PG-13 for mature humor in later chapters
Chapter One: An Awkward Proposal
Laverre, a quaint and cozy city encompassed by forest and nestled between the marshlands and Kalos’ largest supplier of Poke’ Balls. One could say the place was akin to a town found in a fairytale, with it’s rustic homes and beauteous landscape. Not to mention it was the home to the local Gym run by Valerie, the trainer of Fairy-type Pokemon.
It was a particular quiet day, the city’s café quite empty, save for its employees and few costumers and their Pokemon companions. It was a small shop, though its menu held a wide variety of coffees and baked goods, and one side of the room had board games set up for use. One table set near the middle of the room was occupied by Dragon-type Pokemon while their trainer was scanning the menu from his position at the counter and took up an idle chatter with the owner.
A Goomy, sitting right on top of the table, stared at the far wall with a vacant smile, occasionally blinking her beady black eyes. A Shelgon was resting on her belly, currently sulking over the recent loss at the aforementioned Gym while a Dratini was coiled up on top of her large, armored back. A Fraxure, who was now bored of just standing by the table, decided to wander over to his trainer’s side with a sigh.
The owner of the party of four was a young man of twenty-two years. By looking at him, one could tell he was the type who trained his body as well as his Pokemon. He often lifted weights and hit the treadmill to keep a fit and masculine appearance. He was a brunette, his hair slightly long and scruffy. A patch of stubble was noticeable on his chin, marking the beginnings of a goatee. He wore a clean white wife beater underneath a blue denim vest and donned cargo shorts with a monochromatic camouflage pattern, along with a belt that held his Balls.
Jackson was his name. He was an average man, though his love for Pokemon ran deeper than most. Despite his rugged and mannish exterior, he was very sweet and tender-hearted. He was confident on the battlefield almost to the point of obnoxiousness… but the last couple of battles with a certain Gym Leader had left him… nervous. At a loss for words. His Pokemon had never seen him like this before. It wasn’t like him to get flustered during a battle.
Graciously accepting his latte with a “thank you”, Jackson turned around to head back to the table with his Fraxure at his heels. He didn’t make it back though. Halfway there, he dropped his cup, the lid popping off upon impact with the floor and spilling the steaming contents upon the tiled floor. Unintentionally attaining the attention of his Pokemon, his bright blue eyes were glued upon what had caused such a reaction.
A young woman, with obsidian black hair that cascaded down her back had entered the room, with purple eyes that displayed a deep-seated kindness, and wore upon her a customized pink dress that was reminiscent of an Audino and high stilettos that made her appear taller than she actually was. It was Valerie, the Gym Leader--and at her side, was her Sylveon.
Realizing his blunder, Jackson rushed to grab two handfuls of napkins and dropped to his knees in front of the hot puddle to clean it up. Pressing the napkins in the middle of the puddle, the liquid was quickly absorbed through every layer and was soon reminded that he had ordered a hot drink. Flinching upon being seared, Fraxure brought a clawed hand to his face, closing his eyes to shake his head slowly with a sigh. With haste, the man retrieved more napkins to finish up the job, watching as Valerie made her way to the counter to order an iced coffee.
A small smile tipped his lips as Sylveon nuzzled his trainer’s leg, causing the dark-haired women to reach down to stroke his ear. Jackson had always been drawn to people who possessed tight bonds with their Pokemon. He had observed during all four battles with her that she definitely loved hers. How she commanded them with such politeness and praised them when her fairies crushed his dragons. His admiration for her had grown after every defeat. Yet, underneath that delicate demeanor he sensed much inner strength, and the fact that he knew so little about her shrouded her in an aura of mystery, creating a yearn to get to know her better.
Receiving a slap in the back of the head by the irritated Fraxure, he tore his eyes from her, he resumed cleaning up, his Pokemon riddled with confusion. However, Dratini’s eyes lit up in realization and a smirk spread across his maw. Despite being in his base form, he was actually Jackson’s first Pokemon. Naturally, being so close to the man, it didn’t take him long to figure out the man was attracted to the woman. He also picked up his crippling shyness and came to the conclusion that he wasn’t going to make the first move.
As Jackson gathered up the pile of soaked napkins and left to dispose of them, Dratini seized this as an opportunity to break the ice for him. Sliding off of Shelgon’s back, he slithered up to the woman, saying his name in order to grab her attention.
