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  #26    
Old December 2nd, 2016 (1:23 AM).
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Idly Wasting Away...
     
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    While I appreciate the praise... are you two the only ones reading? Cuz this thread has over 400 views! Something's not adding up quite right! XD;;;;; But anyway...:

    Chapter 14: His Own Poké Ball

    Max lays in the center of the nexus that is his own shapeless, gray limbo. Like an amalgam of liquid and light turned into an apparent sentient blob of everchanging, incomprehensible matter, this environment is one of enigmatic origin. Darkness is mixed with something; not necesarily light. It is a color quite familiar to Max. A sort of gray that expels and contains all colors within at the same time, as well as at no given time. This is the so-called "light at the end of the tunnel", but in truth it is no light in appearance or nature. It is merely the absence of color itself, the absence of vision. Yet, this light wrestles and becomes one with darkness as they coalesce into the organic distortion that is this world.

    Where is this? he thinks. Is this a new world? On his back, he stays comfortably paralyzed.

    On his left side, he feels something. Under his left forearm, he feels two slender objects occasionally twitch, as if they had muscles. On top of his forearm, he feels the gentle press of two other objects, slightly bigger in surface area. Between his arm and his waist, he feels something big in comparison; and outwards, he feels the tickle of silk. Max recognizes it all.

    With rationallity in grasp, the abominable limbo wanes. All that remains is darkness paved in a crimson tone. But of course, that's what is seen when one's eyes are closed in the midst of sunlight.

    Max raises his clawed hand. Kirlia gasps in small surprise as the arm she rested on her lap slowly rises to her face. Careful to keep his long fingernails from scratching her, he gently caresses her cheek, all the wile unable to fully wake up. Giggling, Kirlia falls forward to him, and begins to nuzzle upwards at him, at the cavity between his neck and jaw, with the top of her head caressing his cheek.

    Groggy yet hapilly, Max giggles, "What are you doing?"

    "Let me cuddle you awake," Kirlia joyfully goes on to nuzzle his cheek. "Abushubushubushubuu...!"

    Stretching and with eyes barely opened, Max finds the angle of the sun entering the window hit left; his window faces south. On the television plays Impractical Jokers at a moderate volume. It's the afternoon, nearing the low hours. Max recalls sleeping after changing the channel to The George Lopez show, after King of the Hill ended and Teen Titans GO began.

    Due to constant spinal pain, Max is frequently kept awake, with very few sources of relief. Unable to sleep, Max usually ends up watching TV or spending time on his 3DS, playing a game or playing with his other Pokémon, further keeping him up. As unpredictable as his sleeping schedule is, Kirlia's is not.

    Being the responsible one, Kirlia's sleep is nearly set in stone. She wakes with the sun and sleeps with Max in her arms. It is only at this moment that Max comes to realize that Kirlia indeed keeps herself like this. And so he begins to wonder:

    "What does she do?" he thinks to himself. "What does she do all day while I sleep? Does she just wait for me to wake up? That can't be-"

    But it is. The little ballerina waits for her beloved caregiver to rise. Though his body rests next to her, undefended and available to do with as she pleases, Max is not with her. He lays somewhere else for hours, and she passes her time in different, entertaining ways. It isn't until Max awakens that her toes gain rhythim once more; with her greatest joy shining in the days Max can sleep in a timely manner.

    With his smile gone and eyes full of melancholy, Max's feelings cause Kirlia to pause. Realizing she takes notice, Max uses his arm to lift her; she responds by makng herself nearly weightless though her abilities to allow him to handle her as he may. Max gently brings her to his right side, as he carefully curls up in a slight fetal position to encase her. She lays in his cavity - as if she sat in his lap while laying down - and his chin rests on top of her head.

    "You missed me, didn't you?" he asks.

    With her hands gripping him near the neck, she curls herself up even closer to him as she nods yes.

    "Don't worry," he pets her. "I'm here now, and I'll stay with you for as long as you'd like."

    "...Well," she begins, "you can leave me to take a shower."

    Max smells the sweet, fruity bubblegum scent in her hair and finds that she's already showered this morning; he feels she has a point. "Sure thing," he giggles as he backs away.

    But Kirlia pulls him even closer. "Five more minutes." He giggles as he pets her head.

    Afterword:

    I was gonna make a joke about how Kirlia's shampoo has Micle Berry extract infused into it, but I couldn't think of anything. So instead, I'll just announce the fact that I've decided on the next arc: Chapter 21: The Visitor. Though Kirlia can always see the truth in Max's heart, she may have to decide that he'll look better when she turns her head away. Who is this odd visitor? And what do they want from Max? The ghost kicks at a dead horse once more this winter.
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      #27    
    Old December 2nd, 2016 (10:51 AM). Edited December 6th, 2016 by Taro Tanaka.
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    Idly Wasting Away...
       
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      Trying to stay awake, so I'll post one or two more today. Maybe I'll go check out that Achievement Hunters channel someone here recommended. Anyway:

      Chapter 15: Dinner and a Show

      "So you're sure you can look after Rocky tonight?" Zoey asks as she puts on her earrings.

      "Yep," Max sits back in a kitchen chair as he pets her Growlithe Rocky's head. "It'll be fine. Nothing in your appartment's gonna be out of place when you get home. Ain't that right boy?" Rocky licks his cheek. "Who's the guy, anyway?"

      "I met him at work," she begins as she spritzes perfume. "He said that I'd probably be a better first date, than his other ones. Called them all 'crazy'. Weird, huh?" she asks, as Kirlia walks into the room.

      "Waaah...!" Kirlia's eyes widen as she gasps with glee. "You- you- you look so pretty in those clothes!"

      "Thanks," Zoey twirls a bit to show off her indigo skirt. "I wanted to look my best tonight."

      "Mission accomplished! I wanna wear clothes that cute too, but Master won't let me."

      "Sweetheart," Max begins, "fashionable clothes like hers would have to be custom-made in your size; and I'm not sure my wallet can take any more."

      "I guess I have enough clothes... But those are just for the winter days."

      "D'aww, don't worry, Kirlia," Zoey begins as she pets her head. "I'll hook you up with clothes like mine!"

      Kirlia's eyes widen as her hips sway. "Really?!"

      "Yup! On one condition: don't let Max look through the drawer where I keep my panties in."

      "Oh come on!" Max immediately stands. "Why would you think I'd do that?! What about me makes you think I'm pervy enough to warrant being thrown under the bus?!" An image of Randy flashes in his head, as if the jab were better suited for him instead.

      "You can count on me!" Kirlia salutes.

      "Et tu, short-stack?" Kirlia and Zoey giggle at his misfourtune. "Well, if the fact that I wasn't gonna do that at all wasn't enough for you," Max pouts as he folds his arms, "then maybe you'd like to know that we'll be too busy going out after you leave."

      "...Where are you going?" she asks.

      Max pulls out something from his back pocket, and lays it all out on the table. "To get something to eat for the Tosh.0 marathon! I knew these coupons would come in handy." Rocky peeks over the table top to sniff at the various coupons.

      "Okay, just don't feed Rocky anything with chocolate or garlic." Zoey grabs her purse. "Well, time to go!"

      "Good luck on your date!" Kirlia exclaims.

      "I don't need luck." Zoey brushes her hair back in confidence. "I can make boys fall in line on any date I go on!"

      Max smirks. "Isn't this, like, your first date ever? What makes you think you know anything about wooing boys? What the hell do you do to boys in your spare time?"

      Zoey turns red as Kirlia laughs hard. "Did you have to turn her on me?"

      "Payback hurts, don't it?" Max sticks his tongue out.

      Zoey pouts as she turns away from him, to Rocky on the table, to pet him. "Okay, baby, mommy's going out for a few hours. I'll be home later." Rocky's about to lick her cheek. "No, I'm wearing makeup." He nuzzles her instead, and she leaves a pink smudge of lipstick on his fur. "See ya!"

      "Bye," Max and Kirlia say, as Rocky says his own good-bye bark.

      Max turns back to the table and looks down at the variety of his coupons like a war tactitian planning out their next move. "Okay, you two. What should we go fetch for tonight?"

      "Whatever it is," Kirlia begins, "can we get Pop-Tarts on the way home too?"

      * * *

      Hours later, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah has begun airing. Kirlia and Rocky dance in the corner of the living room to a song playing on Max's laptop; with her hands on her hips, Kirlia sways to the beat of the percussions and mimes playing the xylophone in intervals as Rocky spins on his hind legs to join her. Max sits on the couch while using his 3DS when commercials are on.

      The harmony's broken when the front door slams shut. The Pokémon cease their dancing an look towards the door. "I'll go see," Max begins as he gets up from his seat.

      Zoey, seething in her hunched-over stance, turns to find Max behind her. "WHY ARE ALL GUYS SUCH ASSHOLES?!"

      "...I, um... apologize...?"

      As Zoey clenches her fist meant at another, she nearly bursts... until Max gently covers her fist with his own hand. Flustered with conflicting emotions, she looks up at him through her slightly-disheveled bangs to find someone unlike the one she just left, someone far too naïve in nature to be of any harm.

      "...If it helps," Max begins, as the sweat of embarrassment falls from the back of his head, "Kirlia wouldn't let go of the whole joke about your panties after you left. Even in public space, where everyone could hear everything she says."

      Though she faces the floor, he shaking shoulders give away the result.

      "...Wanna talk about it over left-over Little Caesar's?"

      With a deep breath to calm her nerves, Zoey takes hold of Max's hand, grabs a box of pizza with her other, and leads the way to her living room couch.

      Afterword:

      Ah blah blah blah blah ah ah ooooh! And a caveat of excuses! Oh blahah oh blah ah bloooooow...!
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        #28    
      Old December 2nd, 2016 (1:50 PM).
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      Aisu Aisu is offline
         
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        Max should shoot for being a Coupon Master considering he doesn't have much charisma with girls outside of Kirlia and that little touching moment at the end.
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          #29    
        Old December 2nd, 2016 (5:59 PM).
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        For 14, caught another mention of Max's spinal injury, I'm guessing you'll do that here and there. Otherwise, another cute moment with him and Kirlia there.

        Next chapter, Pokemon customized clothes would be awesome heh. I too thought Max comforting Zoey is nice, though it sounds like that date didn't go well at all oops.
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          #30    
        Old December 2nd, 2016 (6:02 PM).
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        Quote:
        While I appreciate the praise... are you two the only ones reading? Cuz this thread has over 400 views! Something's not adding up quite right! XD;;;;; But anyway...:
        720 views, one person praising me. I think I got you beat :D

        Quote:
        What about me maxes you think I'm pervy enough to warrant being thrown under the bus?!
        makes is spelled wrong.

        I wasn't too wild about Chapter 14 since not much happened, but it's still a pretty nice reflective chapter. Fifteen has more of the humor I've come to love about your work while having a tender moment at the end too. Keep up the good work!
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          #31    
        Old December 6th, 2016 (4:02 AM).
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        Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
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          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Aisu View Post
          Max should shoot for being a Coupon Master considering he doesn't have much charisma with girls outside of Kirlia and that little touching moment at the end.
          They aren't romantically involved, but even she has standards. -w-
          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Bay Alexison View Post
          Next chapter, Pokemon customized clothes would be awesome heh. I too thought Max comforting Zoey is nice, though it sounds like that date didn't go well at all oops.
          ORAS Cosplay-chu. XP
          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Bardothren View Post
          makes is spelled wrong.

          I wasn't too wild about Chapter 14 since not much happened, but it's still a pretty nice reflective chapter. Fifteen has more of the humor I've come to love about your work while having a tender moment at the end too. Keep up the good work!
          Whoops. On it.

          And since most of my creative power's going into the upcoming arc, some of these will be a bit bland. Although I think you might like the one after this one:

          Chapter 16: Existential Warmth

          "Master?" Kirlia begins. "Why did you ask me to bring you here?"

          "Because I'm so tired of all the reporting on Trump this, and cabinet that," Max responds. "I already know our future's gonna suck; I don't think I should spend my day being reminded of it. I'd rather spend it here with you, enjoying the day."

          His hands on the chilled railing, Max looks through the cold frames of his glasses, out into the panoramic view of the entire town. Kirlia sits behind him, against the water tower's body. Though they've gone out, Max still wears his casual clothing: a black graphic t-shirt, a pair of black, loose-fitting jeans turned up at the ankles to prevent dragging, his necklace holding Kirlia's Poké Ball by a loop, and no shoes. The occasional breeze sweeps by and brushes his hair, but he keeps on staring out at the sun in the distance.

          Kirlia, on the other hand, sits with her hands propping her head up at the cheeks. She doesn't quite understand what Max is doing, why he asked her to Teleport him here. Max seems to do this quite occasionally, as he's asked her to Teleport him to the top of the water tower so many times before. And yet, she still doesn't understand why. With a sigh, Kirlia addresses him.

          "We could be at home playing a game together, or watching something better than news. Why did you wanna come up here?"

          "Baby doll," he begins, without turning away from the tilted sun in the distance. "Come over here. With me."

          With one brow raised, Kirlia slowly gets up, from against the tower's wall, and slowly talks over to his side, behind the obscuring railing.

          He gently takes hold of her little hand with his own savage claws. "Be light for me, please."

          Obeying, she uses her abilities to make herself as light as a feather. Quickly but carefully, Max pulls her up into the air over him. He takes hold of her ankles in each of his hands, then pulls her down to her new throne, sitting her on his shoulders.

          "What do you see?" he kindly asks.

          Kirlia begins to understand as her eyes widen. "The... The view...!" she begins as she rests her hands on his head. "This whole town! There's the grocery store! And there's the Whataburger! And is that a carnival over there?" In her whimsical musings, the sun begins to wash over her. With the cold rolling in, the chills from the earth below meet with the warmth of the sun above in this elevation for a splendid feeling of euphoric equivalence. "The sun is so low, even at noon! Issho warm!"

