In Her Image: a Pokémon RP

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"A-actually... yeah. Yeah, I'd like that. Um... C-count me in, Tom!"

With Rupert and Ryan both agreeing Tom decided to get some rest. Smiling to himself, he unlocked his room and released his team.

"Guess what Aeolus, we won." He said softly to the Feraligatr.

"Gator?"

"Yeah, and everyone was great too. Even the opponent had tough pokemon. And some of the other participants as well. I'm really sorry that I can't use you yet, but maybe if we battle Daria."

"Skor."

"Oh, that's right. Her Graveler evolved, didn't it. Everyone here has such strong pokemon... I'm sure that I'll get to use you soon, ok buddy?"

"Gator."

"Oh yeah... That was so long ago... Just you and I here in Johto... Too bad I'm busy with all this tournament stuff, or we could go visit all the old places. Remember playing around in the ruins by Violet city? Remember how all the Natu would just sit there watching us?"

"Gator..."

However Tom was once again lost in thought.

"You know, a Natu would probably be a good addition to the team... Anyway, let's get some rest."

Matt's ascent was slow, serious, and silent. Each stair seemed to form an insurmountable obstacle, each footstep seemed to last a lifetime. His journey was a solitary one, and as Matt wound his way up the stairwell the sounds of conversation and other people soon faded away, leaving the young trainer to stew in his own thoughts.

Upon reaching his room, Matt shoved the door open unceremoniously, carelessly tossing his key onto a nearby desk without bothering to re-lock the wooden apparatus. Likewise, he ignored the room's light switch, venturing into the darkened area and recklessly risking stubbed or broken toes. Luckily for the lad, a few rays of pale moonlight shone through his windows; the slivers of light were just enough to make his way to the bed.

The mattress' soft embrace was a welcome comfort after a long day, and Matt's eyes nearly fell shut the moment he flopped onto the soft surface, pajamas or teeth-brushing be damned. However, there was one responsibility that the trainer would never neglect, regardless of exhaustion or his state of mind. Sighing as he sat up, Matt's hands went once more to the belt around his waist, skillfully plucking the trio of Pokeballs from their holsters. Three brilliant flashes of light lit the room; as he blinked the blindness away from his maladjusted eyes, Matt heard his Pokemon stretch and purr, coo, and moan in relief.

"Pidgerrrrrroooo" Ventus' keen eyes were unaffected by the lack of light, and the Pidgeotto flapped around the room a few times before settling on top of the wardrobe. Turning a watchful eye to the rest of the room, eagerly looking for any signs of dinner, the flying-type began to preen his feathers.

"Ga-ga-gastly!" It had been a while since Persephone had been out of her Pokeball, and even if the floating ball of vapor didn't have limbs or even a solid body it was still nice to be able to get out and move around. Bobbing through the air, the Gastly sped around the room at a decent clip, shooting through walls and obstacles like they didn't exist as she worked off her pent up energy.

"...Quil?" Instead of scampering about like its companions, Spike kept its half-open eyes focused on its trainer, worriedly watching as Matt tiredly stumbled over to his backpack. Ignoring the two bowels of food that his trainer was setting up, Spike cautiously made his way over to Matt's leg, nudging the limb with his (Thankfully extinguished) head. "Cynda-cyn? Quil?"

Surprisingly, Matt ignored the Cyndaquil's questions. Despite the stung expression that spread across Spike's face, the young man refused to answer, simply setting the twin bowels on the ground before tiredly staggering over to the bed and collapsing onto the blankets. As Ventus happily swooped to the floor and began to chow down, Matt began to slowly curl up, closing his eyes and willing for oblivion to come and claim him.

If only it could have been that simple.

"QUIL QUIL! CYNDAQUIL!"

Even if sleep hadn't been skillfully eluding Matt's grasp, the bundle of flaming fur that slammed into the trainer's chest ensured that he'd be awake for a while yet.

"Oooof!" Empty lungs gasped for air as Matt reeled from Spike's Quick Attack, nearly tumbling out of the bed as he recovered from the blow. As breath slowly returned to his body, the irate trainer glared at the fire-type crouched on the bed next to him, the flames from Spike's back illuminating the confrontation. When he had finally regained enough air to speak, Matt's voice held a hard edge, "What the hell was that for, huh?!"

It had been a long day, and the last thing the lad wanted to deal with was more of his Pokemon betraying him. For the first time in years of training, Matt was prepared to lash out at his team, but Spike was having none of that. Matching Matt's glare with its own steely gaze, the Cyndaquil interrupted the forthcoming rant with one of his own, his squeaky voice somehow taking on an intimidating tone. "Cyn-cyndaquil, quil quil cyndaquil! Cyndaquil cyndaquil cyn! Cyndaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" Finishing its tirade, Spike's gaze shifted from Matt to Ventus and back again, both trainer and Pidgeotto receiving a harsh, piercing gaze from the small fire-type.

Both Matt and Ventus stood/sat in shock at Spike's outburst. Surprisingly, it was Matt who recovered and responded first. "Seriously? You're asking me why I'm upset? Oh I don't know, maybe it had something to do with finding out that my method of raising you guys has been wrong this entire time, that I've been screwing it all up!"

"Quil quil, cynda!"

"Right, because Ventus is just sooooo easy to talk to, isn't he?"

The Pidgeotto in question had finally recovered enough of his head to interject. "Pidgerrrrrroooo! Rrrrrro, Pidgerooo!"

"What?! No, don't you lie to me like that. You're telling me that you didn't obey Daria's every order after she treated you like that?"

"Rrrrroooo. Pidgerrrrrooo!"

"And I get that. What I don't get is why you still treat me like this after I've spent years taking care of you, and you act like that after being threatened once!"

The conversation was quickly devolving into a shouting match; things were not going as Spike had hoped they would. "Cynda..."

"RRRRRRROOOOOOO! PIDGE-PIDGERRRRRRR!"

"So would you be happier if I just traded you away permanently then?! Because if that's what you really want, then..."

"GASTLY!"

There was nothing quite like the icy feeling of a ghost-type flying through your vital organs to cut off the words in your throat. Persephone raced around the room, her usual grin replaced by a grimace, as her gaseous form soared through Matt, Ventus, and Spike. The corporal trio reacted as expected, shuddering and falling silent as their minds processed the indescribable sensation of being violated in such a manner.

Caleb watched as each of the trainers dispersed into the various rooms of the Sleeping Sunkern, either to sleep, or for preparations regarding the events of the next day. He got up out of his chair, finishing his cup of coffee, and began walking up to his room; Raphael, Raiden, Angelique and Sebastian following on behind him. As he passed one of the rooms that was on the same floor as he was, and from what he could tell, there seemed to be a heated argument between Matt and his Pidgeotto.

"What?! No, don't you lie to me like that. You're telling me that you didn't obey Daria's every order after she treated you like that?"

"Rrrrroooo. Pidgerrrrrooo!"

"And I get that. What I don't get is why you still treat me like this after I've spent years taking care of you, and you act like that after being threatened once!"

