knew that they would always come back to each other. Their relationship was something special.

Listening to Lance’s calm breaths, Cynthia relaxed, imagining that the one beside her was Lucian, his silky, wavy hair tingling her nose, as he continued to read his books until noon, when she had already fallen asleep long ago. He would give her a small kiss on the forehead, as to not wake her up, stroke her hair and turn off the light, then fall asleep next to her as well, his hand still on her cheek.

With a sigh, Cynthia let herself fall into the lands of dreams, her last thought being that she had to make an important visit to a certain someone tomorrow.

End of Chapter 8, one more to go. =3
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  #71    
Old March 17th, 2010, 12:54 PM
Crazy Packers Fan
Gym Leader
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
So, I guess all the excitement in the story has subsided and we're coming to an end. You already had told me about Will's family, so there was no surprise there for me. I look forward to seeing the final chapter, especially the part with Cynthia and Lucian.
  #72    
Old March 18th, 2010, 01:13 PM
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Houndoom19
Trainer
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Gender: Male
Nature: Quiet
Sorry it took me so long to review this, I got distracted (damn you world of warcraft!). Of course, I don't really have anything useful to say that hasn't already been said... But yeah, excellent as always, a few minor grammar issues but nothing major, and it's probably just my over-analytical mind spotting out every little problem as always (sometimes useful, mostly not).

Looking forward to seeing where exactly Will ends up sleeping. :D I have a filthy mind, me and Karen should get together... Damn, now I have another story idea I'm never going to write. >.<

Totally random but I love how your Sabrina drinks tea, for some reason it really amuses me. XD Oh, and Will's lovely.
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  #73    
Old June 8th, 2010, 05:44 AM
Crazy Packers Fan
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Ever going to post the final chapter, P*A? I'm really looking forward to seeing it.
  #74    
Old June 15th, 2010, 01:13 PM
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Psychic*Absol
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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*sweatdrops* Well, now I know why I couldn't find the thread...anyways, yeah...I forgot about the last chapter. Plus I was a tiny bit lazy...oh, well. Let's finish this, right?

Chapter 9: Gentleman's Goodbey

Again, not even a mile away from Cynthia- to be exactly, just a few metres and floors, two psychics had made their way into ‘their’ hotel room, one of them slightly grumpy and uncomfortable, while at the same time trying to fight off the whole swarm of butterflies that inhabited her stomach, the other more relaxed, his arms crossed behind his head as he had slipped out of his suit and was now taking a shower.

Sabrina forced herself to stare at her toes, not daring to look up at the warm light that came from the bath room. She was sitting on Karen’s bed and while she was glad that the darkling didn’t like perfume as much as another certain female colleague of her, who had made a whole business out of this, the scent that was so much not her own still hang heavily in the air and chilled her off. She felt cold, but not exactly because she hadn’t slipped underneath the bed sheet yet. She didn’t know the true reason yet.

“You were right, there’s nothing better than a hot shower after being in the mountains for days. A kingdom’s nothing compared to the comforts of modern life. ..ehm?” Will blinked, realising that Sabrina didn’t look up, staring intensely at her feet as if they had suddenly mutated into something extraordinarily interesting. It wasn’t until he noticed how faintly red her cheeks had turned that he realized why she was acting off. “I’m not naked, don’t worry. There’re towels for a reason, you know.” He laughed, yet shaking with laughter was not the best idea when you weren’t exactly ‘clothed’ in a narrower sense...

“Oops...”

“Eeep!!!” Sabrina looked up and choked, blushing even deeper as her head nearly collided with the mattress as she was trying to find a hiding spot as soon as possible, cursing Karen and her idiotic sexist ideas loudly with every breath in words that did certainly fit the situation.

Will sweatdropped uncomfortably. “Sorry...”

“You better be...” Sabrina’s muffled answer came from the depths of the sheets, her back being the only visible part of her body anymore.

There was a moment of silence as Will rummaged through his suitcases to find his night clothes. “You don’t like how I look?” He asked with the slightest tinge of a subplot, something he was sure Sabrina would notice.

There was another pause until she answered in a surprisingly neutral voice. “It’s not that I *don’t* like it...” She whispered, a silent note to herself in that sentence that didn’t go unnoticed by Will though. ‘It’s more that I *do*...more than I wish...’ He didn’t comment.

“You can get out now. I’m dressed.”

She wouldn’t just risk it yet. “Sure?”

“Very sure.” He grinned.

Sabrina crawled out of her self-made cave and jumped out of the bed, walking into the bath room without trying to look at Will who had made himself comfortable in his own bed by now and was watching her. Still, she couldn’t help glancing at him and snickering. “Tell me one time when you’re not wearing something extremely formal.” Will shook his head while smiling. There was one time, but he would better not voice it for she was not in a mood for jokes.

It didn’t take her long to finish showering, unlike some other certain woman, she didn’t believe in spending more time in the bathroom than necessary. She guessed that it also mattered that she hardly used any make-up. The only thing really eating up time was washing and combing her hair, for it was getting longer and longer. A bit too long, she mused sadly. One day, she would have to cut it, but that was certainly not today. And probably not tomorrow either.

She entered the bed room again, unlike Will, she had undressed in the bathroom and was already wearing her night dress. “You look beautiful.” Even though he was grinning, Sabrina knew that he was being honest and couldn’t help blushing again. She liked being called beautiful, it wasn’t as if that had happened all too often to her yet. Men just didn’t seem to take much interest in a female that could read their minds and turn them into dolls...

“You, too...kinda.” She answered, not really knowing what would have been a more fitting answer, so she just went with the easiest. Will laughed with a wink, letting himself fall back onto the sheets and closing his eyes. Sabrina glanced at a clock on his nightstand. It was almost midnight. She sighed, she was slowly getting sleepy as well, so she was better off trying to get to sleep soon, too.

Flopping onto her bed as well, she nearly scared Will off who had been half-asleep already and was startled by the sudden noise of the bed next to him squeaking with the last of its strength as it tried to hold its pieces together. The man blinked, before smiling. “Don’t even think that Lance gave us some cheap second-class, three star hotels. The beds were in great condition...until Karen used them.”

Sabrina snorted, musing that she should have known...

Turning around, she faced Will and reached over to his bed. Surprisingly, the beds were not far away from each other, but Sabrina assumed that this was because the room was usually for couples and not for colleagues. Considering this, she had to be happy that it wasn’t a double bed. One, because she didn’t want to ruin her knee cap by kicking Karen again, and second, because she...

Sabrina shook her head. Too many thoughts were spinning through her head right now.

“Good night, love.” She whispered, kissing him as she turned off the lights before leaning back and falling back into her own bed.

