Man, about time I finally caught up with this. Indeed, things are getting interesting. Candice is a bit cold though, that aspect of her personality surprised me. Anyway, loved the Tentacruel attack but how come a master fighter like Chuck doesn't have control over his Pokémon? :O
Looking forward to more. Keep it up! ^^
To Maylene, it was absolutely amazing how a small command like ‘rebuild the Gym’ would cause those who were in the storm with their Pokémon and on the brink of death to actually rebuild the Gym, with their own hands, nonetheless. They grabbed the blanks of wood, held them against the borders of the Gym, and in the silliest manner Maylene had ever seen, used duct tape.
‘That’s not a solution,’ Brawly muttered before raising his voice. ‘Chuck, that’s not a solution.’
‘Yes, it is,’ said Chuck. ‘And when did you start calling me Chuck?’
Candice scoffed at the pair’s jokes and irritating laughs. She looked down to see Snorunt, who was walking beside her, but keeping her distance. Candice observed her Pokémon; it seemed to be rejecting her, and rightfully so. She had ignored her for a long time, and completely rejected Gardenia from her life soon afterwards. She became a cold person, as opposed to the warm girl who embraced life.
Looking back, Candice saw Maylene and Riolu, who were walking together, and playing some sort of ‘hit my hand with your paw’ game. Maylene held one hand in Riolu’s face, and kept the other underneath him as he sat on it; it must be some form of training that, although seemed to work, looked ridiculous. But that wasn’t what Candice was focused on.
Maylene and Riolu were still friends; they cared about each other, interacted, and actually enjoyed each other’s company. Of course, they weren’t always that close, it seemed like only moments away when Riolu’s best friend was Snorunt, and Candice was Maylene’s; why couldn’t that split have brought Candice and Snorunt close as well?
‘Very well then,’ bellowed Chuck, causing Riolu to fall off of Maylene’s hand. ‘Ever since you got here, Maylene, we’ve had problems piling up.’
‘Yes, Chuck, I caused the storm,’ sighed Maylene, before realising what she did. ‘Oh, I-’
‘That’s what happens when she spends just a few moments with Gardenia,’ said Candice. ‘She becomes rude like her.’
‘I think it’s called sarcasm,’ laughed Brawly. ‘I’m not sure, though.’
‘Are you kids done?’ Chuck sat in the puddle of water just in front of the waterfall. ‘I’m not going to send you back home, Maylene; you’re training under me, and I never give up on anyone, especially if they have the potential you have. I just want to tell you that I understand if you wanted to go back home. You were seriously hurt in that mountain accident, and that wasn’t your fault, it was mine. I failed to protect you.’
‘I-It’s not your fault,’ laughed Maylene nervously. ‘You didn’t cause that rockslide.’
‘And neither did you,’ said Chuck. ‘But let’s not dwell on that.’
‘Yeah, bad memories,’ said Maylene. ‘Of the rocks hitting me.’
She couldn’t control a small shiver that went through her body as she remembered the man she couldn’t land a hit on, and not because of the pain he caused her, but because he humiliated her.
‘Candice, I’m not sure why you want to stay in Cianwood, but you’re more than welcome to stay in the Gym,’ said Chuck. ‘I understand you’re a friend of Maylene.’
‘I don’t plan on staying here,’ replied Candice. ‘I will leave.’
‘Where to?’ said Chuck. ‘You don’t know any place in Johto.’
‘I’ll just go back to Sinnoh,’ said Candice. ‘I came here on my own, and I can go back on my own.’
‘I was hoping you’d stay here, Candice,’ said Chuck. ‘You’re a mature person, especially for your age, and Maylene would surely need you.’
‘Maylene doesn’t need me, and I’m sure my family is worried about me.’
And with those words, Candice turned around. She walked back from where they came, and Snorunt followed her. She was determined to leave, and no one can stop her. Her footsteps echoed out of the Gym, and Maylene felt abandoned again.
Crasher Wake, who she could call her true father, and even wished he were sometimes, had left Cianwood, and her mother followed him, and now her friends, Gardenia and Candice. It seemed as if home left her, and not the other way around.
