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  #51    
Old January 17th, 2017 (1:26 PM).
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Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
Idly Wasting Away...
     
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    I'd smack you around in Smash, if I wasn't sure you didn't have the 3DS version like I do. Also, does one need an accurate description of a bedroom of a Wal-Mart-working gamer? XDDDDD (Probably...)

    Anyway, posting this one so I can post the FE:Fates one that follows it:

    Chapter 34: The Usually Unseen

    The television hums the airing of The Golden Girls with a moderate volume, enough to outdo the hums of the air-conditioning system, but not intrusive enough to be considered loud. As the show goes into a commercial break, Max gets up from the couch he rests on. Looking at the couch on the opposite of the living room, Max finds that Kirlia's nearly fallen asleep. Nothing to do, nobody to see; Kirlia's right to fall asleep under the sunbeam from the window overhead as she usually does in times of lethargy. Hoping to give his body a decent stretch, Max tries his best to keep her lulled in her current state while getting his tired blood flowing. within her peripheral vision, she notices him.

    "...Maaaaasteeeeer..." Kirlia whimpers.

    "What's wrong?"

    Max turns to find her reaching out to him with all limbs spread, still laying on her side. "Hold meeeee...!"

    "But aren't you sleepy?" he asks as he walks to her side.

    "Love me to sleeeeep..."

    Giggling at her choice of words, Max gently lifts her to allow room for himself to lay on the couch with her. Facing the television, Max wraps his arms all around her.

    "Issho warm..." she muffles, having buried herself completely in his body.

    As the shows run for an hour or so, Max's petting has allowed Kirlia to fall asleep, with her arms and legs completely wrapped around him like a happy parasite. Giving into her embrace's comfort, Max sets the timer to the television and removes his glasses, knowing he can't keep his hold on the waking world for much longer.

    * * *

    "Ugh, it's blinking red." With his 3DS's battery dying, Max makes his way to his bedroom to locate the charging adapter.

    Entering the room thick with comfort, he finds Kirlia sound asleep in his bed, under the thick covers. The timer on his bedroom's television counts down towards the final minute, apparently having been set quite some time before.

    "I guess that explains why she hasn't made any noise in a few hours," Max thinks to himself.

    Slowly, he tip-toes to the adapter's loose wire next to the bed, trying not to make any loud or sudden noises. Inserting the metal into his device, he succeeds. Kirlia, however, makes a sudden inhale that indicates her return to consciousness, having awoken naturally. She finds Max placing his 3DS down to allow it to rest.

    "...Maaaaasteeeeer," she whimpers as she reaches out to him again.

    He turn to find her lifting the covers from herself. "Whoops, sorry. Didn't mean to wake you."

    "Love me awaaaaake...!"

    Giggling again, Max obliges and sets himself down into her embrace. With his nose and mouth pressed into the front of her hair, he begins showing a small amount of affection.

    "Eep... It's da nuzzles...!"

    Gradually raising the volume on the TV after turning off the timer function, Max slowly begins to bring Kirlia out from her groggy state. With his small affections, she begins returning them to him, igniting some inner warmth between the two. With every turn of the body to satisfy his aching spine, Kirlia follows with a perpetual giggle and returns to her embrace in his arms whichever way he stays. Gradually, she regains her energy in twenty minutes of affection, and cuddles up to him as much as possible. The more he turns, the more she displays. Turning onto his back, she gets on top of him to pin him down, locking him in her nuzzling.

    "What's gotten into you?" Max giggles.

    "Snuggle-wuggle cuddle-wuddle!"

    * * *

    Max checks the clock on his stove to read it's thirteen past noon.

    "We've still got a couple of hours before meeting up with the others," he thinks to himself.

    Walking back towards his room, he finds Kirlia once again laying on the couch, underneath the sunbeam. She slumbers, deep and heavy, yet her eyes are slightly clenched. She whimpers a bit, and kicks a little with her toes.

    "She must be having some kind of nightmare," Max thinks as he watches her sporadic twitching and whimpering. "She's always so asking for physical contact when she's sleeping... or awake... or eating... And I actually love it too. Maybe I can help? If I hold her in her sleep, maybe she'll be rid of whatever nightmare this is."

    Max smiles a bit at the thought of getting to help her for once without her need to ask beforehand. Feeling kind and warm, Max finds enough room on the couch to lay himself onto. Careful to keep from awaking her, he wraps his arms around Kirlia's tiny body and brings her into his embrace. Nuzzling the top of her head, Max finds comfort and begins to relax... until a sharp jab in his abdomen from Kirlia's toe pushes him off the edge of the cushion.

    "Ouch!" With a large thud to echo in the living room, Max falls onto the hardwood floor below.

    Kirlia's snapped awake by the thud. She looks around the room, still groggy and unknowing of what's happened. She looks down at the source of groaning to find Max unable to move, having landed on his back in a cruel twist of fate.

    With arms and legs opened and reaching out to him, she whimpers. "...Maaaaasteeeeer."

    Afterword:

    ...I need to go out and do more manly things...
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      #52    
    Old January 17th, 2017 (9:44 PM).
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    Is the "time to let go and move on" line from Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice? =P Otherwise, those last two chapters were fun. Haha over Max cheating while Randy's away and then Kirlia catching up. Smash better watch out for Kirlia! As for 34, the nuzzles were cute until Kirlia accidentally jabs him heh.
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      #53    
    Old January 24th, 2017 (4:16 PM).
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    Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
    Idly Wasting Away...
       
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      I know a couple of people here who'd have a lot to say about that. But still:

      Chapter 36: Cold Heritage

      "ACHOOO!!!"

      Laying in his bed, Max breathes through his mouth. Having caught a cold in one of the few chilly days of Texas, he's become bed-ridden. From the side of his bed comes Kirlia, and a towel soaked in cold water for his forehead.

      "You don't have to wait on me like this," Max speaks with eyes still closed.

      "Noooo," she squeaks. "I can't cuddle a dead Master!"

      "This is nuffin'," he struggles to say. "Just a cold. I can tough it out. I'm a big boy- ACHOO!"

      "Yes, you are," she patronizes as she places the towel on his head.

      * * *

      With her psychic abilities, Kirlia helps Max sit up in his bed to had him a cup of water. As if he'd gone wandering in the desert, Max takes it and drinks it all. Kirlia, however, is distracted from the rumbling sound coming from his stomach.

      "What should I make you to eat?" she offers.

      "...Not really in the mood to eat anything," he admits as he places the empty cup down.

      "But you're hungry! I can hear your tummy!"

      "I know, *sniff*. But being sick takes my appetite away."

      Kirlia bows her head for a moment. "When did you last eat?"

      Max thinks for a moment. "Idunno."

      "You gotta eat something!"

      Still thinking, Max conceits. "I think we have some Jimmy Dean breakfast croissants in the freezer."

      "Okay! I'll microwave one for you, and bring some juice too! And maybe one for myself, cause my tummy's rumbling too," she giggles.

      * * *

      With the night set and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert humming from the plasma screen, Max has fallen asleep. Wondering what's the best way to keep him comfortable, Kirlia stands on the bed's side to keep from making his body-temperature any warmer than it is. Finding the lack of physical affection unbearable, she looks around his room for ideas.

      Resting on top of the armchair is Max's jacket, which he wore not too long ago. Reaching for it, Kirlia decides to wrap it around herself. Warm, comfortable, and very large compared to her own body, she decides it will serve as her blanket. She can sleep with Max in his bed, and she won't disturb him. It's perfect.

      Kirlia levitates over to Max's side, wrapping herself in his jacket as she descends next to his unconscious body. With her back facing him, she curls up into the fetal position, and she brings his jacket to her face. His natural odor still lingers on the fabric, well enough for her to pick it up. Surrounded by his scent, she backs up to gently press up against him, and the conditions are met to provide her with a sufficient amount of comfort for sleep.

      * * *

      "Ugh," Max groans as he sits up in his bed.

      Kirlia's kept busy by pouring the red medicine into the plastic cup the bottle came with. As she prepares the cup, Max coughs about in an effort to cleane his body. Manipulating his breathing, he's stored up fluids in his mouth with nowhere to move them to. Improvising, he simply turns to the side his bed meets the wall on, and spits it out into the crack between them.

      Cringing from the sight, Kirlia grabs the nearest trash bin with her psychic abilities and brings it to him. "USE DA BUCKET!"

      * * *

      Max brings his clawed hand up to Kirlia's cheek, gently caressing her in an attempt to give his non-verbal thanks for all she's done in the past week. Kirlia smiles as she finishes changing the towel on his forehead. Opening his eyes, Max has found a change in himself.

      "Hey, do we still have some of those breakfast croissants in the freezer?" he asks.

      With hands on her hips, Kirlia tilts her body to one side and cracks a smile. "Oh, somebody's got his appetite back?"

      "Yeah," he chuckles as he keeps caressing her cheek. "I think I'll be better by tomorrow."

      Taking his hand in both of hers, she begins nuzzling the back of it. "I'll go make one right away," she softly speaks. "Lemme just clean these things up."

      "Okay..."

      Teleporting out of his room, Kirlia carries the used towels in one hand. And suddenly...

      "Ah-choo!"

      She stands in the middle of the hallway in silence. She wonders why she suddenly sneezed. She ponders if it's just a random one...

      * * *

      "Ah-chooo!!!"

      Max takes the used towel from her forehead and replaces it with a new, cold one.

      "You dun have to take care of me!" Kirlia protests.

      "Nonsense; I can't have you like this when I'd rather see you happy," Max continues. "I'll take great care of you like you did me."

      "But-but-but-but I'll get you sick! Ah-chooo!"

      "Oh, if I get sick again, I'll just pas it onto Randy and Zoey, so they can be stuck with it. Then we can go out to the movies together or something while they recover."

      Weak and unable to focus properly, Kirlia begins. "...Yaaaaay..."

      Afterword:

      No bonus points for guessing what got me to write this. *Sniff*
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        #54    
      Old January 24th, 2017 (4:56 PM).
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      Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
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        And another one, cuz I'm bored:

        Chapter 37: Catwalk

        "She doesn't do this stuff with you too, does she?" Max holds up Rocky, Zoey's Growlithe, asking him a question that only nets him a lick on the cheek as a response.

        "You look too cute!" Zoey remarks, having dressed Kirlia up in a red-and-white sailor uniform.

        "I-it's thee outfit," Kirlia sells her argument with rosy cheeks.

        "It's the girl wearing it, too!"

        With Rocky on his lap, Max props his cheek up with one hand, elbow resting on the table. "You're living vicariously through the girl, aren't you?"

        "Oh hush, now," Zoey starts, with hands on her hips and a smile on her face. "We're having fun! And you don't even have to pay for these clothes."

        Max suddenly likes what he hears. "Well... I suppose the color-scheme does look good on her..."

        "Really?" Kirlia's eyes turn starry. "You like it?"

        "Could be worse."

        "Yay, I get to keep it! Lemme just change out of it!" Excited, Kirlia Teleports to a different room.

        "Finally, she gets to wear something good," Zoey starts. "Rocky hates clothes, and you have no fashion sense at all."

        "I guess I can let her wear more clothing. As long as it's decent. And so long as you don't tell me where you get them from. I'd hate knowing who makes clothes in her size for a living."

        Zoey laughs. "You know, you can stand to look better too. Maybe dress better than a hobo-class Trainer-"

        "Hey, no chick's allowed to dress me up unless we're dating or married."

        Zoey's excitement flares with a gasp. "Do you speak for all men?"

        "Max rolls his eyes. "Yeah, sure. Here, have a fiance," he holds Rocky up to her, who ventilates with tongue hanging out.

        She takes him in her hands. "Well, he is cute! Aren't you, good boy?" She nuzzles him as he howls.

        "That poor bastard," Max laughs.

        With a small bag filled with one outfit in her hands, Kirlia Teleports back into the room. "Okay, we can go out to eat, now!"

        Zoey looks at Kirlia's waist. "Hey, Kirlia, I have a question."

        "What is it?" Kirlia sits on Max's lap.

        "How do you make your tutu work with an outfit? Do you just wear something over it, or...?"

        "Oh!" Kirlia, ready to explains, grabs a nearby pair of scissors. "I just do this!" With her psychic abilities, Kirlia cuts off a large piece of the white fabric hanging from her.

        "What the-?!" Zoey watches as the piece of silky white gently falls to the floor.