"RRRRRRROOOOOOO! PIDGE-PIDGERRRRRRR!"

"So would you be happier if I just traded you away permanently then?! Because if that's what you really want, then..."

Caleb sighed deeply as he turned to his Pokémon.

"Do you think we should help him?" He asked to all of them.

"Com." Raphael replied, before nodding in a sagely manner.
" Luxxxx, ray." Raiden responded with, the odd jolt of electricity jumping across him as he spoke.
"Raavia. Star. Star" Angelique chirped, flying up onto his shoulder afterwards.
"Eevee eve." Sebastian quietly barked, nuzzling Caleb's left leg, wanting to be picked up. After he was, he began to fall asleep.

"Very well then." Caleb remarked, before pushing the already open door with his free hand and entering Matt's room.

"What seems to be the problem here Matt? You know, if you do decide to give Ventus away, it'll be a decision that you'll regret." Caleb asked in a concerned voice to the distraught trainer.

"What seems to be the problem here Matt? You know, if you do decide to give Ventus away, it'll be a decision that you'll regret."

It took Matt a few moments to recover from Persephone's ploy, but eventually he managed to find the strength to utter a few, short sentences.

"And what makes you qualified to say that, huh? Have you ever watched one of your partners, one that you've raised for years, ignore everything you've done to win their trust and affection? I've done nothing but treat Ventus with love and care since I caught him, and he obeyed Daria more closely than he's ever done with me."

Wiping a few tears away from his eyes, Matt lowered his gaze, eyes locked on something between his feet. "So just how am I supposed to react to that?"

"Goodnight all. And until we see again, be wary of evildoers."

Heh, evildoers... What kind of weirdo says something so melodramatic?

Nevertheless Sav bid farewell to the strange detective, before resigning to listen to everybody else's particular plans for the night, and also for tomorrow. She was unsure about the status of the tournament, and she had assumed that it would be at least postponed due to today's events.

Almost as if speaking up to address her thoughts, Remy, as the only person who was knowledgeable about the immediate area, to act as a tour guide of sorts to the group.

"Ahem... So, the tournament tomorrow won't resume before 6 p.m. Let's meet here at 8 a.m tomorrow and leave for the commercial area together. we'll have time to do some sightseeing, as well as some much needed shopping..."

"Did someone say shopping?! I love shopping! I've been needing to buy some dolls and some TMs and some Pokeballs and..."

She looked up and blushed, realising she had been rambling on about shopping, how embarrassingly stereotypical of her. Savannah quickly shook off such thoughts, worried that she had exposed more about herself than she'd have liked to to these near-strangers. She had already done enough of that for the day in that damn arena.

Finished with her milkshake, and with no other pressing matters to attend to, Sav decided to retire for the night, in order to rest up and have the energy for both tomorrow's shopping and sightseeing, along with the tournament if need be. Where she was going to give it her all.

"I suppose that's me done for the night then. Goodnight everyone!" she said as she made her way upstairs to her room, Spriggan still in tow.

"Grovyle!" said the Wood Gecko Pokemon, seeming to bid everybody goodnight in a similar matter to his trainer, but far more ceremoniously as he thrust his chin in the air and made some grandiose movements with the leaves on his arms, before ultimately being ushered away once Sav noticed that he was lagging behind.

Sav collapsed onto her bed, processing all that had happened to her today. Even after that upset against Darius, she was still in the tournament. Whatever the reason for it, she was still a contender for the prize money. She still had to think up a way to get back at that asshole for what he did to her in front of that crowd, but she knew that she had a long time to think about that during the rest of the tournament
Darius O'Kere, just you wait...

"And what makes you qualified to say that, huh? Have you ever watched one of your partners, one that you've raised for years, ignore everything you've done to win their trust and affection? I've done nothing but treat Ventus with love and care since I caught him, and he obeyed Daria more closely than he's ever done with me." Matt said after recovering from the ploy of his Gastly.

Wiping a few tears away from his eyes, Matt lowered his gaze, eyes locked on something between his feet. "So just how am I supposed to react to that?" He then asked with a slightly determined voice.

Caleb then entered the room further, sitting down on the bed, Sebastian jumping off to sleep on it. Raphael stood with his back to the wall, a fierce look in his eyes as he stared down the Pidgeotto. Raiden sat by his trainer's leg, in an attempt at getting a brief nap. Angelique remained on Caleb's shoulder, even as he spoke.

"You obviously care for Ventus Matt, otherwise you wouldn't be in this state. Lets look at it from a different perspective. Surely that Ventus wouldn't of argued so vehemently, if he too didn't care about the bond between the pair of you? You and him are like brothers. Actually that reminds me of something." Caleb remarked before continuing.

"There was this old proverb that I was taught a long time ago back in Hoenn. 'Though brothers may quarrel at home, outside they defend each other from slight. Even though they may get in each other's way occasionally, they'll pull together in times of need, for they're an inseparable team.' Look at it this way Matt, you and Ventus are that inseparable team. No matter what happens, you both have each others back, for that is the power of friendship, trust, and loyalty."

"And that with your talents, you and your team will shall we say, kick some arse in the tournament."

"...And that with your talents, you and your team will shall we say, kick some arse in the tournament."

As Caleb finished his speech, Matt's shoulders began to quake, trembling as though the young trainer was repressing a chuckle. When the Jhoto native spoke, however, his voice held no mirth or merriment; it was just as icy as it had been during Caleb's entrance. "You know, I've found that when people quote old stories and proverbs, it's because they don't have any real experiences that back up their points. Anyone can tell a fancy story with a happy moral or ending, but we both know that those rarely happen in the real world, don't we?"

Matt re-positioned himself, staring at his companion with a pair of empty, dead eyes. "Please, don't patronize me. Trust me, I fully realize my position and failings in life, but I do think I'm at least capable of sorting out my own problems without being lectured like a toddler.

"Now if you'll please excuse us," Matt pointed a hand towards the open doorway as he spoke, "we've got quite a bit to talk about."

"Now if you'll please excuse us..." Matt pointed a hand towards the open doorway as he spoke, "...we've got quite a bit to talk about."

"Well then, it seems we are no longer needed my friends." Caleb remarked to his Pokémon in a calm voice, hiding the brief feeling of anger he had from the response that Matt gave. After gathering his team, he made for the door, briefly talking to Matt before he left.

"If you ever need to talk Matt, just come and find me, and I'll be happy to help. Good luck for the remainder of the tournament,..." Caleb began to say before walking down the corridor. "...your going to need it." He said, heading back to his room soon after.

Upon arrival, Angelique headed straight for the chair she slept in on the previous night. Raiden curled up on the side of the bed. Sebastian scrambled straight to the bed itself, using Raiden as a platform. Raphael sat with his back to the foot of the bed. All of Caleb's Pokémon were soon asleep, as was he.