          Chuckling at her sudden change of scenery, Max pops a question. "So," he turns up to barely catch sight of her in his peripheral's upper edge. "How do you feel?"

          Kirlia takes a moment to assert her emotions. With her eyelids relaxing and a smile on her face, she hugs his head and begins to nuzzle down into his hair. "...Like I matter."

          Afterword:

          Nothing's bigger than the smallest moments.
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            #32    
          Old December 8th, 2016 (5:50 AM).
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          Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
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            A break from EV training:

            Chapter 17: EV, IV, Oh!

            Stalls and tents line the usually-sleepy plaza to form a Festival Plaza. Though the winter days come rolling in, the spirits of those happily walking from one stall to another couldn't be any less hindered. No attraction is left vacant, as everyone jumps to the front of the line as if money were given away for free. Everyone acts as if the fun were to last for only a day, mainly because it will. So the various options can be quite overwhelming to some.

            "Miyaah...!" Kirlia explaims as she keeps turning towards many different directions. "A bouncy house over there! And a haunted house next to it! Even some lottery stalls! Master, which one should we go to first? ...Master?" She turns to find him in front of a different stall.

            With his mouth wide open and some drool seeping out from one corner, Max stands at a stall known as the five-star Battle Table. With so many food items to choose from, a low and audible "...Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhg...!" creeps out from the back of his throat. The proprietor of said stall decides to humor him as Kirlia makes her way over.

            "Yes, sir!" the proprietor begins. "We have all kinds of large bento boxes! Want to increase your Kirlia's base Special Attack? We have a box just for doing so!"

            "What about boxes for humans?" he asks.

            "One regular bento box, coming up!" The man pulls out a still-warm box from behind the stall's visible areas. "Prices are on the lamination here, on the table! If you're an offical Trainer, then the 70% discount applies to you!"

            "Discount me, then, good sir!" With the eyes of a fairy tracking his movements, Max pulls out his Pokédex from his pocket and hands it to the man.

            After pressing a couple of buttons to bring up information on the device, the man hands the Pokédex back to Max and types away at the register. In doing so, Max gleefully pays him the little money owed, and takes his treasure with him.

            Max's excitement grows with every step his bare feet take against the coldly-warm pavement below. Finding a small, vacant bench to sit on, he immediately opens up the package. While he uncovers the goodness below, Kirlia speaks her mind full of curiosity.

            "Master?" She tugs at his shirt. What does it mean to be an 'official Trainer'? Is your Pokédex proof of it?"

            "Actually, yes it is," he replies as he handles a plastic vial of soy sauce. "You were there when I got it. Remember? About a week after we met? We went to apply for my official status as a Trainer."

            Kirlia recalls unpleasant memories. "I remember. Those people were scary. And they kept staring at me. And they kept me in a white room with a mirror for a long time. So creepy. Who were they?"

            "Governemnt officials," he smirks. "Pokémon are capable of mass destruction, so becoming an official Trainer requires an immense vetting process to weed out the responsible from the potentially-wicked. I sat for hours that day through interviews, tests, and questionaires while they gauged your stats." His finger hovers over the options included in his box. "My back was killing me by the time we left. I'm just glad they weren't too hard on you."

            "They weren't," she admits, as she hunches over and brings her hands near her lips. "I was just glad I could go home with you afterwards."

            "I guess the pay-off was worth it then, huh?"

            "What pay-off?"

            "Nothing kept me from simply keeping you around the house. But becoming an officially-lisenced Trainer blesses me with tons of perks, like tons of discounts on Pokémon-aimed products, government grants to support you if I need them, participating in official battles, and even free usage and lodging at all Centers."

            With sympathy, Kirlia looks up at him. "Non-Trainers have to pay for da Centers?"

            "Yeah, but it's mostly cheap anyway." He grabs an onigiri from the crowd of them and hands it to her, then grabs one for himself. "Unless Trump's gonna repeal this entire system too; the government does try hard to make things easier on everyone, Trainer and otherwise." He pours some soy sauce over his ball of rice. "That's why they try to control the population of wild Pokémon found here in Texas, as they may have a devastating or unpredictable effect on the already-present ecosystems."

            Enjoying the trivia, Kirlia takes the sauce with her psychic abilities to pour some onto her own treat. "How do they control it?"

            "Don't know, and don't wanna think about it." Max bites into his ball. "Hot damned! Shrimp tempura tastes so ****ing great!!!"

            Afterword:

            Keep a cheap, 50 FC booth. Replace with Treasure Hunt 2 stars. Claim your guaranteed Bottle Cap. Rinse, repeat.
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              #33    
            Old December 8th, 2016 (12:30 PM).
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            Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
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              Just posting these because they've been written a long time ago, and I want to reach the upcoming arc. The first ever battle is nnnnnnnn-:

              Chapter 18: The Ocean's Gray Waves

              "Eep! Scary fire kitty." Kirlia sits on Max's right thigh as she joins him in looking down at his 3DS. Torracat and Brionne have just hit Level 34 due to the effects of the EXP. Share. Because of this, Torracat has evolved into Incineroar.

              "I'm glad I chose this brimstone furball!" Max admits. "With Leech Life for nourishment, Bulk Up for buffs, and Flame Charge to make up for its miniscule speed, Incineroar's shaping up to be one of, if not the, most useful starter in Sun! If only there were some way to give him his hidden ability..."

              Kirlia giggles at his excitement as the screen turns to Brionne, whom she herself begins to evolve as well. When the dramatic lightshow fades away, she comes forth as the singing Primarina.

              "Wow!" Kirlia exclaims. "Issho pretty!"

              "And quite capable herself. I mean, I can't find a way to speed her up like Incineroar, but her almost-unique typing and her moveset allowing her to counter two of her few weaknesses, she's no slouch either."

              The two watch as Primarina attempts to learn her own signature move like Incineroar did before her. While he gained Darkest Lariat, Primarina attains Sparkling Aria. With two starters leading his party, Max shows no regret in the team he's assembled.

              "Oooh," Kirlia sighs. "They all look like they'd be so much fun to play with!" She looks closer at the newly-formed fairy siren. "I wish I could play with them...!"

              Max frees the arm he kept around Kirlia's body to pet her on the head. "Don't worry. You can play with them later. When you meet them someday..."

              "Yeah................................... Wait, WHAT?!"

              Afterword:

              There's a reasonable and questionable justification to everything. But that's for some other chapter down the line. Try not to yank any hair out tonight while you try to sleep.
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                #34    
              Old December 8th, 2016 (2:40 PM).
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                Last one for tonight, I swear:

                Chapter 19: Alola Randy

                Doobeedoobeedoobeedoo, do-be-doo, do-be-doo, do-be-doo, do-be-doo!

                Doobeedoobeedoobeedoo, do-be-doo, do-be-doo, do-be-doo, do-be-doo!

                Space Randy! He's a Randy guy...

                ...Taking up space.

                He combs the galaxy like the buffet table, on the hunt for women!

                Planet after planet, he searches, discovering curvaceous new women, both willing...

                ...And not!

                These are the cringe-tacular adventures of Space Randy and his cheap space crew...

                ...In space!

                * * *

                Zoey and Kirlia sit huddled together in the corner of Randy's room, in each other's arms, unable to breathe past the laughter. Zoey's Growlithe Rocky happily pants on next to Max, who wears a gigantic smile on his face. Opposite of them is Randy, who's face is an indescribable configuration of surprise and displeasure, complete with a twitching eyebrow as his mouth hangs slightly open with his bottom lip protruding a bit.

                "WHAT THE PSYDUCK WAS THAT?!?!?!" he asks.

                "What?" Max laughs. "Didn't you like my idea?"

                "NO!!!" Randy punches Max on the arm, who laughs in pain while the girls in the corner witness the event that supplies their laughter even further.

                Afterword:

                Jad Saxton plays a good tsun-tsun, but she's a complete sweetheart in real life. Only a cutie would openly admit to cosplaying as Luna Lovegood.
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                  #35    
                Old December 8th, 2016 (6:02 PM).
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                Bardothren Bardothren is online now
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                You are a force to be reckoned with. What I'd give to have your level of productivity. Also, nice Space Dandy spin, it's absolutely awesome and has to be one of the funniest things you've written in this story, which is saying a lot. Chapter 17 was a decent expository chapter explaining the whole "being a trainer" stuff, and Chapter 18 was a nice moment of the two of them playing Pokemon Sun, also with a funny moment of Kirlia being shocked she can meet the pokemon in the game.
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                  #36    
                Old December 9th, 2016 (5:35 PM).
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                Bay Alexison Bay Alexison is offline
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                For 16, not much happened but it's another cute moment with Kirlia and Matt there. I'm assuming the "Like I matter" comment in relation to the view of the city is what it says on the tin, heh.

                The next part I admit to not playing around the Festival Plaza that much except for some trading lol. The mention of non trainers paying for Pokemon Centers and such I've read/talked about loads of times, which I guess makes sense on how the Pokemon world can run stuff like that. The long process of being a Trainer through tests and interviews is
                something I've seen a lot, too.

                Ch 18 and 19 are fairly enjoyable too. Giving props for Max having Primarina (I like mine, he can take most hits decently haha). I take it Space Randy is supposed to be a parody of Space Dandy? Even though I haven't watched that anime, I too thought that scene is amusing.
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                Old December 10th, 2016 (2:58 PM).
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                Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
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                  Matt. Tee hee. Space Dandy's worth the twelve hours to watch. Insane, pervy, and awesomeness to the max! Enjoy the happy nature of this strip. It might fade after tonight:

                  Chapter 20: Progress (Indigo)

                  A sleepy Saturday always seems to keep hem and haw appropriately hospitalized. While some know not what to do, others have planned ahead before the day's arrival. And then there are those who simply float along like a sea angel or a Phione, aimlessly, unknowing what to specifically achieve. And as good as such drifting can be, it can also lead to bad, as well as downright questionable.

                  Max looks on. As she finishes the last of her Pop-Tart, Kirlia's hips begin to sway to and fro. The music spouting from the television screen in front of her, from a self-promoting advertisement from the channel is set on, fills her space with an upbeat rhythm. Unable to contain her general joy, Kirlia begins spinning, dancing, and bending in different ways. Max cringes. The way she bends as she balances on one toe, the way her spine changes shape, fills him with an incredible sense of unease. Unable to keep his eyes on the happy girl across the room from him, Max sets his eyes downward, back onto the screen of his 3DS.

                  Having occupied himself long enough to wipe his mind safely clean again, Max has prepared a dish for himself. More specifically, he's heated up a large amount of leftover food from the night before: hot wings and fries from Wingstop. Being a naturally messy food, Max had remembered to order boneless wings to take advantage of a fork's utility, both for dipping said wings into bleu cheese as well as to feed himself. The fries, on the other hand, are much too tricky to use a fork on. When the spiciness of the wings gets to him, Max turns to the salty-yet-sweet fries covered in ketchup to chase the heat with. Salt and wayward ketchup remains on his fingers, so Max - being Max - licks them all about. Hit tongue reaches every area of his fingers possible, including underneath his enlarged, half-inch long fingernails. His tongue turns into an arrowhead, darting deep into the crevices to get every last bit of sweetness. Focused on this action, he neglects to notice a prying Kirlia just out of his peripheral vision. Though she usually smiles at his quirks, Kirlia tries to stomach the sight. She shakes herself hollow of the shivers the sight has evoked from her, and promptly Teleports to their bedroom to watch TV there instead.

                  Quite some time passes before Max decides to join his fairy girl. At the threshold of his bedroom's doorway, he notices his other television's channel set to something on the higher numbers. Kirlia's eyes grow starry as she views a commercial advertising a website where women can order incredibly stylish and suggestive underwear. Adoring the designs, Kirlia begins to bounce a bit on her seat. Max, on the other hand, turns away in fear of what such a conversation at the time would go like. Kirlia's the only person he's gone to think of as the closest thing to a family he's got; would such hypothetical visions of her really sit well with his already-existing purviews of their emotional rolls? He scratches the back of his head as he tries to get the image out from his head, unsuccessfully, shuddering a bit as he walks off towards the kitchen again.

                  The sun has gone down, and it's time for Max's usual Saturday night ritual. Digging out a frozen pizza from his fridge's freezer, he takes a knife to unwrap and prepare it. After slicing up some pineapple pieces for a topping, he places the meal onto a large pizza tray, and struggles to place it all into the hot oven underneath his usual range. Successfully reached the waiting game, Max slowly and surely straightens his spine out, and lets out a cathartic groan in an attempt to shed the pain. Because shreds of it still remain, Max reaches for a bottle of alcohol in his fridge and eagerly opens it, happily guzzling down the soda-like drink in near-record time. Such a sight has been a frequent one in Kirlia's eyes, but she never gets used to it. Repetition only led to concern. She understands why Max drinks like he does, yet it does little to subdue her worries that such a habit may evolve into an addiction, and eventually evolve into a catastrophe. Though she's sworn to herself in silence to always protect Max, she's unsure of how to voice her objections to a potential self-destruction. So she leaves.

                  Kirlia stands out in the cold, December night. The moon overhead shines brightly, yet is still a bit from becoming full. She stares into its platinum face wondering if things would've gotten better had she stayed in the wild. She no doubt enjoys her time with Max to the highest degree, she reflects, but some things can't be explained. She's seen into his heart all day; how they both do things that illicit a miniscule yet noteworthy amount of irk, and even things about each other that they can't quite understand fully. Is there a way to explain and justify everything in their relationship, as Trainer and Pokémon? No, as the close, transcendent bond that they've forged together? Or would things have been better explained if she was just in the wild, where the only law is consumption? She ponders going back out there. Two seconds later, she regrets ever thinking it.