        "And then," Kirlia starts as she points at the fabric, watching it fizzle out into a faint, pink glow that becomes nothingness. "Just like that!"

        "You can cut the whole thing off?!" Zoey looks closer at the spot on the floor which once had fabric on top of it.

        "Mmhmm! But only up to here," she points to a spot on her waist and draws a straight, horizontal line with her finger. "Cuz this is where it's skin."

        "And how do you get it back?"

        "Like this!" With the tips of her fingers touching each other, Kirlia takes a second to concentrate and allow light to emit from the rips of her tutu, instantly filling in the missing piece. "I can do it almost any time! That's how me or my evolutions stay looking nice, even after a battle that causes rips and stuff!"

        "Comes in handy tons of ways," Max adds. "She does this before a shower."

        "How else can it possibly come in handy?" Zoey laughs.

        Max takes the pair of scissors in his hand. "Like this," he lets out as he cuts off another piece and presses it to his nose and mouth, letting out a sneeze.

        "MASTER!" Kirlia scolds.

        Afterword:

        Can you imagine if Game Freak took a look at this and said, "Yep, that's pretty much it." ...On second thought, if GF found this, they'd get TPCi to issue out a cease-and-desist letter.
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          #55    
        Old January 24th, 2017 (10:28 PM).
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        36 hits home as I'm still recovering from a cold, haha. I either caught it from a family member or co-worker oh my gosh. 37 is a little fun fashion chapter. So that's how Kirlia can work that tutu, heh.
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          #56    
        Old February 3rd, 2017 (1:02 PM).
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        Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
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          Sooooooooooo sleeeeeeeeeeepyyyyyyyyyy:

          Chapter 38: Papa Jon

          "The first Xenoblade, and Xenoblade X once you finish with the first," Max hands Zoey the two boxes as they prepare to watch the latest episodes of Steven Universe. "It'll do you good to play more on your Wii U than just Smash Bros., you know?"

          "If... you say so," she reluctantly takes the boxes from his hand. "You know I'm not really a gamer."

          "Yeah, but these are JRPGs," he begins. "It's basically more about the story than the gameplay, except the open-world setting makes the gameplay matter too."

          "So pretty," Kirlia vouches. "Da Bionis is so scenic!"

          "Home of the world's most beautiful tramp-stamp," Max adds.

          "...Okay, but not now. Where's Randy with our pizzas? The show's about to start!"

          "OUT HERE, WAITING FOR SOME GODDAMN HELP!" a struggling Randy shouts from outside.

          Kirlia runs to open Zoey's front door as the happy Growlithe next to her wags his tail from the scent of fresh pizzas seeping in from the outside.

          "At least you like Steven Universe," Max continues. "In a world where the Kardashians exist, it's hard to find good or decent entertainment. I mean, that Kanye's entertaining too, but the last guy we said similar things about ended up president, so... I don't like encouraging it."

          "How good is this game, really?"

          "As good as Steven Universe, really. Might even make you cry."

          "...Alright," she plays with her hair as she stares at the boxes in her hands. "You do have a knack for recommendations, like when you recommended Coheed & Cambria, or Gurren Lagann."

          Max sits proudly.

          Randy enters the living room with three boxes of Pizza Hut as Kirlia uses her psychic abilities to bring in the bottles of soda, plastic cups, and a bag of ice. They both take their seats as they place their items on the table in front of the couch.

          "What about Coheed Lagann stuff?" Randy asks as he opens the boxes.

          "Max lent me these Xenoblade games to play. I was just telling him how he knows what to recommend most of the time."

          "Yeah, I hated the English dub of Higurashi he told me to watch," Randy starts with a pizza slice in hand.

          "Okay, I might've made a mistake there," Max laughs sheepishly.

          "Rena was annoying," Kirlia admits.

          "But he recommended The Colbert Report before it ended! That show was funny as hell! And he told me to watch him on CBS too, where it's a bit 'meh,' but still funny."

          "I don't know," Zoey begins as she pours herself a drink. "He got me to watch Full Frontal instead, and I really like that one. Then again, I didn't give late-night shows a try for a while because I was busy working. But I loved The Daily Show as a kid, and I'm glad Samantha Bee only works once a week, making it easy to catch up. She's, like, the successor to Jon Stewart!"

          "Shhhh, no!" Kirlia quickly warns. "Dun get Master started-"

          "SAMANTHA BEE ISN'T THE SUCCESSOR TO JON STEWART, OKAY?! NEITHER IS COLBERT OR MEYERS OR THOSE TWO PEOPLE ON TV LAND! THE TRUE SUCCESSOR TO STEWART IS THE GUY WHO ACTUALLY SUCCEEDED STEWART IN HIS OWN SHOW! WHY'S THE MEDIA GOTTA CALL EVERY SINGLE PERSON DOING NEWS-SATIRE STEWART'S SUCCESSOR EXCEPT FOR THE ONLY BLACK GUY WHO'S ACTUALLY TAKEN OVER HIS SHOW?! WHAT'S WRONG WITH ADMITTING THAT TREVOR NOAH IS ACTUALLY THE NEW JON STEWART?! I SWEAR TO F*CKING ARCEUS, THESE PEOPLE..."

          Randy listens on, visibly entertained, as Kirlia and Zoey turn away from him as if they feel a bit of guilt over allowing his rant to happen.

          Afterword:

          Why was Seth Meyers even called the successor to Jon Stewart? All he is is some pencil-neck who used to pretend he had Jon's show. If Meyers really is Jon's successor, then Kanye West really is a genius. I'm not even really sure he's met Stewart before...
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            #57    
          Old February 3rd, 2017 (9:35 PM).
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          Recommendations can be a tricky thing unless you have friends that really know your taste, heh. Poor Trevor Noah though not getting much recognition (though I haven't gotten to check The Daily Show as much oops).
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            #58    
          Old February 9th, 2017 (1:37 PM). Edited February 20th, 2017 by Taro Tanaka.
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          Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
          Idly Wasting Away...
             
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            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Bay Alexison View Post
            Recommendations can be a tricky thing unless you have friends that really know your taste, heh. Poor Trevor Noah though not getting much recognition (though I haven't gotten to check The Daily Show as much oops).
            ........................ *Glare*

            Anyway:

            Chapter 39: Little Apartment Girl

            "Awrooooooooooooo...!"

            Zoey turns in her sleep.

            Rocky whimpers a bit. Gently, he walks over to the side she's turned to, and licks a bit at her face.

            "...Okay, baby," she giggles. "I'll go get your breakfast."

            Like a zombie, she rises and drags her feet about. Tired from a long night of back-to-back work-shifts, Zoey makes her way down her hall and into the kitchen, having ignored getting dressed and simply going on in her underwear. With eyes still unwilling to open, she moves forth while the happy Growlithe beind her skips at her heels.

            With a can of dog-food in hand, she simply removes the metal lid and slides the wet food into Rocky's bowl. "I'm too tired to make anything, so just eat this," she speaks in a grogy manner as she places the bowl on the floor.

            Happy to satisfy his stomach, Rocky walks on over to the bowl and dives head-first, with a wagging tail up in the air.

            Mashing her hand into the buttons of her radio, Zoey walks over to her exercize bike for her morning routine. As the host speaks on about Metallica's latest album's sound, Zoey hops on her bike and tries pedaling away. with eyes hardly open, she finds herself slowing down and leaning backwards, almost falling over. Bringing herself back to life, she pedals away, and soon loses her motivation again. She returns again, and finds herself on the floor without any idea how long she's been there. With the only energy left in her rerouting to her legs, she struggles to give up on her morning routine and just make her way to the bathroom.

            The hot water washes over a face with a mouth agape, willing to let the spirit out. Steam enticing and liquid relaxing, Zoey seems to have fallen asleep on the shower floor. It's not until the water turns cold when she comes back to the conscious world, and leaves the shower with fingers wrinckled.

            With a towel wrapping her hair, Zoey's minimal effort in getting dressed shows in how the only real change in her outfit is the addition of a silk, violet robe; if nobody's expected to visit, Zoey thinks, then there's no real reason to dress up. Still tired, she turns her TV on as she slumps down on the chouch it faces. The screen hums out the possibility of some weather later in the day, the details of which are lost on Zoey who zones in and out of consciousness from a struggle to keep her eyes open. Rocky jumps onto the couch with her, and snuggles his way under her arm as she sleeps, joining in her siesta. The natural warmth of Rocky's fur convinces Zoey's body to stay on the couch for a while longer before becoming active again. She awakens hours later to a daytime talk show featuring a group of women who keep speaking over each other.

            * * *

            "...Oh! Did that selfie get any comments?" On her kitchen table, Zoey flips open her laptop and logs onto Facebook. The small icon on the top-right corner notifies her of news, more specifically on comments left on one of her pictures.

            She opens up a picture she'd taken a couple of days before. Slightly overhead, Zoey's captured pursing her lips while flashing the "peace" sign, while Max's Kirlia leans in with a small smile, taking up the other half of the image. Down below, Zoey finds some comments left on it:

            MAX: When on Earth did they take that picture?!

            RANDY: member when we went to that restaurant? with the bigscreens

            MAX: With those damn-good mozzarella sticks? X3

            RANDY: and them waitresses!! : P

            MAX: We should go back there soon! Kirlia's already asking for more of that molten cake. ^ ^;

            Resting her cheek on her hand, Zoey smiles at the screen with a wave of warmth washing over her. She can't help but let out a giggle as she scrolls down towards the other comments. Letting out a small sigh of happiness, she opens her eyes to the words of others that cause her cheecks to turn red:

            ESMER: I don't understand. Are you advertising yourself? Are you advertising that poor Kirlia too?

            45_CUTTING_IT: are they both available???! ill take em both pls!

            DONNIE: Cover your chest up! Quit wearing deep-vees if you don't wanna be called slutty! This is the problem with today's... (Continue reading)

            DREK NASTY: she got titties

            Seething, Zoey slams her laptop shut.

            * * *

            From the top shelf of her refrigerator, Zoey takes one of two boxes of sushi she had bought the night before from the nearby grocery store. Grabbing a pair of chopsticks, she sits herself on her living room couch to enjoy her breakfast in front of the TV. Having opened up the box and poured soy sauce over all the pieces, she lifts one up and begins to direct it towards her mouth... only for Rocky to jump into the air and steal the piece for himself.

            "Rocky!!" she scolds.

            Rocky simply stares back at her with tail wagging and tongue hanging from a happy pant.

            Shaking her head, Zoey giggles a bit as she tosses another piece his way. "You're just lucky I bought two of these things."

            * * *

            "Okay carry the six, then subtract by this much..."

            On her kitchen table, Zoey manages her expenses and bills. After dividing her funds towards a few expenses, she takes a moment to rest her head on the table.

            "Awrooo," Rocky softly howls as he jumps onto the table to nuzzle her.

            Zoey scratches the side of his neck without lifting her head.

            Feeling rejuvinated, Zoey sits herself up and takes a deep breath to continue. She resumes hitting numbers on her calculator, but is interrupted short.

            "!!! !!!! !! PARTY TILL !!!!" a muffled voice from the floor above screams.

            Trying to ignore it, Zoey resumes her number-crunching.

            "!!!! THOSE PATRIOTS!!!" a second muffled voice screams. "!!! !!! !!!!! !!!! FALCONS!!!"

            With a twitching eyebrow, Zoey resumes her work. A few minutes of silence pass before more is heard.

            "YEEEEAAAAAAAH!!!' both voices scream.

            "TOUCHDOOOOWN!!!"

            "F*CKIN' !!!!!!! !!! !!! !!!!!! !!!!"

            Rising from her chair, Zoey stomps towards her door and slams it open, only to slam it shut behind her. Rocky faces the wall, through it, into the directions that emitt angry footsteps. First panning to the side, his head then pans upwards, as the angry footsteps transform into angry knocking on one's door.

            "!!! SHUT THE !!!! !!! !!! !!!!!!!!"

            "!!! !!! !!!! !!! YOU?!"

            "!!!! !!!!!!!! THE GAME HERE!"

            "! !!!! !!!! ! F*CK ABOUT !!!! !!!! !! !!!!!! TO WORK!"

            "!!! !!!! !!!!!! !! !!!! !!!!!!!"

            "!!!!!! !!!! !!!!!! !!! !! !! !!!!!"

            ! !!! !!!!!! !!!!! !!!! !!! ! !!!!!"

