Pokémon FULL Hoenn: Square One [IC] Page 19

Started by Aquacorde June 14th, 2020 9:32 AM
  • 41212 views
  • 465 replies

Caesar

Age 28
Male
Seen 2 Days Ago
Posted 2 Weeks Ago
399 posts
10.4 Years









Tuesday, September 29th @ 0600 - Littledale



Clint still hadn't fully recovered from the trip to Littledale, yet here he was ready to go nose to the grindstone again. His legs were still sore, although he could push through if needed. Clint walked up the path to Winston Ranch, where he was told by a couple of very uncivilized ranch hands that he could find some work. Although through his trainer's license he could eat and sleep at Pokemon centers at no cost, having extra cash for any unforeseen expenditures along the way was surely a necessity, and manual labor sounded easier than the other jobs Clint usually saw posted, such as waiting tables or shop keeping or any other job where you have to ugh, deal with people all day.

Clint had made his way up to the large farm house that Isaac had told him to look for, which stood perched on top of a small hill overlooking the rest of the ranch. Out front there was a group of about nine men standing in front of the stairs up to the porch, with a tenth man, who was short and stout, wearing a massive white cowboy hat, with a matching white mustache was standing on the porch, presumably he was the one running the show.

"Is there something I can help you with young man, I happen to be very busy right now," the mustached man shouted at Clint.

Suddenly all eyes were on Clint. Not the best start, as the ranch hands, other than Isaac Winston who Clint met the night before all had scowls on their faces.

"Actually sir, I was hoping to help you with something. Couple of your boys rode into town last night, said y'all was looking for a couple extra hands, told me to swing by this morning, actually it was these two fellers right here," Clint said, gesturing at Isaac and Sam Winston while he tried to defuse the situation.

"Well I sure as s*** don't remember you," Sam replied.

"Knock it off Sam, this here's the feller from the center, he looked the part so I figured I'd ask him, just like you told us Uncle," Isaac stated, whacking Sam on the shoulder.

"Well if that's the case then kid, my name's Irving Winston, and this is my ranch. As I was just explaining to the boys here, we got an order placed, need two hundred and fifty head of cattle herded in from pasture, cleaned up, tagged and have be ready to transport onto a cargo ship in the port by sundown tomorrow. Plus we got Pooch, Mighty and whatever other kind of 'yena that's out there hunting after our cattle as well. So if you can herd, we can use all the help we can get out there. Can you ride a Mudsdale, whatever your name is?" Irving explained.

"Name's Clint, and yea I know how to ride."

"Well great then Clint. Guess you boys can split into five teams of two now. Sam and Isaac, Kane and Irving Jr, Henry and Taro, John and J.P, and uh, Clint you go with Sergei, he's the scrawny looking one in the jean jacket, let's get to work boys!"

Sergei was an unimpressive looking character, brown ten gallon hat placed over ratty looking long brown hair, also strangely committed to the full denim on denim look. Clint walked over to Sergei as the rest of the group began to head out to start the day. The two of them quickly shook hands and handled introductions, before heading over to the stables.

The stables themselves were just the same as any stable Clint had seen back home, lined with stalls housing Mudsdale in them, with tack hanging on the walls. Clint and Sergei walked over to two Mudsdale in the back corner of the stables, staying out of the way of the other teams getting organized. Sergei showed Clint over to his mount for the day, which had a saddle sitting on the gate for the stall.

"Meet Penney, she's your ride for the day. Good steed, easy going compared to some of the others 'round here," Sergei handled introductions.

Clint slowly opened the stall door and slowly approached Penney. The Mudsdale was calm, and remained so as Clint rubbed her chin, and patted her slowly on the shoulder. Clint grabbed the saddle sitting nearby, and placed it on Penney's back. Clint then did up all the straps, and was ready to climb on. Penney briefly fought back as Clint got mounted, but a pat on the cheek calmed her down once again. Clint looked over at Sergei over in the stall next to him, who was all ready and waiting for Clint.

"Follow me out of here Clint, there's a crick out near back of the property, I think that's a good place to start out," Sergei said, laying out the plan.

Clint simply nodded, and the two took off.

The two had been riding for close to half an hour when Sergei pulled up on the reins and came to a stop, and Clint followed suit. The scene they stopped at was rather picturesque, the sunrise provided a bright array of colors, which were cast over seemingly endless rolling hills of the Winston Ranch pasture.

"What are we stopping for, I don't see anything here," Clint asked.

"We get paid by the day, not by the head kid, don't be in such a rush," Sergei retorted, pulling out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. Sergei used the lighter to light up the cigarette then motioned the pack over to Clint as if asking him if he wanted one. Clint nodded and Sergei tossed it over. Clint then light a cigarette of his own, letting out a couple of coughs as he inhaled. Clint has smoked before, but not very often as he didn't want to get caught by his parents. Considering they were very far from here, the chances of being caught were very low to say the least.

"How'd you even end up in this wretched corner of the earth anyhow kid, you sure don't seem like a local," Sergei asked.

"That'd would be because I'm not, I grew up on a ranch in Kanto. I made my way out here to try my hand at being a Pokemon Trainer," Clint answered.

"Kanto? Why not be a trainer over there," Sergei asked, prying into Clint's life now.

"Long story," Clint quickly snapped back.

"Fine kid, be like that. Just know I used to be a pretty good trainer myself," Sergei teased.

Clint's ears perked up now. Maybe working on this ranch was going to help Clint's battling skills as well.

"Ah, now I got your interest," Sergei laughed, taking another pull from his cigarette,

"Back in my younger years, not too much older than you I had made it a good distance as a Trainer. Took it all the way to the top eight of the Hoenn League Tourney, that's when it all went downhill. Lost a lot of money, had to hide. Now I grind away in obscurity for that a-hole Mr.Winston. So have fun while you can kid, but go to school or something."

"What happened in the league tourney," Clint asked, now he was the one prying.

"Kid you got s*** you don't wanna talk about, I also have that," Sergei angrily replied.

Sergei chucked his cigarette butt on the ground, and started to ride off. Clint carefully put his out, and put it in his saddlebag before riding off to follow Sergei out to the creek. Clint had to wonder if he had screwed up his one chance to learn from a true professional, he would have to figure out a way into Sergei's good graces.


Team & Inventory:
Spoiler:

Blaze|Brave| Moves: Ember|Dragon Breath|Bite|Smokescreen|Fire Fang|Slash

Overgrow|Sassy| Moves: Leaf-age|Detect|Quick Attack|Double Kick

Water Absorb|Quiet| Moves: Hypnosis|Water Gun|Pound|Mud Shot

Inventory:

$9,500
2x Potions
Sceptilite
TM Protect


Female
My place
Online now
Posted 1 Week Ago
239 posts
6.8 Years
Junko "June" Enomoto
Wednesday, September 30th
Afternoon-Evening
Oldale-Littleroot Township
“Hm, this seems like a fine spot to set up camp.”

While in reality the two have spent a lot of her day trekking through Route 103, it’s gone by a lot quicker in June’s mind. After saying goodbye to the family they met in Cottage Grove, June and Avril were gifted with scarfs knitted by Ms. Shimizu, green and pink respectively. Then, June spent most of her time along the way fixating on the various Pokemon inhabiting the environment, specifically bug-types, to nobody’s shock.

Their behaviors were different from what she observed from her last visit, like how few Ninjask buzzed about freely and instead were all clinging to tree trunks. Those that weren’t were zipping to whatever tree they could find. Definitely giving her ideas some ideas for her next report.

“Do you have any experience with camping?” June asks Avril as she rolls a tarp out onto the ground.

"Hm… not many! I never went camping by myself, and when I did, on route 102, I didn't even have a tent, and i-it was absolutely terrible!" Avril quickly replies.

“Oh my, I’m- I’m terribly sorry to hear that.” June clenches her palms against her chest in concern. “Fortunately though, I’ve gone camping many times. So if you ever have any troubles, you can always come to me for help!” She smiles. That could probably be interpreted to mean more than just camping. Not that she really minds

"It's ok, I can already tell this time will be different! Route 102 was just my mistake!" She replies, likely trying to sound reassuring herself. "You know more than me but uh, if you need any help with anything, I'm here!"

“I’ll be sure to keep that in mind…” June gives an awkward giggle as she lightly blushes. “I could always use some assistance with th- huh?” When looking back to where she placed the tent, she notices it's disappeared. She panickedly looks around only to see that it was Einstein who had taken them and is folding it out across the tarp with his psychic abilities. .

“Oh, you had me worried there for a second, Einstein!” June wipes her brow. “I’m surprised how quickly you picked up on that- Although I suppose that’s on me for underestimating your intelligence.”

"Oh… wow, is there anything he can't do?" Avril giggles. "Actually thinking about it… I could work on some quick cooking in the meantime! How does that sound?"

“Orbeetle are very good at observing their environments, so it makes sense.” June replies as she figures out the poles needed to get the tent to stay up. “But yes, that sounds just swell!”




After less struggle than initially envisioned, June finally has the tent pitched up, in no small part thanks to Einstein. She briefly considered letting Heracross out to help, but giving that just a few seconds of thought was enough to know it’d be a bad idea. With that all set up, she moves as much equipment as is appropriate inside the tent, and proceeds to roll out both her and Avril’s sleeping bags, and-

Wait a second, how did she not realize this earlier? She and Avril are sharing a tent. A good while away from any sort of civilization, no less. Just the two of them together...

Alone.

June can feel herself growing shaky at a rapid pace and blood rushes to her face. There’s a lot of implications to that, but she tries desperately not to entertain the idea as she very hastily unrolls their respective sleeping bags on the opposite sides of each other, trying to leave as much space between the two as she can. Even though she usually tries to do everything as neatly as she can, it’s only inevitable the way their sleeping bags are arranged is a tad sloppy, but it's nothing Einstein can’t tidy up.

I’m… not ready for that…

To take her mind off that, she decides to work on her report, but it’s incredibly difficult for her to focus considering what crossed her mind just a second ago. Since she has so much knowledge of bugs memorized it’s not at all difficult to jot ideas down, but arranging them in ways that are actually presentable is what she struggles with. She stares at her phone’s screen for what must have been five minutes before giving in with a sigh. She really hates not finishing things, but if focusing is such a chore it might be best to take a break. It’s not like Brendan gave her a deadline or anything.

Maybe she’ll check in on Avril?

With the zip of a tent door and a few steps, June is already standing behind Avril in no time, observing her as she cuts some of her fruits and berries down in slices. She stands upright in silence, wanting to say something to her, but is reluctant to do so as that might bother Avril while she’s in the middle of something. But if there’s anyone who wouldn’t be bothered by her...

“So,” June speaks up, a bit of apprehension in her voice. “I somehow never asked, but… what are you making?”

“O-oh? This is Poppy’s dinner, hehe… some of these fruits are almost as large as her so I need to slice them first! And then, we can keep some for us, too.” The blonde girl, still sitting down beside the tent, blushes as she looks up.

“I see. I tend to buy Pokemon food as much as I can, but considering Flabebe aren’t exactly common around these parts of Hoenn, food made specifically for them must be uncommon as well, isn’t it?” June twirls a strand of her hair. “I’m sure she appreciates the effort though!”

“Well… yeah, this is mostly me trying to give her some of her favorite food when I can!” Avril giggles. “She can make do with common food usually but the effort is certainly paid off by seeing how happy this makes her…”

“Aw, that’s so sweet! Although speaking of food- Were you preparing anything for us?”

“Well… as I said, I left some of this fruit for us! And then, a few more things from Littledale… and the leftovers from our lunch, right? And… uh...” Avril stops right there as her cheeks get more red. “You’ll see later.”

“Um… Y-yeah, I suppose I’ll have to!” She’s not sure how to describe it, but there’s something about the way she and Avril split two different but equally important tasks that feels… familiar maybe? That’s probably not be the right word, but she’s reminded of how Akira and Giorgia go about their chores, with Akira usually taking care of outdoor, more physically demanding jobs while Giorgia tends to cook and clean indoors. That sounds like something that’d be nice to have in the future, and June starts to get lost in that fantasy while her shakiness and intensely red face return. Even though placing her palms on her cheeks hides nothing, she still does so out of habit.

"Oh, well… it's n-nothing special!" Avril adds after a bit. "But no worries, I'm almost done… hope I'm not making you wait too long. How hungry are you?" That’s enough to snap June out of it.

“Just a tad, but it’s nothing that can’t wait.” Now that she’s asked about it, she’s starting to realize just how incredibly famished she is from all the physical and mental energy she’s used these past few hours. But for better or worse, she’s fine stretching the truth if Avril is put under less stress. “Is there anything you need help with? I mean, um, I understand why you might not want to if you’d rather keep it a surprise but… I’ll just be here if you need me, that’s what I’m trying to say!”

"Thank you… but I've almost finished anyway! Just… get the leftovers and we can start with dinner, if that's ok?" Avril smiles, looking up to June with sparkling eyes. Gosh, that gaze in her eyes has June weak in the knees. How could she refuse?




Avril’s surprise turns out to be just a small chocolate bar, which she happily shares with June after the rest of their meal. "This is for helping me today!" She explains, seemingly more confident than before. "Hope you like it… hehe."

“Oh, thank you!” June can’t actually remember the last time she’s had candy. Anything with that much sugar in it she tries to avoid, but she wouldn't want to turn Avril down. The way she was being secretive and seemed so proud to present it is quite frankly adorable. She’ll indulge herself just this once.

“You know, my dad used to come home from work every day carrying these heavy bags full of this exact brand of candy bars. Needless to say, I’m quite familiar with the taste but somehow this one tastes… better?”

“I-It does?” The blonde girl replies. “That’s, uh… interesting.” She tries to collect herself as her cheeks get more red. “But I’m glad you like it!” June, not wanting to talk with her mouth full, nods as she savors every bite of her chocolate bar before she’ll need to clean up camp.

Clean up goes smoothly and June finds herself on auto-pilot as she takes care of any trash left behind. She’s about a third of the way done before she feels a drop of rain on her nose, causing her to scurry through the rest of the process. With the exception of Einstein, every Pokemon she had out for dinner are returned to their Pokeballs, and with that she jolts into her thankfully water-proof tent, where Avril has also taken shelter from the rain.

“I suppose now would be a good time to finish my report.” June thinks aloud. The blonde girl picks up on that- she does nod as she pulls up her Holotch, and speaks up right after. “I, uhm… I should probably do the same, I had a few ideas in my head…”

“Hm?” June perks her head up. “Oh, ideas aren’t usually a problem for me. But putting them into words is what I struggle with…”

“I’m still learning how to write reports and all but usually, for me… it’s the actual research that I need help with. Once I have ideas, things seem to flow rather well…” Avril explains, a more relaxed expression on her face. “Well, I just need to translate everything into Ransei language but like, that’s no big deal…” She giggles.

“I can’t say I’ve ever really had issues researching, honestly it’s almost second nature to me!” June says as she types out information on her PokeGear at an impressive rate. “I’ve been looking into everything I could about bug Pokemon for as long as I could read, really. So these reports are a nice outlet.”

“Oh, well… the researching part was just something that could help me with my adventure, according to Brendan. He was the one who suggested writing these in the first place! But so far I haven’t had any troubles, really… he seems pretty kind. And he even gifted me, well…” Avril takes a few moments to rummage through her bag, before pulling out a pink woolen beret. “He gave me this, even!” She blushes as she tries to wear that hat.

“It… certainly looks charming…” June compliments, facing the other way. When reminded how the two of them are alone, she slowly sinks into her sleeping bag while burying her face deeper into her phone.

“T-Thanks… and right, the report, I’ll keep thinking about it…” Avril laughs nervously. A quiet giggle from Poppy and Einstein is heard before the silence. The dead air is filled with the rain and sounds of June’s thumbs rapidly pressing against the small glass screen as she non-stop organizes her notes into something that can resemble a report.

Once that’s completed, she holds back a yawn. She’s had quite the active day, so it’s only natural she’d be tired at this hour. Most nights she’d take off her glasses and change into her pajamas before nodding off, but there’s just one issue with that: There’s nowhere to change. She’d be incredibly uncomfortable having to remove any clothing outdoors, especially in the rain, and inside the tent… Well, she could just ask Avril to look the other way, but given how, for a lack of a better word, racy that thought gets her- Yeah, it'd be easier to just sleep in her day clothes.

After more somewhat awkward silence, Avril puts her Holotch away, its screen no longer there to send light towards her face. “Uhm, g-goodnight June? I’ll try to sleep now…” She whispers, before hiding inside her sleeping bag.

“Wha- oh, umm, yes! Goodnight indeed, and, um, I greatly enjoyed our time together today!” June tightly grasps onto the entrance of her sleeping bag to pull it over her beet-red face. Faint whimpers can just barely be heard under the downpour that continuously strikes the tent.

It might be awhile before she can fall asleep.




As I hiked through Route 103 on Wednesday, there were quite a few differences in the local wildlife when compared to Sunday, and that’s more than likely due to the rain that was about to fall. On most summer days, while Nincada isn't easy to find, their movements can be felt from underground, as that’s where they live to escape the bright Hoenn sun. Nothing of the sort was felt today though. The weather might be a factor in that, as I highly doubt a ground-type such as Nincada enjoys getting wet. It might be that the moisture is felt from where they normally burrow, which usually isn’t too far underground, so their solution is to dig deeper.

What was especially jarring though were the Ninjask I spotted along the way. Ninjask are mostly known for their infamously loud chirping, “singing” as some call it, which they do to attract mates. However, no such sound was heard under the overcast sky, as well as when the rain set in during the night. While Ninjask have both wings and an exoskeleton that are coated in a thin wax-like layer, all the Ninjask I laid eyes on were clinging to trees as a precaution of taking shelter from the wet weather. In-fact, most trees were completely covered with them! Very little, if any room was left on the trees closest to the main path.

Admittedly though, why they do this has me stumped, as one might think their water-proof biology would have them go about their day regardless of the weather, and I’ve somehow never been able to find any sort of reasoning for this. Perhaps it is that they simply dislike being soaked, similar to their previous evolution? Maybe it’s a habit that carries over from spending sometimes well over a decade underground as the ground-type Nincada? Humans and Pokemon might not be so different if that’s the case, and I find that quite charming.



🐞 June's Party 🐞

42,992
🌼ft. Avril Reese (Eleanor)🌼
Spoiler:
  • Einstein (Orbeetle) M|Telepathy
    Struggle Bug|Super Sonic|Confusion|Light Screen|Reflect|Ally Switch
  • Chip (Wimpod) M|Wimp Out
    Struggle Bug|Sand Attack|Defense Curl|Aqua Jet
  • Sting (Beautifly) M|Swarm
    Attract|Silver Wind|Poison Sting|Bug Bite|Electroweb|Air Cutter
  • Kit (Surskit) F|Swift Swim
    Bubble|Quick Attack|Sweet Scent|Water Sport|Bubble Beam|Agility
  • Heracross M|Moxie
    Arm Thrust|Counter|Endure|Horn Attack|Aerial Ace|Night Slash

Groc

Age 31
Male
Arizona, USA
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 2 Hours Ago
1,589 posts
11.5 Years
Sunny Dey, Marie Rachelle Mocinno, Edison Kintobor
Wednesday, September 30th; late afternoon
Route 103



After a quick stop in Cottage Grove, the trio set off down the road again. It's actually some very pretty countryside they're traveling through, and she may not like her present company, but even Sunny can't stay grumpy and bitter here. She leads the way, having already consulted a map before they'd left, so she knows a little about the various branching paths the road offers.

She's deliberately keeping some distance between herself and Eddie and Marie. After spending all day trying and failing to get on either of their good sides, and getting more and more upset over it, she's just tired at this point. Maybe Eddie's right, maybe traveling together isn't such a good idea. She'd hoped to change his mind, but he's far too stubborn for that. Especially with Marie whispering in his ear the whole-

No. Don't think like that. Marie hasn't actually done anything wrong. She's annoying, manipulative and frustratingly clever, but she's not evil. Probably...

She glances back at them, making light conversation. That ember of jealousy smolders in her stomach, seeing her best friend chatting with a different girl while she's up here… she looks away again, forcing herself to calm down, arms crossed over her stomach as she takes a deep breath. Maybe I'm not jealous. Maybe I'm just… hungry or something. Yeah, that's it. That's what's going on in here.

She turns back to them, walking backwards to keep moving. "So, what are we thinking, team? Either of you need a rest, or can you keep up?"

"Keeping up isn't a problem," Marie's lips curl into a smile with a hint of challenge. "The sunset might be, though. Seems an appropriate time to make camp, don't you think, Edison?"

"Yes, I agree. We'll want things set up before we lose the light." He doesn't show it, but Sunny can tell he's tense, probably unsure what to do here. So she tosses him her pack, which he just barely catches.

"Here, you handle the food, I'll help set up camp."

Marie swings her backpack around and retrieves one of the compact rental tents. "We need a flat spot, yes? One big enough for- how many tents do you have, one or two?"

Tents? Sunny freezes in place, thinking back to Route 102. Eddie had paid for the tents they'd used there, but she doesn't have enough money to buy one on a permanent basis. Nor had she thought about it, in all honesty. "Uh, well, the thing about that is…"

"I have one." Eddie interrupts, retrieving a compact tent of his own. "I bought it when we arrived in Oldale, figured I'd need one for the road. But with everything going on, I never had time to learn how to set it up."

Sunny sighs in relief. "Good thinking! Where would we be without that brain of yours?"

"I take it you don't have one, then?" Ed shakes his head. "Sunny, you need to start taking this more seriously. I won't be able to cover for you all the time. ...ha. Cover. It's funny because the tent will literally cover you."

Was that a pun? Is Eddie making jokes now? "Wait, cover me? What about you?"

Ed sighs, then shrugs. "Unfortunately, it's only meant for one. It'd be a tight fit if we both tried to sleep in it. Not very comfortable."

"Oh, but we couldn't possibly let you sleep outside! My tent is big enough for two, so Edison and I can share." Marie decides, then apparently remembers others' opinions matter. "Logical, yes?"

"Wait, no, hang on!" Sunny immediately objects, grabbing onto Ed's arm. "Eddie, you can't share a tent with her!"

