Author's Note: This is my first story in the shipping fics section. I did read the rules written by Encyclopika. (someone has to read them, right?)
Anyway this is a new story that wouldn't last more than a few chapters.
This story is essentially an Ikari Shipping, PearlShipping love triangle set in an AU world where Pokémon don't exist. The main characters are all 23, and don't worry about Japanese names, I use them because they turn me on (No, I am just kidding...or not.) but they will be used moderately. They are more like nicknames in this story.
Summary: Dawn is a florist, who lacks the confidence to follow her mother's footsteps. Paul thinks his life has been ruined because of the troublesome girl that entered his life. Ash is emotionally scarred and financially burnt after a certain incident that robbed him of everything. Watch as the three struggle wth their lives in the busy city of Jubilife. IkariShipping and Pearlshipping!
Main Characters: Ash, Dawn, Paul.
Hikari…Shinji…Satoshi!Then there was a charming prince.
Chapter One: The crazy stalker from Jubilife!
For some reason, those words didn't seem like the beginning words of a story. Rather they seem to have been picked randomly from a paragraph in the middle of the story. Nevertheless, it was the beginning of her story.
Then there was a charming prince.
He stood in the distant darkness along the empty road. There weren't any streetlights ahead that could discern what stood in the darkness. Only his silhouette was visible. There was no way she could know that he was a charming prince, but she simply knew.
She stood there, watching him in awe as the charming prince slowly made his way towards her.
Her heart fluttered. Without a doubt, the man was coming for her, to take her into his arms, to kiss her and to…love her.
She remained firm at where she stood, strategically under the only streetlight in the otherwise empty road. There was nothing behind her, and what lay ahead was only the charming prince coming for her.
Her breath was no longer rhythmic; the excitement was pounding her chest as the man closed down the distance between them. She eagerly looked at him as the light finally shed the man's face that was hidden in the dark silhouette into light. She expected, a charming princely man, with a ruffled raven-hair, with perfect brown eyes that looked at her with love except—
The guy before her had a hair that was some dark shade of a green, he had a thin frame that was completely unlike the prince she imagined, he wore glasses that could only brand him as nerdy, and had a maliciously devious smile on his face, "Hikari-san, how are you on this wonderful night?"
I woke up with a sudden jolt and sat upright. My heart was pounding like crazy, as if it wanted to rip my chest apart and jump outside. I was breathing at a faster rate than I should.
I found myself, sitting on the bed I was sleeping on. There was a table to my left, the alarm clock showed the time to be 7:06 AM. The room was dim, with a hint of bright sunlight that leaked inside as the curtain to my window fluttered with the morning breeze.
I took a heavy breath and let out a sigh, "So that was just a dream?"
Pushing the drowsiness away with a stretch of my muscles, I jumped onto my feet, walked up to the window, and spread the curtains apart as I let the light take over the darkness in my room.
Walking up to the dresser, I did the first important thing I always did when I wake up.
Comb my hair.
That's right. I haven't introduced myself, have I?
My name is Dawn Berlitz, my friends like to call me Hikari but I prefer Dawn. People call me cheerful, optimistic, sweet and even beautiful. Flowers are what I like the most, but I like penguins better. I am planning to raise one as a pet if I get my hands on any. Do you have one?
Although, my Mom says it is impossible for me to get one because Penguins don't actually like hot climates. Speaking of my Mom, she's probably preparing breakfast for the two of us by now. Dad's left for Jubilife for some important meeting.
Tying up my hair, I prepared to go for a bath when my eyes fell on the calendar that hung to the wall. The date April 12th was circled off with a black marker.
Of course, I completely forgot about it. Today is April 12th, the day that was circled off in the calendar, the day that was of utmost importance to me.
The day I was going to meet him after two years of gap.
The raven-haired man took a deep sigh as he watched the familiar streets of his hometown, Twinleaf Town. He had left the town, with nothing in his hands but a stack of bills and some change stuffed into his pocket, and he was back with less than that.
In the name of getting rich as fast as he could, he went to Jubilife and started a small business of his own. Like most people claim in the business articles, he expected himself to turn into a multi-millionaire in two years.
Well becoming a multi-millionaire in two years was a far-fetched dream, but Ash at least saw some steady progress in his life and that was until he decided to expand the business and join two more people into his company.