                  Absorbed in her thoughts, Kirlia doesn't notice Max approach her from behind. He slowly reaches down her arm, surprising her at the touch, as he slides his fingers around her dainty extremity. He's taken hold of her small hand in his. Gently, he tugs up towards him, signaling to her that he wants her to make herself near-weightless. Unknowing of how to read him, Kirlia abides and allows him to do with her as he pleases. She floats in front of him as he handles her, and he pulls her in; her head presses up against his shoulder as he takes hold of her small shoulders in his right hand, and her slender legs bend down over his left arm as she has her in his endearing grip.

                  With her in his arms, he makes his way inside. The rest of their home lies dark and silent, empty, dead. He takes her into his room, where his weekly ritual begins. The TV's set to [adult swim] before the next block begins. He sits in his reclining armchair, still holding her in his arms and simultaneously sitting her on his lap. The finished pizza sits on the end table next to them, next to some Pop-Tarts, as well as alcohol for him and apple juice for her. Minutes remain before their shows begin to air.

                  And they savor every second of them. The majority of their senses have gone awry; sight, smell, taste, and hearing all purposely fail. All they need is touch. His arms wrapped around her, and hers reaching out for him. They pull each other closer, eyes shut and worlds silent, as they curl up together into a warm singularity.

                  The answer they'll ever need.

                  Afterword:

                  ...And the only thing that brings me back is love.
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                    #38    
                  Old December 11th, 2016 (10:07 PM).
                  Bay Alexison's Avatar
                  Bay Alexison Bay Alexison is offline
                  O, Dance of Devotion!
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                  Still slightly amused over Max being flustered over Kirlia being excited for more mature clothing, heh. Her worrying over Max's alcohol consumption made me feel bad for her, though. Kirlia's thoughts over her living situation with him makes me wonder if that relates to "the visitor" you mentioned a few posts back. Either way, this is still pretty enjoyable.
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                    #39    
                  Old December 13th, 2016 (3:06 PM).
                  Taro Tanaka's Avatar
                  Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
                  Idly Wasting Away...
                     
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                    I don't think so. But then again, you be the judge. In case I forgot to mention: there may be mature content and language present. Here it goes:

                    Chapter 21: The Visitor (Part I)

                    Kirlia sits with her clothed back up against the massive body of the water tower. Her hands prop up the somber face whose eyes set on the loved one in front. Max stands like a statue, unmoving and cold, with nary a sign of emotion left in the husk appearing as his body.

                    His savage hands nearly frozen by the metal railing, Max looks through the skin-piercing frames of his glasses, out into the blackened view of the entire town. Kirlia stays back, warmed by the dark pants, button-up sweater, and slightly-big scarf that have shed her of her tutu. And yet, Max still wears his usual clothing: a black graphic t-shirt, a pair of black, loose-fitting jeans turned up at the ankles to prevent dragging, his necklace holding Kirlia's Poké Ball by a loop, and no shoes. The occasional gust brings drops of moisture his hair, but he keeps on staring out at the moon in the distance.

                    The bright, winter moon sheds an intense light to the town underneath, nearly outshining the many stars further beyond. In just mere hours, the moon will become full once more. The temperatures are dangerous for someone unprotected, especially with airborne water falling about; but the water tower's body blocks most of the wind that blows towards the Trainer's direction. His hands and feet feel no more than cold digging in by the metal he depends on, yet there's nothing that may move him nor the silence he wallows in.

                    This worries Kirlia. In her eyes, she perceives something in Max's heart, something she never thought she'd ever see, or hope to do so. A cold, blue fire burns in his heart, small and moderate, but perpetually lit through the cold that blows through. Negativity in its finest, dark, never-ending. Max always seemed to ask for a trip to the tower with the happiest of intentions, but something else was present when he ground up that which kept him from asking her this time. It was this fire. Whatever this is, it doesn't seem to have a weakness.

                    Desperate for a different sight, Kirlia turns her eyes skyward. Something else is reflected in her innocent eyes: a slash of deep silver and ivory haunts the night sky. It arcs clear across, upward, as if to beg for the embrace of the moon's shine. Though Max stares at this overlooking stranger, he thinks nothing positive or exciting of it. Kirlia, instead, finds this phenomenon quite beautiful. But the taste on her little tongue is the most bitter-sweet candy to have ever been manufactured. To her, there's very little point in trying to find solace in anything when the savior she's given her love to can't join her.

                    The silence is deafening. The cold is suffocating. The negativity is cold, right down to the bone. She can't take it. Though moisture needles into her skin, nothing has felt more colder to her this night than the tears that teeter on the brink of falling from her eyes, down her cheeks. She can't fathom why on Earth he choses to torture himself like this. She needs to take action.

                    But Max cannot break this darkness. Something's raging inside, something so commonplace that it's seen as the most wretched emotion that any person has the worst privilege of knowing. Only despair can offer a hand of friendship during such an experience, during such a frequent, intense experience. One always feels like desolation and helplessness are all that can break through the heart's makeshift borders, deporting all else.

                    Only warmth can always find its way in. The small hands of porcelain hold the clawed human's twitching extremity. Max learns to love once again, staring down at the saddened fairy as she tries her hardest to hold back tears. Non-threateningly yet forcefully, Kirlia tugs at his hand, pressing the back of it against the front of her head. One smile shows up, then the other. Finally, after what seemed to be forever and a day, the silence is shattered by the warmth of a high-pitched voice.

                    "...Let's get you some coffee."

                    Max moves his hand to properly caress her head, just like she loves it. With the fire in his heart breaking into a soft radiation, he responds.

                    "...Okay."

                    * * *

                    Footsteps in the night march closer...

                    Afterword:

                    Dub thee redemption, and deliver those you love from the thick sea unto the light of what burns their skies.
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                      #40    
                    Old December 14th, 2016 (10:34 AM).
                    Taro Tanaka's Avatar
                    Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
                    Idly Wasting Away...
                       
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                      Deliver her true. Deliver him new:

                      Chapter 22: The Visitor (Part II)

                      No more than a single set of footsteps greets the ground whose grass crunches from the impacts of large soles. Night has fallen well and full, yet the night itself is still young; it's per winter's tradition. The sight of the town from the elevated hill would amuse any other soul, yet the sight is quite dampening to this one. The twinkling lights under the stripe of gray up above is no more than the residence of he who may bring an end in this anniversary, or so they hope.

                      Their feet persistent on marching on, their eyes set to the closest place for hospitality, out somewhere into this familiar maze of concrete. The three Poké Balls attached to their belt are kept as is, from providing assistance. Though they've arrived in the cold, fashion has taken priority: a black t-shirt over a golden-yellow long-sleeve, a pair of black, loose-fitting jeans equipped with ankle weights for girth, their wallet's chain jingling by the sway of their hips' hidden curves, and a spiked collar around their small neck. The moisture in the air welcomes this outsider by their short, black, spiked-forward hair with golden ends at the bangs that match their golden contacts, but they press on as hard as the moon's shine that reflects off their flawless, milky-white skin. The gold sets on the nearest, sufficient target: a coffee shop.

                      Their small hand drives the door open with protruding force. Though tough, only one or two of the patrons inside seem to notice. Shorter than most, they're carried forward with excess confidence to the unoccupied counter. With a British growl that hides their acutally-elevated voice, they begin to demand.

                      "Excuse me!" The high-schooler cashier turns to look down at the source of what might have been a simulated shout. "I'd like to order," they demand.

                      Though shorter by at least a head, the demeanor coupled by the golden pierce of their eyes sends a strange sense of intimidation through the cashier's spine. "Y-yes, m-m," he restrains himself as he tries to uphold his intrapersonal act. "What can I get you?"

                      Their sharp chin is moved by the words that jump from their soft, pink lips. "I'll have a tall Pumpkin-Spice Latte with chocolate chips."

                      "I-I'm sorry," the cashier begins. "We can't serve you that drink-"

                      "And why not?" they press, knocking the cashier off-guard. "Is it because you won't serve me?"

                      "N-no!" Attempting to wipe away notions of the obviously-implied, he tries to explain. "It's just that your order's a seasonal drink; it's discontinued!"

                      "Is it?" With a chest puffed out and a face slightly bowed, the stranger looks down at this poor cashier as he struggles to keep a situation from escalating. "Or should I call a lawyer to look into this?"

                      With his colleagues shooting looks of sympathy his way, he takes a deep breath to respond. "I-I'll see if we have extras in the back, s-sir."

                      "I bet you will."

                      Minutes pass and kill wandering stares towards the front counter, long enough for a boy and his little ballerina to decide that they'd like to leave.

                      "Aren't you glad we got you that coffee, Master?" Kirlia happily walks beside him, holding an empty cup of her own.

                      "Pretty warm, yeah!" Even the cold tiles under his feet pose no effect to Max. "With the way you praised that hot chocolate, I think I can buy us two more cups before..." Cold fires surge to stop feet from progressing.

                      "A drink for a Do-" The cashier's hand is swiped at by the foreigner who'd given him a hard time.

                      "Took you long enough." With a cup to warm the small hand, they turn towards the inner belly of the business, only to lay their golden eyes on their pray.

                      Those who go about their nightly lives tend not to care for the stories of others which are pinned up on display, and tonight's hardly any different. The short one puts their free hand on their poking hip, showing some shape. Their head tilts a bit to match their stance, with nary a sign of emotion nor intention on their soft, sharp face. Max can't keep his hand still; his half-finished cup of coffee is gripped and trembling, possibly from fear, possibly from anger, as if he's never known the feeling of warmth up until now. Yet this person's black fingernails have no problem holding their own cup still. Claws may be honed between the burning stares of these two, yet only one is capable of knowing for sure.

                      Kirlia stares at this person, wondering if their eye-contact is the source of freezing her Trainer dead in his tracks. As curious as she is, her innocent eyes once again fall on his heart. Freshly-sharpened daggers dig straight into her pupils, slashing through the cornea, twisting and jerking down further until they've hit the root, lusting for more, drilling to pass, straight into her head to slash apart all that she has ever seen from within her head out. The agonizing pain from the cold, imaginary steel causes her limbs to fall like a marionette's, with no more than a piercing scream to help her realize that she's still alive.

                      "...Kirlia!" Max drops his cup a the sight of his beloved cowering on the ground, her eyes completely shut tight, her hands holding the sides of her head. Disregarding his inevitable spinal pain, he drops to the floor to bring her close. "Kirlia, are you okay?! Speak to me!"

                      She responds with groaning, unable to recover from the mental rips that haunt her still. Others in the surrounding vicinity turn to see this Pokémon cut down, helpless on the ground. The stranger simply looks on at this display.

                      "Kirlia!" Max alarms.

                      Unwilling to open her eyes, she speaks. "H-home..." her voice trembles. "Take... me home...!"

                      "Screw that sh*t; I'm taking you to the Center!" With the girl in his arms, Max ascends to his feet.

                      Holding the whimpering, recluse girl in both arms, Max moves towards the entrance located past the familiar face. Neither bats an eye nor turns a muscle. On any other time, this moment would've felt like a portrait held in eternity, forever left to spread hate to those who were once involved. But that's not the case... at least not to him.

                      * * *

                      "Is she alright?!"

                      "She's fine. She's in the third room down the hall."

                      "What happened?"

                      "Normally I'd be running tests and making guesses, but she just told me everything. I suggest you ask her yourself."

                      "Can I see her?"

                      "Yes. Take all the time you need."

                      The nurse leaves Max. After the events of the night before, he walks down the hall, still quite dazed yet hopeful. Arriving at the third door, he pauses for a moment, then turns the handle down, and enters.

                      On the examination bed sits little Kirlia, her clothes folded into a tiny pile beside her. She notices him enter, yet she doesn't want to look at him. But she doesn't turn him away either.

                      "Kirlia...?" Max begins, walking into what would've been her direct line of sight. "Are you okay?"

                      She lowers her head, unwilling to respond.

                      "...Sweetheart?" Max lowers himself a bit, trying to meet her gaze with his.

                      She keeps low. Left without an answer, Max gets low, onto his knees, and looks up at her. She quickly shuts her eyes.

                      "Kirlia, please!" As if something's caught in the back of his throat, he tries to keep a stable voice. "This doesn't help! I'm not like you; whenever you need to know how I feel, you can just look at me! But I'm doing nothing other than guess-work with my worn eyes! This is why I got you to speak, so that you can tell me whatever you want when you need! I can't make you happy again if I can't get you to tell me what's on your mind!" Tears are on the verge of taking form. "Darling... talk to me...!"

                      Her small hand presses onto the top of his eyebrow, near his temple. Her eyes remain shut, her makeshift blankie, as she asks what's been troubling her.

                      "Master..." she barely lets out. "Who was that boy from last night...?"

                      His jaw hangs softly. He recalls the mentioned individual, and how a series of emotions stirred within him at such a sight. That's when clarity graces him; those emotions. Kirlia saw it all. A living Hell that dwells in his heart already feels like a pair of hands crushing his lungs unusable; he can't imagine what it must've felt like to be capable of viewing a personified form of such negativity. He sighs, and reaches a bit upward, to rest his hands on her delicate shoulders.

                      Small tears roll down onto his smile as he presses his forehead to hers, gently giving company. Finally, she opens her eyes. Within his heart, she sees a storm, but nothing like the cold fire from before. It's worry, regret, pain. And under such a blanket peeks out a slight radiance of warmth, inviting and reassuring. It grows with her every breath. She brings him a bit closer, this boy begging on his knees, with her hands on his collar and neck. This storm is for her.

                      "She's nobody," he answers. "She's nobody at all." He quickly springs up to hug her fully, unwilling to release his grip; nor does she want him to.

                      She nuzzles him slightly, lacking the proper energy to go all-out like she'd love to. But this small amount is sufficient enough.

                      With a cathartic breath let out, he begins. "Let's go home."

                      With crimson shine in her eyes, she looks up at him, finds how his words are of uncanny truth. "Can... Can we take the long way home?"