This couldn’t happen again.
Her legs carried out her actions; she ran after Candice, and like her, said no word to the unsuspecting males. The hallway out of the Gym was a long way filled with turns, and Chuck was covering the waterfall, so she couldn’t go through it. Only one solution remained. She jumped to the side, tackling a wall that fell apart with a ripping sound. The Trainers and their Pokémon stares at her as the chain reaction started, and eventually, the Gym needed rebuilding again.
Shouts and protests and pointed fingers; Maylene destroyed their hard work, and they couldn’t stand building it again. Riolu finally reached his trainer, who was still on the ground, turning her head rapidly while the other Trainers surrounded her. But to her, all that mattered was that Candice was nowhere in sight, but a second ice trail was.
Her instincts took over again, and she ran for the trail. Those who tried to stop her were either kicked away or punched, with Riolu mimicking her actions for the Pokémon who tried to stop him. The mud under her feet slowed her down, but she soon found it helpful as she jumped onto the trail.
Riolu tried to comprehend what Maylene just shouted in the middle of their adrenaline rush, but he soon realised it. Due to his size, his entire body was covered with mud, and that gave him, and Maylene’s feet, a great speedy start. But he soon lost his balance.
His face crashed onto the ice, and his entire body flattened. Riolu’s own jump, and temporarily running across the ice, created a momentum that sent him flying through the trail, still spinning. He crashed onto the unsuspecting Maylene, and knocked her onto her back.
The mixture of the ocean water and the cold ice was almost nostalgic for Maylene. She couldn’t help but laugh as she lost complete control over her body, and trusted fate to carry her to wherever the trail of ice ended. The cold feel of Sinnoh, and the salty water of Johto; for a moment, she had it all.
Just for a moment, she had it all. Frozen in time, and in the two places she wanted to be, but the familiar sands ended that dream. They flooded around her and Riolu, and informed her that her fun was over. Riolu helped her up, and they exchanged looks before observing their area. The sand around them, and the sea with the ice trail behind them, and her friend in the distance.
‘Candice!’ Maylene called out desperately. ‘I need you to stay!’
Candice slowly turned around. There stood Maylene, panting and desperate, walking towards the only friend from Sinnoh that can stay with her, and with a smile, Candice walked towards her. ‘Maylene, I knew you’d follow me,’ said Candice. ‘I was counting on it. I will still get on the ship back to Sinnoh, though.’
‘W-What?’ Maylene’s fatigue slowly settled in, but it was nothing compared to Candice’s words.
‘I tried to be your friend, but you ignored me, and then left for Johto,’ Candice continued. ‘I already told you that I’m tired of being nice to others. I’m going, Maylene, just like you did. Goodbye.’
‘B-But, we’re friends,’ pleaded Maylene. ‘Why are you rude?’
‘I’m not rude!’ beamed Candice. ‘I’m not Gardenia! You’re not my friend!’
Candice’s arms shot out and pushed Maylene to the ground, sanding a cloud of dust up around them. Riolu, seeing how his friend was treated, turned to Candice. He didn’t care that they once were friends, and with a quick movement, sent his fist flying through the air to meet Snorunt. With a cough, and a gasp from Candice, she fell to the ground as soon as Riolu’s hit landed. He shot his eyes up at Candice, and walked away towards his trainer.
Snorunt’s eyes started tearing up as her former best friend rejected her, just because Candice rejected Maylene. And as soon as Riolu took Maylene’s side, Candice walked away, towards the ship back to Sinnoh. Snorunt glanced at her trainer, then back at Riolu; she knew where her loyalty was, and she didn’t like it. Candice has changed, and not for the good, but she was still her trainer, and she had to stick with her.
With a sad glace, Snorunt followed Candice, while Riolu remained with Maylene.
‘She was nice,’ Maylene spoke to Riolu. ‘Thank you, Riolu, for taking my side. I don’t have anyone left.’