Will was still up, staring at her as he tried to work up the courage to ask her something. He had noticed it before, but now that she had changed clothes, it was even more visible. “Dear?”

“Hm?” It wasn’t much for an answer, but he figured that she was still awake. Sort of.

“I must ask you a question...I hope you don’t mind...” He coughed. Sabrina waited, but before she could voice her thoughts, Will spoke again. “I saw that mark on your neck...” A slight, silent gasp, but in the complete darkness of the room it could have been as well a loud scream for it was that audible. Will frowned, knowing that he had found the beehive. “I just want to know...who did this? Who hurt you? I...don’t want to see you hurt, so...” He trailed off, still staring at her.

Sabrina was staring at her feet again, gripping the bed sheets between her cold fingers so hard the fibres were getting ripped apart. She didn’t want to answer, she really didn’t, her stomach was nearly turned upside down at the thought of giving him the right answer. How easy it would be to lie to him, he had no memory of what had happened, and it was unlikely that he would ever get it back. So, if Karen didn’t miraculously decided to interfere again, he would never get to know the true story.

But she would lie to him again.

“You. It was you.”

He was silent. Stunned. “Wha...”

“Karen had you under her control, remember? She made you attack me...I tried to escape by teleporting, I didn’t want to hurt and knock you out, so I had to use another strategy...yet you found me and strangled me. But it wasn’t ‘you’ per se, Will.” She sniffed. “You were controlled, it wasn’t your fault, it really wasn’t...”

He wasn’t looking at her anymore. “I could have killed you.” He was shocked.

Sabrina was as well. Her eyes had adjusted to the darkness by now and she could see Will staring with lifeless, cold eyes at his hands, the very hands that had grabbed her neck. He wasn’t wearing his mask and it made his face even more mysterious. She had to admit that even though she could call herself the one who had seen him the most without his mask on, she was still not used to the sight of his bare, naked and scarred face. He was different from all the other men she had come across so far, and it wasn’t overly his mask that made him unique.

Sighing, she got out of her bed and knelt down on his, embracing him silently, letting her head rest on his shoulder and nuzzling into his soft lavender hair. “You wouldn’t have killed me. Never. You’re too soft to fight fiercely on your one, let alone kill anyone.” She whispered, smiling. “You would be a total failure at a serious psychic fight.”

He turned his head around, stroking her hair and smiling at her calm face as he did so. “You mean I would be too inexperienced to put up any fight?”

She paused. “No. You wouldn’t dare to strike me or any other psychic.”

He sighed deeply. “True.” Another pause. “I’m too much of a gentleman to even touch a woman.”

“Aw, now I’m disappointed.” Sabrina snickered before she could control herself, suddenly wondering why she had said that and what she had meant by. She coughed, but thankfully, Will didn’t press any further. Sabrina assumed that it still was some kind of shock for him to realize that he had been completely controlled by the dark trainer, his colleague of all things, and that he had tried to strangle his girlfriend in this state of mind. The psychic gym leader know that he would be close to blaming himself, but again, the question of true guilt couldn’t be answered completely in this case. Who could really blame him for trusting Karen? And Karen had, after all, still control of the situation and even Sabrina, who wouldn’t deny being biased towards dark trainers, doubted that the female elite trainer would have gone as far as having Will actually hurt her seriously. That was just a bit too much irony.

“Uhm...”

She blinked. “Yes?”

“Would you mind going into your own bed now? I mean, nothing against you, but I want to sleep and I doubt you want to stay in my bed and...argh, why does Karen have to have such crazy ideas?” He exclaimed, throwing himself backwards on his bed and closing his eyes angrily. Sabrina couldn’t help but snicker. She didn’t want to form the question, but there was something that told her that he felt slightly ‘uncomfortable’ by their closeness.

But there was something throwing her off as well, and only now did she realized that it should have thrown her off a long time ago.

“Didn’t you say that you had an apartment already?”

Will opened his eyes again, his arms crossed behind his head. “I didn’t say anything, but yeah, I have one.”

‘Must have unconsciously been reading his mind then...’ Sabrina mused, amazed at how instinctively using her powers had now become. “...why do you sleep in a hotel room of all things then?!?”

Will blinked, then giggled uncomfortably. “Well, you see...I have an apartment...but no furniture yet.”

Sabrina nearly crashed into her own bed.

~~~~~~~

Far away from the two couples that clearly enjoyed their night together, a lonely woman tried to get rid of the headache that was forming behind her head as well. She wondered if she should dare to take some pills that would reduce the pain- or not. J was experienced enough to know that all the industrial advertisement promises were just that- promises. If you wanted something to be done right, you had to do it yourself. Sadly, she was not a pharmacist; otherwise, she would know what to use.

J sighed and let her head rest on her arm. At least Cynthia had not checked up on her yet. Something, maybe an instinct, told J that she was safe for the moment and that Cynthia would not bother her so soon anymore. Even better. She needed some rest for now. For now and the next weeks. Screw her waiting clients, she was going on holiday for now. Or she would visit a spa. Or maybe going to the sea. Whatever. As long as it was in Sinnoh and far, far away from Sinnoh’s league headquarters.

The neon lights were bothering her, the darkness outside was bothering her, the freezing air was bothering her, heck, everything was bothering her.

And Harry the henchman had the courage to go up to her and cough.

She sighed. “Tell me what you want before this headache kills me and I randomly decide to drag you into hell with me.” At least hell was very likely going to be a place she could warm her cold butt up.

Harry coughed again. “I have interesting, possibly profitable news for you.”

Normally, the news of making money would make her jump out of her seat even if she was in a deep coma, but today, J felt more like a mummy. A very dead mummy, not a walking one like the ones in very bad C-Movies.

Still, she sighed, and even that noise sounding like an arriving train in her strained brain cells, and she started to rub her temples again. “Speak.”

“There are rumours that the three remaining crystal bells of the Tin Tower in Ecruteak City are being carried out for some restoration work. The transport of the bells is heavily guided and kept very secretive. Still, it should be no problem to break through it with the airship.”

J had been on the verge of screaming and exploding at the mention of the name of a city in...this country, this damned country that had started all this crazy mess she had underwent. But she restrained herself in the hope that there might be some...well, hope. Some chance that even in her weakened state of mind, she would be able to start and finish this mission, this delicate arrangement that lay directly underneath her nose. She knew that there were some people who would certainly pay a convincing price for these bells, seeing as they were made of a mysterious, but rare and valuable material.

“Remaining three...weren’t there supposed to be four of them?” She asked.

Harry nodded. “Yes, but one of them was destroyed during an incident with some members of Team Rocket.”

“Team Rocket...interesting. So they tried to get the bells as well.” J wondered if she should steal the bells and then try to sell them to Team Rocket herself, seeing as there was certainly interest on behalf of Kanto’s residential criminal team.

But then, getting in contact with Team Rocket meant nearly as much trouble as dealing with Cynthia, and she doubted that she was in the condition to risk it. She couldn’t dare to make any kind of mistake, even with the soft cushion of Cynthia’s donation behind her head. Besides, hadn’t she already decided for herself to take a holiday now? One where she would let go of all stress and worries? Stealing wasn’t one activity that made her relax; it was rather the opposite, but she wouldn’t trade this kind of life for any other. Not even the legal way. Her brother had proved in more than one way that either way made you go insane sooner or later, with just the tiny difference that you were a richer madman if you choose the illegal way in the right moment.

J waved her hand off, making Harry blink. “Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll take...well..” She sighed. They had earned it, somehow. “We’ll take a holiday now. Tell the officers and other henchmen that the next weeks are off from work. We’ll go...let’s see, where might we go...” She stared at the wall, going through Sinnoh’s landscape as she rummaged through her childhood memories. “Canalave City might be a good place.” ‘At the other end of Sinnoh...far away enough from Cynthia, I guess.’ J sighed. It wasn’t as if there was a place she could really hide away from Cynthia, even if she decided to camp on the moon, the Sinnoh champion would find some way.

“Ehm, sorry to ask, but did I hear right? We have some days off...?” Harry’s eyes started to glisten.

J felt disgusted, but then, she was too tired to say anything. “Yes, some days off...and don’t even dare to ask how many!” She hollered, her voice suddenly rising as her headache did as well.

Harry scrambled off, leaving J alone in her darkly lit room, wondering for herself how many days it would take her to recover. Maybe she would never.