Ed lightly shakes her hand off, but doesn’t argue. "Marie has a point, though. I'd rather not sleep outside. Logically, the two of you could share, and I can use my own tent."

"Me? Why do I have to share with her?" It's not a justified reaction. On some level Sunny knows she's being stubborn for no reason, but she still doesn't trust Marie. To do what? She already said she doesn't hate you.

Ed puts his hand to his chin, looking at the ground as he thinks. Sunny frowns, knowing he's going to get lost in thought if she doesn't stop him. "Hey! Fine, I'll share with her. If that's okay with you?" She turns to Marie.

Marie raises an eyebrow at Sunny, but her mouth twists into a playful smirk. "Well, since you're so keen to sleep with me, who am I to reject such an offer?"

Sunny glares at Marie and her twisted smile, but Ed just happily claps his hands together. "Well, there you have it. Every puzzle has a solution. And good thing, too. Those clouds are starting to get a little heavy."

Sunny looks up at the sky, and sure enough, it looks like it might rain. Whatever her thoughts on Marie, sleeping with… sharing her tent would be better than getting wet from the rain. "Yeah. Glad that's all sorted. ...thanks, I guess."

"You're very welcome. Now, actually putting them up- and we'll have to get food made before it does rain, hm?"

"Already got that covered!" Sunny grins proudly. "While you two were off… getting tents, apparently… I made sure to pack some food for the trip!"

Ed looks into the backpack she'd tossed him earlier. "You mean these sandwiches and sports drinks in here?"

"Yes! Perfect for a hike, and no cooking required!" Her confidence wavers slightly at Ed's skeptical look. "There are also noodle soup cups if you look further. In case it gets cold and we want something warm. I know how to heat water, at least. ...and there are water bottles."

A genuine smile tugs at Ed's lips. "Well, it's something. Nicely done, Sunny."

"Oh, hush. It's better than what you bought. Which was what? Nothing at all?"

Ed concedes the point with a shrug. "Just take the compliment."

"You made sandwiches for… all of us?" Marie wonders, over the mess that is her half-finished tent.

"Well… I didn't make them, I bought them. They're not fancy, I think one is just Hoothoot breast and cheese." She considered lying, but she doesn't need to justify herself to Marie or Eddie. "I figured I'd get enough for each of us, yes. And if either of you didn't want one, hey. More for me. Got some chow for our Pokémon, too."

"No, that's…" Marie seems lost, for a second. "That's very nice of you, thank you." And she busies herself with her tent again.

"Well, yeah. Figured it was the thing to do. Wait… why are you surprised I did something nice?"

Ed steps in, pulling Sunny's attention back to the tent she was supposed to set up. "Here, Sunny. You'll need this part." He lowers his voice slightly, making Sunny lean in closer to hear him. "You must admit, you've been rather standoffish lately, so she was probably surprised you thought of her. I'm sure she didn't mean to offend. Besides… I may have colored her opinion of you somewhat after we last talked, and I complained about your… forwardness."

Sunny glares at Ed, but his words sting. "That's not her business, Eddie. Why would you talk about me behind my back?"

"It's nothing I wouldn't- or haven't- said to your face. I was a bit put out after Merry's Gym, if you recall."

Sunny keeps up the glare, but relents after a moment. She's not eager to get back into that conversation. "This sucks, Eddie. I hate feeling like I'm losing you to her."

Ed puts a hand on her shoulder, surprising her. "Sunny, you never had me to begin with. But you have my friendship, and that's something no one can take from you but yourself."

Sunny pushes Ed lightly, making him stumble. "God, that was so corny, Eddie! Where'd you read that, a fortune cookie?"

Ed laughs at that, getting back to his tent. "Actually, my last fortune cookie was 'Allow disruptions to deepen your concentration.' Probably means something about bettering yourself in difficult situations." He pauses, stroking his chin in thought. "Which could apply to you, in this particular situation."

"What do you mean?"

"Think of this as a chance to get to know her better. I'm not saying you have to be best friends, I'd still like that to be me, just… be nice, okay? I don't want you two fighting. I'd like it if my friends could be friends."

Sunny snorts out a laugh. "Okay, you showed me that one already. I know that's a cookie fortune."

"Don't mock the cookies, Sunny. They are wiser than you know. Besides, I could always reconsider Marie's offer and sleep in her tent if you want."

"Definitely not! You're sleeping in this tent, by yourself, mister!" She smiles at Ed, and for a moment their fight is forgotten, and they're just a couple teens trying to figure out how to set up a tent.

Eventually they figure it out, and while the sky is getting darker, enough of the sunset peeks through the clouds that they can enjoy it somewhat. The sandwiches are passed around- Marie is handed the most boring of them, but she doesn't complain- and they share their meal in companionable silence, reflecting on the day behind them and thinking of the day ahead.

Ed is the first to rise, stretching his arms over his head as he bids the others goodnight. "I'm going to turn in, then. It seems we'll have a full day ahead of us. Have a good night Sunny, Marie." He lets the sentiment linger as he looks at the two, then heads into his tent.

Sunny fidgets with a plastic bag, gathering up the trash from their meal. Littering is severely frowned upon, after all. She keeps glancing at Ed's tent before finally looking over at Marie's. "Thanks. ...for sharing with me, I mean."

"Well, I wasn't going to let anyone sleep outside in the rain." Marie shrugs. "And if Edison isn't in the mood I suppose we can make do with each others' company."

Sunny pulls her jacket closed a little more, rolling her eyes at Marie. "Just don't try anything funny. If you want to cuddle for warmth, I'm sure Flare would oblige."

"I have to assume Flare is a Fire-type?"

Sunny pauses at that. It occurs to her that she doesn't actually know anything about Marie as a trainer, beyond that she has a Slowpoke. A Slowpoke she says is hers and Eddie's, and they apparently have another one?

She shakes her head, banishing those bad thoughts. "Yes! Yes he is. I love Fire types, if you didn't know that. Flare is my Darumaka, and he likes people. I… I was mostly kidding, but he really would like to be out." She glances at Ed's tent again, thinking about his I want my friends to be friends comment. It couldn't hurt, especially since she doesn't have many friends. "What about you? Any Pokémon of yours that like to stay close to you?"

Sunny catches a glimpse of a screen sliding back into Marie's pocket, but Marie starts talking before she can think about it. "I've spent the most time with Tuie, I suppose. She's quiet and small- smaller than a normal Natu, actually. She's easy to keep track of. I should have let her out while we walked, now that I think of it. I'm not very good at remembering to bring them out- and they're not all convenient to travel with."

Marie brings a necklace out of her shirt. The PokéBalls clipped onto it are obvious, but the few charms are obscured by Marie's hand. "I have four now, but I've only spent a decent amount of time with Tuie and Pokie. And I wouldn't have been able to with Pokie if I didn't end up with that wagon. He's too slow to keep up and too heavy to carry."

The wagon suddenly makes more sense. Sunny realizes she doesn't spend a lot of time with her Pokémon, mainly only calling on them when they're needed. "I also have four, and also haven't spent much time with some of them. Maybe I should get a wagon or something, to pull my heavy Pokémon…"

"It's definitely a workout!" Marie laughs. "Pokie is about- seventy-five pounds? And I don't mind saying that some of the uphills outside of town were rather difficult. What do you have- or rather, how heavy is it?"

"Um…" Sunny completely blanks on that knowledge. She can't just check her Pokédex, not with Marie looking at her, unless she just admits defeat. Unless...

She grabs Striker's ball, sending him out for Marie to see. "Say hello to Striker." He seems confused, but trundles over to Marie to greet her. Sunny quickly checks her Pokédex, and is surprised by the information she finds. "130 pounds? That's… uh, I mean… yeah, he's pretty heavy for such a little guy."

"That's getting close to my weight." Marie pats Striker. His armored shell gives a muted percussive sound, and she shakes out her hand a bit. "You could pull me in a wagon! Then I wouldn't have to walk."

"If I wanted the workout, then sure, why not?"

"Good! Then we will rent a wagon on Mauport and you can be my chauffeur."

"I was joking! Sarcasm, you've heard of it?" Sunny protests, angry that she'd let her guard down again. Striker walks over to her, nudging her leg with his head. "What, Striker? What are you doing?"

He looks up at her, confidence in his red eyes. He looks back toward Marie, then pushes against Sunny's leg again.

"You're saying… push her? You? You can push her? Is that… you don't push wagons, you pull them." Striker shrugs, an odd gesture on a quadruped, and pushes Sunny again. "Yes, I get it, you're strong. He's very proud of that." She explains the last bit to Marie, slightly exasperated, but he's too endearing for her to be truly annoyed.

"Well, I can do worse than to accept his offer- if you yourself won't oblige." Marie reaches over to pat Striker again. "He must be the strongest of your team, if he's so proud of that."

Striker leans into Marie's hand, enjoying the attention. Traitor. "In terms of pure muscle? Probably. Flare might come close, but he's too much of a goof to be reliably strong. I don't really know what else to say. He likes food and fights, and that's about it."

It's kind of nice, just chatting with Marie. Sunny has never just sat and talked about her Pokémon before. Eddie would sometimes bring up his team, especially Addie or Gremlin, but Sunny never really paid much attention.

"He probably gets his fill of both with you, hm? He probably wouldn't be as happy on my team."

"Like that's even an issue." Sunny scoffs, but pulls Striker back over to her. Well, not pulls, but the mere act of applying pressure convinces him to come back, and he snuggles beside Sunny rather than press Marie for attention. Sunny finds a soft spot under his chin, giving him scritches while he falls asleep. It's adorable, but she returns him to his ball before he can start snoring.

"It's getting late." Sunny rises, putting her bag inside the tent. "We should probably get some sleep too."

Marie hums her agreement. "Let me change first. It's hard to do in a tent at all, let alone with multiple people inside."

"Yeah, good point." Sunny grabs her bag again, gesturing to the tent. "All yours. I'll change out here."

"Hope nobody sneaks a peek." Marie's mild concern is left hanging as she busies herself with her own routine.

Sunny is already kicking off her shoes when Marie says that, looking around in concern. Wait, there's no one else around! She's just trying to rattle me again! She turns her back on Marie's tent as she removes her jacket. "Well, you're the only one who could, so… don't. It'll be fine."

Of course the wind picks up right as she sheds her t-shirt, making her shiver in the sudden breeze. There's no reason for her to be nervous, she's just changing clothes! She's done this literally every day of her life. But because of Marie, she's suddenly feeling self-conscious, and… maybe a bit excited? That's something to unpack later, and she quickly changes into her night shirt, putting her other top in her bag.

She looks back over her shoulder to make sure Marie isn't peeking at her while she changes pants, but the tent remains closed. Once she's done, she grabs her bag and jacket, stopping outside the tent. "Okay, let me in when you're ready. It's getting chilly out here."

"Yes, yes, hold on." Marie doesn't seem to be moving around at all, but still waits another minute to unzip the entry and reveal herself in only a navy blue nightshirt and a peek of pink underwear. "Come to bed, my dear."

Sunny climbs inside, rolling her eyes and unrolling her sleeping bag. "Don't make it weird, why are you like this?"

"It's just who I am," Marie claims. "Are you so prickly that we must sleep head-to-toe, or are you going to be normal about this?"

"I'm normal, I'm fine." Sunny glances over at Marie's legs. "Wouldn't want to get kicked in the head, anyway. Our whole rivalry started over those legs, remember?"

Marie smooths her hands over those long, bare legs. "It did, didn't it? I suppose I'll be more gracious with sharing space this time."

"That'd be great. Now, let's get some sleep." Sunny crawls into her bag, turning her back to Marie to discourage further conversation.

"Sweet dreams," Marie cooes into the dark.

A joint post between Groc and Aquacorde.

Cubeth

Age 22
They / Them
Seen 3 Hours Ago
Posted 3 Hours Ago
2,387 posts
2.9 Years
Miranda Lockhart
Tuesday, September 22nd
Chapter 3: Part 5 - Terrible trainer, terrible person
11:00 AM to 11:10 AM - Lake Petalburg
What the psyduck am I supposed to do here while Maritza is doing… whatever the psyduck she's doing? Petalburg is boring as psyduck, there's nothing to do here other than the conservatory and the gym, but I'm going there tomorrow.

I guess I could train my pokémon for tomorrow, but meh! I'm not in the mood for training right now. Plus, what the psyduck am I gonna do? Walk around like an idiot and beat up whatever psyducker appears in front of me?

Well, that's what I signed up for.

Thing is, I can't keep thinking about yesterday. It was a fun day, even if it didn't last much. Listening to Maritza talk about other pokémon as we walked, and finishing by mentioning Golisopod was psyducking awesome! I wouldn't have known Juggernaut would evolve into such a unit!

Maritza can go eat muk for all I care, though, she's an asshole. Once again, she changed plans last minute, leaving me on my own with nothing to do but lay by Lake Petalburg with a Slakoth on my chest. It happened during our first night in Slateport, it happened when we reached Dewford and it happened here too! It makes me think that she just wants to be as far away from me as possible, and it sucks because I was actually starting to like her!

But I can't blame her, can I? I never had a good relationship with people other than dad back in Pyrite, all because of my anger and the way Mankey reacts to it. I wouldn't be surprised if she is afraid of what could happen to her because of me, after all, Mankey actually tried to attack her yesterday; had I not noticed, who knows what would've happened to her?

All of this brings me back to that one job I had in Dewford. It's as if nothing has changed for me since then: I still can't get my pokémon to behave! I can't even get them to go inside their pokéballs!

I haven't tried to do it, though.

Mankey, who's been sitting by my side all this time with Pyukumuku, looks back at me, and frowns upon watching me change my expression. He grunts, gets up and starts looking for the thing that’s been bothering us, like it happens all the time. Mankey knows the rules, whenever I’m upset, he gets upset too, identifies the problem and beats it up. But in this case, this won’t do, because Mankey can't find out why I’m even upset in the first place.

“What are you doing? Sit down,” I say, looking at him once I see him walking circles around me. Mankey obeys, he knows how to do that too… I think. He’s still grunting and looking around carefully.

My mind keeps going, Maritza this, Nora that, Gym this other, and whatever. It sucks and I hate it.

I have Slakoth’s goofy face to distract me at least, it’s impossible not to chuckle when you have him looking at you directly. At least until he opens his mouth and you yawn with him.

“Hey, don’t do that, asshole!”

That reaction gets Mankey’s attention, of course, he hasn’t stopped looking at me. I notice him and try to call him when he gets back up, but another yawn interrupts me before I can start talking making me unable to stop Mankey from kicking Slakoth away and jump at him with his fists ready.

“Mankey…,” I call, but my voice is muffled by the intense shrieking of Mankey while he beats up the defenseless Slakoth. He tries to defend himself from him, but he is too slow, and there’s little he can do when Mankey is angry. Pyukumuku on the other hand doesn’t even seem to be aware there’s a fight going on. “Mankey, stop…”

Mankey keeps landing one punch after the other, but I'm unable to do anything about it because I'm both drowsy and shocked at the scene to think straight for a solution. The only thing I have in my head now are Dewford flashbacks.

I remember venting and nearly crying about how awful the trainers in Orre -especially Pyrite- are. They would gather around a Battle Square and force their pokémon to battle until they are unable to continue, when they are unable to keep at it anymore, they abandon them, buy new ones and continue the same cycle; all of that for money, it makes me sick. That was the same day my pokémon attacked a kid feeding the Pyukumuku. Nora said that, as a trainer, my pokémon are my responsibility. I know Mankey doesn't like his pokéball, that's why I keep him outside, but that has brought me nothing but trouble, now that I think about it. Aside from attacking the kid, he also stole an apple at the ferry and provoked Sandygast at Slateport, not to mention when he ran away after the quake in Granite Cave too!

Mankey's an asshole, of course Maritza is scared of him! She even tried to warn me yesterday when she said Mankey could be aggressive and I didn't listen to her!

But if Mankey is an asshole, then that makes me, the trainer, an asshole too! I’m a terrible trainer! I’m no different than those trainers at Pyrite!

“MANKEY, CALM THE PSYDUCK DOWN!”

Mankey freezes where he’s standing, with his fists shaking and Slakoth laying in front of him, unable to move. My heart is beating too fast all of the sudden and my breath turns heavy as I think about the worst outcome. I’m not drowsy anymore, it’s as if yelling like that made me unleash enough energy to wake up.

Before dealing with Mankey I check if Slakoth is alright. He is still breathing, in fact, he seems to be perfectly calm while he rests on the grass. Is this because of some move?

Slack… Off? What does that do?” Whatever, I’m glad he’s fine. I still used a Potion on him, just in case before returning him to his pokéball.

Mankey starts walking to where I am at a slow pace, looking at the ground, with his fists still shaking.

“You idiot! You don’t attack the team, you should already know that!” Mankey starts shivering once I yell at him and doesn’t look back at me. I take a deep breath and try to calm down once more. It is the same thing as in the ferry, after he stole the apple: He is embarrassed for what he did, because he knows he did wrong.

My dad used to joke saying pets are similar to their owners. It was before I left Orre, obviously, and this is obviously no joke either, but I can’t help to think about this now. Mankey is scared, just like how I was a few moments ago, and we both have a similar problem we need to solve. Maybe dad wasn’t even joking when he said that, who knows?

I’m aware that I'm a terrible trainer, maybe even a terrible person, and if Maritza says she’d rather continue her journey alone, then I won’t stop her. But if I am going to solve the problem with our behaviour, then I'll have to make the decision of taking the next step and try to calm down next time things go wrong.

“Okay, enough of this nonsense!” I chuckle “We have a lot of training to do!”
Current Party:

Inventory
Spoiler:
- 2 PokéBalls
- 4 Potions
- 1 Sun Stone
- 1 pair of Safety Goggles (Pyukumuku)
- P★DA (Pokémon Digital Assistant)
- Keystone
- ₽1100

Miranda's portrait done with: https://picrew.me/image_maker/338224
Discord Moderoid · VPP Thread · Paired to PB

Groc

Age 31
Male
Arizona, USA
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 2 Hours Ago
1,589 posts
11.5 Years
Natsuko Soyokaze
Wednesday, September 30th; evening
Cottage Grove



"Thanks again for dinner, Miss Tsubaki! It was even better than my mom's cooking!" Tsu sighs contently. It's not much of a stretch, either. Either Hoenn just has tastier fish than Kanto, or fresh caught is better than store bought. Either way, she's feeling kind of sleepy after her meal. "Anything I can do to help? I could wash up if you'd like."

Samara startles Tsu by grabbing the plate from her without warning. She hadn't even heard the girl approach. "That's for me to do."

"Okay, sure. Whatever you want, no need to worry!" Tsu just grins as Sam stares her in the eye before collecting the rest of the dishes.

Tsubaki smiles, taking a sip of wine. "We wouldn't make our guest do chores, what kind of hosts would we be if we did? And Sam is so quick and eager to please. She'll make a fine wife someday, don't you think?"

"Uh..." Tsu balks at the question, not entirely sure how to respond. "I think she'd be great at whatever she wants to do! Do you guys often have guests? This is a nice house, you two don't live here alone, do you?"

There's a clatter from the kitchen as Sam accidentally drops something, hurriedly picking it back up as Tsubaki slowly takes another sip.

"Sam's father... isn't around very much. But we make do. And we have plenty of guests come through, as I said before."

Tsu nods, and she can tell she brought up a sore subject. Tsubaki sets down her glass, resting her chin on her hands as she leans in closer to Tsu. "But enough about us, why don't you tell us a bit about you? What brings you to Hoenn? I can tell by your accent that you're not from here."

"Ha ha... you can? I'm actually from here, originally. Not here, but from Slateport. My aunt lives there still, but I moved to Kanto when I was five."

"Hmm, interesting." Tsubaki looks at Tsu’s features closely. "You can barely tell. But what brings you back? Feeling homesick? I know Kanto has Gyms, too."

"Yeah, eight of them. Not as many as here!" Tsu chuckles nervously. Tsubaki had seemed so nice earlier, but she's so much more intense now. She feels like she's being interrogated by the police. Or worse, her mother.

"To be honest, I didn't really have much of a choice. My parents didn't like the friends I was hanging out with back in Celadon, especially after we... well, it's complicated. So they sent me to an out-of-town Trainers School, and after I got my license I could take the Gym challenge. I knew they'd be on me all the time if I stayed in Kanto, so I decided to go to another country. I knew they'd object if I went by myself, so I came to Hoenn, because my aunt would be nearby if I ever needed anything. And it's been fun to revisit my country of birth. There's so much I don't remember, but every once in a while there's... a spark, you know? Something that triggers some buried emotion or memory."

"That sounds lovely, dear. It's a shame that you felt you needed to distance yourself from your parents, though. I'm sure they were only looking out for your best interests." Tsubaki glances at Sam, who has been standing by quietly while Tsu talked. "But I guess that's just what it means to travel. You leave behind the ones you love."

"What did you do?" Sam asks, her expression neutral and her gaze fixed on Tsu. "You said it's complicated, but why don't your parents like your friends?"

"Good question, Sam!" Tsubaki smiles warmly. "It sounds like an interesting story, Natsuko, if you don't mind sharing?"

Tsu has to think about it. People don't usually ask, after she says it's complicated. They usually understand that that means she doesn't want to talk about it. But maybe... she doesn't mind. Maybe she does want to talk about it. She removes her hat, tracing her hand across the front. The plain black cap, with just a hint of stitching left from the logo it used to bear...



"Here you go, Eyes! Now you're officially one of us!" Geo placed the hat on Tsu’s head, while she clutched her new shirt tightly.

"Eyes? Is that my nickname?" She gasped, looking up at Geo in awe. She'd been part of his gang for a while now, and the others all had cool nicknames, while she'd just been Tsu.

Geo grinned, booping Tsu's nose lightly. "Sure is! You're good at spottin' things, you're the best lookout we've ever had, and, y'know... the glasses?"

Tsu blushed as she lowered the brim of her hat. She'd only recently gotten the glasses, and some of the kids at school had made fun of her for them. And now Geo had given her a nickname because of them? She wasn't sure how to feel.

"Hey, if you don't like it, I can think of somethin' else. But it's like how people nickname their Pokémon, you know? We can't just keep calling you 'Tsu', you need somethin' with some flash, right?"