Riolu lowered his head, before sitting on the sand next to Maylene, and patting her as if she were his Pokémon. ‘We should go back to Chuck,’ said Maylene. ‘Just across the… ice…’
The pair exchanged looks; it certainly was unfortunate. Melted ice could get them nowhere across the ocean, and Maylene couldn’t help but think that Candice had intended for this to happen. Everything was fine for a moment, but not now.
Aw, I feel so sad for Snorunt. Just because Candice became such a b*tch ... God, I hate her so much right now.
I like what you're doing with Riolu and other Pokémon, they remind me of humans. Keep it that way!
I've been doing a reading blitz before I make my nominations for the awards, and this was one of the first fics on the list. Of all the fics I've read in my marathon, this is the only long one that I've been able to read all of the way through without stopping (that's a lie, I stopped once to eat and reply to VMs). Is there anything that you've written that I don't like? Seriously, this is pretty awesome. I'm not a huge Maylene fan, or at least I wasn't, heck I wasn't even a Gen IV fan before reading this. It's very well written, I love all of the character cameos you put in. It's amazing how you have so many characters but they are all important and relevant.
Anyway, not much of a review but I just wanted to say that I've read it all. Looking forward to the next chapter!
planks, not blanks.. They grabbed the blanks of wood
*snicker*“Yes, Chuck, I caused the storm,” sighed Maylene, before realising what she did. “Oh, I-“
Not much else to say about this chapter, really. Tad bit short, but still good as usual. Candice became a sudden bitch – what's with that? o_O Hope you elaborate more on that 180 turn...
Thanks to ShinySandshrew of serebiiforums for the banner!
‘This must be why mom told me to be careful!’
‘It’s fine, Maylene,’ Gardenia shouted back. ‘We’re fine! It’s just snow!’
Four figures, completely surrounded by snow. One of them was the determined young Gardenia, who was taking the lead despite not knowing her way around. The girl right behind her, and the one who caught up to her often, was Candice. She knew the way to her hometown by heart, but Gardenia seemed to perceive this, like everything else, as a competition, and the fierce little girl pushed her back every time she caught up to her. Right behind the two were Maylene and Roark, who struggled the most.
Of course, some of them were hesitant on taking a trip to the north of Sinnoh without any adult accompanying them, as were their parents, but Candice convinced them that it was as safe as drinking water, and Maylene’s mother had to admit that her daughter wasn’t easily phased, and if there was any group of kids that were safer in the world than adults, it would be this one.
Throughout her life, Maylene challenged everything, and even defeated a few Trainers at her father’s Gym. She was easily the strongest in the group, but also the most rash, never thinking before delivering a hit. Gardenia followed up on the same rash personality, but produced such bluntness that easily repelled anyone who meant the group any harm.
Candice gave the brains that the group needed. Every situation she was in was one that she resolved with the least damage caused, and she got the group out of danger’s way many times. The same could be said for Roark, who served the ability to think about the future, and the safety of the group, as opposed to Candice, who specialised in the situations they were already in.
They would surely all be friends forever; they created a very unique combination of skills, and shared a common goal: help each other.
They kept battling their way through the blizzard, and Maylene took this opportunity to train her endurance. ‘We should be there soon!’ Candice shouted. ‘You’re finally going to see where I live!’
‘Right now, it seems very bad!’ Gardenia beamed. ‘What kind of crazy folk live here?! Crazy folk!’
Candice ignored Gardenia, as she always did when she fired an insult at anyone, and ran forward, attempting to finally go ahead of Gardenia. She used her speed in the snow and her experience as an advantage when she created a distance between them, and ran ahead of the group before returning to the path they were taking.
Furious, Gardenia ran even faster, and the pair behind them copied silently. Candice proved herself reliable when they did reach Snowpoint City in a few minutes. They ran to the Gym, where they took shelter from the cold for a little while.
‘You cheated!’ Gardenia started. ‘Candice cheated, everyone! She ran away from the path, and went in front of me!’
‘But you pushed her many times,’ Roark added, much to Gardenia’s annoyance. ‘Let’s see Snowpoint now; this trip would be useless if we don’t.’
