It's about time I posted something else.
It's weird though, how a very NC-17 thought about Lorelei and Lance could transform itself into what I've written here. Perhaps the longest one-shot I've written at Twenty-Two and a half pages on OpenOffice, so I'll have to split it into two posts, the split is kinda natural though so :3
It's just something that I thought about and wrote, just continuing it in whatever way felt natural. Don't worry, it's perfectly safe to read, it's not even about Lorelei and Lance anymore, just Lorelei.
And how she came to be the person she is today. 'Cos Gym Leaders and Elite Four members are badass characters.
When she was a little girl, Lorelei was shorter than everyone in her class. This infuriated her.
Boys used to steal her things and put them on high shelves and the other girls had thrown every name under the sun at her. In short, Lorelei was a very demoralised child.
One day, the school bully tripped her as she walked down an upstairs corridor. To be fair, little Jimmy Stanson never realised they were so close to the stairwell. Lorelei woke up a few days later in a hospital bed with her mother and father by her side, she had no idea what had happened but her head felt like it was full of helium. She reached a little hand up and touched her head, she felt soft bandages where her hair usually was.
Her mother seemed to read Lorelei's mind, “don't worry dear” she said in a soothing tone, “the doctors fixed you all up, they just need to keep you here for a few days for observation.”
Confusion filled the little girl's blue eyes, “What happened?” Lorelei asked, her usually quiet voice oddly flat.
Lorelei's mother flushed, obviously debating whether to tell her or not.
“Tell me.” Lorelei demanded.
Lorelei's mother looked taken aback, staring wildly at her husband for a second or so, “Excuse me, little lady, you may have just had an accident but I will not tolerate rudeness.”
Lorelei narrowed her eyes, looking suddenly fierce. As fierce as a seven-year-old could look anyway. “I'm sorry,” she said through gritted teeth, “can you please tell me what happened.”
“The Headmaster said you fell down a flight of stairs. Apparently a classmate of yours saw you trip over your laces.”
Lorelei's mind began racing, there was something wrong with that. She may not have remembered what happened, but she knew what her mother said was wrong.
Two weeks later, Jimmy Stanson could be found in the Floe Island Hospital with two broken arms. Lorelei saw the whole thing, he apparently fell over somebody's bag that was left in the middle of the corridor and crashed down the stairs. The school was shut down for a few weeks whilst serious questions were asked about the safety of the students.
Lorelei's mother could see the changes in her daughter. The once quiet and happy child had suddenly turned cold and distant, and when she asked Lorelei what she had seen that day, Lorelei merely replied, “He got what was coming to him.”
Worried, Lorelei's mother called a child psychologist and booked an appointment for the next day.
They turned up at the doctor's office at ten am, Lorelei's mother checked in with the receptionist whilst little Lorelei sank into a small chair with her arms crossed, her face seemed as red as her hair. It was clear she didn't want to be here.
The doctor appeared and ushered Lorelei's mother into a sitting room to discuss some things, Lorelei got shown into the toy room. Lorelei didn't like toys, they were for babies.
A clown doll sat on a small, red stool and stared at her, he wore a long purple coat and had frizzy hair. Lorelei tried not to stare at the doll, but it's gaze burned into the back of her head until she turned and threw it across the room, shouting it at. The clown landed behind a large pokédoll, one which almost took up the entire corner of the room it was so large. It was blue with four flippers and a big grey shell on it's back, the little foam spikes looked like fun... no. Lorelei suppressed that thought, dolls were for babies. The blue pokédoll stared at her, the large blue head atop a long blue neck. Cautiously, and against her better judgement, Lorelei walked over to the pokédoll and touched it. It was squishy underneath her small fingers and reminded her of the pillows she slept on. As though captivated, Lorelei took another few steps and climbed around to the side of the doll and clambered onto the big shell, she hugged a foam spike and suddenly, she was pretending she was riding a boat across the ocean.
On the other side of the one-way mirror, Lorelei's mother and the child psychologist watched her every move.
Slowly, Lorelei moved forwards, she was standing now and holding onto the pokédoll's thick neck for support.
Lorelei smiled, this was fun.
