Hi everybody! I bet a few of you are surprised that I'm doing this kind of thing. Truthfully, so am I. I'm far from being a PearlShipper, ask anybody, but believe it or not, I took this up in an effort to stop disliking it ^^;
Whoever said I don't make an effort?This fic came about as a request on Encyclopika’s Fic Request Shop [/shameless plug]. The plot that she suggested intrigued me, and so I took it ^^ So, Bubbles18, this is for you!
Disclaimer: I don't own Pokémon, any of the names, games, manga or anime. All those things belong to Satoshi Tajiri & company.
Please note: There are similarities and differences between what occurs in this fic and what occurs in the animé. Any possibly conceivable events that occur in this fic prior to the animé is purely coincidental. Also, I’m using the dang English names, because that's what I'm used to.
Title: Pokémon Ranger and the Vermilion Gate
Archive: you're looking at it
Rating: PG (may float up to PG-13 and beyond as the story progresses)
Genre/s: AU (Alternate Universe), Action/Adventure, Drama, Romance
Pairing/s: PearlShipping, ContestShipping – one-sided PokéShipping and IkariShipping
Today’s Characters! (Thank you, Pokésho! And to Bulbapedia, for the pic of Prof. Hastings)
Dawn, Tiffany, Billy, Garrett, Clyde, Prima, Professor Hastings
Chapter 1: Dawn of a New Era
"Hey Dawn, how'd you do on your exams?" a snide female voice rent apart the silence in Dawn’s head; she had been daydreaming again.
"What's it matter to you?" came an equally snide reply.
"That means you failed!" A gleeful laugh, coupled with a toss of purplish-white hair. The girl turned to her friends, her emerald eyes sparkling. "See guys? I told you she wouldn't pass! 'Dawn the Dunce', so dumb she couldn't even pass her final exams. Any instructor who gives you a Pokémon Ranger license would be out of their mind! Better keep on daydreaming, Dawn!" With a group laugh and another toss of her long hair, Tiffany and her friends sauntered away haughtily.
Dawn glared after Tiffany and her male companions as they left the classroom. Dawn had been indulging in a daydream; they often happened when she lost her focus in class. These days, now more than ever, Dawn had been frequently imagining herself with her Ranger license, having fantastic adventures in a far-off land, whilst her fame and fortune brought Tiffany and her posse to the pinnacle of shame.
While she didn’t necessarily look the part, Dawn's heart was seized with the burning passion to become a Top Ranger. A few years back, she had enrolled in a school specializing in training students to become Pokémon Rangers. While there, she learnt the basics on how to utilize a School Styler, as well as undergoing rigorous physical training to be in top shape for potential missions. And while she didn't have much physical strength, her teachers sure noticed her heart and desire.
Training to become a Ranger usually came in sections, where those with lower potential were weeded out from the rest. Dawn had worked hard, pushed herself to the limit, and risked her own personal safety to complete the training. Finally, all her hard work had paid off; she was part of the newest upcoming batch of Rangers to graduate from Ranger Tech, a school located in the region of Kronos.
Now, in her final year, Dawn had just recently completed the final tests for the school to allow her to become a Ranger. There had been the standard pen-and-paper test, as well as a simulated mission to review her qualities to determine her performance out in the world. All that remained was for the instructors to post the results, followed by a graduation ceremony and the reception of a genuine Ranger license as well as a Capture Styler – typically used by most rangers. Which, according to Tiffany, would never happen to Dawn.
Just the thought of Tiffany's snide remarks angered Dawn, but an inquisitive voice roused her from her anger.
Dawn turned her attention to the small, rabbit-like Pokémon standing atop her desk. This particular Buneary was Dawn's Partner Pokémon, given to Dawn by her mother upon Dawn’s acceptance into the Ranger school, and thus her most cherished friend. Upon looking at the little rabbit, Dawn made a sudden realization; the classroom was empty, and Dawn had been sitting alone all this time!
"Oh no! I'm gonna be so late!" With that yelp and a loud chair scrape, Dawn hastily removed herself from her seat and ran off to her next class.
Upon abruptly entering her next class, Miss Prima, the instructor, clicked her tongue and scolded Dawn for being late. "Punctuality is important to a Ranger, Dawn."
Dawn bowed deeply. "I’m so sorry, Miss Prima! I just got –"
"Lost in thought?" offered Tiffany contemptuously. Her friends, as well as most of the class, snickered at the comment. Dawn puffed her cheeks in anger at Tiffany as she dropped into the nearest chair with a loud thud.
