Canon? What's that?
xD Anyway, I bring to thee, this fine day, a fiction! This is actually a writing challenge given by "The Fan Fiction Club" The challenge was to write a barbecue scene with Gym Leaders and Elite Four attending it, so I picked up the gauntlet and ran it through. It's not supposed to be serious, so grains of salt may be necessary whilst reading.
This is what happened.
Small bit of info, as a HGSS tribute, It's set at the time of the Johto games, so they are the only gym leaders and elite in it. There are also some people not in it, they are Pryce (couldn't be bothered coming, he decided he's too old for this stuff) Bugsy (Lost somewhere in a forest of some description) Brock and Misty (I made it so they were traveling with Ash) Clair (Important Business in Dragon's Den), and I think that's it. The only Elite in it are Lance, Karen, Koga and Lorelei.
Wait, that's not small. Anywho, on with the show.
The striving point for trainers all over the world.
The home of elite trainers and the trained elite.
The final challenge.
Deep in the bowels of the mountain there is a heavily guarded door, covered by no less than six twenty-four hour surveillance cameras and watched over by two six-foot plus, two hundred pound bodyguards carrying fully loaded M16 assault rifles and eleven inch combat knives sharpened to perfection.
Only with the proper identification, clearance, iris and fingerprint scans can you even think about entering this door.
Through this heavily guarded door is a corridor plated in six inch thick steel and at five different ten metre intervals are smaller security doors. Only with the proper codes can you enter the first four doors, for the last you need to answer a security question. One only those with proper identification, clearance, iris and fingerprint scans could possibly know.
For through this door is a secret so huge and so amazing, that if the masses were to find out, it could very well lead to revolution throughout the land. Two people were stood outside this final door.
“No! For the last time TM28 does NOT contain Tombstoney!” shouted one, a blonde haired male dressed entirely in blue. His companion, a black haired female dressed in purple smiled behind his back.
Sliding open, the pair blocked their eyes with their arms as a blinding light hit them.
“Sorry!” came a shout from high in the air, followed by a muted giggle.
The pair looked for the source of the shout when they saw a balding, topless man up a ladder some thirty feet away, powerful lamp in hand. “I was just putting some finishing touches on the sun.” he shouted, pointing to the massive lamp.
“How he got the contract for the secret sun cave I'll never know.” the blonde haired gym leader Morty said to the woman beside him.
“Well, I suppose if the contract went to someone who wasn't in the know, then there would always be a chance of the secret getting out. Blaine may be an idiot but he's still a competent engineer... it was only logical.” Sabrina said coolly.
Morty looked thoughtful for a few seconds but suddenly smiled, “And that's why I married you.” Morty said with a smile, planting a kiss on the woman's forehead.
“And don't you forget that.” Sabrina replied warningly.
Lay back on a white plastic sun lounger covered by a green towel, was Erika, the grass pokemon and botanical extraodinaire. As she saw the two people enter, she sat up, but lay back down making a short sound of resentment.
“What's the matter?” asked a pale woman in a black bathing suit.
“Look who just walked in Karen.” Erika replied simply.
Karen sat up and lifted her sunglasses, “Ooh, this isn't going to be a problem is it? I mean you two have a history, and I'm only here because you asked me to.”
Erika turned her head, “It'll be okay when more people turn up, harder for us to run into each other. Besides, we were young and reckless and I think we've both gotten over it by now. They certainly have.” she sighed and got up. “I'm going to see if Blaine thought to bring any tofu burgers.”
Karen watched the sullen figure walking away and sighed herself. She hated seeing her friends like this, maybe there was something she could do.
Some people at the age of sixty-five would abhor the idea of climbing a huge ladder, some older people would have preferred to be lounging on a hammock instead of tinkering with a massive sun lamp.
Those people obviously aren't Blaine.