The door opened and the psychologist walked in, Lorelei knew this man was a doctor because of his big, white coat. She had seen enough doctors after Jimmy pushed her down the stairs, she knew it was him. Her smile faded immediately. Lorelei retreated to a cluster of spikes near the back of the pokédoll.
“I see you like the lapras,” the doctor said sweetly.
The doctor smiled at her confusion, “Yes, this is a lapras pokédoll. Lapras are rare pokémon that like to ferry people across the ocean on their backs, they're very friendly and helpful pokémon.”
Lorelei jumped off the lapras' back and stared the psychologist directly in his dark eyes, “What do you want?” she asked accusingly.
The psychologist widened his eyes for a small moment but pulled himself back together just as quickly, “I want to help you.” his mind raced, making mental notes.
“Why do I need help?”
“Your mother seems to think you do.”
“Mother is wrong. I'm fine.”
The psychologist raised an eyebrow, “Tell me about your accident.”
“It wasn't an accident,” Lorelei shouted before she could stop herself, she didn't want people to know.
“Are you suggesting that someone did this to you, or that you did it yourself on purpose?” the psychologist asked this rather incredulously, scarcely believing he had to ask this question of a seven-year-old.
Lorelei turned and climbed the lapras again, she hugged it's neck, her legs hanging either side of it, “Nothing happened.”
“You woke up in a hospital and you had a cracked skull. Something happened. Denying it will only hurt you.”
“I don't remember.”
“Short term memory loss is to be expected with a head injury as bad as yours, but maybe you remember something? A little glimpse of what happened maybe?”
Lorelei lay down on the lapras' shell, hugging a spike, “my head hurts.”
The psychologist smiled good-naturedly, “We don't need to rush, I'll just discuss a few things with your mother and you try and remember what happened.”
Lorelei watched him until his white coat swished out of the room. She hugged the lapras once more and sat on the stool from which she had forcibly removed the clown, she sat with her elbows on her knees, small knuckles holding her chin up.
When the psychologist came back, he asked more questions and Lorelei was just as reluctant to answer.
* * *
Years passed and Lorelei had ran away from home after an argument with her parents. They didn't approve of her decision to become a trainer, apparently she was too fragile to leave home by herself, but she'd show them.
Floe Island, however, was a rather small island. There weren't many places she could go, she'd be seen and dragged back to her parents house to continue living under their thumbs. Lorelei thought of the only place she could go where she wouldn't arouse suspicion, the Icefall Cave.
Growing up, she had found solace in the pressing cold of the cave, she enjoyed watching the pokémon that lived there, it was like a home away from home. Now she didn't want to call the other place home, this was all she had left.
A familiar swinub sidled up to Lorelei's side when she approached, the brown, hairy pokémon sniffed at her ankles and looked up expectantly.
“Sorry friend, but I've got nothing for you today. I've got nothing for myself either.” At twelve-years-old, Lorelei was still short, taller perhaps than she was, but still below average for her age. Her cold, dismissive attitude gained her very few admirers, but she had endured the taunts and the jeers, it was no different than enduring the blistering cold of Icefall Cave. Lorelei's hair had grown out slightly from the cut-back style she used to sport, now she had a small ponytail that rested between her shoulder blades, at the front, it was parted down the middle, her bangs framing her face.
Very recently, Lorelei's mother had dragged her to the optician for a routine check-up, it turned out that she was far-sighted and had been given a pair of glasses to help improve her vision. Begrudgingly, she accepted that everything was clearer now and they did look good on her.
The swinub who had followed Lorelei in was still at her heels, she liked this little swinub, he was friendly and didn't mind staying around her, unlike most of the children at the school. He accepted her as she was and didn't expect anything more, and during her various visits to the cave, she had discovered that this was a trait shared by most pokémon. They were naturally curious about her presence, and the braver ones scurried over to investigate, when they found that she was equally curious about them and greeted them with kindness, the meeker one scurried over as well.
Pretty soon, Lorelei had discovered most of the chambers and side-passages that the Icefall Cave offered. She was currently sat in her favourite room, a large open area with a huge pool of fresh water in the middle, she felt calmest here, and was ready to fall asleep with the swinub curled up nearby, when a crashing wave split the water.
