The Road to Indigo (Pokemon RP (Closed): Chapter 7: Dead Living On The Radio...)

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"Yeah, that was a good nap. Especially because you were my pillow." Aeris said and giggled, then gave him a kiss on his nose. "An Electric type? I think Xal will do good there." Aeris said before Mika let go of her hand. She hugged him close to her and rubbed the side of his head, lightly stroking his hair. "What's wrong?" she asked him worried. She wanted to know why he acted like that all of a sudden.

"I'll be fine... It was just a bad memory..." He said to Aeris, not wanting to talk about it... What teenage boy would want to, if that had happened to them? "Just... I was just remembering how badly I was beaten two years ago by the Gym Leader in Celadon... and I was just thinking about how nice it'd be to beat her after we're done with the Vermillion."

He lied plainly... and it was obvious he did. He'd never been a very good liar, and he always bit his lower lip whenever he was nervous.

"It's... It's something I don't like to talk about. I... I'll tell you one day." He told Aeris, not wanting to reveal much, but not trying to lie to her. "Okay?"

He leaned into the hug, resting his head on her shoulder as she stroked his blonde hair, sighing softly as he relaxed.

"Okay." Aeris said, holding him closer. She didn't want to make him tell her. He'd tell her when he'd feel he'd be ready to. She understood well about not wanting to talk about something painful. She'd had her times when she just couldn't tell some people about her hydrophobia. Especially seeing as she lived on an island, and not an all that big one either.

She kept him close, kept him safe. She wanted to be there for him, and was glad she could be. She kissed the top of his head and kept rubbing his head, though now the back of it instead of the side of it.

Mika sighed softly, yawning quietly and falling asleep against her chest... Bones jumped up on the couch, laying himself in his trainer's lap as the boy was comforted by his girlfriend.

"Hound... Dour, Houndour Hound Hound." Blaze... tell your Trainer that I thank her for comforting Mika. It means much to me, and likely more to him. The Dark-Type Pokemon said to Blaze and Aeris, not sure if he could be understood by the human girl... Human/Pokemon communication was an odd thing, usually only Pokemon and their Trainers could speak with one another... though there were some exceptions among the human race.

Blaze nodded towards Bones and relayed the message to Aeris, who was holding Mika comfortably, rubbing the back of his head. "And you're welcome, Bones." she said to the hound Pokemon. Blaze gave Bones a hug, since her Trainer wasn't able to. Aeris giggled softly at the cute sight of the two.

She hoped Mika was able to rest comfortably and peacefully where he was. He'd better, considering where his head is. She giggled at that thought and smiled towards the sleeping Mika.

The walk was nice and peaceful. Routes 24 and 25 had gone quiet, save for a couple calls of Hoothoot standing sentry over the night, the sound of flowing water passing under the Nugget Bridge on it's way out to the Ocean, and the soft fluttering sounds of a Zubat's wings up ahead. Jordan was taking time to appreciate these kinds of moments of tranquillity, similar to the times he spent listening to the lapping waves on the beach as the dying embers of a bonfire burned their last. He was enjoying this walk. Misty kept close to him, hanging on his side as the two started heading uphill.

"Not much farther now," the gym leader told him. "We should be at the top of the Cape really soon. It's nice and quiet up there, the only person who lives up here is that crazy researcher guy, and I don't think anyone's seen him for a little bit."

"That's cool," Jordan answered as the two continued hiking. It wasn't long before Misty lead him up a steeper hill until they reached a level plateau near the crest of the Cape. The roaring ocean could be heard smacking against the large rocks lining the cliff. Misty sat down a few feet away from the edge and beckoned Jordan to come down next to her. He complied, pulling up some grass as Misty stared out into the sea beyond.

"This is my favorite spot in the whole city," she told him. "I couldn't count how many times I've been up here, just watching over the waves as they crash. Down on that shoreline there, that's where I caught my first Staryu too."

"You don't say? Like, go on." Jordan had adopted his usual tactic when talking to girls, just saying short sentences and telling them to keep going.

"They say this cape is magical. It's the most romantic spot in all of Kanto." Misty grabbed onto Jordan's hand. "That if you go up here with someone you're meant to be with, then it will be sealed in no matter what." She looked back out to the sea. "Plus this place has the most beautiful sunsets."

This confused Jordan. "Um, like wait. Doesn't the sun like come up from there? Like, and then it sets over the mountains back there? I think you mean sunrise, Misty."

"Sunrise, sunset, whatever!" Misty retorted. "It's still pretty!"

"Yeah I guess, but still, it's like-" That was as far as Jordan got before Misty was on his lips, she moved in like a tsunami, enveloping Jordan as the two went to the ground. Misty's tongue was trying to gain entry to Jordan's mouth and eventually it was allowed passage. As the two remained together as Misty wrapped her arm around to his backside, their impromptu makeout session soon got an unwanted visitor.

"Zubit! Zubitbitbit! Bitzubitzubit!" Jordan! That was fucked up! You gotta see this weird thing!

Jordan broke away from Misty's grasp as his broette came back and sounded stressed. "Aw, what is it, Vicky broette? Don't tell me there's a spot light over there?"

"Zubitbit! Zubitbitbitzubitzubit!" Not this time! Just come on, it's so weird!

"Here Misty, I better go see what she wants, you know? Must be something up."

"Ugh fine, I'll come with you," Misty solemnly said, her raging lust held in check by Jordan's bat. I was hoping that thing wouldn't repel Jordan. Man.