            "!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

            "SH*****************T!!!"

            "!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!"

            With the comotion dying down, Rocky once again follows the sounds from above, leading to his home. Slamming the door wide open, Zoey stands in front of a darkened sky, spreading intimidation to her own pup. Angrily sitting down back in her seat, Zoey tries to lift a pen, only to realize she still has a handful of brown hair clutched in her hands. Tossing it off to the side, she gets back to work.

            * * *

            "Rocky learned Fly, yay!" Zoey endearingly claims as she holds Rocky in the air, showing him what it feels like to be a pendulum.

            * * *

            "So 'Xenoblade,' huh?" Holding the white box in her hands, Zoey takes the disc within and inserts it into her Wii U.

            Using archaic controllerd lent to her, she begins the game by idling for a while, listening to the main theme a few times, then beginning the game. Playing for an hour or so as the evening begins to roll in, Zoey begins to enjoy the new world she traverses, while Rocky sits in the gap made by her crossed legs and watches.

            Having advanced quite far into the game, Zoey feels pride in standing up to a familiar face. "Woohoo! Take that, Metal Face!" she shouts as Rocky wads his tail. "Yeah! ...Wait, what's going on? ...Huh? ...What?! No! NO!!! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

            * * *

            Laughing at the comedian on TV, Zoey yawns a bit and stretches her body. "Baby, what do you say we take Tosh to the bedroom?" she asks Rocky. "I'm getting a bit sleepy."

            Rising up from their seats, Zoey turns her TV off as Rocky stretches his legs on the floor. He prepares to follow her, until...

            BANG BANG BANG!!!

            "Woof!" Rocky barks at their door. "Woof woof woof!!"

            The knocking gets harsher.

            "Stand by, boy," Zoey commands, as she focuses on her door.

            Two sets of knocks begin to bang away at their door, with a third set joining the cacophony. With the TV turned off, sounds of some kind of whistling and rumbling can be heard from the outside. A drop of sweat begins to fall from Zoey's temple as Rocky growls at the door. And suddenly...

            "Master!" In an instant, Max, Kirlia, and Randy are Teleported into Zoey's home, and fall and stumble onto her kitchen floor.

            "Eek!" Both Zoey and Rocky jump from the surprise. "WHAT ARE YOU ALL DOING HERE?!"

            Bruised, wet, and out of breath, Max leans up against the wall as Kirlia struggles to use a Heal Pulse on him. "We were... taking home... leftovers..." he holds up a large box of Church's in a plastic back. "But... outside... ngh..." he falls face-first to the kitchen floor.

            "Master..." Kirlia struggles to speak. "Dun fall... your back... can't... take it..." she faints next to him.

            "You're all... pansies..." Randy stands with his head to the floor. ".........And so am I." He faints, causing the floor to shake a bit.

            Wondering what caused their current state, Zoey steps past them, over to hr front door to pen it. Suddenly, a powerful gust of wind blows in, blowing her robe away and Rocky with it. Large chunks of hail fall from the sky, almost reaching her from the distance unprotected by the floors of apartments over head. with all her might, Zoey pushes her front door, until it's closed shut and keeps any more winds from bursting in.

            "Phew," Zoey leans back against her door. Realizing she's lost her robe, she struggles to cover herself with her arms and legs crossed, only to remember that her visitors are passed out. "What a day," she sighs into the sky.

            Walking in from her living room, Zoey holds the two pillows usually reserved for her couch. With incredible care, she turns Max over on his back, trying her best to keep from twisting his spine in any unnecessary way, and slips one pillow under his head. Before getting up, she lifts the little Kirlia and places her up against her Trainer in a comfortable embrace, while touching her fingertips to her lips and transferring the affection to Kirlia's forehead.

            Turning to Randy, Zoey attempts to lift him over. Having used most of her strength, her efforts in simply flipping him over prove futile, so she settles on simply lifting his head by the hair, slipping a pillow under, then dropping his head onto it. She gets back up and begins to leave. "...Riding Maxwell Sheffield..." he mumbles out. Zoey pauses to think what possible dream could coax such a string of words, then continues on.

            Using his sense of smell, Rocky walks into the kitchen, covered completely by Zoey's silk robe.

            "Thanks, baby," Zoey reaches for her robe. "I'd hate to have the boys wake up and find me in my undies."

            As Zoey puts her robe back on, Rocky continues and sniffs out the box of leftovers Max had been carrying with him. Curious, Zoey picks it up and opens it to find a large amount of untouched chicken strips, four biscuits, a side of gravy, and a variety of dipping sauces.

            "They call these leftovers?!" Zoey stares at the food as Rocky begins to beg for some. "I think they wouldn't mind if we took some as payment for sleeping here uninvited, right, baby?"

            "Awroooooooooooo!" Rocky endearingly howls.

            Grabbing a bottle of pink lemonade from her fridge, Zoey follows Rocky to their bedroom. With Rocky jumping in through the door's own doggy-door, Zoey makes her own way towards, with the box of food.

            From the corner of her eye, Zoey catches a glimpse of a framed photo on a nearby end table, untouched and old. She stares into it for a brief moment, allowing a soft, warm smile to appear, and makes her way into her room. The light of the hallway bulb shines on the photo, one depicting a man and woman - lovers long gone - smiling with a young boy between them, and the younger girl next to him, now grown. The light quickly vanishes, as the grown girl flips the switch off as a small favor to the sleeping trio in the nearby kitchen.

            Afterword:

            Gonna be taking a hiatus. I haven't exactly felt like writing much lately, but mostly, just wanna work on my five-part series before I continue this fic. It's a completely-original work, but a bit lengthy. Not sure why I can't get in the writing mood. Maybe because some favorite shows are gonna premiere soon (Humans, Impractical Jokers tonight, Workaholics, all of Toonami, etc...) Until then...

            Spoiler:
            Please moar sushi, hooman!
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              #59    
            Old February 9th, 2017 (7:26 PM).
            Bay's Avatar
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            I too enjoyed the Zoey centric chapter there. I think several folks who aren't Patriot fans (like myself) got pretty passionate over that game, haha. The previous scene concerning the comments on the picture I admit to rolling my eyes over Drek Nasty and Donnie's comments. I would have reacted the same way, yup.
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              #60    
            Old July 13th, 2017 (1:06 PM).
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              Chapter 40: Hidden Ivory

              ...

              "...Is she okay?"

              "She should be."

              "This is her first time, right?"

              "Yes. Perhaps it has overwhelmed her quite a bit."

              Groggy, Kirlia awakens to two faces. Two Pokémon looming over her in worry.

              "...! She's awake!" says the blonde Primarina.

              Slowly, Kirlia sits up on her cushion and rubs her eyes. "Where... am I?"

              "In our island!" Primarina states as she giggles with excitement.

              "More specifically," the other Pokémon, a Delphox, begins to clarify, "you have been sent into Master Max's Storage System."

              Surprised, she stands on her feet. "Da PC?"

              "Uh-huh!" Primarina begins. "Along with all the rest of us!"

              Bright-eyed, Kirlia begins to realize who everyone else is. "So, you're...?"

              "That's right," Delphox answers prematurely. "We are all Master's other Pokémon."

              Excited, Kirlia can't help but to begin dancing in place a bit as her breathing slowly begins to speed up.

              Quickly, Primarina gets close to Kirlia's side for a small hug. "And we've been waiting for you! Lemme introduce myself. I'm Primarina!" As if of great importance, she gently fixes a bit of her hair as she speaks. "I'm one of Master's shiny Pokémon! He says my hair makes me look like a Super Saiyan 3, whatever that is."

              "It's true!" Kirlia giggles.

              "And that's Delphox!" Primarina points to her fellow creature. "He's the leader of us all! Helps keep order in our island!"

              Blushing, Delphox looks away. "It's not that big a deal."

              "Thinks he's all that," Primarina states, with a smirk facing the back of her flipper. She laughs loudly, "Oh, ho ho ho ho ho!" Kirlia can't help but gigle a bit.

              With a drop of sweat forming on his brow, Delphox brushes off his annoyance. "I meant that we don't really need a leader. We have things quite figured out."

              Rushing to his side, Primarina gives Delphox a small side-hug. "Aw, you know I'm just teasing you," she reassures.

              "...Hm..." He shrugs.

              "So," Kirlia begins, "where is everybody?"

              Using her fairy's magic, Primarina lifts Kirlia onto her back for a ride. "We'll take you to them!"

              "Yes, the congregation is sure to commence momentarily," Delphox remarks as he begins to exit the small hut they've waited in. "I'm sure they'd be delighted to meet you."

              "Let's-a go!" with her magic, Primarina follows Delphox in a levitation that resembles swimming, with Kirlia in tow.

              "Miyaah~!" Excited, Kirlia looks over Primarina's hair as they exit together.

              * * *

              The sun flutters down through the trees as the three continue down the path together.

              "It feels so real!" Kirlia remarks, as her eyes study the leaves on the trees, among other details.

              "Yes, well, this virtual world is our home," Delphox begins as he leads on. "It would be troublesome if it didn't feel right, if you know what I mean."

              "Neat!" As they continue along, Kirlia's eyes continue to dart around everywhere, except the path ahead.

              From underneath a shadow cast by a large boulder near the path, a relaxed voice emits. "Hey look. The poster child's here."

              Surprised by the familiar voice, Kirlia levitates off from Primarina's back to get a closer look. The purple mane gives away the identity of the relaxing Pokémon. "It's da Zoroark!" she exclaims as she runs up to him.

              With his claws acting as an additional pillow stuffed into his purple mane, Zoroark neglects to rise from his laid-back position. "Been a while," he begins. "Is Master still holdin' up?"

              "Yup! At least, as best as he can. He's useless without me," Kirlia giggles. The other three giggle a bit as well, until Kirlia notices something. "Two shinies? Does Master like shinies?"

              "Maybe," Primarina giggles.

              "I'm quite regular, so I can't say for sure," Delphox admits.

              "Master can treasure me all he wants," Zoroark begins, "just so long as he keeps his commands on the battle field. I'd hate having my chill-time interrupted."

              "Then we won't keep you," Delphox begins. "We were just on our way to the congregation."

              Opening for the first time in hours, Zoroark's golden eyes meet the group. "That today?" Slowly, he rises to his feet, and as if suddenly transformed, he shuffles his feet to an impressive speed like that of a lightweight boxer's. "Then I'll tag along!"

              "Da whah...?" Kirlia asks as the group continues.

              "It's better to show you," Primarina assures her.

              * * *

              In the center of the island sits a large clearing. To one side sits a hut where Pokémon can loiter, eat, or simply socialize. To the opposite side booms the cheers of a diverse group of Pokémon gathered around a ring used for battles.

              "Last chance for berry drinks!" a Whimsicott with blue horns shouts from inside the hut. "Best to enjoy the congregation with a cold, refreshing berry drink!"

              Moving to the front of the group for a better look, Kirlia balances her berry drink on Primarina's hair.

              "Once in a while," Delphox begins to explain, "we hold the congregation. In a battle frenzy like this, we see which of the participants can hold out the longest against different opponents, all in a row. After the cycle repeats when the first to lose goes again, we tally up the results and declare a winner, and said winner gets a feast dedicated to them."

              "Wow!" Kirlia swallows a mouthful of drink. "I dun like being in battles, but I like watching them!"

              "A great source of information," a raspy voice sounds from the pink Wobbuffet next to the group. "A diverse display, for diverse planning."

              "Still trying to read everyone's strategy?" Primarina teases a bit.

              "...Hmmmmm..." Concentrating, Wobbuffet keeps his eyes on the ring.

              With a blow delivered through defenses, a groan rains down from the ring as Mimikyu hits the ground around the other Pokémon, allowing her crown to fall off her head.

              "Mimicutie!" Kirlia recognizes.

              "...The dainty maid-fodder returns..." she begins as she slowly faints.

              "Not a problem, gurl!" From the crowd, an Aromatisse begins to use Heal Pulse on Mimikyu. "You know I gotchyu."

              "All Pokémon knocked out are immediately rejuvenated," Delphox explains. "Just because we get knocked out, it doesn't mean we can't keep watching.

              Relieved, Kirlia sighs a bit before drinking more from her drink.

              "YEAH!" From the ring, the winner begins to pose. "THIS INCINEROAR CAME TO PLAY! GRRR! YEAH!!!"