Rising from the basin was a large, blue head. It's intelligent eyes scanned the room and found nothing out of the ordinary, slowly, the rest of it rose up, the long blue neck with it's cream underbelly, the thick, shelled body and the powerful flippers. It was a lapras, a young one judging by it's size.
The pokémon made several happy squealing sounds, apparently conversing with the local wildlife.
Lorelei was hidden behind a rock. She didn't want the lapras to leave, she didn't want to scare it.
Slowly, she peeked her head above the rock and saw that the lapras had it's back turned. Using every ounce of stealth she possessed, Lorelei emerged from behind her rock and began sneaking towards the rim of the pool of water. She thought about saying something to get the lapras' attention, but the beast suddenly froze.
The cavern became oddly quiet, even the zubat weren't chattering on the roof. The lapras turned it's head and it's eyes rested on Lorelei, who smiled sheepishly. “Hello?” she said quietly.
The lapras dived immediately, the rippling water splashing over the sides and soaking Lorelei's shoes.
Lorelei sighed and collapsed onto a nearby rock, she had just wanted to say hello and perhaps play for a while. A tear fell from her eye, froze in mid-air and smashed when it hit the floor, she continued to sob silently for a few seconds when, unbeknownst to her, the blue head and intelligent eyes had emerged once more from the pool of water.
The lapras stared at the small vulnerable figure for a few seconds, thinking. The lapras hadn't had much confidence in humans, they were the sole purpose for the lapras species' dwindling population. Surely this crying little girl wouldn't be so bad.
It was that odd sound that made Lorelei look up. The lapras was at her eye level, body still half way sunken in the pool.
Lorelei dried her eyes on her sleeve as she stood up, the lapras came back, she wanted so much to hug him as she had done the pokédoll so long ago. She approached carefully, the lapras was still eyeing her warily, but Lorelei kept walking, reaching out a small hand.
Slowly, the lapras lowered it's head, letting the girl touch it's neck. As soon as Lorelei made contact, a huge smile broke out on her face, she had expected him to feel cold and wet, but he was comfortably warm. Lorelei stood there transfixed for what seemed like hours, gently caressing the lapras when he moved his body closer to the edge of the pool. Lorelei took this to mean he wanted to let her on his back, unsure however, she moved slowly and looked the lapras in the eyes to try and gauge his reaction, when she had settled herself comfortably in between the large spikes on his back, she gave one of them a hug. They weren't soft and squishy like the pokédoll but it made her feel happy nonetheless.
The lapras began swimming in small circles and Lorelei stood up, feeling a gentle breeze on her young face. As far as Lorelei was concerned, the world could end right now, she was as happy as one could be.
The old lady who had been watching her from the shadows had other ideas however.
“Excuse me, young lady.” Her voice was still strong despite her frail appearance, mist rose from her mouth as she breathed.
Lorelei froze at the same time lapras did.
“It's rude to ignore your elders, you know.” The old lady held a cane, but didn't seem to have any trouble walking
Lorelei laid a calming hand on the lapras, “It's okay, take me to the side. I'll be back later,” she whispered.
The lapras obeyed and the girl jumped onto solid ground again. Lorelei eyed the newcomer warily, “how did you find me?”
The old lady merely laughed, “Find you? The young are so self absorbed!” she cried with mirth once more. “I was passing through and I happened to make an interesting observation, I was looking for no one, especially not twelve-year-old girls.”
“What's your name?” Lorelei asked, impertinently.
The old lady didn't seem to mind, “Agatha,” she said simply.
“And why were you-” she made air quotes with her fingers “-observing me?”
Agatha grinned broadly, “the pokémon seem to like you.”
Lorelei scoffed, “Of course they do, pokémon are really nice.”
“Do you have any pokémon of your own?” Agatha asked, taking in Lorelei's appearance.
Lorelei dropped her gaze to the floor, “No. My parents wouldn't let me, so I ran away.”
“You have no pokémon yet you reached this distant cavern without getting hurt? That is some feat, I myself was challenged multiple times on my way through.”