Vicky led the two down the slope of the cape towards a house, from which only a dim light could be seen. The Zubat flew up to the door, banging on it a couple times. "Zubit! Bitbitbit!" In there! You won't believe it!

Jordan came up to the window...but he couldn't see anything, just the outline of machines bathed in moonlight and the flickering of a computer screen on a desk. But wait, there was something moving in there, it bolted briefly, but Jordan saw...something.

"This is Bill's house," Misty explained. "What's going on in there? Can you see?"

"No, I can't see anything. I think we should go in." Jordan went for the doorknob, it was unlocked. He entered after Vicky, Misty right behind him. "Hello? Anyone in here?"

"Hello?" He got a reply back. "Is someone there? Please, you've got to help me! Something's gone wrong!"

"One sec, bro! I'm gonna find some lights in here!" Jordan fumbled around on the wall, looking for a switch.

"No! Don't do that!" The voice's warning came too late as Jordan hit the lights. The room lit up with a florescent hum, revealing the place to be some sort of laboratory. Whether or not it was good or evil was tipped pretty heavily in the latter by the creature that was moving around in front of the two. It looked like Vicky, but it had this messed up hairdo in between it's ears and it wasn't really flying around all that well. "Dang it, I told you not to turn those lights on!" And it talked.

"Zubitbitbitzubitzubit." You are the ugliest dude I've ever seen.

"Bill?!? What the fuck have you done to yourself now?" Misty asked, incredulous at the sight of the chimeric creature before them.

"Misty? Is that you?" Bill asked. "I can't see a darn thing right now, and those lights! I can feel them burning me! Can you turn them off?"

"I'll...I'll get that," Jordan offered. Anything to get that ugly ass sight out of here. That dude's just gnarly looking. He flicked off the lights as Bill came to a landing onto of one of the machines in the corner.

"Much better, thank you," he said, in a calmer voice. "Now yes, to answer your question there Misty, there's been a bit of a mishap with my machine again."

"No shit," Misty put succinctly. "How many times are you going to keep doing this to yourself, Bill? And you still haven't learned your damn lesson!"

"I thought I had it for sure this time! I was just tightening something up and this Zubat flew in through an open window and startled me. It set off the machine, and well, this happened. Look all I need you to do is wait for me to get back into the machine and run the sequencer there on the computer. Can you do that for me?"

"I dunno, dude," Jordan said. "What if I just screw you up worse? I've never been like super skilled with computers, I like, needed Miguel's help to get Word to stop doing that thing where it wrote over what I messed up."

"Look, it's pretty dang simple, I designed it myself you know. Just go to the computer and click Start when I'm locked in the machine, OK?" Bill flew down off his perch and inside the machine. "Misty can you come and close this here door for me?"

"I don't really want to go near your fucked up machine," Misty told him matter of factly. "But I guess we've got no choice." She timidly walked up to the machine and slammed the door tight on him, jiggling it to make sure it was locked before backing up to where Jordan was at the computer's controls. "OK, do it Jordan."

"Sure." Jordan clicked the indicated button, sending the machine into motion. It whirred to life, quietly at first but then getting really loud as the machine went through the main part of the process. This lasted for about 7 seconds before slowing down to that initial hum. A pair of lights over the components of the machine blinked, showing a bright green. Misty turned the lights back on, wanting to see if the machine did what it was supposed to.

The door flung open and out flew a Zubat, the hair that adorned it's head now gone. It did a couple laps around the laboratory, with Vicky in pursuit before landing on the machine Bill had been perched on a minute ago. Vicky landed right after it. "Zubitbitbit. Zubitbit? Now that's much better. How you doing hot stuff?

"Zubitzubit, zubitzubit." Back off shrimpy, I'm not interested.

"ZUBIT!......Zubit!" Fuck you! Vicky looked to be thinking of attacking, but after a quick look at the size of the other Zubat, decided against it. Asshole! She took off from the machine, landing back on Jordan's shoulder.

Finally, from the large machine stepped a man around 35 years old, he had the same messed up hair that adorned the Zubat that would haunt Misty and Jordan's nightmares, as well as some weird clothes on him, that looked like they belonged on a 19th century pimp. "All right, sorry to keep ya'll waiting. Didn't want to come out of that machine naked in front of such esteemed company there, so I grabbed the clothes on the floor."

"Thank god." Misty commented.

"Anyway, yeah, thanks a heap there...uh what's your name, chief?"

"Jordan."

"Yeah, thank you Jordan, you got me out of a tight spot there! I appreciate it!"

"Yeah sure, no problem dude."

"Now now, don't be so modest! I tell ya what." Bill came over to the deck where the computer rested and opened a drawer, fumbling around inside for a second. "There we go," He pulled out a piece of paper and turned to Jordan. "Why don't I give you this here? There's having a big party on the S.S. Anne down in Vermillion tomorrow, celebrating it's 10th anniversary I think. They gave me this pass, but it's for ten people and I don't have near enough friends to go. Plus I can't stand them fancy dos anyway. Why don't you take it and enjoy yourself, on me?"

Jordan looked down at the pass given to him. It seemed legit. "Yeah, sure bro! I'll totally take this off your hands there! Thanks man!"

"Great, I want you and your friends to enjoy yourself on that thing. Promise me now."

"Sure totally! Wait till I tell the bros about this!"

"Don't you think it can wait until tomorrow, Jordan?" Misty purred in his ear. "I figured we can head back to the gym now. My sisters will probably be asleep so we can have some fun."