It all happened so fast, but at the same time every second seemed to drag on for a lifetime. Ryan had dozed off while watching the tournament, but a sudden uproar had woken him. From that moment onward, it all seemed surreal. Everything happened at once; lights went out, people screaming, pushing eachother away while they all simultaneously tried to reach the doors. And ryan just went along with it. He just stared blankly in front of him while trying to make sense of all of it. Back home... This would never have happened if I'd been back home.

Outside Ryan met with one of the other guests of the Sunkern. He had seen him at dinner. Ryan tried to look cheerfull, because his poppa always used to say "fear spreads like wildfire".
"Am I glad to run into you, lad! Me and Mightyena were getting ready for our match when suddenly it got awfully dark in here. We were about to get out and back to the inn. Care to join forces? Mightyena doesn't mind the dark but can't really do the whole light show your Pokémon can, can you boy?" His mightyena responded with what sounded like a gleefull "
Might? M-Might!". At least one of us is enjoying themselves. Of course a Mightyena enjoys himself in the dark. It's their natural enviroment. This might as well have been a brightly lit park with flowers and children frolicking around the pond for Mightyena.

Ryan trusted his partner enough to follow his instincts. He trusted his partner on everything. It was the one thing Ryan could hold on to, the fact that Mightyena would always be at his side. Ryan petted his mightyena.

As Lee and Ryan entered the Sunkern they were immediatley met by the same kind of ruckus that was outside. There was power though. Ryan didn't have much time to settle down though, as a cop had entered the Sunkern shortly after. It seemed like he could need all the help he could get. "Me an' Mightyena might not be much lads, but we'll do everything in our power to help! After that, basically all the tennants wanted to help. Nice.

Once the cop had left Ryan noticed how tired he was of the day. He went towards his room, when an odd request was made by Tom. Not that it was odd in itself. Catching Pokemon was something Pokemon Trainers did. But Ryan had never realised he might've actually needed another Pokemon. Mightyena always seemed to be strong enough to handle anything. Though the recent battles he had watched might've altered that view a tad. "Sure lad, I'll join you!" And with those final words, he went to sleep.

May, 25th. 8:30 a.m.

After a night of much needed sleep, a new day was upon the now deputized patrons of the Sleeping Sunkern. Remy was up early, this time with Zangoose as his partner. The two had just finished breakfast and were now waiting for the other tenants in the lobby.

While Zangoose examined his surroundings, Remy decided that now would be an appropriate time to do some light inventory. Remy's bag was a worn, faded army green rucksack, which he found comfortable to carry, but a real pain to keep organized.

"Hmmm... Let's see here..."

Remy started rummaging around his bag and took mental notes of all his posessions.

Healing Items: 3x Potion, 4x Super Potion, 5x Fresh Water, 1x Soda Pop, 5x Lemonade and 2x MooMoo Milk.

Status curing items: 12x Full Heal and 3x Old Gateau.

Revives: 6x Revive

Vitamins: 2x Iron and 2x Calcium

TMs: 1x Thief.

PokéBalls: 4x PokéBall, 2x Dusk Ball, 4x Great Ball, 2x Ultra Ball, 1x Luxury Ball and 2x Premier Ball.

Items: 1x NeverMeltIce, 1x Expert Belt (on Primeape), 4x Super Repel, 1x Razor Claw, 1x Nugget, 2x Heart Scale, 3x Escape Rope, 1x Pearl and 1x White Flute.

Miscellaneous: Primeape's hammock, Pokémon food and assorted cutlery, fishing rod.

"Aaaand 28.000P in cash. I think we got it all, Zangoose. Now we just have to wait 'til everyone gets here and we can get started with the day! I sure hope this one goes a bit better than yesterday though..."

Zan... Zangoose. Goose...

Zangoose wasn't too interested either way. In fact, he could do with a good rough and tumble. It had been too long, although Slagger did provide a... hard challenge.

Speaking of which, the remaining Trainers seemed to be making their way into the lobby.

"Star. Staraaaaavia." Angelique chirped loudly as it awoke, which caused the other members of Caleb's team to rise from slumber. Raphael yawned, stretching its arms before following it up with a few quick punches. Raiden awoke which caused several small jolts to arc between its mane of black fur, and his star shaped tail.

"Eevee. Eevee. Eve." Sebastian barked, as he lifted his furry brown head from slumber, which was nestled amongst his cream coloured collar of fur. He had been sleeping on Caleb's chest, and as he moved, a few giggles came from his trainer, who soon awoke with a yawn.

"Stop it Sebastian, you know that makes me rather ticklish when you move." Caleb remarked with a friendly smile as he sat up in bed, surveying his team of well rested Pokémon. He soon got out of his bed, and put on a fresh change of clothes, along with his coat and boots; he then briefly examined his sword, which shone in the new morning light before placing it in the scabbard.

"Right, now then, lets see what I already have with me, so I know what things to purchase:

- Healing Items: 3x Potions, 3x Super Potions, 3x Fresh Water, 2x Soda Pop, 2x Lemonade, and 1x MooMoo Milk.

- Status Cure Items: 5x Full Heal, and 7x Lava Cookie.

- Revive Items: 6x Revive.

- Vitamins: 2x Calcium, 1x Protein, and 1x Iron.

- Technical Machines: 1x Thunderbolt (TM 24), 1x Shadow Ball (TM 30), and 1x Brick Break (TM 31).

- Pokéballs: 2x Pokéball, 3x Great Ball, 3x Ultra Ball, 2x Luxury Ball, 1x Timer Ball, and 1x Premier Ball.

- Items: 1x Charcoal (On Combusken), 1x Sharp Beak (On Staravia), 5x Super Repels, 3x Escape Ropes, 1x Heart Scale, and 1x Blue Flute.

- Miscellaneous: Sword, Pokémon Food, Pokéblock Case (+ Pokéblocks).

Finally, 45.000P in cash. Well, everything seems to be in order."

After making sure everyone was fed, Caleb used Raphael's, Sebastian's, and Angelique's Pokéballs, deciding that he would travel with Raiden today. After having some breakfast of his own, he made his way to the foyer, where he could see Remy with his Zangoose.

Dawn crept into Darius's room and the lamp he'd left on last night paled in comparison to the sunlight threatening to blind him in the early morning. Shuffling to the bathroom, he stripped and took a short shower before washing his clothes in there with him and then hanging them to dry on the curtain rod, towel hanger, anything that looked like it could be used to hang something on. Next was, of course, his morning routine.

He stuffed his pipe, lit it, and wandered back out to the main part of his room, still dripping from his shower and reached the wardrobe where he'd put his clothes. Daffy was still sleeping inside and fell out onto the floor, still asleep and as solid as a bowling pin, eyes wide open and drooling.

Darius set him up in a corner where he'd be out of the way and proceeded to dress himself. A pair of cargo jeans and a bright pink shirt advertising pokemon specific flavors. It was a freebie he'd gotten at a Cerulean bash a few months back. Looking out at the sky for the day, he reached back and brought out a well-worn hat, Torkoal Tobacco of course,the image faded from time,dirt, and sweat, it was the only one he had, and as little as he used it, it worked for what he needed. He woke Knuckles first, and began wishing he'd slept a bit longer, since it was still extremely early and it'd been a late night. His belt had been moved again as well, this time hanging inside his wardrobe, and he knew Daffy hadn't messed with it, once he was asleep, he was out for a consistent amount of time, and he wouldn't be up for another hour or so.