“Why are you here anyway? Icefall Cave is nothing special.”
“You seem to think it is.”
“You're avoiding my question.” Lorelei glared at Agatha through eyes that were wiser than their years.
Agatha smiled and nodded her head, “Fair point. I was actually looking for that lapras. As you may know, lapras are endangered and their protection lies under the jurisdiction of the Indigo Council, I was sent to make sure it hadn't been killed by poachers. I can see now, he is in good hands.”
The lapras mewled serenely in the background.
“Now that you know Lapras is safe, you can leave.”
Agatha laughed once more, “I can't leave just yet, deary.”
“You've done what you came for though!” Lorelei protested.
“Oh yes, the lapras is safe,” Agatha agreed, “the trouble now is you.”
Lorelei looked mutinous, “I'm not in trouble, nor do I need any help.”
Agatha sighed and sat on a rock, “From what I've seen and heard, you have no pokémon but you want to be a trainer. You've ran away from home and you seem to have taken refuge in this cave, surely you must know there is very little for a human to eat in here and a girl your age needs all the energy she can get.”
“You're going to take me back home aren't you?” Lorelei sat down on the floor, looking suddenly dejected.
“Heavens no! I was going to ask you to come with me. I could get you started on your way to a long and fruitful career.”
Lorelei looked up, her face showed a renewed vigour, “you can help me become a trainer?”
“I'm sure I can. I believe you will excel after you've gotten some training yourself.”
“What about pokémon? Will you help me get my first one?”
Agatha smiled once more and pulled a small, round object from her pocket, it was half red and half white, “With that, I believe I can help right now.” She threw the ball towards Lorelei, who caught it easily. “Throw it towards your friend over there, he'll do the rest.”
Lorelei turned and looked the lapras directly in the eyes, an understanding seemed to flit between them both in which the lapras nodded calmly.
Using all of her skill, she threw the pokéball across the pool where it suddenly split open on a hinge, the lapras was engulfed in a red haze, then he was gone, the pokéball sitting peacefully on the ground. Lorelei ran over and retrieved it, smiling happily as she presented it to Agatha.
“As a member of the Indigo Council, I ask that you look after that lapras.” Agatha winked, “Now take my arm.”
Slowly, Lorelei grabbed hold of Agatha's arm, not wanting to hurt her accidentally.
“Grip tight, you don't want to fall off half way.”
Lorelei was about to voice a concern but all thought was wiped from her mind as a purple hand took hold of her shoulder, sinking through the skin and into the very core of body.
“Take us home, Haunter.” Agatha asked politely.
The three of them melted into the shadows, leaving no trace that anyone had been in the icy cavern.
A few hours later, Lorelei was sat on a comfortable bed in a small, sparsely furnished room, a big grin on her face.
She held the pokéball containing the lapras in her hands, he was much too big to let out here, but she liked to talk to him anyway.
“This is really happening,” she whispered, “time to show everyone back on Floe Island that I'm worth something and not just something they can push around for their enjoyment.” Lorelei allowed herself a smug smile.
“And when I'm rich and famous, I won't allow my parents any part of it.” Lorelei could imagine the lapras nodding in agreement.
The door opened and Agatha peered in, “come with me,” she said, “there's someone I'd like you to meet.”
Lorelei seemed unfazed, “okay.”
Agatha lead her into a large, open-plan living area. There were several high-backed sofas grouped around a coffee table and a small kitchenette sat in the far corner.
“Sit on the sofa, deary.”
Lorelei complied and took the closest seat to her, it was then that she saw someone she hadn't noticed while Agatha was talking. He was a boy, around her age if she had to guess, with wild spiky red hair, the same colour as hers, his attire suggested wealth and he had an air of smugness about him.
Lorelei instantly took a disliking towards him.
“Lance Blackthorn,” he said, offering his hand, which Lorelei declined.
Agatha tutted, “We must always observe proper manners, dear.”
Begrudgingly, Lorelei offered her hand to him and said “Lorelei, just Lorelei”, but instead of shaking it, he took her hand in his and planted a kiss on it.
