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Thread: Sparks and False Starts (EncourageShipping, PG)

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    Default Sparks and False Starts (EncourageShipping, PG)

    Rating: PG-13
    Fandom: Pokemon
    Pairing: Lyra/Elesa (EncourageShipping); With hints of Skyla/Elesa (Airplane Shipping), Silver/Lyra (SoulSilver Shipping), Skyla/Elesa/Lyra (CloudedShipping) and Silver/Skyla (RedBaronShipping)
    Author's Notes: Dared by PPL. Loosely based on the song, Pop Princess, by The Click Five.
    This was originally meant to be a drabble, but I got completely carried away. It also features a few cameos from other Pokemon characters. Bare in mind, this is technically my first ever full-on fanfiction project. I'm more suited to screenwriting than this form of writing, so I apologize for any mistakes made in the process of this story.

    Italics = Lyra's thoughts



        Spoiler:- Index:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Prologue:

    There was Lyra, that trainer from the little town of New Bark in the Johto region, standing in front of Nimbasa Stadium in awe. This small town girl was visiting the big city for the first time in her life and she was most excited to see Unova's biggest superstar, Elesa, in concert. The Nimbasa Gym Leader and supermodel had recently taken up singing, dancing and acting. She was greater than a triple threat. She was perfection.

    Lyra first discovered the wonder of Elesa a few months before. The supermodel appeared as a special guest star on Goldenrod City's daily radio show promoting her newest song. From that moment, the young wide-eyed trainer fell in love with the voice on the radio then and there. Thanks to Mom for the Pokegear. It wasn't long until Lyra got a glimpse of a glossy poster, which was advertising Elesa's live debut show as a singer. With a second of a heartbeat, Lyra had quickly booked her plane tickets to Mistralton City and front row tickets to the show without hesitation.

    This was the beginning of her journey to meet her star... and boy, was she in for a bumpy ride.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Chapter One: Flight or Fright

    "Flights to Unova, you say?" said the airline employee, "and your name, miss?"

    Lyra flashed her trainer card, which the man took and swiped through a machine before handing it back to her. She waited as he tapped several commands on his keyboard. He peered closely at the flight manifest on his computer, and then clicked the button on his mouse, which in turn alerted the printer to carry out its purpose. There! A freshly printed ticket dropped out of the slot and the man quickly grabbed the piece of card. "Here you go, Miss Lyra". The attendant handled the plane ticket. "Just take the express cart on your left for quick and easy access to your plane. Enjoy your flight."

    The man smiled and waved goodbye as Lyra claimed a seat on the express cart. It took her directly to the landing strip and she swiftly leaped off the cart, awaiting the arrival of her plane. Moments later, a plane swooped down onto the tarmac making a loud noise as it landed. The door to the pilot's cabin opened with a bang and a girl jumped out. Her red hair was tied with headband shaped like a propeller. She wore large gloves and boots that were fit for a pilot. The rest of her clothes were not.

    "Howdy, this is your captain reporting for duty." She raised her hand to salute her new passenger. "I know what you're thinking, but I can assure you that I am a certified pilot. I got my wings". Lyra felt reassured. "Come on now, no use just standing there. Let's get this show on the road". Leading the way as she pulled her passenger's arm, the pilot directed Lyra to her seat and then sat down in the seat next to Lyra's. The pilot's seat.

    "Are you sure, it's safe for me to be in here?" Lyra asked worryingly.

    "Yup. Think of it this way, you'll be like my co-pilot".

    "That's cool. I've never been on a plane before, let alone as a co-pilot".

    "Lights-check. Engine-check. Seatbelt-check. Everything is in order", shouted the enthusiastic pilot while she fiddled with the controls of the planes. "Time for take-off. Get ready for the flight of your life".

    Arrrrrrrrrggggghh... Lyra screamed in panic as the plane began to shake violently as a result of the unexpected turbulence. She couldn't quite tell if the horror she was feeling was a typical occurrence that came with being on a moving plane for the very first time or if it was due to the pilot's dangerous style of flying. Given the unusual antics of this scantily dressed pilot, Lyra was leaning towards the latter.

    "Umm, how long till we reach Unova?" Lyra asked while trying to hold on to her seat.

    "Not long now". The pilot smiled. "We'll be landing in five hours".

    Five hours?!? Oh dear.

    "While we wait, how about you tell me more about yourself? I'm Skyla. I'm also the Mistralton City Gym Leader".

    Lyra was surprised to hear that this girl was a gym leader and she wondered if Skyla was acquainted with Elesa. It seemed her mind was consumed with mostly thoughts about Elesa lately. "You're a gym leader? Do you know Elesa?" she said both sentences in rapid succession.

    "Yup. I know Elesa".

    "That's so awesome. What is she like?"

    "Well, she likes to fly with me from time to time. Apparently, she just adores fast rides that go around and around in loops".

    "Loops?" Lyra asked inquisitively.

    "The loop-de-loop is her favourite. It's what I call an Ele-exclusive".

    "Loop-de-looooooooooo--"

    But before she could finish her question, Skyla had already pulled heavily on her gear-stick. She pushed and pulled it back and forth causing the plane to move in a swift on-going pattern resembling the paths taken by the rollercoasters in the Nimbasa City Gym. Lyra screamed as she found herself thrown from left to right and top to bottom. Thankfully, her seat beat was securely fasten so she didn't have suffered a head injury from being thrown around the cockpit. Unfortunately, the high altitude was a bit too much for her. As a result, Lyra passed out from the air pressure.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Lyra slowly opened her eyes, but her vision appeared blurred at first. All she knew was that she was finally on land again, which was the biggest relief. Was the most terrifying plane ride of my life just a nightmare? She straighten herself up and discovered she had been somehow been transported onto a soft sofa of sorts.

    "Hey? You're awake", a voice uttered softly.

    "What happened?"

    "You fainted, that's what".

    Lyra rubbed her eyes until she could finally see. She began to feel conscious again and had found everything had become much clearer. She was at the lobby of Mistralton Airport. In front of her was Skyla, whose presence caused Lyra to unintentionally shriek. Her instinct was to run away from the pilot responsible for the horrid ordeal, but in doing so, she instantly fell to her feet having not fully recovered from her fatigue. "Come on relax, girly. Don't work yourself into another fit for heavens sake. I can't have you collapsing on me again", Skyla said as she helped Lyra back on her feet.

    "You!" Lyra shouted as she clutched her fists and waved them at Skyla. "This was your fault. You drive like a maniac".

    "First of all, it's called flying," Skyla said as she pointed and swirled her forefinger in a rather smug manner, "and secondly, if you couldn't handle a little fun, you should have said something before".

    "Well, I'm fine now. No thanks to you." She quickly formed a look of pain and disgust towards the pilot. "If you don't mind, I'll be on my way now".

    "Hmph, you don't have to be so rude. Fine, go if you so desire".

    With that said, Lyra hurried away as fast as her legs could manage. She had made it to the Mistralton Pokemon Centre, where she decided to take a rest from walking. She drop herself onto the couch with her feet placed on a cushion. Nurse Joy couldn't help but notice the worn-out traveller and made her way over there to check on the poor girl.

    "My my, aren't you tired?" The nurse said in a sweet caring tone, but Lyra didn't respond as she was already fast asleep. The nurse giggled and left her to rest soundly.
    Last edited by Meowth City; 18th March 2013 at 10:49 PM.
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    This is an interesting start. The way Lyra and Skyla meet each other is rather interesting. As of now I can't predict what's going to happen, but I thought it was really amusing and well written.


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    @C.Gholy - Thank you for the comment. I'm glad you found it amusing. That was my intention as is making this fic as unpredicatable as possible, so you may be even more surprised later on.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Chapter Two: Going Somewhere?
    Because I have no interest in staying true to the anime/games

    The next morning, Lyra woke up feeling much better. She stretched her arms and legs, but as she placed her left hand over her mouth to cover her yawning, she felt her Pokegear hit her in the face. Ouch! She rubbed her sore face with her other hand and then remembered the watch on her Pokegear. She look down at the time and realised she had overslept. Oh shoot, I need to get to Nimbasa by six. She wasted no time and headed towards the counter where the lovely nurse was stationed.

    "Hi Nurse Joy, please could you give me directions to Nimbasa City?"

    "Ah, the best route to Nimbasa City would be to take the Green Line from Mistralton Station all the way to Nimbasa Central".

    "Oh, and where is Mistralton Station?"

    "Just make a right outside of here and keep going straight on ahead. It's rather large, so you can't miss it".

    "Thanks," she said, "I gotta go. No time to lose".

    She was ready to bolt for the door when... "Wait, what about breakfast? You can't leave on an empty stomach". Lyra stopped in her tracks and realised she had not eaten since the previous morning. She wanted to leave for Nimbasa, but her stomach growled in protest.

    "Umm, yeah. Actually, breakfast sounds great".


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The cafeteria in Mistralton Pokemon Centre served food that differed greatly from the ones she was used to in the Johto region. Wow, chocolate chip cookies. Lyra's mouth began to drool at the sight of the delicious cuisine. There was plenty of food for humans and Pokemon alike. She bought herself the chocolate cookie and a Lava Cookie for her Pokemon, which was a Meowth. She took out her Pokeball and push the round button on the capsule to signal for it to come out. She felt guilty for leaving Meowth in there for so long, especially since she normally had the cat follow her everywhere, although she was relieved that her dear Pokemon was not subjected to the traumatic plane ride over. After a brief pause, Meowth materialized outside of its Pokeball only to remain in a deep slumber. "Taking a catnap, I see... Well, I guess that means you don't want your cookie", Lyra said playfully, as she placed the Lava Cookie to its nose and the smell of the freshly baked dough immediately caught its attention. The Pokemon then awoke for a moment solely to devour the cookie. Once that was achieved, it resumed sleeping. That lazy Meowth.

    Lyra returned Meowth to its Pokeball and proceeded to eat her own cookie. Two bites and it was gone. Man, I'm still hungry. I could really go for some rice and chicken. Coincidently enough, a plate of rice and chicken was placed on the table in front of her by a kind gentleman. "Here you go. You look like you could use some of this" said the generous chef, who appeared out of nowhere.

    "Wow, thanks". Lyra was surprised by the nice gesture. It appeared as if the chef had somehow read her mind, but Lyra didn't care. She scoffed the whole thing down in no time, as it was the most satisfying meal she had in a long time. Lyra couldn't believe her luck.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    With breakfast out of the way, Lyra left the Pokemon Centre and followed the directions given by Nurse Joy earlier. She took one turn to the right and continue down the path until she saw a large building. There was Mistralton Station just as the nurse said it would be. She went straight towards the ticket office and rang the bell. An attendant quickly responded and, after a small exchange with the staff, Lyra was given the correct ticket for passage to Nimbasa Central. She headed underground into the subway and made her way onto the platform for the Green Line.

    After a minute or so lapsed, a train pulled into the station and Lyra squeezed on board along with a crowd of commuters. To pass time, Lyra had a look around the carriage and found the many different people on the train to be quite interesting. Among them was a green-haired fellow dressed as a waiter speaking with a girl with oddly-shaped purple hair. They appear to be either friends or a couple, but Lyra could not figure out which. On the other end was a suspicious man wearing in a trench coat. He appeared to be thinking as his hand was placed neatly under his chin, but the most captivating sight of all was in front of Lyra - a clan of teenaged girls wearing Elesa-style headphones on their heads. They were applying make-up and doing each other's hair, while talking rather loudly amongst themselves. It was clear that they were fans of Elesa. Wow, is everyone in Unova so strange and wonderful? These girls were pretty and glamorous, but Lyra was nothing like them - and that made Lyra nervous. Would Elesa really be interested in someone like me?
    Last edited by Meowth City; 18th March 2013 at 10:51 PM.
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    Chapter Three: Saturday Night Lights

    "You have arrived at Nimbasa Central. Please alight for Nimbasa City", said the announcer on the train's intercom.

    As it was the last stop for the Green Line, everyone rushed off the train and Lyra felt a little scattered due to the commotion. After a few attempts to leave the station, Lyra finally found the subway leading outside to the city and she felt good to be above ground once again. This was the first time she was seeing Nimbasa City and the scale of the city was something Lyra had never seen before. The ambience felt familiar yet strange. Although she was no stranger to big cities such as Goldenrod and Celadon in the Johto and Kanto region respectively, Lyra was not at all used to the various different modes of public transport and the larger crowds that it brought with it.

    Without a companion or friend except for her Pokemon to accompany her to one of the largest cities of Unova, the small-town girl found the large crowds rather unsettling at first. As she walk into the Nimbasa Stadium, she could feel the excitement coursing through her as if it was blood in her veins. Lyra looked up at the beautiful dome shaped structure, which acted as a roof for the stadium. It was lined with steel beams to provide strong standing, while the clear crystal dome provided the field with sufficient sunlight. The stadium itself was an all-seater with rows and rows of seats surrounding the field from all sides. There also was an upper level for a higher view of the court. At the end of each row were one of many food vendors calling attention to themselves in the attempt to shift as much stock as possible during the event. The center of the stadium had been converted from a typical football field into an elevated stage fit for a musical concert. It had also been installed with a runaway and two ramps complete with extensive lighting and a wind machine. It was a well crafted set that was created especially for the concert.

    Lyra took in the atmosphere and breathed in. Wow, this place is getting packed. She was most thankful that the arena was not filled with the usual selection of sports fans. No, it was a more dignified affair. On the top level were the royal boxes overlooking the rest of the seats. They were occupied by debonair gentlemen, socialites and rich boys and girls. Meanwhile, the stands had began to fill up with many idols-wannabes and various other spectators from all over the world. Several camera crews were scattered all over the court gearing up to film the show. They were all waiting for Elesa's spectacular debut.

    A single spotlight hit the floor of the stage. Music filled the stadium. Men underneath the stage had tossed dried ice into conveniently placed buckets of water. The people closest to the stage began to feel a cold sensation, as the effects of the dry ice appeared to engulf the surrounding area. Suddenly, Elesa emerged from a hidden trapdoor in the floor. With movements like a ninja, she landed dead center on the runaway in one smooth and fast sweep. Dressed rather fashionably in a long beige faux-fur coat and wearing her iconic headphones on top of her newly dyed, darkly coloured hair. She wore a red shoe on one foot and a blue shoe on the other. The colours of which matched her headwear perfectly. The crowds roared with applause at this surprise entrance. It seemed her recent makeover was going down a treat with the audience. After a lengthy cheer, the crowd quieten down to listen to Elesa sing live for the first time. The moment everyone had been waiting for.