To make sure nothing else of his had been messed with as well, he took his backpack and satchel from where he'd left them and dumped them out onto the bed and sorted them into their groups and where they belonged.

- 25,000P, if he included what he still had in his wallet.

- His two TM's,Earthquake and Calm Mind, it'd been a feat of engineering when they'd made them re-usable. Maybe Silph had finally come around and saw that they were losing money because trainers couldn't teach them to more than one pokemon before the information on them disintegrated along with the disk.

- 10xSuper Potions, 5xLemonades, 5x Potions

- 2xFull Heals, 5xAntidotes, a single leftover Lava Cookie from his trip to Hoenn about a year back, and 3xParlyz Heals

- 3xRevives

- 1 Carbos

- 5 regular pokeballs, 3 Greatballs, and 5 premier balls he'd gotten at the same Cerulean bash last year

- He still had the Fire Stone he'd bought after recently getting Numel, only to find out that it wouldn't work on him after a few hours research later. He might as well keep it, evolution stones were rare and you never knew when you might run into a fire-type that needed one to evolve. He also still had a Charcoal and a Poison Barb he'd picked up as a kid with Knuckles, back when he still had Poison-type attacks in his repetoire. He'd also spent some time collecting ash while in Hoenn and had taken a liking to the flutes he'd seen, and given some to a glassblower there, which netted him two of the flutes he found particularly fetching, namely two solitary Black and White flutes. The guy'd said something about them working as good as a a repel and some grass-type move, but he couldn't remember which did what. He mostly kept them for decorative and sentimental value more than anything.

- He also had his self-made pokeblocks and pokefood, one less in the blocks since he'd given one to that Cubone last night. He'd have to whip up a new batch at some point down the line. Of course, he had his sleeping bag, he hadn't been sure he'd get a room when he'd hopped off that train two days ago and it was a good precaution in any event. And a radio he used from time to time if he got lost. He still had most of his old pokemon gear from his trainer days and hadn't gotten around to updating it, so he didn't have all the fancy new things that came with it, to name one thing, GPS.

"Alright, everything seems in order. Let's get downstairs and get something to eat, what'dya say?"

Darius packed everything back in it's place and was greeted when he turned back around to Daffy tugging on his pantleg. The three arrived downstairs and all picked up a cup of coffee, to stay awake for the coming day. They may have looked to just be messing around last night, but they heard every word that was said and knew Looker's proposition. The two pokemon were elated to be back for another new day. They enjoyed watching that tournament more than anything it seemed. Maybe it was just visiting a new locale that got them pumped, who knew?

"Dodrioooooooooooo~"

The cawing of a Bird Pokemon off in the distance heralded the rise of the sun on Goldenrod City. A ray of light peered into the room of Daria Pace, where pain and bitterness ruled.

Spiegel had spent his night sleeping on the windowsill, and found his joints stiff and protesting every movement that he made. It was torture just to hop down to the floor, let alone contemplate the idea of battling in this condition.

Jet was still currently unconscious, having tried to spring to his feet earlier. He had forgotten that he was directly under a sink counter, and promptly smashed his head on its bottom. The results were predictable.

Slagger was still nursing his trainer-given wounds from yesterday, and his normally cheery demeanor was replaced by a constant whining. A sound that was multiple levels of wrong on a Golem.

Gemini was the only one who seemed genuinely happy, having spent the night in a warm bath and feeling fully rejuvenated. It was met with more than a few angry glares from the group's Charmeleon because of this.

Daria herself was currently on the side of her bed, struggling to pull on a new shirt. Between the bruises and the stupor of a freshly-woken young woman, it was proving quite the challenge. Grunts, pained moans and more than a few curses could be heard in the adjacent rooms before she finally rose to her feet, slipping on a spare of her jacket. The first shirt and jacket she'd worn were in deplorable condition after last night's sparring, so she'd opted for a change of clothes. A change to the exact same outfit, with the exception of black jeans over the previous blue pair.

Fully dressed, she surveyed her rather pitiful-looking team, and gave a hearty guffaw. "Oh, man, ya guys look awful! C'mon, everybody in. I'll get ya to a Pokemon Center." She held out her quartet of Pokeballs and called back her team to their safety.

Placing them back on her belt, the last thing to check before setting out was her bag. She unzipped the orange and gray backpack and trawled through the depths and cataloging her stock.

Healing Items: 3x Potion, 4x Super Potion, 5x Fresh Water, 3x Lemonade

Status Curing Items: 11x Full Heal, 2x Awakening, 2x Antidote, 1x Ice Heal

Revives: 5x Revive

Vitamins: 2x Protein (which she promptly applied to Spiegel), 1x Carbos, 1x Iron

TMs: 1x Toxic

Pokeballs: 4x Pokeball, 5x Great Ball, 1x Premier Ball, 2x Timer Ball, 1x Fast Ball, 1x Nest Ball

Items: 1x Mystic Water (which she immediately handed to Gemini), 1x Water Stone, 4x Escape Rope, 2x Poke Doll, 1x Charcoal (already held by Spiegel), 1x Yellow Flute, 1x Teachy TV (recalibrated to get actual damned channels), 1x Red Scarf

Miscellaneous: 5x Bag of Pokefood, 5x Bag of Chips, 3x Spare Shades, 1x Triangular Shades, 1x Spare Clothes, 1x Training Gi

Daria frowned as she looked at her money pouch. "Only twenty-one thou? Coulda sworn I'd gotten more than that by now..." she scratched her head in confusion, before shrugging her shoulders and zipping the bag back up. Everything seemed more or less in order. She stepped, or to be more honest, limped out of her room and down to the lobby, giving a wave and a grin to the trainers already gathered there.

"Ugh. I swear I always have the worst luck. Seems like I always get a window that faces due east."

Due to interference from the sun, Tom's slumber was disturbed. He tried to fall back asleep, but of course Kusari wouldn't let that happen.

"Ow! I'm up! I'm up! Stop pinching me!"

"Skor!"

"What do you mean I have important things to do?"

"Skor..."

"AAH! You're right! Kusari, you're a lifesaver!"

"Houndoom..."

Tom looked to the foot of his bed where the dark pokemon lay. And then he noticed his backpack next to her. Every pocket was open and every item inside was strewn on the floor.

"You guys! Look at this mess! Were you looking for breakfast?" He noticed the empty box of pokemon food next to Trapic. "Looks like you got it too huh? Alright!" He said, standing up. "Time to get all of this stuff together. if you guys help out, I'll give you each a poffin!"

"Skor!"

"Gator!"

"Doom!!"

"Don Don!"

"Alright! Let's do this. Healing items first ok?"

