Well, I decided the fallout would be a good opportunity to repost and revive this ol' fic of mine, mostly for my own sake as it never had very many readers ^^; Constructive criticizm gratefully accepted! Chapter One: Jake Denith From the first time he saw her, he’d been deeply in love. He had made a promise to his friends that he was going to be with her. Well, things had changed. He would never make an embarrassing promise like that anymore. But he still loved her. Every day he watched her, so close, yet so far away. Because he was a geek. And she wasn’t. He didn’t dare talk to her. And that’s why they could never be together. *** The phone rang. Jake picked it up and checked who it was. He sighed. ”Pause the game. It’s mom,” he said. Ethan responded by opening the pause menu. Jake answered the phone. ”Hi,” he said, in the dullest voice he could manage. ”Jake, where are you? You were supposed to be at home half an hour ago!” Jake checked his watch. Shit. 8.32. ”Well yeah, but umm... I’m on the bus. I’ll be there any minute.” ”That’s an awfully silent bus.” Shit. ”All right, I’m still at Ethan’s.” Jake’s mom sighed. “Just get home as quickly as you can. We need to talk.” It was Jake’s turn to sigh. “I’m coming.” He ended the call. Ethan looked up at him. “You do know that your parents are Nazis, right?” Jake looked at his friend. He hated when Ethan called his parents Nazis. Ethan was a spoiled kid. Everything was perfect in his life. He was an only child, resulting in huge amounts of attention from his parents. He got everything he wanted; all he had to do was whine. Sometimes not even that. His clothes were a great example. He was wearing a black and grey striped sweater, really expensive jeans and nice shoes. Jake, on the contrary, was wearing a black hoodie which was nearly grey from daily use. His jeans had a big hole on his left knee and his shoes had been bought in a garage sale. To top it off his dark brown hair was messy and dirty, not at all like Ethan’s semi-long, combed hair. Sometimes Jake wondered why he even was friends with him. Jake sighed. “If I’d ever forget, you’d be there to remind me.” Ethan laughed. “So true.” Jake gave him a mental punch in the face. After saying good-bye to Ethan and his parents, he strolled off to the bus stop. It was already pretty dark, and Jake wished that Verin, his trusty Zangoose, was with him. But Pokemon were not allowed in school, and Jake had gone straight to Ethan’s after they’d had their last lessons. Ethan lived out on a small archipelago west of Vermillion City, and it was a ten minute walk to the bus stop. There were no streetlamps, so it was all very dark and cold. Jake shivered and wrapped his jacket tighter around him. He tried walking quickly, both to get warm and to get to the bus stop as quickly as possible. In the distance he could already see the welcoming orange streetlamps, and he could hear the low engine sounds from the bus. Jake made sure that no one saw him and ran the last few meters to the bus. After stepping into the giant vehicle and paying his bus ticket, Jake took a seat in the center of the bus. He stared absentmindedly at the landscape rushing by outside the window, but his thoughts were elsewhere. The bus jerked to a stop that returned Jake to the normal world. The bus driver opened the door for an old lady and a group consisting of three guys and one girl. They appeared to be the same age as him, something around fifteen. The bus driver stopped the group, pointing at a Linoone that was trying to get into the bus. “Pokemon must be kept in their Pokeballs during the ride,” he said. One of the guys stared at him like he was going to disobey, but after a few seconds pulled out a white sphere. “Dash, return,” he said. Red light enveloped the rush Pokemon as it returned to its ball. The teenagers laughed and took their seats right behind Jake. Jake tried not to eavesdrop, but they spoke really loudly, so he couldn’t avoid hearing. “I wish this bus was faster. I really can’t wait to get to Paul’s party!” the girl exclaimed. “Take it easy,” the guy with the Linoone said. “There’s probably not going to be so many people there. It’s only Thursday.” “I know,” the girl replied. “But it doesn’t matter to me. I’m not gonna go to school tomorrow anyway.” They all laughed. From the smell that was coming from them, Jake guessed they were drunk. “What’re you going to do tomorrow then?” a tall guy with long, black hair asked. “Dunno, I’ll probably be strolling around in the city,” she replied with a casual wave of her hand. “Anyone wanna join?” “I’ll come along,” the tall guy said. “I’ve got so shitty lessons tomorrow anyways. First off I have two lessons of English. After that, a biology lesson, then two history lessons. And to top it off, two lessons of French.” “Weren’t you trying to raise your grades in biology?” the guy with the Linoone asked. The tall guy chuckled. “If I liked it, would I want to skip it?” He and the Linoone guy laughed. After a few seconds they realized that only two voices were laughing. Jake followed their gaze to the third guy, who’d remained silent during the conversation. The third guy didn’t notice their gazes, as he was too busy kissing and hugging the girl. The two others laughed. “Well well, what’s going on here?” the Linoone guy asked with a smile. “Phew, it’s hot in this bus!” the tall guy said. “Oh wait, it’s just Al and Terry.” The two guys laughed. The third guy, Al, responded by displaying them his middle finger, not stopping the kissing. “Ooh, Al’s aggressive today!” the tall guy laughed. “Don’t go near him, Dean, he