    Upon hearing just the first line of lyric, the crowds cheered once more. It was worth the wait. Elesa was a natural performer with a way about her. She knew exactly how to elicit excitement in her fans and Lyra was one of many that adored her. From her seat in the front-row, Lyra gazed at the singer with admiration and love. She could feel her heart in motion. It was as if her world was moving past galaxies at rapid speed, and she was just there along for the ride.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    It was the 15 minute interval between sets. Lyra was seated alone in the front row, while most of the people went to use the restroom or buy food during the break. All she could think about was the show and how amazing it was to see Elesa in person. Although she was only an inch away from her star, she felt so far away at the same time. Thoughts of Elesa and being with her had consumed her mind yet again. Is this what love feels like? I want to know.

    A strong wind blew across the stage causing the curtain that was hiding Elesa from view to peel back. It had left enough room for Lyra to get a glimpse of the star. She could plainly see Elesa had several people fixing her hair make-up, changing her outfit and doing all the things one can expect a star needs doing. It was in that instance, Lyra looked passed all the superficial aspects of Elesa's character and got a sense of who she really was. Elesa has a haunted look in her eyes that seems mask her true feelings. It was a look that appeared to express sadness and a longing for something. Something more. Could it really be true? Was Elesa just a lonely person underneath that beautiful facade? Lyra couldn't help but feel so much closer to Elesa than she ever did before. She had the inkling that deep inside of Elesa was a person with a heart and a soul. She was not just a fantasy, but she was someone tangible. Someone real.

    Shock horror. Elesa had spotted Lyra staring at her, but Lyra could not look away. Elesa stared right back. Their eyes were meeting for the first time and Lyra could hardly breathe. Am I dying or am I dreaming? Her heart raced as if it was running for the Olympics and her whole body felt as if it had been hit by a Thunder Wave. In a blink of an eye, a soft breeze gently passed through the curtain and forced it back to its original place with Elesa disappearing behind it again and, with that, the moment had vanished with it.


    A loud blast of sound hit the crowd's ears. It was time for the second set to start. Electric sparks appeared to be coming from the ground up. As it increased in voltage, a powerful surge of electricity surrounded the hidden trapdoor, where Elesa emerged once more. No longer wearing her coat, Elesa was dressed in a yellow and blue two-piece swimsuit. She was accompanied by her two Emolgas, both of whom had provided the dramatic sparks. The audience's cries were grew loud after seeing the Electric Pokemon perched on both her shoulders. As she began to sing, her Emolgas continued to dazzle everyone with several feats of perfectly choreographed electric attacks. The show was a success.

    At the end of the concert, Elesa took her bows as did her Emolgas. She waved and smiled as the stadium was filled with people rising to their feet. Standing ovations were plentiful and Lyra gave hers gladly. She clapped and cheered for Elesa, which caught the star's eye again. Elesa gave a flattering wink and blew her a kiss, which caused the girl to faint for the second time in under a 48 hour period.

    Ahhhhh, my life is complete.
    Last edited by Meowth City; 18th March 2013 at 10:52 PM.
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    Lyra fangirling over Elesa was cute and I liked how the chapters felt as if they were a few drabbles crunched into one chapter because it each scene has a particular focus so it's easy to understand and process the information. I'm really liking the story so far, especially how Elesa is acting all fabulous.


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    @C.Gholy - I never noticed that the chapters were like several drabbles in one. Yay for doing things by accident. I'm just glad it comes off as easy to understand to you. I often fear that the opposite would happen, as my mind is quite a complex thing for other people to wrap their head around. Speaking of which, time for a new chapter...

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Chapter Four: At the Drop of a Hat
    Just when you thought we were getting somewhere

    One hour later, the show had ended and all the spectators had left the stadium. Lyra was passed out on a bench not too far from the venue. It wasn't long before she began to feel conscious again. She opened her eyes. Stupid, stupid. Why did I have to faint again? This is so embarrassing. Lyra strongly tugged onto her hat pulling it onto her face, so much so that she failed to notice someone stood in front of her.

    "Why, that is such a cute hat you've got there," said the person. Lyra pulled the hat from her eyes and looked up at the figure. She couldn't make out their face due to the direct sunlight hitting her eyes, but she could tell the person was tall and female. "Don't hide your face. Here, let me adjust this for you," said the tall woman, who sat next to her as she fixed the position of Lyra's hat. The sunlight faded enough for Lyra to finally see the face of the woman.

    Eeeek, it's Elesa. In that instance of recognition, Lyra dropped her hat on the floor. Her face went red almost instantly.

    "You're a little clumsy, aren't you?" said Elesa, "First, you faint and now this".

    Lyra was dumbfounded. She couldn't believe her crush had casually sat down beside her and was actually engaging in small talk with her. Elesa leaned down to pick up the fallen hat off the ground, and as she did, Lyra felt part of her body brush ever so slightly against hers. That feeling stayed with her much longer than the initial touch did. There were so many things she wanted to say, but her mind and her mouth would not co-operate. Instead, she said nothing and remained staring at her in silence. Elesa placed the hat on Lyra's head again. Touching her. Again.

    Breathe, Lyra, breathe.

    "Tell me, where did you get this unusual hat?" asked Elesa.

    "Oh, t-t-this old t-thing? Umm, m-my mom b-brought it for me," Lyra nervously stuttered.

    "Well, it's positive-ly adorable," Elesa said with such delight.

    "Thanks". Lyra blushed.

    The conversation stopped there. No one said anything for Elesa couldn't take her eyes of Lyra's adorable hat and Lyra couldn't take her eyes off Elesa. The two girls didn't need any words to convey their thoughts. Their eyes were doing most of the work for them. For what seemed like an eternity, Lyra was about ready to break the silence until her indecisive mind betrayed her again. Then she remembered that Elesa was a model and a follower of fashion trends, so it was safe to assume she had a keen interest in all things fashion. Lyra pondered if it was solely the hat that Elesa was interested in or could she have feelings for the girl in the hat. She couldn't ask. Lyra knew it was a fantasy, and the thing about fantasies is they often thrive on the possibility that they may come true, so she couldn't dare reveal her true feelings to the object of her affection. It was much too soon to allow herself to destroy the fantasy she had spent so long clinging to. She knew in her mind that Elesa couldn't possibly return those kinds of feelings having only just met that day. It was silly to think otherwise. Be sensible, Lyra. If I say something stupid now, I'll blow any chance I have with her. To save herself from the bitter sting of rejection, Lyra bit her tongue. I think I'm in love with you is what she really wanted to say, but even in the comfort of her head, she knew it was ridiculous to say the least.

    "You're not much of a talker," Elesa said, breaking the tension, "I'm guessing you're not from around here, are you?"

    "Ah, no. I'm not. I'm originally from New Bark Town in Johto," said Lyra without stuttering this time.

    "Oh, Johto. How nice".

    "You know it?"

    "Of course, I did a show for Goldenrod Radio once or twice", said Elesa with a wink, "Johto is a wonderful place".

    "It really is, but Unova has been a dream come true".

    What more could be said. There was Lyra sitting down having a normal conversation with her idol on a public bench. Being in the company of a pop princess was surely a fantastic way to spend an afternoon, but things were not as they appeared to be...


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Suddenly without warning, the sky was filled with little balls of light. Many of which fell to the ground causing tiny explosions. Their appearance and the way they moved were just like a Draco Meteor and, naturally, Lyra was downright frightened to be in the middle of this dangerous new predicament. She didn't have time to think how any of it was possible for she was most concerned with how she and Elesa could remain unharmed. Then she was struck by a stray rock, but it didn't hurt. In fact, it felt like nothing.

    Looking over the mass amounts of falling specks of lights, Lyra frantically searched for Elesa's face in a panic. When she finally did find it, she saw Elesa was stood calmly in the distance and, in that moment, she realised she was the only one who was being surrounded by the lights. Elesa didn't flinch despite witnessing such a chaotic scene. If anything, Elesa was smiling and waving at Lyra almost as if they were parting on normal terms. Lyra desperately wanted to run away from the lights and towards her love, but she couldn't move. She was frozen in its clutches. I don't want to say goodbye yet. The lights merged themselves together forming one great ray of light. It was a blinding vision and since the light was greater in size, it had a life of its own.

    The light danced around Lyra and then started to slice into the atmosphere similar to the way scissors cuts into fabric. It tore away a piece of our dimension and revealed what was really underneath all along: a dark void. The dark void was the light's true master and it wanted to drag Lyra into its very core. Was this the end of the world? Lyra thought she had found everything she ever wanted in life. That being Elesa. How could fate end hers at such a cruel time?

    No matter how hard she fought it, her feeble attempts to escape were of no use. In the end, she failed to prevent it from consuming her. And once it was done with its human victim, the dark matter disappeared almost as quickly as it came.


    TO BE CONTINUED...
    Last edited by Meowth City; 18th March 2013 at 10:53 PM.
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    Chapter Five: Out of Her League
    Now, things are getting real interesting


    I’ve been waiting for you... There’s no need for words now.



    FLASH!!


    We will battle to determine who is the stronger of the two of us... I... accept your challenge!


    FLASH!!


    I thought this would never happen! I never give up, no matter what.


    FLASH!!


    …It’s over.





    "What was that?" Lyra asked herself.

    She wondered if her life was flashing before her eyes. If she had died.

    But it appeared that the mysterious light had taken her somewhere else entirely. Somewhere familiar. A quick scan of her surroundings told her that much for she had somehow been transported back to the bedroom of her house in New Bark Town. Not only that, but she was hovering above her floor in mid-air by what had to be some kind of levitation spell. Whoa, how did I get up there? Lyra began to freak out as she kicked her feet in a massive panic until gravity finally took control again.


    THUD!!


    "Oww, what the--?" Lyra murmured to herself, "I have got to stop falling and fainting. This is getting old".

    "My goodness. What was that noise?" said Lyra's mother as she ran into her daughter's room.

    "It's alright, mum. It's only me"

    "Lyra, dear. I didn't even see you come in".

    "Ha, neither did I".

    "Are you alright, dearie?"

    "Yeah, I'm just a little dazed... Oh boy, the craziest thing happened when I met Elesa".

    "Elesa?"

    "Mum, don't you remember? I went to Unova and I met her. Honest".

    "I don't recall giving you permission to go trekking all over Unova and how would you know anyone from Unova?" asked the curious mother, "umm, what is Unova?"

    "What? You're confusing me. I swear, it all happened. At least, it did before I got all swept up in that crazy light display..." And with that, Lyra suddenly came to the realisation of what really happened to her. "Oh my God, the whole thing was just a dream!"

    "Only a dream? Well, that's a cliché twist if I've ever heard one", her mother uttered sarcastically, "So, by that logic, the last four chapters never really happened".

    "I guess not".

    "Then, what really happened? Last time you were home, you told me you were off to the Pokemon League".

    "That's it", Lyra exclaimed, "The last thing I remember for real was my battle with Lance, but I don't even know if I beat him. That's weird".

    "Hmm, how odd. You don't remember if you beat the Champion".

    "No, not at all... Wait, how did you know Lance was the Champion? I didn't even know that until after I got to the League".

    "Remember, I was trainer in my youth. Ah, but now, the most exciting thing in my life is you, dearie".

    "Oh, mum".

    "And with you all-grown up, the only thing I live for these days is to shop".

    "Yeah, about that. I would appreciate it if you stop using my money to buy stuff. I know you're my mother and all, but it's annoying".

    "I understand, Lyra. Sometimes, I forget you're not a child anymore. You can take care of your own finances".

    "Come to think of it. I didn't lose any money, did I? I mean if I blacked out, I would have lost some of it". Lyra curiously dug deep into her bag and pulled her purse out. She opened it and peered at her trainer card through the clear slot. She noted there was no change made to her money balance. "That's funny. I still have the exact same amount I came in with".

    "If that's the case, then it is quite possibly didn't lose your match with Lance", her mother proudly exclaimed, "which would make you the new Champion".

    "Then, I guess is this the part where I go off to Kanto, battle their gym leaders and then finally take on the most powerful trainer in all of Kanto and Johto combined".

    "Yes, that's kind of how the game works".

    "Well, screw the game. I'm done with battling". She crossed her arms in discontent.

    "Now now, Lyra. You're going to piss off a lot of people at Game Freak with that attitude".

    "Like I give a flying f-".


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    And after a lengthy discussion with her mother, Lyra was no closer to discovering the truth behind her mysterious memory lapse. Instead, Lyra decided to say goodbye to her mother and leave her home in New Bark. She made her way past Route 29 and into Cherrygrove City, which she had previously done at the beginning of her Pokemon journey. She had hoped the familiar sights would refresh her memory, but it did not work. She arrived at the entrance of Cherrygrove when all of a sudden ---


    SWOSH!!


    Lyra's Meowth came out of its Pokeball with its eyes barely opened. It wanted to follow her.

    "Oh, Meowth. There you are. Have you've been sleeping this whole time?" asked Lyra.

    "Meow meow," said the Pokemon.

    "I don't understand what you're saying".

    "Meow meow".

    "I still don't get it. Hmmm, things would be easier if you could talk". Lyra sighed.

    Yeah, right. There's no such thing as a talking Meowth.

    Her Pokemon purred and repeatly brushed its head against Lyra's leg. It was an indication that Meowth wanted to be fed and stroked (quite similar to how certain creatures known as cats would do to their owners). Lyra pet her friendly Meowth nicely on the head and stroked its fur. She tickled behind its ears, which caused it to purr uncontrollablely. Meowth quickly fell asleep. She then picked it up in her arms and walked into the Pokemon Center. Lyra figured it might like a good place to rest and rejuvenate, and so she made her way to the counter where Nurse Joy was.

    "Great to see you again," said the nurse, "You want the usual, right?"

    "Yes". She placed her Meowth and five Pokeballs on the tray in front of her.

    "I will happily take your Pokemon. Please wait".

    And with that, Nurse Joy began to work on healing Lyra's Pokemon back to full health. While she waited for the Pokemon Center to do their job, Lyra logged on the PC in the corner of the place. Lyra's eyes widen. She noticed a slight change to her PC and she immediately clicked on the newly-added third option to discover she had been registered in the Hall of Fame. Indeed, she had successfully beaten Lance and became the newest Pokemon League Champion. This was definitive proof of her achievement. Wow, I don't believe it. I really did it. She then hit the back button and proceeded to check her own PC. Lyra found a new red notification in her mailbox, which would pop up whenever a new message had been received. What's this, I have new mail. She opened the message simply entitled, "Untitled", and she began reading it to herself.

    _________________________________

    New Message: Untitled

    Dear Lyra.

    It is I, the Old Man from the Pokemon League. Although you may have forgotten me, I remember you. As of late, Abra has grown fond of playing tricks on trainers that pass by here and I'm afraid you were one of many to be affected by its powers. I guess I should probably explain myself. You see, the thing is trainers can just fly home now. They have no use for me or my Abra anymore. I understand that is no excuse, but I give my deepest apologies for any trouble my Abra may have caused you and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive us. For what it's worth, the dream you experienced was not just a simple dream. It was special. I can't tell you why just yet, but I can tell you that you must go to Goldenrod City posthaste. It is there that you will find all the answers you are looking for. And if you are wondering how I know this, then ask yourself how is it that I know your name and email address. Now, you believe me, don't you?