Tom carefully inventoried all of his items.

-Healing Items: 2x Potion, 5x Super Potion, 5x Fresh Water, 5x Soda Pop, 3x MooMoo Milk, 3x Full Heal, 1x Old Gateau, 2x Revive.

-Vitamins: 1x Carbos, 1x Zinc.

-TMs Poison Jab, Dig.

-Pokeballs: 1x Friend Ball, 3x Poke Ball.

-General Items: 1x Wave Incense (Aeolus' hold item), 1x Soothe Bell, 1x Charcoal (On Kalmia), 1x Black Apricorn, 1x Red Apricorn, 1x Blue Apricorn, 1x White Apricorn.

-Key Items: Bycicle, Poffin Case/Stove, Seal Case, Berry Pots, Poketch.

Tom also decided to check and see how much money he had
"image21,000 huh? Lesee what we need..."

"SKOR!"

"Right! I'll whip them up right away!"

"Skor."

As Tom began to cook the poffins he thought about what to buy.

It'd be nice to get a few more TMs, but they're kinda pricey... I could probably get one or two, but that wouldn't leave me with much money... Well, I'll see what they have, and if I really need something, I'll get it. I know I have enough for at least one. And of course some more pokemon food.

"Alright!" He said, flipping the treats into the air. "Sitrus for Aeolus, Mago for Kusari, Hondew for Trapic, and a Razz Bluk mix for Kalmia!"

His pokemon happily ate their poffins while Tom made a Pinap poffin for himself. After everyone finished, Tom returned everyone to their pokeballs but Kusari, who once again roosted on his shoulder.

"It's the Dawn of day three! Let's make the most of it Kusari!"

"Skor!"

With that the two went to join the others.

Lee lied in his bed for ages after he woke up still having to open his eyes, though he suddenly started noticing a breathing noise next to his bed. Terrified Lee slowly opened his eyes to see what this was, he was relieved when it was just his octillery on the desk next to the bed. A thought slowly creped across lee's mind wait wasn't octillery in his pokeball when I went to sleep Lee sat up in his bed and said to octillary 'how did you get out of your pokeball?' this question was met with silence and the realisation that his stuff was again scattered across his room 'was this you? though doing this would require movement' lee looked at octillery 'I don't even know why I try to talk to you at times' lee then got dressed, returned octillery to his pokeball and started backing his stuff away a.

-healing: 3 Fresh Water, 2 Soda Pop, 5 Lemonade,

-status curing: 4 Full Heal, 3 Burn Heal

-Revives: 2 Revives

-TMs: will-o-wisp, solar beam

-PokeBalls: 10 ultra balls

-Items: 1 reaper cloth, 3 max repels, 2 repels

-Misc stuff: 3 cans of beans

he also checked his wallet to make sure nothing was missing

- 21.000P

Lee then went down stairs to the lobby and saw some people there already, as he approached them he said 'do any of you know anything about the behaviour of octilleries?'

"Haaaauuuunnnn..."

"Zzzz... blub... wha?"

"Haaauuunnnt..."

"Haunter...? Whazzit...?"

"HAUNTER!!!"

"AAAAHHH!"

*KLONK*

"AAAAHHH!!!"

Being woken up by someone pinching your exposed toe is not particularly comfortable. When that someone is a Ghost pokemon with the typical icy, soul-draining touch of its kind this becomes especially uncomfortable. Add to this the fact that Haunter had somehow managed to place a small table onto the mattress, with its underside resting directly over his trainer's head, and it could be safely said that Rupert's morning had a less than perfect start.

Rupert managed to rise from his bed and rubbed his forehead gingerly. The sound of the commotion had also woken Cubone, causing him to jump up with club in hand. He seemed greatly annoyed when it became obvious that the only threat at hand was the resident Ghost-type, who was now floating over them both, roaring with laughter. Rupert let out a exasperated sigh. This wasn't anything new. Haunter regularly pulled stunts like these, and Rupert equally regularly chided him for it. The trainer was about to start this routine again, but stopped.

No no. This is what Haunter wants. He likes knowing that he can mess with authority figures. And as his trainer that's you. This is all part of becoming the new Rupert. Remember, you're a new man. You're a proper trainer. Don't let Haunter push you around. Don't let him get to you.

With that Rupert drew a deep breath and promptly ignored Haunter. He just walked over to the bathroom, not even dignifying Haunter with another glance.

"H-haunter?"

Hey, this might actually be working. He seems genuinely disappointed. If I just don't react to his antics they lose all meaning! I should have done this years... wait, what's...?

Rupert looked up just as the pail of water precariously resting on the half-open door to the bathroom came crashing down. As he was doused with its ice cold watery content he never saw Haunter exploding into roaring guffaws again.

After cleaning up both himself and Haunter's mess Rupert lifted his enormous coat up. Haunter had fled to his pokeball at the sight of the morning's sun rays which he really wasn't a fan of. The coat was even heavier than it looked and was actually the reason that Rupert often appeared to be hunched over whilst walking. The reason behind its great weight was the number of pockets that made up its inner lining. Rupert had inherited the brown coat from his grandfather, a man considerably bigger than himself and a great trainer in his own time. These pockets could hold anything a trainer needed; there was even a hole in one of the two outside pockets so that he could reach his trainer belt through it, giving the illusion that the wearer was just pulling pokeball after pokeball out of his pocket. Rupert actually kept all his trainer items here. He had taken a backpack with him to Goldenrod, but it only contained a few sets of clothes and the like. Rupert still found stray items in the coat's pockets though; leftovers from his grandfather's career.

Okay, it's a big day today. Better check what I already have here...

Healing Items: 4x Potion, 5x Super potion, 4x Fresh Water, 4x Lemonade; 2x Moomoo Milk.
Milk? Did mom pack this? Geez, I'm not a kid anymore.

Status curing items: 10x Full Heal, 2x Antidote, 2x Parlyz Heal, 1x Burn Heal.
These are a little musty. Hope they still work.

Revives: 6x Revive.
Can't go wrong with that. Thanks, grampa. Just hope I won't need them...

Vitamins: 1x PP Up, 1x Protein, 1x Zinc, 1x Iron.
Vitamins? Seriously, mom? What am I supposed to do with these?

TMs: 1x TM06 (Toxic), 1x TM28 (Dig).
I still remember finding these in a pocket here. Took me far too long to figure out what they were.

PokeBalls: 5x Pokeball, 5x Great Ball, 2x Ultra Ball, 3x Dusk Ball.
Wow, these really are dusty. And they aren't even all grampa's. To think that I might actually use some of these today...

Items: Silph Scope, 1x Cleanse Tag, Poke Flute, 2x Escape Rope, 5x Super Repel, 1x Spell Tag.
I have no idea what half of these do. The two tags were given to me by those creepy Channelers. Not sure what's up with grampa's old flute or his weird techno spyglass.

And finally 21.000P. Having made some sense of his inventory Rupert made his way down with Cubone, looking for Tom and Ryan.