Jordan knew what Misty meant this time and in the euphoria of scoring a free party, he was more then willing to keep the good time rolling. "Cool, I'm up for that." The two headed for the door. "Later dude! Thanks again!"

"No, no, thank you!" Bill said as Jordan and Misty left. He shut the door behind them.

The two started walking back towards Cerulean. "Well that was pretty sweet, eh? Help a bro out, get a free party," Jordan reiterated, still pleased with how the night turned out.

"Yeah, yeah I guess so," Misty replied, although something was troubling her in the back of her mind. How did that Zubat get in? Bill said the window, but it looked like they were all shut, and I don't think a Zubat has the strength to shut down those things...Oh well. No use thinking about that when I got other stuff to do. Let's see if this surfer boy can ride my wave. The Gym Leader and the challenger kept up the walk, moving at a brisk pace as Vicky followed from the sky, as the night grew darker over Cerulean city below.


As the couple left his place, Bill breathed out a sigh of relief. He sat down on a chair near his desk as two figures emerged from a stairwell on the other side of the room. One was a large man, built like a mountain, and bald on top. He had a thick brown mustache and his arms were covered in tattoos. The other was a tall woman, with hair dyed purple falling down to the small of her back. She was conventionally attractive and well endowed, but her eyes, sharp and colored a deep green, suggested sinister motives. Both were wearing all black numbers, save for large red Rs across their chests. "Well done, Bill," she told the weary Pokemaniac as she produced a Pokeball. "I almost thought you were going to blow it for a second there, but you pulled it off." She returned the Zubat with whom Bill had shared a body to the ball, before reattaching it to her belt.

"Yes, I did, now is that enough? You've been doing this to me over and over for the past two weeks now, and it was two days before someone came this time. I'm sure you've lured enough trainers to this 'party' of yours."

"You'd think that, but no." The man answered. "I think you can get a couple more people to show up before that cruise takes off tomorrow night. Besides, I'm not sure you've fully repaid us for the services in helping get your machine to the point it is now."

Bill stood up now. "Your services? I had that machine to its finest point before you two came in with your bloody alterations. It is getting more and more dangerous, for the last half day I was fighting for consciousness with your Zubat and it damn near won! If those two hadn't come along, I'm not sure I would have been able to maintain the herewithall to speak and tell them what to do! And then where would you be, hmmm? Now I'm telling you to cease these plans at once!"

As Bill finished speaking the woman pulled a handgun out from a holster on the back of her belt. "Oh now Bill, I thought we were past this. You know better than to argue with us, you aren't in the position to counter anything we have. Now the choice you have is simple. Continue aiding us in our plans, or refuse and lose your consciousness for good. If you need help making that choice," she pulled back the hammer on the sleek Baretta, "allow me to refer you to my counsel here."

"All right! All right fine! You win," Bill said wearily. He slumped back down in his seat. "Can I at least pick which Pokemon you force me to merge with? I'm not going back in that dang Zubat again, I kind of enjoy being able to see."

"No way," denied the man. "You pick one that you can use to escape, then everything is blown."

"Now, now. I see your point. I won't make you work with Zubat again," the woman told him. "Since you seem to be having problems, I'll allow for a swap, something simpler to work with." She pulled another ball off her belt and released another Pokemon, the light shrinking down into a round shape with spikes poking off it. Materializing a second later was a tiny Weed Pokemon.

"Oddish! Odd...ish," the Pokemon spoke.

"You should have no problem with this one, it's pretty stupid and tame. Now both of you, into the machine!" The woman ordered with her gun backing up the command. Oddish rushed to complete its task with vigor, moving towards the open chamber of the machine.

Bill looked up to the heavens, as if urging something to come down and save him from this predicament. "The things I do in science's name." He headed back to the machine for another go.

END OF CHAPTER 4! (Finally...)


CHAPTER 5: Cruisin' For a Bruisin'

DAY 6

The sun rose over Cerulean Cape and out over the rest of the city. It was a perfect day, not a cloud in the sky. A great day to be hitting the ocean for some surfing, or other activities.

Jordan awoke as the sun streaked through the open bay windows at the top of the wall adjacent. He looked around, the room he was in was a mess, clothes strewn all over the place, a top even hanging from the mirror opposite. He turned over, coming face to face with a wall of red hair heading up a naked back. Damn, well that wasn't bad at all. That and....oh yeah! Party today!

He reached over the edge of the bed, pulling up his jeans. He dug around for the ticket that Bill had given him last night, and found it, confirming that he would still be going to the cruise ship. Party starts at 7PM, should be able to go there in time for that...if I knew how to get to Vermillion...

"Morning, babe," Jordan heard from behind him. Misty had awoken and was laying there with a smile on her face. "Sleep well?"

"Oh yeah, definitely," he confirmed. "So looking forward to today. Us and my bros, heading down for an all-expenses party, gonna rule."

"Yeah about that, I can't go."

"What? Why?"

"Oh the pain in the ass responsibilities of being a Gym Leader," Misty told him. "Have to stay and battle anyone who comes, and I used up my travel breaks a while ago."

"Man, lame," Jordan said. "Oh well, I'll have to party hard for both of us I guess."

"You do that. I'll hear all about it when you get back, since I'm assuming you will be back to face me again, right?"

"Yeah I guess. Well, I should probably meet up with everyone else. Tell them all the good news right?" Jordan looked around on the floor, "If I could just find my clothes..."

"Give me a sec, I'll help ya," Misty sat up on the bed, blanket still covering her. "Plus I'll come with you to the Center. I can show you a short cut to get down there quicker without having to go through all the Saffron checkpoints."