                      With a sigh of relief, he extends a hand out to her. "Sure."

                      The red sun in the west burns through the branches that struggle to keep hold of their leaves. The pavement is warm, yet cold. There's hardly any traffic, with the only sounds are those of playing neighborhood children and patrons of the nearby church or convenience stores that cluster together with these homes. Serenity is never far, if those who wish to find it only look into the surrounding details.

                      His clawed hand gently holds her small paw. They walk on the sidewalk; he holds the cube of clothes under one arm as her small steps make no audible noise. He looks toward the sky as she mimics. She turns to him, finding little to no trace of negativity, yet his smile has faded into a dim grin. She grips a little tight, he holds slightly tighter.

                      She doesn't know everything about him. She wonders what the story is that is kept from being told. And though she'd like to hear it for the sake of curiosity, she knows she feels best when he does too. It's true that she can find a new caregiver through the highest bidder, but they wouldn't be the same person she's relinquished custody of her heart to. Maybe she'll know, but she won't risk anything just yet.

                      In splendid silence, they slowly inch home...

                      * * *

                      "...Woof! Woofwoofwoof!"

                      "Rocky!" Still trying to unwind from her day at work, Zoey walks to her front door where her Growlithe Rocky barks at. "You should know who it is by now."

                      Unwilling to cease his skeptism, Rocky growls deeply at the door with a lust for violence.

                      Zoey puts up a guard of her own. "Stand by, boy," she commands. She slowly opens the door.

                      The glare of golden eyes greet her.

                      Afterword:

                      Label thee temptation, and deliver fire unto the wings of those you've once loved, and watch them fall from grace for one last time.
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                        #41    
                      Old December 14th, 2016 (4:33 PM).
                      Taro Tanaka's Avatar
                      Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
                      Idly Wasting Away...
                         
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                        This is such an info-dump, but the fact that there's an actual full moon over us is more than enough to speed it up a bit:

                        Chapter 23: The Visitor (Part III)

                        The grass is the right amount of cold for sun-bathing. The weather in Texas' winter days never really knew what it meant to be stable and predictable. The sun shines down onto Max and Kirlia, who lay back on the grass with eyes closed. The park was always serene in these chilled days, perfect for relaxation.

                        Kirlia's head rests on his shoulder, under his jawline. Her arms grip him close as one of his holds her in place. Though the sun is clear one minute and disappears behind gray clouds the next, peace nonetheless washes over them. Three sets of grass-crunching steps approach from above, from behind, but such familiar noises aren't worth opening their eyes to.

                        "I figured you'd both be here," Zoey stands over Max as her accompanying Rocky stands still.

                        "That's how weird they are," Randy points out. "Cooking in the grass for some reason."

                        The two sun-bathers giggle.

                        "You know who came by my place last night?" Zoey asks.

                        "Yup," Max responds as he pets Kirlia. "Don't care."

                        "I think you should," she begins. "It might do your past well."

                        "Why bother with the past?" he asks as he opens an eye to look up at her. "Especially when I can just look at what's in front of me. It looks nice. Silky and pale-violet, with black lace. And even a little ribbon on the front- YOOOW!!!"

                        Zoey's foot crushes his left arm between the bicep and triceps as she pulls closed her skirt. Rocky pants on at the scene while Randy laughs hard enough to warrant leaning back against a nearby tree. With a freed arm, Max sits up and clutches it tightly.

                        "I better not have to start wearing pants around you," Zoey growls as she seethes with a clenched fist, turning red at the face.

                        Sitting in the gap made by his crossed legs, Kirlia gives a glow of her Heal Pulse onto his injury. "I know that I usually stand up for you, Master," she begins, "but I think you deserve this."

                        "It was worth it, though," he laughs in pain.

                        "So I am gonna have to keep an eye on you when we visit her?"

                        "No, I still have standards..."

                        "Wait, wait, wait," Randy interjects, breaking the scene. "Who were you guys talkin' about again?"

                        "I feel right to assume it was me." Some distance across the group, on the grass stands the British individual from out of town. They pose with a hand on their hip and head slightly tilted, with an Ultra Ball in hand to point at them all. "Max!" they begin. "I challenge you to a battle-"

                        "Pass."

                        A chilled breeze flows past the field. Max sits still, holding a smiling Kirlia close as he pets her, neither of them with eyes opened. Zoey and Rocky stare on at the scene, wondering what will come next. Randy smiles as he anticipates something good to come of it. And the challenger boils with annoyance.

                        Flustered, they begin. "W-what d'you mean, 'pass'?! You can't pass; it's a battle!"

                        Max gently taps Kirlia's shoulders to signal her to stand from his lap. She obeys, and even helps levitate him onto his bare feet. "I just did."

                        Randy's lack of history leaves him in the dark. "Dude, do you know this person?"

                        Zoey begins, "His name's Donnie. He used to live here years ago. We were all friends."

                        "...Except we're exes," Max concludes.

                        Kirlia and Randy stare back and forth between Max and his challenger, before letting out a unified, "WHAAAAAT?!?!?!"

                        "YOU ACTUALLY HOOKED UP ONCE?!" Randy exclaims.

                        "MASTER IS GAY?!" Kirlia asks.

                        "Yes, I'd been spoken for once, and no, I'm not gay." Max adjusts his glasses a bit. "'Donnie' wasn't her first name, and... this isn't her first gender."

                        "And I'd appreciate the respect I deserve in making this decision," Donnie growls.

                        "Oh, the last thing you deserve is respect! If you want it so bad, I suggest you earn it!"

                        "So after all these years, you went on to become some bigot instead?!"

                        "Other transgender individuals are actually cool! I'd rather hang out with them than some narrow-minded b*tch! Oh, I'm sorry: some narrow-minded d*ck!"

                        "You never change, do you?!"

                        "I've changed plenty!"

                        This argument goes on for a while. Zoey turns away from this scene, playing with the ends of her long hair instead. Randy enjoys every second of this, as one would a succulent cheeseburger. Kirlia holds Rocky in her arms, trying not to stare at the truth of how her beloved Trainer, her caregiver, is actually capable of flashing his fangs.

                        "Why'd you even come back here?!" Max begins. "This place was better off without you!"

                        "This place needs diversity, you know! And what kind of Trainer keeps a Pokémon around without a will to battle with them? Why do you let that girl call you 'Master', huh? Pervert! Pedophile!"

                        "Ugh, why'd I ever go out with this crazy chick in the first place?" Max sighs. The sound of Rocky's feet impacting the grass next to him moves his eyes to Kirlia, who's charging up an orb of Psyshock in her hand, aimed straight at Donnie. "Sweetheart," Max calmly begins, "no."

                        "But Master," she begins. "Those dirty comments about me! About you!"

                        "I know, but as much as I'd like to see you draw her blood, I'm pretty sure this counts as a hate-crime on some level." Seeing his point, Kirlia flings the attack over her shoulder, into the sky, in agitation.

                        "What? You a coward?" Donnie taunts. "Too scared to watch your slave fight for you?"

                        "You'd be smart to keep from angering a girl who can break your bones without breaking the skin." Max turns his back to Donnie as he pets Kirlia with pride. "Darling, we haven't eaten yet. Why don't you take us to a restaurant? Your choice."

                        "Okay!" Her mouth begins to water.

                        "I wanna go too!" Randy runs over as he reaches for the hand Kirlia puts out for him.

                        "Where d'you think you're going?!" Donnie begins walking towards them all. "Get back here, you filthy mouth-breather!"

                        "Yeah, that's totally how you get someone to do what you want," Max snarks. "By insulting them. Let's go, baby doll."

                        As she prepares to Teleport, Kirlia turns back to set an eye on Donnie. Unsure of what real history they share, Kirlia turns her head slightly away, and they disappear.

                        "That boy...!" Donnie speaks to the remaining Zoey. "WHAT'S WITH HIM?! UGH!!!"

                        * * *

                        Randy and Max place their numbered table markers on the edge of their booth's table. Kirlia's chosen to take them to Whataburger, hoping that a place regarded as one of the best fast-food joints Texas has to offer would elevate spirits in dire need of such a change.

                        "I can't believe you actually went out with that chick! Uh, guy!" Randy begins. "They look short as hell, though. How old are they?"

                        "They skipped a few grades. She was friends with Zoey first, and we met through her, I guess."

                        "I thought he looked smart," Randy admits. "He called out how you let Kirlia call you 'Master' always have her close to you. He said what we're all thinking," he snickers.

                        "...Psysho-"

                        "On it!" In single-digit seconds flat, Kirlia's already pelted Randy with a Psychock, which Max has given her permission to do whenever a dirty joke is made at her expense.

                        Laughing in pain (as he's done so many times before), he digresses on the subject at hand. "So," Randy smirks, "what'd he look like before?"

                        "The perfect mix of cuteness and sex-appeal," Max admits, almost nonchalant. "I don't know how she hides it, but she's actually got c-cups." Randy offers a high-five in excitement, which Max honors without changing his demeanor.

                        "What are c-cups?" Kirlia asks.

                        "A weapon only few women can use," Max quells rather quickly.

                        "Um, Master?" she begins. "Why do you still call him a girl? I thought you always say how we should be understanding and to- toler- tol um..."

                        "'Tolerable'," he finishes. "And I do, but I actually know this girl. She never believed people to change. She doesn't think I have. And on top of that, she always followed the crowd. She might just be cosplaying as a guy because her other friends swapped genders too. Chances are she's just lying to herself."

                        "Do you really believe that?" she asks as their food's brought to their table.

                        "I guess I kind of do," he admits. "Even regarding Pokémon that she uses, she just copies from someone else. Only a few of her favorite Pokémon ever make it to her competitive teams, which is why I didn't bother battling her." He starts eating a fry. "She's not really worth my time."

                        "I don't know," Randy begins. "I actually wanna see you guys battle. It'd be pretty cool to watch."

                        "I've only seen Master battle a few times," Kirlia speaks through a half-eaten chicken strip. "I'd like to see it too."

                        "I don't know..." Max goes on to unwrap his burger.

                        "I still dun like what they said about us," Kirlia hisses. "If Master really wanted to do unspeakable things to me, then da last thing he would want is for me to speak." Randy audibly laughs with a mouthful of food to muffle him, while Max laughs hard enough to keep silent in his hunched state. "Did you like that one, Master?"

                        "Yes, yes I did," he struggles to respond.

                        The three eat together, too occupied by the taste to hold a meaningful conversation through. Yet Max keeps his thoughts set on a possible battle. It seems as though Randy and Kirlia might've hyped things up for him. In very little time, he finishes the majority of his meal, leaving half of his fries for Kirlia's benefit, then stands up.

                        "The Pokémon Center's PC has an internet browser, right?" max begins.

                        "Yeeeeeeeeeah, I think," Kirlia answers.

                        Max pulls out a card from his wallet and places it in front of Kirlia. "Order me another meal, I'll be right back."

                        "You're still hungry?!"

                        "Yup! Be back in a bit!"

                        And so Randy and Kirlia are left to dine together, confused by Max's actions, but pleased by the food they've yet to finish. About twenty minutes pass before Kirlia begins singing to herself.

                        "...When the world beckons your approach, it swallows you whole," she softly recites.

                        "It swallows MY hole!" Randy entertains.

                        "How- how- how is that possible?!"

                        "IT FOUND A WAY!!!"

                        Kirlia laughs at this absurdity as she reaches for the last chicken strip, only to find Randy reaching for it as well. "Um, you can have it."

                        "Nah, you can take it."

                        "It's okay. I'm almost full anyway."

                        "I can just buy some more."

                        "But you need your money for bills."

                        "You know what," Randy begins, "let's just split it."

                        "...Okay!" Kirlia reaches for the remaining piece... only to find Max has already taken it, nearly swallowing it whole as if he had unhinged his jaw.

                        "WHY THE HELL DID YOU DO THAT, YOU BELAINAS?!" Randy yells.

                        "Oh come on, neither of you were gonna eat it.," Max debates.

                        "We were just about to split it!"

                        "But with her modesty and your inability to say no to a little girl, you'd just catch yourselves in a stalemate on who gets the bigger piece."

                        "You don't know that! And you have a whole set of food right there for you!"

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

                        "Anyway," Max begins as he pulls up a Poké Ball that grabs everyone's attention. "I think I will battle her after all!"

                        Randy and Kirlia both look at the ball cupped in his claws. With a slight toss, the ball releases its inhabitant onto an open space on the table.

                        "Kyu! mimi mi, Mimikyu! (Behold! It is I, Mimikyu!) Mimi mimi kyu kyu- (I shall conquer all that I see with awesome power-)"

                        Max gently rubs the cheeks of her cloth. "You're too giddy!" he giggles.

                        "M-mimi mimikyu mimi mimikyu! (Do-don't touch me where you think I want to be touched!)" she protests, thankful that her cloth conceals possible blushing.

                        "Miyaah!" Kirlia gasps at the sight of Max's partner. "Issho cute! I wanna hug her!"

                        "M-mimikyu? (Y-you do?)"

                        "Mmhmm!" Kirlia goes on to do just that. She giggles and her hips sway from side to side, as she holds Mimikyu in her arms.

                        Trying to save face in obvious denial, Mimikyu protests. "Mi mimi kyu, kyu kyu mimi mimikyu mimikyu mimi mimi mimikyu! (Let go of me, or I'll force you into maidhood once I conquer the world!)"

                        Kirlia gasps with excitement. "Can I wear the outfit too?!"

                        Mimikyu's left speechless in confusion. Max stares at this display, being reminded that Kirlia can understand both sets of speech, as well as speak them. He seems to forget that, lately.

                        "Well, anyway," Max begins. "Do you think it'll be worth watching?"

                        Randy understands why he brought Mimikyu. "So, you're gonna battle?"