Matt barely managed to repress a yawn as he stumbled down the stairs. Dark bags that had formed around the young man's eyes, as well as a set of crumpled clothes, spoke of a sleepless night. What was even more revealing, however, was the lad's ragged mane of hair. Though he'd unsuccessfully tried to stuff a hat on top of the windswept mess, it was apparent to almost anyone that Matt was suffering from more than your everyday bed-head.

Mumbling some incomprehensible greeting to the other trainers, the lad made his way to the dining room, bleary eyes locked onto the boxes of cereal lined up on the table.

"Do any of you know anything about the behaviour of Octilleries?" Lee asked as he made his arrival to the foyer of the Sleeping Sunkern. Seeing as though Remy wasn't going to respond, Caleb answered the question himself.

"Hmm, Octillery: The Jet Pokémon, and the evolved form of Remoraid. Behaviour wise though, they simply love fuss from their trainers. Even though caught Octillery are more docile, wild Octillery can be very stubborn at times. Why do you ask Lee?" Caleb responded with, before he caught a brief glimpse of Matt heading into the dining room, dark bags had formed under his eyes; obviously still effected by what happened yesterday.

"Actually, tell me later. I'm just going to check up on Matt, must still be a little frazzled from his argument with Ventus yesterday evening." Caleb remarked, obviously concerned for the trainer from Violet City. He made his way into the dining room, Raiden following in alongside. As he entered, Caleb immediately found a table, ordering a cup of tea and an orange juice.

"Rough night?" Caleb casually asked Matt in a sympathetic voice, who happened to be nearby.

Matt nearly choked as he tried to down his coffee, the bitter taste of the unfamiliar liquid sticking in his throat. Retching, the young trainer reached towards the small pitcher of Moo-Moo Milk in the center of his table, snatching up a handful of sugar packets as well. Adding liberal amounts of cream and sugar, Matt's eyes brightened a bit as the coffee went from a black to light brown; his next sip, though it still held a bitter aftertaste, was far more palatable.

Setting the cup next to his half-empty bowel of Marshmallow Magikarps, the lad gently exhaled as the caffeine slowly coursed through his body. It seemed that exhaustion's cruel grip on his mind was already being loosened. Hopefully, by the time he finished his breakfast, he would be his usual self.

"Rough night?"

Matt continued to enjoy his coffee and cereal as Caleb joined him at the table. Swallowing, he turned to the noble, forcing a smile onto his lips. "Yeah, you could say that."

The youth's eyes, still weary in spite of the sugar and caffeine, couldn't meet Caleb's for long. It only took a few seconds for them to fall downwards, seemingly locked in a staring contest with the dregs in his cup. "Listen... I want to thank you for what you did last night, I really do. I know that you were trying to help me out, and that means a lot to me."

Pausing for a moment, Matt gathered his thoughts before continuing, "I think it's pretty obvious that I'm new to this whole other people thing. For years now, it's just been me and my team, training together and having fun. Talking to other trainers, making friends... I just never got the hang of it, you know?

"So, when people try to reach out to me, try and make me feel better... I react the same way I always do. I try and shut them out, to keep them from talking to me, to make them just leave me alone."

Groaning, the young man rested his head on the table, barely noticing when his hat slid off his head and into his cereal. "You were trying to help, and you did not deserve anything I said to you last night. I'm sorry, I really am."

"Why do you ask Lee?"

'well...' lee said while reaching for octilleries pokeball

"Actually, tell me later. I'm just going to check up on Matt, must still be a little frazzled from his argument with Ventus yesterday evening."

'ok' lee said as he sat down and started having breakfast, just some dry cereal. He then released octillery and snover so they could have some breakfast, snover started eating one of his snover berries as he walked over to the other trainers in the room offering them all, except daria, a snover berry. Octillery sat there in the middle of the table doing nothing.

Matt's eyes looked rather weary after last night, they only seemed to stare at Caleb for a few moments before falling downwards, looking at the bottom of his tea cup. "Listen... I want to thank you for what you did last night, I really do. I know that you were trying to help me out, and that means a lot to me." He said, pausing for a moment to collect his thoughts before continuing.

"I think it's pretty obvious that I'm new to this whole other people thing. For years now, it's just been me and my team, training together and having fun. Talking to other trainers, making friends... I just never got the hang of it, you know?" Matt asked, Caleb began thinking up his response whilst Matt continued to speak.

"So, when people try to reach out to me, try and make me feel better... I react the same way I always do. I try and shut them out, to keep them from talking to me, to make them just leave me alone." Matt groaned, resting his head on the table, obviously hadn't noticed when his hat slid off his head and into his cereal.

"You were trying to help, and you did not deserve anything I said to you last night. I'm sorry, I really am." He then finished. Caleb removed Matt's hat from the cereal bowl, wiping off some of the stuff that had landed on it, then placed it next to Matt. He then pushed forward a glass of orange juice in front of Matt, then began to speak.

"No need to say sorry Matt, I understand the reasons why you were angry. Sometimes in our lives, we just long for a bit of peace and quiet, some time to simply be by ourselves, to think things over. But, never underestimate the power of someone simply being there to listen; it shows that someone cares, and is willing to listen." Caleb said, speaking in a calm, friendly voice. He then gestured to the drink that was placed in front of Matt.

"Now, go on, drink it; its just orange juice, it should help wake you up, and possibly put you in high spirits for the coming day." He then remarked, taking a sip of his tea afterwards.

"...But, never underestimate the power of someone simply being there to listen; it shows that someone cares, and is willing to listen."

Matt smiled, gratefully sliding his hat back on top of his messy hair as he sat back up. "Heh, yeah, I guess you're right. Thanks for the advice."

An uneasy look crept across Matt's face as Caleb slid the glass of orange juice in front of him. "Um... I..."

"Now, go on, drink it; its just orange juice, it should help wake you up, and possibly put you in high spirits for the coming day."

"But I..." Matt's protests faded away as he saw Caleb's expectant face. "Um, thanks!"

Uneasily, the young man reached for the glass, grasping it with shaking fingers before lifting it to his mouth. Wincing, the lad began to gulp down the pulpy liquid; despite the sweetness of the drink, a few beads of sweat began dripping down his neck. After a few moments, Matt let out a gasp as he clanged the empty glass against the table, a hand involuntarily reaching for his throat.

"Thanks... Caleb," the lad managed to gasp out, a forced smile crossing his face, "that was really good."

Just down the street from the Sleeping Sunkern, the Pokemon Center bustled with activity. It had been nearly half an hour now since Daria stumbled out the front door of the inn, charging down the street and charging like a mad Taurous through dozens of people to reach the front of the line. To call her demand for healing "forceful" was quite an understatement.

Some time had passed now, and the Nurse in charge of the Center was walking up with a tray containing Daria's Pokeballs. She handed the quartet back to the trainer, who eagerly replaced them on her belt.

"Here you go, miss!" the cheery nurse said. "But you really should try and avoid battling Pokemon such a higher level than yours."

