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Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by Weeds, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. 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.
    #1 Weeds, Jun 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  2. Chapter Two: Vs. Glalie

    The soft wetness of Verin’s tongue was what woke Jake up in the morning. This was rather startling, as Verin usually slept much longer than Jake. The boy sat up and looked at the Zangoose with a sleepy gaze. “You’re looking forward to the battles after school, right?” he asked. Verin nodded happily and jumped off the bed, followed by the half-asleep character of Jake. He went for a shower, which turned out unusually long. Hot water streamed down his neck and back, allowing Jake to relax and wake up. He got out of the shower, dressed, and headed downstairs.

    His mother had already left for work, as she always did. She preferred being at home in the afternoon, when everyone was awake, and therefore headed off to work early in the morning. Jake entered the dining room, where his two younger brothers, Blake and Joey, were finishing their breakfasts. Jake could swear that he smelled the burnt smell of the argument last night, but after a few seconds he realized it was just the toaster that had caught fire. “Indie!” he yelled. “Will you come here? Toaster’s on fire!”

    Blake and Joey reacted immediately, for some reason the toaster had completely passed them by. Not many seconds afterwards Indie, Blake’s Surskit, appeared around the corner, firing bubbles at the toaster, quickly putting the fire out. “Thank you,” Jake said with a nod at the Surskit, and took his seat. Indie headed over to Blake and jumped into his lap.

    Blake was Jake’s thirteen-year old middle brother. They did not look very much alike, as Blake looked like his mother, while Jake had received his father’s genes. Blake had long, blonde hair, and was pretty short for his age. Joey, on the contrary, looked pretty much like Jake did when he was the same age. He had short, golden hair, although it would probably turn dark as he grew older, like Jake’s had. Joey had only just turned eight, and therefore he did not have a Pokemon of his own. It was a rule in the Denith house; no Pokemon before the age of ten, which obviously bothered Joey quite a lot.

    Neither Joey nor Blake dared say a word. They continued eating their cereal, the happy mood blown away with the wind. Finally Blake was the first to speak. “Sorry,” he mumbled. Jake nodded and made himself a bowl of cereal. Being the oldest kid was never fun. He was always the first one that had to do stuff, and he didn’t have anyone to ask stuff from. It was always Jake who had to take responsibility when their mom was away, and anything that went wrong was always his fault. The toaster was a great example. Jake’s mom was probably going to have a word or two to say about that.

    Jake finished his breakfast quickly, doing his best to avoid looking at the black and now soaked remains of the toaster. He headed upstairs, brushed his teeth and went to his room for Verin’s Pokeball. The red-and-white sphere stood on display in Jake’s bookshelf, as it wasn’t used very often. It couldn’t just be packed away, though, as sometimes Jake just didn’t have time to start searching for it. Like now.

    Jake grabbed the Pokeball and turned around to face Verin, who was sitting on the floor, waiting patiently. Jake went down on one knee. “Ready to go girl?” he asked. Verin growled happily. “Get into your ball, then.” Red light shot out from the Pokeball, enveloping the Zangoose. Suddenly the light disappeared, and Verin had disappeared into the safety of her Pokeball. Jake pressed this center button and the sphere shrunk to a smaller, handier size. He stuffed the small ball into his backpack and headed off to school.


    Jake’s Friday at school felt like it was made extra long on purpose. He couldn’t wait until the school day ended, and he knew that inside her Pokeball, Verin was itching to battle, too. Math and Geography didn't seem very interesting, and Jake was very restless during the whole day. He ahd been talking to Sean, who was their school's uncrowned king of battling. Sean had been battling with classmates since the third grade, and he was a master at it. The only reason that he didn't have the Thunderbadge was a simple matter of not having the time. Sean wasn't very good in school, so he had to concentrate on improving his grades.

    So when the bell rung at the end of the day Jake was the first one out of the classroom, and outside in record time. Ethan and some of Jake's other friends appeared after a while.

    "Wanna come over?" he asked. "Or are the Nazis keeping you home?"

    Jake gave Ethan the most lethal look ever, the other guy freezing as if Jake would have been a hungry Ursaring. "No, I'm staying for the battles."

    In Ethan's mind Jake transformed from a hungry Ursaring to a slimy Grimer spread all over the place. "Oh God," he mumbled. "Not you too." And the he wandered off.

    Shortly afterwards, Sean appeared. He was a pretty robust guy, probably 180 cm tall, and he had a very muscular body. He had spiky blonde-ish hair and brown eyes. He had a black hoodie and pretty tight pants which were loosened enough to show his ass when he bended over. Sean was very nice though, a very positive trait. Sean looked after Ethan, who was still visible in the distance. "What did he want?" Sean asked.

    "Wondered if I wanted to go to their house. He wasn't at all too happy that I was coming with you guys instead."

    Sean shook his head. "He can be a real pain. I still don't get how you still hang with him."

    "To be honest, neither do I," Jake answered. "He is a real prick." Silence reigned for a few seconds, then they both set off towards the field where the battles took place.


    The field was not far from the school, so it only took Jake and Sean a half a minute to get there. Jake was pretty impressed by the amount of people there, around fifty teenagers were gathered on the large grassy field. Tension, nervousness and loneliness sprouted in Jake as they arrived, when Sean went off to say hi to a few friends, leaving Jake all alone. A few guys from Jake's class passed with a nod, and a bit off Jake spotted a few girls, also from his class, who were pointing at him and giggling. Jake was pretty sure it wasn't a very positive sort of giggling though.

    Sean reappeared as the first battles commenced. Not all of the fifty souls on the field came to battle, the majority was only there to see some cool battles. Sean, the great battler he was, immediately receieved a horde of challengers, but he managed to find an opponent for Jake before he drowned in the masses. The guy that was going to battle Jake was two years older, and he was huge, probably two meters tall, and had muscles like a Machamp. He didn't seem too pleased about battling a noob like Jake.