“So wonderful to meet you, Lorelei, just Lorelei.” he smirked annoyingly.
Lorelei recoiled the instant he let go, she stared at her hand for a few seconds as if contemplating amputation.
Agatha grinned evilly, “I'll let you two get acquainted.” Her laugh made it perfectly clear to Lorelei that she was enjoying this.
Lance looked over his shoulder to see that Agatha had left the room, when he saw that the coast was clear he turned back around and leaned closer to Lorelei, “So, I hear you're the Ice Princess.”
“What!?” Lorelei almost shouted, “What on earth are you talking about.”
Oh, how she wanted to sink her fist into his jaw.
“My father told me that Agatha had found someone who is unusually gifted with Ice-type pokémon. I assume it's you or you wouldn't be here, by the looks of you.”
She could sense a hint of derision in his tone, “by the looks of me?” she repeated, staring daggers at the red-headed youth.
“It's clear you aren't from a wealthy family, you're all dirty and your clothes are simple.” The boy clearly didn't have a problem speaking his mind.
“For your information, I ran away from home and went to live in a cave before Agatha found me.”
Lance gasped, as if he had never heard of a female do such a thing. “Feral child.” he sneered.
“I'd back off if I were you, or I'll have my lapras squish you.” Lorelei stood up and left, retreating to the safety of her simple, small room.
* * *
Puberty had been kind to Lorelei.
Within a few years, Lorelei had one of the most impressive growth spurts the world had ever seen, sending her from well below average to well above average, and her chest, well let's just say she had no problem filling out a sweater.
She had transformed from the one who everyone ignored into the one who turned heads as she walked down the street, her body demanded attention and people were more than willing to give it. For a short period, Lorelei shied away from the attention, but an incident involving an out of control forest fire and a couple of pokémon rangers began to teach her otherwise.
It was dark and cold, one of those nights where you regretted not finding a place to sleep indoors. The cold had never really bothered Lorelei too much, but the persistent winds that bit at any exposed skin, really took it out of you.
The tent had been erected and secured against the wind, she then set about making a fire, gathering bits of dry wood to use as kindling. Within minutes the fire was roaring, Lorelei still pulled her long, dark coat around herself a little tighter, it wasn't that warm yet. She took off her glasses and rubbed the bridge of her nose with forefinger and thumb, it had been a tough few days, Lorelei hadn't particularly enjoyed hiking through the country with little to no rest stops, and it was a long way from Fortree to Lilycove. Sleep could be hard to come by when you slept outside, sometimes the sound of nature was too overwhelming.
She was sat at the entrance to her tent, a sleeping bag was laid out invitingly but she wasn't tired yet, she groped at a pokéball at her waist, pressing the button she released the pokémon, which materialised next to her, “fros?” it said, worried.
The pokémon was white, wearing what looked like a kimono, the froslass could sense that her trainer wasn't feeling very good, worse than usual anyway.
“I could use some company right now,” Lorelei said simply, not even looking at her.
The froslass complied, laying a cold head on Lorelei's lap, who promptly began stroking the ice crystals on the top of her head.
Locked in a reverie as she was, Lorelei didn't notice when the winds knocked a flaming piece of kindling out of the ring of stones used to contain the fire, and into a particularly dry patch of leaves. They ignited almost immediately, sending a wave of flames across the forest. Froslass was the one to notice the flickering light, she propped her head up and stared, frightened at the inferno, this alerted Lorelei who suddenly screamed.
“Icy Wind, Froslass.” she said finally. The ice type blew a gust of chilling wind against the flames, but they were too hot, the ice melted before it could begin to put the flames out. Lorelei was at a loss, the fire had robbed her of her usually sharp mind, she could only stare dumbstruck as the flames approached her flimsy tent.
“Marill, use Rain Dance!” somebody screamed from behind the wall of fire.
“Surskit, Bubblebeam!” another voiced joined it, blasting a gap in the flames to where Lorelei was stood.
“You there!” it was a man dressed in a red uniform, a strange device on his wrist, a similarly dressed man stood behind him, directing a small blue and white pokémon, “Do you have any water types? Help us put the fire out!” he shouted over the fire that was crackling loudly in the background.