"Yeah!" Pockets cheered, raising his cup of soda. Beside him, Spike and Daisy shared a high five, while Radar hurried back inside after feeding the meter. All of them wore matching hats and shirts to the ones Tsu had just received, with slight modifications. Pockets wore a cargo vest over his uniform, Daisy had floral pattern gloves, Spike had holes in her hat to let her hair stick through, and Radar... he had a carabiner on his belt with the car keys on it.

"You guys started without me? I was only gone for two minutes!" Radar slid into the booth next to Pockets, puffing slightly from the run.

"Well, you should have been faster! We don't have all day, Radar." Geo glared at him, while the others nodded in agreement.

"Yeah, I have to be at work in like, two hours." Daisy chimed in. Radar sank in his seat, letting out a sigh. The cashier called out Geo's name, and Pockets went to go pay for the pizza.



"Wait, hold on." Sam interrupts, looking at Tsu suspiciously. "Daisy had a job? Radar had the car keys? How old were these people?"

Tsu has to think about that. "We were all different ages. Radar was the only one with a driver's license, and he was like seventeen? I think Daisy was, too. Spike was fifteen, and Pockets was... nineteen."

"And what about Geo?"

"Yes, and what about his costume?" Tsubaki adds, pouring herself another glass.

"He didn't have any modifications to his uniform, but it was white instead of black. He said we could make any modifications we wanted, but he had to keep his standard because his bosses said so."

"Ooh, and what did you do to yours?"

Tsu shrugs, rubbing the back of her head. "I didn't get to do much. I wore a skirt instead of pants, that's about it."

Sam raises her hand. "But seriously. Ages."

"Right. Geo was twenty-two and I was twelve."

"No wonder your parents didn't like you hanging around with them."

"It wasn’t like that!" Tsu frowns at the implication, putting her hat back on. "People didn't like Geo in general..."



"Well, look who it is. Why am I not surprised, Joe?"

Geo rolled his eyes at the officer. "Come on, Officer Riley. It's Geo, you know that!" He glanced at Tsu meaningfully, but the officer just frowned at him.

"Sorry, Joe. But this isn't a game. And you got a kid involved?"

"Um..." Tsu looked at the ground, but spoke up in a shaky voice, "my birthday is next week. S-so, technically I'll, um... be a teenager soon... sir."

Geo grinned at her, reaching out to pat her head, but the officer pulled him back before he could reach her. "You know how teens are, Officer Riley. Eyes is just gettin' a head start, she's a quick learner."

"And she's learning all the wrong things from you and your friends. You've even got her dressed like you!"

Geo frowned at that, starting to lose his patience. "It was just a bit of fun. We just wanted to see the Dragons. And what's wrong with wearing matching outfits?"

"What's wrong is that you're dressed like criminals!" Officer Riley jabbed a finger into Geo's chest, right in the middle of the red R logo. "Sneaking onto private property dressed like Team Rocket is going to make people nervous, Joe! Especially when most of your crew are underage!"

"That's why we had to sneak in, sir!" Tsu spoke up, more clearly this time. "They wouldn't let us in the front door, and we were just curious!"

"Hey, Eyes, go easy on Ol' Riley, yeah? He's just doin' his job." Geo spoke softly, despite the cocky grin he gave the officer.

"Go home, Joe. You didn't break anything, so you're just getting a warning this time. And as for you..." Riley frowned at Tsu sternly. "You're coming with us. Your parents will need to hear about this."



"You almost got arrested? When you were twelve?" Sam stares at Tsu, dumbfounded.

"They weren't going to arrest me! I didn't do anything wrong. Not that time, anyway."

"Oh, but you did eventually?" Tsubaki leans forward.

"Sort of. After we tried to sneak into the Game Corner, my parents told me I wasn't allowed to hang out with the gang anymore. So I had to make new friends, so I could tell my parents I was with them if I wasn't home."

"But you were actually with Geo." Tsubaki nods knowingly.

"It wasn’t just him! ...but yes. I still hung out with them, just in secret. They were my best friends. Spike taught me about fashion, Pockets got me my first camera when I got into photography, Radar... had a car. You know, friend stuff."

"So what happened?" Sam points to Tsu’s hat. "I don't see a logo there."

Tsu lets out a breath, slowly. "Few years later, we went back to the Game Corner. We actually got in that time. Turns out, they didn't have Dratini. But they did have Porygon and Eevee. We decided we were going to take them. Geo said it wasn't right that people could just buy them like that, that they should be let free instead of being stuck in cages. He never had Pokémon of his own, but he wanted them. None of them ever had one. I'd had one, but it was stolen from me.

"Long story short, we got caught. Radar had cut the alarm when we broke in, but he missed the silent alarm. The police showed up, they arrested us. I was the only one still underage, so I got off easy. Mom and Dad found out, they figured sending me out to travel would set me straight. I got my license to travel, I adopted Shiny and raised her from a foal, and now I'm here. But before I left, I got a package. There wasn't a name or address I recognized, but it was my hat. My old uniform hat, but without the logo. Along with a note that said 'Congratulations. Remember where you started, and imagine where you'll end up.' I don't know how, but I think it was from Geo. Even if I don't always wear it, I always keep it on me."

Tsu takes the hat off, smiling softly as she touches it again. The others are quiet, and she notices Tsubaki had fallen asleep at some point. Sam puts her finger to her lips as she screws the lid back on the wine bottle. She and Tsu head into the kitchen to wash Tsubaki's now empty glass.

"Thanks for the story. Can't say I expected something like that from you."

Tsu grins, leaning against the counter. "That was years ago, people change. Now I'm just Tsu, Pokémon trainer."

Sam shakes her head, a faint smile forming. "There's more to you than that. You've got layers, like a cake."

Tsu nods as she thinks about that. "I do like cake."

"I'm sure you'll develop all kinds of layers as you travel. And I'll still be here, swapping stories for services."

"You don't know that." Tsu grabs Sam's hands, looking into her eyes. Sam blushes and looks away. "You'll get out there someday, I know it. And who knows what you'll find when you do?"

Sam looks down, her face bright red. "Hopefully it'll be you again... Eyes."

Tsu’s eyes widen, and she feels her face turn red as well. Sam lets go of Tsu's hands, going over to help her mother into bed. Tsu watches as they go to their rooms, leaving her alone in the kitchen.

"Hah... yeah. Maybe. Good night." She waits until she hears the doors shut, then grabs the rest of the bottle and tucks it into her bag, heading to her room and shutting the door behind her.

Aquacorde

the more we love, the more we learn // the more we love, the more we BURN 🔥

Age 28
she/her/he/him
Ankh-Morpork
Seen 2 Hours Ago
Posted 6 Days Ago
11,458 posts
17.4 Years

AGE: 17 ⟡ HOME REGION: Johto
DATE: Thursday, October 1 ⟡ TIME: Morning
LOCATION: Route 103

Chapter 4 #14 - Companionship

Marie doesn't wake with the sun, because there is no sun to wake to, but her eyes blink open at the ungodly hour of seven o'clock a.m. anyway.

Rain pitter-patters away outside the stuffy, humid tent, and Marie dreads having to pack up camp in the wet and cold. She would much rather stay here, dry and plenty warm enough with the combination of her light sleeping bag and Sunny half on top of her.

Wait.

No, that was right, Sunny is definitely laying on her. And definitely still asleep.

Well.

Should she wake her up?

There's no real pressing need to. Marie doesn't want to get up and start dealing with all the chores that come with camping. Maybe, if she just stays here with Sunny, Edison will wake up and start doing most of the work. She and Sunny had done all that paddling, after all. He can take the lead on this one.

She doesn't have to wait long, as she can faintly hear sounds from the other tent. It seems Edison woke up at a similar time as Marie, but without a Sunny on him had no moral dilemma about getting up.

After a moment, Edison unzips his tent and steps out. He approaches Marie's tent, pausing outside. "...Hello?" He speaks softly, almost drowned out by the rain, so speaks up just a little. "If you're awake, good morning. If you aren't, sorry if I wake you. We should consider moving, though. Looks like this area might flood a little."

Sunny stirs slightly as he speaks, muttering in her sleep, "No, jus' five more minutes…" She reaches for the closest soft object, this being Marie's arm.

Edison steps away as she speaks, apparently not hearing her, but faint sounds of camp clean-up can be heard.

Marie almost considers going back to sleep properly, but flooding sounds like a bigger problem than packing up in the rain. And while Edison can do most of the work, he can't exactly put away the girls' tent and sleeping gear while they're still in it.

Oh well.

She reaches up her hand that's not trapped to gently pat Sunny's cheek. "Wake up, sleepyhead."

Sunny stirs, scrunching her eyes shut at the touch, before opening them and blinking slowly. Her eyes go wide when she sees Marie, and how close she is.

"Good morning."

Sunny scrambles back, awake and alert, eyes darting toward every sound. Considering the rain, she ends up looking all around, taking everything in. "Ugh… today already sucks."

"Does it? I think it's going wonderfully. Edison's already up, by the way. Shall we join him?"

"Yeah, I guess. You might wanna put some pants on, first."

"Oh, I don't think Edison would mind this." Marie kicks a bare leg in the air just to see Sunny fume. "But if you insist, you'll have to get out while I change."

"Get out? But…" Sunny looks up at the roof, or more accurately the rain hitting it, then back at Marie and her long legs. "...fine. Just make it quick, okay?" She stops by the door, taking a moment to prepare herself, then steps out into the rain with a yelp as the first drops splash on her.

Sunny hadn't bothered to rezip the tent flap, so as Marie closes it she can see the rain is just a light drizzle right now. Sunny huddles next to Edison, who is wearing a bright yellow rain poncho as he waits outside. Muk. She doesn't have any kind of rain gear, does she? Not even an umbrella. Maybe she can wrap herself in the tent fly? No, that's ridiculous, it's way too bulky. Maybe she can string one side up on Cutie's canopy, and then… do what with the other three corners? Have each of them hold an edge?

No. Ridiculous.

Marie changes clothes with trepidation, then, and is so distracted by various anti-rain plans she forgets to even make Sunny wait in the drizzle. Instead, they switch places without much commentary- besides Marie's double take at the orange poncho Sunny has procured from somewhere.

As Sunny zips up the tent and unzips her bag, Edison waves Marie over, revealing a second yellow poncho still folded and wrapped in plastic. "Good morning, Marie. Here, put this on. We don't want you to get too wet."

"Don't we?" Marie says vaguely, under her breath and not meaning it in the least, while she unpacks and shimmies into the poncho. "Thank you. Ah! And we match, how lovely! Convenient for me that you had an extra, hm?"

"Well, I wasn't sure if you would have one or not. Sunny didn't, and I figured…" He stops himself, shrugging it off. "I mean, yes. Rather convenient. I even made sure to get the same color to avoid confusion. Color coordinated by height, since Sunny is shorter than us."

"Oh." He bought it specifically for her? Just in case she wasn't prepared? Without prompting or anything? "Um, thank you again. Yes. Very smart. Good planning. Ah- breakfast plans. Are there any? The stove will probably work if the rain stays light, or I have… other stuff. Trail mix, mostly."

"Unfortunately, food was one thing I failed to properly plan for. But I'm willing to help in any way I can. We can try the stove before this rain gets heavier."

They do manage to get the stove to work, but when Sunny eventually crawls back out of their shared tent- presumably dressed appropriately under the orange poncho- Marie insists Edison watch the food while she and Sunny make an attempt to keep water out of the tent during takedown. It… mostly goes well.

"Rain sucks," Marie grumbles, toward the end of maneuvering large sheets of wet plastic.

"Tell me about it." Sunny assists her, and apparently doesn't feel weird about agreeing with her. Interesting. "If I'd known it was gonna rain, I would've stayed the night in that village!"

"We did know about it." Edison calmly reminds her, keeping an arm out to cover their food under his poncho. "You just weren't paying attention. Besides, you were the one pushing to keep walking."

"Doesn't mean I like it…" Sunny mutters darkly, giving him a dirty look that borders on pouting. Marie turns away slightly to hide a smile, and chooses not to remind them that moving forward was technically her suggestion.

Then again, staying in Cottage Grove would still have meant walking in this rain. And who knew when it would let up?

Actually, maybe Edison.

"Edison~" Marie huddles close to him, leaving Sunny to finish the rolling up and bagging of the tent. "Did you happen to see if the rain will be letting up soon?"

"Well…" she notices him tense as she gets close, then he relaxes a little. "I only caught a bit, but I think it will get stronger until mid-day, then should clear out before sundown."

"So it's going to be wet all day?" Sunny speaks up, kneeling on the tent as she ties it down. "That might work, actually…"

"Work for what? Keeping us soggy and cold?" Marie complains.

"Ha ha, joke if you must." Sunny laughs, a peculiar look in her eyes. "But I think I have a way to deal with all this pesky rain! This is the perfect chance to show off the power of my Pokémon!"

"This has something to do with your new capture, doesn't it? It has something to do with the rain?" Edison puts his hand to his chin, lowering his head in thought. "You taught it Bullet Seed, so more than likely it's a Grass type, which in itself is odd for you… and it has a move or Ability pertaining to rain…"

"Not the rain itself, Eddie! And… well, I can't do it just yet. But I've been reading up on it! I just need to train him a bit more and he'll learn Sunny Day! A move that can clear the skies and dry up the rain! Also my namesake technique. Pretty cool, huh?"

Ed nods slowly, a faint tugging at one side of his mouth. "Of course. Doesn't Miss Tsu have a Ponyta with that technique? And that's not even your real-"

"Just let me have this, Eddie!" Sunny protests loudly, cutting him off and pulling a Poké Ball from her belt.

Sunny Dey- no, Day? It's an idea, certainly, and will definitely help her Fire team in battle, but it's surprising to hear it will be used by a Grass type. Are there any Grass and Fire types? No, no way, that wouldn't work. So- isn't that off-brand? Then again, Aron isn't a Fire-type either. So maybe she's just not actually that invested in Fire-types. "So what do you have in there?"

"My latest capture, a Pokémon that not even Eddie knows about, and one that will help me unlock the power of the sun! Behold!" Sunny opens the ball, revealing…

A Seedot. It looks around at the group, letting out a happy sound when it sees Sunny.

"Well, that was unexpected." Marie leans down to inspect the little acorn. It turns to her, waddling closer to get a better look.

Sunny struggles to maintain her smug expression, deflating slightly at the lukewarm reaction. "After I fought Merry, I realized I needed to shake things up a little. He'll be a good partner to the others, help cover their weaknesses, you know? And after that report we did on them, I already knew a lot about them, so it won't be too hard to get into training him."

Edison crouches beside Marie to look closer at the Seedot, who seems pleased with the attention. "Fair points, I suppose. But when did you capture it? And what about your ambitions?"

"That day when you went to the lab. I went out with Tsu, back to 102 and we looked around. It was her advice, she said it would be better to 'expand my focus' or something. I still plan on being a Fire-type trainer, even a Gym Leader one day, but who says a Fire trainer can't train Grass types, huh?"

"The whole description of it, I think," Marie laughs. "Are you considered a type specialist if two of your four Pokémon aren't of the type?"

"Shut up." Sunny scowls, grabbing the Seedot away from Edison and Marie.

"Maybe you could broaden your focus. Remember that Elite 4 member from Sinnoh, the one with only two Fire types on his team of five? He caused some controversy, but he was still-"

"I said shut up!" Sunny shoves Edison, pushing him to the ground. He doesn't seem too bothered, but Sunny turns away in a huff.

"Wh- Edison! Are you okay?" Marie bends over to offer him a hand. Who just pushes people over? "You didn't get muddy, did you?"

Edison accepts her hand, dusting the seat of his pants with his free hand. His poncho seems to have protected his clothes for the most part. "I'm fine, it'll wash off."

Marie nods approvingly, then rounds on Sunny and her acorn. "You can't just knock people over! How uncivilized," she sniffs.

Sunny looks surprised, then annoyed at Marie. "It's fine, stay out of it. We're not having that discussion anymore."

"Because you ended it before it started, I suppose." Marie is still holding Edison's hand, she realizes. It's fully unnecessary, but she'll keep it until one of them notices. "Fine. New topic. How are you going to train your little plant to make it nice out?"

Sunny looks at Seedot, and Seedot looks up at her. "Well… he knows how to do it, I think. He just doesn't know how he knows. I just have to… help him draw it out."

Edison lightly pulls at Marie's hand, working his fingers free of her grip. Ah well. Sunny probably would have more of a crisis if she'd noticed. "You'll need to practice drawing on the energy. It should be similar to his Absorb technique, but instead of drawing the energy from another Pokémon, he needs to draw it from himself, focus it into sunlight."

"Right. I knew that. I went to school too. And I was better at battling than you."

"I think the question is if you're a good teacher, though, hm?" Marie challenges. "I happen to know firsthand that Edison is a great coach."

"Well… I wouldn't say great, but…" Edison get a little embarrassed by the praise, but steps forward regardless. "What do you say, Sunny? How about we do some training today?"

"Sounds good to me! My Pokémon gets stronger, and we get a break from the rain."

Marie's vague interest in this endeavor is entirely gone as soon as her stomach growls. "All well and good, but can it wait until we have breakfast? I wouldn't want Edison's hard work to go to waste."

At the mention of breakfast, Edison scrambles back over to the grill, tending to the food before it gets too burnt. Sunny goes back to finish rolling and tying the tent before breakfast is served. As it should be! It seems that travelling and camping with people does have some legitimate bonuses- that is, that Marie doesn't have to do all the work herself. Nor indeed, even her share of it sometimes. That alone is certainly enough incentive to put up with whatever Sunny has going on.

What does she have going on, anyway?

There's still tension between her and Edison, and Marie is inclined to think it's perpetuated more by the former than the latter. She knows there are some sort of feelings there- but do those kind of feelings make Sunny snap at being questioned about anything? Take it out on the object of those feelings?

Hm.

Whatever it is, it does make things entertaining. Marie just has to balance on that fine line of Sunny's true anger. If she snaps and runs away this time, well.

One less person to do her work for her.

featuring Groc as Edison Kintobor + Sunny Dey


Spoiler: Team
Pokémon On Hand
Tuie ⟡ Natu ⟡ Female ⟡ Magic Bounce ⟡
Peck // Teleport // Stored Power // Cosmic Power // Ominous Wind // Confuse Ray

Stunnie ⟡ Stunfisk ⟡ Male ⟡ Static ⟡
Sucker Punch // Mud Shot // Thundershock // Discharge // Water Gun // Mud Sport // Charge

Cutie ⟡ Alolan Exeggutor ⟡ Male ⟡ Frisk ⟡
Bullet Seed // Hypnosis // Reflect // Leech Seed // Dragon Hammer // Barrage

Pokie ⟡ Slowpoke ⟡ Male ⟡ Own Tempo ⟡
Disable // Confusion // Yawn // Water Pulse // Growl // Curse
Spoiler: Inventory
Trainers' License [Johto and Hoenn] ⟡
$5,000 ⟡
Knuckle Badge ⟡
Dell Badge ⟡
TM Magical Leaf ⟡
Empty PokéBalls x 3 ⟡
5x Chesto Berries ⟡

Sunscreen ⟡
Berry-Print Bikini ⟡
Beach Towel ⟡
Oversized Sunglasses ⟡
Large But Lightweight Backpack ⟡
Rechargeable Battery + Charging Port Housing ⟡
Lidded Pot, Dishes, Chopsticks, Spoon ⟡
Camp Stove ⟡
Soap, Washcloth, Towel ⟡
Spoiler: Contacts
Dad ⟡
Mom ⟡
Brothers #1, #2, and #3 ⟡
Brawly ⟡
Brendan ⟡
Edison ⟡
Natsuko (via insta) ⟡
Sunny (via twitter) ⟡
Van ⟡
Wally ⟡

Groc

Age 31
Male
Arizona, USA
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 2 Hours Ago
1,589 posts
11.5 Years
Natsuko Soyokaze
Thursday, October 1st; morning
Cottage Grove



It's gray when Tsu wakes up, rain clouds blocking out the morning sun. But she's cozy and warm in her borrowed bed, so she takes her time getting up. The pamphlets she'd read at the Pokémon Center said that Route 103 would take a couple days to get through, and she isn't looking forward to camping. Especially not in the rain.

But she needs to get up eventually, if not to leave to at least get breakfast. As she picks out what shirt to wear, she hears a soft knocking at the door, which opens immediately after as Sam steps into the room. "Good morning, Natsuko."

"Sam!" Tsu quickly grabs her skirt, covering herself. "Hi. I'm not dressed yet, what's up?"

Sam shrugs, that same neutral expression on her face. "You're wearing more than when you arrived yesterday. Just wanted to make sure you were up, and let you know breakfast is ready."

"Oh. Thank you. Breakfast sounds good." She nods, awkwardly standing still as Sam holds eye contact. She gestures to her skirt, still in her hand. "Um... do you mind?"

Sam's eyes flicker downward for a moment, then back to Tsu’s face. "I don't mind. Whenever you're ready, come on out." She bows her head, but not soon enough to hide the grin on her face as she leaves.

"...okay, that was weird." Tsu quickly finishes getting dressed, packing her bag and making sure she doesn't forget anything. She notices that the bottle she'd swiped last night is gone, but there is a red silk scarf in its place. Sam must have swapped them out while Tsu was sleeping. Okay, I can forgive the awkwardness if she isn't going to tell her mother about this.

Indeed, breakfast is a casual affair. Sam mostly stays quiet, and Tsubaki asks a few questions about Tsu’s plans, but Tsu confirms that she'll be heading out as soon as she can, which doesn't surprise Tsubaki. What does surprise her is Sam speaking up.

"Hey, Mom? If Natsuko is leaving, she should have the proper supplies, right? Do you mind if I go with her to the shop, make sure she has everything she needs?"

Tsubaki smiles at that. "That's very thoughtful of you, Sam. Very nice to take care of our guest like that. I wish you safe travels, Natsuko. And good luck on your journey! Oh... and if you wouldn't mind going to the Cottage Grove website and leaving us a good review, I'd certainly appreciate it. I hope your stay was five star worthy!"

Ah. That explains so much. "Uh, sure, Miss Tsubaki! Thanks for letting me stay here. Five stars is the least I could do."