Jessie, James. Those were the names that doomed him to hell. They were swindlers who robbed naďve people like him for a living. Jubilife was far too a big city to catch people once they disappear with your investments. And that's when he realized he was a lot worse than when he began two years ago.
He was 23, unemployed, and his education abruptly ended in high school and he was no way prepared to do small time jobs that gave him only enough money to eat some food and pay rent. Life wasn't shedding much positive light onto him.
He wished that for all eternities he wouldn't have to ever return back to Twinleaf, but he had to. Because he had no other choice, and more importantly because he had promised that he would be back for her in two years.
The purple-haired man wasn't happy at all. In fact, there was no bone inside his body that actually cared about what was going on around him. The black business suit he wore only made him uncomfortable as he had to constantly adjust the tie whose sole purpose seemed was to put him on a leash and suffocate him.
He was in the conference room of the Shinji Corporation, along with his older brother, Reggie and a blue-haired man who wore a white lab coat in contrast to the black suit Paul and his brother wore.
Paul was what one would call a grumpy faced man. It wasn't that he was born with an ugly face or something, he simply had a constant frown on his face that made him look grumpy. In fact it was a wonder that there weren't any wrinkles on his face despite all the frowning.
Reggie, although truthfully was similar to Paul in appearance, the thick purple brows he shared with Paul didn't end up in a frown, and there was always a pleasant smile on his face.
"I'm really thankful, Dr. Berlitz," Reggie shook hands with the blue haired Professor as either men stood up, marking the end of their private meeting.
"It's my pleasure, Mr. Veilstone," the man smiled back. He turned to Paul, who reluctantly stood up and shook hands with him. "I'm looking forward to meet you tonight, Paul. I'd like to introduce you to my daughter."
As soon as the man left, Reggie spoke, "Paul, I thought we talked about this."
The purple-haired man shrugged, "What?"
"You know what I'm talking about," Reggie frowned. "I told you this is an important contract. If we could merge our company with—"
"I know," Paul cut his brother off. "And that's why I've agreed to sit in this stupid meeting."
Reggie gave his brother an exasperated look. "You could have at least pretended that you cared. The whole merger centered on this meeting. The least you could've done is give a smile when he talks to you."
"I was," Paul stressed, "Until, he started trying to hook me up with his daughter."
Reggie rubbed his temples as he sat down on the chair. His younger brother had always been a sort of pain in the *** for Reggie. He hardly associated with people, and when he did, it always ended up into a disaster. Reggie looked after his brother when they were kids because he understood Paul's introvert personality came from the fact that they lost their parents in quick succession. But as they grew older, the small character quirks evolved into a troublesome personality.
Paul was intelligent, and one of the prime reasons their business flourished. But he hardly had any respect for those around him; he was a failure at coordinating people and hated the idea of merging with any other company.
But Dr. Berlitz made an amazing breakthrough in the area of bio-engineering. Many companies jumped to seize the opportunity, but the Shinji Corporation managed to gain Dr. Berlitz's attention thanks to Reggie exploiting his weakness, his daughter. Both Paul and Dr. Berlitz's daughter were of the same age, and certainly the probability of having his daughter married with one of the managing partners of a multi-national company was something no father would overlook. Besides, Reggie heard that the woman was in fact a beauty like her mother Johanna who was one of the Miss Sinnoh contenders back in her time.
Of course, Reggie had put this as a secret because knowing his brother he'd rather leave the Shinji Corporation and run away forever before going on a date with a girl.
"Look, he just wants you to meet his daughter," Reggie tried putting a convincing act for his brother. "That doesn't mean you are going to marry her or something."
Paul loosened the tie and unbuttoned the collar. "Do you take me for an idiot, Reggie?" Paul asked. "I know what the hell's on your stupid mind. You are planning to sell me off for some money-fetching patent."
"She's beautiful," Reggie argued, "Their family has a good reputation. You can hardly find girls better than her."
"Then why don't you go and marry her?" Paul yelled, annoyed by his brother's attempts.
Reggie raised an eyebrow at this. "Seriously?"
"Yeah," Paul scoffed. "But I think Maylene will end up killing you first."