Lorelei's mind seemed to come back to her, she slapped herself to get focused and released the monolithic lapras, “Rain Dance, help the Marill.” the lapras growled and the rain that was currently spitting across the forest became a torrential downpour.
“Cloyster, Walrein, concentrate your water attacks to the bases of the fire.” Lorelei fixed herself with a cold glare as she shouted encouragement to the pokémon working to put the fire out.
The efforts of the pokémon, the torrential rain and the sharp winds all combined and shortly after joining the fold, Lorelei began wiping sweat off her brow in salute to a job well done. The pokémon rangers were congratulating the pokémon they had enlisted to help them before letting them scurry back home, they approached Lorelei and were about to say something when one of the gasped and noticed a flickering fire making it's merry way up her coat, she flung it off and ordered her walrein to douse it.
The forest around them was charred, the bark of nearby trees were blackened and the grass had died. The Rangers sighed dejectedly, they hated it seeing nature in this state.
Lorelei had the chance to take a good look at herself, she turned away from the rangers and inspected herself. She had no visible injuries, soot rested on her skin in places but that would easily wash off, her shirt however had been badly singed after a column of flames had erupted in front of her, Walrein had taken the brunt of it, but the fabric still couldn't handle the heat and had blackened like the forest around them. Lorelei poked at the shirt experimentally, it flaked away under her touch leaving a patch of skin on her upper torso visible, it was reddened but otherwise unharmed, there was a similar story with her pants, which had been burnt in places, again, the fabric flaked away after she shook the pant legs a little.
“Do you have any idea how this fire started, ma'am?” one of the rangers asked, dutifully. The other kicked a few of the rocks that had formed the fire pit.
Lorelei span around quickly when asked, her hair was plastered to her face and what was left of her singed shirt and pants were sticking to every contour of her body after the rain had soaked her. “I have no idea, I had a small fire going and then I looked away for a while and the flames were suddenly raging. It's a miracle you were nearby.”
The Rangers apparently forgot to even hide the fact that they were staring at an area of her person about one foot below her eye line. One of the two finally shook his head and forced his eyes upwards, “I'm sure it was an honest mistake,” he stammered.
The other one copied the first, “Yeah, er... be more careful next time.”
The Rangers walked off slowly, staring over their shoulders every now and then, until they disappeared over a hill in the distance.
Lorelei looked a little confused, she had just admitted to being negligent, which lead to a small section of forest being burnt down and she just got told to be more careful by the very people who have the power to punish you for this exact thing. She rubbed the bridge of her nose again and crawled into her tent, which had mercifully escaped the flames.
Lorelei peeled off the tattered layers of her outfit and threw them into a corner, planning to throw them out when she got the chance, drying herself with an ever-useful towel to prevent her catching a cold, she got into the sleeping bag and zipped it up, falling asleep almost instantly.
Cloyster, Walrein, Lapras and Froslass all looked at each other and shrugged, they lay down where they were stood and fell asleep just as quickly.
* * *
Lorelei's rise to fame was something to behold, she competed and won in various leagues around the world, despite her defiantly using only ice type pokémon. Recognised Ice type users such as Pryce of Johto and Brycen of Unova could be found praising her skill and uncanny ability.
It seemed obvious to most that she would rise to become a great trainer.
During one of the rest periods between league seasons, Lorelei had returned to Icefall Cave on Floe Island, a place she had been avoiding these past ten years.
She had found the cavern where she first met her lapras and released him into the pool, there was much less room to swim around than last time he was there. “Look at how much you've grown,” Lorelei said, smiling, “this was a decently sized area when I first met you, now it's like a fish bowl.”
The glittering light that reflected off of the ice crystals in the case suddenly went out for a few seconds, Lorelei barely had time to react before they glittered back on again, “I thought you might have come here.” a very familiar voice said.
“I was feeling sentimental,” Lorelei said without turning around, “isn't that the same reason you thought you had to check up on me, Agatha?”