    P.S. Congratulations on becoming the Champion. I knew you could do it.

    _________________________________


    "Thank you for waiting," said Nurse Joy, "Here are your Pokemon". The nurse attempted to give the tray with the Pokemon back to its trainer, but Lyra was in a daze. "Umm, miss, I said your Pokemon are ready for you," added Nurse Joy.

    "Huh? What?" Lyra was too gobsmacked to say anything else.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Author's notes: Have you ever wondered how your trainer always manages to wind up at their home after defeating the Champion? Well, this chapter pokes fun at that. You can expect more Pokemon/real life references and in-jokes. Thank you for reading this far. Hope you enjoy the rest coming up. It's going to be fun ;]

    *This chapter features quotes from Lance's speech at the Pokemon League in HeartGold/SoulSilver
    Last edited by Meowth City; 18th March 2013 at 11:13 PM.
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    Chapter Six: Go for Goldenrod

    That psychic psycho. Who does he think he is invading my dreams like that? Why, I ought to pay that guy a visit and give me a piece of my mind, but he would probably enjoy messing with that too. What am I going to do? How can I trust that old coot after what he and his Abra put me through?

    Seething with fury, Lyra stormed through Route 30 at a breakneck pace without realising. Her Meowth was finding it hard to keep up. But after wrestling with her thoughts for such a long period of time, she soon found herself running out of steam. Stopping at the entrance of Dark Cave for a spell, Lyra leaned onto the rock wall getting grit on the back of her overalls.

    Oh, great. Now, I got dirt on my overalls. What would Elesa think of me? This country bumpkin with no regard for her own clothes.

    Lyra proceeded to wipe the grit away with a cloth she had pulled out from her bag. She stared into thin air for a moment.

    Goldenrod. He said I had to go there to find all the answers I'm looking for. What answers and, more importantly, what questions are these answers meant to solve. I don't need a sign to tell me my time with Elesa was all a lie. A painful and heartbreaking lie. Grrr, I could kill that man for subjecting me to this torture. That dream only confirmed what I had already suspected. I will never find anyone to love me the way I adore them. Ha, I was kidding myself to think I could even have the chance of changing that. Well, that does it. I'll go to Goldenrod. What harm could it do?

    She then put the dirty cloth away and took out one of her Pokeballs. She threw it up in the air as she called out, "Altaria, come on out". A large majestic-looking blue bird appeared out of its Pokeball. It had soft wings shaped like white cotton candy or an oversized fluffy pillow. Lyra cuddled her feathered friend to sense the nice feeling that came with the gentle warmth of its wings.

    "Al-tar-tar", the Pokemon chirped happily.

    Lyra giggled. "Altaria, can you do me a favour?" she asked nicely, "would you fly me to Goldenrod City?"

    "Tarrrrr-tarr", said Altaria. The bird willingly complied with its trainer's request by spreading its wings out for Lyra ride on.


    One hour later:

    The two travellers, Lyra and her Meowth, landed safely on the ground in front of a Pokemon Center. This particular hospital was home to Goldenrod City, where Lyra had previously obtained her third gym badge from Whitney. For a job well done, she called her bird Pokemon back to its Pokeball. "Return, Altaria. Thanks for the ride", said the satisfied trainer.

    Lyra had many wonderful and some less than wonderful memories of Goldenrod. They were mostly real memories, but then there were those unfortunate false memories - most of which involved Elesa. For instance, Elesa never became a pop singer and she certainly had not visited Johto, much less Goldenrod City. Yet the crazy thing was Lyra really did fall in love with Elesa or at least with the version in her dream or whatever it was. Lyra thought how strange it was to feel something so real for something that didn't really exist in the first place, but then some could say that's what love is. She didn't want to think of herself as a quixotic person, but her feelings felt so true that it was almost impossible to ignore.

    Of course, Elesa does exist somewhere in Unova, but that's a whole new faraway region. It was so far that even her Altaria couldn't possibly fly her all the way there. Lyra was at a standstill. She couldn't decide what path to take - whether to pursue her dream (within a dream) or a real obtainable goal. Lyra could not understand the meaning behind the Old Man's cryptic message and, more to the point, why she believed him in the first place. There was just something in her that couldn't shake the feeling that Goldenrod was where she was meant to be. Lyra hoped the trip would not be a total waste of time, but she knew it would not matter much for she did not have any plans set for the future anyway.

    Alright, old man, I've made it to Goldenrod. Now what? Am I supposed to follow my dream? Is this the part when it comes true? Do I dare embark on a journey to this Unova place? I don't think I can take the plane not after what happened with that Skyla chick. Wait, what am I talking about? That wasn't even real and there's no reason to go anyway, for there is no concert. It was all in my head... For all I know, there is no Elesa character. Think about it, an incredibly sexy model slash gym leader from Unova (is that even a real place?) sounds like complete fiction. Come on, be realistic. If these memories are false, then I should treat them as such. Forget them and move on...

    Lyra took a breath of air, as she began to remember her real memories. Her initial thought was that of her first arrival to the city. She recalled her trip to Miracle Cycle, where she received her bike as reward for promoting the shop's brand. The next thing to cross her mind was her first meeting with Whitney, the city's gym leader, whom she had a slight crush on at the time. It seemed that gym leaders were just Lyra's type.

    Oh, Whitney. I remember her so well. The first time we met was in the Radio Tower. She drove me crazy the very second I laid eyes on her because I knew in that instance she was something special and I was right. Our gym battle was a truely impressive and memorable one. I always wanted to tell her how I felt, but I was never good at words. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Not that it matters now. I heard Whitney is dating Jasmine. Hmm, I wonder if that's true. Either way, it looks like I'm just destinied to be attracted to girls out of my reach. That's when I'm not falling for complete jerks like Silver. Could it be that my feelings for Elesa were as a result of my feelings for Whitney? A warped case of transference, perhaps? After all, it is said that dreams are subject to one's subconcious and if it was really just a dream, then it's simple psychology. Maybe, I'm not over her as I thought I was.

    With her mind going around in circles, Lyra somehow found herself in front of the Goldenrod Radio Tower once more. The place that started it all. She began thinking about her previous return to Goldenrod, which was straight after her win at the Magohany Gym. Professor Elm had informed her of the odd radio broadcasts and, given her prior encounter with Team Rocket at their Hideout, Lyra was rightly suspicious in determining the Goldenrod Radio Tower was under their control. What followed was a heroic stand against the corrupt organisation with Lyra as the victor and saviour of the Tower. It had been at least a month or two since that triumph and yet nothing had changed. She was still treated as a stranger in most parts of the city. What could Goldenrod do for Lyra that she couldn't do for herself? That was the question.

    Hmm, I could stay in Goldenrod for a while. It would be nice to have a vacation of sorts seeing as I'm tired of constant battling. There's no fun in it anymore. Heck, even my Pokemon are bored of it all. Is it crazy to want more in life? Hmph. When I was growing up, all I wanted was to be a Pokemon Trainer, but being on a jounrey can be lonely sometimes. Yes, I have Meowth and the other Pokemon, but a human companion would be nice for once. Is that so much to ask?
    Last edited by Meowth City; 18th March 2013 at 10:58 PM.
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    Chapter Seven: Happy Hour (Two for the Price of One)

    "One lobster platter," a voice cried.

    A voice that belonged to the one and only Skyla. The real one, that is.

    It appeared that at the same time Lyra made her unconventional return to New Bark Town, the real life counterparts of Skyla and Elesa had recently arrived in Johto via ferry (what a coincidence). The ferry arrived at the docks of Olivine City. The city was not just known for its Shining Lighthouse and the Ampharos that resides there. It was also famous for its delectable seafood cuisine, so naturally Skyla insisted that the Olivine Cafe should be their first stop in town and Elesa agreed. Skyla looked and acted almost exactly as she did in Lyra's dream, but Elesa was not quite the same person. For a start, she was dressed in her usual attire and not the new look as depicted in Lyra's fantasy. Not to mention, there was something different in terms of her personality and demeanour.

    As much as they loved their lives, the girls desperately wanted a change of pace. Skyla and Elesa spent most of their time on a runway, albeit two very different runways. For the most part, they were also gym leaders and, as with all gym leaders, they had many challengers face them. Most of which were weak and not worth their time. And so, that became their motivation to travel to another region for a break. One of which they have never seen before. Perfect for some holiday fun and what's fun without a little romance? They didn't know it then, but their first trip to Johto was destined to be a vacation to remember forever.

    "One lobster platter", the waiter repeated slowly as he wrote the order into his notepad.

    "...and a plate of your finest fries please," added Skyla.

    "No problem," the waiter spoke in an accommodating manner, "and would you like anything to quench your thirst, ladies?"

    "Yes. Two green teas would do nicely, sir. Thank you," Skyla addressed the waiter, as she handed him back the menu.

    "Got it. Your order will be with you shortly. I hope you enjoy it, ladies." The waiter took the menu and then left the scene to fulfil his customers' orders.

    "You didn't order anything," said Skyla to her companion.

    "I'm not that hungry. Besides, you have ordered enough for both of us," said an uninterested Elesa.

    "You know, I love your commitment to the supermodel stereotype, but we're on vacation. Why not live a little?"

    "I suppose one fry wouldn't kill me".

    "Try two".

    "No, I couldn't possibly".


    A little while later:

    "Mmm hmm, what a satisfying meal," expressed Skyla, "I sure love seafood".

    "It was quite nice. I'll admit," added Elesa.

    "You know what we should do now? We should go to seaside and have a good old sunbathe," Skyla insisted.

    "Right now? After we just ate? That can't be good for my figure," Elesa shuddered.

    "Stop worrying, Ele. This is supposed to be our vacation".

    "Well. Alright then," she reluctantly agreed.

    "That's more like it".

    "Did you at least pack our bathing suits?"

    "Of course I did".

    They quickly made their way to a quaint bed and breakfast in the city, where they had arranged to stay at prior to their journey. Their luggage had arrived safely and the girls checked in with no problems whatsoever. Skyla began to unpack their things in hopes of finding their swimwear.

    "Did you find them?" Elesa asked.

    "No, but they have to be here somewhere," Sklya responded.


    Sometime later:

    "You lost our bathing suits!" Elesa yelped.

    "Umm, not exactly." Skyla scratched the back of her head. "You see... I forgot to pack them, so I called my assistant to send them over and... Well, she lost them".

    "I can't believe this. That was my favourite pair too".

    "I know. I'm ever so sorry".

    "It was an original. I-I-I can't buy that back. It was a gift at the Unova Fashion Week event," Elesa cried.

    "Well, couldn't you find the designer and ask for another? I mean, isn't that one of the perks of modelling?"

    "The designer lives in Sinnoh, which is miles away. How do you suppose I do that?"

    "You could use the... I don't know... phone".

    "I can't do that either, remember? You dropped it in the ocean when we were on the ferry".

    "Oh yeah, that was hilarious," Skyla giggled.

    "No, it was not!"

    "Come on, it's not so bad. We can use a payphone at the Pokemon Centre".

    "Even if we did, how do you expect to receive clothes through the phone?"

    "Oh right, I forgot that wasn't possible".

    Elesa slapped her own face in frustration. "You think?"

    "Well, you would think they would invent a device to do that. I mean Pokeballs and held items can be transfered and traded, so why not? It would certainly do wonders for the postal service".

    "Grrr, I don't have the energy or desire to argue over hypothetically questions with you," groaned Elesa.

    "How is it that you are so cool on the runway, but in person, you're kind of a buzz kill? You really need to lighten up and learn how to laugh or, at the very least, smile".

    "I don't get how can you be so sanguine all the time?"

    "Because you're always so miserable," Skyla teased.

    "I am not. I'm just not as carefree as you".

    "You know what they call people like you. Stiffs". Elesa shot her a look of great disapproval. "Aww, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. Here, let me help you turn that frown upside down". She kept poking Elesa's cheeks with her two forefingers.

    "Stop that," said Elesa. She fought Skyla's hands away from her face and let out a small grin.

    "Now, that's more like it," said Skyla with a great smile on her face.

    "I'll have you know that I do laugh... sometimes".

    "Really, and when was the last time you really let go?"

    "Easy. At the theme park. On the hands-free rollercoaster ride".

    "Wow, you made a joke," Skyla said sarcastically.

    "Ha. Do you remember it was you, who first introduced me to those fast rides?" Elesa happily reminisced.

    "I remember. Oh boy, you were such a stiff back then. I mean more so than you are now, that is".

    "Hey!" Elesa nudged Skyla. "I was fun".

    "Yes, but only when I was around".

    "Well, that's partly true," she admitted. As much as she hated to say it, Elesa knew it was the case.

    "Yes, indeedy. What would you do without me?"

    "I would still have my favourite bathing suit for a start".

    "You still going on about that? Let's just forgot about it and chill out. And what's better than a nice trip to the beach? It might do you some good".

    "This still doesn't change the fact that we don't have any bathing suits and... we kind of need them if we're still going to the beach".

    "Alright, alright. Geez, I will get you a brand new one. The very best Johto has to offer. I promise".

    "Fine. I'll accept that... for now".

    "Good".

    "So how are you going to go about doing that?"

    "Simple solution. We will buy some".

    "You mean you will buy some".

    "That's what I meant and I will".

    "Alright then. Where?"
    Last edited by Meowth City; 18th March 2013 at 11:00 PM.
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    Chapter Eight: Milking It (for What It's Worth)

    "How do I look?" asked Elesa. There she was stood in a dressing room the size of a two bedroom apartment. The girls were doing a little shopping at a luxury boutique in search of the perfect swimwear and Elesa thought she had found a potential purchase in the shape of a white two-piece bathing suit. The design of which was ordinary in every sense of the word. It had nothing of distinction. Concealed behind a curtain in the dressing area, Elesa had already removed what little clothes she had on and even parted with her headphones, which was placed safely on a hook. She was dressed in the bikini and nothing else. Her midriff completely exposed. One could see her body was rather pale in colour, consistent with someone in dire need of a tan. Her slim build was either from the lack of eating or the work of a rigorous exercise regime, and yet she was strangely attractive.

    In typical model fashion, Elesa dramatically made her way out of the changing area by ripping the curtain away. She struck several poses as she approach the full body mirror, almost as if she was courting her own reflection. Her companion, on the other hand, had her head stuck in a magazine paying Elesa little attention. Skyla had seen it all before. Instead, she was admiring - more so than reading - the fashion section of her favourite bi-monthly publication, PokeChic. She was seated on a fine white leather sofa, which was positioned close to where her friend was stood, while she flicked through the glossy pages indulging in her guilty pleasure. Skyla took her eyes off the magazine for a short moment and glanced at her friend in her bikini. "Tres sexy," she answered in a mock French accent. She then rapidly returned to viewing the pages of her magazine yet again.