~~~~~~~

The sun had risen early, due to the season of summer coming closer and closer, and the air was warm. A slight breeze was edging through the open windows, cooling the strong rays of light that touched the two bed sheets. A slender, pale arm had uncovered itself from the shell of the white bed sheet and was hanging loosely out of the bed, the hand equally loosely entangling with another, slightly stronger and bulkier one, though the difference was so minimal that no one would have guessed that the second hand belonged to a man.

A slight groan escaped from one of the beds, its inhabitant starting to wake up. The sheets started to rustle, falling off the bed as the young woman pushed herself up and stared at the scenery around here, confused for a moment. “Hm, wait, tis ain’t mai room..” She whispered, falling into dialect for a moment before noticing it and chiding herself for it. She was a gym leader and even though the original accent of Saffrons was strong, it was not in her nature to use it.

She had an excuse, though. She was still only half-awake. That didn’t mean, though, that the other person in the room had the same excuse.

Yawning, Sabrina rubbed her eyes, smiling as she watched the few clouds high above gliding through the sky, white and fluffy as the rest of the sky was painted in a beautiful faint, soft blue. It was going to be a wonderful day.

She started to look around the room, slowly starting to remember where she was and why she was here. She sighed, giving up cursing Karen. The night had gone by quickly and without any interruptions, she was glad about that. Not that she had really thought something would have happened, but it didn’t matter in the end. Now she just wondered if Karen had spent an equally good night in her room and if she really hadn’t forgotten anything in her old room. Who knows what Karen would have done to her stuff in case she found it...

Glancing around, Sabrina noticed that Will was still asleep, lying on his stomach and hugging the pillows. She had to giggle.

“Rise and shine, sweety.”

“Mh...jus’ five mo’ minutes, kay, mum?” He mumbled, turning his head in the other direction and continuing to sleep.

Sabrina frowned, yet she found his behaviour cute anyway and slowly and silently crawled over to his bed, which wasn’t all that hard considering that there wasn’t even a feet between them. She had grabbed one of her pillows and held it upright above her head, ready to strike at any moment.

Will yawned and turned around again, lying on his back, his arms crossed behind his head. “It feels so early, doesn’t it, ho- wah!” He yelped as suddenly, Sabrina jumped onto his bed and hit his face straight with the pillow, engulfing him in whiteness and a tornado of feathers. Never mind that the staff of the hotel wouldn’t find it so amusing later to see their property destroyed by a love struck young woman, after all, Karen had already demolished their bed pretty bad, and they hadn’t complaint so far...

“Take that!” She laughed, she laughed so hard that she nearly choked. Will was shrieking beneath the pillow, probably in shock, and she found that so amusing, so absolutely amusing. Never before in her life had she seriously tried to pull a prank on someone herself, always leaving that to Haunter and then laughing together with him. But now she had come with an idea by herself and even quite spontaneously, if she had to say.

Slowly, she fell down onto her hands, the pillow still on Will’s face but not in her hands anymore as she tried to calm down and breath properly again. Tears were forming in her eyes as she shook her head. “You should have heard yourself! You sound like a girl! A scared girl!”

Will took the pillow off his face, seemingly fighting with it, too, as he had no apparent idea how to get it off since he thought that Sabrina was still pushing it down. After a while, he managed to throw it to the side, staring at Sabrina with wide, shocked eyes. “What...?” For a moment, he was completely confused, but then, he realized his girlfriend’s prank and started to laugh, too. Suddenly, without Sabrina expecting it, he pulled her close to him, making her lose her balance. Her hair touched his cheeks and nose and fell over it like the sheets fell over the beds, covering it completely. The tips of their noses touched each other, and after a moment of shock, Sabrina started to giggle. They were acting like children. Big children in love, though.

“Good morning, love.” He whispered, and kissed her, his hand stroking her hair and their tongues entwined in their own style of dancing.

“WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

Until a scream interrupted them and made them both jump.

Will blinked; he was sitting next to the bed, his legs crossed oddly over each other and half of the bed sheet wrapped around them. He looked to his side and found Sabrina still on the bed, although with the visibly emptier pillow on her head, hiding half of her face, making her look like a cross between a one-eyed pirate and a ghost.

“What was that?” She asked, turning to him with the pillow slip still on her head. He had to bit his lip to stop himself from giggling, but then again, the shock of hearing the scream made his teeth clatter anyway, so he mused it wouldn’t matter anyway.

“I don’t know. And I’m not sure if I want to look what it was either...”

He nodded, but before he could come up with an answer, they became aware of the loud noise outside and finally, the words became clear enough to understand them.

“...can’t be serious! This can’t be true! Oh please, don’t let it be true, I have a reputation to loose...” There was a whining in...Lance’s voice? Will blinked. There was a very similar ring in that voice that made him almost sure that is was indeed his boss, but he had never heard Lance cry like this and he had doubted that Lance would be even able to produce such degrading tones.