She puts on her green windbreaker as she goes, Sam joining her in a white raincoat. Once they're out of view of the house, Sam's composure falters, and she groans in audible embarrassment. "I am so sorry about my mom. She has this rivalry with Miss Maka down the street to see who's a better host."

"No need to worry. It's going to be better than camping, that's for sure. Oh, and... thanks for the scarf."

Sam nods, her neutral mask sliding back into place, though she can't hide the judgement in her eyes. "I liked your story. You seem pretty cool, and I thought red would go well with your look, especially considering... you know. The Rocket thing."

"Ha, yeah. I guess so..."

"Still, kind of a dick move, trying to steal from us. You could have gotten me in real trouble if my mom thought I'd stolen it."

Tsu winces, bowing her head in shame. "I'm sorry, I don't know what I was thinking. It was stupid, and I deserved whatever punishment I would've gotten. I'm very glad you didn't tell on me, though. Thank you."

Sam shrugs, but her expression softens. "Hey, no harm no foul, right? I got it back, Mom is none the wiser, and you already paid me back." She blushes slightly as she grins at Tsu, which makes Tsu flush with embarrassment.

"Wow, okay! You have no shame, do you?"

Sam laughs, putting her arm around Tsu’s shoulders. "Aw, come on! I'm just messing with you! You're gonna leave soon and forget all about this in a week. But meeting you has been the highlight of my week. I meant what I said, I think you're cool, Eyes. And... you're pretty cute, too."

"Oh... okay. That's kind of... a lot. Thank you? You, uh... you too?" Tsu trips over her words, taken aback. Being called Eyes still sounds weird from anyone but her old gang, and she hasn't met anyone as forward as Sam before. Maybe Marie, but...

Sam winces at the look on Tsu’s face. "Oof. Stop, please. I didn't mean to put you on the spot. I just... I'm gonna miss you. I think we could've been friends. We still can, just... you know, text me every now and then, yeah? I'll follow your Insta, see your pictures and stuff. Just don't call unless I say you can. Gotta keep up my image in front of Mom and other guests, you know? Gotta be professional."

Tsu smiles. Sam's a nice enough girl. A little weird, but that's understandable, considering her life. And Tsu has lots of weird friends. "Yeah. I can do that. It'll be fun."

They head into the general store to pick up some supplies for the road. Tsu’s heart falls as she looks at her funds afterwards. She didn't have enough for a tent, but a sleeping bag and an orange poncho would keep her dry and off the ground, at least. She'll just need to watch her wallet until her next pay day.

Sam is nice enough to walk her to the edge of town, and waves goodbye as Tsu heads off down Route 103.

Caesar

Age 28
Male
Seen 2 Days Ago
Posted 2 Weeks Ago
399 posts
10.4 Years









Tuesday, September 29th @ 0800 - Winston Ranch (Route 102)



Clint was quietly following Sergei towards the back of the property. They hadn't spoken a word since Sergei broke off their previous conversation. Clint was used to silence, and often preferred it, guess Sergei did too. Although being able to pick Sergei's brain about competing in the Pokemon League would likely prove beneficial. Clint reasoned to himself that perhaps the way to go was proving himself to Sergei, question is how was that going to happen.

The two riders arrived at the spot where the creek Sergei mentioned crossed onto the property. It meandered through a small patch of trees at the base of a hill. Sergei motioned with his hand for Clint to stop, and Clint did so. Sergei then pointed at the ground, where there were some paw tracks in the dirt.

"See these tracks kid, means we got Mightyena out here somewhere. I know the boss man said herd up the Tauros, but that's no use if they all get eaten," Sergei explained.

"Whatcha thinkin' then Sergei," Clint asked.

"Well i'm gone head up and over the hill, get a better view, you head through the trees, see if those critters are in there waiting for a chance to strike, they're nocturnal by nature but it's still early in the morning," Sergei laid out his plan.

Clint noticed Sergei had given himself the easier part, while Clint was taking on the risk. Guess that's why Winston Ranch is losing workers. Either way, Clint was going in,

"Let's do it then."

Clint dismounted from his Mudsdale right in front of the tree patch, and double checked that he had his holster with him. If things got dicey in there, his Pokemon were the only way out. Clint made his way through the bushes slowly, every step he took was decisive. He kept his eyes and ears peeled open, trying to pick up on any threat before it was too late. He kept moving through the woods until he stumbled upon a small clearing.

There were two fallen trees, with their root masses upturned, creating what looked like a couple of Pokemon dens. Clint knelt down in front of them, inspecting his finding. There were paw prints everywhere, as well as evidence of digging in the burrows themselves. No doubt some Pokemon was using this area as a den, and if Sergei's theory held up and it was Mightyena, they would be back soon to sleep all day. Clint was still observing the dens when he heard multiple very loud howls behind him. F***.

He stood up and turned around, making no sudden movements as he did so, to see three large dog Pokemon, which he guessed were Mightyena, accompanied by four smaller ones, which had to be the Poochyena. They all had black and gray coats, except for one peculiar Poochyena who sported a yellowish brown coat. No time to ponder why that was, as the pack were circling Clint with nefarious intentions, growling at the young trainer as they orbited him, eyes locked on him and baring their sharp incisor teeth at Clint.

Clint quickly let all three of his Pokemon out, and they stood in front of him, all of them realizing they were outmatched in this scenario. Poliwag was the first one to break rank, firing a mud shot at one of the Mightyena, doing enough damage to anger the Mightyena, but not enough to make a serious difference. A different Mightyena came leaping at Poliwag, using Crunch on Poliwag, leaving the tadpole Pokemon reeling from the effects. Poliwag was weak already. All three Mightyena closed in on Poliwag, prepared to go in for the kill. Clint had to respond, so he had Charmeleon step in front of Poliwag, and use Dragon Breath, and had Charmeleon wave the breath around, not doing much damage but putting some distance between Poliwag and the Mightyena.

While the Mightyena were backing off, Grovyle had come flying down from a tree she had climbed, using Double Kick, managing to get two of the Mightyena with the move, which caused the third to go after her. Charmeleon and Poliwag used Ember and Water Gun respectively to shake off the Mightyena, but to no avail as Mightyena bit down onto Grovyle's leg, shaking her around violently before tossing Grovyle into the stump of a nearby tree. It wasn't looking good for Clint, as he and his team backed towards where Grovyle was laying, feeling the effect of that last attack.

The Mightyena looked at each other, and then began howling extremely loudly. Even the Poochyena, who had been quiet in the back so far, chimed in with fainter howls of their own. This caused Charmeleon and Poliwag, who were both upright, to start running out of the woods. This left Clint and a clearly in pain Grovyle to be attacked by the pack. Clint brought Grovyle into his arms, preparing for the worst, but just as the nightmare scenarios played out in Clint's head, something happened that made Clint think Arceus was looking out for him.

A purple blur came shooting out from behind Clint, travelling at exhilarating speed. The blur shot out a powerful blade like gust of air at one of the Mightyena, knocking it far back out of the foray. The blur stopped to hover in front of Clint, facing towards the pack.

It was a Crobat. Clint had heard stories about guardian angels, but he never figured they would look like Crobats. Crobat released a poison that covered the top half of its wings, then went after the second Mightyena, hitting the Mightyena with a chopping motion with its poison covered wings. The second Mightyena tumbled out of the battle just as easy as the first one, which made the third Mightyena start to backpedal away from the Crobat. The Poochyena were long gone already, not even stopping to check in on their Mightyena companions. Crobat churned up another dagger like slash of air, sending it Mightyena's way, taking out another one with relative ease. Hopefully this Crobat was friendly to Clint.

"Echo, I think we're done here, come on back now."

With that, Echo, the Crobat was gone, back into a Pokeball. Clint, still in shock from this moment, turned around to see who's Pokeball it was. Who else could it have been, other than Sergei, who had Charmeleon and Poliwag following him as well. Guess Sergei showed he wasn't lying when he said he was a good trainer back in his day.

"Next time you figure it out on your own kid, I won't be there to save ya," Sergei said, his calmness about the situation a stark contrast from the still breathing heavily Clint.

"I've never seen anything like that," Clint muttered out, in a mix of still not understanding that he got out of that situation relatively unscathed, and a sense of admiration for Sergei.

"That was nothing," Sergei quickly retorted, motioning Clint to get moving.

Clint got up, still carrying Grovyle who was showing signs of life still, wriggling around in Clint's arms. Sergei walked up to the duo, and pulled a vial out of his satchel. He held the top of Grovyle's head as he fed her the contents of the vial, a strange looking red liquid. He patted Grovyle's head as she finished the contents, before Sergei put the empty vial back in his satchel. Clint gave Sergei a puzzled look.

"Relax kid, its a combination of a few different berry extracts, all known for their healing properties. Formula's a trade secret, so no I ain't gone tell you," Sergei explained,

"Now mount back up, we still got work to do."

Clint sighed and nodded his head, work was the last thing he could think about after that last experience.


Team & Inventory:
Spoiler:

Blaze|Brave| Moves: Ember|Dragon Breath|Bite|Smokescreen|Fire Fang|Slash

Overgrow|Sassy| Moves: Leaf-age|Detect|Quick Attack|Double Kick

Water Absorb|Quiet| Moves: Hypnosis|Water Gun|Pound|Mud Shot

Inventory:

$9,500
2x Potions
2x Pokeballs
Sceptilite
TM Protect


Eleanor

Akiza Izinski

Age 22
she/they
Italy
Seen 20 Hours Ago
Posted 2 Days Ago
3,941 posts
5.4 Years





Avril Reese

16 - ♀ - Laverre City

Written with QueenNothing as Junko Enomoto

Pokémon / Inventory:

AVRIL'S MONEY: $44 000

AVRIL'S TEAM:
🌼 Poppy (Flabébé) ♀
Flower Veil
Synthesis, Fairy Wind, Grassy Terrain, Aromatherapy, Wish, Magical Leaf

🌼 Hydrangea (Shellos) ♀
Storm Drain
Water Pulse, Mud Bomb, Recover, Rain Dance, Mud Sport, Hidden Power (?)

🌼 Wisteria (Inkay) ♂
Infiltrator
Night Slash, Hypnosis, Topsy-Turvy, Pluck, Reflect, Psybeam

🌼 Thistle (Wooloo) ♀
Bulletproof
Tackle, Growl, Defense Curl, Copycat, Guard Split, Double Kick

Away:
🌼 Venus (Mawile) ♀ - at Littleroot Research Lab

AVRIL'S INVENTORY:
🌼 1 Empty Pokéball
🌼 2 Potions
🌼 Eviolite
🌼 Silk Scarf
🌼 TM for Ally Switch
🌼 5 Rare berries
🌼 Sea Incense

🌼 Holotch (phone version)
🌼 Fanclub Membership card - valid until October 17th
🌼 Various clothes and commodities
🌼 Pink Woolen Hat

AVRIL'S CONTACTS:
Jordie, Shuna, Natsuko, June, Marcella, Hikaru

AVRIL'S BADGES AND RIBBONS:
🥊

🎀• 1

🌼 Character art made with https://picrew.me/image_maker/338886
No choice left
Thursday, October 1st - morning - Route 103
When the rain replaces the morning sun, Avril is definitely less inclined to wake up. Or rather, does so less enthusiastically. She snuggles her own sleeping bag for a while, sighing a few times as she realizes the downpour isn’t getting any milder, and can’t help but let out a few yawns too. Even if the previous night has been - understandably - more on the awkward side, she would rather have more time in that tent anyways… but June is set on reaching Slateport soon, and Avril is not meant to slow her down.

“Avril?” Speaking of which, the hesitant voice that could only belong to the same girl she was just thinking about speaks up. “Um, I’d hate to disrupt you, but I think now might be a good time to prepare for the day.”

"Y-yes?" The blonde girl mutters, still sounding half asleep. After a few more incoherent sounds, she raises her head and looks towards June. "Alright, here we go… I'm just sad because of the rain…"

“I can relate to some extent.” June laments. “I was hoping to make breakfast for the two of us, but in this weather… I’m not so sure how to navigate that…” She reaches into her bag to pull out a plastic bag of a variety of different nuts, oats, seeds, and the like. “Luckily I packed trail mix for an occasion like this. It’s just a shame it’s not as roma- I mean presentable!- as I’d like.”

"Oh, uhm…" Avril inevitably blushes. "I'm sure it will be fine!"

“Why thank you!” June grabs a handful of trail mix from her bag. Now that the blonde girl can see her better, she notices that she is wearing a different outfit than yesterday, even if Avril can't recall her changing into it. “I certainly hope you’ll find it that way.”

That happens to be precisely the case, although Avril still isn't sure whether that's because the breakfast is actually good or because she's sharing it with June… actually nevermind, it's both.

Eventually though, it's time to leave the tent and pack everything up… something Avril is not exactly looking forward to. Because of the rain obviously...

She hesitantly looks outside, now that the zipper is open, unsure of how to tackle the task at hand. "Hmm… we don't have much choice, right? Should we try to wait until the rain gets less intense?" She blushes slightly.

“Well, seeing as how I’m not actually sure when the rain will let up, I’m more inclined to trudge through it.” June slides on a bright yellow raincoat. “Who knows how long we might be sitting here if we wait it out? I mean, um, if you’d rather do that of course that’s fine, I- I just thought it was worth considering.”

Avril sighs. “Hmm… if you think it’s going to last a while longer, then even waiting is no use, yeah…” Avril mutters, actually somewhat disappointed with that answer but not willing to let June realize that.

She does wait a few more seconds, but in the end, she shakes her head and takes a deep breath. “Let’s do this then!” She declares, before backpedaling right away. “Or rather, wait a second... I have my own raincoat here for myself but what about all the rest of our stuff? That will get soaked!” She groans.

That is Avril’s panicked mind speaking, though. Her bag is waterproof, after all! She still wears it under her poncho raincoat for added safety (and looks hideous in the process), but she can’t deny that’s a quite practical solution. June seems perfectly content with her own protection from the rain, but Einstein on the other hand seems bothered by it enough to the point where he prefers to stay snuggled up inside his trainer’s coat. “He hasn’t done this since he was a Blipbug!”

“Aw,” Avril smiles. Poppy is doing just the same, hiding in her usual spot, although she’s obviously much smaller and… manageable, probably. “You two are like… so cute together, hehe…”

June’s face burns up, probably the brightest it’s been in awhile. She’s choked up for words, likely from how direct Avril’s comment was, and takes what feels like five minutes for so much as a jittery “Thank you,” to come from her lips.

Just like this, the two girls keep walking for a while under the rain, occasionally stopping where the canopy is at its most dense for some short breaks. The weather really doesn’t seem to let up, but at this point Avril has simply accepted her fate - and with that “sorted out”, there’s more space in her mind to fill with June thoughts. Like, for example, how optimistic she seems to be even in the face of this bad weather, and how she’s able to keep her head up regardless.

🌳🌳🌳

Lost in thought, Avril barely notices the… creature that has decided to take a bite of her raincoat. It has to happen again before she turns around, noticing the small Pokémon that is now facing her. And really, it looks like a puppy… a grumpy, rowdy puppy. A Poochyena, definitely- Avril doesn’t even need her Pokédex for that.

She sighs in resignation: she should be used to random Pokémon getting her in trouble now, be it a trainer’s Zigzagoon, a different trainer’s Zigzagoon, Poppy herself… and now this. To be fair, she can’t even blame any of them entirely, and even in this case, Poochyena seems to be happy with biting anything that moves, but… it’s a nuisance. Absolutely.

“Uh, June…” She gives the other girl a pat on the shoulder, hoping she’ll turn around quickly.

“Hm? What might it be- Oh...” June grimaces while cautiously eyeing the Bite Pokemon. “Poochyena, I see… Well, there’s really only two options if you’re suggesting we get it off our tail...”

“And that would be…?” Avril asks, as if she really has no clue. But actually, she does have a clue- either running or fighting. Neither of the two options entice her, as it’s typical of her.

“Either we run away or we use our Pokemon to scare him off. I guess we don’t necessarily need to do either of those but if it becomes too much of an obstacle what other choice is there?”

I knew it. I knew it I knew it!

Avril doesn’t say that out loud, and simply clenches her fists instead, thinking about what could make up for a good third possibility. But when Poochyena moves from the raincoat to the girl’s ankle, she has to make a move. Or rather, Poppy has to. A Fairy Wind blows the wild Pokémon away in a puff of sparkly particles, as Avril recovers from that attack. “Why, why, just… is there something in my bag that he wants?” She hastily asks June, her body shaking. June’s eyes repeatedly dart left and right, signaling that she doesn’t know how to answer or help with Avril’s underlying problem, but still tries despite that.

“Um, maybe that was the case, but Poochyena do enjoy chewing on anything they see. Having been around them in my family’s conservatory, I’ve seen them get into trouble with that. But they don’t do so out of malice! Think of it is teething, they are still growing-”

“BUT HE BIT MY ANKLE!” Avril screams, without really giving June enough time to finish. She immediately lowers her head in shame after that, and quickly tries to apologize- she’s all but proud of that reaction- but her worried look doesn’t go away.

“Um, um, s-sorry!! That was quite foolish of me! Do you need any medical attention?” June removes her backpack and kneels to search through it despite the mud, searching for a first aid kit.

“Hm, I don’t think this is that serious but…” Avril still speaks with urgency. “Yeah, it’s better to wait a bit and let it heal…”

She remains vague, hoping to sound more stoic in June’s eyes, but there’s only so much she can do against facts, and the fact is, the wound is bleeding. Even if it’s not a deep bite and Poochyena was unable to let Avril escape, that still needs some cleaning. And at the very least, some bandages to finish the job.

“There.” June lets out a sigh of relief. “But I deeply apologize for not properly responding earlier, I don’t have an excuse…”

“It’s fine, it’s fine… actually no, I’m sorry for shouting like that…” Avril smiles nervously as she leans against a tree, in a more sheltered area. “I know you were trying to be reassuring and all…”

Apparently every occasion is good to blush a little.

“Well, if you’re alright I suppose that’s all that matters. But for now we might need to rest for a-”

A more menacing growl is heard, coming from behind the two girls, and that’s enough to make Avril tremble again. She’s almost finished tying up that one layer of bandage that June gave her… but she’s not done yet, and that makes it all the more annoying to see a Mightyena coming after her. Not the puppy from before, then, but his fully grown-up version, capable of way more than inflicting that one wound…

Avril’s face looks full of fear, but also resigned and defeated. Thinking about it, starting a battle is already a loss for her. But at least there’s June with her, she can count on her. She calls out her name, and hopes she’ll have a plan.

“Um, right… It’s just a Mightyena, and I’ve battled Pokemon far stronger.” June takes a few deep breaths. “It shouldn’t be too much of a problem… I hope.” Almost as if she jinxed the two of them, movement is suddenly heard in the nearby bushes right as she’s done talking, and one-by-one, more Mightyena start to spill in until a pack of five is formed. On closer examination, the Mightyena that originally confronted them is slightly bigger than the rest, but it doesn’t make the others any less intimidating with their harsh barks and snarls. They then aggressively rush forward, and things start to look really bad for a moment, that their journey could end here- fortunately however, Einstein pokes his face out of June’s coat at this time and projects a Reflect barrier to bounce the ferocious Pokemon back. An outline of pink aura surrounds each and every one of them as they recover from the shock, but nothing comes of it. June gasps, and even Einstein seems astounded by this! Desperate for an explanation, June reaches for her phone in a panicked frenzy.

“Oh, that’s why…” Her expression while glancing at her phone doesn’t look like it can bring any good news. “Mightyena is a dark-type Pokemon, and dark-types are completely immune to psychic-type attacks…”

The pack of Mightyena all throw themselves towards the barrier, but it seems thick enough that it can hold them at bay. It won’t last forever though, as cracks can be seen forming in it. They’ll need to do something, and fast!

That’s just enough time for Avril to fix up her bandage in a way that it won’t come off when she takes a step, though. No longer holding onto the tree, she turns around just as the Reflect starts to crack and, in a panic, quickly runs to where June is standing. But again, once she’s there, she doesn’t know what else to do. What is she supposed to do anyways?

Poppy seems to have an answer of her own, and isn’t afraid to put her plans into practice. But the look on her trainer’s face as she readies up a Fairy Wind is more eloquent than a thousand of her commands. “You’re going to anger them even more…” Avril says, basically biting her fingernails in the process, but it seems only June is going to hear that… might as well prepare for the fight that’s about to ensue.

“I don’t think we can afford to not anger them!” June replies with the utmost urgency. “Einstein, Supersonic!” The soundwaves are successful in targeting the leader, who proceeds to turn on her pack by biting the neck of the closest Mightyena while in her confused state. The rest of them all cower and whimper, not wanting to face the same fate.

“Do you think you can run on that leg?” June faces Avril and gestures towards her ankle. “If so, now would be a good time to flee!”

“Y-yeah, I should…!” Avril looks towards June, unsure of how far her leg (and her stamina) will actually take her. “At least we can steal some more time!”

“Then let’s make haste!” June cries, pulling Avril forward by her hand while somehow managing to be gentle with it in the process. The blonde girl doesn’t resist, and instead tries her best to keep up the pace. Poppy flies after her too, the rain slowing her down as she floats in the air.

“Hopefully that will keep them occupied for a while.” June says between breaths. “If not though… we might need a backup plan…”

Avril’s mind, for once, seems cooperative. Maybe it’s because danger isn’t as close as before. She goes through her Pokémon in random order, first feeling sad that Venus isn’t there with her, but then feeling relieved that Venus isn’t there with her. She then thinks about Einstein’s moves and realizes that Wisteria is not too different from him- another floating Psychic-type with some decent defensive moves like Hypnosis. But then her mind also goes to Angie, and how perfect of a choice she is for this kind of weather. Thistle would be good but she’s still recovering, so maybe not.

After all that thinking, though, the outcome is the same. “June,” Avril asks once again for help, “what should be the backup plan?”

“If they are as persistent as I fear, we might need to use force...”

“N-no other way?”

“I’m afraid so.” June says in a deadpan tone. “It’s the most reliable way to take care of them, as much as I know you don’t want to...”