                        "Yeah." Max sits down to unwrap his additional food. "Sure, she doesn't think I've changed, and I don't think she's changed at all either. But I actually believe change can happen, so if she wins the battle, then she's changed. If I win, I guess I'm right. Maybe it'll be worth giving her the benefit of the doubt." He turns to Mimikyu. "And you'll help me. Won't you, little one?"

                        Mimikyu, standing on the table, begins to hiss. "Mimi mi kyu... kyu... kyu mimikyu! (I shall consume... consume... consume everything!" Her shadowy claw lashes out from under her disguise and grabs a handful of Max's fries, taking them back into her clothes, and paying with munching noises.

                        Afterword:

                        I love burgers.
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                        Old December 14th, 2016 (7:51 PM).
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                        Bay Alexison Bay Alexison is offline
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                        Ahhh, slow down. D= I know you mention to take our time, but each time you post your readers will feel to need to catch up haha.

                        For Twenty One, there were some nice description over Kirlia able to see what's been going through Max as of recent. There were a couple paragraphs I think were kinda reptitive, like the one that started, "But Max cannot break this darkness" as I already get that something is bothering Max. I like the paragraph before it, "the silence is deafening one," as there were some imagery showing Kirlia being upset and all.

                        Quote:
                        She doesn't know everything about him. She wonders what the story is that is kept from being told. And though she'd like to hear it for the sake of curiosity, she knows she feels best when he does too. It's true that she can find a new caregiver through the highest bidder, but they wouldn't be the same person she's relinquished custody of her heart to. Maybe she'll know, but she won't risk anything just yet.
                        The sentence with the mention of the new caregiver I feel is kinda out of place as she's thinking about the story behind Max and the visitor.

                        At first I got confused over Donnie's gender because you had the narration as "they" but Kirlia and Max referred them as different pronouns, now though seems they're nonbinary. A part of me feels you can perhaps still get away with referring them as Donnie, though I guess should folks will think it's a masculine name. Anyways, Donnie sure made an impression the first couple chapters there so far. And heh, Mimikyu huh? Its personality reminds me of the Pokemon anime's version of Mimikyu who wanted bloodthirst for Pikachu, haha.
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                        Old December 16th, 2016 (11:56 AM).
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                        Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
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                          Yeah, I'll slow down. XD I won't end this arc until next week, because reasons.

                          It's even more repetitive than that. The first part is a dark reprisal of Chapter 16. And it doesn't stop there. But I understand how it got a bit repetitive; I was looking to expand the tone for a longer chapter. I'll be sure to keep my wits about from here; thanks for the heads up. XD

                          I thought the sentence was out-of-place too, but I couldn't think of any other way to suggest Kirlia's overall monotony is greater than Max's own worth, seeing as how Pokémon are already rare enough, and a talking waifu-fodder to others would pose a great price-wager. The point I was trying to get across was that, despite how ordinary Max is, she ain't giving him up. But I couldn't convey that idea any better at the time. Sorry. XD;;;

                          Donnie's a transgender individual, female to male. And I'm not going to refer to them by an absolute gender, seeing as how it's best for the reader to decide what's true, with the info to come:

                          Chapter 24: The Visitor (Part IV)

                          Moisture once again sets in, airborne, across the moonlit night. A slash of silver begins to materialize under the full moon, weak yet growing in strength. Cold is Donnie's friend, as they both sit in one of the town's few plaza's, patient and expecting. On the edge of a subtle fountain, Donnie tosses an Ultra Ball into the air, catching it in one hand as it falls. The hypnotic sounds of such a metronome are interrupted by an ambiguous girl.

                          "You're waiting for him, aren't you?" Zoey stands with Rocky in her arms, trying to gain Donnie's sight. "He's going to show up, right?"

                          Donnie keeps looking out past her, into the street across the plaza. "...He'd better."

                          Zoey's eyes grow somber as she holds Rocky a bit closer. "Are you... coming back again?" Donnie remains unmoved. "...What happened to you?"

                          Golden eyes sharply dart on Zoey. "What?"

                          "What happened to my friend?" Rocky flails a bit, and is placed on the fountain's edge. "Where did she go?"

                          "What do you mean by 'she'-?"

                          "I mean the girl I used to have near me all the time!" With tears held back, Zoey finally opens to what she considers to be a stranger. "Back then, even before and after you and Max were together, we were the best of friends! You were the tiny friend I couldn't resit throwing my arms around whenever I got the chance! You were my gal pal! Now you're just a stranger!"

                          "I've come to realize that I've been born to the wrong body-"

                          "That's not what I mean, you moron!" Zoey's voice trembles a bit. "If you feel you're a boy, then fine, whatever! But that's not what I care about! I want the person who knows who I am, who cared! Do you have any idea how happy I wanted to be when you showed up last night? And then all you wanted to do was fight with Max! Where did you go? Where did Solace run off to?

                          "After you dumped him, you know what happened? I found him covered in cuts, in his own blood, crying and sitting in broken bottles! And you're not the only one responsible for that; Max's had a hard life at every turn possible! All you were was just another hit! I held him in my arms until he passed out, then I stayed with him for all of the next day while you left for school like nothing had happened! But you know what? he came back, on his feet, ready to be my friend again! You aren't allowed to define him solely by what you had with him, because you were just something else to tact onto his timeline! Do you have any idea how well he's been since you left him years ago? Did you notice how differently his Kirlia looks than a regular one? You should know, considering how it evolves into your favorite Pokémon! He's been a wonderful Trainer to her, and an amazing friend to me and our other friend Randy! There's almost never a reason to be upset because of how much they enjoy themselves!

                          "And what happened to you? You moved somewhere up north after high school to stay with those other people you started getting along with, all just to come back like this? Cold and angry at everything for almost no reason? Why are you obsessed with battling him? Aren't you supposed to be over him? Isn't that what you told everyone back then?"

                          Donnie stares holes into Zoey's watering eyes. The silence is deafening for a while, before a shout breaks it.

                          "Zoey!" From the south side of the plaza, Max shouts. Randy stands still, hiding excitement, as Kirlia gestures to Zoey to join them with her small hand. Rocky runs over immediately; Zoey turns to Max, then back to Donnie. Zoey begins running over.

                          Donnie gets up from the seat provided by the fountain. With every step, the sight of Max and Zoey interacting in some way is set in those golden eyes. Finally, the people idling in the plaza are treated to Donnie's road show: "Max! I challenge you to a battle-"

                          "Oh, stick a d*ck in it; you'll get your battle!" Max shouts across the square, agitating the challenger who's been interrupted all evening.

                          The people surrounding the plaza hear this exchange. While only the immature care for Max's language, everyone else excuses it as they clear away. Though they move, they stay in the outer edges; with very few Trainers in the sleepy town, the idea of watching a Pokémon battle excites any and all who find front-row seats.

                          Finished with their conversation, Zoey runs back in Donnie's direction. Donnie watches her carefully, the way she draws breath, the direction she takes towards the bench between them all, the way that Poké Ball on Zoey's necklace moves. As Randy and Kirlia join her, Zoey speaks: "This official battle between Max and challenger Donnie shall now commence!"

                          Max and Donnie take out their own Pokédexes and pick up each other's signals, which officially recognizes the battle as an official one.

                          "The loser shall pay prize money to the winner! No duplicate Pokémon are allowed! No duplicate items are allowed! No restoration items are allowed! Both parties are allowed to switch in Pokémon during the battle! The people in this plaza shall be eye-witnesses for the official records, as well as I, who shall be the referee for this match! Are these terms and conditions acceptable to both parties?"

                          Donnie begins. "Yes! Max, we shall only be allowed three Pokémon for this fight-"

                          "Whatever, just get on with it already!" Max growls as he takes his Poké Ball out from his belt. Interrupted for the last time, Donnie mimics.

                          With everyone ready to begin, Zoey gives the show everyone wants. "Begin!"

                          The Ultra Ball is raised high above Donnie, shining with the platinum light from above. "Honored by the shower of this night's full moon, I'll bring an end to you and all that you care about!"

                          "The moonlight never really cut it for me," Max snaps. "Never kept me warm."

                          With a body completely veiled in moonlight, Donnie releases the inhabitant of the Ultra Ball. With a bright light jumping from the ball and into the air, it solidifies into a Talonflame.

                          "Hey look, a Smogonbird." Max smirks, completely unsurprised.

                          "Tee hee, 'Smogonbird'," Kirlia giggles from Zoey's lap, from the bench between the fighters.

                          "Alright, let me send you back to those other kids at Tiananmen," Max begins as he casually tosses his Poké Ball into the air in front of him. "You ready, little one?"

                          The light jumping from his Poké Ball solidifies on the ground below, having her feet feel the same cold chill Max's bare feet also feel. "Mi mi mikyu, mikyu! (I have fury, Master!)" Mimikyu agrees.

                          "Alright, Mimikyu! Bulk Up!"

                          "Talonflame, U-turn!"

                          Donnie's Talonflame charges at Mimikyu, powered up by the Choice Scarf it adorns, and slams into the head of Mimikyu's disguise, breaking the neck, as it retreats into its Ultra Ball. In Talonflame's absence, Mimikyu begins to power herself up. Bones and tendons audibly rip and shift from under her cloth as she strengthens herself.

                          "What a shame," Max admits. "I was hoping to rid that thing of its ability. Playing it safe, girl?"

                          Donnie's agitation flares a bit. "I'll give you something to laugh about! Go!" A Luxury Ball is thrown into the air. From its shelter, the light materializes onto the ground in front, becoming a Gardevoir of blue hair and orange horns.

                          "Hey look, Kirlia," Zoey starts. "It's your evolution! Wouldn't you like to grow up into that?"

                          Kirlia stares at this Pokémon, at the horn on its chest. "Nooooo!" she squeaks with her hands near her mouth. "I can't cuddle with Master if I keep stabbing his body!"

                          Randy chuckles. "She's got a point."

                          "But I dun want a point!"

                          Max looks at his opponent. "A shiny, huh? So how much of your daddy's money did you have to spend to get this one?"

                          Donnie ignores. "Gardevoir! Calm Mind!"

                          "Mimikyu! Bulk Up again!"

                          With hands pressed together and head bowed, Gardevoir ignores all of the world surrounding it to find peace of mind, focusing on increasing its special attributes. Juxtaposing the angel of the north side, Mimikyu's body rips and cracks again from under its cloth, making the fallen head sway slightly, pushing the limits of the stitching.

                          The right, yellow sleeve is rolled up to reveal a stone-adorned bracelet. "And now," Donnie begins, "It's time to unleash everything!" A light shines from Donnie's bracelet as the same light shines from the stone Gardevoir carries.

                          "A Mega Stone?" Max notices. "That's rare. And expensive." He looks at Donnie. "And stupid, if you don't know how to use it."

                          Donnie struggles to relinquish physical energy, trying to keep stamina in check. Inexperienced in controlling Gardevoir's massive surge in power, Donnie's well aware of the savagery to come... and counts on it.

                          A bright orb of pink light surrounds Gardevoir as it Mega Evolves, until a reformed version of itself dispels the light. A black, round dress replaces the simple white one it once wore. With an incredible amount of power running through its veins, Gardevoir's eyes glow with a murderous intent to kill, to bring down everything and everyone that stands in its path. And its sights are set on Mimikyu and Max.

                          "Now, Gardevoir," Donnie shouts. "Hyper Voice!"

                          "Mimikyu, Shadow Sneak," Max calmly commands.

                          As Gardevoir gathers an immense amount energy around its mouth, a quick shadow lunges out from under Mimikyu. Darting its way forward, it jumps up from behind Gardevoir and strikes its small back with enough force to cause the energy gathered to explode into the air above, making Gardevoir flinch and float off its feet. With the majority of its health shaved off, Gardevoir needs a moment to recover.

                          "W-what the-?!" Donnie exclaims as Gardevoir holds its head in its hands while getting up from the ground.

                          "Enjoying that King's Rock I handed you, Mimikyu?" Max chuckles.

                          Mimikyu plays with the rock in its claw. "Mi mimikyu, mikyu! (Most certainly, Master!)"

                          Angered, Donnie points forward with a shout. "Grr, Gardevoir, Hyper Voice again, with everything you have!!"

                          Weakened from the attack it took, Gardevoir finds power in the will to kill, and begins to once again gather energy. Struggling to work off the pain while try to regain footing, it growls deeply as it forms energy near its mouth again.

                          "Shadow Sneak again!" Max yells, as Mimikyu's shadow darts forwards and jumps out from the ground, hardly trying to sneak at all. "Go back to the tacky prom you crawled out from!"

                          With darkness propelled by a force of brutal strength, the shadow connects with Gardevoir's body. An unnecessary critical hit is delivered, strong enough to send Gardevoir flying off its feet near Donnie's direction. The hit's force sends all surrounding moisture in all directions, with wind-like pulses emitting to everyone, brushing Zoey's hair, Donnie's gold-dyed tips. Bouncing and tumbling on the brick-paved ground behind its Trainer, Gardevior lays unmoving, with eyes as blank as near-death permits. It breathes, heavy and audibly, as a jolt of light from its Luxury Ball brings it home.

                          "You did well, my queen," Donnie whispers into the ball, recovering from the drained stamina.

                          "Gardevior is unable to battle!" Zoey yells from her seat. "The victory goes to Mimikyu! Donnie, send in your next Pokémon!"

                          "Eep!" Kirlia squeaks. "Mimicutie's so strong and powerful! I'm glad she's on our side!"

                          "I gotta admit," Randy begins, "for a lump of something that isn't even a foot tall, it's pretty wicked. Would you go up against it, Zoey?"

                          Zoey thinks for a few seconds. "Maybe, but only if I can teach Rocky a few attacks beforehand. Isn't that right, my baby?" Rocky happily barks, trying to boast a bit.