    "You think so?" said Elesa with uncertainty. Her eyes still fixed on the mirror.

    "Honey, you look hot in anything," said Skyla with her eyes still glued to the magazine.

    Realising her friend's lack of attention, Elesa demanded, "Would you stop reading for one minute and tell me if you like it?"

    Skyla unwittingly closed the magazine and held it in her right hand. She stood up from her seat to give her friend's outfit an once over. "Nope. Too plain. It needs more colour," she said straight to the point.

    "Then, why didn't you mention that before?" she huffed.

    "Well, you ask me how you look. You didn't ask about the outfit". She shrugged her shoulders and turned around.

    "You and your technicalities," snorted Elesa.

    "So can I get back to my magazine now?"

    Elesa approached Skyla from behind. "No. You cannot," she said as she took the magazine out of Skyla's hands and threw it to the side. She was now completely invading Skyla's personal space. Elesa placed her hand around her friend's shoulder and pulled Skyla's cheek with the other hand. "You're the one responsible for our lost bathing suits, so it's your job to find us decent replacements".

    "You're not going to let that go, are you?" she muttered as coherently as she could.

    "Not a chance". She smiled, releasing Skyla's cheek from her grip. "Now, help me find something suitable".

    "Would you believe it if I told you, something suitable is in the magazine you won't let me read?"

    "Oh, really? Then, let's see it". Skyla grabbed the magazine from where Elesa threw it and proceeded to flick through it as quickly as she could, in search of the desired page. Elesa leaned in to get a better view of the moving pages. "I don't see anything".

    "Wait for it..." She continued to go back and forth through the pages until finally arriving at the correct one. "Oh, here we go. What do you think of this one?" She pointed at a photo of a model wearing a skin tight, two-tone, blue and yellow bathing suit.

    "It's beautiful," expressed Elesa, who was happily surprised by her friend's keen choice of clothes.

    "You see, what did I tell you? I'm awesome at this," Skyla acknowledged in a smug tone.

    Elesa chuckled. "Fair enough. I'll admit you have good taste".

    "Yeah, you bet your ***, I do".


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Back in her usual clothes, Elesa left the boutique having found a better option for herself. Skyla followed her closely, as they began making their way out of Olivine City and towards Route 39.

    "Let me just see... where can you find this gorgeous thing again?" With the magazine now placed in her hand, Elesa traced the page for the information she needed. "Mmm, Goldenrod City Department Store".

    "Ah yes, Goldenrod City. I heard it is considered the Nimbasa City equivalent of the Johto region," Skyla informed her in the way of a tour guide. Elesa's eyes lit up upon hearing the comparison to her hometown. "There are many wonderful sights to behold. For starters, it has a Radio Tower, a train station, a Game Corner and the famous Department Store among other things".

    "How do you know all this?"

    "I have this baby right here". Skyla pulled out a Johto-oriented travel guide book from the back pocket of her shorts. "A Traveller’s Guide to Johto".

    "You had that the whole time and you didn't think to let me in on it".

    "Well, you never asked".

    "Is that the excuse you're going to keep using?"

    "Tell me, how long have we known each other?"

    "Since kindergarten. Why do you ask?"

    "Because you seem to have forgotten that. Don't you know I always like to do things in the spur of the moment? When the moment arises, that's when I react. Move fast and don't look back. That's my motto," she said proudly.

    "Just give me the guide already," she grumbled.

    "Fine". Skyla handed her the guide book, in exchange for the magazine. "If you weren't such a bore, we could have been more than friends".

    Elesa ignored the last remark. She was too engrossed with the fold-out map of the Johto region in the guide book. From the point of their current location, she traced her forefinger around the path to Goldenrod City. "Hmmm, it seems the way to Goldenrod is to go through Ecruteak City and then the National Park. In addition to that, we'll have to pass through three separate routes. Geez, I don't recall Unova having such long routes as this".

    "Well, what do you expect? There's no place like Unova". She pondered for a second, placing the magazine in her back pocket as she did so. "Remind me, why did we decide to go to Johto out of everywhere?"

    "You said it would be fun to experience something different for a change. Then, you insisted we take the very first ferry out of Unova and the Johto one just happened to be the one," she said in the most unenthusiastic tone she would muster.

    "Oh yes, that's right".

    "Anyway... according to this map, we should be at Route 38 by now". She gazed around in a dazzled state. "This does not look like the map. Where are we?"

    "I get the feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," Skyla said jokingly.

    Elesa shook her head in annoyance.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Shortly, the girls soon found themselves deep within a large field of green, where herds of Miltank were grazing. They had arrived at Moo Moo Farm. The battered old sign on the side of the house read, "Enjoy Our Fresh and Tasty Milk". The building itself was in much better shape, despite being solely composed of wood. Its structure was surprisingly very durable. It was what one would expect a farm to be.

    "Umm, never mind. Disregard what I said before," said Skyla awkwardly.

    "Let's check this place out. There might be someone who can give us directions". Elesa knocked on the door. There was no answer.

    "What are you doing?"

    "Knocking. It's common courtesy to knock before entering".

    "Ha, no one ever knocks". Skyla placed her hand around the doorknob ready to turn it. "I shoot first, ask questions later". She opened the door in one swift motion and they both entered the house. Inside, they found all the lights were out. The whole house was dark and the atmosphere of the place was almost sinister.

    "If we're not lucky, we'll be the ones getting shot at," Elesa angrily whispered, trying to keep as quiet as possible. "Have you not seen the movies where the farms are loaded with dead bodies?"

    "Are you serious? Oh, of course, you are always so serious all the time. Just chill," said Skyla in a teasing manner. "This is not a movie. This is real life".

    "Oh, geez. This place is so dark. I can't see a thing". Elesa fumbled around for a light switch. She hit something by accident and a light came on.

    In front of the two girls was a man wielding a shotgun. He was dressed in... (Ah, who cares. The guy had a freaking gun).

    "DON'T MOVE. What in tarnation do we have here? A couple of thieves," said the man in a thick Southern accent.

    "Argh, please don't kill me," shrieked Skyla as she quickly threw herself behind Elesa.

    "Hey! What part of "don't move" don't ya understand? Don't be hiding behind your skinny friend, so I can't see what ya trying to pull. Now, you two don't look like thieves, but I ain't takin' no chances. People have been stealing me milk right from under me nose and you won't fool me with those weird get-ups of yours. Only thieves and evil organizations would wear something as ridiculous as what you're wearing," said the man.

    "The guy does have a point," Elesa said quietly to herself.

    "Oh my God, we're gonna die. We're gonna die," Skyla panicked.

    "Ere, quit your yapping," demanded the gun-toting man. "Now, I want you two off me property in..."

    "LET'S GET OUTTA HERE!" screamed Skyla.

    "... ONE..." The man began counting down.

    "Maybe, if we simply explain to the nice gentleman that we're not thieves..." said Elesa.

    "Are you crazy? Let's just run for it," Skyla pleaded.

    "... TWO..." he continued.

    "Look, sir. We are not thieves or anything bad like that," Elesa addressed the man.

    "Yeah, sure. That's exactly what a thief would say..." he retorted.

    "Ele, there's no reasoning with this guy. Let's just get out of here while we still can," Skyla said, while gritting her teeth.

    "Ah, gosh, darn it. You made me lost count". The man became increasingly annoyed. "I knew it. A couple of tricksters, eh?"

    "Now, you've done it," cried Skyla.

    Elesa then made one final attempt to get through to the man. "Please, sir. You're mistaken. We are just lost tourists in need of directions. That's all".

    "This isn't working," Skyla said in fear, as she held onto Elesa stronger than before. Elesa then noticed something sticking out of Skyla's back pocket.

    "Wait, here. Look at this." Elesa grabbed the magazine that was poking out of Skyla's pocket. "This is me. I'm model. Not a thief".

    The man took a suspicious look at the magazine and noticed that the cover star was indeed the same person stood in front of him. His attitude quickly changed suddenly and for the better. "Why, that is you. This must mean you really are a model. Oh, how rare. A model around these parts. Oh, gosh. I'm ever so sorry about the ambush. I really thought you were thieves since there's been a lot of them going around. Please forgive me. Welcome at Moo Moo Farm. My name's Milton" said the man, who had strangely lost his strong Southern accent.

    "Huh? What the... Are you kidding me?" Skyla's jaw dropped. "That worked. That actually work". She became speechless.

    "Umm, great. I'm glad you understand now," said Elesa, as a sweat drop ran down her forehead.

    "You know, you could have saved yourselves the scare if you just had been so kind to knock first," added Milton.

    Skyla groaned and then fainted to the ground. Who knows whether it was the trauma of having a gun shoved in her face or the unusual way the whole situation was settled that caused her to lose consciousness. Perhaps a combination of both was to blame.

    "I can't help, but notice your voice..." said a curious Elesa, completely ignoring the fallen Skyla.

    "Oh, that. Hehe, this is a little secret, I was a hotshot actor back in the day. You see, people expect the Southern stereotype down these parts, so I just give them what they want. It puts my acting skills to good use, I'll tell you that much". Milton laughed half-heartedly, then gestured towards to his shot gun. "By the way, this right here... is only a prop gun".

    "Wow, it looks really authentic".

    "Yep, that's what makes it perfect for scaring off poachers," he stated, "I can't believe I thought the two of you were... Ha, I feel so silly".

    "Oh, it's fine. I wasn't worried. I knew you wouldn't shoot at two unarmed girls".

    "Speaking of which, shouldn't we help your friend out? It looks like she's out cold".

    "Let's leave her for a while. She kind of deserves it," Elesa giggled.

    "Very well. How about some Moo Moo Milk on the house? It's the least I can do".

    "Sounds great. I don't mind if I do".


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    On the foot of Route 38, past the Moo Moo Farm, the girls continued their journey to Goldenrod City. Skyla, having recovered from her prior shock, was feeling particularly upset.

    "I cannot believe you would accept milk from that loon, yet refuse to eat a couple of fries that I so nicely offered," Skyla moaned. "Everyone knows a bottle of milk is like ten times more fattening than a few measly fries". Her arms were crossed, as the pair walked onwards. Her face had all the signs of mortification that a face could possibly have at one given moment. The left eyebrow appeared to be twitching fiercely, as the blood ran through the veins in her forehead at a rapid rate. Whether it was an indication of great rage or simple frustration was anyone's guess.

    Elesa, on the other hand, was in a rather pleasant mood. She had enjoyed the taste of the fine Moo Moo Milk and found herself unable to stop smiling. Apparently, this encounter with Milton was just what she needed to release herself from the restraints handed by her serious nature. Although the brand of beverages were not exactly indigenous to the Johto region, Elesa had never tasted anything like it before. Her diet would not allow for such foods or drinks to ingested, but for the first time in her life, she didn't care. It was as if she had become drunk and, as a result, she was ready to let go of all her inhibitions. Good thing she didn't have any of the other effects of intoxication.

    "Well, it seemed rude to turn down a drink," Elesa explained, as she tried to fight a smile. But, no matter how she hard she tried to hold it back, an impudent crook formed at the edge of her mouth still. Her cheeks were raised and red, but not from surprise nor embarrassment. On the contrary, it was a sign of sheer unadulterated pleasure in seeing Skyla annoyed for once in their lives.

    "You find this amusing, don't you?"

    "I do. I really do," she purred.

    "We almost got killed and that's amusing".

    "Come on, we were never in any danger. He wouldn't have shot us".

    Skyla grunted. "Even still. The old man was clearly unhinged. I mean who else goes around waving guns and threatening the lives of innocent people?"

    "Yes, I admit Milton is a little on the dramatic side, but that's actors for you".

    "Milton? Oh, I see you're on first names basis with the guy now".

    "He's actually a really cool guy if you get to know him. While you were passed out, he told me all about his days as an actor".

    "Let me guess, he won the Oscar for most convincing lunatic," she muttered.

    "Oh. Don't be sore, Sky".

    "How can I not be?"

    "Well, maybe this might interest you. He has a niece, who just so happens to be the Goldenrod City gym leader. Isn't that neat?"

    "So, what's the big deal? Us gym leaders are a dime a dozen".

    "OK. How about this? He told me this heartfelt story, which occurred not too long ago." She began reiterating Milton's tale with dramatic flourish. "It began when his most prized Miltank was no longer able to give milk and no one knew why. The poor dear was in terrible shape, close to death, when all of a sudden, a kind-hearted trainer appeared. This trainer was travelling on a journey to collect gym badges when she decided to stop there on the way to Olivine City. Upon closer inspection, the trainer understood the Miltank's trouble and gave it many berries to heal itself. After the eight or so berry, Moo Moo was restored and producing milk as before". She took a brief pause. "It was a truly beautiful tale. I asked him what the trainer's name was, but he told me he had forgotten".

    "Sounds touching, but she can't have been all that important if he didn't recall her name. Either that or the old man is senile, and certain events lead me to believe that is true".

    "Oh, I guess you could be right. The story did seem a little on the fictional side".


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    As they grew closer to the end of Route 38, the girls soon found themselves feeling weary. There were two paths in front of them. One was a paved road and the other was filled with grass. The latter of the two options appeared to be a shortcut to Ecruteak City.

    "Let's take this quick route through the grass," suggested Elesa.

    "No way. There's wild Pokemon lurking in the grass and let's face it, we know next to nothing of Johto Pokemon," Skyla objected.

    "We're not rookies for heaven’s sake. We're gym leaders. Surely, you're not scared of a few wild Pokemon".

    "No, of course not. It's just that ever since I've had the displeasure of looking down the barrel of a gun, I have developed a new lease on life. Look before you leap. Yep, that will be my new motto from now on".

    "Um, about that. I forgot to mention, the gun was a fake".

    "What? You're kidding me," she whimpered. "Oh, geez. I think I'm gonna faint again".

    "Please don't. I don't want to have to carry you. You know I lack the upper body strength to do so".

    Elesa was eager to move things forward, however Skyla was adamant not to. She insisted they first assess both paths before making any split decisions on which to take. As she pace up and down the edge of the grassy area, a small wild Pokemon jumped out of the grass and attacked Skyla from behind. She yelped in fear. It was a wild Meowth and this particular feline was a Pokemon prankster complete with a sinister grin plastered on its face. It quickly used Fury Swipes and slashed Skyla's shorts in the process causing her rather saucy underwear to show. A sight that triggered the sociopathic Meowth to snicker evilly. On top of that, it had swiped Skyla's magazine in midst of the commotion. With the magazine now in its possession, the Meowth dashed off in a speedy hurry and disappeared into the grass. It all happened too fast for Skyla, much less Elesa, to react.

    "Arrrrgggh. My pants," screamed Skyla, covering her behind with both her hands.

    "Well, that was weird. What was that Pokemon?" Elesa wondered.