They both froze though when they heard a second voice coming from down the stairs, clearly female and all too familiar.

“Oh, Lance, sweet boy, you don’t have much more of a reputation to save, so you might as well walk out in the public and dance the Psyduck dance.” Cynthia. She was snickering. Sabrina felt herself shivering.

Slowly, Will got out of his bed, and while Sabrina was worried about him going out with only his night suit- yes, he was wearing a kind of suit at night, too, she was glad that he was doing it, with her staying in the room and waiting.

The door thankfully didn’t squeak as Will opened it, but what he saw could have made him squeak, too.

It was Lance that was sure. But if Will had thought so far that pink hair was ridiculous enough that only the head of the state could get away with it, he hadn’t known.

Lance was naked. Except for the pink, too scanty to be legal and too pink to be healthy and too plushy to be serious shorts.

And there was the fact that Lance was wearing make-up, never even mind that it was ridiculously loud pink make-up. Even the make-up couldn’t cover up the false, overly long pink fingernails, though.

All in all, Will guessed, the pink stilettos Lance was wearing were just fitting his new outfit, weren’t they?

The psychic trainer burst out with laughter and fell back into his room, holding his stomach since he was cackling so hard it hurt.

Sabrina stared at him with a hard to read expression, one eyebrow raised. “But otherwise, you feel okay, right?”

~~~~~~~

Her little toy was free again, her little toy boy. To be honest, she wasn’t sad. Not at all. She was rather...amused. Poor Lance. There was a lot of explaining he would have to do now to his comrades, and to make it worse, there was not much he could explain to them. His memory was as scanty as his pants were and she, she would move a single finger to tell him the truth. There was no reason to, and neither could Lance blackmail her into doing that. Not as if he would, anyway. He knew her power, he knew it very well, and he would be a fool to attack her once again.

Cynthia sighed on her way to the hospital, feeling somewhat empty and uncomfortable. She hadn’t announced her arrival, not to anyone, not even the doctors, so they couldn’t warn him anyway. But she supposed that he was right about to feel her anyway. As lousy as a psychic he was, there was no doubt in her that he couldn’t miss her auras, her white and, more obviously, her dark one. He would know that she was about to meet with him again, that she knew.

Yet she didn’t know what he was thinking. Oh, how easy it would be to find out, but it was exactly that. Too easy. She was sick of things being too easy for her, she wanted a challenge. She already had undergone some sort of challenge, as her mission to manipulate Indigo’s league had backfired. Kind of. Again, it was a double-edged kind of sword. She had decided to come back to Lucian just because of her plan’s failing, and yet, she did not feel satisfied by the current events. Oh, well. She would find a way to get her satisfaction. Sooner or later, whenever.

The doors opened by itself, never been touched by a finger of hers, but nobody seemed to notice. Silently, she strolled through the endless hallways, the doctors and nurses didn’t even seem to see her at all. Cynthia smiled, she knew why. Clouded in dark haze, she was nothing more than a transparent shadow for them.

Finally, she arrived at a familiar door. She opened it and walked through without looking at Lucian, staring straight ahead at the window and walking up to it, watching the summer clouds hiding the sun in a futile attempt to make temperatures drop. It wasn’t working. Neither was her calmness, her attempt to cross out Lucian’s presence and continue to ignore him until his own nervousness would make him talk.

“I’m back.”

“I see.” He nodded, his eyes darker than usually. Cynthia shuddered. His tone was colder, much more successful at making her shiver than the clouds.

“I’ve realized...some things.” Some peculiar things, things she had never been aware of before. One day, she would have to thank the psychic for it. And knock her out.

“What about your plan?” Lucian asked, not even caring for the lesson she had learned. Cynthia snorted inwardly. This was hardly the behaviour she wanted to see from him, but then again, after all she had done to him, she had to expect it.

“My plans are not longer of anyone’s concern. I’ll tell you once we’re out of here and on our way to Sinnoh again.” She wanted to sound cool and distant, but it was proving to be more difficult than usually. Maybe because she wanted to hug and kiss and embrace him more than anything, to melt into him and never be separated again. That was her only wish, and yet she couldn’t express it. At least not so openly right now.

Lucian sighed and leaned back in his bed. He wondered why he had even decided to stay in hospital even after he had been cured, but deep inside, he had felt ill no matter what the doctors did to him and thus, he had convinced them psychically to keep him here. Maybe it was also because he was...frightened of Cynthia. He didn’t want to meet her in the hotel, much less spend the night with her in the same hotel room. Not that he would have found enough space to sleep there, from the rumours he had heard, his side of the bed was occupied by the league champion of Indigo himself, and Lucian doubted that he wanted to sleep on the carpet in front of the bed.

“So...let’s be honest. Why have you come here again? I thought I was like trash for you, being thrown away as soon as I didn’t, couldn’t please you enough anymore. I see that you needed something new, and you got something new. Has Lance already become boring for you that you want to come back to me?” He knew how harsh his voice was, but he was hurt, hurt and bitter.

Cynthia sighed and sat down on the edge of his bed, finally turning her gaze from the window. “No...not really, at least. I...have realized some things. Things like how love has to be stronger than usual quarrels, and how you need to take and give in a relationship.” She knew she sounded cryptic, and she wasn’t feeling bad about it. She would have enough time to tell Lucian about her whole experience once she was sure no one was listening. “There have been people who have shown me that even when you’re hurt; it doesn’t give you the right to abandon your partner. Sometimes, he’s not being at fault, and sometimes, he doesn’t know better. In such situations, it’s better to talk instead of fight, you know. That’s the lesson I learned today. Or rather, yesterday...” She smiled at him, yet Lucian didn’t feel as if he had understood her. But that was typical for his Cynthia...he was used to it.

“And...?” He asked, with the tinge of being impatient in his voice, yet a small, mean smile played around his features.

Cynthia leaned down, pulling him into her embrace and kissing his cheek. “Will you come back to me?” She whispered right into his ear, a soft brace cooling him.

“Yes.”

~~~~~~~

There was an uncomfortable silence in the breakfast room of the elite trainers and gym leaders, and yet it had nothing to do with the fact that this was the last day of the official meeting. There was an odd aura to it...and the main cause was a very grumpy Lance with cheeks as red as tomatoes, who flinched whenever the word ‘pink’ popped up, may it be on purpose or not.