    "I'm only battling you because Sean told me to," his voice rumbled. "Now, who wants to see me pwn a noob?" The guy was obviously pretty used to Internet language.

    Jake and the big guy took their places, Jake's heart beating like it wanted to escape. There wasn't very much audience, after all, Jake was just a noob. The big guy seemed very confident, he kept grinning all the time, which actually made him look like a complete retard. "What's your name?" he roared, as the wind had increased slightly. The sky was grey and rain seemed pretty likely.

    "Jake Denith," Jake yelled back, his voice nearly failing him.

    "Jake Denith," Jake's opponent repeated. "Remember that it was Bruce Alden who shot you into flames!" Some of Bruce's friends had gathered around. They weren't very hard to pick out, as they were the only ones that laughed. "I'll give you an advantage," Bruce continued, "And send out my Pokemon first! Go, Frost!" Bruce threw out a Great Ball, and in a flash of red light, a chilly blue, horned sphere appeared between them. The Glalie's freezing cold eyes stared at Jake, it was really intimidating.

    Jake gulped and reached for his bag. He found Verin's Pokeball and tossed it out into the air. "Go, Verin!" Verin appeared from the red and white sphere, with a pretty neutral look in her eyes. Upon spotting the Glalie, though, her gaze went very offensive, and she growled alarmingly.

    Bruce's eyes widened in amusement. "How come someone like you can have a cool Pokemon like that?" he laughed, his friends following his lead. Then again, they were the only ones who laughed.

    Jake was deeply offended by Bruce’s question, yet he decided not to reply. “Verin, come here,” he called, and the Zangoose obediently came over to his side. “All right, for this battle, we’ll use…” Jake started, but was interrupted by an icy blue beam that hit Verin straight on. The Zangoose was sent flying a few meters, but landed aptly on all fours with a twist. Bruce roared with laughter. “This isn’t storytime, this is a battle!”

    Behind Jake, Verin gave an aggressive growl. He didn’t have to check if she was all right. “Let’s battle then! Verin, use Swords Dance!” Verin started a frantic dance of slashing and cutting in the air. Jake knew from experience that the dance could be very mesmerizing, which was why the Ice Beam that had fired Verin behind him was very fortunate, though not unexpected.

    When Jake saw the Glalie’s, Frost’s, gaze go dreamy, he gave his next orders. “All right, Verin, Quick Attack!” Verin’s dance ended immediately, and she disappeared. In reality she rushed at Frost, hitting him with an immense speed. Bruce and his Glalie were caught off guard, but Bruce quickly recovered.

    “Frost, use Crunch!” Frost opened his mouth to take a bite out of Verin, but Jake was faster. “Use Crush Claw!” Verin’s clawed paw slashed through the air, right into the softness of the Glalie’s mouth. Frost gave out a terrible shriek of agony. Verin quickly retreated to avoid further attempts at physical attacks from the face Pokemon.

    The wind had subsided, and it was less cold, as more people had gathered to see the battle. It was still very early on, but Jake had already shown off some impressive skill. Bruce, on the other hand, was more annoyed than he was impressed. “Fire a long Icy Wind at that Zangoose!” Frost inhaled deeply, then blew out air that contained small chunks of snow and ice. Verin easily avoided it, a leap to her left and she was safe. But the Glalie didn’t end there. After the first attack had missed, Frost simply redirected the Icy Wind to Verin’s current position. Neither Verin nor Jake had been prepared for something like that, and the attack hit Verin full on.

    Bruce laughed. “What’s the matter? Little strategy boy couldn’t avoid an attack?” Oh geez, Jake thought. Bruce may have thought that his line was cool, but no one else did. Not even his friends. But of course, Bruce was too cocky to notice

    Verin got up, but there was something different about the way she moved. The Icy Wind had obviously stiffened her body. This could become a problem, as their training had not concerned speed as much as strength. Quick Attack was obviously going to be more frequently used now. Jake hadn't planned on using that attack so much, because it was so weak. Then again, all he had to do was power it up.

    But what to do next? The two battlers were relatively equal, Frost having taken more damage, while Verin was slowed down by the Icy Wind. Yet it seemed as if Frost had the upper hand, as Verin's lowered speed could give the Glalie many more hits. What Jake needed to do was power up Quick Attack, and then get in a few hits with that. But he needed an opening. He needed to keep the Glalie's attention elsewhere while Verin was using Swords Dance. Jake sighed. There was one way, but he was going to save that for later. Seems like our only tactic for now will be random attacks.

    "All right! Verin, get in close and use Slash!" Verin gave a brief nod and rushed towards Glalie, her paw ready to strike. Bruce responded qucikly. "Ice Beam!" Frost inhaled, and fired off a compact beam of ice at the oncoming Zangoose. "Sidevolt and keep going!" Jake yelled. Verin did a volt to the side that brought up some ooh's from the audience, and closed the final gap between her and her opponent. Her paw cut through the air, and though the Ice Beam had partially clouded Jake's line of sight, the Glalie's scream told him that the attack had hit. "Keep slashing, and don't stop!"

    Verin went into a frenzy of Slash attacks, cutting at Glalie whenever she got a chance. Frost was completely helpless. All of the Glalie's attempts at getting up were interrupted by Verin's claws. Bruce was furious. He tried to give orders, but in vain. Frost simply didn't get the chance to attack. Jake felt a little guilty, after all, it was he who had given the order to attack, and the Glalie was starting to look weak. But he knew that all he had to do was knock Frost out, and it would be over. There was a large supply of Potions waiting to heal the battlers afterwards.

    Then something unexpected happened. One of Verin's Slashes obviously was a critical hit, as Frost was sent flying. The Glalie instinctly used this opportunity to create a gap between Verin and itself. About seven meters now separated Verin from Frost. Jake observed the battlers. Both were panting, Verin from her furious onslaught, and Frost for the immense damage he had taken. Now, though, it seemed as if Verin was in a more dangerous position, as Frost had a large variety of ranged attacks while Verin... Well, there was one, but it seemed as if that wouldn't be neccessary.