    "That. That vile, vile creature," Skyla hissed and screamed. "It destroyed my... ah... and it made off with, with my magazine. Why does this always happen to me?"

    "It's alright. It's gone now". Elesa assured her. "We'll get you some new shorts when we get to Goldenrod".

    "In this state, I don't think I can go on anymore," she cried. "I can't walk around in ripped pants".

    "Hmm, that is a bit of a problem. What do you suppose we do now?"

    "Let's just rest for while. Please".

    "Alright then".

    Skyla plotted herself down on the ground. Her knees bent, safely on the pavement. The palms of her hands were placed on both her laps and her head soon followed after. The signs of her frustration and fatigue was clearly showing. Elesa casually planted herself in the space next to Skyla, slowly positioning herself on the ground and crossing her legs as she did so. She placed one hand on Skyla's head and rubbed it gently as a sign of understanding. Despite the constant jests and teasing, the girls shared a strong and long lasting friendship that could not be disputed. They were polar opposites. One was adventurous and loved to travel, but had no understanding of consequences. The other was cautious and never did anything without careful consideration. And yet, Elesa had seemingly developed a sense of humour overnight with smiling becoming almost second nature to her. Skyla had also undergone a slight change. She realised that there are times when being cautious has its advantages over being hasty. Regardless, they were both still the same two people more or less. Differences or not, Elesa and Skyla would always be the best of friends.

    "I cannot believe all this happened. Between having a gun thrust in my face and getting mugged by a Pokemon, I have officially experienced the worst that could possibly happen. At least, I hope it doesn't get worse than this," Skyla said in despair.

    "On the bright side, I still have this". Elesa whipped out the Johto guide book from her own pocket.

    "You are a great help by the way," she said sarcastically.

    "Well, for what it's worth, I would never let anything terrible happen to you".

    "I got my pants hacked up by a wild Pokemon. I think the worst has already happened".

    "Ah, come on. You'll probably look back on this in years to come and laugh".

    "Possibly. I suppose if it had to happen, I'm glad you were there to protect me as feeble as you were".

    "Yeah, you bet. Because as annoying as you are, I don't think this holiday would be half as much fun without you," Elesa confessed.

    "Oh, you. That's so sweet," Skyla gushed.

    "Well, it's the truth. I don't think I ever want to be stuck in a strange place without you".

    "Alright, let's not get mushy. Simply put... me too". She smiled and wrapped her arm around Elesa.

    "And if you think about it, none of this would have happened if you-know-who didn't lose our bathing suits in the first place".

    "Not that again," she groaned.

    "Sorry, I had to get one last jibe in there".

    "Oh look, it's getting late. We should get going".

    "Are you sure you want to walk in your condition?"

    "I didn't say anything about walking".

    "Well, what then?"

    "Don't worry about it, my friend. I've got that covered". She winked.
    Last edited by Meowth City; 18th March 2013 at 11:02 PM.
    Omega Ruby Team and Progress:

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  11. #11
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    Chapter Nine: Encourage Without Courage

    "Here we are. Goldenrod City Department Store," said an exhausted Skyla, "finally". The girls had safely made their way to their destination, thanks to Skyla's helpful flying-type friends, Unfezant and Swanna. There they were stood in front of the largest store in all of Johto, where they intended to indulge in a little shopping spree. Clothes and accessories were all on the agenda and more particularly new bathing suits for the girls. Not to mention, new pants for Skyla were also on the top of the list. Skyla attempted to cover her behind, mostly by using Elesa as an add-on accessory, which involved Elesa wrapping herself onto Skyla, to hide the gash in the shorts made by the evil Meowth. To any outside party, it would appear as if the two girls were inseparable. As such, weird looks from other patrons were plentiful, although their behaviour was simply acknowledged as typical of tourists because, apparently, tourists are weird. Well, that was Johto's idea of tourists.

    "Um, can I help, you ladies?" asked the shop clerk. She raised her left eyebrow, as she noticed the one girl was clung to the other. 'Hmm, could these two girls be an item? They sure do look incredibly close,' she thought to herself.

    "Yes, miss. Could you direct us to where you keep the... um... pants?"

    "Umm, I'm not entirely sure what you mean?"

    "You know, the outerwear version... in particular the women's kind," asked Skyla.

    "Huh, you mean... shorts?"

    "Exactly. You see, I kind of have a delicate situation here". Skyla pointed at her behind, which Elesa had been covering using her entire body.

    'Jeepers. Do I really want to know what this is about?' thought the sales girl. "O-kay. Um, sure. I will, um, show you right away". She had a feeling it was an unusual foreign custom, whereby lovers stick together in the most literal way possible, so she put on a smile and proceeded to do her job without prejudice. The girls followed the sales girl closely behind.

    "I think the sales girl thinks we're lovers," Elesa whispered in Skyla's ear, whilst still clinging to her.

    "That's probably because you're piggybacking me in the middle of a crowded store," she muttered under her breath, loud enough for Elesa to hear, but soft enough not to be heard by anyone else.

    "Well, it's either this or letting everyone see your undies," she said softly, gritting her teeth.

    "But couldn't you just back up a little? I feel like I'm in a bad sitcom".

    "It's not going to work. If I move any further, your delicates will be on show for all to see".

    "Fine. Then, I guess we both have to look like idiots".


    Some time later:

    "Hallelujah! These shorts are a perfect fit and, most important, I don't have to worry about anyone seeing my panties in public," Skyla said happily, as she admired her rear.

    "Thank God for that. I was being to strain my back from all that piggybacking".

    "Hey, what about my back? You're the one who was on top of me".

    "Now, now. Let's not give the readers funny ideas".

    "Well, I'm just glad to have this sorted out now. I shuddered to think what could have happened if I had to spend our whole vacation without decent coverage. I still have nightmares of that one time I lost my bra in the school locker room".

    "Ha-ha, oh yes, I remember and that one kid thought it was a melon holder".

    "Until the whole class set him straight".

    "And everyone knew it belong to you because..."

    "Yes, yes. I know because I had the biggest bust. It's not my fault I outgrew all the other girls in freshman year," she grumbled.

    "I said it then and I'll say it again, you really need to take better care of your clothes, dear, especially your undergarments".

    "Yeah, I know. You don't have to remind me".


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Meanwhile, in the Goldenrod City Underground passage, a familiar girl was wandering through. That girl was Lyra. She had given up on finding the old man's answers and had taken time to give her darling Meowth a haircut. The older haircut brother was on staff today, giving Meowth a better haircut than the younger brother could, and thereby increasing its happiness even more so. If only it counted, seeing as Meowth was already at full happiness. The cat purred in content, as it had its fur brushed and washed. Lyra sat on one of the shop's stool, waiting for the Pokémon's treatment to be finished. She gazed around the place and remembered all that occurred there - the time she took a photograph in the Team Rocket uniform and when she donned the clothes again in order to penetrate the Radio Tower in her bid to rescue it from the evil team. She cringed at the memory she had of Silver ripping said uniform off her very body. Good times, she thought. How she wish she could get that excitement back again. Perhaps, that is what set her off to do what she did next...

    "All done. Your Pokémon looks so much happier," said the haircut brother.

    "Thanks. Aww, Meowth looks so cute," Lyra said in a smile, as she walked away.

    Lyra and her Meowth carried on trailing through the Underground passage until reaching the familiar end. They were at the photograph stall, where she was instantly recognised.

    "Well, look who is it. The saviour of Goldenrod," said the man at the stall.

    "Savour. Of Goldenrod. I'd hardly go that far," Lyra danced around awkwardly.

    "Thanks to you, sales have sky-rocketed. People are lining up to take a picture dressed as a Rocket Grunt".

    Lyra looked around at the stall and noticed there were no lines of people. Really? It doesn't look like that to me. "So, how much does it cost for a photo these days? I remember you giving them out for free before".

    "For you, it still is. Photos are free of charge to all my favourite customers". He grinned.

    Come to think of it. Why is it that this Cameron guy always following me around and why is he so willing to take my photo and at no extra cost? I still have a bad feeling about this fellow right here. Wait, that board behind him has a bunch of photos. Huh, they are all photos of young girls and they are mostly of me. I knew it, what a creep. "On second thought... no thanks," Lyra told him.

    "Oh, no photo today. That's disappointing," he said. "How about dress-up? I have new accessories I would just love for you to try out".

    Eww, you freak. What the Hell, man. You don't go around propositioning underage girls in a seedy underground passageway. That is just wrong and messed up. Gosh, what is up with the men in this world? Why are they either psychotic telepaths or camera-toting creeps? I need to get out of this place already. Lyra felt sick. Her face contorted at the thought of this man attempting to play her like a Barbie doll. She took one look at the inconspicuous changing room, which had no right being there. What was a dressing chamber doing in such a grimy underground lair, she thought. The answers of which she didn't want to imagine. "No way, that's not me. I don't do dress-up," she sneered.

    "Oh, but it's such fun". He blocked Lyra's way, in an annoying attempt to stop her from leaving. "Please, won't you reconsidered?"

    Get out of my way, fool. Don't make me have to beat you up with my Meowth.

    "Hey, is this bozo bothering you?" asked a sharp voice from behind.

    Lyra turned around and saw that the voice belonged to her once-rival, Silver. He was exactly as she remembered him; a total jerk. "Silver," she said softly, completely taken back by his sudden arrival. This is so weird. I was just thinking of Silver and here he is. It's true I felt something for him once. To me, he always did seem like a sensitive guy underneath that entire attitude. Great! I feel like a cliché, having had these feelings for a guy who can only be described as the bad boy type. Not to mention, rejecting a nice guy was a tad cruel, but the heart wants what it wants. Except, now, I don't know what my heart wants anymore. One minute, I'm head-over-heels for this girl then I'm back to guys and then girls again. I wish I could just make up my mind, or should I say my heart, because this is making me losing whatever sanity I have left. Not that I had much to start with.

    "Dude, leave the girl alone," Silver said to the man, as she gripped onto Cameron's collar in a threatening gesture, "Can't you see, she's not interested"?

    "Hey, who are you? You can't just come barging in here when the lady and I are having a casual conversation".

    "I'm the guy, who about to punch your teeth out. Casual conversation, yeah right". Silver was prepared to take a swing at the man. Being the hot-blooded male that he was, violence was the only thing he knew how to dish out. That and his acid-tongued responses, but, in this instance, he figured words would not cut it.

    "Meowth. Use Pay Day," Lyra quickly called out before Silver could land the first blow. Her Meowth threw large amounts of money at both men hitting and hurting them in the head.

    "Ouch, why did you let that thing hit me?" Silver asked Lyra.

    "That thing is my friend and, just so you know, I can fight my own battles. I was about ready to beat the guy up myself when you just had to butt your nose in". Upon hearing the words, "beat up, Cameron made a swift departure from the scene worried for his own safety. He also hastily picked up a few coins thrown by Lyra's Meowth as he did so.

    "Oh, please. I hardly call using your little kitty to fight is the same thing as beating up a guy yourself. Clearly, you need a man around whether it be a Pokémon or a human being. You're so weak".

    Lyra couldn't believe how he could be so brazen enough to say something as misogynistic as that to her face. Weak, am I? Fine then, I won't ask Meowth or any of my Pokémon to do this as I will happily do it myself. And so, she decked him in the face. Her fist hit so fast that the impact caused his nose began to bleed in an instant. "You still think I'm weak now?" she retorted.

    Silver held his nose in pain and tilted his head upwards. "Okay, okay. I'm sorry. Forgive me". But his apology lack any sense of vigour to be genuine, so she kicked him in the leg to make sure her point came across. "Alright, Lyra, there's no need to be mad. I didn't mean it". Lyra retreated, content in the knowledge that Silver had learnt his lesson: Never piss off my girl with a mean left hook and a powerful kick to boot. Silver breathed a sigh of relief, grateful she didn't hit him where it would have really hurt. He released his fingers from his nose, as the bleeding stopped a little while later.

    After a beat, Lyra asked, "what are you doing here anyway, Silver?"

    "Well, I was at the Pokémon League. You know, I train there every Monday and Wednesday". Lyra nodded. She was a tad curious to hear why he wasn't there on this particular Wednesday. "And today, that old guy sics his Abra on me. That blasted thing teleported me here and that's when I saw you".

    "The old man with the Abra. At the Pokémon League" Lyra said out loud, but mostly to herself.

    "Yeah, him. Weird guy said I had some important mission to do," he said with a hint of annoyance.

    Lyra wondered if the "mission" had something to do with her and more specifically her dream. It was all too much of a strange coincidence. She wanted to poke a little more and gets some answers, but she was under the impression that Silver would not be of any help if he knew her motivations for asking. Lyra had to tread lightly, as this was Silver she was dealing with. She decided to start with a simple question, "what did the old coot tell you exactly?"

    "Hmm, stuff".

    "Yeah. What exactly?"

    "Why do you want to know? Since when do you care so much about the ramblings of a senior citizen?"

    "Um... I don't". She was worried he would see through her plan, so she decided to put him on the defensive. "I am just making sure that's the true story and you're not here on your own accord. Like, perhaps, you just wanted an excuse to see me".

    "Huh, no way!" Silver exclaimed. His cheeks grew red with each passing second. 'Oh no, this isn't good. I do like Lyra, but how can I admit that to her now, especially after the way I've been acting. I can't tell her about my past. If she knew the truth about my father, would she ever look me the same again? No, I doubt it. I just want things to stay as they are. Those little fights we have is what makes us us. It's better if she thinks of me that way because I certainly can't have her thinking of me as a love-sick teenager even if that is how I feel inside. I’ll rather have that that than being friend-zoned like that goody-two shoes. Ethan, was it?' Silver pondered.

    Lyra giggled, as Silver reached the maximum amount of redness his face could possess. "Then, you won't mind telling me what you're really doing here".

    "Fine. I'll tell you everything. The old man said I had to go to Goldenrod City for some divine purpose and he zapped me here. That's it. I swear that's all he said. Believe me; I couldn't care less about you. You're the one who got in my way, as you always do. Not the other way round".

    "If I bother you so much, then why are you still following me?" Lyra asked.

    "Following you? Please. I just so happen to be going in this direction". He frowned. 'The truth is, I am following her because I can't help, but think the reason the old guy sent me here was to pursue her. I didn't tell her this part, but he did say that Lyra needed to be encouraged. I don't know what he meant by that. Heck, if anything, I am the one, who needs the encouragement,' he thought.

    "Fine, but don't get in my way".

    "Ditto to that".


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Stopping midway into Goldenrod Underground, Lyra and Silver had arrived at the front of a newly-opened news stand. Every single national and local newspaper was laid out for all to see. The stall had practically every major publication on display as well. Both Lyra and Silver were curious to see the latest selection of magazines on sale. Silver's eyes lit up at the sight of one.