"Look Paul," Reggie said not letting Paul have the final say, "You don't have a fair excuse to avoid this. You're going to Mr. Berlitz's house and that's that."
Paul grumbled at this. "Fine."
But it definitely wasn't. "And," Reggie said, handing him a photo. "Just so that you don't embarrass yourselves, that's a family photo of Mr. Berlitz with his wife and daughter. I have written their address on the back side."
Paul looked at the photo with disinterest. The photo contained Mr. Berlitz in the center, along with a blue-haired middle aged woman to his right and a similar looking blue-haired young girl to his left. They all had a cheeky smile on their faces that instantly caused Paul to hate them.
He absolutely hated when people smiled for no reason and by extension he hated photographs.
Dawn worked as a florist under Gardenia, who owned a shop in the local market. It could be considered a strange choice of career for someone who was the daughter of a scientist who made and was making revolutionary breakthroughs in his field and a former Miss Sinnoh. But she was content with it, and that's what mattered.
"Do whatever makes you happy," it was the motto Dawn carried and it was the reason why she believed she was the happiest person on the entire planet.
Seven years ago, when she was sixteen and when Dawn was pushed by everyone around her to follow her mother's footsteps, her fashion career ended up getting crushed in the beginning itself. In a local competition for young teenage girls, she tripped on one of her heels on the stage and made a mess of herself.
Dawn became depressed after that, knowing that she was an utter failure. A strange sense of impassiveness filled her and suddenly she was unable to enjoy her life.
That was when she met Ash.
Ash was a high school dropout, who believed the sole purpose of life was to enjoy it to the fullest and make everyone around happy. He changed her life, and transformed her from a gloomy defeatist to a cheerful girl she was right now.
He quickly became her best friends along with Zoey, a co-worker in Gardenia's Eden Garden.
But life wasn't always fair. As they grew older, Ash was shown that survival was one of the more important factors in life too. Dawn who belonged to a relatively rich family didn't know much of this. Ash's dad passed away when he was ten, and his mother took the burden of raising him by running a restaurant in Twinleaf.
Ash didn't like the harshness of his reality and tried escaping it by spending his time with his friends. But it caught up to him in the end, and when he turned 21 he realized he was getting nowhere in his life.
"Don't worry about me," he said two years ago as they parted. "I'm not planning to spend my whole life earning money. I'm going to Jubilife, and find a way to get a lot of cash. Then I'm going to come back, love a girl, marry her and be happy for the best of the life."
Dawn believed him, like she always did. She had utmost respect for Ash as he was the one who completely changed her view of the world. 'Maybe', she thought. 'I could be that girl.'
That was two years ago, when her feelings on him were pretty jumbled up. Even now she wasn't sure how she viewed him. As someone she could love or just a friend? He occasionally crept into her dreams, but most of them always ended up with Conway or Kenny shattering them into nightmares.
But none of that mattered right now. All that mattered to her was that she missed him, his cheerful smile, his naďve attitude towards life and how he managed to make everyone around him smile. And she was going to see that smile again. She even put her phone on silent so that her mother wouldn't annoy her with stupid calls.
Dawn was waiting in the Sandgem station where the hourly trains from Twinleaf arrived at. The train was due to arrive in five more minutes.
She looked at the board, to see if there was any change in the train arrivals.
Much to her dismay, there was a change. The special express from Jubilife that was running half an hour late was going to arrive first, and for that reason the Twinleaf train was postponed for another ten minutes.
"Aw," she groaned looking at her watch. She had been waiting for two years, but suddenly ten minutes seemed like hell to her. Dawn was genuinely mad at the railway department.
As the Jubilife-Twinleaf special express approached the Sandgem Town, Paul felt himself turning more and more nervous. The whole dinner was a set up. His brother purposefully sent him alone so that by some magic or the other the Berlitz were going to seduce him into loving that cheeky girl and then marry her.
Of course that wasn't going to happen. There was a reason he was known as the 'cold hearted *******' in high school and college. Because he always succeeded in making a girl cry every semester without fail.
He looked at the photo his brother gave him earlier. He had to admit, the girl looked beautiful. Her blue haired matched with the light blue dress she wore along with the matching hat. If he weren't Paul Veilstone, he'd have probably been infatuated by now.