    The crowd had gone completely silent. The newcomer was proving to everyone that he had been underestimated. All other battles had stopped, and even Sean had stopped his current battle to watch Jake instead. Jake was proud of Verin and himself. Everyone's attention was on them. He loved it.

    This, however, proved to be devastating. "Frost, Blizzard!" Bruce yelled, and the Glalie fired an immense beam of ice and snow towards Verin. The Zangoose hesitated, there were no orders from Jake, as he had been too busy bathing in the attention of the audience, and was completely unprepared. In the last second Verin attempted to leap out of the way, but she failed. The attack hit her right on, and unluckily for her and Jake, an ice prison formed around her. Verin was frozen inside a small mountain of ice.

    Bruce smirked. "Show her fear! Leer!" Frost gave Verin an intimidating glare, and stayed in that position. Inside the icy mountain, Jake could see Verin's face go anxious. He didn't know what to do. Freeze was a very uncommon status problem, and thus their training hadn't involved that. All their planning, all their tactics were completely laid to waste by this one move. And to top it off, Frost was beginning to seriously frighten Verin.

    Then a voice woke Jake up. "Don't give up, Jake!" Sean yelled. He had formed his hands like a megaphone around his mouth.

    Something snapped inside of Jake, and he was back in the moment. Verin had to get out of her prison, that was sure. And he knew just how to do it. But he didn't want to reveal his special move. He'd have to put it in a rather different way. "Verin, we're going to use attack formation A, start loading it up!"

    Verin obviously couldn't reply, but Jake could see she was focusing, powering up the attack she was going to use. At first nothing happened. Jake was starting to get anxious when he noticed that the icy mountain was starting to melt in the edges. Bruce and Frost didn't seem to notice this, or that Verin had closed her eyes, making the Leers completely useless. Jake was getting some spirit back, but resisted his urge to encourage the Zangoose, as their less-than-bright opponents still hadn't noticed anything.

    When the prison of ice was small enough, Jake gave his orders. "All right, break free! Attack formation A!" Half a second passed before the ice exploded, sending cascades of icy shards flying everywhere. Many people in the audience had to cover their eyes, and those who didn't soon did, as some of the shards were really sharp. Jake was part of the smarter group, and when he looked up again, Verin was on her feet, fatigued, but ready to rock. The audience cheered.

    Jake smiled confidently. "All right! Step One! Now!" Verin gave a brief nod, then blasted off towards Frost. Bruce laughed. "We're not falling for that one again. Frost, use Blizzard!" Frost inhaled, preparing to fire another Blizzard at Verin...

    "Step Two! Now!" Jake called. Verin opened her mouth, and, to everyone's great surprise, fired a Flamethrower at Frost. The wall of fire was rapidly approaching Frost. "Screw the Blizzard!" Bruce yelled. "Use Protect!" Frost exhaled, but instead of rushing towards Verin, the ice formed a protective bubble around Frost. The flames enveloped the face pokemon, but the shield held. As the fire died, Frost let the icy Protect disappear.

    ... Only to find Verin ten centimeters from his face.

    "Finish him!" Jake yelled, in vain. Verin knew what she was supposed to do, and had Slashed Frost right in the face.

    The Glalie flew three meters backwards, landed on the ground with a loud thud, and didn't get up. Frost was unable to battle. Jake and Verin had won.

    The crowd went berserk. Everyone rushed up to Jake, shaking his hands, clapping him on the back. They briefly parted to let Verin jump into her trainer's lap. The Zangoose licked Jake's face as if she was going to eat it. "We did it," Jake whispered into her ear. "We won."

    The crowd around Jake diminshed, and Bruce came up to Jake. Without saying a word, he took some money from his pocket and handed it to Jake. He grunted, and left. He passed Sean on his way, who gave him a friendly clap on the shoulder. Bruce shrugged it off and disappeared.

    Sean came up to Jake. "That was some impressive battling," he said with a smile. Those who still were with Jake became silent. Jake smiled back. "Thanks," he said. "I was wondering..." Sean paused to increase the tension. "... If you'd like to battle me?" Jake couldn't believe his ears. Sean, the king of battling, want a match against him? The small crowd quickly ran off to tell the news to others. "But... Verin's hurt," Jake said. Sean smiled. "That's all right. We'll get a hyper potion for her. What do you say?"

    Jake looked at Verin. She seemed tired, but excited. She nodded.

    Jake looked back at Sean. "All right," he said, grinning. "We'll do it."
  3. Chapter 3: Vs Golduck

    After two minutes Jake and Verin were ready for their next battle. One of the Hyper Potions had been emptied on Verin's wounds, and the miraculous medicine was doing its job. Verin was instantly healed, and she was as fit for fight as she had been before the previous battle.

    There had been a slight change of place, as both Jake and Sean had agreed that it was pretty dull to battle on an empty field. So the battle had been moved to a small forest patch close by. Jake studied his surroundings from a distance as he and the whole crowd headed for the forest. The trees could provide excellent shelter, and the uneven ground could also be turned into an advantage. The weather had become worse, the wind was picking up and the clouds were as gray as an Aggron's hide. Rain seemed to be unavoidable, meaning Verin mioght have to survive without her Flamethrower.

    Jake chuckled. The move had surprised everyone, not without reason. The Flamethrower TM had also been a present on his tenth birthday, and in his youthful enthusiasm he had instantly wasted the TM on his new pokemon. Later he had come to regret that, but he and Verin had quickly developed their tactics around the, for a Zangoose, rather unusual move. He had discovered that Flamethrower was a subcounciously smart choice for Verin, as she didn't naturally learn any ranged attacks.