    "Oh wow, the latest issue of PokeChic is out already," he declared with much gusto. "Awesome". Lyra gave him a weird look for getting so excited over a fashion magazine, as he happily paid the vendor in exchange for his purchase. He rolled the magazine up and placed it under his armpit. "Um, I'm getting this for my girlfriend... um... Kar- Karen," he explained. It was a blatant lie.

    "Karen from the Elite Four. That Karen?" she tried so hard not to snicker at the thought of Silver having a relationship with that busty maiden.

    "Umm, yeah. What other Karen is there?" Silver continued to lie through his teeth. "Err, yes. Karen and I. We are an item. That's why I hang out at the Pokémon League so much. You know, I don't care about the League challenge and all that jazz. I go there just for her". He was finding it hard to breathe, as Lyra seemed extremely unconvinced of his story. "We're totally perfect. Um, she's dark and mysterious. I'm moody. And together, we make great love". He cringed after hearing the last statement fall from his mouth. Not realising the Freudian slip until it was too late. 'That went too far over the line', he thought. Silver grew silent after realising his lies were becoming too obvious with every word said.

    "Right. That's nice, I guess. That you and Karen..." But Lyra couldn't hold back anymore and she burst out laughing as a result. Poor guy having to make up a story about how he's buying the magazine for a girlfriend. Silver with a girlfriend. Ha, that's the craziest thing I've ever heard. And Karen of the Elite Four, oh that killed me. This is too funny. Aww and he looks so cute when he's embarrassed. Those red cheeks with that red hair of his are so adorable. I know he probably thinks liking women's fashion magazines is a tad queer for a straight guy, but I think it's rather cute for him to like such things. The way I see it is there is nothing wrong with a man being a little effeminate. And isn't it considered somewhat 'fashionable' for straight men to enjoy girly past-times now? What do they called it again? Umm, metrosexuality... I believe. Ah, but some guys are still too shy for their own good and Silver is no exception. He's so concerned about how he is perceived that he doesn't realise I like him just the way he is. Jerkish on the outside and sensitive on the inside.

    Silver was terribly embarrassed with his face turning completely red. 'Why did have I say that? Now, she must think I'm a liar and quite possibly... gay. To make up the existence of a girlfriend to cover up an interest in a girl's fashion magazine is a definitely red flag. She must suspect something now. This is not how I wanted things to pan out. I mean, would it really be so bad if she knew my favourite magazine was a girly one? Oh, the fashion, the girls and the gossip. It's all too good to resist, but my reputation as a bad boy would totally collapse if word got out that I love PokeChic. Oh, screw it'. Silver decided to come clean, but on his own terms. "Fine. The truth is I lo- (no) like PokeChic Magazine. The chicks in here are smoking hot and... that's why I lied before. I didn't want to you feel bad because I know how much you're crushing on me and it would devastate you to know, you're not my type, " he told her in a smarmy tone. 'Oh great. I sounded like a total sleaze, not to mention, an arrogant jerk there. I really need to think before I open my big mouth,' he thought, wanting to hit himself.

    "Geez, flatter yourself much? Like I care. You're not my type either". Although Lyra did mean most of what she said, there was a side of her that disagreed with that remark.

    'What does she mean, I'm not her type. Does she really find me that repulsive? Oh heck, who am I kidding, even I find myself repulsive. I keep making a mess of things. To whoever said honesty is the best policy, I'm starting to believe you're right. Every single lie from my mouth is only pushing Lyra further and further away. I know I shouldn't do this, but it's only because I can't stand having her so close to me... I should apologize. It's not her fault I'm a broken mess'. Silver was in a battle with the thoughts that had taken up residence inside his head and were running riot. On the one hand, he wanted Lyra to know the truth, but on the other, he did not. Then, he thought about the old man with the Abra and suddenly he wanted to confess what he had been hiding deep inside his heart. Wasn't it about time he did? "Um, Lyra. There are some things I-I think you need to know".

    "Oh, what is it now? I'm weak, I'm in your way, I'm not your type, what?"

    'No, I'm done with all the lies'. "I know we haven't exactly been friends and I know that's mostly my fault. It's just that I don't know how to express myself in ways that people understand, but you understand, right? It's important that you know I never meant to hurt you and if I did, then I am truly sorry. You should at least know that much," Silver told her. He had to force himself to refrain from spilling the contents of his heart out. 'All she needs to know is I'm sorry. Telling her 'I love you' would be too much for her to hear now,' he convinced himself.

    "I was wondering how long it would take for you to apologize. I must say I'm a little surprised to hear it so soon," she said knowingly. She smiled, as she knew how hard it must have been for Silver to not only apologise, but to open a part of himself up to her. For that, she was quite taken with him if only for a while.

    "Well, don't get used to it," he said, reverting back to his usual tone.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    After a long walk down the Underground, Lyra and Silver found themselves at the other end of the passage. There was that "No Entry" door that they both defied not too long ago. They looked at it and laughed half-heartedly whilst remembering the silly things the pair of them did during the Team Rocket takeover arc.

    "Hmm, isn't this familiar?" said Silver stating the obvious.

    "Yeah, isn't it just?" Lyra responded.

    "I guess this is where we say goodbye. It was nice catching up with you".

    "Oh, thank God. I was just waiting for you leave," she joked.

    "Ha, very funny. Well, bye then". Silver attempted to hug Lyra as a parting gesture, but he wasn't sure how to go about it. He had never had the courage or even an interest to hug anyone before, let alone someone he desired. But in the moment he placed his arms to hold Lyra, he dropped his magazine. In his absent-mindedness of wanting that hug so bad, he had forgotten he had been holding it for all this time.

    "Oh Silver, you dropped your maga-" Lyra could not finish her sentence, as she finally got a clear view of the magazine, while bending down to pick it up. Her eyes were locked on the picture of the cover star. It was Elesa. She didn't need to read the subtitle "Elesa: Unova's hottest superstar" to know exactly who it was. The face of her star was more than enough for Lyra. It was only natural for her to recognise the girl of her dreams. She held onto the magazine with almost all her might.

    "Are you OK?"

    "Umm, I know this girl".

    "You mean Elesa, the model on the cover?"

    "Err, yeah".

    "Are you making fun of me because of the whole 'Karen' thing?"

    "I'm not. I do know Elesa... Well, kind of".

    "No way, Elesa is Unova's biggest star and you haven't ever been as far as Kanto, so excuse me if I don't believe you. At least, my phony story was somewhat believable".

    "Never mind, you wouldn't understand".

    "Anyway, I'm heading off now. Can I have my magazine back?"

    "Yeah, of course". She handed the magazine back to Silver.

    "Thanks. I guess I'll see you around". Silver turned to leave, but he was unable to actually pull himself away from Lyra. He couldn't understand why she was completely puzzled by what she had seen on the cover of PokeChic Magazine. For her, it suddenly appeared that everything she dreamt and thought she had imagined was in fact real. Even if it was just a photo, she couldn't deny it anymore. Elesa was real. "Um, what's the matter? Is this to do with Elesa?" he asked.

    "She's real," Lyra whispered, unsure.

    "Yeah, of course she is".

    "I thought I imagined everything".

    "Okay, you've lost me. What are you talking about? Wait, were you really telling the truth before when you said you knew Elesa?"

    "You'll think I'm crazy if I told you".

    "Well, if you don't tell me, I'll think you're crazy anyway".

    "I thought it was just a dream, but it wasn't".

    "So, you had a dream of this girl. That's not so weird. Elesa is famous, after all".

    "The thing is I never even heard of her before that, let alone seen a picture of her".

    "Now, that is strange. I guess you don't read PokeChic".

    "It's not my kind of thing".

    "Err, yeah. Well, it's a required taste".

    "Remember that old man with the Abra?"

    "Of course, I despise them".

    "Yeah, they manipulated my dreams".

    "Ah, I totally get it now. Did they also send you here too?"

    "Umm, sort of. The old man told me to go to Goldenrod to find... something".

    'Really? This sounds promising. Maybe, that old guy is on my side after all. This is clearly a way to bring me and Lyra together. At last,' Silver happily thought. "It seems as though he wanted us to meet again," he told her.

    "Yes, I think so and I think this magazine is the reason why we had to meet. He wants me to find Elesa, the girl of my dreams. I didn't know it then, but now I do".

    'Arrgggggh, what? The girl of her dreams. That can't mean what I think it means,' Silver began to fear the worst in his head and his face shut down in despair all at the same time. Then, suddenly like an active volcano, he felt a rage arise from deep within him and he let it erupt. "So, that's what he meant by 'encourage'," he said angrily.

    "Err, what are you talking about, Silver?"

    'Oh, that's right. I didn't tell her about that part'. Silver quickly realised he needed to shut it down before Lyra could question him further. "Umm, nothing. Nothing at all," he awkwardly danced around. "Either way, it's not possible to meet Elesa. Not unless you want to go all the way to Unova and I don't recommend that," he said changing the subject slightly.

    "Why not? I could take a ferry from Olivine City".

    "No, no. They only go to Kanto. None to Unova," he lied.

    "Then, I'll go by plane". Lyra then recalled her flight with Skyla in her dream. "Actually, on second thoughts, forget the plane". Silver was relieved, but Lyra was disappointed. Lyra wondered if she had to brave a plane ride over. If she needed to follow her dream to exactly as she dreamed it. Was everything she dreamt really just a premonition and was she really willing to go to all that trouble just for a shot at love? But, before she could answer her own thoughts, Silver tried to get her mind as far away from Elesa as possible in the way of shooting her back down to reality. He knew it was harsh, but a part of him was doing it for her just as much as it was for him.

    "Listen, Lyra. That old guy is sick in the head. He's clearly only messing with you. With us," Silver explained, "Elesa is way out there in another world, if not another dimension. Do you really think you would meet her and the two of you would fall in love? Come on, Lyra. You're smart enough to know that's never going to happen. It's not like she's just going to appear out of thin air in a place like t-t-this..."

    "I know. I've been fooling myself for a long time, but it was nice to dream a little".

    "No. No. No fricking way".

    "Silver, what the Hell, man?" she demanded.

    His eyes were peering toward something he noticed over Lyra's shoulder. He was looking off in the distance in a malevolent manner, as if he had seen a ghost. Lyra followed his eye line to see what had caused Silver to turn to stone. She shifted her body a full 180 degrees and then, she saw it. Her breath and heartbeat felt like it had been stopped in its tracks. It was Elesa, the object of Lyra's desire and the bane of Silver's existence.
    Last edited by Meowth City; 18th March 2013 at 11:03 PM.
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    Author's Notes: There's a couple of things I should point out. First of all, due to my hectic life, I had to rush this chapter [yeah, taking almost a month to update is rushing, but I swear I haven't had time to write or the passion for when I do]. For that reason, I'm not that entirely satisfied with this chapter, but what am I gonna do?


    Chapter Ten: Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

    What are you doing? You're not seriously going to go up to her and introduce yourself, are you?


    10 Minutes Earlier:

    At Goldenrod City Department Store, Skyla and Elesa had finished their shopping on the top floor. With their bags of goods, the girls headed to a special counter to take full advantage of the department store's very own concierge service. Skyla proceeded to hand over the large bags of shopping to the male clerk. Elesa remained uncomfortably at bay, staying ever so slightly away from the counter. Although she was in a profession that required the wearing of countless outfits and accessories, Elesa was a little hesitant to actually buy clothes and converse with sales people. She usually had the luxury of having clothes handed to her on a silver platter. Anything outside of this seemed unnatural to her, but luckily for Elesa, she had a talkative pal to do all the work for her. Hard to believe, but Skyla's mouth was a useful asset at times and this was one of those very few times.

    "Yep, that's it," said an excitable Skyla.

    "Alright. All we need is your signature and we'll have your items sent to your hotel," said the clerk.

    "Sure". Skyla borrowed the pen from the counter and scrawled her name onto the form before returning the piece of paper to the clerk.

    "That's perfect. Thank you for choosing Goldenrod Concierge Express. Have a good day," said the man. He took the form and hurried off.

    "Is this really a good idea? Remember what happened the last time had our items delivered?" Elesa finally spoke.

    "That was an one-off occurrence. It won't happen again and besides this is a respectable establishment," Skyla assured her.

    "I sure hope you're right".

    "Now that our shopping has been taken care of, how about we do some exploring?"

    "Ooh, I must admit the radio tower sounds intriguing. Can we go there first?"

    "Yeah, why not. Let's take the elevator back down to the ground floor".

    The ladies approached the elevator. Skyla pushed the button with the arrow pointing downwards. It wasn't long until it opened to reveal an empty compartment, which they entered. An assistant responsible for seeing customers to any given floor was stood to the far left. She nodded and gestured towards the many different buttons as to ask for directions to their desired floor.

    "Oh, we would like to go to the ground floor please," Skyla requested.

    The well-meaning assistant pressed the button labelled B1F and, with that, the elevator made its way to the very bottom of the store.

    "This is the basement. It's not open to customers," the lady told them as if it was no big deal.

    The two girls left the elevator, which quickly went back towards the shop floor.

    "Err; this is not the ground floor. It doesn't even look like a part of the store," said Elesa to her friend, "Yikes, are those working Machokes? What kind of slave labour is this?"

    "Well, we might as well go through it now. I'm sure this leads out to the city somehow," Skyla chimed in.

    "But we're not allowed down there. The elevator lady said so".

    "She didn't exactly stop us from leaving. Not to mention, if we're not allowed to be here, then why did she still take us here in the first place?"

    "I guess she didn't understand what we meant by ground floor".

    "How hard is it to work out? This floor is underground, so by that logic, the 'ground floor' would be one above this one".

    "I really have no desire to argue over petty little things like this".

    "Hmph, I'm just saying".

    "Can we just get out of here swift? I want to see the radio tower already".

    "Alright, alright. Let's just think of this as a slight detour".

    "We've been doing that a lot. Taking detours".

    "I know, but that's all part of the adventure".

    "This is supposed to be a vacation, not an adventure".

    "Same difference. Come on, let's go".

    "Hang on, wait for me".


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Frozen, Lyra and Silver felt as if their feet were embedded in solid concrete. Were their eyes deceiving them? For what they saw was much closer to fantasy and dreams. Was it the work of the Old Man and his twisted Abra? A trick? An illusion? Whatever it was, Lyra could not suppress the urge inside her. She needed to address it. She needed to initiate contact. That much she knew. She forced her feet to move, and despite the powerful resistance of her lower limbs, Lyra willed herself towards her target. She didn't think. She just did. It was like her mind and heart was controlling her very movements and they were not playing fair.

    And as hearts go, Silver's one was broken. He had lost hope that Lyra would ever return his feelings and hearing the words, ' the girl of her dreams', was the worst kind of realisation of all. Knowing that his beloved held feelings for another woman was painful to say the least, although he was somewaht relieved that he had not revealed the cards closest to his chest. Burying his own feelings meant that, at least, he need not worry about a face-to-face rejection from Lyra, but Silver couldn't help think this was still in some way a form of rejection. To have been so close to expressing one's love, then to have it ripped from him. Would it have mattered if Silver had been a little bit braver and spoken sooner? Much sooner? Or was it destiny; the way it was meant to be?