"Cool." Jordan said, pulling on his retrieved jeans. Today was going to be one to remember, Jordan could feel it.

It had been a sleepless night for Rochelle. The little amount of rest she had managed was plagued by nightmares again. It was the same one every time she managed to get back to sleep: the darkness, the caves, footfalls behind her, chasing her, herding her into a corner of the cavern's natural maze. Each time just before she woke, the last thing Rochelle saw before she woke was the red R emblazoned on the uniforms... and she always found herself sitting bolt upright in bed, covered in cold sweat and her hair in a rat's nest.

At one point, it had almost become too much. At about 1 AM, Rochelle had quietly dressed, crept out of the bedroom and headed back into the main hall of the Pokémon Center. There were a few lights on around the place, and a night-shift nurse on duty behind the counter. When the nurse gave Rochelle a questioning look, the Trainer returned a half-hearted wave but didn't speak. Instead she took a seat with her back to the nurse, buried her head in her hands and cried to herself for a little while.

She shied away from the nurse's friendly touch when she approached, having heard Rochelle sobbing to herself. Rochelle didn't want to talk about it, not when it was the middle of the night and she had only managed about forty minutes' sleep all up. She had doubted her ability to form coherent sentences, and had eventually allowed herself to be guided back to the communal bedroom where she got back into bed, with a promise from the nurse that it would help.

But it didn't. Rochelle had more nightmares, and they became more vivid, more intense, as the night progressed. She couldn't stop them coming, and it was ruining her sleep. She ended up staring out the window at the moonlight, silently praying to whoever would listen that she managed to get even two straight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Her prayers weren't answered.

That morning, Rochelle had watched the dawn break. She had expected to feel some sort of relief that the terrifying night was over... but she just felt drained of energy. Still tired from the events of the day before. On a brief trip to the bathroom for a shower that morning, she caught sight of herself in a mirror... she was a complete and total wreck. Her eyes were a little bloodshot, there were dried rivers leading from her eyes down her face, her clothes were askew since she hadn't paid attention to getting dressed, and her hair was an almost irreparable tangle of red. She attacked the latter with a comb, though, and straightened out a good portion of it.

Unsurprisingly, Rochelle was the first to get up that morning. She didn't go to get breakfast straight away, instead choosing to wait until someone else surfaced. Hopefully she hadn't woken any of her friends up in the night. If that wasn't the case, though, apologies would be in order. She sat back down on her bed while she waited, doing her best to straighten the messy sheets.

Fary woke up and looked around the empty room. Rouge was sleeping in the bed next to her with her other Pokemon. Fary looked at her Xtrancever and sighed seeing a message from Grimsley. "God dammit will you give me a break. I already have a ton to deal with as it is." Fary said sitting up reading the text.

"I miss you my Fary queen. I should be in Kanto to see you soon. I can't wait to have you in my arms again."

"Oh for fuck sake Grimsley I hope you never find me. I don't want to go through that again. Though it seems I've already lost Jordan. "I don't know why I feel like this ether. I haven't known him for that long but there's something about him. Yea he's an idiot but he's.. sweet." she said holding her legs to her chest thinking a tear running down her cheek.

"Maybe I should just take Grimsley back. I mean maybe he did love me at some point. I just don't want to be alone for the rest of my life and he did treat me well, that is untill he left." she said.

Mika was the next to wake... sleeping on the bunk above Aeris's. The teenager hopped from the mattress, landing with a soft thud on his feet and hands. He pulled on a clean t-shirt, glad to have gotten some laundry done the night before... After his short nap against Aeris, he did manage to get to the bed.

He thought he was the only one awake at the moment, not seeing Rochelle in her bed. He grabbed his soap, toothpaste and brush, shampoo, a towel, and clean clothes, heading for the bathroom. After brushing his teeth, and answering nature's call, he hopped in one of the stalls, turning on the head and shivering as it starts cold, slowly warming as he cowers in the corner of the stall from the icy water... That blast of chill killed his morning issues rather swiftly, and he got to bathing once it was warm.

"Mm... warm showers are the cure for most anything, I guess." He said to himself, lathering his nude form up and down. He gazed upon his own body, as if examining his progress of muscle development... or the lack thereof.

Turning off the hot, steam-bringing water, Mika grabbed his towel, quickly drying himself off and changing his clothes. Once he was dressed and his hair mostly dry, he went back into the bunk room, grabbing a bottle of pills from his backpack, shaking the bottle and opening it, popping the last of them and looking at it with slight disbelief... was he already out?

"Pharmacy..." He said to himself, stashing the empty bottle back in his back and putting on his belt of Pokeballs. He looked up, seeing that Rochelle was awake as well... had she seen him take his medication? "Morning Rochelle..." He said politely to her... she looked like she didn't sleep well.

"These are shoes Ari. I wear them to protect my feet, and no you cannot wear them," Eileen told her Exeggcute as she tied the laces on her shoe. The Pokemon looked downtrodden at what she said; jumping out of her shoe with a gloomy expression. "I don't see why you'd want to wear them anyway, not all of you would even fit," she said, picking up the shoe and putting it on, "How about we go a different route then normal this time? Would that make you feel any better if we headed over to the bridge instead of just around the city?"

"Exegg-cute!" the Pokemon cried out, rolling over to the door waiting for his owner.