‘Yes, I’ll show you,’ Candice said. ‘Follow me!’
With a scoff, Gardenia followed Candice, as did the others. Roark seemed very eager to learn about all the history of Snowpoint, and eager to study the Snowpoint Temple, even though Candice had already informed him that it was off limits, even for her.
‘How do you train in here?’ Maylene started. ‘Do you go to the blizzard?’
‘No, I don’t train like you three do,’ Candice smiled. ‘I think the stronger bond you have with your Pokémon, the stronger the Pokémon will be; you already know that. It’s why Snorunt and I are almost never apart. Oh, let’s send out our Pokémon!’
With a nod of agreement, they all sent out their Pokémon. Roselia appeared on Gardenia’s side, Riolu on Maylene’s, Cranidos on Roark’s, and Snorunt on Candice’s. Their first instinct was to look at their surroundings, and they eventually recognised the snowy ground as Snorunt’s home, and in turn, Candice’s home, and without a moment delay, they took the opportunity to play in the snow, while their trainers sat amongst some trees.
‘I like Snowpoint,’ Maylene said. ‘Every city in Sinnoh is different. And the trip here was good for my training.’
‘It was quite a challenge,’ Roark said. ‘I didn’t enjoy it, though. But Candice and Gardenia seemed to; they were racing in the blizzard!’
‘Yeah, you two are weird,’ Maylene added. ‘I was sure Gardenia would win.’
‘I would have won, but Candice cheated,’ Gardenia repeated. ‘Because she’s a cheater!’
‘When do you have to be back home, Roark?’ Candice asked, ignoring Gardenia again, but that wasn’t the only reason she had for changing the subject.
‘Tomorrow morning,’ Roark said. ‘Our parents know we’re spending the night here, but my dad wants me back home early to pack everything.’
‘Canalave City is very far away!’ Gardenia said. ‘It will be harder to drag you around Sinnoh, but I’ll still do it!’
‘We’ll be seeing less of you,’ Candice said, with a very faint hint of sadness, and a blush. ‘We won’t be the same group without you.’
‘Hey, Candice,’ Gardenia started. ‘Do you want me to help Roark up that tree for you?’
‘What do you-’ Candice suddenly realised what Gardenia meant. ‘T-That’s fine. We’re not g-going to climb.’
‘Yeah, I don’t like it,’ Roark said. ‘Canalave is far away, and I like Oreburgh. I’m not sure who my dad will put as the Gym Leader in Oreburgh to replace him, but my grandpa is the temporary replacement now. I just really wish he would pick me. He would never think that I’m strong.’
‘He will,’ Maylene said. ‘You’re strong, Roark! You even defeated Riolu once! You can become a Gym Leader, and eventually, we will become Champions!’
‘Two Champions?’ Roark smirked. ‘That’s not possible.’
‘The four of us will be Champions!’ Maylene corrected him. ‘We will be strongest than everyone!’
The spot where they last were a group was now back to it’s former cold glory. No more trace that they were there at all. Candice walked to it, and sat where Roark did, Snorunt by her side. She looked up at the tree Gardenia had pointed out, and then turned her gaze to Snorunt. Her eyes started watering, and her chest fluctuated with silent short gasps.
‘I’m sorry,’ she pleaded to Snorunt, letting all of her tears flow. ‘I’m so sorry. I- I don’t… It wasn’t me… I didn’t, I didn’t want to do this, but they never liked me. They always made fun of me. Snorunt, I’m sorry.’
The Pokémon started crying with her trainer, and it was as sudden as Candice’s breakdown. She jumped into her arms, and they held each other in an embrace that felt cold, but couldn’t have been more comforting. Snorunt’s cold body froze some of Candice’s tears, and her own tears as well.
Candice could apologise, but she didn’t want to; it was too late now, and it would only cause Gardenia to make more fun of her. She slowly fell back, onto the snow that once was nothing to her, but now, she felt cold, as cold as ice.
