"Moss, use vine whip on Chilli's pansear!"
"Third Time Lucky yeah sure, I believe you can defy Pokémon logic, and somehow win." Chilli winked, before setting the table for nearby customers. THANKS FOR FOCUSING ON THE BATTLE.
Touko looked across the field, where her eyes met with his smug expression. Okay, she was completely taking the piss now, but all she had left was Frills, that god damn Lilipup that still had to get to a level of two friggin' digits. She didn't bring any antidotes, and it died before she reached the first in-gym trainer. Pokémon abuse? It was a fucking Lilipup. A little toilet brush thing that got poisoned by a FRIGGIN' SEAWADDLE called BERT.
"Time to play with fire!" Chilli cried, high-fiving his pansear.
BERT. Some trainers have no imagination.
It was Cheren's idea to have a catching contest on BLOODY ROUTE ONE, home of the REGIONS BEST POKEMON, of course.
"Seriously, vine whip? Bit awkward don't you think? Oh and my names Chilli, i.e.….fire type?" He imitated being severely pissed off, but she could see the smile playing at the corners of his lips as his arms folded.
Chilli, Ironic for such a hot-head. Why did she choose grass again…? OH RIGHT BECAUSE THE OTHERS WERE TOO BRIGHTLY COLORED.
Chilli's face twisted into a 'derp' expression as he stuck his tongue out at her. Flipping him off, she focused on the battlefield, in attempt to look as though she totally understood the relationship between grass and fire, and that she was just being…well…Ironic.
"Pansear, use incinerate on the wannabe plant!" Cried Chilli.
"Racist!" Tokou screeched, as the flames encircled servine. Yelling 'dodge it' was pretty pointless now, it was like yelling 'please stop' to a forest fire.
"You mad Tooka? Feel the burn!" Jeered Chilli, fastening his apron more securely around his waist, almost knocking cups and saucers off a nearby tea tray.
"Don't you have tables to clean, waiter boy?" She spat back, pointing to the washer rooms. He pretended to be shocked, holding his hands to his face.
Okay what was today's Pokémon center appearance excuse? Meh, she'll just blame it on Bianca again. That seems to be a popular excuse, pretty much everyone's excuse in retrospect. Dang it. She removed her palm from her face to find her brave little moss standing, pretty burnt but standing. One for the plants. Why Moss put up with all of this, she did not fully understand.
"Moss don't be offended, but how the hell are you okay?" She exclaimed, a mix of shock and pure JOY, but of course Chilli ruined it, ugh what had changed, well apart from the fact she SURVIVED AFTER THE FIRST HIT, wahoo.
"OH MY GOD IT LIVES. I TRAINED IT WELL!" Yelled Chilli, mimicking a fainting Mr Mime, as he looked back to face her, urging her to retaliate. Well he'd just have to wait it out, plus she trained it to be strong, he just helped…lots.
She rummaged round her bag pack. Items, nope, medicine wait… wait… CRAP.
"I don't have potions! WHY DON'T I-wait…"
She remembered an old lady had screamed at her yesterday because she thought she was spraying flipping AEROSOL on a child. It wasn't her fault they looked like cans of FREBREEZE. It wasn't her fault that servine-wait no that old lady must have been really dazed to make that connection.
"PISS OFF Chilli, that's it, I'm gonna go catch more Patrats. Moss, come back, and LEARN TO BE A WATER TYPE, DAMMIT BIANCA! I thought you were the stupid one!"
Withdrawing Servine, she put it back into her backpack, ignoring Chilli as he ran toward her, trying not to laugh as Pansear was returned to its Pokéball.
"What do you think you're doing? This is breaking the rules, Tooka, I can't keep bending them every time you cock up… Still, I'm so glad I got to battle you, I'm winning SO many bets." Sneered Chilli as he caught her up.
A grin spread itself 'accidentally' across his face, which was them slapped sideways, gently of course; Touko didn't want to make things worse. He played along though.