That last part of the answer is making Avril feel better, too bad everything else June said isn’t! But… maybe she’s found the right way to sweeten the pill. If she’s been relying on June this whole time, she may as well follow her plan. She’s doing this for her. And so, with an overly serious expression, she nods and gets out two more of her Pokémon. Wisteria, of course, but also Angie. That turned out to be good timing, because soon enough barking and mud being stepped in is heard from a distance, only growing louder as the Mightyena start to catch up.

“It seems I was right!” June shouts while grabbing three Pokeballs that are tossed into the air. Chip and Kit are sent out, as well as a new Pokemon, a Heracross who's eager to brawl. No doubt this is the same one from her story.

“Ooh, nice!” Avril comments at the sight of Heracross, but other than that, remains quiet, looking around warily. She doesn’t really have a plan and is once again going by what June thinks will be more effective… but at least she has some basic ideas. If she has to be more defensive, Wisteria can take the lead and use Reflect or Hypnosis. And if it comes down to attacking the Mightyena head on, well… Angie under the rain is probably just as scary as they are. Whatever happens, Avril is ready.

“Thank you! But um, we can introduce him later!” June points to the Mightyena who are approaching dangerously close. She orders a Sand Attack from Chip while Kit creates bubbles from her antenna to ferry the “sand” particles near the faces of the Mightyena, each bubble releasing sand into their eyes and noses upon bursting. Heracross then rushes them down (with a few stumbles along the way) and deals out a flurry of arm thrusts, trying to hit each Pokemon at least once.

“While looking at its Pokedex entry, I noticed it said one of dark-type's weaknesses is fighting, so I’m glad to have Heracross by my side.” It's incredible how even when in danger, June still shares her knowledge like it's nothing.

"That's good to have, yes…" Avril nods, before looking at her own Pokémon, who are eager to get involved. Whereas she sent them out with the purpose of being helpful to June, now that she seems to be handling everything by herself, she's considering not to battle at all. But if her Pokémon want to battle and are now ready to battle… can she really say no?

Eventually she lets Poppy fly forward, adding all the sparkles from Fairy Wind to the already blinding mixture of particles that's being sent towards the Mightyena. Wisteria sets up a Reflect that partially strengthens Einstein's (one can never be too careful), and Angie… well she's just readying her Water Pulse. When Heracross is finished, that's definitely going to seal the deal… or so Avril is hoping.

Upon noticing the ranged attacks however, the Mightyena decide to split their attention. Two of them turn towards June and Avril, growling to intimidate their Pokemon, while Heracross continues to wrestle the remaining three. June has Chip and Kit bombard them with Struggle Bug and Bubble Beam respectively, and it’s at this moment that a familiar look of determination is present in June. Maybe it’s because of the threat the dark-types pose, but she went from cautious to stoic in the drop of a hat, and is now extremely focused on taking out the Mightyena.

Of course, with the Pokémon turning their way, even Avril's companions go on the offensive… sort of. Wisteria, now that Reflect is up, tries to dive in for a few Plucks, while Angie fires off Water Pulse and Mud Bomb towards the Mightyena. While on mud, she can easily slide around the place, and that keeps the Dark-types busy as their health is whittled down by the various attacks.

On Avril's request, Poppy sets up a Wish too. Now that she's far into the battle, all she wants is to secure the victory… and leave no weaknesses unchecked. Regardless though, they’re definitely in-control of the situation, with the two Mightyena being hit from so many angles making it impossible for them to use their melee attacks. While that sails smoothly though, a pained cry is heard from Heracross, drawing attention to the fact that both of his arms are being chomped by Mightyena fangs while the pack leader continuously rams her large body into his chest. Seeing this, June sprints over to the scuffle without saying a word, kicking up splashes of mud with each step, and orders Chip and Kit to follow. Chip Aqua Jets after while Kit skates across the various puddles, gracefully jumping between them all while changing her bubble trajectory. It’s solely up to Avril now to take care of the Mightyena pair.

In-between the barrage of attacks they receive, the Mightyena duo both manage to let out a nasty snarl. Not just any snarl though, but a particular type loud enough to create visible sound waves that are covered in a black energy. The attack spreads outward, hitting all nearby Pokemon and even causing them to shiver. Turns out that move is making Angie and Poppy’s attacks less powerful, definitely not a good thing given the situation.

Avril panics as another Snarl is sent her way- the Mightyena must have realized that’s working quite well. Luckily, Angie is still dodging hits fairly well, and the Mud Bomb attacks she’s using are hindering their view. The problem here is… how is she going to beat those two wild Pokémon now? Does she have to wait until June is no longer busy with the other three?

Her Pokémon, left without any commands, do what they’ve already been doing for some more time, dodging hits and supporting each other with Reflect or Wish, until something strange happens. As Angie is charging up another attack, Wisteria gets right in front of her and… does some strange movements in the air, turning upside down a couple times. Shellos seems frustrated by this, as her teammate is seemingly toying with her and stealing her time, but…

the Water Pulse she fires off after that knocks one of the Mightyena straight out. Much to Avril’s shock, actually.

Still unsure of what to do, the blonde girl watches as her Water-type forces the other Mightyena that was attacking her to run away, and go back into the deepest parts of the forest, in order to avoid the same fate as its companion. That was the outcome she was looking to achieve for not just one of the Mightyena, but all of them… but maybe they needed a better warning or something. In any case, now she and her Pokémon could go and help out June, and if there was anything she could do for her, she would.

“Everything good over here? The other two Mightyena, well… did you see that, by any chance?” Avril runs over, with her two floating Pokémon following suit and Angie preceding her, sliding on the mud with a proud look in her eyes. June looks a little busy though, ordering Chip and Kit to circle the Mightyena and attack from afar while Heracross stands in the middle of it all, thrusting his palm forward when any of the dark-types moves slightly forward. It’s clearly not a flawless strategy though as the wild Pokemon have adapted and get better at dodging with each move thrown out.

The pack leader uses Snarl to weaken the attacks of the two water-types, which becomes especially dangerous when the fangs of the other two Mightyena start to crackle with electricity as they pounce towards Chip and Kit respectively. They both end up being trapped in the jaws of the Bite Pokemon and their small bodies are pumped with electricity, effectively taking them out of the fight. With the projectile attacks no longer being an issue for the Mightyena, the pack leader gives the now worn-down Heracross a menacing glare, her fangs lighting ablaze with flames. Knowing how bug-types have a near crippling weakness to fire-type moves, the outcome seems obvious especially as the large Mightyena mimics her cohorts and pounces forward with her jaw wide open…

which is why she’s surprised to see her movement is completely halted by Heracross’ arm that he holds up in the air. The Mightyena’s teeth do in-fact sink into Heracross’ exoskeleton, and some tiny embers are seen, but other than that, Fire Fang doesn’t leave a mark. It should make sense, thanks to the pouring rain...

Heracross swings his arm forward, hurling the Mightyena with all his might into the two remaining pack members, knocking them into a nearby tree like bowling pins as multiple pained yelps are heard. That move clearly did massive amounts of damage, and after the brunt of it is felt, the pack leader is just barely able to stand, but instead of attacking she barks at the other Mightyena, signaling all of them to flee. They all try to do their best, but it’s not easy for most of them as they’ve been afflicted with a limping ankle- something Heracross takes as a sign of victory as he flexes with pride. June however just sighs, seemingly snapping out of whatever came over her in battle as if nothing happened.

“Thank goodness it’s over… Oh, there you are Avril! Are you alright?”

“J-June… yes, I’m alright, like... physically.” She replies. “But what about all the Pokémon, are they ok?”

“Um… Oh no!!!” June somehow seems shocked to see Chip and Kit half buried in the mud, despite her previous order leading directly to that outcome. “Chip! Kit! Oh, how terrible… return, both of you! You’ll need a nice long rest after this encounter…”

Whereas Avril was concerned about the Mightyena that Angie knocked out, at least at first, now she was only caring about June’s teammates. “Will they be ok? Are they hurt badly? Do you need some healing moves?” She asks.

“Hm, I think they just need to rest for now. Heracross though, he could benefit from that probably.”

Poppy casts a falling star with Wish as she hears that, before perching herself right on top of Heracross’ head. She still hasn’t lost her pep, or rather, she already knows that’s what Avril needs in these situations. Her trainer is, in fact, still barely keeping her heart inside her chest. “Could we just… leave before that one recovers?” She asks, pointing at the one Mightyena who has been knocked out by Angie, and hasn’t had a chance to flee.

“That seems like a good idea, yes.”

In the meantime, the comet falls at an angle, clearly following Poppy wherever Heracross takes her. She just springs up at the last second, though, and the Wish collides with the Bug type’s horn instead, healing him slightly.

For the next few minutes, Avril remains quiet. She smiles at the sight of Heracross being healed by Poppy, sure, but other than that, she’s still rather serious. She’s thinking about how she could possibly voice her feelings, but is choosing not to because she’s afraid she may end up doing it wrong. In fact, maybe it would be better if she could direct her mind onto less complicated matters.

“So, June, uhm… how should we deal with lunch? Once we get far enough, we might want to think about that…” She says, as she calls back all of her Pokémon but Poppy.

“I haven’t given it much thought until now, but I suppose if the rain clears up by then I could grill something. If worse comes to worst, I always have trail mix and other non-perishable snacks for these occasions.”

"That's good to know!" Avril nods. "You're always ready for anything, uh?"

“I always try to be, although I think that’s being generous.” June scratches the back of her head. “But still, thank you!”

"Oh, you're welcome! Even with all that happened, I'm glad I could help. At least a bit."

After that, Avril doesn’t speak much. She rather focuses on the report she’s left half-finished, working on it when the two girls stop for a pause, and eventually, it’s ready to be sent over to Brendan.

I was given the chance to fish near Cottage Grove yesterday (Wednesday 30) at about lunch time, and I reeled in a Wishiwashi! But that encounter left me with more questions than answers, and I had some trouble finding those Pokémon again.

The most important ability that this Pokémon has is to gather a large number of its brethren to create a much stronger version of itself, the Schooling ability. I never saw that in action however. And even if it’s said that Wishiwashi can activate that ability when endangered, the one I got on the hook today didn’t even bother. What the Pokédex already says points at Wishiwashi’s tears as the best way it has to get a School going, and I’m sure I saw them sparkle as I or other fishermen reeled those Pokémon in. They can get pretty bright underwater, almost as much as a Staryu core. And so, that’s a check on the list of things Wishiwashi needs.

I suppose that what is missing now is other Wishiwashi. Maybe there’s not enough in the water near Cottage Grove, or maybe they’re too far from the coast. Or, something that feels a bit more likely is the case here, it takes some time for the School to really form. The fisherman I met has definitely hinted at the fact that even in the School form, Wishiwashi seem to think with one single brain, either a shared one or the one of the Wishiwashi who first called for help. And well, even their body seems to change slightly when they become a part of the School.

Thinking about it, I’ve seen some fishermen with some Electric types by their side. One had a Chinchou for example, and she’d use it to lure in Pokémon or just stun them once they were hooked in. She never mentioned Wishiwashi when I asked her for more information, but I believe Chinchou could also be used to prevent that Pokémon from calling a whole School - for example, by paralyzing it or stunning it in time. Maybe out there, some could find a Wishiwashi who’s strong and experienced enough to call a huge School in the blink of an eye but… until that day comes, this will be more than enough… hehehe...


Paired with Ninetales and Vulpix 🌸 Moderator of Challenges and Writer's Lounge

Cubeth

Age 22
They / Them
Seen 3 Hours Ago
Posted 3 Hours Ago
2,387 posts
2.9 Years
Jordie "Jo" Hughes
Wednesday, September 23rd
Chapter 3: Part 6 - Fishing Trip Part 3
11:05 - 11:10 Lake Petalburg
The Dewpider is fine, if anything, she was shocked more than she was hurt. Seems like Boo didn't have much of a chance battling against her while he was underwater, which I already figured out when I took him out and saw him all beaten up. When I took her to the Pokémon Center, she was still pretty upset and scared, but she's in all her right to be, baby Boo really did mess up earlier! She's shy, and it seems like it'll take her some time to get used to me and the rest of her teammates, but it happens with most pokémon; I know Gabby took a lot of time to warm up to me when I first caught her and well… you have Boo that moves too much and needs a lot of more discipline. Her name is Dewey, in case you were wondering; it's a cute name, which also works as a diminutive for her species' name.

I stayed in the Pokémon Center using the rest of my free time to gather information about Dewpider so I could have an idea of its moves, abilities, some biology facts to keep in mind like the water bubble, and of course, its evolution, Araquanid, a huge spider Behemoth that traps its prey inside its water bubble to drown it before eating it! Beautiful!

Dewey has the ability Water Bubble, which allows her to resist fire type attacks, and also powers up water type moves; which means she could be pretty good for offense and pretty decent for defense as well despite being, well, a bug. With moves like Aqua Ring, Leech Life and Liquidation being part of her natural movepool, it's exciting just to think about all the stuff she might be able to do in the battlefield!

Yes, I'm keeping this one, if you couldn't already tell.

I'm really excited to train Dewey, but it's already late, which means I have a more important thing to do now, y'see?

This time I have Neon outside his Dusk Ball, I figured he would like being here while I fish for the Slowpoke.

The whole thing doesn't go too differently compared to earlier, y'see? It's still boring as hell. However, there's something about fishing at the sea at night that makes it more soothing than fishing at a lake in the morning. I still can't see myself doing this more often, though.

To my surprise, the bait comes up a lot faster this time. I start reeling in and pulling the rod with all my strength. Whatever I caught this time isn't fighting back, but it sure is heavy.

This must be it! There's no way this isn't a Slowpoke!,’ I think while I focus on staying on my feet and not being dragged away.

My excitement grows even more as the string, while it's pulled out of the water, starts dragging the pokémon I fished, showing its pale snout.

“Yes!,” I shout once I see that the pokémon in question is, in fact, a Slowpoke with its face looking as clueless as I expected it to look.

The pokémon starts fighting back all of a sudden, though, as if it had just reacted to the fact it's being fished up, so I was able to take a look at its face for just a brief moment.

I start being the one who's being pulled instead, while I use all of my strength to reel in and pull the fishing rod away from the water, but it's hard to do it when I can't even get up.

All of a sudden I hear a splash. I take a quick look to my right and see that it was Neon who had jumped to the water.

“Oh come on, not again! Not now!,” I complain, still holding onto the fishing rod fighting the Slowpoke that hasn't given up yet. “I should've brought Maroon instead.” However, immediately after he jumps, a thunderbolt lights up the fishing spot, landing a direct hit at the Slowpoke and shooting it out of the water.

I fall backwards because of the shock and drop the fishing rod as well. At first, I panic because of that, but I sigh in relief once I see half of the Slowpoke's body was on the wooden dock, with the rest slowly making it slide back to the water.

“Oh no, no, no, you're not going anywhere!” I grab the Slowpoke and put it on my legs, where it stops moving and limits itself to look at me, as if it had forgotten all of a sudden it was fighting to not get out of the water.

Before catching it I pick up the fishing rod and start fishing for Neon, but he beats me to it, jumping to the opposite end of the dock and flopping back to where I am.

“That was amazing. Risky, but amazing. Thank you!”
“Muk, muk, muk, muk, muk, muk.”

I don't know how long I've been at this table in the Pokémon Center looking at these two dusk balls. I didn't think about it earlier, but I have seven pokémon now, so I have to transfer one of those and go back to the legal amount of six. Dewey or Boo. Making the choice wouldn't be so difficult if I were not distracted knowing where I would have to transfer them.

So much effort ignoring them and I'm back to them like that all of a sudden. I should've been more careful.

“Good morn- evening, sorry!” The receptionist smiles at me, or more like, at my mistake, but it's not like I can even look at them directly to give it that much importance. “I'd like to transfer a pokémon to a care facility.”

“Sure. I'll need your License data (name and ID) and the facility's name and location.”

“Sure, it's Jordie Hughes, and the ID… here.”

I hand over the license to them, and they start typing it down.

“Jordie Hughes… you have your name linked to a facility already. Nimbasa City's Battle Subway, correct?”

“... Right. I'd like to transfer one pokémon there.”

In the end, I decided to transfer Boo. I know he will be handled with care in the Battle Subway, maybe learn a thing or two, and if I keep traveling with him the way he is now he will just slow me down. Dewey seems to be easier to deal with in that aspect. To be honest, I'm more worried about what will happen tomorrow than what will happen to him there.
Jordie caught a Slowpoke!

Female - Oblivious
Curse / Yawn / Disable / Water Gun / Confusion / Growl

Jordie's Party:


Battle Subway:


Inventory:
Spoiler:
- 23 Dusk Balls
- X-transceiver
- ₽0
- Eviolite
- Aggronite
- Keystone
- Coaching TM

Jo's portrait made with: https://picrew.me/image_maker/1140610/
Discord Moderoid · VPP Thread · Paired to PB

Groc

Age 31
Male
Arizona, USA
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 2 Hours Ago
1,589 posts
11.5 Years
Edison Kintobor, Sunny Dey, Marie Rachelle Mocinno
Thursday, October 1st; morning
Route 103



Ed and Sunny had discussed her Seedot over breakfast, with Ed scanning the little nut with his Pokédex. Sunny was reluctant to share information, no doubt hoping to keep a competitive edge by withholding Seedot's moves from him, but he'd convinced her to show him his moves with a quick battle after breakfast while Marie packed up her cooking gear. Ed had no misconceptions about winning, so Aster had volunteered to be the punching bag again.

The battle was quick, even with Aster's Recover, as Seedot had access to both Mega Drain and Growth, which was at least somewhere to start.

"Growth is even better than Absorb, or Mega Drain in this case. It's already drawing upon the solar energy Seedot stores through photosynthesis, so he already has access to what we're trying to recreate. I'd recommend you start there, Seedot. Use Growth, start getting a feel for the energy within you. I know the sun is hidden behind the clouds right now, but there's still some sunlight around, so you can get some from without as well."

Unsurprisingly, speed wasn't exactly Seedot's strong suit, so Sunny found herself carrying him so he didn't fall behind. Ed didn't mind too much, and found himself walking beside Sunny to observe Seedot's progress. His own team specializes in status effects and debilitating the opponent, so to see a Pokémon focusing on boosting themself is fascinating to watch. Seedot actually increased in size upon using Growth, almost imperceptibly at first, though the change was noticeable upon comparing his base size to after fully maxing out the technique.

Along with the increase in size came an increase in power, and while it didn't affect his speed, Seedot burned through his energy faster.

"You'll have to keep an eye on that in combat." Ed cautions Sunny. "I don't expect he'll be very mobile to begin with, but he'll tire out quickly. Don't push him too hard, and maybe use Mega Drain to restore his energy."

He calls out Aster, telling them to allow Seedot to drain their energy. Aster regards him coldly, although Ed has spent enough time around his Staryu to get a better read on their body language. He lightly pats their top limb as they Recover from the attack. "I know it's not exactly glamorous, but thanks for putting up with all this. I shouldn't keep making you the target during these training exercises, but… your healing abilities are unmatched. You're a great research assistant, Aster. Thank you."

Aster doesn't say anything, but a faint pink glow forms at the edges of their core, almost looking like a blush.

For her part, Sunny looks rather bored of Ed's methods, and keeps looking around impatiently. "This is all very enlightened, and I'm sure it makes sense on paper, but I think we need some real action. Every other move I've taught has been in battle, against an opponent that fights back. We need to let him stretch his legs a little, you know?"

Ed looks at Seedot, who doesn't even have legs. Just feet attached directly to his body. "In case you forgot, this rain is only getting worse." He spreads his arms, the rain drumming against his poncho to emphasize his point. "I doubt we'll find any Pokémon out here to battle against. If they're smart they'd be taking cover until this all blows over."

"We could be smart and do the same, if your guy hasn't figured out how to clear it yet," Marie grumbles from some steps behind. She's gotten quieter as the day has worn on, clearly put out by the dreary weather.

Sunny shakes her head, while Seedot in her arms looks at the ground sadly. Seeing his friends in such a dour mood somehow makes the rain feel even heavier, the droplets hitting harder and the chill growing worse.

"That's probably for the best." Ed starts walking again, making for one of the northern paths. "Let's head this way, we should be able to find some shelter on the rocky path."

His hope was that Seedot would learn the move on the way, but no such luck. Fortune does smile on them in a smaller way, however, as they manage to find a suitable place to rest. Not a true cave, but some standing stones nestled against the side of a hill form a wind break, and stretching Ed's tent over top of the stones allows the three to huddle together in relative dryness.

"This sucks." Sunny complains, pulling her hood down and shivering. Even with the poncho, her clothes and hair are still somewhat wet. She holds Seedot's Poké Ball, giving the little acorn a rest. "Why hasn't he learned the move yet? We're doing exactly what you said, Eddie!"

Ed sighs, lowering his own hood. "You can't just learn something instantly, no matter how much you want it. It's going to take time. Or maybe it's like you said, he needs the adrenaline of combat to unlock it. Every Pokémon learns differently, after all."

"Fine. Then battle me. Fight me for real, and we'll get that adrenaline. I'm tired of this rain!"

Ed frowns slightly, glancing at Marie. Her relative quiet is out of character, and despite his focus being on Seedot and his training, he kept thinking about her. She looks tired, more distant. Is it because of the rain? Something's different about her… she's not wearing her bandana? Maybe he's just not used to seeing her with her hair down. Curious…

He looks back to Sunny, who is staring at him impatiently. "Fine. If it'll make you feel better, I'll battle you. At least one of us will be happy."

Ed leaves the lean-to, grabbing a Ball from his belt. He realizes immediately that he forgot to put his hood back up, the rain plastering his hair to his head. A minor irritation. What's one more?

Sunny follows him out, delayed by not forgetting her hood. Marie keeps to the relative shelter, but a flash of light introduces Pokie to the scene.

Sunny sends out Seedot, looking sternly at Ed. "Now, don't hold back this time. No giving up, no tricks, this has to be real or it doesn't mean anything."

Ed just stares, not sure how to respond. I'm going to assume that's the frustration talking. Clear head, Edison, focus on strategy... He throws the ball, sending out Aster again. "Then we'll do this for real."