He was currently up a ladder looking at the wiring of the huge lamp which serves as the sun for the “sun cave” he had won the contract to build. “Move this here... fix that in there.” he mumbled to himself. And amazingly, in a shower of sparks, the lights flashed on just as two people walked through the security door he had installed. Shouting a quick apology and laughing to himself, he closed the panel and, smiling smugly to himself, descended the ladder and made his way over to the barbecue grill he himself had installed only days earlier.
“Ah barbecue. Truly the manliest form of cookery.” he said proudly to himself.
From a large cooler to his left he pulled out a few beef burgers and placed them on the steadily heating metal bars of the grill. Grabbing a spatula from a handy utensil rack he had invented, he pressed the burgers into the grill, savouring the satisfying sizzling noise. Flipping them quickly, he began whistling a jaunty tune whilst he worked.
“Blaine?” he heard someone ask.
He looked up and saw Erika standing to the side of him, looking a lot less at peace with herself than she usually does. “Is there something troubling you my dear?”
She opened her mouth but closed it immediately, “I just wanted to know if you've remembered to pack the vegetarian food.” she said with her eyes looking at the floor.
Blaine raised an eyebrow, “I have tofu burgers and quorn sausages, amongst other things. Yet I'm getting the feeling that that's not the reason you're looking so glum.”
“Am I really that transparent?” she asked dejectedly.
“Not so much transparent, than that I've known you for a long time and I know what you can be like.”
Erika leaned against the barbecue pit with one hand and stared into the distance, “It's just about Sabrina and Morty, when they walked in, you might have heard about the... history, between us and I felt those same feelings again. I know I need to move on, because obviously I can't do anything about it any more. Maybe I'm just being stupid and childish, I pride myself on being mature but when I'm around them it makes me a different person.”
Blaine stayed silent for a few seconds after Erika had stopped talking, looking at the grill he flipped the burgers one time before answering, “I had heard yes, but played it off as youthful discretion. Although now it seemed all too serious, do they know you feel this way?”
“They did, but they didn't take it too seriously. As you said, I think they took it as a 'youthful discretion'.” she sighed and stood back up straight “Thanks for listening anyway.” she turned to leave but Blaine called her back.
“Tofu burger. Just for you.” he said with a big grin.
For thirty minutes the five gathered sat around the pool (or prepared more food) and had fun, some more than others, when suddenly the security door opened, sending a billowing cloud of smoke across the concrete decking.
The sound of rapid footsteps, then a big splash. And lots of coughing.
Thinking quickly, Blaine pushed a small red button on the barbecue pit activating the ventilation system. Slowly the smoke filtered out of the cave revealing a muscular blond in camo swimming trunks doing laps in the pool.
“I appreciate the gesture Surge, but I have no salmon to smoke.” Blaine shouted with a smile.
Stopping mid-stroke, the 'Lightning American' began treading water, “You know I like to make an entrance.” he said with a laugh.
Dripping wet and breathing heavily, Surge walked over to where Blaine was grilling, “Bun me up a beef burger will ya?”
“Happy to oblige my man. You want relish with this? Onions?”
“You know me too well Blaine.” he offered his hand for a shake, to which Blaine took.
“One relish and onions coming up.” he announced. “Take a seat and I'll bring it over to you when it's finished.”
Surge grabbed a yellow towel from a handy towel rack and placed it on the nearest sun lounger. Lying back with his hands behind his head, he began to think how awesome it is to be a gym leader. “All you noobs you can pwn and secret barbecues in Indigo HQ, life is great”
Just then, a shadow crossed his face and he held his hand up to his eyes to see who it was. “Hey, if it's an artificial sun, does that make this artificial shadow?”
Surge replied by raising his eyebrows in confusion. “Is that my burger?”
“Sure is buddy.”
Licking his lips hungrily, Surge sat up and grabbed the burger with muscular hands, eliciting a stream of relish oozing out of the bun, “This is tasty.” he said, spraying meat and bread all over the sun lounger.