"OW! Jerk ass. Here give me your Lilipup, I have a really good strategy for you, but don't tell the union." He whispered as she handed him Frills' poke ball.
"Juniper will SLAUGHTER ME if you grass, and we have seen how good GRASS is, get it?"
"Piss off, you are such a racist, get on with it anyway." She snapped. Wait, did she just…trust in Chilli? MISTAKE MISTAKE-
Turning sharply he opened the window and threw the poke ball outside, where it landed in a river among the Frillish bobbing up and down around the pond-weed. It made a little splash and flowed rapidly downhill, approaching a waterfall, past the dream yard. A few curious Ducklett cocked their heads.
"Chilli…" Tokou began, her tone intensifying as Chilli took a step back, as he watched her fists clench.
"OH MY GOD THANK YOU, YOU JUST DROWNED THE NETTO'S MASCOT."
"I aim to please, Tooka." He smiled contentedly, that same cheeky grin spreading across his features. She grinned back, she was so holding the weight of the EPA union on his shoulders later.
Not that Frills and her were close. Jesus it was practically a land-Magikarp. Cheren liked them to. This was just to get him back for being…well BETTER THAN HER. Hah, how DARE HE PREVAIL?
"You just quoted prostitution, and if you wanted to please me you would just give me the badge. It's been five years, you owe me so many favors Chilli."
Chilli opened the box in front of her that contained THE FIRST GOD DAMN GYM BADGE. Yep, she was gonna go far in this business. That much was guaranteed by her amazing battling style of TRY TO RUN, CATCH THE POKEMON, and if all else failed, USE FRIGGIN' TACKLE OR DIE.
Why did she get a Pokémon anyway? We were the only three kids in Nuvema. That crap town with FOUR BLOODY HOUSES, and NO MCDONALDS.
She smiled in relief, reaching out to take the badge, before the box was shut sharply before her, followed by Chilli's recognizable, what she had nicknamed, Ass-Cackle. It actually made her smile, but that was probably because she was daydreaming about the EPA union again.
"Okay Chilli I get it. I guessed that was too far-fetched. Look can you help me find some decent Pokémon to beat your ass with?" She smiled, her eyes glinting at the thought of an actual badge in her case, an actual GYM BADGE, her Servine was level 30, at the rebel stage AND STILL FAILING AGAINST CHILLI's LEVEL 16 PANSEAR. She was getting a fire type, when she breached the GOD DAMN PATRAT REALM.
"Yeah why not, do you like….Lilipup? Okay I'm joking, um…. how about the Dreamyard? I can't let you go onto the next town without a gym badge, so that's the next best thing, right? Tooka, you know I can't give you the badge, you have to demonstrate your worth, and you just need a new Pokémon, yeah? Dreamyard's a good place to find one."
The Dreamyard, allegedly the home of the dream Pokémon. Maybe she could get one of those, they didn't sound gay at all…cough. Apparently they looked like a pink tree trunks from Adventure Time. She didn't mind Adventure Time.
"Yeah I guess it's that or route 1, and if I ever go back there I will have preform a Lilipup massacre…so Dream yard it is, let's do it." She tried to smile as she withdrew her Servine. Spectators on nearby tables made booing noises, few held their glasses out in congratulation to Chili, as they walked down the foyer.
Together she and Chilli made their way to the center of Striaton City. It was early afternoon, and people had gathered in a circle around the square. A purloin darted between her legs, looked back at Chilli, hissed and followed its trainer toward the commotion. Chilli stepped back, and almost fell into another trainer chasing after a hyperactive Pansage.
"HEY WATCH IT DORKS! Oh hey Chilli, nice girlfriend!"
The figure was Cilan, who sneered at the pair of them. Chilli firmed up, sighed aggressively, before flipping his brother off. Tokou laughed quietly behind him at the rage building up in his expression. Wait…WHAT DID CILAN SAY?!