Agatha stood with her gengar a few metres behind Lorelei, some of her wrinkles had become more defined, but she otherwise looked exactly as she had done the day the two first met, “I've heard that you have constantly rebuffed the offer to become a gym leader, is there any reason for that?”
Lorelei turned around, “it was never my intention to settle as a gym leader, you know that.”
“It is not a question of settling, you could have used it as a stepping stone to what you really want, the Indigo Council always like to choose new Elite Four members from the current stock of gym leaders.”
Lorelei grimaced, “I wouldn't want to be constrained by the rules gym leaders are forced to battle by.”
“The league system operates on the basis of equality for all trainers, the gym leaders act as tests to nurture the abilities of upcoming trainers.”
Agatha went to go on, but Lorelei interrupted her, “then it is a gym leader's job to lose. I do not lose.”
“The four are getting on in years, yes I include myself in that, we are not likely to stay for much longer. This is a young man's game, what we play. Train yourself alongside your pokémon and maybe in a few years time, I will send your recommendation to the council. They won't refuse you.”
Silently, Agatha and the gengar slipped once more into the shadows, leaving Lorelei alone with her lapras.
He swam over and nuzzled his large head against her, Lorelei stroked his head for a few seconds, “thank you,” she whispered into the lapras' ear, before straightening up and returning the lapras to his pokéball.
* * *
It was night time when she received the letter.
She was walking along a well worn forest path when the xatu descended with the letter attached to it's leg. She carefully untied the letter and thanked the xatu for delivery, who promptly took off again.
The Indigo Council has requested a meeting to discuss your future. It has come to the attention of the Indigo Council that certain members of the illustrious “Elite Four” are retiring, and replacements need to be found before the Indigo League tournament begins. Your glowing recommendation has lead to your name being short listed for a position, but space is limited and there are several applicants, it has therefore been decided by the Indigo Council, that a small tournament be held to decide the successors.
Regards, Helena Friedman,
Chairperson of the Indigo Council.
Lorelei re-read the letter two more times and smiled. “Delibird,” she said simply, releasing a short, plump bird pokémon with a large red stomach, it held a sack in one of it stumpy wings. The delibird looked up at Lorelei with doleful eyes, “deli?”
“I need to get to Indigo Plateau immediately, you up for the journey?”
“Deli deli!” he replied, saluting.
The delibird flapped it's wings and hovered at Lorelei's eye line, waiting for her to grab hold. Lorelei reached out and grabbed a small, yellow foot, instantly feeling a weightless sensation flood through her. The delibird took off, flying west towards the setting sun.
The trip hadn't taken too long, she had only been outside Cerulean City when she received the letter.
She touched down at the large building she had called her home ever since she had become a trainer and made her way towards the reception desk, the woman behind the desk, a slim blonde in her late teens, recognised her immediately. “Lorelei!” she shouted, waving a hand in the air to get her attention, “Agatha told me to tell you that you are to meet in conference room 'B', the others should be along shortly.”
Lorelei smiled weakly, “thank you, Alice.”
Agatha met her when she arrived, directing her to a seat near the head of the table. “First come, first served.” she said, as if seat placement around the fairly small table mattered.
“Who else can we expect?”
Agatha merely smiled and stood still by the door.
Lorelei rolled her eyes and began counting roof tiles out of boredom.
About ten minutes later, the door opened and in walked a young man with styled, purple hair and a mask you'd expect a super hero to wear, his eyes were obscured by eerie white panels. The first thing Lorelei thought when she looked at him was 'weirdo, who dresses themselves like a camp harlequin?'
“It's circus chic actually.” he said, staring directly into her eyes, his expression unreadable because of the mask. “Will,” he offered his hand, which Lorelei shook, “I'm a Psychic. Something you don't have to be to guess what kind of trainer I am.” the corner of his mouth raised slightly in a cocky smile, his mask was still kinda disturbing though.
“Don't worry, you'll get used to the mask.”
Lorelei narrowed her eyes, “would you kindly stay the fuck out of my head?” she said, with a simpering smile.
Will raised an eyebrow, but nobody could see this. “If you insist, you have an exceptional mind, if you don't mind me saying.” Will smiled again, apparently he thought his pun was funny.