Sunny actually rolls her eyes at him. The nerve! "You wouldn't send him out against a Fire type, but you'll send him out against a Grass type? At least this proves Tsu right, he'll cover my weaknesses."

"Your Seedot isn't the only one training, Sunny. I've been working on a new trick. Aster, jump under the tent and use Camouflage!"

Before Sunny can even issue a command, Aster leaps toward the rocks, spinning in the air like a shuriken (unintentionally spraying water on Pokie) and landing on the dry land. Their core flashes white, then they leap back to Ed's side.

"What was that?" Sunny tilts her head in confusion, then shakes it off. "Never mind, just use Bullet Seed!" Seedot waddles forward, tilting forward to aim his cap toward Aster. A rapid stream of tiny seeds launch from the tip of his cap, three short bursts striking Aster as they spin to deflect.

"Step one was neutralizing your advantage. Camouflage changes Aster's type depending on their environment. Out of the rain, devoid of any other features, they became a Normal type. So your Grass attacks aren't so threatening any more. Now, use Swift!"

Aster leaps forward, their core flashing as five white darts of energy form, one on each limb. Imbued with Normal-type energy, the darts are stronger than ever, and fly unerringly into Seedot as Aster spins in mid-air.

Seedot stumbles back, but Sunny catches him. "Easy, little guy. You still got this. Restore some energy with Mega Drain!" Seedot steps forward, acorn cap glowing green as they point threateningly at Aster. Small motes of energy are pulled from their body, drifting toward Seedot.

"Just like before, use Recover." Aster doesn't need to be told twice, having gone through this exact scenario several times today already. "This isn't getting you anywhere, Sunny. Are you just lashing out because you're frustrated?"

"Shut up, Eddie! This was your idea, remember? We wasted all morning trying to learn your way, and when that didn't work-"

"Aster, use Psywave!" A wave of invisible force pushes Seedot back, interrupting Sunny.

"Hey!"

"Are we fighting, or are you going to complain some more? Because if it's the latter, then this is the waste of time!" A crack of thunder rings across the sky, accompanied by a gust of wind that makes their ponchos flutter wildly for a moment. Ed takes a slow breath, clenching and unclenching his hands. "...well? I'm waiting. Make your move."

Sunny bites her lip, looking concerned for a second. Doubt? From Sunny? That's new… But it doesn’t last, and she orders Seedot to use Growth. Seedot hesitates, slumping like a petulant child, but does so, swelling slightly with latent energy.

"Use Bubble Beam, try to trip him up. His strength won't matter if he can't keep up with you." Aster lowers their top limb, projecting a stream of thick bubbles at Seedot. Rain is absorbed into the bubbles, making them swell with additional moisture and thus, additional power. Many pop on impact, but some stick to Seedot, slowing his movements.

Sunny doesn't seem too bothered, though. "Speed's overrated when you have as many ranged options as we do. Hit him with a Leech Seed!" Seedot again aims at Aster, but rather than several small seeds, he launches one larger seed. Aster is fast enough to dodge it, but Sunny isn't easily deterred. "Keep it up, he can't dodge forever!"

"Knock it back with Psywave!" Aster's core flashes, but after moving so quickly, they don't have the energy to push back the seed. The seed bursts on impact, wrapping Aster in vines. They jump up, spinning in place in an attempt to dislodge the vines, but they grow too quickly, fed by Aster's own energy. Extra energy flows off the vines and into Seedot, healing him a little.

"Heal from that, Eddie!" Sunny taunts, but Ed isn't having it.

"You know that they can. Their healing powers are stronger than Seedot's, especially without the type advantage. You've turned this into a battle of attrition."

"And it's not a battle I intend to lose! Use Growth again!" Seedot draws on more energy, and the seed saps more from Aster to restore what was lost.

Ed puts his hand to his chin. While Aster can heal more with Recover, they have to stop fighting to do so. Seedot can still inflict damage, and between Mega Drain and Leech Seed the damage output almost matches what Aster can heal. Aster could allow themselves to be drained beyond what can be healed all at once, but would the extra attack make that much of a difference? And Seedot isn't even at his limit. If Sunny allows him to use Growth again, her victory is all but certain.

He could try Confuse Ray, that would buy him some time… but it also defeats the purpose of this exercise. Seedot won't learn anything if he's too addled by Aster's eerie light to even see straight. Much as it pains him to admit it, Ed knows he's lost. And it must show on his face, because Sunny yells at him.

"Eddie, what are you doing? I said you're not allowed to quit! Come on, show me what you got!"

Ed shakes his head, suddenly feeling exhausted. His neck feels sore, why would that happen? "Sorry, Sunny. I just don't see a way out of this. Not unless I… well. I just don't."

"Unless what? You have an idea?" Sunny stomps her foot, making a splash in the puddle forming around her. "You're holding back again? You're going easy on me? Why, Ed? Do you know how belittling that is?"

"Because the whole point of this was to make you stronger!" Ed snaps back, his temper finally getting the better of him. "And the only way I can beat you is to make you weaker! And that is just counterproductive, inefficient, and a waste of time! And I know how much you hate that."

"Fine! Then do it! I'd rather you make me weaker and actually fight on equal terms for once, instead of you making yourself weaker because you think you need to… what? Protect me? You think you're helping me? Why can't you just make sense? You say I'm better but you act like I don't know what I'm doing!"

Aster tries to get Ed's attention, their core flashing red in distress, but Ed swipes a hand at them. "Not now!" His gaze never leaves Sunny's, an intense staring contest with emotions high and nerves frayed. "Half the time I don't think you do! You're always going off half-cocked, you never bother to plan or prepare, and you expect me to do all the heavy lifting, mentally speaking, without giving me adequate time to process or recover! I'm not like you, I don't just do things! And to expect otherwise, especially after all this time, is just ludicrous!"

"So now it's my fault! Again! Well you know what, Edison?"

"What, Son-"

"AAH!" Aster cries out, the last of their energy sapped by Leech Seed. They collapse, the light of their core reduced to a barely visible glow. The vines crumble to dust, unable to sustain themselves any further.

Both trainers look at their Pokémon, having been too caught up in their argument to realize the battle of attrition was partially autonomous. Ed recalls Aster to their ball, looking at it in shock. Sunny bends down to pick up Seedot, looking burned out.

"You… you did good, Jalapeño. Good fight." Seedot chirps happily, nestling up to Sunny.

Ed just turns away, tucking Aster's ball back into his pocket. He puts up his hood, accidentally pouring more water on his head in the process, shaking out his hair to clear the droplets. "Hope that helped. You won't have Aster to train with for a while, they need to rest."

Sunny scans Seedot- Jalapeño, apparently- with her Pokédex. "Hey! He did! I told you it'd work if we just trained my way!"

Ed sighs. Mission accomplished, but now Sunny's going to be even more obnoxious about it. "He won't be able to keep it up for long, though. Give it a try, and we'll move on." He lowers his goggles over his eyes, not wanting to make eye contact right now. Not after his outburst at Sunny. He's just too tired.

"Sure. Okay, ready? Use Sunny Day!" Jalapeño squints as energy gathers in his core, a glowing bead forming atop his cap. He launches it up, it rapidly expands, and a miniature sun hovers over the group. The rain vanishes in a 20-foot radius around Sunny, though it's falling just as hard outside the circle. "Hey, Eddie? How long does this last?"

Ed walks past her, starting to untie his tent. He pauses, noticing Marie and Pokie still underneath it, quietly but intensely surveying him. "Oh. Um… we can wait if you're not ready…"

Marie shakes her head. "We can go." She's still quiet.

Ed looks at Sunny, who frowns at being ignored. "I'm not sure. This will be a good way to find out, though. In battle, it usually lasts less than a minute, though I've seen some last longer. I once saw a Sandstorm last for… nevermind."

Sunny scoffs. "Thanks, Eddie. You're real helpful."

That's rude. But he ignores it for now. At least she's not complaining anymore. "In any case, the worst should be behind us soon. It'll start getting lighter again soon if the weather report is accurate. Should be clear by nightfall, if not dry."

"Then I'll just Sunny the area before we set up camp later! You can count on me!" Sunny grins.

Once everyone is ready and everything is packed up, the trio set out once more, with Sunny in the lead and Ed walking behind. Marie hovers in the middle for a while, but eventually falls back and into step with Ed.

"...Are you okay?" she asks, hesitantly, as if she's not sure it's the right thing to say.

"I… I'll be fine." He doesn't look at her, just keeps his head down. He doesn't want to talk about it, but he also doesn't want her to worry. "I shouldn't have yelled at her. Normally I'm better about keeping everything in check."

Marie hums. "Are you going to keep everything 'in check' forever? She has to know how you feel at some point."

Ed wants to deny that, say that it wouldn't help. But Marie has been very insightful before, and seems more knowledgeable than he is on this subject. "Maybe, but things have gotten complicated lately, and I need to figure out why. I'm no good to anyone if I'm going to blow up at them, or can't even think straight."

"So what can be done to help you figure it out? Or at least think straight, I suppose."

"Okay, well… you know I've been feeling frustrated lately, and I suppose that it was advantageous that Sunny and I came this way together. Specifically, meeting up with you. But now… I think I need some time apart from her. She insisted we take this route together, but after? I hear Mauport has two distinct roads leading to Mauville. Whatever road she wants to take, I'll go the other one."

"Oh." Marie lets a beat pass, and then: "And what will you do with time apart from her?"

What will he do? "I think I'll get back to why I started this journey in the first place. Not for the Gyms, or for getting to the next town, I think I'll explore a little. Maybe go looking for Pokémon. Not to battle or to train, but just to see what I can find. I don't know. I'm just… feeling drained lately, I need something to help me recharge, something stimulating."

"I suppose you're the type that recharges better alone, hm?" There's a hint of disappointment in Marie's voice. "There's not much that can be done about that right now, unfortunately. Or is there? What would you do here if you were on your own?"

"Here? I'd find shelter from this rain. I wouldn't be walking in a straight line along this road. There are dozens of little hiding spots, in the trees down there, in those rocks farther away, and I feel like we're missing all of them. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate a plan of action, but Sunny's plans leave little room to improvise. And I could probably do that better alone, you are correct." It's an odd feeling, but saying that out loud almost makes him sad. How bizarre.

"Why do you have to stick to Sunny's plan right now?"

"Um… well, I can't just leave, can I?"

"Why not?" Marie shrugs, though it's hard to tell under her poncho. "What happens if you say 'I'm going to go check out those rocks over there'?"

"I, I don't know. I don't want to hold her up, I can ask if she wants to…" He trails off, feeling oddly flustered and a bit nervous suddenly. Why does Marie have to ask such hard questions?

"But you want to, right? Why does Sunny get what she wants but you don't?"

"Well… that's just… I mean, I've always… do you want to?" He can't find the words, and looks to Marie hopefully.

"Why does it matter?" Her lips quirk up to flash him a challenging smile.

"I don't want to slow you down, either. I mean, if you want I'll go with you, but we don't need to go there if you don't."

"Edison. Two things. One: why do you think I'm in a hurry? Two: if someone really wants to travel with you, why do you think they will leave because of a detour or several?"

"You're not in a hurry, I didn't mean to say that you are, I just… we're already going one way, I didn't think you'd… I don't know?"

Marie shakes her head, water rolling down the hood of her poncho. "Hey, Sunny!" she calls up to their leader. "Edison wants to go see if there's anything in that pile of rocks."

"No, what are you- it was an example I don't actually-!" Ed protests, but cuts himself short when Sunny actually comes over.

"Did you see something? Because honestly, it's been pretty dull so far. What did you see?" She looks over toward the rocks, squinting against the rain.

"Oh, no, it was just… I thought it looked more dry over there, maybe there was something taking shelter? I was just making small talk, I didn't actually see anything…"

"Oh." Sunny looks disappointed. "We can go look if you want, maybe we'll find something."

"If I…?" Why is this his decision now? He looks between the two, Sunny slowly starting to frown and Marie watching him expectantly. "If… you two don't mind? Just a quick peek. Change of scenery, right?"

"Sunny just said she didn't mind, didn't she?" Marie gently rebukes. "Let's give it a try, shall we?"

"Right! Let's go have a look." When neither girl steps forward, instead just watching him, he starts walking over, feeling stiff and incredibly self-conscious the whole way. He vaguely regrets pointing out these particular rocks, and can't help but dread how foolish he'll look if there's nothing there.

But, to his surprise, he does find something. A hole in the ground, about two feet wide, which looks to have been recently reinforced around the edges to keep the rain out. But with the clouds, there isn't enough light to see inside. He could fit his arm in there, but that would be reckless and potentially hazardous if something is living in there. "Looks like something is or was living here! Can I get a light, please?"

Almost immediately, two devices with flashlights switched on are shoved into his personal space- Marie's vibrant green PokéGear and Sunny's familiar Holotch. He recoils slightly in surprise, lifting his goggles off of his face. "Thank you. Just need to shine the light into the hole…"

He hesitates, then grabs the PokéGear from Marie. With the added light, he can see the hole goes down at a slight angle, curving slightly out of sight. "It curves, I can't quite see…" He hears shuffling, as something moves around inside the burrow. He pauses to turn the light off before handing Marie back her device. "There's something in there. We don't want to disturb it, do we?"

As though answering his question, Sunny grabs a stick from the ground, grinning as she brandishes it towards the hole. "Let's get its attention! I wonder what kind of Pokémon it is…"

"Sunny, no…" Ed moves to stop her, just as more shuffling is heard and a curious nose sticks out from the burrow, sniffing the air cautiously. It slowly advances, revealing more of its face as it shows itself to be a Furret.

"Aww, it's so cute!" Sunny gasps, tossing Jalapeño toward the burrow. "Let's battle it!"

"At least let it leave its house, first!" Ed protests, but stays where he is so he doesn't spook Furret. "And isn't he still tired from training?"

"He's fine! Besides, I don't want to send anyone else against a Ground type. Covering my weaknesses!" She pumps her fist in the air with confidence.

"Ground type?" Marie murmurs. "That's just a regular Furret."

Sunny freezes, slowly lowering her arm. "Yes… but it lives underground, so… it might know Dig. Or other Ground moves. So… shut up."

Marie shrugs. "Sure. Whatever you try- Sunny Day it up, Sunny Dey, it's still raining."

"Don't tell me how to fight, Marie. I know what to do. Start with Sunny Day!" Jalapeño does as instructed, clearing an area around the burrow of rain. Furret seems a little tense, but slowly emerges from its burrow, smiling at the warmth of the artificial sun.

Furret is much larger up close than Ed had thought. He glances away from the… not fight, as Furret hasn't yet shown any signs of hostility, but towards the burrow. Furret is almost the exact width of the entrance, slightly narrower, but it would have mostly filled the hole. So why does he still hear movement inside?

"Sunny, might I suggest using Growth? Sunny Day doubles its effects."

"It does? I mean, yeah, of course it does! It's like getting an extra turn for free! Growth it up, Jalapeño!"

Furret actually seems concerned now, even looking at Ed. When it sees him move closer to the burrow, it hisses at him, revealing tiny fangs and canine teeth. That makes sense, they're carnivores primarily. Supplemented by fruits and such, but still… those look sharp.

"Easy, little one. We don't want to fight you. Well, I don't. You don't have to be scared." He slowly reaches forward, putting a hand on Furret's head.

*CHOMP*

Yep. Those teeth are sharp.

Ed stumbles back, Furret still latched onto his hand. He winces in pain, resisting the urge to flail his arm around. He can hear his heartbeat in his ears, drowning out his friends' voices. Furret suddenly lets go as a stream of Bullet Seeds slam into it, pushing it away from Ed. He looks at his hand, which is bleeding from several needle-sized bite marks on the area between his thumb and index finger. Suddenly a pair of brown hands are covering most of his, gently angling the bite toward the owner's eyes for inspection.

"And what exactly did you hope to achieve there, Edison?" Marie's words are casual, but there's a slight waver to her voice and her eyes warily flick from his hand to the Furret now occupied with Jalapeño and Sunny.

Ed chuckles at the question. He can already feel the pain receding and his hand numbing. What a rush! "I thought it would be friendly! They're always so cute and happy looking. I've never seen their teeth before, but now I can see the bite marks!"

His laugh fades to just giggles as he looks over to the fight. Sunny isn't doing very well. Furret is much faster than Jalapeño, and keeps dodging his attacks, striking whenever Sunny stops to think of a strategy. It seems to just want them to leave.

"We should step back. I think it has family in the burrow. It's only fighting to keep us away from the entrance."

Marie pulls him back, to the edge of where the artificial sun staves off the rain, but seems unwilling to get wet again.

"You too, Sunny!" Ed calls out to her, but she shakes her head.

"I think I got him figured out now. I can win this!"

"Sunny, its not trying to fight you, it just wants you to leave!" Ed sighs, but a rumble of distant thunder gives him an idea. "If it knocks out Jalapeño, the sun goes away and we get rained on again!"

Sunny pauses at that, looking at the Sunny Day orb. Furret stops attacking, but watches warily. "Fine! But we're calling it a draw."

She grabs Jalapeño, coming over to Ed and Marie. The circle of sunlight travels with her, and Furret dives back into its burrow before the rain can hit it.

Marie tugs at Ed's injured hand. "Do you have a first aid kit? Hand sanitizer? A bottle of vodka?"

"I don't- Well, yes, do you not? Wait, what?" Ed answers all of Marie's questions, though slightly confused.

"We have to disinfect this, yes? And probably bandage. You don't know how filthy that thing's mouth is."

"Probably extremely, it is a wild animal after all." Ed rummages through his pockets with his free hand, since Marie won't let go of the other. "Here we are, sanitizer. I'll see about a proper first aid kit when I get to town."

Marie takes the hand sanitizer and hesitates. "No bandages on any of us?"

"I used to have a handkerchief, but I left it back in Kinyo. Unfortunately, I never restocked." Ed smiles ruefully, while Sunny just shakes her head. "I could tear a scrap off my shirt?"

"Oh, no, that would be silly. Here." Marie flips back the hood of her poncho and pulls out the ends of her hair, which falls fully loose around her shoulders when she undoes the tightly folded bandana she had been using as a scrunchie. She unfolds it quickly and turns it to the clean side, applying the sanitizer and gently wiping away the blood on Ed's hand. "And I think we can- yes, this will wrap up decently, won't it?"

Ed winces at the touch of sanitizer, instinctively pulling away, but Marie keeps a firm grip. "Ahh… the burning means it's working…" He resists pulling away again, letting Marie tend to his wound, Sunny grabbing his shoulders gently to offer moral support.

He's cleaned up in no time, Sunny even reusing Sunny Day to keep the rain off them for a little bit longer. With the soft yellow bandana tied tightly around his hand, Ed slowly flexes his fingers, making sure there isn't any permanent damage. "Thank you. That was a bad plan."

"But we did find something." Marie smiles as she tucks her hair back into the hood of her poncho.

"Yeah! And it was really strong, and really exciting! Not you getting bit, though. Don't scare me like that!" Sunny swats his arm, but smiles at him.

"I suppose we did. And it was fun, even with this… setback." An idea hits him, and he's suddenly excited. "But you know, I wasn't aware that Furret lived around here! We should keep an eye out for any more, I could write a report to Professor Brendan about them!"

"That's far too much enthusiasm for our homework, thank you," Marie sniffs. "But as long as you don't try to pet any more, we can have a look around."

"Oh, there's no need for that. I have more than enough evidence already! Come on, let's see what we can find!" Out of his funk and back in his element, Ed leads the way forward, alert for any indicators of his quarry.

A joint post between Groc and Aquacorde.

Aquacorde

the more we love, the more we learn // the more we love, the more we BURN 🔥

Age 28
she/her/he/him
Ankh-Morpork
Seen 2 Hours Ago
Posted 6 Days Ago
11,458 posts
17.4 Years

AGE: 17 ⟡ HOME REGION: Johto
DATE: Thursday, October 1 ⟡ TIME: Night
LOCATION: Route 103

Chapter 4 #16 - Closer

"It's really very stuffy in here, don't you think?"

Marie's rented tent is designed for two people, not three. Edison's presence atop the girls' sleeping bags is not unwelcome, especially since he is doing a good portion of the legwork for their shared-data-but-separate-summation reports on Furret, but the fact remains that they are one medium and two tall teenagers in a very un-breathable tent on a damp night.

Sunny pouts as she sits by the door, arms around her legs with her knees up in her chest. "It's still damp and cold out there. You expect me to just wait outside all night?"

Edison sighs, lowering Sunny's Holotch. With his still not working, he'd commandeered hers for the report. "If you'd like, you could go sit in my tent. I'm not exactly using it at the moment, and it might make this all go a little faster if we could more efficiently use the space."

"I have a book you can read, if you like," Marie offers. She has no idea if Sunny is into cheap romance novels, but she still has one on her. And the tiny little clip-on light she'd bought at that same bookstand in Slateport.

Sunny doesn't move, she just stares them both down. But either she gets bored or just outnumbered, because she soon relents. "Ugh, fine. I'll give it a try. Just come get me when you're done." She reaches out for the book, one more limb in a space already too crowded, sparing one last glance before leaving. The soft sound of a zipper marks her arrival at the single-size tent.

"...she'll be fine." Edison shakes his head, focusing again on the screen. "She'll have to be."

Marie nods. That's what she'd been getting at earlier, after all. Seems like Edison might be getting used to the idea. "Now what were you saying about the one's tail markings?"

⟡ ⟡ ⟡

Compiling data takes forever, and it's past even Marie's usual bedtime when they both add the finishing touches to their reports- Marie's absorbing the overabundance of words Edison needed to cut down. Some of them, anyway. He's quite excited about it all and while it's very cute, it's far more than what Brendan wants.

Marie flops back onto her sleeping bag, loose hair splayed across a good portion of the tent. She always forgets that when it grows past a certain length, the weight of it kills her curls and makes it look so much longer. The bandanas don't look right anymore, which is why she had no problem giving one to Edison, but she still doesn't know what to do with them or her hair now.

It occurs to her that she's spacing out, and Edison is saying something. "...tell her she can come back. Good night, Marie." He steps outside, zipping the tent shut behind him.

"Hm? Oh, yes, goodnight." Bedtime. Yes. Switching clothes. That has to be done.