He had washed away the make-up and had re-dressed, wearing his usual cape and boots now, but the nail varnish didn’t want to go away so he had resorted to wearing gloves. His hair was naturally pink, so there was no reason to dye it, yet Lance seemed very intrigued to do that. At least for the moment, as long as people had the image of the ridiculously ‘pretty in pink’ champion. While no reporter had had the luck of catching a glimpse, or, even fortunately, a photo, the gym leaders and other elite trainers weren’t as reserved and reverent as Lance wished them to be, and word about his accident had spread quickly.

Though Sabrina wasn’t so sure if she should be happy about the original source of the rumour spreading.

“I really don’t think you should have run to Whitney the second you recovered from laughing.” She muttered, not looking Will into the eyes and staring at the plain, white wall.

“I don’t see why not. I mean, don’t you think that even, or, especially, Lance deserves some humiliation now and again? And it’s not as if it really damages his reputation anymore...his affair with Cynthia did enough of that kind.” He leaned back wish a smug smile, closing his eyes.

“You don’t even have proof...”Sabrina threw in.

“So? You believed me without seeing it with your own eyes, now, did you?” He didn’t look convinced at all.

“That’s because I’m psychic and can read your mind, silly. And yes, the image of Lance was pretty amusing. But nothing I would make fun of for the rest of my life.”

“I’m not making fun of it for the rest of my life, you know? That would get boring after a while. And I sure hope that there will come some other interesting picture for me to take advantage of. You know, I have these powers now, too, so maybe I can use that.”

Sabrina rolled her eyes. “Don’t get your hopes too high. Lance will probably try to find some way to protect himself from psychic and dark manipulation powers now that he knows the consequences of being too trusting. Don’t know how he’ll do that, but I’m sure he’ll get some personal bodyguards to take care of that, soon.” She glanced at him. “Never mind that you’re too weak to be a real threat to him, anyway. I, on the other hand...” She didn’t finish her sentence, either on purpose or because Janine had arrived at their table, sheepishly smiling with a hand behind her back.

“Hey, you two!” Glancing at her dad, who was sitting far away at a table with the Bruno and Lance, she made sure she was allowed spend some time with the older psychic trainers. Never mind that she had had a particular crush on one of them...

“I heard you managed to beat J! Congratulations! She’s really a mean woman.” Janine closed her eyes while Will and Sabrina exchanged a knowing glance. They wouldn’t tell Janine the true story; they wouldn’t tell anyone the true story. It was likely too much for the young, moral-bound ninja to take, and it was too dangerous to let anyone into this secret, for both of them knew how powerful Cynthia was. They didn’t want to drag any more persons into it, neither did Karen, who had kept surprisingly quiet about it. Though, maybe, it was not a complete surprise, as she had turned out to be more knowing than the two psychics in this case and still hadn’t decided to tell the officials about anything she had found out. It was, to some extent, calming to know that the case was sleeping for the moment, so to say. It was a sleeping beast.

“That is true. Too bad she escaped. She can still wreck havoc that way...it would have been better if we had managed to hand her over to the police.” Sabrina whispered, weighting each word after its moral and informational significance. She cast a glance at Will, who watched Janine without much of a reaction. Somewhere deep inside her, she wondered how he felt about her now, if she was still a friend, but then, she had no reason to doubt it. She only hoped that Janine’s crush would dwindle down and she would find real love soon. Well, granted, relatively soon, the girl was only fourteen, there was no desperate need for a steady relationship yet.

Janine nodded “Lance would have been proud of you, you know. He likes you two as a couple, somehow.”

“That’s because it gives the league more positive publicity...in regards to late, more embarrassing affairs an advantage Lance can’t dare to oversee...” Will mused, words carefully chosen so not to anger Sabrina. He snickered inwardly. He hadn’t even mentioned ‘pink’ and/or ‘Karen’...

“Hm, sure.” Janine smiled nervously. She still was unsure about her true feelings, for she still liked Will very much, but for the sake of her dad’s honour and reputation, Sabrina’s health and her own sanity, she had to suppress it. Deep inside the girl knew that this was an important lesson about love she had just learned, the lesson that you couldn’t always get what you want, no matter how intensely you want it, although she was still too young to grasp the whole intent.

How conveniently that Falkner chose this moment to walk by and wink at Janine...

The girl blinked and didn’t even notice the blush she gave off, as the two psychics glanced at each and chuckled.

“Ehm, uh, I’ve got...to do some things, some stuff, ehm...I’ll be off! Bye, you two!” Janine waved nervously at them while starting to run after Falkner in her usual ninja fashion, with the only difference that a real ninja wouldn’t bump twice into Chuck in an attempt to sneak up after someone...

“Young love, isn’t it sweet?” Will asked, watching Janine’s departure.

He didn’t see Sabrina’s sour smile. “Does that mean you consider me old...?”

He had fallen right into the trap, and worse, he had made up the trap himself. “No, but Janine’s younger than you anyway. And nowadays, you can hardly describe tweens’ feelings as young love anymore, kids seem to grow up much faster...” After all, Janine was ten years younger than him, and that hadn’t kept her from falling in love with him. And he had considered ninjas to be the more reasonable kind of teenagers.

She nodded, reminded of how she confused she had felt when her students had made their first, childish dates. She had passed that stage of life without making much of an entrance, and, even though it had been bothering her for a while, it didn’t seem to have much on an influence on her luck regarding relationships later in life. Excluding the various female rivals...

Will turned to her again, a bit hesitant. “Since Cynthia’s leaving tomorrow...what are you going to do with the egg? I...don’t think you can keep it, but I have no idea what else to do with it, honestly.”

Sabrina was surprised that he even remembered the egg, but then again, even she had nearly forgotten about it in the chaos of the recent days. Lowering her head and voice, she spoke. “Exactly. I don’t think I can keep it either, but what else? I can’t just give it away for free to some wandering trainer, that would look suspicious and would be irresponsible. So...for the moment, I have decided to take it with me and see what happens. It’s not as if I cannot own an Eevee, I’ll just have to find some excuse on how I got it.” She raised an eyebrow. “Just like you’ll have to convince Lance that you caught a wild Espeon by accident. Good luck on that, boy.”

“I want to see how you will convince Lance that you managed to collect the money to buy one of the finest breeds of Eevee, and even more so one still having to hatch, seeing as these can imprint on their trainers much easier and are more valuable.” He smirked.

“Touché. I admit, you nearly beat me there.” She didn’t look at him.

“Nearly?” Now it was his turn to raise an eyebrow.