With a confused blink, Valerie lowered her gaze to the serpentine Pokemon and offered a gentle smile.
“Oh! Why, hello there little one.” Crouching down and positioning herself onto her knees, she set down her iced coffee and smoothed out any creases in her dress before extending her hand to scratch him underneath his chin. “You’re a cute little Dratini.”
Dratini closed his eyes and cooed as he leaned into the scratches. His voice reaching the ears of his trainer, Jackson slowly turned around after dropping the last of the napkins into the trash bin, his eyes widening at what they beheld. He quickly surmised that his Pokemon had figured out that he liked that woman and was making an attempt to help him. He considered just sitting at his table and waiting for Dratini to come back to him, but he didn’t want to disappoint his Pokemon. Swallowing the lump that had formed in his throat, he nervously made his way over.
‘Just keep it cool, Jackson,’ he mentally mused. ‘You got this.’
Catching him out of the corner of her eye, Valerie turned her head to the young man with a soft smile.
“Hello. Is this your Dratini, good sir? He’s quite a beautiful specimen,” she said, stroking her fingers across one of the Pokemon’s ear frills and down his neck and back, admiring his bright eyes and glossy scales that indicated excellent health.
Dratini blushed lightly at the compliment and let out a happy squeal. Glancing up at Jackson, he shot him an approving expression. He definitely liked this human.
‘Calm down,’ he thought, forcing a nervous smile, as his mind raced for something to say. ‘You weren’t THIS nervous when you were at the Gym. Just pretend you’re in the Gym!’
Pushing down his nervousness and putting on a more confident mask, he opened his mouth to voice the first thing that popped into his head.
“I challenge you to a battle!” Jackson subsequently mentally kicked himself. ‘Dammit! Not THAT!’
Valerie’s smile faltered at this sudden exclamation, but only briefly.
“A battle? My, my, you must be really confident in your skills.” She paused to glance at each of his Pokemon. “Especially if you’re a Dragon trainer.”
“Uhhh…” The man’s mask diminished. “I actually… battled you before… Four times.”
Grasping her iced coffee and standing straight up, Valerie’s mind traced back to her past opponents. Upon recognition, she brought her free hand upon her forehead.
“I’m sorry, I’m afraid I have so many challengers their faces begin to blend together after a while. Yes, I remember you now. You’re Jackson, aren’t you? Four matches, all of them failure. Quite miserably, at that.”
Despite the embarrassed pink that bloomed upon his cheeks, Jackson’s eyes flickered with excitement. She actually remembered him! Remembered his name!
“I assume the stakes are the same as usual, then?” she questioned, though she assumed she already knew the answer.
“Actually… uh… I would…” He gave pause for a moment as nervousness gripped him harder. “I’d… like to make a… a, uh… suggestion… of some sort… thing.”
Fraxure shook his head while Shelgon rolled her eyes.
“If… I, um… win using… one Pokemon… you… eh…” Jackson trailed off, then continued to talk after an encouraging nudge from Dratini. “Uh… go on… a… erm… date?”
Having not been expecting that, she blinked in mild surprise, then giggled, as if in great amusement.
“A date? … You’re adorable.” She knew she had her share of admirers, especially during her stint as a model back in Johto, but she figured anyone who was this adorably awkward and had the courage to ask her out was worth giving a shot. “You don’t have to challenge me just to ask that. But, I accept your challenge, nevertheless. Though, are you sure you just want to use ONE Pokemon?”
Jackson’s eyes snapped wide open in bewilderment.
“Seriously? Uh… well… uh… maybe… two.”
Valerie giggled a second time.
“Hmm. So then. Laverre Gym. Whenever you’re ready.”
“Y-yeah… S… see you then…” The man sidestepped back to his table, groping the air in the vicinity of his chair and ended up tripping over it. “Gah!
Valerie, watching, expressed concern at first, wondering if he had hurt himself. Seeing that he was just fine, couldn’t help but let out a laugh, shaking her head as she exited the establishment, her Sylveon plodding beside her.
Jackson laid there on his back, his legs draped over the seat of the chair with a wide grin plastered upon his face. He had a battle he needed to prepare for. But, if he used any of his dragons, the results would be the same. He knew what he had to do.
He had to get a new Pokemon, and he knew just the one he wanted.