    "What are you doing? You're not seriously going to go up to her and introduce yourself, are you?" Silver shouted out, as he ran to Lyra's side. Those words echoed in her mind.

    "I have to. This is my chance. Everything that has happened has been leading up to this," Lyra said breathlessly.

    "Well... I..." Silver didn't know what to say.

    But before he could conjure up another word, Elesa was speeding towards them and...

    SLAM!!

    Elesa collided straight into the shocked pair bringing everyone to the floor.

    "Hey, watch it lady!" Silver screamed, whilst rubbing the pain on his leg. The very same area that had been hurt by the wrath of an angry girl not too long ago.

    "Oh, I'm so sorry. I was in a hurry. I'm afraid running is not one of my strengths," said Elesa.

    "It's fine. W-why are you in s-such a hurry?" Lyra asked.

    "I was looking for help. My friend is in trouble". Elesa paused for a breather. "You wouldn't happen to have a pair of scissor or a Pokémon with Slash, would you?"

    "My Meowth knows Slash and I'll love to help," Lyra told her, as she pointed to her feline companion.

    Elesa looked down and noticed the familiar-looking Pokémon. "OH. That's... Well, I guess it will have to do. Please follow me and hurry". The two rushed off.

    "Hey! What about me? I have a Weavile," Silver grumbled, "No one ever asks for my help". He swiftly ran after them.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    When the trio arrived at their destination, where the various metal shutters were located, Lyra and Silver were completely surprised by what they saw. All they could see from their angle was a person from behind, who was struggling to free themselves from a closed door. Apparently, during Skyla and Elesa's walk through the underground passage, something strange had occurred. It seemed someone was playing with the switches in the area at the time and caused Skyla to be trapped in one of the doors. That wasn't even the strangest part. No, the strangest part was the fact that her bra strap was the only thing caught in between the metal components.

    "Hang in there. I found some people who can help," Elesa told her friend.

    "Well, would you look at that? A strange dude is trapped in those annoying doors," Silver said with an amused smirk on his face.

    Dude? What is Silver on? That body is definitely the body of a woman.

    Aside from admiring her body, Lyra noticed how familiar the clothes were. She wondered if the individual she was seeing was that person. She didn't know whether or not to be worried, so she held her breath and prayed.

    "Hey, to whoever said that, would you like to die? I'm a girl. Get it right!" Skyla angrily corrected him.

    "It's not nice to threaten the people you're asking to help you," Elesa added.

    "When you people are done talking, could you like get me out of here?" Skyla wailed as she flapped her arms about.

    "Ha, whatever. How on Earth does a person get stuck in one of these?" Silver grinned.

    "Alright, miss. Could you get your Meowth to cut her loose?" Elesa asked Lyra.

    "What was that?" Skyla became understandably alarmed. "I don't want a Pokémon slicing anywhere near my breasts".

    "It's alright. It's a trained Pokémon (although it would probably be best if you didn't know what Pokémon it is)," Elesa informed her.

    "What, why not?" Skyla turned her head and faced in everyone else's direction. She gazed around and finally noticed a sweet-looking Meowth stood next to Lyra. "Arrrrrrggggggggh, no way. Get that thing away from meeeeeeeeee".

    Having finally got to witness Skyla's face during this scene, Lyra passed out on the ground. It was a great shock to the system to discover this 'friend' of Elesa was the same girl who had caused her such trauma in her dream, even if it was just a dream. That coupled with Skyla's screaming was horrifying in itself, and Skyla fainted soon after from seeing Meowth. It was a quite sight to see Skyla unconscious and held up in a vertical position, thanks to her unfortunate situation involving a bra strap. Seeing the two girls fainting in quick succession lead to puzzled looks on the other pair.

    "Umm, what the...?" Elesa was dumbfounded by the two casualties.

    "Beats me. That girl has always been fainthearted," said Silver in reference to Lyra.

    "So, um, you got any ideas on how to get my friend out of there?"

    "Yeah. You could just push the switches on that wall over there. Those control the doors". Silver pointed to the adjacent wall. 'Hmm I wonder why Lyra didn't just tell them that. She definitely knows about those switches. Oh, why am I surprised? That girl has always got her head in the clouds,' he thought.

    "Why didn't you say that in the first place instead of having us go through all this?"

    "That's what you lot get for being rude to me".

    "Skyla is a little hot-headed, yes, but how was I rude?"

    "You completely ignored me and didn't ask for my help".

    "Well, I apologise for that".

    "Too late. The damage has already been done".

    "Really, just like that? You sound like a mean version of Skyla".

    "Who?"

    "My friend. The one trapped in the door".

    "Oh. Her".

    "Well... aren't you going to help her?"

    "Geez, why me?" moaned Silver, to which Elesa answered with a stern look. "Alright, I'll do it".

    "And I'll help your friend".


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Elesa had carried Lyra, while Silver was unwittingly assigned with the objective of transporting Skyla. Finally, the pair reached an empty stall, where the Herb Shop usually did their business. It was closed for the time being. Slumped on the stools outside of this empty shop, Lyra and Skyla were slowly regaining consciousness, while their friends waiting eagerly for them to do so. Lyra was the first to open her eyes. Like before, her mind was still in its groggy state.

    "Hello there. How are you feeling?" asked Elesa. Lyra didn't answer.

    "Come on, princess. I haven't got all day," said a peeved Silver.

    Lyra massaged the sides of her forehead in a clockwise rotation with both hands. This is real. I'm not dreaming, am I? She took a short breath out and breathed in. "I'm fine," she said. As cliché as that phrase was, it was true. This was the best Lyra had felt in days. Months even.

    "Thank goodness. I'm not sure what exactly happened, but I'm glad you're alright now". Elesa smiled.

    Lyra smiled back. Then, she snuck a peak at the fainted Skyla over her shoulder. The high-flying girl looked so harmless in her current state, and with that, Lyra realised how irrational her fear was. She decided to give Skyla a chance. "How is... your friend... um, Skyla?" she asked.

    "She's still unconscious, I'm afraid." Elesa looked over to Skyla. "Wait, how did you know her name?"

    That's right. Elesa hadn't introduced herself yet, much less Skyla. How was Lyra going to explain this away? "Umm. Lucky guess," Lyra awkwardly claimed.

    "Oh, how rude of me. I haven't even introduced myself. I'm Elesa and that is Skyla, as you have correctly guessed".

    I know. "My name is Lyra and this is my friend, Silver".

    Silver made a grimace upon hearing the word 'friend'. It was bad enough feeling like a third wheel, but to have that rubbed in his face did not settle well with him. He decided not to say anything at all.

    "What pretty names you have. Pleased to meet you both," said Elesa.

    "And this is my Pokémon, Meowth". She pointed to her cat, which was rubbing itself up against her leg. Content.

    "Cute. Yours seems rather sweet... unlike that other one I met".

    Mmmmmuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrggggghhhhh.

    "Eeek, what kind of demonic sound was that just now?" Silver shrieked. Like a girl.

    "Oh. Sounds like Skyla is waking up," Elesa explained.

    Skyla awoke, stretching and yawning in an highly exaggerated manner, as if she had woken from a hundred year nap. She rubbed her eyes, while sprouting the most cliché thing one could possibly say in this situation as she came to, "hey, what's going on here? Where am I?"

    "It's alright, Sky. You just fainted," said Elesa. "Again".
    Last edited by Meowth City; 18th March 2013 at 11:06 PM.
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    Author’s notes: I am sorry that it took ages for a new chapter. I wasn't feeling very inspired to write the EncourageShipping scenes, as I was more into the Silver and Skyla scenes to be honest, but I really wanted to get an even amount of the two. Before reading, please note that this chapter alternates between Silver & Skyla in the restaurant and Lyra & Elesa on the bench outside throughout. Each scene is separated by a divider and it's mostly just back-and-forth. Worthy of note, Silver and Skyla are both around 18-21 in this fanfic, as are Lyra and Elesa, so it's perfectly legal for them to drink. As a disclaimer, I do not promote underage drinking.


    Chapter Eleven: On the Rocks

    "Cast aside and ignored. The story of my life," Silver mumbled, as he gripped his glass of Poké Colada.

    Just moments prior, the foursome had arrived at a quaint restaurant in Goldenrod City for a light lunch. Elesa and Lyra were not in the mood to eat, however their companions had their own reasons for seeking out food. Skyla simply wanted to satisfy her hunger, in addition to recuperating from her earlier spill, while Silver wished to drown his sorrows in large amounts of numb-rendering drinks. As the two redheads sat down to eat, Elesa and Lyra rested on a conveniently placed bench outside. It was in full view of the restaurant, so they could be seen by their friends and vice versa. Silver peered out of the window, feeling depressed, as the two girls appeared to be chatting happily to each other. Skyla, on the other hand, happily had her hands and mouth full with the many selections from the buffet menu. Her appetite and table manners were akin to that of a dog's. Silver looked on mildly disgusted.

    "And the worst thing of all is being left here with you," he added.

    "Hey, you're not the only one being ignored. Ever since you two showed up, Elesa hasn't paid me an ounce of attention and it's not just that. She's been very distant lately. I thought this vacation would bring us closer again, but it hasn't done much of that. What do you suppose I should do?"

    "Do I look like a shrink? I'm not interested in hearing your problems. I've got issues of my own," he told her bluntly, while giving her the cold shoulder.

    "Geez, what's your problem? Were you abandoned as a child or something?"

    Beat.

    Silver grew silent. His arched eyebrows and ever-present frown said enough. Skyla had hit a nerve.

    To demonstrate his umbrage, Silver vigorously stabbed into his cake using the force of his fork. Although his assault to the innocent pasty was nothing compared to Skyla's manhandling of food. He cut a piece out using its edge, in spite of having a more appropriate utensil readily by his plate. No, in his mind, he would rather plunge that particular instrument into a certain inconsiderate talkative individual.

    "Hmph". He glared at her. "What, were you raised by wolves?" he retorted, in light of her eating habits.

    "No, by my grandfather actually," she acclaimed nonchalantly.

    Silver rolled his eyes and decided to pay no more attention to the girl.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A bench and Elesa. Well, doesn't this look familiar?

    Outside the restaurant was a lone wooden bench. It was similar, but the quite the same as the bench in Lyra's dream. In fact, everything that had occurred ever since Lyra woke up from La La Land was familiar, but never the same. Lyra wondered if the dream was simply an imagined version of the real events that would follow. Lyra did not know if she should behave normal, which for her would be flustered, or if she should just go with it. In a reality before her dreaming days, Lyra could never work up the courage to tell a girl or boy that she fancied them, much less a worldly supermodel from a far away region. Yet, somehow in this present reality, she did not feel a tinge of nervousness. In her current semi-conscious state, she felt she could talk to Elesa as if she was a long-time friend and so she did.

    "Here. Have a seat," Elesa told her, as she directed her to the bench. "A nice long rest will do some good".

    "Thank you," said Lyra. She took her seat on the bench. Elesa sat down closely next to her.

    "You're not still feeling faint, are you?"

    "Just a little".

    "Here, have this Fresh Water". Elesa handed her a small bottle, which Lyra happily took. "Are you sure you don't want something to eat? Our friends are just inside having a meal. You can join them if you want".

    "No, that's quite alright. What about you? Aren't you hungry?"

    "I already had a big meal today and I don't usually indulge, but Skyla insisted".

    "Oh, are you and Skyla good friends?”

    "Yes, you could say that. We have been best friends ever since we were kids".

    "That's nice. You guys must be really close then".

    "We are, even though she and I are very different. What about you and Silver?"

    "I've known Silver only recently and our meeting weren’t exactly on good terms".

    "Oh. I figured that. He's quite a tightly wound fellow, isn't he? Which coming from me is saying a lot".

    "Yep, that's Silver".

    "I hope you don't find me rude in asking if there is anything between the two of you".

    "Me and Silver. No, there's nothing there".

    "Really? It just seemed like you and he had a thing or something".

    "No, not at all".

    "Is there anyone special in your life?"

    "Well, I have a childhood friend. Ethan is his name, but I never thought of him in a romantic way".

    "Not your type, am I right?"

    Right.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Meanwhile, back at the restaurant:

    "So, you see, I've been training at the Mistralton Gym with Gramps for years. Gramps wasn't too happy with me when I took up air battles and I only started those in the first place because I wanted more time to be able to fly my plane. Since the challengers were so easy, I didn't see the issue with it. You see, battling weak trainers was no fun at all for such an amazing gym leader as I," Skyla said rather quickly, while taking quick large gulps of her Poké Colada as she did. "Oh, did I mention that I am also a pilot? Yes, flying is such a fun past-time. There isn't anything in the world as exhilarating as flying, whether it is in a plane or on a flying type Pokémon. You should try it. It might even put a smile on your face and you don't seem like you do that enough. Everyone should smile more (especially Elesa). Don't you think?"

    Heavily frustrated by the continuous rambling, Silver expressed his grief with a forced frown. An upside down smile as an ironic answer to Skyla's question.

    "Speaking of which," Skyla continued, "I got Gramps to look after the gym while I took Elesa on vacation. He's a huge fan of hers, so he was more than happy to help her have a good time".

    "Oh, of course, everyone is a fan of that blonde bombshell," Silver groaned.

    "Don't you like Elesa?"

    "It's not that. I like her as a person, but..." Silver stopped himself from completely that sentence. He didn't wish to reveal his reasons, especially not to a complete stranger and certainly not to one as chatty as Skyla. She may have be one to spill her whole life story to anyone who would listen, but Silver was not the kind of person to talk about feelings. Instead, he took another sip of his Poké Colada to numb the pain.

    "You like that Lyra girl, don't ya?"

    "What! No!" Silver was startled. 'How did she know? Was it that obvious?' he thought.

    "You don't fool me. A girl knows these things and, yes, it's very obvious".

    "Huh, d-d-did you read my mind just now?"

    "No, silly. I'm not a Psychic type Pokémon".

    "Oh, good. I guess you can never tell these days. Those darn psychics creep me out".

    "I've never met a psychic. At least, I don't think I have".

    "Trust me, you don't want to".


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Outside, Lyra had recovered a little from her earlier fall. But as her consciousness came back to her, so did her nervousness.

    "This is like... um... it's like..." Lyra gushed. "I'm sorry. I don't know why I'm so nervous all of a sudden".

    "It's alright," Elesa noted, "Here, have some more water".

    "Thanks. This is just so unreal. You being here. I'm half expecting small lights of fire to fall down on us". As she said that, Lyra dropped her hat on the ground.

    "You're funny." Elesa smiled. "And this is such a cute hat you have". Elesa leaned down to pick it up and, as she did, Lyra felt Elesa brush her hand on hers.