“You’ll never beat me, Will.”

~~~~~~~

The page did have his trouble carrying the monstrous bags and suitcases, and while it was obvious that this was his job, he wouldn’t have minded a little help from the gentlemen dressed in red, who had nothing better to do than let his right hand rest in his suit’s pocket and caress a book with his left hand, his eyes never leaving the yellowish, aged pages. The woman in front of him was equally uncaring about his strenuous job, from time to time running her hand through her blond, shining hair that flew around her face, blown by the fresh summer wind. The page grumbled. There she was, the great, majestic champion of Sinnoh, grateful, gratuitous and strong at the same time, and yet she couldn’t even move a muscle to help him with the dozens of bags that all needed to be carried into the plane as soon as possible, which basically meant lightning speed. The boy, not older than fifteen, moaned again. The only one who could manage that was a psychic...

Cynthia glanced backwards at her ex- and now again, boyfriend, smiling without really meaning to. Lucian looked up, feeling the slight prickle on his neck her piercing stare caused. Making sure that the hotel boy was occupied, he walked up to her, keeping his path next to the champion and casting his look downwards. “Now, Cynthia...would you be so nice to tell me the whole truth?” He snorted. “You spend weeks on that plan of corrupting Indigo’s league, something serious has to have happened to make you abandon it.”

Cynthia nodded, yet it wasn’t much more than a simple hint of a nod. “You’re right, I have been hiding the whole story from your until now, yet you must remember that I did promise you to explain it to you once we were alone.”

Lucian rolled his eyes. “We might be as well now alone as ever before, so, shoot. Tell me, I’m dying to know the truth.”

Cynthia shuddered inwardly at his bitterness and coldness. She knew he had every right to be mad at her, but that didn’t keep the pain from stinging. “Part of my plan involved, well...cheating on you. Disgracing you, to make the breakup less damaging for my reputation.” She noticed how Lucian kept rolling his eyes, his opinion, and that of a greater part of the public was that her affair with Lance had not only shaken the league, but also made her look like a total cheater. Who knows how that could affect her career as a trainer, too...

She sighed. “You cannot image how much it hurt me to see you concentrating more on your precious books and manuscripts and magazines and lord knows what than me. It seemed as if a few black lines of ink were more important to you than your girlfriend, the woman who loved you, craved for you. All I wanted were a few words, a few whispers, just a few signs that you cared for me. But I never got anything. I was hurt, angry, bitter. And so I weaved the breakup into my greater plan, the one I told you about.”

Lucian swallowed hard. He had never thought that his girlfriend felt so left out, that she thought he didn’t care for her anymore. He felt a knot tightening in his stomach, the words only coming out slowly and broken out of his mouth, which suddenly felt as dry as a desert. “I’m sorry...I should have...done something. Something, anything. I’m really sorry.” He bowed his head in shame. “I’m an awful boyfriend...”

To his surprise, Cynthia giggled. It was a light sound, matching the bright sun in the sky above. “You’re not. Lance is much more of an awful boyfriend than you, seriously.” ‘Especially when he’s mind-controlled...’ Cynthia added silently.

Lucian sighed, though Cynthia wasn’t sure on how to interpret his reaction. While it was quite easy for her to read his mind, she didn’t do that all that often, more occasionally that on purpose. And it was more fun to tickle the answers out of him than to have them served on a golden plate. It was more challenging. Lucian himself was more of a challenge than any other man she had met so far. Of course, one could think that this was because Lucian was the last elite four, right behind her, the most dangerous threat for her golden throne of championship. But this was not true, the other elite four tried to beat her from time to time, too, the most recent example being Aaron, but of course, they all lost. And Lucian himself hadn’t succeeded either, but this was not of any matter today.

“And you know what made me change my opinion about you?” Cynthia asked sheepishly, winking at him with her visible eye, the one that wasn’t hidden by her silky hair.

Lucian blinked. Of course he did not know, but this was what Cynthia had intended. “No...tell me, what happened?”

Cynthia smiled. “I met- no, I rather watched some woman nearly scarifying herself for her boyfriend. He was controlled, he couldn’t do anything about his state of mind, he was too weak to fight it. I saw her fight him, I saw her getting hurt by him, yet, no matter what happened, no matter how life threatening the situation became, she never lost faith in him. And unlike life’s many other ironic outcomes, she was rewarded with love. She got him back, and their bond is now stronger than ever.” Cynthia closed her eyes. “That’s the tale.”

Lucian didn’t look all too convinced. “That doesn’t tell me much more than I already know. Won’t you at least reveal to me who this mysterious couple is?”

Cynthia winked. “No, sorry, that remains secret for now.”

Lucian rolled his eyes, yet decided not to press any farther. If Cynthia didn’t tell him now, chances were high that she wouldn’t tell him any time soon.

~~~~~~~

The whole train station was in a hurry, like a beehive in the middle of the summer, and it didn’t help much that temperature had gone higher and higher the whole morning, as if they wanted to reach an invisible point of no return. Similarly, a point of no return was reached for a couple as well...

While most of the gym leaders tried hurriedly to say goodbye to each other, and not to mix up their luggage in the general confusion, Sabrina and Will stood aside of the trouble, both staring silently at the group that seemed to have nothing better to do than call off this meeting as soon as possible. Sabrina mused that after the great delay Team Rocket’s attack had caused and all the time the gym leaders had to stand each other, they were quite happy to return to their own lives, gyms and the freedom of isolation. Honestly, she couldn’t say she shared these ideas.

<Goodness, the reporters could get the idea the league trainers really hate each other the way these guys storm off!> Will snorted. Sabrina nodded to him, allowing a small smile to creep onto her face as she noticed how much better he had gotten at telepathy in a matter of only days.

<I guess it depends on the people who are departing. See, Janine doesn’t want to leave her dad at all.> She nodded to the younger girl who was in tears, cradled in her dad’s arms and gripping his clothes tightly. Koga sighed, not having the heart to scold at her for showing too much emotion for a ninja rookie. She was, after all, his only child and heir, and while she hadn’t been the best starting gym leader, she was slowly but continuously getting better at it. Having the help of her aunt at her side, who had recently returned from an intense training session in Johto, she had someone to watch over her. Sabrina hugged her arms closer to her body, even though it wasn’t cold at all. It was more of a reflex, as she felt cold when she thought about the incoming loneliness.

<Shh...don’t be so sad. I don’t like it when you look so sad.> Will embraced her from behind, kissing her neck. That was one big advantage of telepathy; you could do whatever you want with your mouth and still talk.

<Too bad. Because I’m going to look sad whenever I want to look sad!> She countered, but it wasn’t as funny as she wished it to be.

Will sighed, rustling his hand through her hair. <You better get on train now, or else you’ll miss it.>

That was the truth. Not that she liked the truth, though. <I don’t want to leave.> She paused. That was not the whole truth. <I don’t want to leave...you.> She sniffed. She didn’t feel weak crying in this situation. It sort of made her feel more human, more alive. That was a feeling she hadn’t had in a long time...for nearly twenty years, she added mentally. She hadn’t been really human all that time, just a doll.