Daria looked at her like she was insane. "What are ya talking about?" she asked. "These fellas didn't fight nobody but me last night."

The nurses's expression immediately dropped, into one of shock. "Y-you... you did..."

"Hehe, yup!" Daria confirmed, splitting her face in half with a smile as she pointed a thumb at herself. "Name's Daria Pace, the Pewter City Fist with a heart of fire and limbs of steel! Anyway, uh, thanks! I'll probably be back later today, I've got some chumps to flatten at the tournament." With a wave goodbye, the Pewter Fist barreled out of the Pokemon Center's automatic doors, leaving behind a trembling nurse staring after her.

She can't be human...


Back outside, Daria stood in the morning sun of Goldenrod, soaking in the rays as she looked around. She clicked one of her Pokeballs, letting out Gemini to enjoy the light with her.

"Hya, hya?" the Staryu asked, curious. Its trainer grinned back at it and gestured out to the crowds of people advancing up and down the street.

"Will ya look at that, girl? I've never even SEEN this many people in one place, ya know? I can feel all this energy building up, I just wanna punch something!"

Her words were true; Gemini could already see Daria trembling with excitement, and rapidly shifting from foot to foot as she examined all the bustling energy, building up to a crescendo that would only be released at the next day of the tournament. The trainer's mind held a single figure, the bastard Forte looking at her with a cocky grin; she could already imagine what he'd look like missing a few teeth.

"Ooh, I can't WAIT to fight this guy, Gem! He seems really strong; been a while since we've had a good challenge, ya know?"

"Hya!"

"Exactly! I wonder what kinda fighter he is?" she mused, getting ahead of herself with speculation. Daria viewed combat as almost its own form of communication; it was how people learned about each other in the most pure manner. A true fighter bared their soul in combat, be it human or Pokemon. She'd be learning a lot about this man very soon.

Her shifting slowed a bit as she finally calmed herself down a bit. "So, uh, we should probably get back to the hotel, check in on--"

An image of Matt flashed by, still quite blatant in her mind after catching a glimpse of him that morning. She suddenly felt an intense desire not to be anywhere near the Sleeping Sunkern. Daria scratched her chin as she thought of an alternative activity, before snapping her fingers. "I know! I need to restock on stuff anyways, c'mon Gemini!"

With Staryu in tow, she made a beeline for the Goldenrod Department Store.

Remy had put on the finishing touches to his inventory while tenants made their way in and out of the dining area and the lobby. Daria stopped by for a greeting and left for the nearest PokéCenter. Not surprising, considering she single-handedly whooped 4 Pokémon's behinds into submission the night before.
Most others were still in the middle of breakfast. Remy was not a heavy sleeper. He'd usually sleep for about 5 hours and continue travelling. Staying on the move was how he felt alive, but Goldenrod City was an exception, as he'd been here for almost a month now. With it's bustling streets and amazing nightlife, there was something magical about Goldenrod. When he would finally be ready to stop and settle down, this was where he would do it.

All in all everybody seemed to be up and about, except for Ryan. Was he still asleep? In any case, it was time to move, and, although Remy's plan to stick together had fallen on deaf ears for the most part, he didn't mind.

"ALRIGHT THEN! Mornin' to ya all! I was thinking of doing some shopping today and I know of some great places one can go to for real bargains on some really cool stuff. Those interested can come with me, those with other plans, have a good time and remember that the tournament resumes at 6:00 p.m.!"

Now it was just a matter of seeing who'd join him in his little "tour de shopping".

"Thanks... Caleb," Matt managed to gasp out, a forced smile crossing his face, "that was really good."

"Don't mention it..." Caleb responded with a smile, taking a sip of tea in-between sentences. "I find orange juice to be refreshing, and a great start to the day." He then finished his, and was about to continue, before being interrupted by Remy.

"ALRIGHT THEN! Mornin' to ya all! I was thinking of doing some shopping today and I know of some great places one can go to for real bargains on some really cool stuff. Those interested can come with me, those with other plans, have a good time and remember that the tournament resumes at 6:00 p.m.!" He said in a rather loud voice, obviously disturbing some of the other patrons of the Sleeping Sunkern. Caleb had a slightly shocked expression.

"Well then Matt, we'd better get going. You going to join in on the shopping?" Caleb asked, getting out of his seat soon after, and made his way to the door; Raiden getting up from the sleeping position he was at, and following his trainer soon behind him.

Darius and his pokemon perked up at the offer of the shopping trip, he needed a few things for pokeblocks and there was some stuff he couldn't get in Kanto that was here.

"I'm up for it, just let me finish here and we'll be right behind you."

The three finished up their coffee, food, and pokeblocks and stood up. The rich kid was talking to Matt, and after urging him to drink the juice, didn't look so hot, a bit of redness had begun to creep up from his neck.

"You ok there? You've got a bit of puffiness starting up around your eyes is all."

"You ok there? You've got a bit of puffiness starting up around your eyes is all."

"Yeah... Yeah, I'm... Okay..." Matt managed to gasp out, as he began to massage his slowly swelling throat. "Just some allergies. I'll... I'll be fine."

Getting up from the table, the young trainer made his way over to Remy, Darius, and Caleb. "Mind if I tag along? Always wanted to see the Goldenrod Supermarket!"

"Those interested can come with me, those with other plans, have a good time and remember that the tournament resumes at 6:00 p.m.!"

Tom though for a bit. He knew very well that his team had quite a few blind spots, mainly in the water and ice departments. Even if he were to get one good electric type move, it would help him out a lot. But then again he had promised Rupert and Ryan an adventure.

"Hm... Hey Rupert, how about we shop for just a little bit? I only need a TM or two, so it should be quick. Then we can go out to search for pokemon! We have a lot of time before the tournament starts up again. Um... By the way, where's Ryan?"

Savannah was downstairs enjoying her breakfast, two slices of toast with jam. She needed the energy if she was going to be on her feet all day shopping and battling, and this was just the perfect food for the job, the sugar in the jam giving her a short burst of energy whilst the carbs in the bread would give her a more long term solution. After she had finished her last slice, she opened up her bag to retrieve her Pokeblock Case, as well as a bottle of multivitamins she always kept with her.

She took each pokeball from her belt, and let all of her pokemon out for some fresh air and a snack. Spriggan savouring his food, Sutekh finishing most of his in a few bites with his massive maw and Feebas taking slow, almost cautious nibbles. After they had finished their breakfast, Sav supplemented it by giving each of them a different colour Pokeblock. Over time, she had worked out their natures and what kinds of colours and flavours they preferred, Sprig liking Red ones, Set preferring Brown, and Feebas being partial to Blue .
Happy to see that her pokemon were enjoying themselves, Sav continued to supplement her own meal with the vitamins, taking them with a chaser of MooMoo Milk for that added healthiness.

"ALRIGHTY THEN! Mornin' to ya all! I was thinking of doing some shopping today and I know of some great places one can go to for real bargains on some really cool stuff.