              "You're so neat!" from behind Incineroar watches Whimsicott. "Can I have your autograph, mister Incineroar?"

              "AH HA HA!" he laughs. "I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR WORLDLY GOOD THAT DON'T BRING VICTORY!" Leaning in close to Whimsicott, he speaks away from everyone else. "Meet me when I get K.O.'ed, and I'll even treat ya to some grub."

              "Okay!" Happily, Whimsicott leaves him.

              "SO WHOSE NEXT?!"

              "I am!" The raspy voice of Wobbuffet answers from the ring.

              "Hmm?" Listening closely, Incineroar notices Wobbuffet's feet somewhat shuffling a bit. "You seem to be ready for a fight, huh? Think you can keep me entertained?"

              "Sure do!"

              Kirlia sips her drink for a while before her mind connects the dots. "...Wait, wat?!" She looks to Delphox's side and finds Wobbuffet, still studying the fight.

              "So, he chose you, huh?" Delphox remarks.

              "Not a bad strategy," Wobbuffet comments.

              The bell resounds to commence the fight. Immediately, Wobbuffet rushes with extreme speed with a ball of dark energy in his hands, ready to burst against Incineroar. As a counter-measure, Incineroar cloaks himself in fire as he rushes with a Flame Charge attack. Connecting, both attacks leave an explosion to litter the ring with debris of energy. Regaining his footing, Incineroar confirms his suspicions as he finds his opponent's Illusion begin to fall.

              "You didn't think I was that dim, did ya?" Incineroar asks with a smirk.

              "You found me out." Regaining his own footing, Zoroark prepares another attack. "I'll make sure this one does it!"

              With a ball of energy gathering for a Focus Blast, Zoroark fails to realize that Incineroar's gotten faster, and rushes in with a Leech Life attack.

              "RAAAAH!" Incineroar roars.

              Surprised, Zoroark unleashes his Focus Blast, only to miss his speedy target. "Damn inaccuracy!"

              With teeth sunk into Zoroark's body, Incineroar swings his face towards the edge of the ring to fling his opponent out. Landing on his head, Zoroark faints.

              "...Time to chill..." Zoroark states in a daze.

              "Zoroark!" With her psychic powers, Kirlia tries to lift Zoroark off his uncomfortable position, only for her attempts to fail. "NYEH DA DARK-TYPES!"

              "On it, gurl." With a handful of Sitrus berries at the ready, Aromatisse pulls Zoroark closer to himself and begins to feed him. "I ain't letting you down, hon."

              Kirlia sighs once again.

              "Relax!" Primarina begins. "Sure, we get hurt, but we get better soon enough, and we learn from our opponents for the next time we battle!"

              "'E dolore magna gloria.' Our very-own Valhalla," Delphox adds.

              "If you say so," Kirlia states, with eyes focused on Zoroark and mouth around a straw.

              "YEAH! ANOTHER ONE UNDER MAH BURNIN' BELT!" Incineroar poses.

              "Show-offs these days," a humble-yet-deep voice greets Incineroar. An Emboar flexes his arms. "They need quite the spanking, don't they?"

              "Got something to say to me, old man?"

              "Ha ha!" with a jolly smile, Emboar takes his stance. "Allow me to walk the walk instead.

              Ready, the bell ignites the fight. Both fighter cloak themselves in fire as they fling themselves at each other using Flame Charge, boosting each other's speed as they brush off minuscule damage.

              "Looks like I need more power! RAAAH!!!" With body pulsating, Incineroar uses Bulk Up to raise his attack and defense stats.

              Only for Emboar to unleash an attack of his own. "Too slow!"

              Aloft and looming over Incineroar, Emboar leans back a bit and begins to drop his head down on his opponent. The full-powered Head Smash lands a devastating hit on Incineroar, immediately knocking him out, sending him flying to a corner of the ring.

              "Mah glory ends here..." Incineroar lets out.

              "Now that one hurt the both of us." Rubbing his head, Emboar ponders. "Maybe I should have gone with something else..."

              Jumping onto the ring, Delphox speaks. "It seems we shall put the congregation on pause!"

              "Pause." The accompanying Porygon2 repeats.

              Everyone speaks amongst each other as they wonder why their event is paused.

              "App is booted." Porygon2 calmly states.

              "Yes. Master is approaching," Delphox states, much to everyone's relief.

              "Master?!" Surprised, Kirlia begins. "he's here too? In da PC?"

              "Yes! Didn't you know?" With Kirlia in tow, Primarina follows the crowd as they gather south from the clearing.

              * * *

              All of Max's Pokémon gather around a cylindrical light that flutters down from the heaves onto the ground. Slowly, Kirlia walks close to the spot where the light meets the earth. The rest of the Pokémon look on as they anticipate to see how their Trainer treats the fairy girl they've heard so much about. In an instant, a 3-D model materializes.

              "Master!" Kirlia stands in disbelief. "Master's so... so... SO TINY!!!"

              With a cartoony sweat-drop on his head, the caricature avatar Mii that serves as Max endures her laughing and hugging, barely able to look over her green hair.

              "How?!" she giggles.

              "3DS," Porygon 2 answers.

              "That's right," Delphox explains. "Using a terminal at a certain building, Master Max is capable of digitizing and materializing us. And those of us in his storage system are placed in his Nintendo 3DS console."

              "Really?"

              "Yes. In fact, he visits us fairly often."

              At that moment, Kirlia begins to remember things she'd never thought had meant much. At restaurants with Randy and Zoey, during commercials of his favorite shows, and even just while idly relaxing with her head on his shoulder, Kirlia realizes that the moments Max spends on his 3DS aren't just for gaming.

              Stepping forth, Kirlia begins to speak. "You dun ignore your Pokémon?"

              Max's Mii nods no.

              "You love us all!" she slowly squeals as she begins to radiate with a warmth of happiness.

              Max's Mii strikes a proud, happy pose.

              "So it's true." Delphox's voice causes Kirlia to turn around. "You can speak the language of humans."

              "I told ya!" Zoroark leers at Delphox.

              "Mmhmm," Kirlia confirms. "Why?"

              "Well, we love it here and everything," Delphoxs begins as he looks away. "But... there are requests we would like to make."

              "I can translate!" Kirlia offers as everyone begins to speak of things they'd like.

              "Hey, man," a very relaxed Carracosta begins. "How about rocks?"

              Primarina gasps. "For the beach! Yes!"

              "Hot springs!" Emboar happily shouts.

              "Okay, okay! Um..." Kirlia ponders a bit. "Master, your Pokémon want some things on da island. Can you help?"

              A flash of light materializes a virtual clipboard in Max's Mii's hands. He signals that he's ready to hear everyone out.

              "Okay, um... what first?"

              "A club house!" Whimsicott suggests.

              "Yeah," Zoroark agrees. "We forest-folk love our solitude and all, but we don't like visiting each other's specific places."

              "A place to gather..." Without turning around, a Scpetile adds.

              "Okay." Turning to Max's Mii, Kirlia begins, "A club house in da forest?"

              Touching the surface of his clipboard, Max causes a plume of white, cartoony smoke to rise in the center of the forest, granting his Pokémon's wish.

              "Weee!" Happy, Whimsicott hugs Max's Mii.

              Feelings are returned, as Max pets Whimsicott and high-fives Zoroark.

              "The rocks, man!" Carracosta persistently presses.

              "Okay, um... rocks for da beach!"

              Max returns to his clipboard.

              "Can't wait to soak my thunder-thighs in hot water!" a Hariyama excitedly exclaims.

              "Generator," Porygon2 states.

              "A comfy, peaceful place," a Musharna with purple mist sleepily starts.

              "A dark mansion to form plans for world-domination in!" Mimikyu suggests.

              With everyone asking for different things, Kirlia translates as Max gladly works away to please his partners.

              Afterword:

              Yeah, so forget what I said about the other story. It was underdeveloped. I mean, the premise is awesome and I might revisit it, but the execution was "meh". Not as thought out as my other creative works. But oh well, I'm back. These next few chapters will expand this universe a bit, in a fun, weird way. And a new face hinted at coming into view. I'm not entirely confident in her, but she's likely to make a great addition to these weird chapters. And in case anyone's wondering, I'll likely take another long-ass break once Ultra Moon lands in my hands. Until then. XDDDDD

              P.S. This chapter's replay value gets better if you imagine Inceneroar being voiced by Chris Rager, Zoroark by Vic Mignona, Delphox by Tom Wayland, Primarina by Wendee Lee, Carracosta by Tommy Chong, Whimsicott by Stephanie Sheh, and Emboar by Shean Hennigan, among most. XDDDDD
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                #61    
              Old July 14th, 2017 (5:13 PM).
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              Oh cool, this is back! Looks like Kirlia had some fun with Max's other Pokemon there, and the wrestling going on there looks fun too. I like how Incineroar is able to see through Zoroark's illusion there. And lol over Max being a Mii and getting whatever his Pokemon asks for.
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                #62    
              Old July 18th, 2017 (2:04 PM).
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              Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
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                Back on the horse for les than a week, and I already have a surplus...

                Chapter 41: X-Ray Men

                "What was this place called again?" Kirlia asks as she looks around.

                "What, this university?" Max asks.

                In the halls of a prestigious college, Kirlia takes in the sights of different students, nearly all of them Pokémon Trainers, many of whom have Pokémon small enough to ride their heads or shoulders, and a surprising amount of them foreigners.

                "Ishho amazing!" Kirlia exclaims as she takes in the sights.

                "Yeah, but where's Zoey? She said she'd be around here," Max states as they turn into a corner, only to be met with a face of someone looking for them.

                A short girl, dressed in prim clothing out of many's financial reach, wearing glasses and sporting short, blonde, straight, neatly-clipped hair looks at the two. "A Kirlia..." she notices. "And a bare-foot boy."

                "Um, do we know you?" Max asks.

                "My name is Esmeralda," the girl coldly begins as she adjusts her glasses. "I was asked by Zoey to watch for you. She'd like you to know that she won't be long. In the meantime, mind if I ask you for a trade? The Ralts line is nearly impossible to find outside of Europe and Japan, and I think I can find a place in my team for such a Pokémon."

                "Sorry, but no dice," Max begins. "My Kirlia's a pacifist, and I have zero intentions of giving her up." With an unintentional groan, Kirlia wraps her arms around Max's hips and legs without turning away.

                "Shame," she responds as she begins to walk past them. "I suppose I'll have to find someone else here to trade with."

                Max looks at her as she walks away. "So cold..."

                * * *

                A few minutes later, a freshman in the halls taunts his peers with the Pokémon he finally evolved. "My Hydreigon can't be countered that easily!" he speaks. "He can take your teams down before you can set your DVRs! Right?"

                Facing Kirlia, the boy's Hydreigon uses its three heads to unleash a loud roar mere inches from the fairy girl. After a few seconds of a sound-induced tremor, the Hydreigon begins to growl.

                "Miyaah?" With a bit of fairy magic, Kirlia gently slaps the Hydreigon's main head on the cheek.

                "YEEEEEEEH-!" With heads and feet struggling to crawl away with haste, the Hydreigon dashes out the door of the corridor in fear.

                "Hey, wait!" The freshman runs after his fleeing dragon as everyone else laughs.

                "Tee-hee," Kirlia giggles. "Master, why dun you come here anymore?"

                "I dropped out from here," he starts as they walk on through the halls. "I didn't care for the competitive rules. Shoulda gone for some other field of study-" stopped by a familiar-yet-different sight, Max is cut short.

                "What do you think?" Zoey turns her body to show off the black-and-white outfit she chose to wear. "It's my Team Skull Grunt cosplay! I figured I can wear this for the public seminar today. I even got the headgear!"

                "Cute!!!" Kirlia squeals as passerby's stare on at a speaking Pokémon.

                "Max, what do you think? You haven't said anything-"

                "Yeah, um," Max sheepishly begins as he gets up close to her, struggling to bring up the subject. "The things is... you shouldn't have worn those white shorts. I'm probably breaking some guy code or whatever, but we can see through them."

                "Hmph," Zoey turns away from him. "I bet you just want to see more of me, perv."

                "I see you went with pink today," Max delivers with a deadpan tone.

                Without facing him, Zoey discretely checks, and is startled by his accuracy. Fearful, she begins to whimper as she backs up against Max and the corridor wall.

                "Watch it!" Max tries to keep from brushing up against her.