It was just a few days ago that Candice returned to Sinnoh, but it was already different. Roark had moved to Canalave, Maylene to Johto, and Gardenia, who she never considered a friend, was nowhere to be found. She sat alone in front of Lake Acuity, not even her own Pokémon Snorunt was next to her.
By now, Maylene must be mad at her for rejecting everyone from her life, and the only person she didn’t push away was Roark, but he had been pulled away. She regretted her decisions; that wasn’t her, a girl who was praised for her rational decisions and wits couldn’t make such a great mistake, but she did.
Even if she regretted her choices, she was still determined not to back down; she would never beg someone to be her friend if they refused to, even if it was Maylene, who picked Gardenia over her. There wasn’t any hope for their friendship, not even hope for her at all.
Or so she thought. There was a light at the end of the tunnel, or rather, hope on the horizon; Roark battling his way through the blizzard.
‘You’re becoming really strong, really fast,’ Brawly punched his fist against Maylene’s. ‘That’s just in a few days, as well!’
‘Thanks, Brawly,’ Maylene said. ‘You’re a good friend.’
‘Or maybe, a good person in general,’ Brawly chuckled. ‘You’re a great friend as well, Maylene.’
‘Do you think I’m becoming stronger because my friends aren’t here?’ Maylene frowned. ‘I mean, you’re here, but I meant my friends from Sinnoh.’
The pair was sitting at the shore, where the mud was sand again, the ice trail Candice left was gone, and all forms of connection Maylene had with her Sinnoh friends was cut. The sun was setting, and Maylene decided to join Brawly in his daily routine of watching it, even though, to her, there wasn’t anything more boring that that.
‘It’s not that they are not here,’ Brawly said. ‘It’s just that there aren’t any more distractions. Even if they were there, that storm would have still hindered us, and that rockslide.’
‘I guess you’re right,’ Maylene said, and remained silent for the final moments of the sun’s day. ‘There she goes. I will miss her.’
‘You mean Riley refused the position?’ Candice gleamed. ‘And suggested you as his replacement?’
‘That’s right,’ Roark’s smile couldn’t get any wider. ‘And you’re the first to know, aside from my father and Cynthia. Maylene is in Johto, and I have no idea where Gardenia is, but I’m actually glad I told you first; you can keep a secret. I want to surprise everyone I tell by telling them personally.’
‘I’m so happy for you, Roark!’ Candice threw her arms around him. ‘Your dream has come true!’
Roark returned the hug, and they embraced for a while. It had always been Roark’s dream to become a Gym Leader, just like Maylene’s dream, and that was what connected the two. But when it came to Candice, something else connected them; they cared for each other greatly, more than anyone else. Not only did their intellect compliment each other, but so did their unspoken feelings.
‘So where is Gardenia?’ Roark asked after their embrace was broken.
‘Johto,’ Candice scoffed. ‘Better off, I never liked her.’
‘That’s unlike you,’ Roark frowned. ‘You are a friendly person; what happened?’
‘I never liked her,’ Candice repeated. ‘Since the start, I never liked her. The only good thing she did to me was introduce me to you.’
‘But she’s a nice person,’ Roark said. ‘I know you think she’s rude all the time, but she cares about us all. How many times did she defend your name?’
As much as Candice hated it, Roark was right. Gardenia had stood up for Candice several times when people called her weak for not training her Snorunt like everyone else, and even punched an old lady that dared to say that Candice was bad at contests.
‘Yeah, but she teased me,’ Candice said. ‘And made fun of me.’
‘Candice, listen to yourself,’ Roark pleaded. ‘You’re an amazing person, and I know that. It’s unlike you to be so cruel and rash; that’s Gardenia.’
She hated it again; Roark was right, again. She was being as rude as Gardenia, and as rash in making her decisions; she didn’t even see herself that way. Her feelings flooded back to her, her feelings of regret and remorse for what she did; that was the true Candice.
‘I’m sure you can work things between you two,’ Roark added. ‘And I hope you do, for my sake. It’s selfish, but I would like our group of four back.’