Sav choked on her milk slightly as it caught in her throat. How could she have forgotten about the prospect of shopping today?! Not being one to miss out on the opportunity, she immediately rose from her seat and addressed Remy.

"Oooh just wait for a few seconds! I've just left me wallet upstairs, don't even think about heading out without me!"

And with that she set off at almost a sprint, disappearing up the set of stairs before reappearing with the anticipated cash, stumbling slightly in the rush of it all.

"Phew! Thought you guys had left, and that would have really made me upset..."

The look on her face told them that that was a severe understatement.

"So where are we going first? I've heard great things about Goldenrod but I've just been so busy with training and the tournament and..."

" Grovyle! " came a shrill cry, as Sprig sprung onto the scene and placed his hand over Sav's mouth and uttering some sounds as if to convey that he was apologising for his embarrassing friend's rambling.

Rupert walked through the lobby to the dining hall. Both areas were slowly filling up with his fellow Sleeping Sunkern patrons. He felt awkward among them, not knowing quite what his relationship to them was. They had all decided to help Looker with his investigation; they were essentially a team. And yet he barely knew these people. Rupert muttered a few faint "good morning"s as he passed Remy, Lee and Darius. He made his way to the breakfast table, but not before seeing Caleb and Matt at a table.

Boy, those two look awfully serious. Did something happen? They're both fighting in the tournament today, right?

Rupert's musings didn't get too far as he soon spotted bespectacled Tom waving him over to a table. He couldn't see Ryan. Grateful for Tom's sociable nature, Rupert gingerly sat down with his tray of food. The two didn't get very far in the ensuing, predictably one-sided, conversation though as Remy bellowed out:

"ALRIGHT THEN! Mornin' to ya all! I was thinking of doing some shopping today and I know of some great places one can go to for real bargains on some really cool stuff. Those interested can come with me, those with other plans, have a good time and remember that the tournament resumes at 6:00 p.m.!"

As some got to their feet Tom seemed to be mulling something over.

"Hm... Hey Rupert, how about we shop for just a little bit? I only need a TM or two, so it should be quick. Then we can go out to search for pokemon! We have a lot of time before the tournament starts up again."

"Huh? Um... s-sure. I mean, we're in no r-rush. A-and I guess I should get... stuff too."

Rupert couldn't really think of anything he was in want of at the moment, but he really didn't mind the detour. Honestly, he kind of needed some time to get used to the idea of possibly catching a new member to the team. If it didn't come to that then Tom, Ryan and Rupert's excursion would at least be a opportunity for training, something else that Rupert hadn't done in ages. That's what trainers did, right? Train?

Tom then asked the question that Rupert had also been wondering: where was Ryan? Rupert had no idea. Was he still not up? Wait, Ryan grew up on a farm; did he maybe get up hours ago and had already left? Maybe they should check his room.

With Remy's loud announcement, which some other tenants took offense to at 8:45 in the morning, just about everyone had convened at the lobby. All but Ryan, who was either still sleeping or already up and about somewhere, and Daria, who was doing some shopping of her own already.

"So it's Matt, Caleb, Darius, Savannah, Lee, Tom and Rupert the, eh? Very well then. We'll start at the world famous Goldenrod Dept. Store, then we'll take a look at the market. It's a huge place with people from all over the country selling and buying just about anything you can imagine. Then there's the Underground Tunnel and a variety of smaller shops and restaurants."

And with that small infomercial, they were off. The Dept. Store was situated in the city centre, a few blocks from the Sleeping Sunkern. As the group made their way there, they'd have some time to talk.

Remy moved to check on Matt, who'd been in low spirits since last nights.

"Hey kid, ya feelin' any bet-- WHOA!!"

As Remy began to talk to the boy, he noticed Matt's face, which by now was looking quite red and swollen.

"What's with the face, kid? You eat something you shouldn't have?"
______________________________________________________________________________________________

Meanwhile, at the Dept. Store, Daria had just entered and was greeted cheerfully by one of the floor attendants.

"Good morning, miss. What can I do for you today?"

The Department Stores were known for their amazing service. Every customer was treated withthe utmost respect and professionalism. It was this formula that strived for the perfect shopping experience that had kept the company going strong in all 4 regions for more than 60 years.

"Good morning, miss. What can I do for you today?"

Daria stopped in her tracks as she entered the Department Store, face to face with this strange greeter. Her face faulted as her mind panicked, seeking out some kind of basic interaction to mime through.

"Er, mm, nothing right now!" Daria blurted out, sheepishly grinning and scratching the back of her head. "Just browsing, thanks!"

With that situation averted, she sidestepped past the bewildered attendant and kept marching through the store. Aisles and aisles of products popped out, all sorts of foods and amenities for humans and Pokemon alike. Her eyes lazily scanned the signs above each aisle, looking for anything that sparked her interests.

Good on potions... don't really need any Pokeballs right now... ooh!

She stopped herself in front of an aisle apparently dedicated to crafts and tools. Her mind began racing as the beginnings of an idea raced in her mind. My guys actually managed to hurt me last night... that almost never happens. Maybe it's time I stepped up my game a bit.

She dashed down the aisle, Gemini lagging behind to examine all the wonderful new toys she was encountering. Saws, hammers, boxes of nails, they all entranced the little Staryu as it picked a few up, examining their functions. Daria, meanwhile, stopped at a whittling knife. She took it off the shelf it was located on, examining it closely inside its box. She smiled, seeing it fit the plans still taking shape in her mind, when an attendant leaned in from the end of the aisle to look at her.

"Finding everything OK, miss?"

The trainer's head perked up, looking over at the man with a hopeful grin. "Actually," she asked. "I was wondering if ya knew where I could find some ironwood!"

As the group which consisted Matt, Caleb, Darius, Savannah, Lee, Tom, Remy and Rupert made their way towards the Goldenrod Department store, Remy began striking up a conversation with Matt, who seemed to look a little red.

"Hey kid, ya feelin' any bet-- WHOA!!" Remy said with astonishment in his voice, as Matt's face now looked rather red, and quite swollen for that matter. Caleb on the other hand, merely sighed, closing his eyes briefly to think things over. He then opened his eyes, and looked at Matt.

"Oranges. Your allergic to oranges aren't you? Look, I'm sorry for giving you that drink earlier, I simply didn't know, or maybe, I was never told. You really should speak up in future, that way, unpleasant instances like this won't occur." Caleb remarked in a somewhat stern voice, but with a hint of sadness as well.

"Oranges. Your allergic to oranges aren't you? Look, I'm sorry for giving you that drink earlier, I simply didn't know, or maybe, I was never told. You really should speak up in future, that way, unpleasant instances like this won't occur."

"Yeah yeah, I know..." Matt managed to mutter in response, as he sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck. There was some good news, at least: the majority of his reaction was superficial, just the swelling and redness. At least he wasn't in any danger of dying.

"I just... well, it would've been rude to say no..." Matt's words dwindled off as he continued to walk along, his already reddened cheeks turning an even deeper shade of crimson.

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