Her nightshirt is easy to find, and right after she kicks off her pants, the tent rustles again as someone fumbles with the zip. "Welcome back," she hums, but…

"Sorry, she's already asleep. Do you mind if…" Edison stops suddenly, looking away from Marie's legs. "Ah. Um… I'll just wait out here, then."

"Huh? No, I'm done changing. Do come in. She's asleep?"

He pauses for a moment, but hurries in after a cold breeze flutters through the flap. "Yes, and she's a heavy sleeper. I didn't want to wake her, so I just left her phone and came back here. I… hope that's okay?"

"Yes, of course. You have to sleep somewhere; may as well be in the most comfortable place." Marie unzips her own sleeping bag and slowly slides her legs in one after the other. It's fun to fluster people. Edison is, of course, no exception.

Edison distracts himself with his own clothes. He'd already changed into lighter pants, but he quickly undoes the buttons on his shirt, removing it and putting it by his shoes. Climbing into Sunny's bag, he finds it slightly too short, his bare shoulders still sticking out. "Yes, this is better than outside. Thank you."

"Any time, Edison." Marie finally switches the flashlight off on her phone and plunges them into darkness. "Sleep well!"

"You as well, Marie. Pleasant dreams."

Marie smiles to herself, and rather hopes she doesn't dream of Sunny kicking down their tent in a possessive rage.

⟡ ⟡ ⟡

Exploring the northern path of Route 103, I located a burrow hidden among some rocks, which ended up being home to at least one Furret. It seemed curious at the light and voices of my friends and I, and came out to investigate. Initially it wasn't aggressive, and seemed curious about our Pokémon and the light of Sunny Day, but defended its home when we got too close. Its teeth were very sharp, and it held on quite firmly, despite its battle style favoring speed and mobility. By sound, we determined there to be more than one Pokémon inside the burrow, despite not seeing any others. Perhaps the Sentret scouts were taking shelter from the rain?

After leaving the first den, we continued forward, even finding other burrows, made easier by the presence of Sentret. There were more Sentret than Furret, but a notable lack of pairs. Even with multiple Furret, there was occasionally an uneven number of males and females, all living in a sort of communal den. They showed no hostility unless the young were approached, we sent out our own Pokémon, or most bizarrely, they were offered food. Unfortunately, we were unable to continue observing them for long, as they retreated back into their burrows as the day went on, suggesting they are less active at night.

This did give us an opportunity to approach their dens, however. We observed Sentret keeping watch in shifts, and using Supersonic we detected multiple Sentret, roughly three per Furret, lying down with their parents wrapped around them, presumably for warmth. Unfortunately, Supersonic angered the Furret and we had to leave shortly after gaining this information. It will be difficult to observe them inside their homes, but physical interaction is likely possible as long as they aren't provoked, though I am told that I am not allowed to attempt this.


⟡ ⟡ ⟡

The first Furret we found on Route 103 was hiding from the rain in a den sheltered by some rocks, some ways off the northern path. It had very sharp teeth and I was told it was defending its burrow because it had family inside. I didn't see any of them, but we assume they were young Sentret. After that, we decided to see how many more we could find. It was easier after the rain let up part way through the afternoon.

There were a lot of Sentret, but not as many Furret. Sometimes there were multiple per den, but it didn't seem like a male-and-female parental situation. We weren't able to gather much information about how many were underground, because they got very angry when we attempted analysis using Supersonic. They also were offended at the food we offered to them. As it got less rainy, we did see quite a few Sentret keeping watch, though we are not sure which family units they belonged to. There must be several units near each other, as they would scatter different directions if startled. They also thumped their tails on the ground, which I read is a way of warning others of their group that there is danger nearby- they only did this when we had our own Pokémon out. We chose to keep a healthy distance and retreat quickly when they were upset, as not to suffer any more bites, though the Furret's speed made a few encounters rather close for us.

We had trouble seeking them out as it got later. It may be that they are less active at night, or that we moved out of their territory as we progressed. I officially counted at least twenty Sentret and seven Furret, but I lost count and gave up before we were done seeking them out. My apologies. Perhaps an appropriate estimate would be forty and fifteen, though I am unsure how many Sentret may have been accounted for multiple times.


⟡ ⟡ ⟡

Hey Edison!
Be careful when interacting with wild Pokémon! I'm sure you know this, but sometimes reminders do a body good. It's likely that the Furret were defending their homes and young from perceived threats- food included. Some Pokémon are more mistrusting than others about being given food, especially ones that have been traditionally considered "pests". Unfortunately, there is a history of humans using food to either gain trust and trap or simply poison certain species, and those species remember.

Using sonar was a great idea to "see" inside their dens, but a full Supersonic may have been a little over the top. You could potentially fine-tune that move in order to give the desired result- keep trying! But just in case it goes poorly- I'll send along some Persim berries. I only have five on hand, but they'll have to do. Keep up the good work!

Cheers,
Brendan Birch

⟡ ⟡ ⟡

Hey Marie!
Please be careful when interacting with wild Pokémon. Some Pokémon are particularly wary of humans and human-offered food, due to an unfortunate history of human-led culling of certain species. Try to be aware of which species may be hostile, and protect yourself and your friends- ideally by removing yourself from the situation. There are often far more Pokémon around than you may notice.

I have a pair of items that may help in situations like that- two toys known as "Fluffy Tails". They are designed to distract Pokémon, particularly carnivores, by making them think easy prey is nearby. Just throw it into a group and run away, if you're ever in trouble. Stay safe!

Cheers,
Brendan Birch

featuring Groc as Edison Kintobor + Sunny Dey


Spoiler: Team
Pokémon On Hand
Tuie ⟡ Natu ⟡ Female ⟡ Magic Bounce ⟡
Peck // Teleport // Stored Power // Cosmic Power // Ominous Wind // Confuse Ray

Stunnie ⟡ Stunfisk ⟡ Male ⟡ Static ⟡
Sucker Punch // Mud Shot // Thundershock // Discharge // Water Gun // Mud Sport // Charge

Cutie ⟡ Alolan Exeggutor ⟡ Male ⟡ Frisk ⟡
Bullet Seed // Hypnosis // Reflect // Leech Seed // Dragon Hammer // Barrage

Pokie ⟡ Slowpoke ⟡ Male ⟡ Own Tempo ⟡
Disable // Confusion // Yawn // Water Pulse // Growl // Curse
Spoiler: Inventory
Trainers' License [Johto and Hoenn] ⟡
$5,000 ⟡
Knuckle Badge ⟡
Dell Badge ⟡
TM Magical Leaf ⟡
Empty PokéBalls x 3 ⟡
5x Chesto Berries ⟡
2x Fluffy Tail ⟡

Sunscreen ⟡
Berry-Print Bikini ⟡
Beach Towel ⟡
Oversized Sunglasses ⟡
Large But Lightweight Backpack ⟡
Rechargeable Battery + Charging Port Housing ⟡
Lidded Pot, Dishes, Chopsticks, Spoon ⟡
Camp Stove ⟡
Soap, Washcloth, Towel ⟡
Spoiler: Contacts
Dad ⟡
Mom ⟡
Brothers #1, #2, and #3 ⟡
Brawly ⟡
Brendan ⟡
Edison ⟡
Natsuko (via insta) ⟡
Sunny (via twitter) ⟡
Van ⟡
Wally ⟡

Groc

Age 31
Male
Arizona, USA
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 2 Hours Ago
1,589 posts
11.5 Years
Sunny Dey, Marie Rachelle Mocinno, Edison Kintobor
Friday, October 2nd; morning
Route 103



"Up with the sun" is a ridiculous phrase. The sun rises just fine, it doesn't need encouragement. And anyone who'd be up that early is clearly crazy, and the sun should get a better cheering squad than those lunatics.

That's what Sunny would be thinking, but it's expressed much less eloquently, as a garbled utterance of "mmmmm… I don' wanna…"

Her pillow isn't very comfortable, either. Too big and lumpy, who made this thing? She finally opens her eyes to glare at the pillow, only to see she's cradling a backpack. Eddie's backpack.

This is Eddie's tent. Which means he's still…

She bolts upright, eyes wide and hair all messy, and dives for the tent flap. She struggles with it for a moment before she finds the zipper, stumbling out into the light of the morning. Ed and Marie are already up and about, so she scowls at them both. "What the hell, guys? I waited for you, why didn't you tell me when you were done?"

"Edison did try," Marie says.

"Good morning to you, too." Eddie rises from his spot, heading toward his tent. "I didn't want to wake you, so I let you sleep and I took your spot. I'm going to get dressed, you should too."

Sunny notices he's still wearing his clothes from last night, though his shirt is unbuttoned. She's never seen him so casually dressed, or rather undressed, around other people. She looks between him and Marie as he disappears into his tent. "Am I missing something here? Is there… something between you two?"

"A few feet, usually. Aside from last night, I suppose." Marie's light laugh grates on her nerves.

"That's not funny." Sunny stomps her foot, refusing to look at Marie. "It's not fair. Why is he so different around you, and why is he pushing me away? He's supposed to be my…" She stops, not entirely sure what she's about to say. My what? What are we, anyway?

Marie tilts her head. "If he's different with me, I wouldn't be able to tell. Would I? What's he supposed to be doing that he's not? Or not doing that he's supposed to?"

Sunny pouts as she looks away from Marie, then sighs. "He's… so casual lately. He's usually so formal, so uptight. It's… adorable, really. I always had to drag him out of his shell, but now… he's out there on his own, and he doesn't want me around anymore." She sits down, hugging her knees to her chest again.

Marie alternates between watching Sunny and watching whatever is on her camp stove. "I suppose he's changing. That's not a bad thing. Why do you think he doesn't want you around anymore?"

"Because of you." She glares at Marie, but there's no energy behind it. "He just gets mad at me, and he's either off by himself or he's with you."

"So it's because of me that he gets mad at you?" Marie quirks an eyebrow at her. "I don't see your reasoning."

"No, that's not… I don't know anymore. I thought things would be different, and they are, and now I don't like it. That crazy Professor lady in the woods got my head all twisted, and I don't know what I'm supposed to do, and I'm losing the one person who can help me figure this stuff out! And… I guess I'm blaming you because you're close by."

"Well, I'm glad you recognize that much. Talking it out helps, doesn't it?"

"...I guess." She smiles at Marie. "Thanks for listening."

"I'm not mad at you, Sunny." Eddie's voice startles her, and she looks back to see him standing by his tent.

"Huh wha-? Eddie? How much did you hear?"

He shakes his head, gesturing to the distance between them. "You're sitting five feet from my tent. I heard everything."

"Oh…" Sunny looks away, slightly embarrassed now. Damn it, what did I say? I didn't say anything embarrassing, did I? She frantically goes over the conversation again in her head, but is distracted when Ed puts a hand on her shoulder.

"Yes, I got mad yesterday. And before that, too. But only because I don't like who you're becoming, Sunny. You're still my best friend, but I don't know why you're pushing yourself so hard, or why you're trying to drag me with you. And if you don't know, either? Maybe it's time to stop."

Her heart sinks into her stomach at his words, and his disappointed tone. "What do you mean? Stop what?"

"Stop… well. Stop traveling together, for starters. I think we should spend some time apart."

"Wait, you're leaving me?" Sunny jumps up, throwing herself at Ed and almost knocking him over. "That's not fair, you can't just do this, what about all the times we've had together?"

"Sunny, stop being dramatic!" Ed pushes on her shoulders, making her stand on her own. "I just think some time apart would be good for us. You said it yourself, your head is all twisted. Take some time to figure out what you're doing, what you want and all that, and maybe just take a break. I know I need one. You're running yourself into the ground over… what? Some badges?"

"Well… I mean, isn't that why we're here?"

"It's not why I'm here. And look where it's got you." He ducks into his tent, pulling out Sunny's jacket. Did I leave that in there? Did he go through my stuff?!

"You worked yourself into a frenzy getting ready to fight Merry. You almost stole Tsu’s Pokémon. And you didn't even win. You beat Benji because you knew what you wanted. You haven't won a single badge since." He tosses her jacket to her, her one badge pinned to the inside.

"Eddie… you shouldn't have gone through my stuff." She glares at him, dropping her jacket to the ground.

"Sunny, I don't like seeing you like this. Please, just think about what we've said? Just…figure it out. You don't need me to do that for you."

Sunny looks away from him, then quickly steps up and hugs him. Eddie tenses, but only for a moment. "We're still friends?"

"Of course we are. Even if you're a pain in my neck, I'll have your back."

Sunny smiles. "Thanks, Eddie." Then she punches him in the arm and walks over to her jacket.

"Ow! Why?" Ed rubs his arm gingerly, more shocked than angry.

"That's for getting into my stuff!" She sticks out her tongue at him, throwing her coat over her shoulders.

"Go change! You can't wear the same clothes you wore yesterday!" He starts taking down his tent while Sunny goes over to Marie's.

"I knew you were listening," she hears Marie say smugly.

"It wasn’t difficult." Eddie replies. "And she was being refreshingly honest for a change. I'm glad she was able to figure all that out. It'll be good for her."

Sunny hmph's as she digs through her bag. They have to know she can hear them, right? Kind of rude for them to talk about her like that. But it's whatever. They said it would only be a couple days out here, she'll be in Mauville before nightfall…

🎒 🎒 Later...🎒 🎒

"Wait, Mauport?!"

After packing everything up, the teenage trio again resumed walking, eventually making their way to the intersection of Routes 103 and 110. Ahead, Ranger check-in stations lead the way to the natural land bridge, while the man-made Mauport Bridge crosses overhead.

"Well, a town's a town, I guess. At least we'll have a place to stay the night." Sunny starts moving toward the bridge.

"Um...actually?" Eddie speaks up, not following her. "I want to check out the lower path. So I'm not going to town."

"What?" Sunny looks back at him in surprise. "Eddie, we just spent two nights camping out! You want to keep going? You hate the wilderness!"

"No, I don't. I may prefer being inside, but this is my chance to explore. It's a regulated route with limited Trainer activity, and a large population of wild Pokémon to observe. It's just what I've been wanting."

"But… Marie?" Sunny turns to her. "That doesn't sound fun to you, does it?"

"Unfortunately, I'm rather tired of camping at the moment. I suppose I'd rather take the high road here."

"There, see?" Sunny nods, glad that's settled.

"That's fine. It's been fun, and I'll see you both ahead, right?" Eddie smiles at them, leaving Sunny flustered again.

"Wha… you're really doing this? You're actually going down there? ...fine. I don't like it, but I'll come-"

"No." With one word, Ed stops Sunny in her tracks. "You wanted to go to the town, right? Then go. We talked about this, Sunny. About each doing what we want, even if we split up. I want to go this way, you want to go the other. You can tell me all about it later."

"But…" She tries to complain, but knows he's right. "Fine. I'll go this way and have an awesome adventure in town. You go have your little field trip. Try not to get bored!"

"That's the spirit." Ed pats her on the head, and she swings at him, but he dodges her fist.

"Just don't get lost, okay? If I have to come find you, I'm kicking your ass."

"Looking forward to it." Eddie steps back with a slight bow, then turns to Marie. "It's been fun traveling with you, Marie. Thanks again for last night."

"Oh, you're welcome anytime," she replies with a coy smile. "Sooner rather than later, I hope. Call me up when you get your new Holotch, will you?"

"Right. I'll do that. I still have your number." He turns away, heading off toward the Ranger station.

"Bye Eddie!" Sunny waves after him, then looks to Marie. "'Thanks for last night'? What's that all about?"

"I don't kiss and tell." Marie's wink is accompanied by a finger to her lips, and she uses those long legs to stride away before Sunny can properly retaliate.

"Kiss?!" She looks over toward Eddie, but he's already out of sight. She instead chases after Marie, heading towards Mauport. "Hey! Get back here!"


A joint post between Groc and Aquacorde.

Groc

Age 31
Male
Arizona, USA
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 2 Hours Ago
1,589 posts
11.5 Years
Natsuko Soyokaze
Thursday, October 1st; midday
Route 103



Rain always made Tsu feel lonely. Her parents didn't like her going out if it was raining, said it was too dangerous. But they never let that stop them from going to work, which left Tsu by herself. Having Pokémon would have helped, but Shiny doesn't like the rain any more than she likes being inside. No word from Cyrano how he feels about rain, but he doesn't like walking, and Rip doesn't mind, but Tsu is concerned he'll run off and she's concerned she might slip if she has to chase him. Stacy always liked the rain, but with her size...

But Tsu had decided she wasn't going to let that stop her anymore. She was initially concerned that Stacy would have trouble on land, not sure if she'd have to slither like a snake or flop like a fish to move around. But apparently, Stacy's history of resting on the ground was simply a lack of motivation, because she's actually flying right now. It's a little surreal, seeing the massive serpent floating a few feet off the ground, twisting and swimming through the air with a massive grin on her massive face.

"You're really loving this, aren't you?" Tsu happily calls out. She's sure that Edison or Sir Bill would smugly remind her that Gyarados are part Flying type, but to actually see it is a whole other experience. Speaking of which, she pulls out her camera, getting some pictures.

Stacy comes in for a close-up, swirling around Tsu and splashing her with water. "Hey!" Tsu protests, laughing. Hoenn rain is different from Kanto rain. It's light, and warm, and not at all dreary like the rain she'd see in Celadon. "Go for distance, I want more of you in the shot!"

Stacy races off toward the trees, diving towards the ground to skim the surface, causing ripples in various puddles she passes over. She Splashes down into a particularly wide one, roaring loudly with pleasure. It makes for a great shot, although it sends several smaller Pokémon scurrying out of the trees in panic.

A stream of ropey silk bursts from the trees, striking Stacy in the face. Her happy grin is immediately replaced by an angry glare as she looks for the culprit. Her eyes focus on something, Leering furiously at whatever hapless Bug dared to String Shot her. Coupled with her Intimidate Ability, the poor creature probably regrets its actions.

"Uh-oh..." Tsu hurries toward the trees, taking care not to slip on the wet and uneven terrain. Wasn't she concerned about Riptide doing exactly this? "Stacy, wait! You can't just charge in after it!"

Stacy charges in after it. Tsu hears a frightened squeak, followed by a terrible crunching sound as Stacy tears through the little copse, ripping branches off and making whole trees shudder as she slams into them.

"Duchess, you get back here this instant!" Tsu chases after Stacy, who lands on the ground with a soft *whump*. Tsu catches up to her, frowning like a stern mother. "What do you think you're doing? I told you to stay put, and you... Stacy, look at me."

Stacy reluctantly looks over at Tsu, her mouth closed tightly.

Tsu’s eyes widen in realization. "Stacy, drop it! I don't know what it is, but spit it out right now!"

Stacy whines in protest, but Tsu’s stern expression doesn't waver, so she lowers her head and spits out a small leaf-covered Bug that Tsu’s Pokédex identifies as Burmy. It gasps for air, scooching away as fast as it can.

Tsu puts her hands on her hips, fixing Stacy with her most disappointed frown. She's seen her mother with the same look many times. "Seriously? You need to stop trying to eat everything that makes you angry. I would expect this kind of behavior from your brother, but not you! You're supposed to be a good example for him!"

Stacy whines sadly, leaning down to lick Tsu’s face, slightly lifting her off the ground in the process. "Eww, Stacy! Don't kiss me when I'm scolding you!" She lightly smacks Stacy's cheek, earning a surprised snort that almost knocks her hat off.

Before Tsu can say anything else, she catches a blur of movement out of the corner of her eye, and something fast slams into Stacy, knocking her away from Tsu.

"Stacy!" Tsu cries out, but something blocks her path. A large Bug Pokémon, holding out an arm to stop her. It faces away from her, toward where Stacy landed.

"Hey! What's your problem..." She consults her Pokédex, "Heracross? That's my friend you just tackled!"

Heracross finally turns to her, puffing up his chest and striking a pose, hands on his hips triumphantly. If he had a cape, it would no doubt be fluttering in the wind after he just "rescued" the "damsel". Tsu just stares, bemused.

A low, angry growl echoes through the trees, distracting Heracross and giving Tsu a chance to step away. As soon as she's clear, Stacy flies toward Heracross, Tackling him to the ground and pinning him underneath her.

"I think you owe the Grand Duchess an apology." Tsu taunts from the sidelines, but Heracross gets his arms under him, throwing his head back to strike Stacy with his horn, pushing her just enough to wriggle free and turn to face her. Stacy snarls in anger as Heracross holds his hands up, waving one hand in a "bring it" motion.

Wait, I've seen that stance before... Tsu tries to remember, and Brawly's voice echoes in her mind. "She only knows how to fight head on, not much room for strategy. It works pretty well, until you meet someone who knows how to turn that power against you."

"Stacy, wait!" But Stacy charges forward, water swirling around her, the rain boosting her Waterfall attack. In desperation, Tsu cries out, "Splash into Tackle!"

Stacy slaps her tail into the ground, soaring up and over Heracross' head. She does a flip, now diving straight down toward the Bug. Tsu reaches down, grabbing a handful of mud and throwing it at Heracross. It hits him in the face, and he stumbles, staring at Tsu in surprise.

Until Stacy flips again and lands fully on top of him, her weight driving him into the dirt. She hops off, leaving Heracross dazed and half buried in the soft earth.

"Yes! Just like the Contest!" Tsu cheers, and Stacy looks over, still frowning slightly. She roars softly, inquisitively. Tsu shakes her head, smiling. "Of course I'm not mad at you! We were just having a moment before he arrived." She hooks her thumb toward Heracross.

Or rather, the now empty dent in the ground where they'd left him. Tsu and Stacy both look around, wondering where the Bug had scurried off to.

"I guess he ran away." Tsu shrugs, but Stacy roars as Heracross leaps from the leaves of a tree, smacking her with his horn. His wings buzz loudly as he slows his fall, jabbing his horn under Tsu’s chin and glaring at her.

She freezes, not used to a Pokémon attacking her directly. "H-hold on... let's talk about this."

Stacy roars, but Heracross steps closer, forcing Tsu’s head up slightly as his horn digs into her chin. "Stacy, stop!" Stacy cries out, sounding... scared?

In truth, Tsu isn't sure what Stacy can do. Brawly was right, she only knows how to hit things, she's not built for precision or finesse. Stacy is probably worried more about hurting Tsu herself than Heracross doing anything.