    The Zangoose made herself reminded by brushing towards Jake's leg. The boy had ignored her for long enough now, wandering in his own thoughts. Jake smiled and scratched her on the back. Verin loved when he did that. She purred happily and swiped playfully after Jake's hand, her claws retracted, of course. Then she ran along, probably chasing some imaginary bug. Verin had always had a playful nature. She loved to joke around, but she could be serious when she wanted to. Her personality was very much like Jake's, which was probably why they got along so well. They shared that special bond that trainers share with their first pokemon. Jake had even heard of cases where that bond had grown so strong that the trainer was able to understand his or her pokemon, meaning that the two could have fully developed dialogues. Jake looked forward to that.

    "What's her name?"

    Jake jumped. He had been so in his own thoughts that he hadn't noticed that someone had sneaked up on him from behind.

    Jake didn't have to turn around to know who it was, yet he still did. By then his breath was completely taken away. It was Megan, the girl he had been in love with since fifth grade.

    Megan was wearing a black jacket which was opened to reveal her pink top and her dark green scarf. Her shoulder-long hair was dark brown and slightly curly. But what always drew Jake's attention was her eyes, which were like molten chocolate and always had a warm, kind gaze. Jake was pretty sure he had fallen in love with those eyes.

    "Huh?" was Jake's answer, probably the most stupid one he could come up with.

    "Your Zangoose's name," she repeated. That battle was so intense I somehow managed to miss her name completely."

    "Her... She's... It's..." Jake stammered. Dammit. Concentrate! He sighed. "Her name is Verin."

    "Verin," Megan said while taking a short leap to get beside Jake. "That's a nice name." It was obvious that she was trying to make conversation, but it was hard, as Jake was so nervous he wasn't helping very much.

    Awkward silence. "Zangooses are pretty rare, aren't they?" Megan asked after a while, both her and Jake's gazes on the Cat Ferret pokemon skipping along ahead of them. "And Verin seems to have some form of discoloration. Doesn't that make her really special?"

    "I guess it does, but I wouldn't know about that. My uncle cought her during a trip to Hoenn," Jake explained. "She was chased away from her pack because of her different color. Pokemon that are forced to live alone when they should be with their packs can do pretty desperate things. My uncle said he found her in a suburb of Rustboro City. Not a normal environment for a Zangoose."

    "That's pretty cruel, isn't it? Being chased away because you look different?"

    Jake shrugged. "I guess that's just how it is. We humans aren't any better. It happens to us too, even here at school."

    Awkward silence. Both of them knew that Jake was a form of victim of this. He wasn't chased away because he looked different, though, but because he was smart and had made the wrong friends in his first days of school. But that was going to change now.

    They stopped after they had come to the center of the forest patch. There was some small talking, but after about a minute or two the crowd made room for Jake and Sean, who stepped in, facing each other, both grinning. Sean's name was being screamed, but Jake could also make out his own name from the cheers. He smiled. So there were some who were on his side. Probably people who'd battled Sean before and wanted his long winning streak to end. Verin was ready at Jake's side as Sean released his pokemon.

    "Time to shine, Aethon!" he yelled, tossing a Great Ball into the air. There was a flash of red light, and a blue humanoid-ish creature was standing in front of them. It had a crown of blue horns and a red gem in the center of its forehead. The Golduck opened its beak and made a happy shriek.

    Jake knelt to get closer to Verin. "Sean's Golduck is most definately going to batter you with ranged water attacks, so Flamethrower probably won't help very much," he said in a low voice. "Most likely he'll start off with Water Sport to weaken it. But we can counter any ranged water attacks with Flamethrower. That should create a cloud of steam, during which you can rush at Aethon and attack him while he's unprpared. Got it?" Verin nodded, her gaze on the Golduck. She was as prepared as she would ever get.

    "Ready?" Sean yelled. Jake stood up. "Ready," he called back.

    Sean smiled. "Your opponent had the first move in the last battle, so I'll let you start this time!"

    Jake chuckled. "Feeling noble, are we? Verin, use Quick Attack!"

    Verin became a blur as she rushed off towards Aethon.

    "Screech and Confusion!" Sean ordered. Aethon let out a bone-chilling shriek. Jake's hands quickly covered his ears, that was horrible. Verin was temporarily distracted from the sound and slowed down just a little bit. Aethon's eyes went a wierd gold color, and suddenly Verin's head jolted backwards, as if she had run into a too low rail. Obviously Confusion was a technique that could be changed according to the user's requirements.

    "Zen Headbutt!" Sean ordered. The gold in Aethon's eyes spread to cover his whole head, and the Golduck rushed forward at Verin, helpless on the ground.

    "Try to dodge it!" Jake yelled. Varin got up and jumped to her right, but a little too late. The Duck pokemon's attack hit Verin's leg, and she was sent into an uncontrollable spin. After two meters of flight, Verin landed with a loud thud.

    While Verin was still in the air, Sean gave his next orders. "Use Water Sport!" he called. The Golduck inhaled, then started spraying a thin beam of water all around itself, turning the ground into a treachorous mud trap and soaking the audience, who showed their displeasure with an annoyed scream.

    Sean smiled confidently. "And so we turned your special attack worthless. How does it feel?" He chuckled.

    "Wet," Jake answered. "You all right Verin?" he yelled over to where she had landed. The Zangoose was on her feet, with only some minor bruises. She nodded. "Then use Swords Dance!" Jake called, and turned away as Verin began her frenetic fighting dance. When he had done this in his previous battle Sean had been busy beating someone else, so he didn't know what was coming. When Jake saw the familiar absence in the Golduck's eyes, he called: "Quick Attack!"

    Again Verin was off in a blur, but this time Aethon was distracted by the dance and didn't have time to react. Verin crashed into the Golduck, and Jake knew he'd have to follow it up with another move quickly, before Sean could react.