Will’s embrace became tighter, just as she heard the engine of the train being started. <I don’t want to leave you either.> His telepathic voice had turned into a whisper and she was amazed at how perfectly he managed to convert emotions into it. It was an advantageous technique, one it had taken her years to learn and perfect, and she still had trouble using the right emotions. <But you have to. You have your gym, your students, your parents. You can’t stay here.> Their cheeks touched and she shivered at the unearthly warmness. <Even if I want you to stay here, too. > He let her go and straightened up. “You really have to go now. See, the next train leaves in three hours, you really don’t want to wait so long, do you?” He winked, almost knowing the answer already.

<Well, I could wait with you. That would make the waiting time so much sweeter.> Will rolled his eyes.

<No way. I still have to get the furniture into my new apartment. There’s nearly nothing there yet. You wouldn’t even have something to sit on, if you don’t want to sit on the floor. Never mind that I couldn’t offer you tea or something...>

Sabrina shook her head, smiling. There he was, the young, soon to be rich bachelor, and he hadn’t even a chair to sit on yet. She guessed that was the prime example of how their league worked.

“Hey, Sabrina, what are you waiting for? The train leaves in five minutes, you know?!” Erica screamed out of one of the trains windows, her headband nearly getting loose in the strong wind.

Slowly, the psychic turned around again. “Well...I guess this is farewell, then?” She tried to smile as she walked up to the doors of the train, Will following her, carrying her bags like a real gentleman had to. They didn’t say a word as they walked over the grey pavement, both lost in thoughts. Sabrina opened the train door equally silent, biting her lip as she searched for fitting words. In the end, she decided, there weren’t any words that really fit the situation, and actions took over. She leaned forward, not caring that one of her bags almost feel into the dirt between the train rails, and kissed Will.

<I love you.> She gulped, the words still feeling unfamiliar for her telepathic voice.

Will smiled. <Love you too.>

She turned around and looked for a seat next to a window on the train station side of the train, nearly forced to throw Misty out of her seat- something she wouldn’t have regretted so much, the girl had acted too weirdly around her and Will. Maybe she should take things into her own hands and play the matchmaker...

Sabrina shook her head. Love was getting to her, there was no way she would be a successful matchmaker.

“You’re going to be alright, right?” asked a soft voice opposite of her.

Sabrina turned her head around, only now did she notice that she had taken the seat opposite of Erica and Janine. Dimly, she wondered why those two girls were sitting next to each other when there was plenty of space in the whole train, but that question was banished into the back of her mind.

The psychic sighed. “I guess so. Will already promised to visit me some time in June or July, depending on when Lance gives him free time for the first time.” Closing her eyes and letting her head rest on her left hand, she sighed again. “He’ll visit me then as soon as it’s possible.”

Erica grinned. “That’s okay. Separation can only make your bond stronger.”

Sabrina raised an eyebrow. She didn’t believe Erica much; it was as if being separated from him already hurt, despite being only a matter of minutes.

“I...hope so.” There was a rumbling as the train’s engine was prepared to move it and it was so loud that Sabrina almost wouldn’t have noticed the knocking on the window. Startled, she turned around and saw Will standing next to it while winking at her. She gave a curt nod to Erica and opened the window, yet the train had already started to move and Will nearly tripped as he run after her.

“Stop!” She laughed. “You’re going to fall!” Which he did.

Sabrina still shook her head, until she saw something black out of the corner of her eye. Blinking, she turned her head to it, to see a single, black rose slowly gliding out of thin air into her lap.

“How cute!” Erica exclaimed, giggling.

Sabrina smiled as well, holding the rose up to her face and letting its petals trace her skin. For now, all the troubles and life-threatening situations of the last weeks were forgotten, and only the good things remained.

The End

(And, as promised, the epilogue. It is not to be taken *too* seriously. Various RL persons that appear here [they know who they are...I hope], please don't be offended. 0=)

Epilogue

Scene shows a garden bathed in the light of a setting sun, the garden is neither neat nor overly chaotic, a lot of wild bushed and weird flowers are around, giving unwanted intruders guests a lot of hiding spaces in case the owner of the house wants to shoot them.

Suddenly, a blinding light appears in the middle of the garden, graceful, as pure as new fallen snow, truly a gift from the angels- and suddenly, a lavender-coloured Absol falls out of the light onto its butt.

Granted, we know that it’s the Absol from the last epilogue with the weird accent, since how many lavender-coloured Absols have you seen?

<Gotta train that teleport more...> It grumbled, before looking around. <Am I even right here? Ain’t looking much like Sabrina’s house...never mind....> The Absol puts its paws on the windowsill and looks through the window. It smiles as it sees the people inside. <Bingo, right place!> It turns around. <Now to get the guys here...>

Suddenly, an Alakazam, a Kadabra as well as a Starmie are brought into the scenery the same fashion the Absol was brought in, minus the butt falling, mainly because the Starmie had no butt.

The Absol smiles. <Here you are!>

The Kadabra smiles. Sarcastically. <Die Freude ist ganz deinerseits.>

Shaking its head, the Absol- can we finally stop with the ‘it’? We know it’s a female...anyway, the Absol scolded the Kadabra. <No speaking German here, no one understands it, anyway.>

The Kadabra looks suspiciously at the Starmie, who has stayed silent until now. On his own wishing, we might add. Good for him, considering that we don’t want to start another blog war here. Never mind that this is no blog.

<You finished your weird rambling yet?> The Kadabra asked. The Absol rolled her eyes. <My fic, I do whatever I want.>

The three minus one Pokemon, as the Starmie has no eyes, look at each other. They *know* what this means. They know it oh so well. The Starmie does as well, though it doesn’t seem to care as much. It...ehm...he? Have Starmie even a gender? ...okay, okay. He has/had his own fic to drive the Absol mad with.

<Why are we here, anyway?> The Alakazam asks, looking around as if expecting the world to change any moment. No wonder considering his fic...

The Absol turns around, smiling, and opens the window with one of her paws. <This, my dear, is kinda a ‘what has happened in the last ten years?’ segment of the fic.>

<Oh, so we’ll see how Sabrina grew up? > The tiny voice of a Mew asks.

Everyone stares at it.