                          Wasting no time, the next challenger re-emerges. "Go, Talonflame!" From its Ultra Ball, the bird reforms in the air above. "Brave Bird!"

                          "Shadow Sneak!"

                          With breakneck speed, Talonflame charges at Mimikyu, engulfed in white light that burns with speed. From under Mimikyu re-emerges a shadow that darts at Talonflame. Pushing and ripping through the opposing shadow, Talonflame feels pain as it delivers its own attack to Mimkyu, who sustains just as much damage as its opponent, both left with less than half their health. Talonflame feels a bit more recoil as it regroups by Donnie's side.

                          "Damn," Donnie mutters. "There goes Gale Wings."

                          "You alright, Mimikyu?" Max asks.

                          Hissing through the damage, Mimikyu asserts itself. "Kyu mi mi mi kyu kyu mimi mi kyu, mikyu! (Pain is but a price for ruling the world, Master!)"

                          "Brave Bird!"

                          "Shadow Sneak!"

                          Unable to speed up like before, Talonflame hovers as it attempts to recover the burning light from before, only to fail as a shadow darts up from the ground below in an uppercut that does it in. With a jolt upwards and burning light waning into the night sky, Talonflame's body arcs a bit and descends onto the brick ground below, too fainted to feel anything else.

                          "Talonflame is unable to battle!" Zoey yells. "The victory goes to Mimikyu! Donnie, send in your final Pokémon!"

                          "You did well to dent that wall," Donnie says aloud as Talonflame's brought back into its Ultra Ball. Donnie grabs the third ball, a regular Poké Ball, from the end of the short row.

                          "What's she gonna send in now?" Max mutters to himself. "Whatever it is, we've gotta be prepared for it."

                          The Poké Ball's cast into the air. "Go!" Donnie shouts, as the bright light falls and solidifies on the ground. "Fight by my side under the moon one more time!"

                          Talons grip the ground. Paws take a stand. With a growling howl into the bright slash of silver under the moon, a Silvally screams with a thirst for triumph.

                          "Well, that's different!" Max says to himself, visibly caught off-guard, as he lays his eyes on the blackened, feather-like appendages fueled by a Dark Memory coming out from behind Silvally's head. "Where'd she get that thing from?"

                          Donnie eyes the little fairy girl sitting on Zoey's lap, the one Max loves so dearly. "I need to rid that thing of its buffs. Silvally, Roar!"

                          With eyes full of loyalty, Silvally opens its mouth and bellows out a piercing roar. The sound pulsates to the ears of everyone around, more intensely to Max and Mimikyu, causing Mimikyu's dangling head to sway backwards. With the sound dying down, everyone looks on at the unchanged scene. Max uses the long fingernail of his pinkie to dig out a small chunk of wax from his ear, and flicks it away.

                          "Augh!" Zoey screams in disgust, as she sticks her tongue out.

                          "Tee hee hee eew," Kirlia giggles.

                          Randy looks at Mimikyu. His eyes train on her. "Why is she...?"

                          From looking at Kirlia to looking at Mimikyu, Donnie's agitation only flares. "What the hell's going on?! Silvally, Roar again!"

                          With its head bowed down, ready to be raised again, Silvally opens its mouth and bellows out another roar at Max and Mimikyu. As the cacophonic pulses die out, Max attempts to fix his slightly disheveled hair.

                          "How many times are they gonna try that?" Randy asks as he hits his right ear with his hand.

                          "Don't worry," Max responds in Randy's direction. "It'll end once I take care of this freak." Max turns to his opponents, and then back to Randy. "And her Silvally too."

                          With the comment ringing in her head, Kirlia's cheeks puff up a bit as she glares at Max.

                          "I'm gettin' kinda tired of this," Max begins. "Mimikyu, isn't it about time you feed?"

                          "Kyu mi kyu, mikyu! (Time to dine, Master!)"

                          "I'll take it as a yes! So, Leech Life!"

                          With Donnie distracted at Silvally's failure, Mimikyu lunges forward at Silvally and latches onto its body for an instant. With incredible force, Silvally's thrown backwards, as if it received a powerful kick. Mimikyu stands in its place, rejuvenated and fully healed. Unable to recover from such a super-effective hit, Silvally lays on the ground at Donnie's feet, throwing the towel in.

                          "Silvally's unable to battle!" Zoey shouts. "The victory goes to Mimikyu! Max is declared the winner, and will receive prize money from the challenger!"

                          With arms crossed and a smirk on his face, Max looks on at the spectators, most who cheer, and some who speak in confusion of the battle's end. "I almost had a bit of fun, just now," he giggles.

                          Zoey, Randy, Rocky, and Kirlia run over to Max's side to congratulate him. People around clap and cheer for a while. Mimikyu returns to her Trainer's side.

                          "Hey, little one," Max begins. "You did great out there. I knew you could do it. I'm proud of you. ...A-are those tears coming out from your chest?"

                          Big balls of water fall from Mimikyu's eyes. "M-mi, mi kyu! Kyu mikyu mi mimikyu mi kyu! (N-no, you fool! You humans don't understand my kind!)" Max places his hands outwards, and Mimikyu can't help but to reach out with her claw to pull herself up by his arm and into Max's embrace.

                          "You were great, Max," Zoey congratulates. "You swept Donnie's team with just Mimikyu."

                          "Wasn't hard. I just looked up the kinds of Pokémon she might've used, and chose Mimikyu to counter most of them. Although I wasn't counting on her Silvally..."

                          From across the plaza ground, a voice shouts. "Cheat!" Donnie points.

                          Everyone takes notice. With a smirk and a Mimikyu in one arm, Max places a hand on his hip and tilts his head a bit, a pose he used to take very often in the years past.

                          "I don't know how," Donnie growls, "but Silvally's Roar was supposed to make your ragdoll retreat! What kind of twisted prank are you-" Donnie's golden eyes set on Max's hip. The pose he stands in allows him to show his hip a bit, more specifically, his belt. It has but one, single Poké Ball hanging from it.

                          Digging into his pocket, Max takes out his Pokédex and presses a few buttons. "Zoey?"

                          Zoey does the same. "I know," she sighs. As the two devices communicate, the two press a few options on the screens, and Zoey takes off the necklace she wears, relinquishing its ownership back to Max. "So long, my little ballerina. It was nice having you while it lasted."

                          "You might have me again some other day!" Kirlia exclaims as she hugs Zoey's thigh. "But I love Master way too much to stay away for long!"

                          "I swear," Randy snarks, "You two are gonna eventually make this into a custody battle one day."

                          "Well, either way, I just earned some mad money! I hope it ain't in pounds."

                          "Dinner on you?"

                          The trio of friends giggle and laugh as their accompanying Pokémon follow along. They walk on down south, into the downtown area, as the bewildered challenger stands in their corner, with a fainted chimera laying at their feet.

                          Afterword:

                          The moral? Don't choose Dark just because you're into Hot Topic.
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                            #44    
                          Old December 16th, 2016 (6:20 PM).
                          Bay Alexison's Avatar
                          Bay Alexison Bay Alexison is offline
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                          This has been a pretty enjoyable battle overall. Huh, so Talonflame is still used often in Smogon? Don't know too much about competitive battling, but yeah I heard it's a favorite, at least a while back. I too got caught off guard Donnie got Silvally. They probably went to Hawaii, heh. That Mimikyu is a beast, though, lol. Interesting twist with Zoey being Kirlia's trainer temporary.
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                            #45    
                          Old December 17th, 2016 (7:19 PM).
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                          Bardothren Bardothren is online now
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                          I agree with Bay, that battle was hella fun. Man, I had a lot of catching up to do, but it was worth it. Hand down my favorite line:

                          Quote:
                          Randy chuckles. "She's got a point."

                          "But I dun want a point!"
                          I also liked the reveal of only using one pokemon at the end. Way to rub it in Max. I also liked the Mimikyu, and Donnie was an interesting character. Keep up the breakneck speed!
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                          Old December 20th, 2016 (3:48 PM).
                          Taro Tanaka's Avatar
                          Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
                          Idly Wasting Away...
                             
                            Join Date: Sep 2011
                            Location: Shining Winter
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                            Mimikyu is love! Mimikyu is life! Also, should someone ask for details missing from the following chapter, I'll gladly fill in some other-sided gaps. Time to leave with the moon:

                            Chapter 25: The Visitor (Part V)

                            "...Nnnngh...!"

                            Max lays face-first on the ground, in the bowed-begging position, with his nose tipping the cold sidewalk below. With hands on her hips above the tutu, Kirlia stands over him, with a toe gently pressing down on the back of his neck. Zoey and Rocky stare in amusement as Randy laughs on. Though they've left the plaza, they've only gotten less than a block away.

                            With her head still slumped over, Mimikyu studies them. "Mikyu mi mi kyu mi mi mimikyu mi-mikyu. (Perhaps I can learn from this dominating maid-fodder.)"

                            Others who pass through the downtown's main street watch this scene, some of which just watched Max confidently win a battle. A couple of attractive high-schoolers, a pair whom Max and Randy would've both eyed in their own manners if they weren't so distracted, pass by and giggle at the dainty Pokémon who holds her Trainer down. Max doesn't hurt from being pressed down by Kirlia; she's actually simply poking him with her toe. But his spine acts up nonetheless. But it's best, he thinks, if he simply humors her at the moment, regardless of his stamina, or lack thereof.

                            "Bad Master," Kirlia scolds. "I know you don't like Donnie, but that 'freak' comment was too much! Meanie!"

                            "Well, what do you want me to call her?" Max groans. "A Rocky-kicker?"

                            Zoey holds Rocky a bit closer. "That was an awful night."

                            Kirlia lets go of Max as she stares at Rocky with eyes of watery sympathy. Max struggles to get back on his feet by using a street-lamp for support. Randy keeps laughing.

                            "Did Donnie really kick you?" Kirlia asks as she caresses Rocky around the neck. Rocky howls a bit.

                            "It was years ago, before he left," Zoey starts as she pets Rocky. "A bit after the break-up."

                            Randy looks on. "That b*tch. I mean, bastard...?"

                            "Well, doesn't matter," Max sighs, trying to relieve his body. "She got what she wanted. She'll be out of our lives soon enough. Status quo."

                            "I think Donnie's going to stay for the night, at least," Zoey begins. "Why don't you go talk to him?"

                            "Why should I?"

                            "Because this is what Donnie needed all along! This battle, this whole visit - it was all for closure!"

                            "'Closure'?! I thought she was supposed to be over me! Why does she need closure?"

                            "Because you were an important part of her past!" Zoey admits. She looks down at the ground. "Donnie needs this to move on. I know that he dumped you back then and basically left without a word, but it's pretty easy to see that he needs to get past you once and for all."

                            "Let her do it on her own. That's how I did it, anyway. I didn't get a chance for closure."

                            "So just because he didn't give you the chance, that gives you the right to do the same? Does that really make you any different from him?"

                            Max visibly hesitates at the question.

                            Randy voices his opinion. "Maybe he just can't stand the fact that they're a dude, now."

                            Max is mildly surprised. "What does that have to do with any of this?"

                            Everyone looks at each other. Nobody knows how to break the silence. The noises of the commerce and idle passer-bys are the only source of reminders for them, reminders that the moment isn't quite frozen in time. Suddenly, Mimikyu begins banging on the nearby street-lamp with her claw, trying to awaken everyone from this state.

                            Randy follows her lead. "All I know is that I'd love to have a Pokémon as strong as you, you weird, little ghost blob."

                            "Kyu kyu milyu mi mi mi kyukyu mikyu mi mi mikyu kyu. (Your plump body shall make a divine feast for my future hounds.)"

                            Randy gets behind Zoey and gently pushes her by the shoulders. "Come on, girl! Let's go!"

                            "T-to where?"

                            "Burger King! I'm hungry!"

                            "But didn't you have Whataburger earlier this afternoon?"

                            "I'll work it off! I'll play off the calories in the playground!"

                            "But you're too big, and you'll get stuck in you know what, I'll go. Come on, Rocky. Maybe I can get you some healthy salad, or something."

                            As the two leave Max and his Pokémon behind, the solitary group stands in confusion in the sidewalk.

                            Kirlia stares at Max. "...What now, Master?"

                            Picking up on her distress, Max makes a quick call. "Something to eat sounds good right about now. I think there's a café north of the plaza..."

                            * * *

                            With a fork in hand, Max delivers a piece of moist, strawberry cake with vanilla icing into his mouth. Enjoying the savory taste, he stretches in his seat. "Oh, man! If only there were more Trainers to battle around here! Then we could eat at fancy-schmancy, top-dollar places like these more often!"

                            Sitting on the same side of their booth, Kirlia puts down her jumbo chocolate-chip muffin. "Master, I'm starting to worry about your diet."

                            "Tell you what," Max proposes as he chews on another piece of cake, using his fork to point at her. "I'll eat healthy if you quit the Pop-Tarts."

                            "I, uh, umm..." She lowers her head, giving the idea some serious consideration.

                            Accomplishing his ultimatum, Max turns his head. "Enjoying your cookies, Mimikyu?"

                            Mimikyu stands on the table top, ignoring her Trainer as she gleefully devours her plate of spicy-sprinkled cookies.

                            Taking a sip from his sweetened tea, Max sight and leans back on his booth. "This is great..."

                            Kirlia looks up at him, wanting to ask him what's on her mind. But she looks back at her food. She repeats this action two more times in the course of a minute.

                            "Well?" Max begins without turning his head away from the ceiling, catching her attention. "Aren't you gonna ask?"

                            "Umm... Won't it make you sad?"

                            "A little, maybe. But you keep burning holes into me, so you must really wanna know, right?"

                            "...If you dun mind." Kirlia cups her tea in both hands, staring into the shining brown liquid that flows smoothly around the cup. "Can you tell me about how it happened?"