Blaine smiled knowingly, “let's just say I know a thing or too about fire.” to suit his cocky bravado, Blaine took it upon himself to spin the spatula in his hand and holster on the side of his swimming trunks. Thoroughly impressed with himself, Blaine struck up a conversation with the Vermilion gym leader.
“So how are the electricity puzzles going? Thought of anything else since that button in the trash can routine.”
Surge looked up, relish and onions all over his mouth, “Nah, that's the problem. All these kids today with their computer games and their internet. They solve the puzzle in seconds, I remember back in the nineties, it used to take SO long to even find the first button, never mind the corresponding second button. Frustrated a great many trainer I assure you. I desperately need an upgrade, but I can't think of anything, I'm getting old Doc, not as fast as I used to be, you know.”
“Oh yes, I know that feeling.” Blaine said reminiscently, “Hows about I come round one of the days and check out your system, see if I can modernise it a bit.”
“That'd be great, if it isn't too much of a problem.”
“Nah, love to. It's only a quick boat ride, and when you get old like me, you find a mental workout more invigorating than a physical one.”
Surge grinned, “You're a pal.” then lay back, enjoying the rest of his burger.
“Hey everyone, we got a party of folks coming down the security corridor.” Blaine shouted.
“How d'ya know?” Morty shouted back in reply.
“Security feed in the barbecue”
Morty just laughed, “What can't that thing do?”
Blaine grinned and pressed another (green) button next to the (red) ventilation one. Whirring sounds could be heard and several sections of rock wall revolved on the spot, revealing huge speakers that began playing Island Anthems 4 a personal favourite from the Cinnabar Salsa collection. Instantly, palm trees began to rise from grassy sections around the edges of the cave.
Amidst this miraculous metamorphosis, Morty turned to the woman sitting close by his side. “You know, I take it back. I LOVE that Blaine built this place.”
In the corridor, four people stood impatiently waiting for the final security door to open.
“Like, hurry up already!” shouted one impatiently.
“Shut up and be patient Whitney, I'm sure the barbecue will still be there by the time the door opens.” replied another, a short blue haired man.
“Don't talk to me like I'm a kid Falkner, you're only two years older than me.” she said threateningly, “Besides, what if they've eaten all the food already?”
The two others, (The muscular, yet slightly flabby Chuck and Jasmine, the operator of both Olivine gym and lighthouse), merely looked at each other and laughed.
A narrow strip of light shone through a small crack of the slowly opening door, music was slowly increasing in volume and glorious odours could be smelled on the air, and when the door fully opened, there was an uproar of greeting.
Someone, I think we know who, shouted “Like, this is totally awesome.” as the new arrivals put their stuff down on the nearest sun loungers, Whitney (the most exuberant of the bunch it seemed) pulled a pair of huge, almost comically big sunglasses out of her bag and placed them on her face as she lay on the lounger.
From his perch at the barbecue, Blaine had a great view of everyone and what they were doing. Morty and Sabrina seemed content by themselves in the corner near the door's left side, Erika and Karen were deep in conversation a few loungers down from them, Surge was doing lengths again and the newcomers had put their stuff in the corner on the door's right side, not doing much though.
Blaine sighed, it looked like it was up to him again. Turning the barbecue down to low, he walked over to where they were sat.
“So what took you guys so long?” he asked, smiling.
Whitney peered out from under her sunglasses but dropped them again, Falkner made a dismissive noise and Chuck turned away. Jasmine however was smiling, brushing a strand of brunette hair out of her eyes, she started telling the story. “Well, you can blame this guy-” she pointed a thumb over her shoulder towards the Cianwood native currently setting up an orange towel, “-he'd been cheating on his diet again and his wife wouldn't let him use her pokémon to fly him over here, so he had to catch a lift with us. He came over to Olivine and we took a train to Goldenrod so we could meet Whitney-” said pink haired gym leader waved, “-I'd already made plans to go with her so I obviously had to bring him along.”