As his thoughts trailed off, the phone in his pocket buzzed with vibration. Paul swiped the phone lock with his thumb and put it to his ear, "Why the heck are you calling me for every ten minutes?"
"Because I don't want you to screw up," Reggie spoke on the other side. "Look, you know the weight of this merger. Our company's sales are going to shoot up into the sky if we see this through."
"Fine," Paul said, irritated as he heard the same thing for the umpteenth time in the past one hour.
"I just don't want to mess up with the Berlitz family," Reggie's voice was close to pleading. Somehow Paul felt bad, despite being the coldhearted guy he was supposed to be.
"Alright, alright," Paul sighed, trying his best to sound reassuring. "I'll do my best not to screw up," he said. 'Unless they try something too obvious to get me with that girl in the photo.'
Dawn watched as the Jubilife express stopped on the only platform of the Sandgem Station. The doors opened and suddenly tons of people rushed out of the train while a considerably less amount of people tried to get back in. Sandgem Town was only three hours away from Jubilife so most people who belonged to Sandgem and went to Jubilife to get a job usually return on the weekends to spend time with their families. Considering today was Friday, that was no surprise to her.
She watched as the crowd passed past her to the exit of the platform. Most of them were middle-aged men who were probably returning back to their wives after the weekdays of work in Jubilife. Amidst these men however, Dawn noticed a strange presence among the crowd.
He was about her age, and obviously looked out of place among with the day workers around. He wore a purple jacket that seemed really expensive in her eyes. He wore it over a black shirt that matched with his dark jeans. The complexion of his jacket matched with his hair color, and the thick eyebrows.
When the man's eye met with hers, he gave her an incredulous look as if she was doing something terrible. Now that was a strange look coming from a complete stranger.
He walked towards her, the frown on his face only amplified as he came closer. For a second, Dawn looked back wondering if there was someone standing behind her, but there was no one. The guy was definitely coming for her.
He now stood before her, giving her the same grumpy frown he carried since he saw her. Dawn had to look up to make eye contact with him. He was slightly taller than her, around 5'8'' or something, she guessed.
A strange kind of silence stood before them. Dawn really didn't know what was up with him. Why would a stranger see her, then frown at her, and then walk towards her and not start a conversation. It was completely beyond her.
But Dawn decided to be her usual cheerful self. "Um, excuse me?" She gave him a smile. "Anything I can help you with?"
For some strange reason, the guy's eyebrow twitched. Why was he glaring at her like that? And what kind of a person twitches his eyebrow when you greet him with a smile?
"I came here for dinner," he said, "And that's the only thing I would have."
Dawn was befuddled. What he spoke made less sense than his actions. "O-Of course," she said. He was probably a nut case, she thought."There are many good spots for dinner in Sandgem."
"Oh," the man raised his eyebrow at this. "So we are directly going on a date? I thought we'd have dinner with your family."
"Um, excuse me," she gave him another smile. "I'm not quite sure if I understand what you are saying."
The frown on his face only grew deeper. "Are you crazy or something?"
"Excuse me?" Dawn placed her hands on her hips, giving him a stern glare. "I think I'm supposed to ask that question. Are you nuts?"
"There you are," he smirked for some reason. "The true color behind that stupid smile you have," he said showing her a photo. Dawn recognized the photograph immediately. It was the family photo they took in Cinnabar Island when they went on a holiday trip.
"Why do you have my photo?" She asked, obviously surprised. She had a sinking feeling that he could he be a stalker. If that were true, she might have to consider kicking him in the nuts and run away.
"You're really a nut case aren't you?" He said, giving her a strange yet devious smile. For some reason his comment gave a chill down Dawn's spine.
And then surprisingly, the guy walked past her as if nothing happened between them and disappeared as he exited the platform.
Rewinding a bit….
Paul stepped out of the Jubilife Special Express onto the Sandgem station Platform. He was confident that given the stupid grins the entire family carried in their photo, they'd definitely try something incredibly unfunny—this normally means a welcoming banner or something of that sort. In the worst case, they'd even arrange a musical band or something. He only wished to god that they wouldn't do anything that cheesy and actually let him find their home on his own.
No sooner did he thought so, his eyes fell on a certain blunette standing alone in the platform obviously waiting for someone.
They did it.
They in fact did it in the worst way possible.