                "This isn't happening!" Zoey continues to whimper, cowering, as she tries to hide from any prying eyes between Max and the wall behind him. "Help me!"

                "Relax," Max takes a hold of her hands on his shoulder as he extends the other towards Kirlia. "Sweetheart, can you make it to Zoey's place from here?"

                "I can try," she responds as she takes his hand.

                "But my class starts in a few minutes-" The three vanish through a Teleport.

                * * *

                Rushing, Zoey makes it to her class in a hurry as one of the last students to walk in through the door. She wears different clothes, all dark colors, sporting a blouse and a pair of jeans that can function as semi-casual while maintaining an air of formality. Without skipping a beat, she makes it to her seat. "Did I miss anything, Esmer?" she asks the girl next to her.

                "Nothing yet," Esmeralda reassures her. "Um, if I may ask, why do you look so flushed?"

                "Long story," Zoey responds as she wipes a bit of sweat from her forehead.

                Meanwhile, Max stands in the parking lot in front of Zoey's building, within the fencing of the complex. Alongside Kirlia and Rocky, he holds a bag full of clothing, white clothes, all belonging to Zoey. With Kirlia's psychic abilities and Rocky's Fire Fang, Max oversees the process of burning them all in a steel barrel. As Max lets go of a pair of shorts for the burn, a sharply-dressed, elderly man - the landlord - passes them towards his parked car nearby.

                He looks at Rocky. "That Growlithe... You're acquainted with that young girl on the second floor, aren't you?"

                "Yup," Max replies.

                He looks at the bag of clothes. "You told her about the whites?"

                "Yup."

                "Why not resell them?" he asks.

                "She said she didn't want some other girl wearing them," Max replies as he tosses a cotton t-shirt into the burning drum.

                The landlord proceeds to enter his car. "Smart girl."

                Afterword:

                This is completely true. If you're a girl who owns white clothes, I strongly implore you to either switch to a different fabric like silk, or to only wear these clothes at home and away from prying eyes. Just sayin'.
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                  #63    
                Old July 18th, 2017 (10:01 PM).
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                Bay Bay is offline
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                I can tell this is poking a bit fun of Smogon with the university and competitive theme going on. Fairies able to slay Dragons, like like Kirlia did with the Hydreigon, always amuses me. Poor Zoey over her panties being seen like that. I admit I'm not the biggest fan of white clothing lol. I have a few white shirts I wear for my workplace but I would wear an undershirt underneath.
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                  #64    
                Old July 25th, 2017 (2:21 PM). Edited August 8th, 2017 by Taro Tanaka.
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                Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
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                  So sleeeepy...

                  Chapter 42: No Tuition Needed

                  "Well, it seems that it's about time to begin," the lecturer begins as he takes a look around the room.

                  The students and others attending the presentation settle their voices, courteous to allow the instructor to begin speaking. The lights in the auditorium dim somewhat, enough to still allow for note-taking.

                  "Welcome, everyone," he begins as he stands behind a podium, in front of the slideshow presentation he's prepared. "Welcome to this public seminar, 'Our World and Pokémon'. I'm your speaker today, Professor Ahuehuete. As you can tell from my delicious accent," he pauses as the audience snowballs into a giggle, "I am a visitor from the Mexican branch of this university. I study relationships between humans and Pokémon, which falls into a sociological field, rather than biological or historic; but I am still very much qualified to speak today. Now," he starts as he uses a remote to advance the slideshow, "let us begin.

                  "Ah, the history of these creatures. It was about two decades ago that these 'magical creatures' that have been dubbed 'Pokémon' have entered our world. The explanation, as shown in this picture," he clicks on his remote to show the picture, "lies within portals like this one. For many millennia, these portals have appeared in our world, but only in scarce numbers and in rare occasions. These portals have not become common until recently, when Pokémon have officially been welcomed into our world. However, we have reason to believe that these creatures may have been present for some time now, as many of our historic, 'mythical' beasts recorded throughout history do in fact resemble certain species of Pokémon. But I digress.

                  "While we have yet to fully understand what causes these portals to appear, we nonetheless travel through them into the world of Pokémon on the other side. The first to have done so were a group of men, collectively known as the then-magazine publishers and now-video game developers Game Freak, who created their video game series based on the creatures they had studied from a portal found inside a cave in Japan. These titles have helped bridge our concerns with these creatures, as well as our relationships with the humans on the other side... Yes, you?"

                  A student raises her hand to ask a question. "Yeah, um, are the games in any way accurate to what has happened in that world?"

                  "Why, yes they are," Ahuehuete answers. "At least they are now. You try to recreate Celadon City with the technology of a Game Boy Color." The room laughs a bit. "But let us move on.

                  "Our fellow humans have developed wondrous technology that helps their endeavors in coexisting with Pokémon. To assist our world, they have shared their technology; and in return, we share in return. We share our resources, our services and labor, our commerce, even our own land, as a way to return the favors they have given us. Of course, there are controversies with different groups over our relations. Religious groups, for one, tend to distrust Pokémon if they don't agree with their views. On top of that, there have even incidents across the globe involving Pokémon. An elephant in India once wandered off into one of these portals and came back traumatized, which has caused concern in that country. But the vast majority of us do embrace these creatures, and do not regret welcoming them into our world."

                  "Professor," a young woman in a lab coat enters stage right with a table, on top of which two Skitty nap, causing the audience to aww at them.

                  "Gracias," Ahuehuete begins. "Now, who can tell me what makes these two Skitty so different? Any guesses?"

                  The audience shout replies. "IVs?" "Natures?" "Abilities?"

                  "Most are probably true," Ahuehuete begins, "but I ask of you to take out your Pokédexes and scan both Skitty. A marvelous device, eh? Anyway, you will notice that one is labeled as 'Natural' and the other as 'Generated'. This means that the 'Generated' Skitty was brought into our world from one of the titles, and the 'Natural' Skitty was found through natural means, whether they are from the other world or ours."

                  "If I may," Esmer begins, "how are they generated?"

                  "Good question," Ahuehuete starts. "You see, anyone with a video game can pay to have their in-game Pokémon essentially brought to life, in a similar way we clone fossilized Pokémon. However, there is one requirement: they must be a Trainer. And to become a Trainer, one must capture a Natural Pokémon and apply for a Pokedex. These creatures are capable of so much, after all; we argue that only one who can tame them can raise them as well. Not that non-Trainers cannot have Pokémon of their own; they may adopt them as pets and guardians from specific sanctuaries and reserves. They just don't get as many privileges as Trainers do, like Generated Pokémon or the privilege of conducting official battles.

                  "Of course, there are also restrictions on Generated Pokémon," Ahuehuete clicks to change the slide. "First and foremost, any and all Legendary Pokémon are forbidden to be generated. We wouldn't want everyone to run around with Mega-evolving Rayquaza on every corner, now do we?" The audience laughs. "However, Natural Legendary Pokémon caught by Trainers are completely legal, as they have earned such a feat. The most recent example that comes to mind is one of last year, when an unknown Trainer captured The Metal Star of Canada; if anyone knows this Trainer, please see me after this presentation. Moving on... We also do not allow hacks or clones from being generated; they are considered illegitimate. We do conduct an extensive check to see who's been a naughty Trainer. Hacking and cheating are fine for recreational uses in the games, but not in our lives. We also implement high prices for this service, as a way to help maintain balance in our natural ecosystems, discouraging Trainers from releasing Generated Pokémon into the wild.

                  "Now, because these creatures have presented great opportunities for our world, economically and otherwise, we had begun to study them. This is when our beloved Smogon University was born. A first, it was an online organization dedicated to the competitive aspect of these creatures. However, it eventually evolved into a real-life university dedicated to many aspects of Pokémon, and not just battling with them. And of course, we still honor Smogon, the German Koffing that it was named after. And why the founder chose a Koffing, well..." The audience giggles a bit. "But it has been wonderful to many of us. We are simply standing in the Texas branch of the university; it actually reaches many places in the world. Except places like North Korea and Vietnam, because Pokémon are banned there completely and therefore need no reason for our university. Anyway, now we shall go over the government's involvement with these creatures, and the programs they offer for Trainers and citizens who care for Pokémon."

                  Kirlia stares at the notebook on the table in front of her. "Zoey has barely written any notes," she thinks to herself.

                  "Omigosh, I get to have Kirlia on my lap and all to myself for the next hour!" Zoey gushes in her mind to herself. "She's so wonderful, I almost want to steal her away from Max! Maybe I should!"

                  Next to Zoey sits Max, who sways from side to side as he struggles to keep from falling asleep completely, and Esmer next to him keeps to herself, as she furiously takes down notes as if the rest of the world didn't exist.

                  Afterword:

                  Somewhere in this universe, there stands a Trainer who proudly tries to take on the competitive world with a team full of nothing but six Magikarp.
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                    #65    
                  Old August 1st, 2017 (5:41 AM).
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                    Chapter 43: Snob, Slob, Civil War

                    "I don't understand," Esmer begins. "A Pokémon that can speak like you is incredibly valuable. Why stay in this position when you can live with a wealthy Trainer of become famous?"

                    "Because," Kirlia begins as she levitates to Max's side for a hug, "I love my Master."

                    "So," Esmer turns to Max, "you're willing to give up the chance to be a Trainer just to care for this Kirlia?"

                    "No, I can be the competent Trainer," Max sits Kirlia in the gap of his legs. "I just like keeping this darling around, just because."

                    "Uh-huh! Master was great at the last battle he had," Kirlia complements.

                    "Which was what? Seven months or twenty chapters ago?" he states, almost deadpan.

                    Max and Esmer sit together in the grass on the Smogon campus, underneath a tree. Having sat through a presentation in a highly air-conditioned auditorium, the two had decided to go outside for some Texas heat to warm themselves up as they away the return of their friend.

                    "Back!" From the parking lot, Zoey makes her way to her friends with her Growlithe and a large basket in tow. "Got it all right here!

                    Laying down a blanket, Zoey begins to unpack the contents of her basket, creating a picnic with almost more food than the blanket can hold. Esmer and Max also assist in setting everything down, and don't notice the size of the feast until they've completed.

                    "Wow, that's a ton," Max states.

                    "Well, it helps that you two pitched in a bit," Zoey states as she plays with the ends of her long hair. "Anyway, let's eat!"

                    "Then I shall invite someone to assist in this feast," Esmer begins as she cautiously lifts herself up from the grass, wiping her clothes of any blades. From withing her backpack, she takes out a Luxury Ball and opens it, unleashing a light that takes the figure of a Ninetales.

                    "Da Alola Forme!" Kirlia exclaims.

                    "Yes, I captured this wonderful Ninetales this past winter," Esmer sits as the Ninetales positions itself somewhat behind her, almost sheepishly. "I found her injured up in the mountains. We were vacationing in Hawaii."

                    "I had the feeling you were loaded," Max remarks. "It explains all the food."

                    "All da yummy food," Kirlia remarks as she feeds Rocky a sandwich.

                    The three and their Pokémon feast for a while, holding a conversation as they notice each other's etiquette. Max eats in his usual, somewhat careless fashion and Zoey makes it apparent that she's somewhat embarrassed to be seen eating such a vehement amount; Esmer, on the other hand, brings poise and finesse that had yet to be seen.

                    "You're kidding," Max swallows his food. "Bias?"

                    "Yes, a large amount of it," Esmer continues. "It seems that the staff of numerous Battle Institutions, including Texas' own Battle Peak, had shown bias against promising Trainers by pinning them against others who had advantageous and somewhat impractical teams. It was quite the story."

                    "Meanies," Kirlia adds as she consumes a mouthful of pie.

                    From a nearby sidewalk, the yelling of young men interrupts the feast. The boys simply cheer and jeer at each other over things hey had done minutes earlier, such as crack jokes or win rounds in video games played in the nearby entertainment building. While Esmer remains annoyed, Max and Zoey spot a familiar face.

                    "Randy!" Zoey notices.

                    "Later, jerks!" Randy bids the boys as he approaches the groups. "What are you guys doin' here?"

                    "I go here, remember?" Zoey reminds him. "What are you doing here?"

                    "I sometimes come here to visit my other friends and just hang out and muk, when I'm bored. Wait, what are you doin' here?" he faces Max.

                    "Kirlia wanted to attend the seminar, so I brought her," Max states as he pets her.

                    "Join us," Zoey invites him to sit. "There's plenty to go around."