Chuck straightened up, showing his considerable bulk at the same time, “Hey, you're acting like I was a burden.”
Jasmine rolled her eyes, “Who's the one who stole the batteries from my alarm clock so you could power your Game Boy?”
Blaine let out a hearty laugh, “So you woke up late, I assume.”
“Yes, we had to get a later train, we're just lucky the Magnet Rail runs so fast. Then when we get here, Mr. Efficient chews us out for being late.” she made a gesture towards Falkner, who seemed to be building a small Zen garden by his lounger.
“If you would have gotten here on time, then we'd have no problem.” Falkner said under his breath.
Jasmine stood up apparently fuming, “You didn't have to wait for us, you could of-”
“-and skip out on our plans? No way. You said to meet at HQ and I honoured that arrangement.”
“Don't interrupt me you little-”
“-Like, all this arguing is really bumming me out. Can't you just chill for a few seconds.” Whitney drawled without moving from her lounging position.
Jasmine took a deep breath and sat back down, “Yes, you're right. We're here to enjoy ourselves and relax. Now I don't know about the rest of you, but I could do with some food.”
It was Blaine's turn to stand up this time, “And that's where I come in. I've got burgers and sausages on the grill at the moment, but I'll be putting the chicken on very soon.”
“I'll wait for the chicken thank you.”
“Hot Dog please”
“...” Chuck let out a huge sigh. “She sent you the list didn't she.”
Blaine gave an “I'm sorry man” grimace. “Yes, I got it this morning actually. So that'll be some chicken for Jasmine, A hot dog for Falkner and a pasta salad for Chuck, what about you Whitney?”
The girl sat up and thought for a moment, “A pasta salad sounds lovely actually.”
Blaine clapped his hands together, “it's settled then. I'll bring them over when they're done okay.”
The portly gym leader let out another sigh, “stupid list...”
Erika managed to tear her eyes away from Morty and Sabrina long enough to check out the new arrivals.
“Whitney's young. Maybe if I get her drunk enough-”
“No!” shouted Karen, interrupting Erika's somewhat disturbing train of thought.
“But I can't sit here and take it, she's flaunting him in front of me as if to 'screw you *****, I'm taken.'” she whined.
“You've got to get over her. Sabrina was an extremely insecure young woman, I'm sure she was ready to latch onto any affection directed towards her, regardless of who it was. And before you say anything, that's nothing against you, but I think she was just confused.” she added quickly, noticing the look of disgust on Erika's face.
“You're probably right. But what can I do, I've got no one, I need something to rub in her face, something that says 'I don't need you any more' you know.”
Karen smiled, “Yes, I do know and I have a plan.”
Erika raised an eyebrow, “What do you mean?”
“All in good time my friend.” she said whilst laying back down on her sun lounger.
“Whatever, I'm going for a swim.”
“Are we there yet father?”
“You should learn patience my child.”
“I'm sorry father, I'm just excited about my first meeting.”
“The honour presented upon you is well earned, but remember, if it were not for my promotion you would not be here at all.”
Janine, the ninja mistress from Fuchsia, stopped and bowed low – her ponytail falling over the top of her head - “I understand my insolence is not welcome here. I will try to present myself in an honourable fashion during my stay.”
Koga stopped at the final door and answered the security question before turning to his daughter. “You will do well to remember that.”
“Thank you father.” Janine said, still bowed.
“Now stand up straight, I will stay for only a while and greet old friends, then I will need to attend to some business.” he said, brow furrowed.
Janine joined her father at the door as it opened, revealing the sun cave, with it's gleaming pool full of frolicking guests, the barbecue, with Blaine expertly flipping burgers and pieces of chicken, the various sun loungers with tired or probably just lazy people lay down sleeping and the gentle salsa rhythm wafting across the room.
It radiated fun.
Koga however, managed to stay stone faced. Janine was having a harder time of it, bobbing up and down on the balls of her feet trying to get a better look of everything the place offered.