<Uhm...you weren’t supposed to be here.> The Absol blinks, suddenly, a blank block of paper appears in her hands and she holds up a pencil, the backside of the block has the big, bold words ‘SCRIPT’ written on it. <After you stopped reviewing, I relentlessly decided to throw you out of the shamelessly self-inserting epilogue part of my fic where I make fun of my quirky fans and/or readers, pardon the quirk pun, Zammy. Sorry.> She closes her eyes and makes a dismissive gesture with her hand. <Writing space is limited in these hard economical days.>

Two Pokemon stare at her. One doesn’t care. One is as playful as a Mew and flies around. And that ain’t the Starmie.

<What has writing space to do with economy?> The Kadabra asks, and just as the Alakazam is about to interrupt it, the Absol stops them. <Guys, no political, philosophical and/or religious wars here, we could get into hell for that, pardon the pun.> The Starmie doesn’t react. Whatever.

<So, what are we here for, P*A?> The Alakazam again asks. The Absol grins and wiggles her finger, as wiggling with her tail would be highly inappropriate.

<Heheh, we’re here to do a little love-bird-watching.> The two other psychic Pokemon cross their arms and apparently don’t find the joke amusing. One wonders why...

“Aw, come on guys. I *know* you want to see how Will and Sabrina are doing?>

The Alakazam looks as if it got a heart attack while the Kadabra frowns. <Who said that these two are meant?!>

<Well, it’s her house we’re standing in front of and my fic we’re in. Want more proof?>

<No.>

Again, the Absol turns to the window and slowly opens it, but only so much that you can hear what’s been going on inside. Then she beckons the other two three Pokemon to come next to her. <Stay down, we don’t want them to see us, do we?>

<Do we even want to see them?> The Alakazam asks, the Absol just glares at him. She looks inside again, nodding and smiling.

“Will! You come here right now or you’re going into trouble!” It’s Sabrina’s voice with a snarl added to it. The two fox-like Pokemon share a grin.

“Yeah, I’m coming, love. Just a moment.” The voice sounds as if it’s coming from relatively far away.

There’s another snarl. “Now is now, and not in a moment.” No answer for a while. Then a sigh. “Will, she’s yours as much as she’s mine. And she’s still a baby. So will you take care of her please?”

The Absol grins like a maniac, the Kadabra seems to have fallen sick while the Alakazam nearly faints. Only the Starmie shines happily. Maybe. Hard to tell with no mouth to speak.

There’s mumbling in the background. “Ehm, since when is she also mine? I thought we agreed that you would take care of her alone!”

A wooden chair is being moved. “Well, usually I do, as you’re being busy playing the elite at Indigo.”

A fuming “Playing?!” is being ignored.

“But today you’re here, so you’ll be the foster daddy, right?” Again, mumbling as a door is opened and someone steps into the room.

“Okay, okay, I’ll do...”

The Absol can’t stop snickering as she sees her friends readers whimpering.

<Don’t tell me they made a little Sabrina!> The Alakazam asks, with tears in his eyes. Men who can still cry are cool, btw. ...no, this isn’t random at all.

A halo appears over the Absol as she smiles, angels sing in the background and there’s light all around. The singing actually comes from her MP3-Player and the light from a floodlight, mind you. The Absol is not religious. Teh blasphemy, a dark Pokemon...

<How should I know?> She asks, innocently, if you didn’t already get it from the background scenery.

The Kadabra raises an eyebrow. <You’re the author, that’s how you should know!>

<O, rly?>...internet speak iz 4 teh winnerz, lulz.

Suddenly, a loud mewing comes from the window and no, we didn’t decide to randomly throw the Mew into the living room.

Everyone turns their head to the direction of the sound, and the Absol starts to sweatdrop. <Oops...>

Now the three two Pokemon are suspicious. Which is good, considering who the author is. Another mewing sound. “Will! Leave Gary alone for one moment and come over to take care of little Soly! She can’t be all by her own while I get to the gym!”

The two Pokemon carefully peek from beneath the window and what they see is...Sabrina, standing in front of a wooden table. And on the wooden table sits a tiny...Eevee.

The two Pokemon glare downwards at the Absol. Which has just shrunk to the average size of a Weedle. No, we don’t have an explanation for that either.

<You...!!!> The Alakazam usually doesn’t resort to physical harm inducing, yet glaring and looking infuriated doesn’t fall under that category. Yet.

<Meep!> The Absol decides that it’s better for her glamorous, violet fur to flee if she wants it and what lies beneath to remain unharmed, and so she runs off, two Pokemon following her while the third, ehm...stands around. Do Starmie even stand?

The camera again looks into the living room where Will is sighing and lifts the little Eevee, who happily wags her tuff tail and squeals with joy as her ‘daddy’ is cuddling her.

“His name is Gareth, not Gary!” Sabrina snickers as she watches the older, scarred and rough looking Espeon walk into the room silently and majestically, glancing at the baby Eevee.

“Really, Gareth? Oh come on, Will, I don’t call you King William XIII either.” He blinked and smiled, bowing before her, which the Eevee doesn’t seem to like so much as it squeaks and tries to jump out of his arms.

“Yet you’re my queen, aren’t you?” The author/Absol knows one of her readers will get the joke.

“Will, be careful with my dear Soly, now, will you?” She glares at him and takes the frightened Eevee out of his arms. “No one should entrust you with a baby, you know that?” She continues to glare at him.

Will shrugs. “Says the one with no siblings. I babysitted my younger siblings.”

“Until you ran away from home.”

“I was ten back then!”

“So?”

Will grumbles, then sits down, Gary- sorry, Gareth, lazily followed him.”We don’t have any children to babysit and that won’t change so soon.” He looks at her with a knowing, smirking glance. Sabrina rolls her eyes.

“Well, if Lucian and Cynthia come back, we could babysit their spawn.”

“What?” Will raises his head. And at least one reader does at this point, too. We just know it.

Sabrina smiles. “Didn’t read the tabloids, eh? Announced just this morning, Cynthia’s pregnant.”

Will’s eyes have reached the size of water melons. And one reader jumps up with joy. “And...ehm...” He gulps. “Theoretically...you know, the whole trouble with Lance and stuff...only been a bit over a month ago, right?” His voice suddenly drops an octave. “Who’s the father?”

Sabrina grins and shrugs her shoulders. “That’s for fate to know. And Cynthia, once she wants someone to accept paternity. The tabloids say nothing, so I guess it’s widely assumed that Lucian’s the father.”

Will nods. And we decide to leave the scenery and enjoy the picture that is a frantic dark/psychic Absol running away from a Kadabra and an Alakazam.

The (real) end

Phew, this really, really took long, eh? =3 Thankfully, I already started the sequel (Summer's Magic), so posting the first chapter of the next part shouldn't take that long.
__________________
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
~*~Infinity~*~
Lyrics from:Guru Josh Project:Infinity 2008
 
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