"Seriously Ci? You are such a noob, anyway don't you have trainers waiting to beat your ass? Why is it that your badge supply is always running out first? Oh wait… you are the grass trainer." He spat, as he threw his waiting towels In his brother's direction.
Tokou elbowed Chilli in his side as he smiled down at her. She looked back, expecting Cilan to retaliate with something witty. Cilan was staring at her, but there was something odd about his expression. Something almost predatory that made her uncomfortable. Chilli didn't notice. Maybe it was her imagination.
"Okay it's not the types fault, you just suck. Better?" he asked her, who just thumped him again, barely considering what he said. Punching him was fun.
Cilan brushed off his brother's comment, winking inappropriately. DAMN, she predicted awkwardness.
"Don't get defensive, jeez did I spoil something?" He broke off into a run, following the little Pansage into the public spectacle surrounding the town square. His eyes met Chilli's, and something briefly deep and unspoken was shared between them, that made Chilli go very quiet, before he looked at her and smiled, scratching the back of his head. Annoyingly, Cilan left his question hanging in the air above them. No one was going to answer that.
They looked at each other, and Touko gently pushed Chilli's head away, rolling her eyes. He always looked at her that way. His eyes would be focused and mischievous, his smile wide, baring teeth as he threw mud at Patrats or fought a trainer, but when his gaze turned to her, his eyes would soften and he would adopt that cute, laid back smirk, and a shrug of his shoulders. She shook off the thought, they were friends, if that.
"Come on Chilli, l think we should go see what's happening, hey maybe they found Frills. Time to get burned by the union." She ran ahead, before Chilli quickly decided to pursue her. God he was such a dork sometimes.
"LIBERATE THE POKEMONS"
That was pretty much how things went down. Some guy called Ghetis. Wasn't a good public speaker, that's for sure.
"Man I wish I had shower curtains like that." Chilli laughed, as they walked towards the entrance to the dream yard.
"Did he really think we were all going to release them? Just like that?" She asked, as Chilli unlocked the gates.
"Who knows, they just walked off after we rejected them anyway, doubt they pose a threat. We've dealt with team rocket, galactic, if I see people in matching uniforms I immediately walk off. You should try it, loose the inquisition." He sounded oddly insistent.
He looked back across his shoulder at her, and she immediately noticed the change of gradient in his expression.
In all honesty she was just loosing hope. Chilli was always encouraging her, but she was losing faith in herself, as a trainer. She was always getting knocked down by that god damn Pansear. If she couldn't overcome one barrier, what hope did she have left for what lay ahead? What chances did she have? Chilli was her hope now, which, in itself, made her smile, a little.
To the west of Striaton city, you'd probably feel a completely different atmosphere. There were few houses and a small forest trail leading into the Dreamyard. Very few Pokémon graced the streets, let alone children and older residents; people just stopped caring.
The Dreamyard itself was once a huge modern research facility; Chilli's dad used to work there after losing his job at the Driftveil mines. She and Chilli used to play outside of the entrance, waiting for his parents to finish work, before they went back to the family restaurant to make sashimi. She loved to cook with their family, they all worked together so well, each dedicated to their job in the kitchen. She laughed at how out of place she was, always running after Chilli, desperate to help with the prep. They made the best avocado sashimi; she would always take some home in tubberware for her mother after she finished work at the laboratory. She was pretty much Juniper's bitch, doing all the paper work, and Touko hated that. Still, the sashimi made both their days easier at the end of it all.
The Daikokuya family diner was practically worshiped thanks to their unique selling point of three well-dressed waiters and, each so unique with one of three elemental monkeys and color co-ordination. Cress, Cilan and Chilli, or the sashimi brothers as there are praised. They complimented each other so well, always making the customers smile. Chilli, with his upbeat attitude, piss taking Cilan's little connoisseur speeches. She sometimes came out to help serve the food, it was pretty much a Saturday job since she got Moss, and training had to come first apparently. Plus no one wanted to see her serve them sashimi when oh god the SASHIMI BROTHERS were still around. What did Cress even do that made him so appealing? He just stood there, occasionally serving the more dedicated foodies, sighing dramatically whenever he was asked to wash up. 'I thought he liked water, CRAP WAS I STEREOTYPING HIM?' she thought.