"Just one more second," Eileen muttered, standing up and making sure her shoes felt comfortable before leaving the room and entering the hallway. As soon as the door was opened Ari darted out excitedly and started to make his way to the main area of the Pokemon Center. "Ari keep it down. Some people might be asleep," she told her Pokemon, loudly whispering it to get his attention. Eileen and Hughes were quiet as they went through the hallway to the rooms, the two of them speeding up at the end to catch up to the Exeggcute that was already almost at the entrance.

"Morning," Eileen said with a wave as she passed the front desk, quickly greeting Nurse Joy before exiting the center with her two Pokemon. "Alright you two, we'll keep it at an easy pace for the beginning while we're heading to the bridge. After that we'll pick it up a bit and be back by the time everyone gets up," she explained to her Pokemon as the three of them started their morning jog to Nugget Bridge.

Callum was forced to climb around the mountain after the tunnel through it had been closed off by an explosion. The trip itself was more inconvenient than he had hoped and he had ended up entering Cerulean late at night. He had decided to stop by the Pokémon Center long enough to transfer his newly caught Caterpie to the Pokémon researchers, to have his own Pokémon healed, and to talk to the on duty Nurse Joy about the local gym. Preferring to sleep under the stars and being filthy from head to toe; Callum left the Pokémon Center as soon as his Pokémon were healed. After choosing two nicely sized trees to hand his hammock from, Callum spent the night in the northwest corner of Route 25.

As the pre sunrise glow slowly lit the sky, Callum awoke. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes he took down his hammock, and headed to the river's edge at the top of Nugget Bridge. After washing his t-shirt, jacket, and bandana in the water he laid them out to dry on his tarp. Releasing his Nincada and Ledyba, Callum ordered them to guard his possessions as he removed his shoes and belt, before jumping into the river to swim and wash the dirt off his body.

Not long after he started swimming, Callum could hear footsteps coming across the bridge and decided to get out of the river. After quickly putting his half dry t-shirt and shoes on, Callum walked over to the end of the bridge and spotted a fairly tall, brown haired girl jogging across the bridge. It took him a second before he noticed the Pokémon jogging with her. So it's another trainer? No reason for me not to say hello.

After waiting a bit for the girl to get closer Callum called out, "hello. How's it going?"

Mika did not receive an immediate response from Rochelle. Her thoughts were scattered, not really focusing onto one particular subject. The younger Trainer's voice made an attempt to cut through the haze clouding her mind. It succeeded, at least in part, as she looked over at Mika and gave him a small wave in response to his greeting. She didn't exactly trust herself to speak, instead turning her attention to the partially sweat-soaked bedsheets and the mess she had made of them in the night.

Rochelle made an attempt to straighten up the sheets as she usually did... but her efforts were half-hearted. She wanted nothing more than to go back to sleep... but she couldn't. Not while she had those terrors in the back of her mind, just waiting to resurface. She needed something to get rid of them, to lock them away or shut them down. And she had no idea of what she could do.

Perhaps waiting for other people to surface wasn't such a good idea. Rochelle's stomach told her she needed food. Uncaring for her appearance, she got up and slowly made her way out to the central hall of the Pokémon Center, intending to pass through it on her way to the kitchen and dining area.

Aeris woke up from a nice dream she'd been having. She stretched as she got out of her bed and headed towards the showers. She grabbed a towel and went for the showers after getting undressed. She took a bit of time to wash herself, then got out, dried herself and got dressed again. It was a refreshing shower, but now she needed something to eat. She headed towards where food could be found and got herself something good. A piece of toast, orange juice and couple of eggs.

Holding the dish and glass that contained her breakfast, she took a seat on a nearby chair and put the dish and glass down. Perhaps she'd been too tired to notice, but she wasn't sure where Mika was. He'd be able to find her. Or vice versa. Aeris let her team out of their Pokeballs and gave each of them treats, which they all happily ate. They seemed to have slept well like their trainer, which made her happy.

Mika walked into the dining area, seeing Aeris with a glass of orange juice and some food on her plate. "Good morning, Aeris." He smiles at her and gives her a small, sweet kiss on the cheek, before going and making himself some breakfast; a tall glass of milk, two pieces of toast with peanut-butter, and a banana as well. He sits down next to his girlfriend - the thought of him having a girlfriend still made him warm inside and want to giggle - and ate his breakfast.

"How did you sleep?" He asks her, thinking back to the previous night. He had slept fairly well, save for an odd dream regarding himself and a Tentacruel... Very strange. His dreams also brought him back to that cruel, fateful night two years prior... He didn't let his face show it, too focused on breakfast... "Mmm... peanut butter." He said after taking a bite of his toast, his words mangled by the delicious food.

"See Ari, this isn't so bad. It'll be easier when you become used to it; which shouldn't take too long. Another week and a half and we'll see an improvement in you," Eileen told her Pokemon, the small group making their way over the Nugget Bridge towards Route 25.

"We'll get to the top and then turn around. We can do some training later after breakfa- Hughes where are you going?" she asked her Growlithe after he ran up ahead and started to bark. Eileen and Ari quickened their pace to catch up to the much faster Pokemon, the two slowing down once they saw that it was a human that Hughes was barking at. "Hughes stop it. They're not doing anything," Eileen said after catching her breath, looking at the young man in front of them. From what she could tell he had just gotten out of the water next to them, the idea of letting her own Pokemon go in for some training crossing her mind briefly. Behind him she saw some Pokemon, including one that wasn't common to the area. 'Interesting,' she thought before the other Trainer spoke up.

"Hello. How's it going?"