    "Taunt!" he yelled. Jake smiled. Taunt was one of Verin's favorite moves, and she always came up with a perfect way to anger her foes. It would be interesting to see what she made up this time.

    Verin was up by Aethon's side, and bitchslapped the Golduck on his cheek. The slap was quickly followed by another, and a third. Aethon became furious and tried to swipe after her, but Verin dodged to behind the Duck pokemon, and slapped him from behind, on both cheeks at the same time. The Golduck turned around and tried once again to slash at the Zangoose, but Verin ducked, and as she came up, she slapped him once on each cheek, then sped away from the furious Golduck.

    Some of the less seroius onlookers were laughing, and the more serious ones smiled. Jake chuckled to himself, and even Sean was having a hard time keeping a straight face. Verin looked very satisfied with herself, and poor Aethon was boiling mad. Verin had just totally humiliated him, and he was not happy about it.

    "Use Fury Swipes!" Sean ordered with a kind of disappointed face. Jake guessed he had planned on using a status-raising move. That was not going to happen anymore. The Duck pokemon rushed at Verin, screaming furiously. "Try and dodge it best you can," Jake yelled. "And try to get in Slashes wherever you find openings."

    The following sequence was rather intense. Both pokemon had their orders, and it was now up to them to knock out the enemy before being knocked out themselves. Aethon slashed at Verin and she ducked, sidevolted over another swipe and managed to Slash Aethon in the face. The Golduck countered by getting in one, two, three hits of his own before Verin did a backflip an Slashed at the Golduck's gut. Aethon dodged, and struck Verin in the neck.

    The battle continued like this for some time, everyon'es gaze carefully on the battlers, no one making a sound. No one had their concentration anywhere else than the ongoing battle. After a while Jake realized that it couldn't go on like this anymore.

    "Verin, fall back!" he called.

    "You too, Aethon!" Sean also called.

    The two pokemon lept backwards, leaving about five meters between them. Verin looked completely famished. She was panting like an old lady, and her body was filled with bruises and scars. Aethon looked just as finished as the Zangoose. He was also panting, and he was also scarred and bruised all over. Jake knew Verin wouldn't give up easily, but, on the other hand, he doubted that Aethon would either.

    Sean was the first to give his orders. "Hydro Pump! Now!" Aethon drew in air, then opened his mouth and fired a raging river of H2O.

    "Flamethrower!" Jake countered. There were some surprised murmurs from the audience as Verin also inhaled and fired a streaming beam of fire at the oncoming water.

    The two attacks crashed and there was a loud, almost explosion-like hissing noise as the water evaporated on contact with the fire, and at the same time extinguishing it. Just as Jake had suspected there was a huge cloud of steam obscuring vision on the battlefield, but he could hear his Zangoose rush off, and the blows that she delivered to her opponent. When the steam finally settled, Verin had returned to near her original place, and Aethon was down on one knee, panting even more heavily, more bruises visible.

    "Smart," Sean called to Jake, who nodded his thanks. However smart Sean thought the counter, he was not at all happy. Just a moment ago the battlers had been relatively equal. Now it seemed Verin had the upper hand. Her panting had eased, and she looked to the sky. The rain finally fell.

    "Zen Headbutt!" Sean yelled, no, roared. Aethon gave a famished grunt, then rushed off at Verin, his head covered in gold once more. "Verin!" Jake yelled, giving no orders for some reason. Verin didn't look down, but as Aethon approached she did a magnificent sidevolt and slashed to her side. Aethon crashed behind her, and Verin landed on her feet, the arm that slashed extended backwards.

    Jake gaped. He had never thought Verin could've managed a manouvre like that in this condition. Yet there she stood, in an undeniably cool pose, her opponent crawling up from the mud behind her. Jake shooked his head. Verin would never stop surprising him.

    "Crush Claw!" he ordered, it was time they launched an attack and let Sean and Aethon counter. verin turned 180 degrees on the spot, then rushed at her foe, both paws flung wide."Counter with another Zen Headbutt!" Sean called, and Aethon rushed up from the ground, his glowing, golden head hitting the unprepaired Zangoose in the chin. Verin's rush abruptly ended, and she flew backwards instead.

    "Quick!" Sean yelled. "Hit her with Hydro Pump!" Aethon blasted a wall of water at Verin, who had just landed. "Flamethrower, hurry!" Jake countered once again. Something about Sean's face made him feel uncomfortable just then. Verin quickly got up and released an inferno at Aethon's attack, and once again there was an explosion-like hiss as the water turned into steam and the fire was put out.

    "Now, locate and attack her with Confusion!" Sean called as the steam covered the battlefield. Jake couldn't see anything except for two shining, golden eyes. All he could hear was the splatter of the rain on the ground. Then there was a weak whelp, and something that fell to the ground. Then again, and a third time. The steam cleared.

    On the battlefield stood, still, both opponents. Both had started to shake of tireness. They were having a mental competition, staring into each others eyes, and no one dared say a word. After a while, verin looked into Jake's eyes and smiled apologetically. Then she fell to the ground. Sean and Aethon had won.

    "V-Verin?" Jake whispered. "VERIN!" Jake rushed to his pokemon's side. The Zangoose lay face down in the mud, unconscious. She was bruised all over, some of them bleeding. Aethon stood still, panting, then dropped to one knee. The Golduck had also taken a lot of damage, but of course Jake was too concerned about his own pokemon to realize. Jake smiled warmly at his unconscious friend. "You fought well," he whispered, searching for her Pokeball in his bag. "Now rest." Red light enveloped the Cat Ferret pokemon as she returned to the safety of her Pokeball.

    "Well done, Aethon," Sean said, tossing the Golduck's Great Ball into the air. "You rest too." Aethon closed his eyes and let himself be sucked into the red, blue and white sphere. Some of the audience came over to congratulate Sean and tell Jake he had fought well. Jake searched in his pocket and found the money Bruce had given him earlier. He handed it to Sean, who nodded his thanks and put the money in his own pocket. Then he reached his hand out towards Jake. "That was a great fight," he said. "I don't think I've ever been that close to a loss."