                    "YEAH!" Almost instantly, he takes his seat.

                    At that moment, Zoey, Max, Kirlia, and even Rocky, all seem to notice a form of juxtaposition. While Esmer remains on her knees, upright and straight, Randy sits with legs spread apart and back hunched. While Esmer keeps tidy and dabs her mouth with a napkin, Randy does little to keep caution as he handles his food with bare and rapid hands. Once Randy unleashes a burp, Esmer speaks her mind.

                    "One should not belch in the presence of others," Esmer, annoyed, states to the boy next to her.

                    Randy, oblivious up until that point, looks up. "Who invited the stiff?"

                    "Come on, be nice," Max throws into the conversation. "That goes for you too, back there," he directs at Esmer's Ninetales, who leers a bit at Randy.

                    "I'm not gonna change just cuz some boonskell's got a problem with it," Randy continues as he shoves a whole slice of pie into his mouth.

                    "Proper etiquette should be exercised for all company involved," Esmer states, "rather than act like a savage."

                    "At least I don't act like a nerdy outcast. I ACT LIKE THE GODDAMN BOSS THAT I AM!"

                    Kirlia's still lost in thought over what a "boonskell" could possibly be.

                    "Check it out," Max begins to joke. "It's the ice queen versus the burger king. Hey, Sal, Murr, quiet down," he laughs.

                    "I hear your confidence, but I've yet to see the fruit of said labors," Esmer begins as she gets up onto her feet. "Care to prove your status as a 'boss' on the battlefield?"

                    "I ain't got a Pokémon," Randy claims as he stands on his own two feet.

                    "Then arguing with you is pointless-"

                    "I DIDN'T SAY I WASN'T GONNA BATTLE!" With an audible stomp on the ground, Randy takes a stance. "I CAN FIGHT ON MY OWN!"

                    "A human entering combat against a Pokémon?" Esmer smirks, as if amused, almost breaking into a genuine smile. "It seems to be my task to put you in your place. Ninetales," she commands, coaxing her partner to stand before her.

                    A crowd of passersby has gathered around the two, curious to see how such a battle will turn out.

                    "BRING IT!!!" Randy screams.

                    "Moonblast!" Esmer commands her Ninetales.

                    As the battle commences, Max and Zoey have moved to another tree and lay under its shade. Zoey and Max lay on their backs with their heads gently pressed together, while their Pokémon lay snuggled up against them, also on their backs.

                    "Ever wonder what it's like to fall into the sky?" Zoey asks.

                    "Yeah, sometimes," Max begins. "But the more I think about it, the scarier it gets."

                    "But astronauts do it all the time," Kirlia adds.

                    The sounds of battle endure in the background.

                    "Yup," Zoey starts. "Starships were indeed meant to fly, afterall."

                    "Don't quote like that," Max starts. "Don't make it sound like we needed Nikki Minaj to point out that starships were meant to do the exact psyducking thing they were conceptualized, designed, and created to do."

                    "Hey, Nikki Minaj is a national treasure!" Zoey starts, trying to hold back her laughter. "If it wasn't for her, we'd still be thinking that starships were meant to do our laundry or something," everyone lets out their laughter.

                    As combat dust begins to rise, the spectators begin to either cheer for Esmer's Ninetales or Randy, growing divided as the battle progreses.

                    Rocky begins to whimper. "What is it baby?" Zoey asks in an affectionate, high-pitched voice. "Need me to hold you?" His tail audibly wags against the grass before being lifted onto Zoey's chest. She begins to nuzzle his wet nose as she gives him some baby-talk.

                    "I know da feeling," Kirlia remarks as Max's arms grow tighter around her, causing her toes to audible fidget against the grass underneath.

                    The battle drags on in the background.

                    Afterword:

                    Spoiler:
                    STUPID BATTLE TREE SCREWING ME OVER WITH TEAMS DESIGNED TO COUNTER MY OWN TEAMS AAAAAARGHGHGHG!!!!!111!!11!!1
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                      #66    
                    Old August 8th, 2017 (7:09 AM).
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                    Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
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                      Chapter 42 is a lot like actual lectures: boring and not all that interesting. But I had to do it anyway. XD

                      Chapter 44: Cascade of Melodies

                      "Your Ninetales has been restored to full health, ma'am," the campus nurse hands Esmer the Luxury Ball containing her Ninetales. "It's always wonderful to see a Trainer expressing her concern over her fainted partners."

                      "Yes, well, we do have a responsibility to out Pokémon," Esmer states as she leers at Randy in the distance, barely scratched, who happily limbers his spine up.

                      "Where did Max go?" Zoey asks as Esmer rejoins them. "I thought we were going to go start the weekend by going out for cook-out supplies."

                      "Kirlia said he wanted to go do some singing thing outside," Randy answers.

                      "Oh dear god, have you heard him sing?" Zoey giggles.

                      "I can't tell if I'm startin' to like his singing voice, or if I'm just getting used to how much he sucks," Randy smirks.

                      "I believe they meant to participate in one of the students' activities outside," Esmer begins. "A singing contest. But not between the Trainers themselves; rather, any Trainer with a Primarina is eligible to enter the festivity."

                      "Max has a Primarina?" Randy and Zoey ask simultaneously before rushing towards the corridor leading outside.

                      Meeting with the low-noon sun, the three find a row of Trainers alongside a row of their Primarina, ten in total, aligned by the campus lake, each warming up their vocals. Among them stands a blonde Primarina, and her Trainer Max. She snuggles up against him in her usually affectionate manor, and he pets her to calm her down. Kirlia holds up an opened bottle of water for her, and he takes a swig of it before the event commences.

                      "A shiny one?" Esmer scans her from a distance with her Pokédex as the three approach. "And it seems to be a Generated one."

                      "You always surprise me with what beauties you've got stored away in your PC," Zoey gushes as they arrive.

                      "Three fairies so far?" Randy notes. "What's with you and girly Pokémon, man? Can't you attract anything else?" he chuckles.

                      Though Primarina speaks in her own tongue against the back of her flipper, she says exactly what Max says: "At least I have a Pokémon."

                      "Oh, ho ho ho!" Primarina laughs as Randy's eyebrow subtly twitches.

                      Zoey perches her chin on Randy's shoulder, with her cheek pressing up against his. "You just got burned by a singing sardine." With her free hand, she brings a green bottle up close as she presses herself even closer. "Would you like me to heal that for you?"

                      "ENOUGH!" Present company laughs as Primarina gives Randy a side-hug.

                      "She's just teasing you," Kirlia reassures him as things get underway.

                      "All right everyone, it's time to begin!" a student services counselor begins as the spectators surround the lake. "Time to kick off the Primarina Singing Contest! As we all know, these singers of the sea can be taught to sing syllables from human languages, but to an extent. So, with the help from our audience and their applause, the winner will be decided on which Primarina generally sings the best! The more sung, the greater the chances of impressing us all! And to the winner goes this fifty-dollar gift-card to Guitar Center! And so," she points to the Primarina furthest from her, "let's start with the end of the row! Whenever you're ready!"

                      The first Primarina's Trainer claps her hands in a rhythmic manner, not unlike a metronome, to assist her partner. Slowly, she begins to sing: "...I'm still~ in a dream~!" It pauses a bit as it retrieves the final lyrics from its mind. "Snake-eater~!"

                      The audience claps as some of the notorious video-gamers cheer loudly.

                      "What a reference!" the counselor praises. "And such a splendid voice! Okay, time for our next contestant! Whenever you're ready!"

                      A portly Trainer begins to sway his hands as if to conduct his Primarina. Slowly, it sings: "...Calling all Spider Riders~!"

                      Laughter and clapping mix together before quickly dying down. "And let's not forget that this was before the Hotline Bling video!" the counselor adds. "Time for our next contestant! Whenever you're ready!"

                      As the next Primarina takes in a deep breath, its Trainer begins playing a piano's melody from his smart-phone to assist. Slowly, it sings proudly: "Thank you for being a friend~!"

                      The audience cheers, as many of the older students, as well as some of the staff and faculty members, let out awws in nostalgia as they cheer.

                      "It's like someone threw a party and invited everyone we knew!" the counselor jests. "And next is the shiny contestant! Take it away whenever you're ready!"

                      She takes in a deep breath, and opens her eyes. Suddenly realizing how many eyes are fixated on her, Primarina nervously fixes her hair. She slowly begins: "...C... ...Cr..." Nervous, Primarina looks back at Max and Kirlia. She receives a small hug from them both, melting away her stage fright. Holding no regrets, Primarina sings loudly to entertain her Trainer: "......CRAAAAAAAAAWLING IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN MY SKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!!!"

                      Max and Kirlia hold onto each other as they struggle to stay propped up on their knees, to keep from completely collapsing in laughter. The audience laughs and claps loudly at the absurdity that has been brought to their ears; even the counselor cannot bring herself to continue until she ceases her laughter. Randy and Zoey laugh as well, while Esmer turns her head away, using her fingertips to hide her curling lips. Happy that her tomfoolery was a success, Primarina takes a bow with an opened smile, glad to have entertained many.

                      Afterword:

                      The winner was some Primarina who sang to everyone how to do "the Mario".
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                        #67    
                      Old August 8th, 2017 (10:17 PM).
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                      So I'm a bit behind, but playing catch up now.

                      Ch 42 does has some neat info, mostly the beginning of the lecture concerning portals and how the Pokemon came to our world. Also interesting reference to hacked Pokemon.

                      Ch 43 over the "seven months or twenty chapters ago" reference, that's the battle with Max's former "significant other", right? I think Mimikyu was in it, heh. But anyways, I agree some nice interactions as everyone were talking about food and Alola Ninetales. Speaking of Ninetales, not a good idea to battle it without any Pokemon there Randy, but I'm not surprised hah.

                      Ch 44 the Primarina sing off contests sounds very cute. I like that all the Primarina used different types of songs and references for the contest. Max's Prmarina going hardcore there nice.
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                        #68    
                      Old August 29th, 2017 (10:35 AM).
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                        Who hungry?

                        Chapter 46: Tamato, Tamato

                        "Where's Esmer and da Ninetales?" Kirlia asks.

                        "She's always so busy, either studying or doing some social thing with her parents," Zoey answers as she chops lettuce. "You'd figure with all the other rich people she dines with that she wouldn't come off as such a shut-in, right?"

                        "She just doesn't know how to have friends," Kirlia answers as she feeds Rocky some lettuce. "Kinda like Master," she giggles.

                        The two girls and the Growlithe chop away at berries and vegetables in Zoey's kitchen as the boys shoot the breeze on the balcony outside the front door. Randy flips burger patties on the grill as Max drinks from a glass bottle of Coca-Cola imported from Mexico.

                        "Can we save her a burger?" Kirlia asks.

                        "Not sure she's the burger kind of girl, but I guess so," Zoey answers as she turns towards her front door. "How are those burgers coming along?"

                        "Randy won't let me flip any!" Max shouts.

                        "YOU CAN'T HANDLE MY MEAT!" he retaliates as they both hurl moronic insults to each other.

                        "Boys," Kirlia states in a deadpan manner.

                        A smile begins to form on Zoey's face. "We should prank them."

                        "Wh-what?" Kirlia stares up at her with her small hands nervously held up under her mouth. "They dun deserve that!"

                        Zoey points towards the boys. "...Don't they?"

                        Outside, Randy holds Max's head under his arm as he uses a pair of tongs to repeatedly smack him in the face with a cooked patty.

                        "TAKE MY MEAT!" Randy yells. "TAKE IT!"

                        "Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!"

                        Zoey lets out a small sigh. "Don't you think they deserve something, now that I'm gonna have to deal with my neighbors giving me looks for letting that happen at my door?"

                        Kirlia folds her arms. "Let's prank 'em."

                        Zoey immediately opens the door of her fridge and takes out a small basket filled with many different berries. "Check these out," she says as she picks out small, red berries from the bunch. "The lady down the building grows these for fun and shares them with all of us. These spiky ones are Tamato Berries, and they're super spicy. We can just slip these into their burgers with the patties that they've already given us!"

                        "Nice," Kirlia says with a mischievous smile. She then notices Rocky curiously looking up at it. "You should use those when Rocky's being a bad boy."

                        "Can't," Zoey says as she lets one fall straight into Rocky's mouth. "He likes them."

                        Rocky lays on his back and starts swaying on the kitchen floor as he enjoys every bite of the berry.