As everyone who met them would say, these four were the future of Sinnoh. Maylene, Candice, Gardenia, and Roark. They all had dreams, ambitions, and a lot to learn from each other. They were all quite mature in their way of thinking, but at their core, they were still children, and the world was still an open space to discover.
Having rebuilt the Gym, and helped fix the Pokémon Center, Chuck finally returned to his regular training schedule. There were no more distractions, and no more obstacles; he expected the best from both Brawly and Maylene.
They trio stood next to the mountain that had suffered from the alleged natural disaster, which was actually just Maylene’s foolish actions, a tribute to the day she met Gardenia, nonetheless. Maylene stood between Riolu and the ocean, while Brawly stood in front of the closed cave entrance, with Makuhita right in front of him. Chuck observed the two, the tension rising at the wait for a command from Chuck to start the battle.
And he seemed to be toying with them for his own enjoyment, often opening his mouth and pausing to exhale, which causes the pair’s attack orders to freeze in the air. At that very moment, though, Maylene was determined to prove herself; she had advanced way past the little girl who just wanted to punch the new Gym Leader to prove her strength and ability to become a Gym Leader to Cynthia, the new Champion back then, at that party.
It was a little ignorant of her to think that by just daring to assault an older man, she would become a Gym Leader, and as time progressed, and she came to know Crasher Wake, she felt sorry for trying to use him back then, even though it seemed like an innocent move. Back then, she was very ignorant, but Crasher Wake had trained her until she was able to command Riolu, and became connected with the Pokémon. And her Johto trip hadn’t been in vain; Chuck had taught her strategies that she planned on using, and Riolu had gotten considerably stronger. And the back of her head was filled with the times she battled her friends in Sinnoh, and lost and won many times.
With a bark, Chuck snapped her back into the battle as he commanded it to start, and with similar shouts that overlapped, Maylene and Brawly ordered their Pokémon, almost ready to run forward and battle with their Pokémon; something that Maylene had attempted before.
Riolu’s agile body allowed him to run through the sand with the most graceful manner. He ran from side to side, strafing to avoid Makuhita’s gaze; the Gut Pokémon had already prepared the attack in the form of a glowing fist, much too familiar to Riolu’s own fist.
With a small ripple that broke through the air, they clashed, their arms extending towards the other, and blocking any attempts of an attack. They were locked in combat, pushing against the other, while their trainers clenched their teeth.
‘Sand-Attack!’ Brawly shouted, quicker than Maylene had expected.
Makuhita’s foot drew back, and kicked up sand towards Riolu’s eyes, but the Pokémon and his trainer knew each other too well; a split second before Maylene shouted her order to duck, he had ducked, only to meet Makuhita’s rushing knee at an order from Brawly.
Riolu fell to the ground in a sudden slump, and quickly rolled over to dodge whatever attack Makuhita had planned. He dug his palms into the ground, and jumped back to his feet with an agile cartwheel. Another set of commands, and two creatures’ moment of peace was over.
This time, both of them rushed towards each other. The sand around them kicked up in piles of dust as they met in another clash, but with another quick move, Makuhita slid to the ground, and Riolu tumbled forwards, meeting another direct hit from Makuhita in his midsection, and he was sent flying back towards the trainers.
He hit the sand with another similar thud, and saw Makuhita rushing towards him out of the corner of his eyes. This battle was far from over, and Riolu wasn’t going to lose that easily, especially not to Pokémon that was almost his equal; Riolu had the advantage of speed.
And utilising it under Maylene’s attack command, he began digging into the sand, and quickly created a sinkhole that closed as he went beneath the ground. Makuhita knew this move; it had been used against him many times. He gathered all of his strength in his fists, and leaned forward, anticipating Riolu’s move.
And once again, Maylene’s thoughts had long since stemmed into Riolu, and infected his mind with the same nonsensical, unpredictable decisions. His feet shot through the sand, and Makuhita blocked them easily, but it was the rest of Riolu’s body that he didn’t consider.
His fists shot up beneath Makuhita, and grabbed the Pokémon as they turned in the air before Makuhita’s back smashed against the sand, and Riolu delivered a Force Palm that sunk Makuhita deeper into the ground, and sent Riolu flying, ready to descend and land his final hit.