The first person to walk over was Blaine, who had delegated his barbecue duties to Lt. Surge, and held Koga in a brotherly embrace. Together they shared a few whispers and then they shook hands.
“I'll have it ready in a week or so.” Blaine said audibly.
Janine tried to look nonchalant as she eavesdropped on the conversation. Yes, it isn't honourable to eavesdrop on your master or your father, yet she believed he was up to something, and she didn't like to be left out of the loop. She was a respected member of her clan and of the Indigo committee but her father seems to think her contribution isn't worth it.
Sometimes she just wishes that she could do something, that, whilst not against the rules, will certainly grind his gears. The hard part is trying to find something that fits the criteria. Janine set a determined look in her eye and began to wander around the vast sun cave. The pool lay dead centre, in a perfect circular shape, there was a grey rock path set around the edge with two paths leading outwards to the walls at opposite edges of the pool, making a horizontal line.
Around this were the sun loungers, twenty in all, with the barbecue at the head of the room. And around the very furthest ring around the room was a two metre wide grassy strip with palm trees dotted around at varying intervals. Up above was the massive sun lamp, making it so this cave would feel like you were outside. It sure was bright though, Janine was used to dark corners and shadows, but Koga seemed insistent that she come and mingle with the other leaders. Networking he called it. 'He sounds just like a businessman' Janine thought, maybe that's what happens when you reach the upper echelons of Pokémon related government, you stop seeing what pokémon training is about.
She knew exactly what her father would say if she asked him about it. “When you are older, you will understand.” probably quote some old, dead guy that nobody cares about any more.
Janine had never been to a barbecue before, she didn't know if there was any social etiquette involved or whether she needed to bring anything or whether she needed to wear certain clothes. All her father said about it was to dress nice and to eat light. She decided to wear an ornate black cloth robe, she thought it looked nice.
As she walked around the pool, a pale, dark haired woman in a black swimsuit approached her, “Hello,” she said cheerfully, “This must be your first time eh?” she asked with a smile.
“Yes ma'am it is. I thank you for the greeting.” Janine said reverently.
“No, I'll not have any of that. Today we are all equal, I may be your father's colleague, but I don't see myself as superior. Sit down over here and relax, would you like anything to eat.”
Janine smiled and nodded in agreement, 'maybe not everyone has been jaded by bureaucracy after all' she thought.
“Oh, this is Erika by the way, if you didn't already know. I'm sure you will have lots to talk about.” Karen smiled slyly, “I'll just see if Blaine has anything on the go right now.”
As Karen walked away, Janine thought how polite she was.
“So you're Koga's daughter?” Erika asked, lay on her side facing the Fuchsia Gym Leader.
“Yes, I've heard a lot about you from him. He says your knowledge of plants even surpasses his own.”
Erika smiled, “Isn't that nice. I could give you few tips you might find useful if you want, how to grow herbs so they produce the most potent flavour they can for example, saves you loads of money, because you don't have to use as much.”
“Oh sure, when you're a vegetarian, you need to think of ways to save money on the expensive meat substitute stuff.”
“So you're not a vegan?”
“No, that's just stupid. Killing pokémon for food is wrong, but using their natural by-products for food is just sensible. Research has even proven that miltank not milked regularly can cause some internal problems. And if milking them gives delicious moo-moo milk, then why shouldn't we drink it?”
Janine looked contemplative for a few seconds, “You have a point.”
“People are too busy arguing over ideology that they never seem to stop and look at what makes sense... I'm sorry, here's me chatting on about nonsense when we're supposed to be relaxing. Would you like some food or a drink or anything, I was going to get something myself.”
“I'll just have some water thank you.”
Erika sat up and frowned slightly, “You sure? Nothing else.” Janine replied simply by shaking her head, “Alright then, I'll be back soon.”