Ah well, business was booming for them, which sucked in some ways, Chilli had to maintain two jobs, and he was only fifteen at the time, so he barely hung out with her until recently, when they decided to battle separately, depending on the starter Pokémon of the trainer challenging them. Tokou liked that battle style, apart from the fact it meant she COULD NEVER WIN.
Then the diner lost out on money when Castelia opened up its little ice-cream stall, and TURNED THE PLACE INTO A GYM, well she guessed they couldn't keep using the town hall as a utility, it didn't really have that appeal or the recognition as a gym; when you think about it, and a poster just wasn't enough. Giving the trainers a bite to eat on the side made things work around here. She preferred the atmosphere anyways. Being so close to all that delicious food…And watching live battles is just the kind of marketing scheme that puts money in the bank.
WHY DID PEOPLE CHOOSE OBESITY OVER GOOD FOOD. DAMN IT CASTELIA MARKET SCHEMES.
But now people were realizing their mistakes and flocking back to an old favorite, with new surprises in store. She smiled up at the reminiscent, before Chilli dragged her back to Earth.
CRAP, HOW LONG HAD SHE BEEN DAYDREAMING ABOUT SASHIMI AND ICECREAM?!
"That Name- ugh, I've been more confident. I hope I can find a decent Pokémon here." She murmured, ducking under what once were automatic doors, into the ruins of a forgotten place. It was like a weird de ja vu, she knew she'd been here before, but it was like a different place all together. Ruins of a temple or something. It was oddly beautiful. The sun glinted off the glass panes that were still intact, and plants erupted from the tiled floor.
"You will." Chilli winked, smirking at her. The sun filtered down through the trees, setting his bright red hair alight like fire. She lost sight of everything for a brief second, before focusing hard on the path ahead.
"L-let's do it then." She urged, mirroring his smirk, hiding her moment of lapse. Jeez why did he always make her smile like that, he always made her forget things, little things that made her scared, or breaking her thought chain all together. Still, his presence reassured her, always making her laugh and feel better about herself. DAMN IT FOCUS. HE DOESN'T THINK ABOUT YOU THAT WAY.
Being friends for five years doesn't automatically mean you're both destined to be together. It just means you've managed to deal for that long. Plus he enjoys taking the piss out of you. 'Your fun to mess with, Tooka', he says.
"Hey come on, I can't keep the gates open forever. Why do you keep pausing like that? Do you miss your Frills?"
"Hell no. Some fisherman can take her in, you did me a favor." She reminded him.
He gently grabbed the strap of her satchel, pulling her towards him. Desperately she tried not to blush as she met his eyes.
"Oh you can walk, I was uncertain…" He paused, held her gaze, before laughing quietly to himself, taking out a Pokéball from the pocket in his apron.
"Shut up. I can run to, faster than you, and you have failed to prove me wrong so far." She snapped back, taking his other hand off the bag strap, regaining the distance between them, going against everything she wanted. FOCUS. DON'T YOU DARE BLUSH DAMNIT.
"I am not challenging you. Don't you worry Tooka." He replied, holding both hands up in protest. She butted her head against his shoulder and waded into the grass. Chilli released Pansear, urging her to allow Moss to get some fresh air. She complied silently, and they began the search.
DAMN IT SEARCHING FOR POKEMON WAS SO BORING. She dreaded reliving the Lilipup experience. SHE DIDN'T EVEN WANT A MUNNA. It wasn't exactly a step up from Moss. Why was it so hard to get a decent Pokémon in a crap route? Oh that was self-explanatory. BLEGH why not steal Cress' Panpour, WHAT THE HELL WHY ARE THEY ALL PAN SOMETHING?