    Jake grabbed his friend's hand, shook it and smiled. "And I don't think Verin has ever been that badly mistreated." Sean chuckled. Then he looked Jake in the eyes, and his gaze turned sad. "I'm sorry," he said. Jake waved it off. "That's all right. This is wahat happens in a battle, right?" Sean smiled. "Yup." There was a short silence. "See ya," he finally said, and walked off.

    The crowd was shattering, it was obvious that the battles were over, and no one wanted to stay out in the rain. As Jake was getting his stuff, a guy named Eric came up to him. Eric was two years older than Jake, but they were the same size. Eric had short blonde hair and icy blue eyes that were a little intimidating. "That was a great battle," he said. "Too bad you lost."

    "Yeah, well someone has to lose in a battle," Jake replied. "So why not me?"

    "Point taken," Eric replied. "My name's..." he started.

    "Eric, I know," Jake replied. "I'm Jake."

    "Oh yeah, now I remember," Eric said. "You're the guy who spilled his soup on Mrs. Bleathen's dress."

    "Um yeah, let's not talk about that," Jake said, embarassed.

    "Oh, ok," Eric said. "The reason I came here was... Well, nobody enjoys a good battle like me, even though I'm not so good at it myself. But I like strong battlers, and well... I'm throwing a party next Friday, would you like to come?"

    Jake couldn't believe his ears. Eric had invited him to a party? "Really?" Jake asked. "You're not kidding with me?"

    Eric flung out his arms. "I'm dead serious."

    "Sure!" Jake replied. "I'll be happy to come!" He still couldn't believe what was happening. Jake was totally prepared to see Eric laughing and calling him a sucker, but that didn't happen. Instead Eric smiled.

    "Great!" he said. "I see you hang out with Sean quite a lot, he can probably give you my adress. See ya!" And then he left Jake alone. Well, not completely alone. Megan was still there.

    "Wow," she said. "If your first battle was intense, this was..."

    "Divine?" Jake suggested with a smile. He was getting over his nervousness quite well.

    Megan smiled too. "Divine," she agreed. "Where do you live?" Jake gave her his address. "That's not far from where I live! Walk with me?" she asked. The answer was rather obvious.

    So Jake and Megan wlaked home together. She wanted to praise Jake's and Verin's fighting, but that made Jake feel uncomfortable, so they went on to other subjects. And so the two walked homewards, laughing. Jake couldn't believe his luck. He had been invited to a party, and now he was walking home with the girl he loved.

    And they didn't even notice the rain.
  4. I just realized the other chapters were in third person while there was a first person switch here. Sorry about the confusion. The fic will continue in first person.

    Chapter Four, Part One: Home Sweet Home

    By the time I came home, I was soaked. The light sparkling rain had turned into a torrential downpour. My mother had just arrived, and it seemed as if she had had an absolutely horrible day at work. She was annoyed about everything, gesturing wildly about and almost knocked down a shelf with her bag. Her mood didn’t improve when she came into the kitchen and saw the charred remains of the toaster. She went into a screaming rage, and the poor victim was Blake, my middle brother. Mom did try some screaming at me, too, but I was too happy to mind. So she went back to tormenting Jake.

    “Hey!” Joey called from the TV-room. “Wanna watch Hoenn’s got Talent with me?”

    “Huh… What?” I replied, snapping out of my dream state. “Uh, no, I think I’ll pass.”

    I hurried upstairs, and hung up my wet clothes to dry. Stripped to only my boxers I lay down on my bed, dug in my backpack and released Verin from her Pokeball. Most of the Zangoose’s wounds had healed, but there were still some ugly bruises all over her body. The Cat Ferret pokemon silently crawled up onto the bed and up on my stomach, where she curled and closed her eyes.

    “You made me proud,” I whispered. “You fought well.”

    Verin looked me in the eyes. Her gaze was so sad. Her disappointment over her loss was scribbled all over her face.

    "I don't care that you lost," I said. "You fought very well, and that's all that matters to me."

    Verin kept her gaze, then closed her eyes and put her head to rest on my slowly moving chest. I started scratching her on the back and between the ears, and I noticed a small smile form on her face. Verin felt good right now, really good.

    "Guess what?" Verin opened an eye to show her partial interest in what I was going to say.

    "I walked home with Megan today." I was smiling, how could I not be?

    Verin giggled, and snuggled up a bit more on my body. She radiated an aura of happiness, her wounds didn't seem to bother her at all. She was simply happy for me. "Wanna hear about it?" I asked. The Zangoose smiled and nodded, closing her other eye too.

    So I started telling the whole story, from before the battle against Aethon until he and Megan had split up and gone their own ways. Somewhere in the middle Verin had fallen asleep, but I didn't mind. Going through the story aloud just made it easier for me to understand what had happened. I was still psyched, but after a while I managed to fall asleep.

    "Hey, wake up you two!" Mom yelled. I woke up with a jerk, Verin almost falling off the bed. I sat up, startled. We had been asleep for only an hour. "Dinner'll be ready in half an hour," she said. I was too startled awake to reply before she left.

    Mom had an ability of not seeing the cuteness of things. Of course I hadn't been able to see it himself, but me and Verin had looked absolutely adorable snuggled up like that. Frowning, I got up and pulled on some random shirt and a pair of jeans. Verin came up to my leg and started to rub her back towards it. But my good mood was completely gone. I just grunted instead of patting her back. Verin gave me a sad gaze, which I ignored. The Zangoose leaped up on the bed, curled up there and didn't move.