"It is going pretty well. Just doing a morning jog with my Pokemon," Eileen replied, gesturing towards the two Pokemon. Ari rolled over to this other Trainer to get a good look at him, while Hughes stared at him disapprovingly. "Ignore the Growlithe. He's not the most friendly at the beginning. My name is Eileen by the way. Are those Pokemon over there yours?" she asked curiously, eying the foreign Nincada next to the Ledyba.

"My name's Callum and yes those two are my Pokémon. The one on the ground's my Nincada and the flying one is my Ledyba." Callum replied to Eileen, before whistling to his Pokémon in order to call them over. As his Nincada and Ledyba made their way over to him, Callum knelt down to get a better look at the Exeggcute, while ignoring the Growlithe's stare. Those different emotional faces are a strange but this guy's friendly enough so it's cool.

Callum wasn't paying any attention to his Nincada, as walked up behind him and clamped its mouth through the back loop on Callum's pants. When Callum noticed his Ledyba fly past him he tried to stand up. Halfway up, to Callum's complete surprise, his pants weren't moving at all. He immediately realized that he was now standing in front of Eileen in his boxers and immediately panicked. Struggling to get his pants back up in a hurry, Callum on succeeded in snaring his legs in his pants and subsequently falling down to the group.

"Ledy ba ba ledyba." Stop being mean to Callum.

"Nin nincada." Why? It's funny.

The two Pokémon were getting into each other's faces as Callum pulled up his pants. Standing up quickly, Callum turned to his two Pokémon; his face was pure red in embarrassment. "Can you two back off a little and Nincada stopping doing embarrassing things to me," Callum tried to order but lacked the authority in his voice. "I'm sorry. My Nincada has a cruel sense of humor. If that wasn't too embarrassing, I'd like to continue talking. Maybe if I grab my belt and other things we could do so while you finish you jog, so I'm not holding you up from it."

There was a pause of awkward silence between the trio as Callum's Nincada pulled a dirty prank on it's owner. It was broken by Hughes' barks as he stood between his Trainer and the teenager. Ari (who was right next to Callum and didn't think anything weird had happened but was silent because everyone else was) seemed to think Hughes was barking at him instead of Callum, and a small scuffle ensued before Eileen broke the two up with a quick shout. She then brought out a small notepad and pen, reciting what she was jotting down.

"Teen Trainer Callum, equal sign flasher. Potential pervert. Proceed with caution," she stated before putting the notepad back into her pocket. "I shall wait for you here then while you grab your things," she told him after adjusting her glasses, ignoring the fact that she just told him that she believed him to be a potential creep.

Jordan finished straightening up his Sharks hat, making sure it was perfectly placed over his tousled mess of a hairstyle. Looking over his back, he asked, "Are you ready then?"

"I've been ready for five minutes," Misty informed him. "You're the one hogging up my mirror."

"Scha, whatever. Fine then, let's get on it."

"Fine."

The two departed from the gym, making the short trip over to the Pokemon Center in no time at all. Misty kept a hold of Jordan's hand, it was a little awkward. Wow, she's like, fallen. Hope Fary's not like pissed or nothing.

As the two entered the doors, Jordan could smell the aroma of food wafting from the cafeteria. It immediately attracted him, pulling into the large room. Rochelle, Stick and Red were in there, so they might as well be the first ones to hear the news.

"Bros! Yo bros, aw guess what I got last night! Never guess bros!"

"I slept well, thank you." Aeris replied to Mika and kissed his cheek in return for the kiss he gave her. She took a bite out of one of the eggs she had and drank a bit of her orange juice. This seemed like a nice, quiet morning.

That is, until Jordan came in, talking loudly because he was excited over something, it seemed. "What is it, Jordan?" she asked him, more focused on her breakfast than what Jordan had to say. And she was trying her hardest not to notice Misty, who she didn't trust to be near her.

Rochelle winced at Jordan's loud entrance, having stopped picking at her breakfast to partially cover her ears with her hands. Did he have to be so noisy? And who was that with him? She didn't recognise Jordan's female friend... then the figure's hair colour became apparent to her, and she let her head fall to the table top with a somewhat loud clunk. Thankfully, she missed her plate, otherwise it would have been something one would see in a comedy show on TV.

Even in her sleep-deprived state, she could tell what had happened the night before. It explained why Jordan was so bouncy and excited. Really, Jordan? Rochelle thought. He had evidently spent the night with the Cerulean Gym Leader... and he had to drag her along to join the group? Why would someone do that? For one thing, Fary was probably going to kill Jordan, since she was already annoyed with him. For another, there were a few people who had lost to Misty the day before... and that put the losers on ill terms with Misty. Except Jordan, apparently. That thought alone made Rochelle highly uncomfortable, much like after learning what happened between Fary and Brock back in Pewter.

Rochelle remembered the spectacular display of one-sidedness that she had exhibited in the Cerulean Gym. Her facial expression twisted into a grimace, though her long hair covered it up.

"Ah it's so messed up, but so awesome! So yeah, we were out at the Cape last night, and we ran into this dude, but this dude was fucked up, like he was part Pokemon and stuff! It was freaky bros! But yeah, we fixed him, and as thanks he gave me this pass! It's for this cruise in...Vermillion, and yeah, it's for ten people! So we can like all go to Vermillion and get a free party tonight! It's sweet!"

Misty just stood behind him shaking her head. Wow, really succinct Jordan. She looked over the people there. Two of them who managed to beat her while using Fire Pokemon, and the other faired only slightly better than Jordan. Can't believe I'm helping these guys.

"But yeah, it's like tonight, and Misty said she knows a shortcut that will get us to Vermillion really quick!"