Which means it's up to her to fix this.

"We got off on the wrong foot. My name's Tsu. What's yours?"

Heracross just glares, gesturing slightly with his arms.

"Right. You can't speak. I'll just call you Heracross. Even though it was super rude of you to interrupt our conversation earlier-" Heracross lowers his head slightly, resting his horn on her throat. "What I mean to say is... you still looked really cool doing it?"

Heracross sighs, gesturing to the trees behind him. The ones Stacy had recklessly ripped through chasing that Burmy. He points to her, lifting one hand as though waiting for an explanation.

"Okay, I can't excuse that. But we're working on it! She's been having a tough time since she evolved, you know? Everyone always says 'you can't do this' or 'you have to stop' or 'that monster is too big!'" Tsu stops, realizing that she's said those exact things herself. "And it's hard. She's a Pokémon, just like you. She's just bigger, and people are afraid of her because of it. But she still has feelings, you know?"

Heracross scoffs, gesturing to the trees again. He holds his hands close together, indicating something small, then presses them together like he's crushing something. He glares at Tsu again.

"Oh, what? Small Pokémon have it bad, too? Like it's somehow worse for them? Stacy deals with fear and prejudice and hate from people she's never even met, all because she's big! It's hard all over! She didn't start the fight, she just wanted to play in the puddles! Burmy spat in her face, and somehow she's the bad guy? Why do you care? You his dad or something?"

Heracross steps back, gesturing to the trees all around him. He picks up a fallen branch, holding it like a child, then drops it. He pats his chest as he looks at Tsu, then points to her pockets, where she keeps her-

Her Poké Balls.

She doesn't care what else Heracross is saying, waiting for him to look away and going for an empty ball. She throws it at him, but he effortlessly bats it away, looking at her in annoyance.

Then Stacy dives onto him, grabbing him in her mouth and cracking his shell with a sickening Crunch. He flexes, jabbing his horn into the roof of her mouth and jumping free as she roars in pain. She lunges at him, but he manages to grab her crest and redirect her momentum, flipping her like Brawly's Machoke had. She lands next to Tsu, groaning softly.

"Stacy!" Tsu runs forward, stopping by her face and checking on her. Stacy slowly lifts her head, staring down Heracross as Tsu rests her hand on her side.

Heracross holds his chest, at the crack Stacy left in his shell, and lifts his hands, daring her to try that again.

"Wait, Stacy... when did you learn Crunch?" She checks the Pokédex, and sees that Stacy upgraded her Bite to Crunch while trying to protect Tsu. She also forgot Leer, learning...

"Oh, that's cool. Use Twister!"

Stacy roars loudly, her breath sparking with Dragon type energy. The swirling winds push Heracross into a tree, and he can't Counter what he can't touch.

"Like that, keep it up!" Stacy roars again, making Heracross flinch from the rushing winds. The tree behind him cracks, and one last shout from Stacy pushes Heracross through the broken wood and out of the thicket entirely.

Stacy coughs, panting for breath but smiling victoriously. Tsu is much less restrained, hugging Stacy as much as she can.

"That was so cool! That'll teach him to pick on someone his own size!" Stacy snorts, somewhat offended. "Yeah, I guess that sounds kinda rude, considering. Maybe we should just go before he gets back."

Stacy snorts in agreement, and the pair make their way back to the road and press on.

Eleanor

Akiza Izinski

Age 22
she/they
Italy
Seen 20 Hours Ago
Posted 2 Days Ago
3,941 posts
5.4 Years





Avril Reese

16 - ♀ - Laverre City

Written with QueenNothing as Junko Enomoto

Pokémon / Inventory:

AVRIL'S MONEY: $44 000

AVRIL'S TEAM:
🌼 Poppy (Flabébé) ♀
Flower Veil
Synthesis, Fairy Wind, Grassy Terrain, Aromatherapy, Wish, Magical Leaf

🌼 Hydrangea (Shellos) ♀
Storm Drain
Water Pulse, Mud Bomb, Recover, Rain Dance, Mud Sport, Hidden Power (?)

🌼 Wisteria (Inkay) ♂
Infiltrator
Night Slash, Hypnosis, Topsy-Turvy, Pluck, Reflect, Psybeam

🌼 Thistle (Wooloo) ♀
Bulletproof
Tackle, Growl, Defense Curl, Copycat, Guard Split, Double Kick

Away:
🌼 Venus (Mawile) ♀ - at Littleroot Research Lab

AVRIL'S INVENTORY:
🌼 1 Empty Pokéball
🌼 2 Potions
🌼 Eviolite
🌼 Silk Scarf
🌼 TM for Ally Switch
🌼 5 Rare berries
🌼 Sea Incense

🌼 Holotch (phone version)
🌼 Fanclub Membership card - valid until October 17th
🌼 Various clothes and commodities
🌼 Pink Woolen Hat

AVRIL'S CONTACTS:
Jordie, Shuna, Natsuko, June, Marcella, Hikaru

AVRIL'S BADGES AND RIBBONS:
🥊

🎀• 1

🌼 Character art made with https://picrew.me/image_maker/338886
Thursday, October 1st - late evening - Route 103
Some things didn't change from the ordinary. Angie still ate a bit more than she should have, Poppy enjoyed her berries, and Avril still checked on Thistle's wounded leg, noticing that she was indeed healing well but was still not very keen on walking on her hooves. She was in fact barely rolling at all, prompting Avril to not stress her any longer! Oh, and of course, dinner went swiftly - much better than the rain-ruined lunch, where Avril and June had to eat some canned food right under the shelter provided by their umbrellas.

But when it was almost time to sleep, a realization hit drowsy Avril. All of her usual routine didn't change, yes, and in fact it was probably pointless to mention it at all. But this time June was there all the way through and saw everything.

Is that really a good thing? It's not something she should take for granted, because staying for so long with someone is an amazing way to discover their flaws. And the way Avril handles Angie, for example- or the way she deals with the terrible rainy weather, the lunch, all of that- can be seen as a flaw in the eyes of June.

Then again, June never seemed to act any different, even… now. It's safe to say she doesn't mind, then, or maybe finds all of those things even cute. She's a good person to open up to, just like that… or maybe she's the best one so far, on par, if not better, than Tsu.

As she's lost in thoughts, a word escapes her mouth and spills over, that being the name of the other girl. Spoken in some sort of dreamy, blissful tone, of course.

“Avril? Do you need something?”

"I just, well…" Avril replies, slightly startled. "I think I… appreciate you a lot, yes! Traveling with you has been great today as well…" She replies, still in that state of mind.

June, who was previously doing something on her Pokegear, glows a more stable shade of red. She might finally be getting used to this. “Thank you! And, um… I also appreciate you a significant amount!”

"Oh, you… really do?" Avril blushes herself.

“Definitely, yes… “ June starts sinking into her sleeping bag, pupils pointing to the ground. “Just having you around I, um… um, well, y’know…”

The blonde girl is not that lucid anymore, and what she says isn't fully a product of her reasoning. She's in no condition to tell lies or dodge bad topics.

"Oh, that's all? I'm glad to know…" She continues. "I'm just glad to know that, even if I didn't do anything special…"

June opens her mouth to say something, but freezes. Clearly she’s struggling to think of a response. “Well, you don’t need to do anything special to earn my appreciation!”

Avril blushes more. But is that really anything new? Of course June would be like that, the only problem is that this might be missing the mark.

"But… is there anything that could take that away?"

“I don’t think so...” June taps her lip. “Why do you ask?”

"You… know a lot of the things I struggle with by now, and I'm not so proud of that, you know."

“I’m sorry to hear that.” June sets her phone down and takes a deep breath. “Not too long ago I had that same issue- remember the contest in Petalburg?”

“Oh? Yeah, sure do. Not my finest moment either.” Avril shrugs. Maybe it’s a good idea if she gets to the bottom of this, especially now that June seems to be on the same page.

“In retrospect, it was just a little embarrassing that I reacted the way I did.” June gives a stifled giggle. “I suppose there’s no undoing the past… but um, what I wanted to get as is that… I also once struggled with being a Pokémon trainer. But with the help of my uncle and setting a reachable goal, I was able to persevere. Because of that I earned two badges since that day! So what I’m saying is, um… it might help to find a reasonable goal to work towards! Mine is to display the beauty of bug Pokémon to many, for example.”

“Well… I’m happy to hear that of course!” Avril sighs. “I’ve already decided I should take things slow but what you said is still true. A goal…” She shakes her head. “I think my goal was just to make my Pokémon and my family happy. And proud of me… and I’ve already been told that’s not a great idea. But what else is, then?”

“Well…” June bites her lip. pupils shifting to the right. “Maybe, um, maybe that means you might need to find something else to work towards? Obviously this isn’t to say pleasing your Pokémon and family isn’t important, but it could help to have another objective! Besides, you could always still do the former while aiming towards something else!”

“June… that’s what I’m lost with…” the blonde girl comments, definitely feeling resigned. “What objective can I follow, that doesn’t just, like… go against what my Pokémon want?”

“...That is a good point. I think the best course of action there might be to try forming a deeper connection with your Pokémon… no wait, that just falls under making your Pokemon happy, doesn’t it? Um…” June gives it as much thought as she can before she ends up looking defeated. “I… I’m not sure, honestly. It’s a little difficult to give advice when I’ve had a stable relationship with my Pokemon, whereas you and your Pokemon have been a lot more- umm, how do I say this…?”

“You did see that, right? With Venus and Angie and the others?” Avril hastily speaks out. It sounds like she’s scared about the answer, and that’s somewhat true, but it’s actually the affirmative answer that she’s hoping to hear. “The contest, the gym battle, even our last lunch…”

June gives an indecisive nod. “Honestly my memory of your performance during the encounter with the Mightyena isn’t the clearest, but as far as the contest and your battle against Wally… Well, that’s what I had in mind.”

"Right… I think I'm understanding." Avril changes position inside her sleeping bag to face June. "Maybe..."

“Maybe what?” June tilts her head.

"Yeah, it's like…" Avril pauses. She's only now realizing what kind of conversation she's got herself in, but she tries to calm down by repeating herself that she's talking with June. "In battle my Pokémon don't really obey me, do they? And probably not even outside of battle. They, they don't really need me to be their trainer… so that's already something."

“I can relate to some extent. Occasionally I question if Sting and Heracross really need me as their trainer, albeit it to a lesser extent. But clearly they both appreciate having my presence! I feed them, hone their skills in ways they wouldn’t be able to on their own, and groom them when necessary. That’s what my uncle told me, and so far I haven’t found much issue with it.”

“You… hone their skills, uh?” Avril interjects.

“By that I mean I allow them to manifest their natural abilities in unique and interesting ways. A good example of that would be, hm… ah, Kit! Surskit are naturally able to move along the surface of any body of water by secreting an oil from its tarsi, and it can do so at a speed faster than on land, hence its ability, Swift Swim, although well, it's not so much swimming as it is skating… b-but I digress! The point I’m trying to get at is that through the combination of my knowledge and Kit’s natural abilities, I was able to train her to take advantage of them so she could move as gracefully as you saw this morning! That’s something she couldn’t do without my help.”

The blonde girl is… slightly confused by the answer June’s given. She definitely expected something about battles, but what she got was more broad, so to speak. Her tiredness definitely made her skip some words- she can’t say she’s understood everything the other girl has just said- but she gets the feeling that it’s something interesting, at least for June, to talk about and think about. But, might as well clear some doubts…

“Natural abilities, moves… so it also applies to battles, doesn’t it? How can I train my Pokémon to make them hurt their opponent more… effectively?”

“W-well, that can apply to more than battles!” Any confidence June had left continues to shrink. “Like… When I helped at my aunt’s farm, Giorgia did just that. She used those same abilities for tasks completely unrelated to battling, such as using Kit’s Water Sport to water crops and Einstein’s telekinesis to help harvest those same crops! I, um, hope this is suitable advice...”

“Oof, you’re right June…” Avril is the one sounding apologetic now, and for good reason. “I’ve been so concerned about battles that I overlooked everything else I can do with my Pokémon! Today hasn’t helped, with the Mightyena group forcing our hands… of course. But you’re right, Pokémon can do more than that…”

June sighs with relief. “Not every move a Pokémon can use inflicts harm, afterall. There’s plenty of non-offensive moves, such as Einstein’s Light Screen and Reflect, and well, most of his moves really.”

“Yes, sure thing! My Pokémon already knew a few…” Avril smiles.”If they feel like using them, though!”

“It’s important to be in sync with your Pokémon, yes.” June nods. “It sounds difficult, but perhaps so much as spending more time with them could go a long way?”

“Not the easiest thing but… I figured that’s the best approach, yes!” Avril speaks up nervously, a hand on her hair. The other girl is stating the obvious after all, isn’t she? “You’ve already seen how it is, I’m not the best at handling all those Pokémon together, but… I will get better!”

“That’s a great attitude to have about it!” June grins. “I’m certain if you keep that up you’ll accomplish that in no time at all!”

“Eh… not without your help, June…” Avril trembles inside the sleeping bag, but smiles as she releases tension. “I sort of owe it to my Pokémon, anyway...”

“I-I think you might be overestimating me there, but either way I’m glad to see you improve your outlook!”

Avril chuckles, knowing that’s probably true. But that’s not something she’s ashamed of, as her blushing can attest…

“Thanks… thanks for everything. I’m feeling quite better now.”

“I-it’s nothing really, but it’s good to know I helped you out… um, it is getting late right now though so I think it’d be a good time to rest. Goodnight Avril!” Once she stops talking, June hastily slides into her sleeping bag to hide her excitement.

“Alright, goodnight…” The blonde girl replies, turning the other way as her cheeks grow even more red.



Paired with Ninetales and Vulpix 🌸 Moderator of Challenges and Writer's Lounge

Groc

Age 31
Male
Arizona, USA
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 2 Hours Ago
1,589 posts
11.5 Years
Natsuko Soyokaze
Thursday, October 1st; evening
Route 103



It's good to finally sit down and rest. The rain had stopped partway through the afternoon, so Shiny was able to help Tsu start a small fire and put a kettle on. After feeding her friends, Tsu used the hot water to make herself some tea and a cup of noodles. Not the most glamorous meal, but it carried well in her backpack.

Altogether, she's proud of herself. She'd practiced with Stacy a bit more, especially on aiming her Twisters, and the big serpent had fallen asleep right after eating. Rip wasn't too happy with that, wanting to play, but Tsu had convinced him to let Stacy sleep by playing keep-away with his Wave Incense. She got tired of it before he did, but Shiny helped out so Tsu could eat. Cyrano stood by, as aloof as ever, but kept an eye on them.

After returning everyone to their respective Balls, she gets herself ready for bed, finding a dry patch to set up her sleeping bag, hanging her poncho over her backpack. She sighs in content as she looks up at the sky. Still partly cloudy, there are no stars to see, especially since it's not that late. But Tsu didn't want to walk in the dark, so it'll be early to bed and early to rise.

💤 💤 Later... 💤 💤

Tsu jolts awake with a yelp as a sharp pain shoots through her leg. It's still dark, and without her glasses she can barely see, but she notices a lump in her sleeping bag, near the zipper. It's right by her leg, and in a panic she smacks it, earning a hiss for her trouble. Another smack causes the lump to retreat, a small Pokémon emerging to chitter and hiss at her some more. From the sounds, it's a Bug type, and it doesn't take long to figure out that she woke up from it biting her.

"What are you doing? Get out of here!" She swats at the Bug again, and it lunges at her hand. She yelps as she pushes herself back, almost getting tangled in her sleeping bag. She uses that to her advantage, turning and kicking at the Bug with her feet still inside the bag. It can't bite through the fabric, so she gets a few good hits in before it simply jumps onto the bag.

It occurs to Tsu that she should set a Pokémon to fight a Pokémon, as she is hopelessly outmatched here. She scrambles free of her bag, rushing for her backpack. A blast of sand stings against her bare legs, but she doesn't let it stop her. She fumbles with the pouch containing her Pokémon, but the zipper gets caught. The Bug lunges for her again, so she swings her backpack wildly, knocking it aside.

"Stay back! I don't want to fight you!" Tsu yells as the Bug rises again, chittering ominously. She looks around for her glasses, but can't find them. They were right next to me, where are they? How can I fight if I can't see?!

Suddenly, a beam of light cuts through the darkness, illuminating the Bug. It's small and pale colored, but she can't make out many other details.

"Watch out, it's mean!" She warns the light, or rather whoever is carrying it.

"Geodude, get out here!" The new arrival calls out, and a Poké Ball pops open with a burst of light. "Hit it with Rock Throw!" There's a sound of impact and a screech of pain, and the pale Bug skitters away from Tsu.

"Are you okay?" The light is turned on Tsu, and she has to shield her eyes from it.

"I'm fine, it just snuck up on me. Hang on, I can't see. Lower the light, will you?" The light tracks down, and Tsu blinks several times to clear her vision. "I dropped my glasses, help me find them."

The light scans around the area, eventually finding Tsu’s glasses near a small flat rock, where she'd placed them. "You're lucky I found you. What are you doing out here without your Pokémon?" Her rescuer hands over her glasses, keeping the light low.

Tsu puts her glasses back on, squinting to see the other person in the dim light. "Wait, Sam?! What are you doing here?"

Samara holds the light over her head, shining it down so she and Tsu can see each other better. "Looking for you, actually. You never left a review like you said you would."

Tsu just stares slack-jawed at Sam, earning a grin from the village girl.

"I'm kidding! Come on, get your Ponyta out, I need more light."

Still dazed, Tsu works the zipper free on her pack, pulling out Shiny's Ball. Much like back in Granite Cave, her flames serve as a light in the dark. "Okay, but why are you really here? Doesn't your mom need your help?"

Sam is quiet for a moment, then shakes her head. "Mom's fine. You aren't. I heard you yell from the road, are you sure you're okay?"

"Um... I got bit, but I'll be fine."

"Where? Show me."

"On my leg, here." Tsu lifts the hem of her shirt, showing a small red mark on her outer thigh. Sam crouches down to get a closer look, and Tsu can't help but blush.

"You caught a Sand Attack, too, looks like. That's not a problem, though. Any other bites? Take off your shirt, let me check."

"What? No! Why?"

Sam looks up at Tsu, reddening herself a little. "That's not... Nincada aren't Poison types, but their bites aren't to be taken lightly. They're predators, that thing was trying to eat you."

Tsu shudders at the thought, turning around and removing her shirt. "Didn't even buy me a drink first."

Sam laughs, lightly touching Tsu’s shoulder. It makes her shiver. "You can make jokes, you're probably okay. I promise not to stare. Much." She checks out Tsu’s back, taking her time. "Okay, show me your-"

"No need to worry!" Tsu steps away from Sam, blushing furiously as she puts her shirt back on. "No bites up here, I guarantee it!"

Sam pouts for a moment, then smiles in relief. "You're fine, then. The first one didn't break skin, you just got pinched, luckily."

Tsu sighs in relief, hugging Shiny as the pony pushes against her side. "It's a good thing you showed up when you did, then. But, seriously, why are you here?"

Sam puffs out a breath, setting down the large gym bag Tsu just now notices she's had on her back. "I'm going on a Pokémon journey. Just like you."

"Me? But... your mom? Your... job? I guess?"

"That's her thing. She wants to be a great host, renting out rooms, and serving guests, and... but that's not me." She looks at the ground, letting her hair fall in front of her face. "I don't want that. I don't want to just... sit at home and take care of people, listen to their stories. I want to have an adventure of my own, travel around and see the world, like my dad. Like you."

"Oh. Okay, that's..." That's kind of a lot, Tsu wants to say, but she can't exactly argue against it. "And she's okay with that?"

Sam looks up, a small grin on her face. "Actually... she is! She said she'd call me every day, make sure I'm taking care of myself, but she was happy that I made the decision. It's not for her, but she doesn't want me to be her. I'm me, and I want to be a Pokémon Trainer. And you showed me that."

Tsu sits back down on her bag, suddenly very tired as the adrenaline fades. "No I didn't. All I did was catch you in the act. You wanted this for yourself."

"Okay, yeah, but it's just like the stories!" Sam pulls out a sleeping bag of her own, unrolling it across the remains of the fire from Tsu. "Every hero has a call to action, something or someone who inspires them to start their journey! That's you. A pretty girl who shows up and sets off a chain of events that sends me on my way. My angel in a black bikini."

Pretty? Angel? Bikini?! Tsu had started to nod off, but sputters out a laugh at that last part. "Okay, I think that's enough of that! I'm flattered, and glad for the save, but I'm not all that. I'm a friend, that's all. I have no idea what I'm doing. I almost got eaten by a Bug!"

"Hey, it's a Pokémon, not just a Bug. And where are your Pokémon, anyway?"

"They're in their Poké Balls, resting. That's where I always keep them."

Sam frowns, rolling her eyes. "You don't have a tent, yet you bed down in the middle of the woods without a Pokémon by your side? No wonder you almost got bug-eaten. Look." She gestures to Geodude, quietly sitting by her side. "Geodude will stay by my side all night. If something tries to sneak up on me, he'll keep me safe. You have a Rock type of your own who can do the same."

Tsu opens her mouth to argue, but can't actually think of anything to say. Cyrano won't run off like Rip, or keep her awake with light like Shiny, or be a large disruptive serpent like Stacy. He'd be a perfect night guard. "Oh. I guess I've just never had this issue before. I've always stayed indoors, or in a tent."

Sam just smiles smugly as Tsu calls out Cyrano, who slowly turns to face North. "See? You're a better trainer already. I'll be a great rival."

"Wait, we're rivals now?!" Tsu can't help but think of her other friends, of how Sunny and Marie clashed in the brief time they'd known each other. "When did this happen?!"

"Shh..." Sam smiles as she lays back. "I decided it just now. I'm gonna be a Trainer, and you're gonna be my rival, and it's gonna be awesome. Now turn out the light, let's get some sleep."

Tsu stares at Sam, but doesn’t get any further explanation, so she gives Shiny one more pat on the cheek before returning her to her Ball. She lays back down, her mind racing. How am I supposed to sleep now? This is too confusing!

She's asleep less than a minute later.