Suddenly, a loud rustle rang through the grass they stood in. A strange fairy like Pokémon leapt out of the rustling grass, facing them but keeping a large distance. Its expression, a mix of curiosity and caution. It had pale blue eyes and soft pink and cream skin, with a little white tuft of fur, a tail or something. GREAT ANALYSIS TOUKO. YOU KNOW WHAT A TAIL LOOKS LIKE.
"Hey, Tooka, that's an Audino." Whispered Chilli, silently flipping his Pokédex closed. He was sat in the grass behind her, she hadn't even noticed. He looked so cute in the grass, laid back and smiling up at her, in that cute smug way. There was grass in his hair, which was adorable. Luckily he spoke up. "I'd bag that now, It's better than any Munna, rarer to."
Wait, wasn't that the Pokémon well known for exciting trainers and raising the false hope that it would be a rare Pokémon when it was just ONE OF THEM. Meh could be worse. ATLEAST SHE WAS FOCUSED.
"Moss, use tackle!" She cried, leaping onto a low stone wall that encircled the perimeter of the Dreamyard., it must have been the ground floor of the laboratory-there were large metal bars sticking out of the ground, next to disabled sockets for large machinery. WHY DID KIDS CHOOSE TO PLAY HERE?
The Audino fell back with the weight of the tackle. CRAP SHE FORGOT IT WAS LEVEL THIRTY, AND THAT WAS RAZOR LEAF NOT EVEN TACKLE. Rebellious little turd.
"Get it now!" Cried Chilli from a few metres back. She felt the weight of his gaze upon her. Firming up in embarrassment, she reached into the Pokéball compartment of her satchel. OH BALLS.
"I forgot to buy some on the way over! CRAP CHILLI I NEED TO GO BACK!" She whinged, slapping her hand to her forehead, which was become a common response, due to all of her past DAILY FAILS.
Chilli paused, considered the response and burst out laughing, pointing shaking fingers at her whilst she silently cursed all of existence.
"Oh man Tooka you cocked up yet again."
Running to the poke mart was the last thing she expected to be doing, but they had five minutes until closure. They busted through the double doors, giving the dazed clerk a heart attack, before purchasing a dozen Pokéballs. Two came free.
"Man that was close." Chilli said, as slipped 1000 Pokédollars to the shop assistant.
"Hey you don't need to pay half." Touko murmured, facing him.
"I want you to be happy, so I'm paying half." He insisted, passing half of the money she paid back into her wallet. Their hands brushed as he closed the wallet she was holding.
"Thanks." She smiled, escaping sharply from his touch to put the wallet away. It was dark once they exited the store, and she couldn't help but shiver in response to the cold, typical Striaton weather.
Suddenly she felt a jacket being unzipped and placed across her shoulders. She looked up to see Chilli looking at her AGAIN, a concerned expression, nothing more. He looked away first. He wasn't worried about her shivering, it was something else. Something protective. When was he even wearing a jacket?
"Let's get you home. We can go to the Dreamyard tomorrow."
She didn't say anything, just continued to observe his expression throughout the journey home. He never walked her home usually. Weird, but she wasn't complaining.
Neither said anything, but they stayed close, huddled together. As they approached her house, Chilli pressed a small tubberware box in her hands.
"You forgot this." He smiled shyly, focusing on the little box of Sashimi as she opened the top of the tubberware. Freshly made sashimi neatly packed in the box, she felt asthough she should be paying hundreds for something of this quality.
"Oh, thanks." She laughed. "You know me so well, thanks for remembering."
"Yeah, Tooka." He whispered, before turning back to face the outskirts of Nuvema.
"Bye, then." she called, turning quickly on her heels to get inside, hiding any possible blushing. No reply. She turned back to wave before going inside, and saw Chilli facing two dark figures. They spoke quickly, and one of them saw her, Chilli turned back in shock, and the other two figures just…disappeared. Hiding any convictions, Chilli winked and waved back; awkwardly she returned the gesture, watching him as he departed.
Were those figures really there? Or were they just…