"Now, as I was saying, class," continued Miss Prima, "about Stylers –"
"Aww, Miss Prima, we already know this!" moaned Clyde, one of Tiffany’s cronies. "We've been working with Stylers since day one!" Most of the class nodded in agreement.
"And it's the last day of school," added Garrett, a second crony. "We're all gonna graduate anyway and get a standard Styler."
"Most of us, anyway," quipped Tiffany while eyeing Dawn directly. Dawn fixed her eyes rigidly on the blackboard.
"You know, you are absolutely right, Clyde and Garrett. You've all been using our old School Stylers for your entire tenure with us. Seeing as you’re all so confident in their use, then you certainly won't mind if we give you all an upgrade!"
Amidst the queries and sudden chatter, the classroom door opened and in stepped none other than Professor Hastings. Most of the room made a collective gasp. Professor Hastings, hailing from the faraway land of Fiore, was not only the Ranger Union's chief of technology, but also the creator of the Capture Styler. Dawn stared in awe at the bushy-haired man as he hobbled in with a cane and two assistants with briefcases.
"All right, all right, settle down," grumbled Professor Hastings. The room fell to an awed hush, though occasional whispers could be heard. "Since you are going to be Ranger Tech's next group of Pokémon Rangers, it's high time that you get your Ranger licenses and a Capture Styler."
Hearty chatting kicked up at this point. Even Dawn lit up, her blue eyes shining enthusiastically. She turned to Buneary. "Wow! It’s finally here! I'm gonna get a Capture Styler!" A cheerful reply, "Bun! Buneary!"
"Quiet down, I said!" snapped Professor Hastings, this time quite authoritatively, abruptly shushing the students. "First, you have to pass your exams. And then, we'll see how much you’ve all truly learned."
The students muttered between each other. What could that mean? Dawn looked nervously Buneary, who smiled reassuringly for her Partner.
Professor Hastings cleared his throat. "Right, let's start alphabetically, shall we?"
Alphabetically by first name, students were called up to the front. There, Professor Hastings asked each student a unique question, which depended on a personalized response. Billy and Clyde, two of the cronies, went up before Dawn was eventually called up. Visualizing herself as a Ranger, crusading to save the world, she didn’t hear the first time Professor Hastings called her name. This prompted a louder call from him, causing Dawn blush and apologize profusely, while Tiffany snickered loudly. Heart pounding and hands sweating, Dawn made her way up to the front of the room.
"Well, Dawn, I hear you are quite the daydreamer. Is that so?" Dawn nodded in response to Professor Hastings' question, eyes glued to the floor. "All right, then. Tell me this – if a boy you liked told you a horribly corny joke, ruining a romantic atmosphere, what would you do?"
"Wha-? A boy?" Dawn heard a familiar snicker, and became instantly quiet. While examining the tiles on the floor, Dawn pondered to herself when on earth this kind of scenario would occur. 'I dunno... I'd probably just go with the flow.' Dawn smiled at the conclusion of her idea, and, looking up at Professor Hastings, voiced it. "Yeah. That’s what I'd do! I'd go with the flow! And I'd probably slap my forehead and groan if it was extra corny."
Professor Hastings smiled back. "I'm glad to hear it. Rangers need to go with the flow, and know their strengths. Congratulations, Dawn." With that, he handed Dawn a brand new Capture Styler. She held it delicately and gazed upon its shiny newness. There it was, completely untouched and ready for use. The small screen pinged brightly, startling Dawn yet bringing a smile to her face.
Dawn looked up at Professor Hastings and smiled. "Thank you so much, Professor! You won't regret this, trust me!" She turned on her heels and resumed her seat, still excitedly holding her new Styler in her hands.
Snapped out of her dream world yet again, Professor Hastings' voice was the abrupt cause this time. "Young lady, we still need your School Styler for next year’s batch of students."
Laughter rang through the classroom as Dawn’s face grew hot with embarrassment. "Right! I forgot! ... Sorry, Professor Hastings."
To Be Continued!
So everyone, what did you think? Believe me, this fic is far from over. In fact, I'm just getting warmed up. This will be one long fic, and you may want to murder me over it ^_^; No no, I’m kidding. Don't do that >_> Otherwise, how will you know the delicious end? 8D
Please leave me a review on how you think I did ^^ Like I said, we're in for a long ride, so you may as well strap yourselves in and grab some popcorn.
Until chapter 2,