                            Max looks out a window high above the dining area for a while, as the jukebox begins to play some music. The piano sounds quite serene, yet seems dipped in a bit of underlying sadness. With his heart pounding for a moment, Max allows his lips to do the talking instead.

                            "It was a few years ago. We were still in highschool, all of us. I had met Zoey during our junior year. I guess she had skipped a few grades, or something. I didn't make a lot of friends, because I had trouble talking to people, but things came naturally with her. The same can be said for Randy, since I'd met him a year earlier; but he and Zoey didn't meet for a while longer. In a way, I had a double-life between the two. Nothing bad or sneaky, like that. I just had 'other' friends. Between meeting him and her, I'd begun to learn how to talk to people, so I met a few other faces here and there.

                            "And she was one of them. She was friends with Zoey. Best friends, really. They were always together, never wanted to be apart. It was a little awkward when Zoey introduced us. I kept stuttering, she kept encouraging me; we were a weird pair of friends. But we eventually grew close together. Her friendly gestures became genuine with time, and I quit messing sh*t up when I struggled to speak. And we both had our quirks; I was just too awkward with socializing with others, and she had tastes for mainstream garbage, but I guess that didn't matter much, because they were parts of our... natural likability? But still, we eventually just grew as comfortable as I am now with Randy and Zoey.

                            "Only it didn't stop there. Eventually, she introduced me to her family, and I actually got along with them, despite flubbing like I used to with her. I guess she told them about that ahead of time. Sure, I wasn't their ideal image of their daughter's boy-toy, but speaking to her father, I guess he implied that her happiness was the priority. I agreed wholeheartidly. We only grew closer from there. We watched shows together, I'd spend the night at her place a frequent amount of times; hell, we played Anomal Crossing together, visiting each other's towns! That's like a friendship ring in the video-game world!" Kirlia giggles. "And as the year grew old, our relationship went uphill quite easily. We'd ditch our other friends to do other things, like go out to eat or head on over to the beach."

                            "Was she pretty in a bathing suit?"

                            "...Oooooooooh yeah." He chuckles as Kirlia endearingly smacks him on the arm. "Hey, the chick wore a two-piece and had the body only anime chicks possess; I ain't lying about what you'd ask from me. But her vanity, while incredibly favorable, wasn't what attracted me to her.

                            "It was around this time of year that it'd happened. Spending the night at her place, due to ice on the road since a horrible cold front rooled in that night, we watched movies and played games and stuff. We also cooked our dinner that night." Kirlia glares. "Okay, she cooked, but I made cookies... from a tub of cookie-dough. Still counts. Anyway, we had to whip up our own meals because her father was out of town and her mother and younger brother were visiting relatives, and forgot about the front, so they couldn't drive home to make or bring something. So we were basically alone that night. We'd gotten to talking, about our friends, about us, and how everyone basically shipped us. While we tried to villify what others think of us... we couldn't deny that what they said was pretty true. So, as she sat in her bed in her night-wear and me on the floor with what I usually wear, I decided to prop up on my knees and pop the question. She got so red," he giggles, "and agreed to be my girl! And because we were officially a couple, a title that had been overdue by months, she pulled me up on her bed and got close, because she didn't want her new boyfriend to be cold on the floor, heh. Then we started to playfully kiss... Then the playful part took a turn or two... And we were in her bed... and the house was empty-"

                            "Dirty Master!" Kirlia smacks his arm again.

                            "I already told you, I'm not gonna lie," Max chuckles. "Although I should, considering how we have a couple of years in an age-gap. But I'm sure that ain't a problem. Not in this backwards, raunchy, red-state. But I digress. We had spent the spring together, then the summer. We were inseperable, really. I'd gone through a lot of crap over the years, most of which can still haunt me to this day if I'd let it, and when it did back then, she was always there for me. I had someone to depend on, someone I could really think of as the one person who'd care for me when all hope seemed lost... Looking back, did I depend on her too much? I mean, I know I'm not the perfect boyfriend, but did I get a bit clingy? I think I used her shoulders far more than aloowed! Lots of people did, now that I think more about it! I don't depend on you to that kind of degree, do I, baby doll?"

                            "Only when you're drunk and stinky and need me to help you walk," she giggles.

                            Max giggles a bit as well. "Well, I suppose I can cut back on that. Maybe eat a bit healthier too, for your sake. Anyway, the following autum had arrived, in our senior year, which is the last one of our high-school life. What I didn't know was, during the end of summer, when we were all too busy prepping for the following year, she had begun to speaking with other people she had befriended. I didn't find this out until winter had come. She introduced me to those friends, some of which I befriended easily, and others whom I felt were the cliché, emo types. But they were her friends, so I made the effort. Still, I kept wondering why she didn't tell me of these friends.

                            "As time went by, something wrong had gone down somewhere along the road. I don't know if I did something wrong, or if I leaned on her too much, or even if she just grew tired of me. She never told me. We had stopped communicating like we used to. I even remember one night, I'd been begging her to tell me what she needed to tell me; or what I needed to hear. She wouldn't spit it out. I knew it had been over, but I needed to hear it. Instead, she just left me in favor for those other friends of hers. I was basically left to wallow in paranoia. In silence, I'd bargained and begged to no one, asking for a reason why it was falling in flames, but nobody answered. I even tried to distract myself by hanging out with Randy or Zoey, but they had other friends too, and were simply too busy to pay attention to me. Wasn't their faults; just bad timing, is all.

                            "Eventually, it happened. Her friends told me it was over, but I refused to believe them. At least until I forced her to speak to me once and for all, like I pined for. She told me it was over, but never why. I've spent a few years after that wondering why, but never getting an answer." Kirlia looks away. "Normally, any sane person would accept it, but a teenager full of hormones and mass-amounts of solitude-fueled paranoia was anything but. Things were said. Bad things. I said things, she'd hit back, I'd hit back harder; more people got involved than needed, and everyone threw hits. Nobody wins in such a fight. It was an awful spring. I can't take back the things I said. I don't even want to think about them! I was such a horrible person! I don't know if-" Max is brough back by the feel of a little ballerina leaning against his arm, with wide eyes looking straight up at him. He takes a deep breath in and sighs. "...I don't know if I'm still as bad today," his voice trembles as sorrow and regret sneak out from the back of his throat. "I was quite arrogant back then, truth be told. And the things I'd spat out were of the murderous kinds that I'd never want to repeat today, to anyone. You don't think I'm bad... do you?"

                            Kirlia hugs his arm and presses her face into it, nodding no as she also nuzzles him.

                            "...Well, I've tried to move on from then," he starts. "If you're happy, then I guess I've been doing some kind of 'okay' job. I was left a miserable mess from it all, and she just walked on by, through the school halls, as if it never happened. Although Zoey didn't let her forget so easily, cuz I remember her saying that she tried to make her talk things out. That was around the time she'd gotten Rocky, who was apparently barking at their bickering. I guess she got agitated and kicked him in anger. You think you know a girl. Anyway, after graduations, she moved up north to join her new friends and their endeavors. I'd kept in touch with some of them for a year or two, and heard that they decided to become transgender individuals. But I guess there wasn't too much of a basis to keep relations going."

                            "Can you ever fix it all? Would you, if you could?" Kirlia looks up at him, as the cold fire begins to wane.

                            "No," he softly answers. "Too much was shattered by my hands. And with hindsight, I can see that I'd never truly fix anything, since our visions of each other are forever tarnished. I see truths about her, now. Like how she always follows the crowd, can't think for herself, and is always inexplicably unhappy over every great thing she's got, which warps my vision of her, and I know the feeling's quite mutual. We can't be fixed. And I don't want to try." Max looks at the ignorant Mimikyu on the table, who still eats with a broken neck. "But that's okay." He reaches for the neck, bringing Mimikyu's patient attention to his hands. "Because there are other things to worry about." He begins to handle the limp head, and press around the neck. "What is broken, may be brokn beyond repair. But the things that aren't beyond that line, well, those are the ones perpetually worth fixing. Always."

                            Mimikyu looks up at him as he perfectly restores her broken neck to its former glory. Though she knows not of what he s[eaks, she silently thanks the heavens for being graced with a Trainer that thinks of her "worth fixing". She bows a bit to thank him.

                            Max looks uo through the window high above. "The moonbow looks nicer out tonight, doesn't it?"

                            "Moonbow?" Kirlia looks as well. "Is that what that is? Like a rainbow at night?"

                            "Yeah. Made by the moon's light instead of the sun's. It looks completely gray, but you can see its true colors with the right camera lense." He stares on for a moment, then decides to proceed with the night. "Come on, girls. Let's go, while the night's still not-so cold." Kirlia slides out from the booth, and Mimikyu uses her claw to gently latch onto Max's shoulder and pulls herself onto it. He gladly allows it.

                            The cold fire seems to have died down for most of it all. The chill from the outside world greets them as they exit the suite of the café they had just enjoyed. Kirlia holds a bag of leftover spicey-sprinkeled cookies that Mimikyu didn't finish.

                            Max checks his Pokédex. "Wow, I still have a ton of leftover mad stacks from the battle!"

                            "How can you still have all that?" Kirlia asks.

                            "The richer the opponent, the more you win! Didn't I mention that her dad's loaded? Self-made businessman! Started and owns his own software-writing business! Always paid for her everything! And I guess for my dinner too! Come on, darling! Take me to Wal-Mart! We can say hi to Randy while I pick up some grub and a case of booze!"

                            "Master, stop drinking so much!"

                            "I've been on my feet all day! As much as your warm cuddling takes the edge off of it, Imma need a bit more! Besides, while we're there, we can pick up a box of Pop-Tarts too."

                            "Du- ...Dun tease me!"

                            "My treat, if we Teleport."

                            "Okay. Come on, Mimicutie! My favorite food's gonna leave you wanting more!"

                            "Mi mimi mi kyu, mimikyu mikyu. (I always want more, delicate maiden.)"

                            They continue walking for a brief moment, before Kirlia speaks her mind. "...Master?"

                            "Yeah?"

                            She looks ahead. "Do you really think Donnie's faking the gender thingy?"

                            "Honestly? Yeah, I do. She always hopped on trends, and I think she's just mimicing what her other friends have done. Although her change of attitude is something else; she used to be sweet and curteous, so I have no idea why she's always barking at everyone. Maybe she thinks that's what guys are like. Why? What do you think?"

                            Kirlia stares at him, relieved that his heart is strangely at ease. "I don't have to think anything," she begins. "I can always see into your emotions, so I always know how you feel. I can also tell when you lie, because your emotions act all funny. I dun like looking into other people's feelings, but I saw Donnie's. I know whether he's really lying to themselves or not. Would you like to know the truth, Master?"

                            Max stares at her for a moment as they walk. While this isn't the kind of closure he wanted back then, it's still an opportunity for him to either find out whether his ex-girlfriend has grown to become genuine, or he's just been pressing her hard. A different thought crawls into his mind, one pondering just how much Max has really moved on. Taking a stand from within, Max allows his silence to act as his arbiter.

                            The small group stops in their tracks at the sight of Donnie and the completely-restored Silvally ahead on the same sidewalk. Donnie seethes in an anger thirsting for closure as Max slowly comes up to them and stops. He looks down with a neutral face for a silent moment, and suddenly breaks a serene smile that sets Donnie off.

                            "Wipe that sodding smile off your face. Just because you're the victor, it doesn't mean anything. And don't you dare look your snout down at me! You are not as above me as you think you are-!"

                            Max's hand begins to caress the top of Donnie's hair. This flustered state gave way for resurfacing. It was for but a moment, but Max saw her once more. The pale-skin cutie with lonf, soft hair and a smile that warms the soul. Max continues to stare down at this new face, past the golden barriers that hide the rich peridots behind. The similar, soft face, as his hand begins to warm the cheek from the cold. The soft, pink lips, the lower one slightly twitching as it gently hands, as his thumb gently wipes the area near them. In this moment, Max is given the chance to reignite a flame from the past. He could simply press his lips up against these and allow thei dance to begin, to have this individual for one more night and bend them as he pleases. He could push beyond the now, and claim back the Solace he once had. But the few seconds of mentality fueled by said past have already caught up with Max's judgment. His better judgment.

                            "Yes... I am."

                            As Donnie stands inanimate, in shock, Max and his party simply pass forward.

                            "So what should we get to eat tonight? Whataburger?"

                            "Master, stop with da fast-food! You already had some today! Twice!"

                            "Well, I'm still hungry!"

                            "Mi mikyu. (As am I.)"

                            "At least eat something healthy!"

                            "Alright. What about Subway?"

                            "I dun like their spokesperson!"

                            "Well, we can decide before we get-" They've Teleported.

                            * * *

                            A case of five empty bottles and a single full one sits next to a Hot-n-Ready box of mostly-finished pizza. A slightly inebriated Max, with head light and body fuzzy, sleeps in his recliner armchair that faces the dim glow of the plasma screen in his room. He adjusts himself a bit, to gain comfort, while keeping his arms around Kirlia. She sits on the right side of his lap, with her head pressed up against his body. With her legs resting on his other thigh, she emmits a sound caught between a light snore and a purr. Her toes twitch sporadically in her slumber, while she wears a small smile as she grips closer the Mimikyu on her own lap. Mimikyu sleeps warmly and comfortable in the arms of those who accept her completely, unwanting to wake up from this dream. A rerun of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah hums on as the timer on the TV waits for a while longer to shut itself off.

                            All the while, temperatures outside begin to plummet as the white stripe begins to wane while the full moon's shine plans to turn black soon enough. In the outskirts of town, atop the hill that overlooks it all, stands Donnie and Silvally, resisting the cold winds that continuously rush from behind. The rest of the town begins to sleep, with their own lives to lead when the morning comes, unaware and uncaring for the lives of those that don't concern them. Though they might've cared for those who were once a part of them in the past, they don't turn any eyes to those who stop by after so long, those who've lost touch with the meaning of the concept of reconciliation. And all that remains in this town from the visitor from the dark, is the cold teardrop that falls downward, which the earth gladly swallows whole.