"I'd go with you guys, but you know. Gym Leader duties. If I left, my sisters would just give badges away like candy, and if that happened again, we'd lose gym rights. So yeah, kinda stuck here."

"So yeah, where is everyone else? We need to like get going to Vermillion so we can like totally party it up right!"

What it was that got Jordan so excited did make Aeris look at him rather than her breakfast, but it still didn't catch all that much attention or interest from her. Though, this sounded like an opportunity to meet more trainers, and perhaps learn about where she could find more Fire Pokemon and possibly Ghost ones as well.

"I don't know where everyone else is. I just woke up not that long ago. Hence the breakfast in front of me." she said as she pointed at her plate and glass. "I'm sure we can find them either in the beds or outside." Blaze nodded in agreement with her. Tristan hovered over Misty in curiosity, seeing the gym leader out of her gym.

By the time Tyler stirred from his slumber, pretty much everyone else was out and about. In order to make up for time lost by his oversleeping, he took a very brief shower. Once clean and redressed, he made his way to the cafeteria in hopes of a quick breakfast. Already there were Rochelle, Aeris, Mika, Jordan, and...Misty? What was she doing here? And what was this about a party? On a cruise? Too many questions for a groggy Tyler to consider.

"Uh...wait...we're going to a party?" Tyler inquired after suppressing a yawn.

"Yeah dude!" Jordan said, pulling out the pass to show Tyler. "See! You and nine other people are cordially invited on the S.S. Anne for a 10th anniversary party! And there's people having a good time on the pass! So it's gotta be a good time!"

"So is this it then?" Misty asked. "Cause I can just show you guys to the Underground Path and get out of your hair."

"No, there should be more people here. Like New Girl, and New Guy, and..." Fary. Right. Dang. She might not like Misty right now...ah well. She was with Brock, so whatever. Even now. "...and yeah, so should be more people."

"All right, but can we move this along? I don't trust Lily for a second."

"OK, OK, don't worry, Misty."

"That's great! We get to go on..." He paused for a second. "Did you say a cruise? As in the S.S. Anne's 10th Anniversary Party Cruise? That's incredible... Do you have any idea how hard it is to get on the Guest List for events like this? Whoever gave you that pass must really not have wanted to go... or something important must've come up."

Mika gave his comments on the situation, not making any remark about the fact that Jordan obviously did horrible, dirty, naughty things with Misty... At least in Mika's mind, according to a rumor he'd heard about red-heads.

"I need to have my sister send me some nice clothes when we get to Vermillion. Don't wanna look underdressed." He said before taking another bite of his toast. He also mentally reminded himself that he needed to see if she had any of his medication lying around the cabinets, or if he'd have to get the refill on his own. Not a big deal, he'd done it before, it was just that it seemed like he'd have to wait until Vermillion to get them... if they got there before the shops closed.

"What day is it today?" He asked, not bothering to check his phone.

Croc was the first to wake up before Alan, and began to nudge the trainer's hand with it's jaw. It felt different somehow, but couldn't exactly place what had changed yet. It was also more interested in finally waking Alan up as it had heard movement outside the door for some time now.

Alan slowly woke up with the usual nudging at his hand. He opened his eyes and looked down expecting to see Croc there before letting out a shout and falling from the bed. Croc inquisitively turned its head at Alan as he pulled out his pokedex.

"Sorry buddy, just wasn't expecting to see your evolved form as soon as I woke up. Scared me a bit." Alan said as he stood up. Croc looked down before running around excitedly.

"Alright alright calm down. Let's go out and get you some food." Alan said, walking out to a few people outside his door looking at him as he walked out. Once they saw what was going on they went back to what they had been doing previously.

Simon awoke to silence. Having spent the past few years with a living, and usually insistent, alarm clock it was a bit of an surprise. But, since he had nothing forcing him out of bed Simon spent a few minutes being still. He ran through the previous night's activities in his head. Dinner had been simple, with the whole team getting their fill plus special Pokémon desserts for his two female Pokémon.

After locating an unoccupied room in the Pokémon Center Simon attempted to have a discussion with Drowzee. But even with the Pokémon's cooperation Simon was unable to properly talk about Team Rocket and Drowzee's history. Shadow had been a slight distraction, having been told to lie down while Simon talked. But Shadow was restless and pawed at the door. To prevent other trainers from getting upset Simon returned Shadow to his Pokéball.

'Which is why he didn't wake me up.' Simon concluded. He sat up, yawning as he kicked his blanket aside. After the unproductive talk with Drowzee he'd changed the subject to names. Or rather, a single name. Instead of giving Drowzee a name he offered the Pokémon the chance to chose. For a good half-hour Simon rattled off potential names. But Drowzee had rejected them all. Simon tried to gently explain that having a name was important, it was a good thing. But Drowzee appeared content to wait for...something. 'The right name, maybe?'. Simon wondered.

The room he'd chosen to sleep in was smaller than the rest, with only a single bunk and two chairs lined up against the far wall. It was the farthest from the main lobby, but he'd been okay with that at the time. A quiet rumble let Simon know that it was past time for breakfast. Gathering his belongings he left the room, heading to the nearest shower.

Callum missed Eileen's note as he saw a Beedrill flying into the forest off in the background. I still need that one. Wait focus on what she's saying. You're talking to someone right now. Callum went back to paying attention to Eileen just as she started to say, "I shall wait for you here then while you grab your things."