Whilst at the barbecue, Erika felt a tap on her shoulder, turning round, she saw Karen with a silly grin on her face.
“So, how is it?” she asked.
“How's what?” Erika replied, nonplussed.
“Janine, what's she like? Is she nice, do you like her?”
“Oh, she's alright I suppose. We talked about herbs and being a vegetarian and stuff like that, why do you ask?”
“So you don't think she's... you know... nice looking?”
Erika suddenly stopped what she was doing, cottoning on to what Karen was talking about, “Wait... this was your plan, to hook me up with Janine. What proof do you have?”
The smile was wiped off Karen's face and was replaced with a guilty pleading look, “I just thought, anyone who wears that much leather has to be into some kinky stuff. I'm sure she'd love to get off with such a respected member of the botanical community.” Karen seemed to have gotten some of her swagger back.
Erika merely addressed her with a raised eyebrow. “Is that really what you think all of this is? Just some kinky stuff? I assure you this is no game to me.”
Karen's face dropped again, “I never meant it to be like that. I was only trying to help, believe me, you know I'm not like that. I've known you for how long? You're one of my best friends.”
“I'm going to go lie down, try to relax.” Erika sighed and left Karen standing next to the barbecue pit, looking dejected.
The party was in full swing and all of the guests, except some, were up and having fun. Drinks were drunk, food was eaten, music was danced to and (almost) everyone was having a great time. There was a great shout of “CANNONBALL!” lots of displaced water finding itself suddenly over all the nearby guests and a cheerful looking balding man in it's centre laughing like a maniac. Surge was the first to join in the laughter, clapping Blaine on the back, rather too forcefully, but soon everyone joined in. With the exception of some.
There were soon to be two more people not enjoying the festivities. Two red haired masters of their respective types.
They came storming in, formally dressed, looking very serious.
“What is all this noise!” shouted one, his voice useless over the music and the general merriment of the gathered guests.
The other, a female, had another idea. Releasing a lapras from one of her pokéballs, she ordered the huge, blue, prehistoric looking pokémon to use rain dance. Up above, menacing black and grey clouds massed, sending buckets of water cascading down onto the guests heads. Triumphant, and most importantly dry (after remembering the precaution of bringing an umbrella) the female smiled to her male companion who began shouting again.
The drenched, and quite frankly, angry guests all stared daggers at the two new arrivals. Only one of them spoke up however, Blaine, after climbing out of pool.
“Not cool, guys.” he said flatly.
“Now we have your attention.” said Lance with a smile, “I'd like to bring to your attention, the amount of noise you lot are making. Someone,-” he shot a dirty look at Blaine, “-decided to connect the ventilation shafts to the ones that pass through my personal quarters. My associate and I were getting down to some serious business, but all we could hear was your raucous partying. I'm being reasonable, you lot may have the time to mess around and have fun, yet some of us still have work to do.”
Lance's quiet-up-until-this-point associate spoke up, “That other thing we were doing. Shouldn't we get back to doing that.”
“Yes, thank you Lorelei, we are free to continue.” Lance said cordially, he turned to the rest of the group, “as for you lot... keep it down.”
The pair exited quickly, leaving confusion in their wake. Many cries of “What the hell was that about” were tossed around and even a few less than reputable names, the worst of which would get this an R rating quicker than a Pirate in an adult theatre. There was one in the crowd however that remained calm and when all the din had quieted down, cleanly stated, “Those two are clearly doing it.”
As would be expected, this statement garnered much scepticism and nay saying.
Whitney however, had carefully documented evidence locked away in that fuzzy pink head of hers. It's not public knowledge, but Whitney is a big Crime Fiction fan and watched CSI religiously, well, not after Grissom left. In Whitney's eyes, CSI died with Gil. Anyway, Whitney had noticed some things, a few words said, a few not said and of course a little bit extra to please the non-believers.