                            Afterword:

                            Relationships are a crazy thing, aren't they? If I could put in my two cents, allow me to tell you this, right here and right now: communication's important. It can revive a relationship, when need be. And even if their's turmoil, enough to end it all, it's still worth talking to each other. Many of us are guilty or refusing to communicate, out of fear or anger. But it's still a duty we have to carry on with for the sake of the other, regardless if neither in the relationship is willing to speak. It really does matter. And in many situations, it's probably the most important deciding factor. I guess that's the moral. Also something about transgender stuff, but I don't know anything about that... I guess a trans-focused moral could be this: Caitlin Jenner's no hero. She's some crappy "reality" star who killed a guy with her car. Last time I checked, those attributes do not a hero make. Unless that guy was our next president, there's no reason to call her a hero. And having the courage to be herself isn't any more qualifying. I go out being myself, but nobody kisses my ass. I'm sure most people reading this would agree on and empathize with that last sentence. I've spoken with actual transgender individuals, and they don't care for Jenner either. They've given damning-good reasons as to why she doesn't represent their culture/life-changing choice. And because these different individuals basically said the same thing, I'm pretty convinced to agree with them.
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                              #47    
                            Old December 20th, 2016 (9:32 PM).
                            Bay Alexison's Avatar
                            Bay Alexison Bay Alexison is offline
                            O, Dance of Devotion!
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                            Join Date: May 2006
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                            So a bit more backstory over Max and Donnie's past relationship. A part of me would like to see Donnie's "friends" perhaps make an appearance in the future to see how they act and behave. Enjoyed this arc, overall!
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                              #48    
                            Old December 23rd, 2016 (6:56 PM).
                            Taro Tanaka's Avatar
                            Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
                            Idly Wasting Away...
                               
                              Join Date: Sep 2011
                              Location: Shining Winter
                              Gender: Male
                              Nature: Lonely
                              Posts: 1,472
                              Maybe. If I feel like bringing them back. But not soon enough:

                              Chapter 26: Sizing Fit

                              In the kitchen stands Max, who shakes the bottle in his hand to release crushed red pepper flakes onto the pizza in front of him. He carefully shakes it about, until his concentration's picked at.

                              "...Hiiiiiiiiiiissssssss..."

                              He looks over his shoulder to find Mimikyu standing on the dining table behind him, staring out the window into the world covered in rain outside. Days after bringing her home, she's begun acting distant towards him and Kirlia. Unknowing of how else to approach her, he walks over to her and picks her up to bring her onto the counter-rop next to the pizza. With his knife, he slices off a small piece.

                              "You like spicy things, right, litle one?" he asks as he lifts the pizza slice. "Tell me: does this need more peppers, or is this enough?"

                              Mimikyu shows her claw from under her cloth to take the slice, and eats it whole. After a moment of savoring it, she uses her claw again to grab the bottle of red pepper and hands it to Max.

                              "Gotcha," he replies as he begins to sprinkle more onto the dish. He stares at Mimikyu as she walks away from him, jumping down onto the kitchen floor and back onto the table she once stood at before. For the majority of the days she had with them, Mimikyu was actually quite willing to be near her Trainer; not nearly as clingy as Kirlia is, but still quite the company. Something's off, Max thinks.

                              With slices cut, Max takes the plate of pizza to the table and sets up his feast, with a bottle of cold Brisk Tea on one side and the TV remote on the other. He completes the preparations by grabbing Mimikyu again, and sitting her on his lap as he himself sits.

                              "Mi kyu mi mi mimi kyu? (What game are you playing at?)" she asks, slightly agitated.

                              Unable to understand her speech, Max simply begins to rub her costume's cheeks to warm her up. "Come eat with me," he asks. "Maybe watch some Impractical Jokers, too."

                              Mimikyu looks up at him for a moment, then turns her eyes away. After thinking things through, she jumps off from his lap, and slowly makes her way towards his bedroom. Visibly damaged, Max stares as she waddles off. He then gets up from his seat to follow her... only to turn back at his pizza, in danger of allowing it to cool, being so fresh from the oven. But he decides to turn towards his bedroom to follow Mimikyu. Only to take a few steps back towards the pizza. Stagnated, Max takes a deep breath, and thinks. He finally decides that he'll follow Mimikyu... but not until after hastily devouring an entire slice beforehand.

                              Arriving at his room's threshold (while wiping away sauce from his lips), Max finds Mimikyu frozen on the floor. "Mimikyu," he begins. "Come back to-"

                              Max and Mimikyu stare at who's standing in his room. Dressed in a black-and-white maid's outfit, complete with white thigh-high stockings and the matching, frilly headband, Kirlia poses with style.

                              "Ta-da!" she presents herself. "What do you think, Mimicutie? Fit to serve under you?" she giggles.

                              Reluctant to show joy, Mimikyu responds with what little thanks she's willing to give. "Mi mikyu mi kyu mi mi kyu mi mi mikyu kyu mi kyu mi kyu. (If only the rest of this world was as willing to bow down to me.)"

                              Max has to interrupt. "Kirlia, where did you get that outfit?"

                              "Tee hee, Zoey got it for me!"

                              With a hand to support his forehead, Max pictures Zoey standing over him with a triumphant, malevolent laughter ringing in his ears. "Of course she did," he responds, allowing a moment to speak under his breath. "I shudder to think what store had that in your size..."

                              Focusing back on Mimikyu, Kirlia gets close. "Now I can keep every inch of your kingdom nice and squeaky clean! What's my first order?"

                              Mimikyu hesitates, unable to command.

                              Max takes Kirlia by the hand and gently pulls her in. "Sweetheart, why don't I give the first order, on her behalf? Why not fix me up a drink, or something?"

                              Puting, Kirlia places her hands on her hips. "I'm not making anything alcoholic."

                              "...I meant, like, lemonade, or something."

                              She drops her puffy cheeks. "...Oh. Um, okay! Three lemonades, comming up!" She Teleports.

                              With Kirlia occupied, Max uses his nearby bed to support his body weight as he struggles, groaning, to get down on his knees to meet Mimikyu, who begins to waddle away towards the kitchen.

                              Max grabs her before she gets far. "Oh no you don't, you little cosplayer." He brings her in. "What's bothering you?"

                              With her claw, Mimikyu pushes at his face, trying to get him to let go without hurting him. "Kyu mi mimikyu mimi kyu! (End this nonsensical conversation!)"

                              "Mimikyu, stop shoving my face!"

                              Obeying his order, Mimikyu stops pressing him away, and instead extends her claw out to the hallway's corner, to grab on to it and begin pulling herself away. "Mi mi mimikyu! (Give me liberty!) Kyu mi mi mi kyu! (Don't make me hurt you!)"

                              Being dragged by her sheer strength, Max turns on his back and uses his feet to secure himself on the threshold. "Stop," he groans. "This actually hurts!"

                              Winning, Mimikyu keeps pulling. "Mi mi mi kyu mikyu! (I can have worse happen!) Mi mi mi kyu! (I know a guy!)"

                              With stress applied on his spine, Max finds himself losing. Instead of giving up, he pulls out his trump card: he screams to ignite some extra inner strength, and succesfully pulls Mimikyu back with him, landing on his side, with Mimikyu buried in his arms. Her claw grips around his arm, twitching a bit, as if it can't decide whether to let go or keep it's hold.

                              "What's gotten into you?" Max asks, exhausted. "Why won't you talk with me?"

                              "Mimi mi kyu Mi Kyu mi kyu! (Allow me to Play Rough with you!)" she hisses, before raising her claw.

                              "Do you hate me?"

                              Mimikyu suddenly stops her claw from letting go of Max's arm.

                              He takes notice. "...Do you?" She doesn't reply at all. "Do you want to stop being my Pokémon?"

                              Mimikyu grips him tighter, getting closer to him, burying herself in his chest.

                              "You don't, do you?" he calmly asks. He feels her head nod 'no'. Things begin to ame a bit more sense, and he takes a shot in the dark. "Are you scared of being deposited back into the PC?"

                              She grips him hard. Wincing from the pain her claws inflict on his arm, Max struggles to act on her.

                              "You know you're welcomed to stay here for as long as you'd like," he reassures her.

                              "Kyu mi kyu mi kyu- (But it's not the same-)"

                              "And I know it won't be the same, but that doesn't stop me from iteracting with you from the conscious world; from interacting with all of my Pokémon. I do so all the time," he chuckles.

                              Mimikyu looks up at him, restraining herself from allowing tears to form in her eyes.

                              "Listen, he begins as he gently caresses her face's cheeks. "I saw an odd-job or two at the grocery store's bulletain board. Why don't we take one together? Be my battling Pokémon at least once more."

                              Mimikyu agrees by pulling herself closer to his face to snuggle into him. Max gladly accepts her.

                              "What's going on here?" Kirlia stands over them, concerned. "Why did you scream? Are you okay? Do you need help off the floor?" Her demeanor changes to a mixture of mischief and scolding as she steps back. "Wait, are you trying to pull something naughty over me? I know how you work, weirdo!"

                              Annoyed, Max brings Mimikyu up to his eye-level. "If you still got some fight left in you, be my battling Pokémon twice more?"

                              Kirlia hesitates at his counter wise-crack.

                              Afterword:

                              I wish I had an actual maid. To fix me drinks whenever I need them. Which is whenever I've got physical pain. So basically... all the time. XP
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                                #49    
                              Old December 25th, 2016 (11:09 PM).
                              Bay Alexison's Avatar
                              Bay Alexison Bay Alexison is offline
                              O, Dance of Devotion!
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                              Join Date: May 2006
                              Location: Dani California
                              Gender: Female
                              Nature: Sassy
                              Posts: 5,002
                              Kirlia in a maid serving Mimikyu. Oh dear, I don't know what to think of that heheh. The counterjoke at the end is cute, though. The supermarket should be fun.
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                                #50    
                              Old December 27th, 2016 (3:44 PM).
                              Taro Tanaka's Avatar
                              Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
                              Idly Wasting Away...
                                 
                                Join Date: Sep 2011
                                Location: Shining Winter
                                Gender: Male
                                Nature: Lonely
                                Posts: 1,472
                                Is it really? Because:

                                Chapter 27: N and Lusamine Might've Been Right...

                                The lonely maiden steps, barefoot, onto the coldly-warm sand of the beach. The morning sun floods the horizon with light as she beholds the view. The beach usually houses a large bounty of sand mixed in with black sand, from makeshift barbecue pits or drifted, deep-sea igneous, but the sand is hardly visible.

                                She gloomily looks down at the beach. Scattered throughout and keeping the sand from visibility lay the lifeless corpses of the Pokémon called Crabrawler. Many lay limp in one piece, but some bodies miss a few pieces. The large, blue pincers of many Crabrawler scattered about make traversing the beach quite difficult.

                                Slowly, the maiden walks through the new graveyard. Crabrawler are only found in certain islands off the eastern coast of Texas, and even then they're quite hard to come by. She can't fathom just how hundreds of these Pokémon have surfaced. She never thought she'd view such a sight after moving into a beach condo.

                                Her long, black hair flows on the warm winter winds, as does her plain, summer dress. She takes hold of the white silk as she crouches down, to begin offering prayers to the genocide in front of her. Her eyes cannot stay opened for long, as sorrow convinces her to keep them closed. On her knees, she bows her head and whispers wishes to the newly departed.

                                She walks on down the long beach, thankful that only a few souls have witnessed this disaster. Two children, ignorant in their ways as the rules of their trade dictate, take hold of severed pincers and speak of how they'd like to hand them to their father for the purpose of converting them into punching gloves for themselves. They run in the water towards their home, each holding two large pincers that have been removed from their original bodies. The maiden stares at them, hoping that they will someday come to see how disrespectful they've acted in the light of now.

                                Near the large, wooden, opened shack that usually hosts the patrons that visit and dine, stands an old man. The maiden stays and watches what he's taken upon himself. The gray fluffs of hair on the sides of his scalp flow with the breeze as he shovels sand onto a carcass. Bones brittle and experienced, he gently drops each shovel-full of sand on top of the single Crabrawler body, and carefully pats it flat to give it the comfort taken from life and redirected for the after. Wiping sweat from the morning sun off his brow, the man makes his way onto the next body. Their lives have left their shells, but those shells will give life to the earth below, and allow for other lifeforms to flourish in their absence. The maiden notices the man's eyes, full of sadness as he retains such a fact. She can't help but take up the same look in her own eyes.

                                A peak at the northern edge of the small island crashes into the sky. The maiden stands atop this peak, looking out into the edge where ocean and sky meet. The curvature holds a different mass of land where different people and Pokémon live together, as she and her own world do. Silently, she gives her prayers to the blowing doldrums, hoping they will be carried to the other world beyond the curvature. She hopes this other world will hear her prayer and grant it, to prevent such a disaster from happening on their own sands.

                                She's made her way around the peak, to the palm trees underneath. She stares at the small area under the peak that hardly holds any Crabrawler bodies. Exhaustion brought on by the devastating sights she's seen this morning, she leans up against the nearest palm tree and stares at the beach in front of her. With droopy eyes full of sadness, she speaks out into the sandy beach.

                                "All of this," she begins, with her silky voice struggling to amplify. "This is just far too much," her voice trembles.

                                "Ain't that the truth." From around the peak, Max startles her. He lazily drags one foot in front of the other. His eyes blackened from exhaustion of his own. On his back rides Kirlia, trying to sleep off the long night they just experienced. Next to him walks Mimikyu, unable to fight for any longer. Under his arm rides a Crabrawler with red pincers instead of the usual sky blue. "The guy asking for this crab better pay handsomely."

                                Afterword:

                                Based on a true story, bruh.
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