    I went downstairs. My brothers were in the TV-room, watching some random comedy series. I joined them, hoping to raise my terrible mood. These mood swings were absolutely horrible, they could completely unexpected. I knew it was just some teenage trait, but I strongly doubted that they were supposed to be as sudden as mine were. Someone on TV pulled a joke, and my brothers laughed. Blake looked at me, still laughing. My gaze must've killed him. His smile completely faded away, turning into an anxious frown. "Sorry," he said, then turned back to the TV.

    Mom called us over for dinner before the show was over. I was feeling so bad that I didn't mind leaving in the middle, but Blake and Joey, of course, stayed. I sat down at the table, and mom served me a dish of spaghetti with meat sauce. After getting a plate of her own, we started eating in silence. We were half finished when Blake and Joey finally came over. They looked pretty embarrassed, and they had a good reason to be. Mom was absolutely furious, but she did a good job in disguising it under an indifferent expression. "If you don't appreciate the food I make for you, you don't have to eat. You can make your own food," Mom scolded them without looking up from her own plate. "Mmm," Blake replied, he was too ashamed to come up with anything better.

    Mom and I finished our meals, and we sat there at the table, waiting for the others to finish. "I noticed Verin was hurt," Mom said. "What've you two been up to?"

    "Nothing," I replied, gazing out the window.

    "If nothing's happened, why is she so bruised?" Mom said, and I noticed a hint of anger in her voice. "Tell me the truth Jake."

    I definitely wasn't going to. "After school I came home to get Verin. We met up with Sean, just hanged out for a while, and then had a quick battle." I said.

    "Am I supposed to believe that?" Mom said, obviously not doing it.

    I shrugged. "Believe it if you want to. Thanks for the food." I stood up and put my plate and glass in the sink.

    "Wait a minute!" Mom called after me as I left. "Sit down! I'm not-"

    "I don't feel so good," I interrupted her and left the kitchen. I made my way back up to my room, where Verin was still lying on my bed. "You should go get something to eat," I told her. She looked up at me, then headed downstairs to get her dinner too.

    I lay down on my bed, staring blankly into the ceiling. I had very quickly entered a torn state, I was happy because I had got to be with Megan, and I was angry because mom didn't trust me and it felt like my relationship with her was going down the gutter. While my social life was going up, my relationship with my family was steadily eroding. Why couldn't anything be perfect, at least for a while?

    Verin returned upstairs after a while. She looked worried. I guess she wasn't that used to my mood swings yet. She curled up on my mat, eyeing me all the time. When there was no reaction, she got up and slapped me hard across my face. I jerked upright, my hands at my face.

    "Oww!" I yelled. "Are you crazy? What did you do that for?!"

    Verin just stared at me, frowning. She was simply tired of my emo-ish behavior. I looked angrily at her, but my frown quickly turned into a sad smile. "Oh, come here," I said, and Verin obediently jumped up beside me on the bed.

    "I'm sorry for worrying you," I whispered and stroked her between the ears. Verin was smiling at me, and I guessed that I was forgiven. We just sat there for a while until I felt for something different. I went over to my radio, turned on one of my favorite cd's, grabbed a book, sat down and relaxed. Verin came over to my side, and I continued stroking her with one hand while holding the book with the other hand. Verin fell asleep, again, and we just went on like that for a little over an hour. I got up once to change cd, but other than that we stayed completely still.

    There was a movie on TV that started 9 pm, so I woke Verin up and headed downstairs to watch it, after a short debate with mom. She thought I should go to bed if I didn't feel all right, but I managed to convince her that I felt much better now and that I had rested all the time after dinner. For some unexplainable reason she believed me. So I sat with my bros, Verin and Indie watching an action comedy movie. After it ended, mom came and chased us upstairs. We obediently went, even though I wasn't too happy about that. I knew that most of the guys from my class stayed up this late on weekdays. Still, I didn't want to fight again, so I headed towards my room, changed into my pajama pants, brushed my teeth and jumped into my bed. Verin took her usual place in my chair.

    Ten minutes passed. I was staring into the ceiling, going through things I thought needed to be gone through. Nothing unusual here. Slowly I felt my eyelids grow heavier, and I gradually closed my eyes until they were completely shut. I could feel sleep grasping at the edges of my conciousness, and I didn't fight it, slowly slipping asleep.

    Good night, Jake.

    My eyes burst open. Was that just a voice in my head? But it was too late. Sleep wasn't going to let go anymore, so I slipped into a confused sleep.
    #4 Weeds, Jun 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  5. Chapter Four, Part Two: Smokin' in the Snow

    The reason I woke up 6 am on Saturday morning was Joey. He was screaming like a maniac "OH MY GOSH THERE'S SNOW OUTSIDE EVERYBODY WAKE UP IT'S SNOWEEEDDD!" I got up, half asleep, and pulled the curtains aside. "Whaddaya know," I said, uninterested. Then I headed back to my bed, careful not to trip over the still sleeping Zangoose that lived in my room, and fell asleep again.

    When I re-awoke four hours later, the Zangoose that lived in my room had already headed downstairs for her breakfast. She had decided to let me sleep in peace today. I sat up and scratched the back of my head. I turned my sleepy gaze towards my alarm clock. 10.07 am. No matter how long I slept, there was no chance of me not being tired when I woke up. Mom called it a curse, but to me it just seemed logical.

    I sat on my bed for maybe a minute or two, trying to decide whether I should get up or go back to sleep. I decided I had slept enough, so I forced my sleeping legs over the edge of my bed. While I was pulling on my bathrobe, i remembered the odd voice in my head I had heard last night. I sat down on the floor. Was something wrong with me? Why was I hearing voices that had never appeared before? It had been a female voice, but it wasn't the voice of anyone I knew. I decided against telling anyone about it. At least not yet. I doubted that mom or Verin would think I was crazy, but the whole thing was so strange that I figured I needed time to think it over myself before letting anyone else in on it.