                        "So," Zoey begins with knife in hand as Kirlia and Rocky get close, "time to mess with some idiots!"

                        A half-hour passes as the boys clean up the grill outside and get everything put away. Inside, the girls have prepared the various dishes, from nachos to homemade boneless wings, making sure to keep quiet of their spiked burgers. Cautious, Zoey hides the spare slices of Tamato from their sights as they sit down.

                        "First we eat now," Zoey begins, "and then we'll decide if we want to watch a movie, or play games, or some other third thing!"

                        "Yay~!" Kirlia levitates ingredients towards her. "My first burger will be plain and dry!"

                        "Guys," Zoey pushes two dishes, each filled with wings and a burger, towards Max and Randy. "Got some ready for you."

                        "Nice!" Max immediately picks up his burger. "There're no onions in this, are there-?"

                        "Nope," Zoey answers in haste.

                        "Wimp," Randy adds as he includes more things into his own burger.

                        Zoey, Kirlia, and Rocky all stare intently at the boys with great anticipation, waiting for them to take a bite. Sinking their teeth into their meals, the boys gain an unexpected face, one that recognizes something new. After a brief moment of swallowing, they immediately bite down again, seemingly enjoying their burgers.

                        "Don't know what you put in these," Max starts, "but they're better than usual!"

                        "Yeah, and they go great with these barbecue wings!" Randy comments.

                        Kirlia turns to Zoey with a confused look on her face.

                        "Thank... you?" Zoey keeps staring at them.

                        Kirlia gets closer to her to whisper, "Did you put in the wrong berries?"

                        "No, I'm completely sure those were theirs," she responds. "Maybe the berries aren't spicy at all?"

                        Rocky points his snout at the hidden slices of Tamato behind the bowl of untouched nacho chips. Curious, Zoey reaches for a slice and bites down on it. She tastes the small chunk of berry carefully, with all of her tongue, and the spiciness begins to hit her. With haste and high-pitched whimpering, she rises to her feet and rushes towards the fridge and begins to down a pint of milk.

                        "How can da Tamato berries not be spicy to you?" Kirlia asks.

                        "That what you put in these?" Randy chuckles. "No wonder!"

                        "Gives them a real kick, eh?" Max bites down again.

                        As Zoey sits on the kitchen floor, cooled down by her milk, Rocky licks her cheek clean of waywards drops.

                        Afterword:

                        ...Why do I always write so much about food?
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                          #69    
                        Old September 7th, 2017 (1:28 PM).
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                        Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
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                          Chapter 47: Spiritual Poison

                          "Mmmmm~!" Kirlia enjoys the breeze as she sits atop Max's shoulders. "Today is nice!"

                          "We don't get many summer days like this in Texas, so we gotta enjoy them to the last drop," Max walks on.

                          As the two approach the agora of commerce towards the store of their choosing, a crowd of people has gathered around something of interest. Curious, Max and Kirlia both bat an eye towards the center, but ultimately decide it's of no concern to them. But before they pass the crowd, a voice catches their attention from the center.

                          "Evil incarnate!" An old man wearing black clothes, complete with a fedora and a scarf that flows with the summer breeze. "These creatures you people know as 'Pokémon' are nothing but the devil's candy meant to entice the weak!"

                          Kirlia begins to dismount Max's shoulders as they both come to a stop and continue listening to the man's speech.

                          "They do not belong in our towns!" the man continues as he adjusts his small, round sunglasses. "They do nothing but cause destruction at the hands of their owners for sport! Beasts like these are meant to be put down before they become a threat to us humans like the garbage that they are!"

                          Silently angry, Max gets down onto his knees to get to Kirlia's eye-level. "Sweetheart, listen closely," he begins.

                          The man continues his speech as he speaks louder, with his arms spread out into the sky, as he holds a bible in one hand. "Call your politicians, write them letters, and spread these words!" he shouts. "Pokémon do not have a place in our societies!"

                          "Is that so, eh?" Max makes his way through the crowd, with the people in his way seemingly being pushed aside, gently, by some unknown force. "Mind explaining the basis of what you're blathering on about?"

                          Eyes of many rest upon the sight of some nobody who comes before the church-man who has gathered quite the attention. Some people ask and wonder about who Max is, while others swear they've seen him around on the streets, trying to point out what about him is seemingly missing. Others, however, wonder where his little companion has gone off to.

                          The church-man acknowledges Max. "You necklace, young man," he loudly speaks to draw attention to the Poké Ball Max wears on his necklace. "You must have one of these creatures of sin, do you not?"

                          Slowly, Max removes his necklace and holds his Poké Ball towards the church-man. With his thumb over the button, the church-man visibly hesitates a bit; however, when Max's Ball opens up, absolutely nothing happens.

                          "It's just a ball," he calmly states.

                          "It's an instrument of destruction!" the church-man shouts as he sporadically spins to face the many spectators. "A symbol of sin and collusion! Child, you bare an emblem that promotes evil and fighting of which only the likes of war have bore witness to! Nothing but shame is contained in that Ball!"

                          "So," Max begins to scratch his head. "What you're saying is that Pokémon, these wonderful creatures who stay by our side like companions, who have been documented as saving the lives of wandering adventurers - with or without being contained in these capsules - for no benefit to themselves, and have helped boost both economic and medical breakthroughs in recent decades, are evil?"

                          The crowd speak amongst themselves, seemingly agreeing with Max's point.

                          Nervous, the church-man begins to shout. "That changes nothing of the fact that people pin these creatures against one another for their own entertainment! And because you partake in such a sin, child, you deserve nothing but the harshest punishment known to man: the penalty of death-!"

                          "IF YOU'RE GONNA KILL ME, I SUGGEST YOU TRY!" Max's voice booms loudly as his body begins to levitate, his feet losing contact with the pavement below. Like an explosion, bright lights of vivid pink and purple surround his body, surging like an aura, fierce, and deadly.

                          The people in the crowd are split on whether they should retreat, scream, or take out their phones. Startled off his feet, the church-man looks up at the boy who continues to glow, with the aura surging greater and brighter as he slowly approaches. Screaming, the church-man struggles to crawl away, eventually regaining enough footing to run, leaving his bible behind.

                          As the church-man departs, a little fairy girl approaches. With her hands and eyes occupied, she slowly walks through the crowd without breaking her concentration. Max is slowly brought back down to earth, aura leaving him, as Kirlia ceases her job.

                          She wipes a bead of sweat from her face. "That was kinda mean, Master," she mourns.

                          "Nobody calls my darling 'garbage'," he declares as he pets her head.

                          The crowd begins to dissolve, yet what they've witnessed has left differing stamps. While some giggle and adore the work of a little fairy, some wonder if all men of the cloth feel the same. However, a boy and his Pokémon think nothing more of what they've done, only caring of each other's well-beings, as well as the errands they've yet to tend to.

                          Afterword:

                          Arceus loves me, he loves me a bunch, cuz he always puts Skippy, in my lunch~.
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                            #70    
                          Old September 21st, 2017 (6:20 AM).
                          Taro Tanaka's Avatar
                          Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
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                            Chapter 48: It's a Secret

                            "UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!!!"

                            Zoey slumps over on her seat.

                            "What?" Max enters the living room from her kitchen with a glass of Kool-Aid in hand. "What happened?"

                            Without looking at him, Zoey lifts her hand and shows him the minuscule problem.

                            "What's wrong?" Kirlia enters the room as she holds a Growlithe in her arms, flailing happily as if nothing else mattered.

                            "Zoey's getting old," Max chuckles.

                            "Shut up!" she whines. "I'm too young to get white hairs like these!" she thrashes her fists against the couch cushions and her socked-feet against the carpet like a child.

                            "Wanna know how to keep from getting more?" Max sits next to her.

                            "Tell me~," she whimpers as she leans up against him, with her full body weight nearly knocking him over. "How do you keep your hair so black?!"

                            "Would you believe me if I told you I was an edgelord who dyes his hair?"

                            "No edgelord goes out of his way to feed a tiny ballerina Pop-Tarts," Zoey responds, seemingly deadpan as her words are muffles in Max's shirt.

                            "Look," Max shifts her upright, taking her off from himself as he holds her by the shoulders to keep her from leaning over again. "You've been pushing yourself lately. What with school and work, and school-work; you need to chill."

                            Zoey stares at him blankly. "You mean Net-?"

                            "No," Max responds, slightly annoyed. "I mean, just take it easy. When was the last time you took a day off from work?"

                            She takes a moment to think. Receiving his answer, Max swipes her phone away from her while she remains distracted. Zoey doesn't realize what he's done until he's begun to speak.

                            "Hi, yeah, this is Zoey's brother Andrew." As Zoey begins to reach for her phone, Max shoves her back with a hand to her face. "My kid sister's become incredibly stressed lately trying to juggle school with you guys, and I was wondering when she last asked for a day off from you-... Really?"

                            "What are you doing?!" Zoey viciously whispers.

                            "That long, huh? ...Yeah, she is. Actually, she's begun to grow 'canas' lately!"

                            "Don't tell my boss about the white hair!" she growls at a low-yet-high-pitched volume.

                            Max gently pinches Zoey's lips shut, earning him a look of extreme disapproval. "The summer semester's over after next week. ...I think each class is about two hours long, maybe three; I know that they hold it every day of the week. It's basically non-stop cramming in this heat. ...Thank you, I try to be funny," he chuckles.

                            Zoey growls.

                            "Yeah. ...Uh-huh. ...So, tomorrow? ...Well, she's sleeping right now, like a log. ...Sure thing, I'll let her know. Thanks, just looking out for my baby sis. ...Thanks, bye." Max hangs up.

                            "...What'd they say?" Zoey asks, worried, with rosy cheeks.

                            "'Don't come in tomorrow.' You have the rest of this week off with pay, and then the rest of next week off completely."

                            Zoey keeps her eyes to the ground, trying not to let her smile show.

                            "You're welcome," Max states. Zoey gently slaps him on the shoulder without looking up. "Now you can relax those white hairs away."

                            "Shut up," she giggles. Slowly, she leans in for a hug. As she rests her chin on his shoulder, she notices Kirlia and Rocky playing together in the kitchen.

                            Kirlia holds Rocky's two front paws as he stands on his hind legs. Hysterically, Kirlia struggles to dance with him, but Rocky keeps licking her face, causing him to fall on all fours. Desperate, she uses her psychic abilities to position him on his feet again.

                            Zoey breaks the hug away. "So, relaxing will get rid of the white?"

                            "Works for me," Max says as he jokingly flips his short hair.

                            She giggles. "I wouldn't believe that I grew white hair before you, expecially considering how much older you are than me."

                            "Just a few years," he adds, trying not to sound old.

                            Zoey looks back at Kirlia and Rocky. "Hey, how old do you think Kirlia is."

                            Max smiles a bit. "Couldn't say."

                            "Well, have you asked her?" Max looks away with an awkward smile. "You haven't asked her?!"

                            "You ask her!" Max replies with a slight giggle.

                            "Fine, I will!"

                            Max turns to Kirlia. "Hey Kirlia, mind coming over for a second?"

                            "Okay!" she happily bounces on her toes as she makes her way over, with Rocky following behind her. "What do you need?"

                            Max sits her down on his lap, facing Zoey. "Kirlia, Zoey has something she wants to ask."

                            "Hmm?" Kirlia looks at Zoey.

                            "Kirlia," Zoey leans in a bit. "How old are you-?"

                            Loudly, Kirlia blows a raspberry in Zoey's face. With eyes shut tight, Zoey removes her glasses and begins to wipe them on her blouse.

                            Max sits Kirlia back down on his lap, whose tongue still hangs out. He chuckles a bit. "Learned your lesson?" he laughs.

                            Afterword:

                            In spite of my own age, I've never gotten used to being called a "man", or a "sir". I still feel like a 12-year-old on the inside.
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                              #71    
                            Old October 17th, 2017 (4:29 PM).
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                            Bay Bay is offline
                            Darkinium Z
                             
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                            Ok, since I'm done with Get Together stuff, time to play catch up once more.

                            45- I take it Kirlia's Hidden Power is Fire type? If so, haha can see why Kirlia is not keeping it.

                            46- "Coca-Cola imported from Mexico", well I guess the drink won't be so bad... Hah, Zoey's prank seems to backfired (no pun intended) there.