“It's simple. First of all, the way Lance said 'My associate and I were getting down to some serious business' if you have business, you don't say that. Then the way he follows up with 'you lot may have the time to mess around and have fun, yet some of us still have work to do.' is frankly a pathetic attempt to throw us off the trail. Lorelei doesn't even attempt to hide it, she wants it bad.”
There were nods of approval from some but still some shaking heads, Whitney continued.
“Now I bring you attention to the way they were dressed, formal yes? To the untrained eye you would say so. I on the other hand noticed a few discrepancies that our prim and proper friends wouldn't usually abide. Lance hadn't tied his shoe laces, instead he merely tucked them into his shoes, Lorelei's shirt was untucked and last but not least, Lance's cape had a stain of some variety near the bottom. Now I think you'll agree, under normal circumstances, neither Lance nor Lorelei would ever imagine going out as sloppily dressed as they were. These all point to one thing, they had to dress quickly and their minds were elsewhere, and why did they dress quickly and why were their minds elsewhere? The answer, as I'm sure all of you have worked out by now, is that they were having “relations” when we interrupted them with our noise, they dressed quickly and whilst they were more focused on each other, they failed to dress properly. As for the stain, I'll leave that to your imaginations.”
Whitney stopped pacing back and forth in front of the group and turned to look at how they received her revelation.
Someone, not sure who, said “Damn, that's clever” whilst the rest merely nodded their heads and chatted aggrements amongst themselves. To herself, Whitney muttered “My work here is done.” before grabbing her towel and laying back down on her sun lounger, which had managed to escape the rain.
Amongst the confusion, Blaine suddenly had an idea, releasing a red and yellow bipedal creature which seemed to made of fire itself, he ordered the Magmar to use the sunny day technique. The gathered clouds dissipated and an intense heat replaced it, drying up all of the excess water almost immediately.
“Now that that's over, shall we get started again?” Blaine asked, pokéball in one hand, spatula in the other.
Erika had managed to fully dry herself off when Karen arrived by her side, still a little damp.
“What do you want?” Erika asked, her voice perhaps a little sharper than she wanted it to be.
“I just thought I'd come over and make an apology, I hate it when you're mad at me. So anyway, not sure if it'll make any difference, but I'm sorry all the same.” Karen turned and went to walk away when Erika, a conflicted look on her face, called her back.
Karen turned, a small smile creeping across her lips, “Yes?”
“I hate being mad at you as well. Come here,” Erika held out her arms and Karen sat next to her, giving her as much hug as she could muster. “I don't think I could stay mad at you, I love you too much for that.”
Karen smiled, “Thank you, and I promise not to try and set you up with any more women again.”
Together, they shared a quick laugh, “That's all I ask.” Erika said happily.
As the evening wore down, the music stopped and lights dimmed. The pool now lay still and small lights around the edge of the cave gave a small glow to allow the guests ample chance to still talk. People were having fun, the barbecue had been extinguished and the drinks were on ice, some people were merry to say the least, there was shouting and singing and horseplay, much to the annoyance of some.
But finally, Blaine stood by the barbecue and raised a glass.
“To a wonderful evening!” he toasted.
“To the Indigo Committee!”
“To All Expenses Paid!”
To this, there was the loudest cheer of all.
“I would like to thank you all for coming today and for making it a day to remember. I will certainly be waiting patiently for next year to roll round and to meet you all here again and maybe even some new faces.” there was a faint murmur of agreement and contentment. Blaine reached into the barbecue pit and pressed one of the many buttons, the huge steel door swung slowly open. “You are free to leave, I shall see you all soon.”
The gathered began collecting their things, chatting animatedly before exiting along the vast steel corridor. After passing through the door into the caves, the group parted ways, one taking the route back up to the castle, the other through the caves back to Viridian City.
One however, stayed behind for a few minutes more. The Cinnabar gym leader held onto a small metal device in his hand, pressing a small button upon it, the door clicked locked.
Blaine took one last look before turning away, whistling a jaunty tune as he did.