They could have sent a welcoming banner and he would have simply tried not to look at it. They could have sent a musical band, and then he'd have simply covered his ears. But of all the worst things the Berlitz family could do, they had sent their daughter to pick him up. The very girl he was supposed to be hooked up with, and they even went as far as sending her alone.
It was not cheesy anymore, it was atrocious. Crimes like these should be punishable with death.
He walked towards her, as he preferred it over watching her do some cutesy girly walk that would somehow end up creeping their way into his subconscious.
As he came closer, the girl turned back for some reason. Now why would she do that? Probably Mr. Berlitz was watching his daughter from some distance in order to review her performance. Yes, that was a certain possibility.
He remained silent because it was obvious that she would say something to start the conversation with. He expected something flirtatious coming onto him. "Um, excuse me?" She gave him a smile. "Anything I can help you with?"
That smile! He absolutely hated when girls giggled in high school, he hated it when girls giggled in college, and he hated it when women giggled in his office.
The girl seems to have been disturbed by the twitch of his eyebrow because she was now giving him a strange look.
He had to make it clear, because Paul didn't like unnecessary misunderstandings that always ended up comedy for someone else at his expense.
"I came here for dinner," he said, "And that's the only thing I would have."
The girl looked baffled. Of course, for someone as beautiful as her, she never might have been on the cold side of taking responses. There was a reason people feared him.
To her credit, the youngest Berlitz recovered from his shock treatment. "O-Of course," she said. "There are many good spots for dinner in Sandgem."
She has a way with words, Paul concluded. She was covert enough to take his cold response by suggesting a one on one dinner with him. But that wasn't what he signed up for, was it? Reggie explicitly said it was a family dinner. They couldn't have made more obvious attempts.
"Oh," he raised his eyebrow. "So we are directly going on a date? I thought we'd have dinner with your family."
"Um, excuse me," she gave him another smile. "I'm not quite sure if I understand what you are saying."
Ah, that stupid smile again. Every time she smiles she was lying, he deduced. She was trying to playing innocent, she'd perhaps say that her father told it was a date and not a family dinner. If he were anything less than Paul, he'd melt for her and then go for a date with her.
'I know your games Berlitz,' he thought. He had the right response to hit her with—
"Are you crazy or something?" He frowned, just to add the feeling that he was being serious.
His direct insult brought a considerable response from her. "Excuse me?" She placed her hands on her hips, giving him a stern glare. "I think I'm supposed to ask that question. Are you nuts?"
"There you are," he smirked as he victoriously exposed the Berlitz's inner character that was hidden deep under a façade of lies. "The true color behind that stupid smile you have," he said showing her the photo in his pocket.
"Why do you have my photo?" She asked, pretending to be surprised.
'Oh, of course you have nothing to do with the photo, you absolutely didn't know that your dad sent it to my brother. As if I would believe that ********!'
"You're really a nut case aren't you?" He smiled when he said so. The longer the girl would continue the stupid game of lies the more she would get hurt.
The woman's face went white at his comment. She obviously didn't anticipate that. Now since she's pretending that she came to the station alone, he'd have to simply walk outside the station and then Dr. Berlitz would just happen to come by and would be pretended to be surprised to see his daughter.
He spent only five minutes with the Berlitz family and he was already sick of it.
"Oh my god," Dawn muttered at the close encounter. She would have to report in the police station as soon as she could. She had more stalkers than she initially anticipated. This one seemed particularly dangerous.
She turned forward, just in time as the doors of the train opened. Immersed in the tense encounter she had with the strange purple haired stalker she actually forgot about Ash. The Jubilife had already left and the Twinleaf Train was now on the platform.
"Hikari!" A familiar greeting rang through her ears as she spotted as a raven-haired man walk towards her, his usual sheepish grin spread on his face.
"Ash!" She waved back.
And then she felt something. It was similar to what she felt in the dream she had last night or rather today morning to be precise. Till now she knew she missed him, but she didn't know how much.
And now she did….she missed him a lot.
Without any forethought or afterthought she lunged towards the approaching raven-haired man and jumped onto him, effectively tackling him onto the ground.
Yes, she missed him that much.
In the next chapter...
Dr. Berlitz is indeed surprised to find his daughter in the station...and he happens to bring a banner for Paul.