"Okay thanks. I'll be back in a second," Callum replied before running back to his stuff. After quickly putting on his belt, he pulled out a netball labeled with a Nincada sticker. "Nincada return," Callum commanded as a red light shot out of the ball and made contact with his Nincada. After the Pokémon was returned, Callum placed the pokéball back in his pouch. Callum put his bandana on, the Boulder Badge from Pewter City attached to it, and loaded his jacket and tarp into his backpack before putting the backpack on.

Callum ran back to Eileen as fast as he could. "Sorry for making you wait. Shall we continue with your jog?" Callum asked.

Eileen watched Callum run back towards his things to pick them up, contemplating if she should try to make a break for it to get away from him. 'Though that would seem rude...then again do perverts care about rudeness? Perhaps he isn't even one; do teens normally act like that? The tend to do odd things on those shows I used to watch, but those were simply fiction. I'll just need to keep a close eye on him,' Eileen concluded, noticing Callum had rejoined them and was asking about continuing the jog.

"Yes, that would be a good idea. I think I'll cut it short this morning and just start heading back," she replied to the teen, heading back towards Cerulean.

There was a silence as the group crossed over the Nugget Bridge, only being broken when Eileen couldn't take the silence anymore. "So, uh Callum...are you from here? The Nincada implies that you are not, or that simply you've traveled around. I'm leaning to the former."

Tyler examined the pass Jordan waved in front of him. Invites to the S.S. Anne's 10th anniversary? This was almost unbelievable! He faintly recalled the news coverage of the upcoming celebration, as well as speculation as to which Gym Leader or celebrity would be attending. This was definitely the chance of a lifetime. "Hey, we sure hit it lucky!" he said excitedly as Jordan pulled the pass away. Suddenly his early morning lethargy had vanished, replaced by a sense of excitement. "So, when are we going?"

Fary took her time getting ready to go. She didn't want to run into anyone at this point so taking her time would help her calm down some. "Just breath Fary breath. maybe he didn't do anything, well can you blame him though, you slept with Brock. I guess you're still messed up Fary maybe you should just give up on this idiotic crusade to be a trainer. It... might be easier and mom and dad do need help after all." she said to herself tears starting to flow from her eyes.

She stopped as she ran a hair brush though her hair and looked at her self placing a shaking hand on the mirror looking at the face that was looking back at her. "This isn't who you really are Fary, you're not a whore but... why are you acting like this." she said slowly running her hand down the smooth glass of the mirror. She balls her hand into the fist as she's starts sobbing tears flowing from her eyes like a river. She blanked out for a short moment in time and discovered she smashed her fist into the mirror shattering it forcing some shards to cut her hand, scarlet blood flowing onto the mirror. Rogue ran to her feet to make sure she was ok and pull;ed at her pants yipping.

"Rua zaruua." Are you ok Fary?"

Fary's other Pokemon came over to check on their master.

"ekke ekke nsss. "This doesn't look good."

"Guys I'm ok. I just cut myself is all. It's not too bad really." Fary said smiling weakly. Let me clean this up some then wrap my hand and we'll get some food." Fary said not really sure how bad her hand really was.

She washed and wrapped her hand trying to stop the bleeding but only able to stop it a bit then she cleaned up the glass. "Let's go guys." she said picking up her stuff and walked to get food then froze seeing Jordan... and the water whore. She moved as best she could as to not attract the attention of the others grabbing some food and sat down in the back quickly setting out her Pokemon's food. "There you guys go." she smiled and blinked seeing that her hand had left a red spot on the table. "Shit." she said to herself.

"We can go right now," Misty answered Tyler's question for him. "Like I said, I can take you all down to the Underground Path right now, no problem at all."

"It's like Friday, I think?" Jordan answered Mookie as Fary came into view. Shit....well she's not leaping at her. That's like, a good thing, I guess.

"Jordan, you ready?" Misty asked him.

"Yeah, yeah I think we can head out now. Like everyone is here, I think?"

Alan saw a group of the people he had met yesterday and decided he may as well get to know them a bit. He didn't know if Eileen, and by extension himself, would be traveling with them. So it couldn't hurt just in case, besides they seemed like good enough people anyway.

"Morning everyone." He said once he had joined the group.

"Yes, that would be a good idea. I think I'll cut it short this morning and just start heading back."

Callum just nodded and continued back to towards Cerulean with Eileen in silence. There I go again. I'm just a drain on someone else. Why did I even ask if I could join her? I should have just left her alone after that. I'm just becoming another burden on someone else again. Am I really that pathetic? Callum's thoughts broken when Eileen broke the silence between them.

"So, uh Callum...are you from here? The Nincada implies that you are not, or that simply you've traveled around. I'm leaning to the former."

"No I'm not from here," Callum replied with a dry throat from the previous silence. He swallowed easing the dryness in his throat a little before continuing. "I'm from Rustboro City, in the Hoenn region. That was a pretty good pick up on the Nincada though, since they are generally only found on Route 116. What about yourself? Are you from around here or are you traveling as well?"

"Hoenn? That's quite far from here. As for myself I'm from this region; born and raised on Cinnabar Island. It's a pretty nice place now that the island has recovered a bit," Eileen replied as they got off the Nugget Bridge and were nearing Cerulean.

"What are you doing all the way here from Hoenn if I may ask? Are you doing the League challenge here? I am, though I only recently began. Just met a fairly large group traveling around too on their journey," she added, wondering if anyone was up yet at the Pokemon Center. 'If they are up I need to ask about where we're heading next and when we'll be leaving,' Eileen thought, hoping that they would be leaving Cerulean soon, 'I've certainly been in this city long enough. Time to move on.'

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