might bite you!” The two guys roared with laughter, but where completely ignored by Al and the girl, Terry. Jake turned his gaze away from the teens. He despised people that drank, smoked, went to parties and all that. Well, except from Sean, one of his best friends. Sean was one of the party people. This fall he had started going to parties, drinking beer and other alcoholic drinks and smoking. Most of his friends thought the man was crazy, but inside, Jake envied him. Jake didn’t really despise people that went to parties and drank beer. It was just the image he gave his friends, while actually one of his greatest dreams was to go with Sean sometime. Because Jake had seen the change in him. After he started attending parties, he’d started to be with “cool” people, and he was friends with some of the girls. Sean had been a geek, but he’d transformed to one of the cool people by drinking beer. This was a transformation that Jake also wanted to go through. He didn’t want to be a geek anymore. The bus arrived at Jake’s stop. He thanked the bus driver and stepped out into the cold evening. Jake’s family lived in the outskirts of Vermillion, and thus it was pretty quiet and pretty dark, though not as dark as at Ethan’s. Jake stood still for a moment, watching his breath as puffs of smoke. Then he set off for home, in a quite normal pace. After a few minutes of walking, he arrived at his home, a grey, two story building. It was a nice, completely normal house, not like Ethan’s over-luxurious home, nor like the shacks one could find in these areas (although Ethan usually did call their house a bum shack when he was over). Jake unlocked the door and stepped inside. “I’m home!” he yelled. The only warning he got was a pleased growl. Suddenly he was overwhelmed by an orange-and-white mess that toppled him over. Verin kept licking Jake’s like she was insane. Jake moaned. Verin instantly stopped licking his face. Jake moaned again and put one hand on his back as he sat up. The Zangoose took a few steps backwards, with a concerned face. “My back,” he whispered, looking at Verin. Suddenly his face burst into a smile. “Gotcha!” The Zangoose looked extremely relieved, then pounced right back at Jake’s face. Jake’s laugh mixed with Verin’s grunts and the sound of her tongue licking Jake’s face. Verin had been Jake’s birthday present when he was ten, when he was allowed to become a registered trainer. Verin was caught by Jake’s uncle during a trip to Hoenn. Verin was abandoned by her pack because she had an orange stripe instead of the normal red stripe. Jake didn’t mind at all though, he liked orange much more than red, so personally he liked it this way much more. Jake’s mother appeared around a corner. They were about the same height, but they didn’t look very much alike. She was wearing a red T-shirt and jeans. Her long, blonde hair was tied back into a ponytail. She watched Jake and Verin with a stern face, her hands on her hips. Jake didn’t notice her at first, but after a few minutes he became aware of his mother. He gently shoved Verin aside. “Hi mom,” he said with a low voice. “Hello Jake,” she replied. They stood still for a minute, not moving at all. Jake’s mom broke the silence. “Verin, why don’t you go upstairs. Jake and I need to talk.” Verin glanced at Jake. He nodded, and the Zangoose rushed up the stairs and into Jake’s room. Jake’s mother didn’t say a word. She was waiting for Jake to break the silence, which, in the end, he did. “You wanted to talk with me?” he asked carefully. His mother sighed. “Have a seat,” she said. Jake went over to the dining table and sat down. There was a cold plate of Spaghetti Bolognese in front of him. “Jake,” his mother said as she sat down. “Why do you keep lying to us? You know that in the end you’re always going to be caught.” Jake mumbled something. “What did you say?” his mother asked. “I said I don’t lie to dad,” Jake replied, keeping his gaze down. The tone in his mother’s voice changed drastically. “So you don’t lie to dad? Well that’s just great! All your dad ever does is travel around! You’re honest with him because you miss him! Maybe I should get a job where I’d travel around all the time, and leave you and your brothers alone here!” “Maybe you should,” Jake replied in a low voice. Tears appeared in his mothers eyes. “I work hard every day to keep what’s left of this family together, and this is the thanks I get? Up to your room, young sir!” Jake stood up and stomped up the stairs and into his room. His youngest brother peeked through the doorway to his room, but quickly closed the door as Jake came. His middle brother had been smart enough to stay in his room, pretending not to have heard the argument. Jake slammed the door shut behind him and sat down at his desk. Verin came over to his side, and Jake started patting the cat ferret Pokemon. Verin purred, pleased, and fell asleep. Jake carefully got up, went to the bathroom and washed himself. He came back to his room, undressed and put his pajama pants on. Since he’d turned thirteen, he’d stopped using a pajama shirt. It was much cooler to sleep without one. Jake looked at Verin on the floor. She was fast asleep, so he didn’t want to wake her. Usually Verin always slept with Jake. Jake switched the lights off and went to bed. He was looking forward to tomorrow, as everyone brought their Pokemon to school on Fridays, and afterwards there’d be lots of Pokemon battles on the schoolyard. Jake had never participated before, and he was quite excited about it. After a few minutes of thinking about it, the teenager fell soundly asleep.