    My stomach made itself reminded, and so I got up and headed downstairs for breakfast. Joey was in the TV-room, and Blake was going there with a sandwich in each hand. Joey loved the cartoons that came every weekend, and even though Blake was a year or two too old, he always watched them with his little brother. Then again, when I had been the same age as him, I had also been sitting in front of the TV every Saturday and Sunday morning with those two, so I didn't blame him.

    Mom was in the kitchen, sitting with the daily newspaper sprawled out over the table and a coffe mug in one hand. "Good morning," I said, and she repeated the greeting. She moved the newspaper to make room for me as I sat down. I made myself a basic breakfast and ate in silence. "Where's Verin?" I asked when I was finished. Mom shrugged and didn't look up from her newspaper.

    I got up again and went to search for the Zangoose that lived in my room. I found her rather quickly. She was curled up in front of the front door. I smiled, put my hands on my hips and took a defiant pose. "And what do you think you're up to, missy?" I asked in a low-pitched voice. Verin looked up and gave me an anxious look, but I could make out a faint smile. I pointed at her. "You are so going to be grounded till the day the Lavender Slashers win the world cup!" Verin gave a fake cry of horror. She was desperate now, she didn't want to be grounded for the rest of her life. She got up and growled at me. It was a fake growl, of course, it didn't have near the ferocity of a real growl. "Shut up and get over here," I continued in my low-pitched voice. "You're about to get such a spanking."

    I couldn't hold it anymore. I cracked up at my own joke. When Verin saw me break up, she couldn't hold it either. She started laughing too. At least she had a reason. I was laughing at my own joke, how embarrassing wasn't that? It wasn't as if Verin cared, but it annoyed me. But that didn't stop me from laughing till I couldn't laugh anymore. Verin and I grinned at each other. Both of us loved these random things. With a single leap Verin pounced into my stomach, and I barely kept my balance, but I had to crouch. Even though Verin was small for her species she was a bit too big for me. "Good morning," I whispered in her ear. She licked my face in return.

    We retreated upstairs to my room. I grabbed my GBA and turned on a strategy game, while Verin was jumping around the room. Not long after my brothers came upstairs and went into Joey's room. I kind of envied Blake for that, he had a much better relationship with Joey than I had. Suddenly the GBA flew from my hands and landed on the floor, the two batteries flying everywhere. I looked between my hands into the angry face of Verin.

    I sighed. "All right, I'll get dressed," I said, while Verin took a small leap of joy. Verin loved snow. Hoenn, her native region, was far south and they very rarely got snow there. While many other trainers had problems with their pokemon, Verin had taken an instant liking to the white substance.

    Fifteen minutes later we were walking through the snow. There was surprisingly much of it, nearly ten centimeters, but if it had come down all night I didn't see why it would be impossible. At some places the snow had been plowed into heaps nearly the same size as me. I watched with a smile as Verin climbed up to the top, then tumbled down in a flurry of white fur and snow. Slowly we made our way towards a local supermarket.

    "Hey there!" a voice greeted us over at the store. I turned around to see Sean coming towards us, smiling and waving. What I saw surprised me. Not Sean, he wasn't an unusual sight around these parts, but what he had in his mouth; a cigarette.

    I smiled and waved back, doing my best to look casual, but the cigarette had surprised me too much. I could see Sean's smile turning into a confident grin. My reaction was exactly what he had wanted to see. He stopped beside me and let out a puff of smoke. He was waiting for me to start the conversation.

    "I didn't know you smoked," I finally said.

    He sucked on the cigarette, then blew out a small gray cloud again. Verin climbed to the top of one of the piles of snow. She didn't like the smell. "Smoking isn't unusual at parties," Sean replied. "I tried it a few times and then I got stuck. Wanna try?" He held forth the cigarette.

    I felt unsure. I didn't want to get addicted. But then again, it wouldn't hurt to try. I reached out, hesitated for a second, then grabbed the cigarette. The lit end felt comfortably warm in the cold air.

    Sean grinned. "You have to inhale twice when you suck on it. Once to get it in your mouth, then once more so it'll go down into your lungs. Try saying Horsea while inhaling the second time."

    I hesitated again. I was worried that I was going to start coughing, which would be very embarrassing. But it would've been even more humiliating to hand the cigarette back, so I put it to my lips.

    Just then there was this odd sensation, I felt something brush against my mind, but only vaguely. I was in a black and blue hall. Whatever had touched me was disappearing down the corridor. I tried to follow it, but it was too quick. "Wait!" I yelled after it as I ran, but it disappeared into the darkness.


    And then I snapped back into reality. Sean was leaning forwards, his face was in level with mine. He looked a little worried, but he wouldn't have admitted it. Verin had disappeared behind the heap of snow.

    "Are you okay?"

    I shook my head. "Yeah, I just spaced out..."

    I inhaled. As I did, I felt something in my mouth. It must've been the smoke. I remembered what Sean said about inhaling, so I drew my breath again, saying Horsea on the inhale. Sean smiled, it did sound rather funny.

    Finally I exhaled. A small cloud of smoke left my mouth. "Like a Charmander using Smokescreen," I thought, then remembered that I wasn't that childish anymore. I could feel the effect of the nicotine, a weak pang of dizziness that lasted for only a second. I was proud that I hadn't gone into a coughing frenzy.

    "Well?" Sean asked, still smiling.

    I smiled too. "That wasn't too bad. Can I have one?"

    "Sure," Sean replied. He dug out another cigarette, lit it, and handed it to me.

    And that's how I got addicted to smoking.
  6. I read the old chapters on the pre-fallout 'Charms, and I liked it. Now I've read the new Chapters, I love it. Can't wait to read more Weeds.
  7. Re: Journey through the Dark Cave

    Thanks Blazikid! I don't think I'll be posting very much during the summer, as we're going out to our summer place, but I'll keep working during summer so if you're really lucky I might have two new chapters up by the end of august ^_^

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