                            47- Do people still say Pokemon are the devil's work today? But anyways, that's a cute prank Max and Kirlia did in front of that man there heh.

                            48- I think it's nice Max made sure Zoey isn't stressing herself out. Yeah, balancing school and work can do that to you (I was able to, but it's only because I didn't have that many hours compared to other people I know).

                            49- Looks like one of those is there anything on tv days for Kirlia and Max. I don't think I've heard anyone described Friends like that, but I know other shows described in similar fashion.
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                              #72    
                            Old March 13th, 2018 (11:24 AM).
                            Taro Tanaka's Avatar
                            Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
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                              Chapter 50: Tangent

                              Waking up, he notices the brightness of the morning sun leaking into his bedroom. He stretches his limbs, careful to keep his age from catching up. Throwing on an old pair of black jeans and a brown coat, he grabs his cane and makes his way downstairs.

                              The maid greets him: "Good morning, Mr. Max. Breakfast will begin shortly," she assures him as she mops the floor.

                              "Please, take your time," his baritone voice calmly floats about. "Have you seen the lady?"

                              "Yes, I took the liberty of sitting her outside near the fountain," the maid replies.

                              "Thank you, madam. You can bring our breakfast out when it's ready," he orders. As she curtsies in affirmation, he makes his way out.

                              The sweet scent of miracle berries grown in the sanctuary fills the air outside. A large water fountain, meant for both wild and domesticated Pokémon to drink from, sits in the center of a clearing surrounded by a few benches. On one bench to the left of the fountain sits the dainty one Max is looking for.

                              He approaches the closed-eye girl and gently takes a hold of one of her hands with both of his, startling her a bit. "Hello, Kirlia," he begins, "It's still me. I love you, and I hope you still love me."

                              Breaking a gentle smile, she places her free hand on top of his to show acceptance.

                              He takes a seat next to her, and she presses up against him. "It's been quite a ride, hasn't it, my doll?" She gently nods yes. "I never expected to become wealthy from being one of the first Texan Gym Leaders when it happened. But I guess someone had to smack some sense into the children who wanted to get into the sport. Of course, finding the balance between the competitive edge and the love of Pokémon in general was quite difficult at times, but I always loved that you were there with me to keep me from going too far over the line." He wraps one arm around her.

                              On a table close to the house's back entrance sits a couple of cups of tea provided by the maid. She pours lemon into one, careful to keep the other as ideally plain as possible. "The tea is ready," she softly speaks across the opening.

                              "Come, darling, let's have some tea," Max stands to his feet as he gently takes hold of Kirlia's hand in assistance.

                              * * *

                              Max and the maid sit at the table as they look out into the clearing. Max, looking through his tablet to keep track of his investments, enjoys the breeze of his sanctuary as the maid looks on and ponders.

                              "Sir, if I may ask, why do you think she does that?" she asks as she points towards the fountain.

                              With one hand against the fountain's edge, Kirlia slowly walks around the fountain, in an endless circle it forms. She keeps her hand on the cold concrete of the fountain, unable to see what's in front of her, to keep a steady walk.

                              "Nobody really knows," Max replies. "Some specialists say that it might have to do something with her horn, though."

                              "Her horn, sir?"

                              "Yes," he looks on at her. "If you look closely at her horn, you can see that it was once broken before. According to a woman named Juniper,Kirlia had been treated for whatever happened to her before we met. Her horn ended up growing back by the time I took her under my care, but I never really brought it up, because she had always been a bit self-conscious over it. So there might be an underlying cause for her conditions because of it. Of course, it might also just be a case of old age, but we won't know anything for sure until the scans come back."

                              As the pair speak on, Kirlia's hand suddenly falls from the fountain's edge. As if petrified, she slowly regresses to her standard posture. A moment of silence passes, and then she opens her eyes. The clouded crimson perceives nothing of the world, and her delicate heart begins to shatter. Softly at first, her cries grow louder as tears begin to fall, unable to make any sense of where she is or what's going on.

                              Without hesitation, Max leaves his cane behind and rushes towards his child. He drops to his knees and wraps his arms around her. His natural scent helps calm her cries.

                              He softly speaks. "Hello, Kirlia. It's still me. I love you, and I hope you still love me."

                              Still unable to fully stop crying, she submits to his affections and buries herself into his embrace.

                              The maid looks on, feeling a nostalgic sorrow that she's certain she will not bare for much longer.

                              * * *

                              "I have not aged well," Max complains to himself as he picks fruit off the trees of his sanctuary. "You doin' okay, down there?" he shouts to his companion Delphox, who catches the falling fruit with his psychic abilities and places them into a basket. Delphox nods yes with a small bark of agreement.

                              Carefully climbing down the ladder, Max and Delphox make their way deeper into the sanctuary. Delphox carries the overflowing basket of fruit as Max carries a sack of cooked meats over his shoulder.

                              "You know, you've been working pretty hard to feed everyone with me, buddy," Max speaks. "Maybe you should take a break from food duty sometime; maybe let someone else take over for a while." Max's phone begins to ring, coaxing the pair to stop in their tracks as he answers it. "Yeah?"

                              "Sir, please, come quickly!" the maid desperately speaks into her phone. "It's incredibly bad this time!"

                              "Take care of things for me," Max orders Delphox as he runs off towards his home. As he approaches the back door, the sounds of breaking dishes and tossing furniture grow louder. He enters the dining room and finds a chaotic scene of innocent madness.

                              "She's doing this!" the maid leans up against the threshold. "I can't get close enough to calm her down!"

                              Without hesitation, Max rushes into the hurricane of broken glass and fractured sets. Enduring hits and cuts on his body, Max spots his child in the center of it all, screaming, afraid, holding her shaking head as tears roll down her cheeks. Dodging lethal debris, he lunges forward and manages to take hold of one of her arms. The hurricane suddenly dies, and everything comes crashing down. With falling debris striking Max's body, he struggles to speak.

                              "Hello... Kirlia..." She faces the direction of the familiar voice. "It's still... me. I love you... and..."

                              * * *

                              "...I hope you still love... me."

                              Darkness illuminated by moonlight hits Max's eyes. He lunges upright, enduring a bit of back pain in the process. He quickly feels himself with his hands.

                              "No cuts," he thinks to himself as his hands shift from his hands to his face. "Not wrinkles." His hands reach his chest. "No sagging man-tits!" In his elation, he looks for his little one and finds her sleeping next to him, in a serene state of bliss, as if to never wake up.

                              Max's first instinct is to wrap his arms around her; not for her benefit, but for his own. The image of he little fairy screaming and frantically holding her shaking head briefly pops into his mind, and he hesitates. Instead, he decides to softly scratch the top of her head, and a small smile breaks on her face.

                              With a bottle of soda in one hand, Max sits outside on a rocking chair and watches the light of the full moon illuminate the neighborhood around him. Having drank most of his beverage, he's awakened enough to deeply think about his dream. He ponders a lot about having a career in the sport of Pokémon battling, about giving his own Pokémon a habitat outside the PC, and about Kirlia's well-being in years to come.

                              From the thin air next to him, Kirlia Teleports out and levitates in the air, groggy with limbs dangling like a marionette. "You okay, Master?" she softly speaks.

                              He brings her onto his lap and allows her to lean up against him. "I'm fine, little one. Just a bad dream, is all."

                              He gently scratches the top of her head as she takes a few sips from his soda.

                              Afterword:

                              The recent controversy got me thinking about where this chapter came from. This whole thing actually started as a one-shot on a site long-gone years ago, and I revived it on a whim after gaining some story-writing experience. This chapter is a revamped version of the one-shot; and good for it too, since the one-shot was poorly structured and hard to take seriously because of how bare-bones it was compared to this.

                              Anyway, I've actually snowballed into severe depression since I began this thing. While it has hardly gotten any better, I do try my best to keep it hidden. But the lack of feedback here hasn't exactly helped, and I doubt it would motivate me to continue on a timely basis like before. Of course a few users here have given feedback before, but it feels more like it's done out of obligation,rather than actual interest. I guess what I'm saying is: if this isn't the early finale of my planned length, then you can look forward to Chapter 51 in late 2019.
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                                #73    
                              Old March 13th, 2018 (2:54 PM).
                              Ice Ice is offline
                               
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                              So, general advice to start a chapter, restate names and reground your perspective. That way we're not confused as to whose eyes we're looking through. If you wanna keep the identity of a character vague, there are a lot of nouns that can be used to obfuscate that. The man works a lot better than a he. Pronounces reference back, but each chapter forsakes grammatical history, making it so you can't refer back to concepts from previous paragraphs or chapters using pronouns.

                              Not just relying on the pronoun also helps to vary up the sentences. Otherwise the reader bounces on 'he' and 'his' a bunch, which creates a droning rhythm.

                              I'm noticing a lot of telling rather than showing. And sometimes it's a super effective tool, but it does create a lot of distance. I'm not feeling like I'm observing or living the experiences of the characters, rather I'm observing a narrator describing in a matter of factly way, albeit tinted with some nice poeticism. The distance is most palpable in the second part, where every emotion is laid out. This makes actions happen quickly, and takes away the urgency. "His natural scent helps calm her cries," is a good example of this. The scent falls flat, because without description, it's a sense we do not have in text. The calming is also just there, we're not experiencing it, nor observing it as readers, but have it told to us.

                              There are certain key words that you shouldn't use, if you want to create immediacy. It might feel a big conflicting to not use them, but they do put more distance between reader and story. Words and phrases like 'suddenly, immediately, without hesitation,' they all create a pause. Something is a lot more sudden if we as the reader aren't prepped by the word suddenly. Same for the other words.


                              I can't say the story works great as a stand-alone, but I think the reason for that is the last part. Without it, it works well as a tragic tale of a man (in love with his Kirlia?) seeing his pokémon fall apart. It'd do well with some expanding, but I think it has a good core nonetheless.

                              I think the humorous tone chapter 1 sets, and the last part of chapter 50, class immensly with the dream. The dream has this distant feel, this poeticness to it, and the use of man-tits in the second part conveys a whole 'nother tone. It can be cool to employ it like that, but as I said, as a stand-alone, it's lacking slightly. I think my personal preference would be to have a more general tone. The poetic macabreness, where the world is seen through glass, or this comedic piece where someone can exclaim in victory that they do not have saggy man-tits yet.

                              A couple of technical comments, completely unstructured because I'm just disregarding coherency in-between paragraphs:
                              - Not every line needs a tag. You do use them tagless, but it seems most of them do get them, sometimes slowing it down a bit. Some even have two dialogue tags, which is very unconventional. The balance is hard to get right though. God knows I still struggle like hell with it.

                              - sometimes there are more words describing something than is needed. A piece of writing advice often given is that adverbs are bad, and in most cases, yeah, they are. But not every use is superfluous, definitely not in this story. But sometimes words just clash and describe something already implies, or don't add much.

                              The story itself did not grab me so much, because it kinda floats without context until the end. The things described aren't explored in the story, although they do create interesting moments. I think it'd be super cool to read if you'd have read all of it. All in all, it's a combination of some really pretty lines with some floaty scenery (I think the dreamy vibe is well-attained because of that.) with a lack of depth. Show me the thoughts, the action. There is this rad action sequence of this building exploding in psychic havoc, in it's a paragraph. Expand that muk! That's cool! Same for his ponderings in the last part. Don't tell me he's pondering, make him ponder. I want to be there with him, pondering as well. Get me inside Max's head, and let use ponder together!

                              Having read it does leave me with a couple of questions concerning the entirety of the story, although my general disinterest in pokémon fics sadly doesn't give me the inclination to go back and read it whole. Is Max actually in love with Kirlia, or is that the Freud in me piecing together some unconnected parts?
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                                #74    
                              Old March 16th, 2018 (4:19 PM).
                              Bay's Avatar
                              Bay Bay is offline
                              Darkinium Z
                               
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                              Hey, so before begin, I want to say that whenever I comment on your or anyone else's story, it's out of great interest and not obligation. I'll be honest that your afterword did upset me a bit because it made me wonder if there's anything in my comments that didn't reflect that. But yeah, just want you to know that I've always enjoyed this story and why I still stuck with it all this time.

                              With that out of the way, onto the chapter. So the dream at first seem sweet enough with Max being affectionate to Kirlia, and then oh dear over her two breakdowns there. Guess it's a sight effect from him being a Gym Leader. I think this is your strongest chapter description wise.
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