Lorelei didn't laugh... or smile... or react in any way.
“Okay then, no sense of humour.” he made an invisible note on an invisible clipboard, “any other endearing qualities you'd like to tell me about, beautiful.”
Lorelei leaned forward in her chair, whispering violently “I could kick your skinny ass without breaking a sweat.”
Will leaned forward to meet her, “why are we whispering?”
It took all of Lorelei's self restraint and an admonishing look from Agatha to stop her from ripping Will limb from limb right there.
Will smiled again, this time triumphantly. Just as he was leaning back in his chair, hands behind his head, the door opened once more.
Agatha was greeting a woman, average height, with a curtain of waist length silvery-blue hair, she was dressed in bright colours her silvery-blue eyes shone as they took in the contents of the room.
Will looked over and, having leaned back in his chair, almost toppled backwards when he saw her, until he stopped the chair in mid-air with telekinesis. Righting himself slowly, his heart pounding a mile a minute, he tried to introduce himself, but winced when the newcomer laughed openly in his face.
She walked over towards Lorelei and extended her hand, Lorelei took it, “Karen,” she said, turning to look at Will for a second, before bursting into a fresh wave of laughter. Will's face flushed madly, even his mask couldn't hide it.
Lorelei looked up to the standing Karen, whose gaze unnerved her slightly, “Lorelei. The fool's name is Will.”
“Pleasure to meet you Lorelei, I've heard a lot about you.”
Lorelei raised an eyebrow, “really?”
Karen faltered for a brief second, “all of it good, mind. If you're as good as they say then I'm going to have a real fight on my hands for once.”
Smirking, Lorelei then said, “likewise.” with a curt nod.
It was then, as Karen sat down, trying to keep a straight face when Will engaged her in conversation, Lorelei noticed that she was terribly under-dressed. When Lorelei had received the letter, she was wearing tatty wilderness rags and hadn't thought to change, she probably didn't smell to good either but she didn't want the others to see her checking. Karen looked like she had several hours to prepare and Will, despite his odd choice in clothing, was still smart looking.
Lorelei looked at her own outfit. She'd been a trainer for over ten years and quite frankly, she'd stopped caring what she looked like. When traveling, which took up ninety percent of her time, she found it a lot easier to wear what was comfortable and what was practical, can you imagine traversing Mount Moon in heels? No, whereas thick soled boots made it a lot easier, pants and jeans looked good but they didn't have any protection against the elements, so she wore the waterproof stuff. She had even stopped caring about her hair, which grew in a long ponytail down her back, almost tickling her thighs.
This train of thought may have stopped at a few more stations if the door hadn't opened for a third and final time.
Standing outside was the most giant person, Lorelei, and she could probably say the same about the other occupants of the room, had ever seen. He stooped low to avoid hitting his head on the door frame, shaking Agatha's had casually. He was completely topless, wearing only long cream pants and built like a brick shit-house. He at least made Lorelei feel a little better about what she wore. The newcomer descended into a chair and she noticed that he wasn't wearing any shoes.
“Bruno.” He grunted, before falling silent.
Agatha walked to the head of the table and cleared her throat, “You have all been brought here because you have all been deemed worthy successors of the retiring members of the Elite Four. However, because only two members are retiring, only two of you will be able to get the positions right now, the other two will be kept on hold until other members sees fit as to retire.” Agatha cleared her throat once more, “Simply by being invited here, you have been accepted as Elite Four material, what now needs to happen, is to decide which two of you deserve it the most.”
“In three days, The tournament will officially start, each trainer will face one another. At the end of it, in the event of a draw, the amount of pokémon unused in the battle will be added up, the one with the most unused pokémon will win.”
“Rules?” Bruno muttered.
“You may have six pokémon with you, choose wisely, your teams will be locked when you've decided. Standard league rules apply after that.”
Agatha looked seriously at each one in turn, lingering a little longer on Lorelei than the others. “You don't need me to tell you what a position in the Elite Four entails.”
With that, she left the room, leaving the four with each other.
They looked at each other in turn, grim expressions on their faces.
They knew what was on the line.
Even Will knew that this was not a time to joke.