    "Ah, when you say and do things like that, it doesn't help my nerves". Lyra's face began to blush.

    "Oh. Why is that?" Elesa emerged upright with the hat in her hand.

    Should I dare tell her?

    "You would think I was strange if I told you," blurted Lyra.

    Well, now I've done it. How can I not tell her after saying that.

    "Try me. I am quite an open-minded person, so whatever it is, please just lay it on me". Elesa whirled the hat with her finger before placing it neatly on Lyra's head. She took her time with it too. Then, she brushed Lyra's bangs to the sides of Lyra's face until she was happy with the result. After she had finished, Elesa examined her work and stated, "There, that's perfect".

    "Err, thanks," said a red-faced Lyra.

    "Now then, you were saying something. What was it?"


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Returning to the restaurant, Silver had lost most of his patience with his dinner companion and Skyla had lost most of her inhibitions, due to drink. Silver had finished his cake and was ready to drink as much Poké Colada as he could, if only to drown out Skyla. He went from feeling depressed over Lyra to straight-up annoyed over Skyla's antics. Unfortunately for him, Skyla was even worse when tipsy and she was not about to let Silver go without hearing an earful. Bad jokes and all.

    "Is that PokéChic in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?" Skyla giggled like the immature girl she was.

    He was indeed storing a copy of PokéChic Magzine in his pocket. "Umm, I don't know what you're talking about," said Silver, shifting his glaze.

    "It is". Skyla swiped the magazine and flipped the pages.

    "Hey, that's mine!" screamed Silver. "I mean... don't be taking things out of my pocket. Don't you have any boundaries?" he stated more calmly.

    "Um, I'm sorry. I just so happy to find this again since I lost my copy to some evil fiend Pokémon".

    "Oh, fine. Take it. I'm done with it anyway".

    "Awesome, this will do nicely. Thanks so much," Skyla said in appreciation. She flicked through the magazine once more. "Oooooh, shoes".

    "Umm, sooo, um, you don't think it's weird that I have a copy of PokéChic?" he said slowly. "It's for my girlfriend, you know".

    "What's weird about that? Guys that like PokéChic are hot".

    "Heeeey, I didn't say I liked it... Wait, what now? Did you say hot?" Silver became intrigued by this broad claim and, to his surprise, he was paying Skyla the attention he swore, from the beginning of their encounter, he would never do. He sat upright and raised his left eyebrow, while fixing his eyes on Skyla. "Really?" he said in a hushed tone, while leaning forward, as if to avoid embarrassment from overly curious onlookers.

    "Totally". She nodded.

    Silver grinned at the complement. "Hmm, cool".


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "I see. A dream, eh". Elesa had heard everything, save for Lyra's feelings for her, over the last few minutes. She took a swig of Fresh Water, as she mulled it all over.

    "You think I'm crazy, don't you now?" Lyra asked hesitantly.

    "Hmmm...." That did not seem like a good sign.

    "I won't mind if you do. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it myself".

    After a brief pause, Elesa finally answered, "No. I don't think you're crazy. This is perfectly natural in the world of Pokémon and it would certainly explain how you already know a lot about me, despite the fact that we've only just met".

    "Really? Well, that's a huge relief". Lyra exhaled.

    "Yeah. In Unova, it is common practice to send Pokémon to a place known as the Dream World. It's a place where Pokémon dream and they can even bring back things from that world to the real world".

    "Wow. Unova must be very advanced then. There's nothing like that over here".

    "Indeed. It's amazing what is possible in this world". Elesa sighed with pleasure. "The world is truly a beautiful place or, at least, it can be".

    Lyra quietly said to her, "Yes, you truly are".

    "What?" Elesa didn't quite catch what was said.

    "Umm, nothing". Lyra scratched her head nervously.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Returning to the restaurant, Skyla and Silver had become heavily intoxicated after consuming several glasses of Poké Colada between them.

    "I know how you feel. My parents left me. I wish I could say it was to travel and become Pokémon trainers, but the truth is they just didn't want me anymore. Not that I blame them. I wasn't exactly a model daughter," said Skyla in a somewhat cheery, yet sarcastic tone.

    "Yeah, it totally sucks when the people who are supposed to love you... (hic)... abandon you," Silver bemoaned, drunkenly. "Especially for something as meaningless as (hic) world domination," he laughed, turning his sorrow into something of a joke.

    "I know, right. What is so good about world domination anyway?"

    "Beats me. Power doesn't mean anything. I know that now. You see, recently, some dude in a cape showed me the errors of my ways".

    "Ha, a cape sounds so cool". Skyla could barely concentrate on their converstation.

    "And he said that love is the most important thing. Love. That's what I want... someday".

    "I wouldn't mind some of that myself".

    "But for right now, what I want is another one of these bad boys," he said, barely pointing to his glass.

    "Make it double".

    "Ab-sol---utely," he slurred.

    "Hey, could we get another round of Poké Colada for the table?" Skyla shouted at the waiter on the other end of the restaurant.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    After side-stepping over that last comment, Lyra began telling Elesa her adventures of Johto: How she started her journey with Totodile, which had recently evolved into a Feraligatr, how she defeated the Pokémon League and everything in between. Lyra was not one to brag, but she did feel a tad proud of herself for all her achievements. Elesa was in awe.

    "So, you really are a Champion?" said Elesa, gleaming.

    "Yes. Apparently," responded Lyra, a tad embarrassed.

    "Impressive. You're quite accomplished for someone so young".

    "Well, I'm not that young".

    "But you are for a reigning Champ". Elesa said with flattery. "You see, I am good friends with Cynthia, the Sinnoh Champion, and she's quite a bit older than I am".

    "Oh, I don't know about that. I imagine there are many ten-year trainers doing the same thing as I am".

    "Ha-ha, sure. I must admit I'm a little bit jealous of you".

    Of. Me. You're kidding, right?

    Lyra didn't know whether she could take another complement. "You know, our friends have been in there for a long time now. Should we go see what's keeping them?" she said, quickly changing the subject.

    "Food, I would imagine. Skyla has an incredible large appetite".

    "All the more reason to check on them".

    Lyra and Elesa left their place on the bench, and headed towards the restaurant. At the entrance, Elesa held the door for Lyra and the two girls went inside. They scanned the place looking for their friends, both of whom had moved to the stools at the bar. After spotting the two redheads, Lyra and Elesa made their way towards them. Silver and Skyla had become rather friendly and were laughing quite loudly amongst themselves. Elesa was not amused. Lyra was baffled.

    "What happened to you two?" Elesa demanded to know. "Wait, are you drunk?"

    "Naaaah," said the two drunks.

    "You are, aren't you?"

    "Okay, I guess we are," said Skyla. The red-haired pair laughed.

    "Not this again," Elesa berated Skyla, "You know how you get after a few drinks".

    "I swear I had no idea this Poké Colada was going to be this strong," Skyla told her. "She turned to Silver and asked, "did you know?" He shook his head "Ah, now, I get why they asked us for ID," she acclaimed.

    "Hehe, yeah. That would explain it," Silver giggled.

    "And you. How could you let this happen? Care to explain yourself?" Lyra asked him.

    He responded, "I... umm... I am so sloshed right now".

    "It's time for you tw to sleep it off," Elesa said, as she folded her arms, disapprovingly.

    "Yeah, yeah," mumbled the drunken pair.

    Elesa sighed. Turning to Lyra, she asked, "Lyra, could you call for a cab to the Goldenrod Hotel? I don't have a cell phone on me. Skyla's fault".

    "Sure". Lyra opened her PokéGear and pulled out the device's antenna. She proceeded to make the call.

    "Oh, and could you be a dear and stay with us at the hotel? You know, spend the night together".

    What?

    "It would be better that way rather than relying on the Pokémon Center. I can't imagine Nurse Joy allowing people in their state to stay over in a place filled with sick and injured Pokémon. You know, "Health and Safety" regulations and whatnot," Elesa explained, justifying her rather bold request.

    "Umm, yeah, I guess you're right". Lyra's face went red. This was getting to be a regular thing.

    "And you wouldn't want abandon your friend, Silver, would you?"

    "Of course, I wouldn't".

    "Very well then, it's settled. All of us are having a sleepover".

    Spending the night with Elesa, Silver and Skyla: My crush, my rival and my literal nightmare. Yeah. This is not awkward at all.
    Last edited by Meowth City; 18th March 2013 at 11:08 PM.
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    IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING THE FANFIC: I must apologise to all the readers who were looking forward to the continuation of the story, but I am afraid I have to deliver unfortunate news. For many months, I have been debating with myself whether or not I could complete this project and I can now confirm that I have no current plans to finish at all. Since the Shipping Oscars were underway for the last two months, I did not want to bring up sooner as to not affect voting and such. And with the winners yet to be announced, I am choosing this moment in time to say that I am offically ending it here. Regardless of the results, I will stand by my decision.

    Again, I'm sorry to have to do this, but I can't bring myself to write for this story anymore. It is nowhere near my usual standard of writing. I find it terribly lacklustre and that really gets to me, as someone who prides themselves as a creative mind. For that reason, it does not interest me enough to continue. My real-life amibition is to be a legitimate screenwriter, therefore I cannot afford to hinder my creativity in any way and so something had to give.

    Thank you to everyone who bother to read this fic and I hope you are not too disappointed by its end.

    EDIT: I have added the Epilogue in the next post.
    Last edited by Meowth City; 18th March 2013 at 10:27 PM.
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    Author’s notes: There was originally meant to be two more chapters after the last one, but as I said in the above announcement, those have been cancelled and I am not a person that goes back on my word. However, as thanks to everyone who voted for this in the Shipping Oscars 2012, I have decided it wouldn't hurt to it give one last chance to tie up loose ends, so here it is, the official ending to the story.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Epilogue:

    I must tell you these tales of the past. Those of my own and others I have known.

    Many years ago, I was a young man with grand ambitions and many talents beyond the natural scope of things. Our stories began on a bright summer day when two young girls about the age of 6 had a life-changing encounter in the Castelia Park. It started when a lone Ducklett that had wandered far from its pond only to have forgotten how to return to its home. Sad and all alone, the Ducklett cried as it desperately prayed for its family to find it. Along came a girl with long red hair walking past at that very moment. She instinctively noticed the scared little creature and attempted to capture it with her bare hands. After all, she was an excited child without Pokeballs. It is curious to note that Skyla never lost that carefree spirit.

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the park was another little girl accompanied by her mother's Emolga. This one had short blonde hair and incredibly large headphones especially for her tiny child-size head, so much so that she would constantly have to keep her hands on her head to stop them from falling off. "You will never be a dancer with that balance," her parents would always joke. Believe or not, Elesa's dream as a child was to be a ballet dancer. Skyla, on the other hand, always wanted to be a pilot and, as you can probably know, only one dream came true in the end.

    Not long after, Emolga floated away and eventually found itself face-to-face with the lost Ducklett. Given its double weakness to Electric, it was only natural for this little Water-type Pokémon to be frightened of the flying squirrel. The bird quickly pulled a u-turn and crashed right into Skyla's chest as a result. This collision had knocked the girl sideways and to the ground, which caused the Ducklett to feel a little guilty. The Pokémon proceed to squirt a mild amount of water from its beak onto her face, which helped Skyla recovering conscious. By this time, Elesa had caught up with her mother's Pokémon and stumbled upon this scene. She offered her open palm to the fallen girl and, from then on, the holding of their hands became symbolic of their relationship. Emolga and Ducklett, the witnesses to the moment that started it all, would later become faithful companions to the girls.

    However, things were not always perfect and picturesque for the duo. As a teenager, Skyla had been abandoned by her parents having crashed their million dollar plane, which had caused them to lose their stake in the airplane business. Following that, she was been placed in the care of her grandfather, Miles, who had only one airplane left in his possession. It was a rickety old thing, but it could still fly with the right pilot at its helm. Grandpa Miles would do his best to teach Skyla self-control, although it was a never-ending struggle. Then high school came along and with it came further uncertainties. Having been childhood friends for the longest time, Elesa and Skyla would find themselves entering a new stage of their lives and in their relationship. They were becoming more than friends, but by the end of senior year, they knew the full extent of what they had would only ever be physical. This brought about a lot of conflicts.

    Skyla would act out and push loved ones away when things seemed like the end of the world. Without her best friend to pull her back from the dark side, she had lost control for the last time destroying her grandfather's prized plane as a result. Convinced that she would feel her grandfather's wrath having broken yet another family plane, Skyla felt she had no one left to turn to. However, much to her surprise, Miles forgave her when her parents would not. That one act of kindness gave Skyla the courage to carry on. In an attempt to repair the damage, both literally and metaphorically, Skyla decided to take charge of her life again. She spent every day for a year working on fixing her grandfather's plane and earning back his respect. Regretting how badly she treated her best friend, Skyla decided to reach out to Elesa once more. She did not expect Elesa to ever forgive her, but Elesa offered her open palm anyway. With that gesture, she knew Elesa never left her.

    The past is a powerful thing. It may hurt, but we can usually learn from it, and with that, we can heal and better ourselves. More so, it moulds us into the people we are today. The future is always forthcoming; it never ends. When does it even begin? Our futures are always on the verve of changing with every choice we make in the present. No life is predetermined. What you may call destiny is simply the work of an old man interfering in the lives of others.

    But what has this all got to do with Lyra, I bet you have been wondering. Well, her story is simple: Lyra was going to be this ordinary girl. She would become the champion of Johto and Kanto, and continue a journey of never-ending battles and victories. And that's a good life if that is all you want out of it, but I could see in her heart that she wanted something else. She had a desire for more, as most people do. It is something I recognized well. Now, at this point, you might be wondering who I am and what is my place in this story, but I am nobody special. I am just someone who happened to be in that same park on that momentous day. I had already achieved everything one could possibly want from life and simply wished to impart some of my good wealth onto others. I found love with the woman of my dreams. She was a woman of mystic powers, but all that is left of her now is this Abra that was once hers and I am sure you know by now that this is no ordinary Abra for it holds greater power than even its higher forms of evolution would not dare defy.

    You have been deceived if you thought this was merely a tale of a young girl's quest to find great love. This is truely a tale of four people who have been brought together and, in turn, will contribute to each other's happiness. Someone once said, "Seeing the ground again after passing safely passing through a rain cloud in a violent rainstorm... Someday, I'd like to share that moment with you". I find comfort in those words. The thought of uncovering the good in the bad is what keeps us going. It can be as simple as a hand to hold or someone to adore.

    No one said life was meant to be easy, but they never said you had to go through it alone. Together, our foursome could have it all: love, friendship, laughter and compassion. So, what does the future hold for the four? The truth is no one knows for it has yet to happen. My time for storytelling and meddling is over. It is now in their hands.


    THE END
    Last edited by Meowth City; 18th March 2013 at 11:15 PM.

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