Brawly’s familiar shout broke through the air again, and Makuhita kicked sand up to meet Riolu, causing his to miss his attack, and land on the ground. Makuhita rushed to Brawly’s side, while Riolu struggled back to his feet, the sand in his eyes slightly hindering his movement.
‘Now, Makuhita,’ Brawly grinned. ‘Rock Slide! The mountain!’
Makuhita copied his trainer’s devious smile, and jumped back towards the mountain. He delivered a quick punch, and sent a few rocks rolling down before he flung them at Riolu, who wished he had kept the sand in his eyes.
The situation was too familiar for Maylene, and Riolu. Memories of the rockslide they were in rushed through her head. The small rocks hitting her body, the painful scratch against the jagged mountainside, and the possibility of never being able to achieve her dream. Her tongue was twisted with fear, unable to emit a single sound.
The same was for Riolu, who was neither able to move, nor wanted to. He had to protect Maylene, even if it meant falling to the ocean, another aspect that seemed to repeat itself.
A blur of blue appeared in front of the pair, and a rush of watery sounds followed. Rocks splashed into the ocean, the water rushed though Maylene’s ears, and the shadow of Riolu swimming to rescue her. Almost on the verge of losing her breath, Maylene returned to the battle with a shout from Chuck.
‘The battle is over!’ he said, seemingly only to Brawly. ‘Did you forget what I taught you?!’
Maylene breathed a sigh of relieve. Riolu walked back to her side, and they shared a look with the round blue shape that, now that thinking clearly was an option, she recognised as Chuck’s Poliwrath. He had blocked the rocks with an attack of his, and the ground connecting him and Makuhita was a wet line of dirt and rocks.
Following Chuck’s orders, Brawly walked back to the Gym, and Chuck gestured for Maylene to follow. The group walked back slowly to the Gym, a sign that meant Chuck was going to do something that would affect the course of their training, a sign Maylene had seen enough of to realise that she did something wrong, but in this instant, it seemed to be Brawly who was getting the blame.
He was facing the sand, and walking unusually fast. Makuhita behind him frowned as he exchanged apologetic looks with Riolu, who returned them with a comforting smile and a nod; the pair did have a brutal fight, and it was very plausible that they would think the other was out to kill them.
Finally at the Gym, Chuck walked the pair to his office, and withdrew his Poliwrath there. Maylene stood next to the entrance and faced the two males that seemed to be about to reveal something to her.
‘Maylene,’ Chuck addressed her, bringing back the feeling that it was actually her that did something wrong. ‘I’m sure you think you know why Brawly is training here. Would you care to tell her, Brawly?’
He exchanged looks with Chuck, almost avoiding his sight, but not wanting to back down. Brawly knew that whether he had met Chuck’s eyes or not, he still had to tell Maylene; this must be part of Chuck’s training.
‘Become a Gym Leader,’ Chuck said. ‘I was brought here to train to become a Gym Leader.’
‘Again,’ Chuck added before insisting. ‘again!’
‘Again,’ Brawly sighed of frustration. ‘I was already a Gym Leader before I came here, one of the best actually.’
‘You were only one of the best because of the reason you’re here,’ Chuck said before turning to face Maylene. ‘I was impressed with his reputation as an undefeated Gym Leader, so I went to Hoenn to visit his Gym, and found out what he should admit.’
Brawly’s eyes travelled to his mentor again, almost condemning him for making him admit his mistakes. Just as he was about to speak, Chuck pointed at Maylene, signifying that Brawly was to admit to her, and not to Chuck.
‘I cheat in battles,’ Brawly said after facing Maylene. ‘Chuck found that out, and reported me, which got me fired, and then he promised that he’ll get me my position back if I stopped cheating in my battles; he said I had potential. That’s why he brought me here; to train into becoming a Trainer who doesn’t cheat.’
‘It’s a very thin line,’ Chuck said. ‘Between using strategies, and cheating. You’ve crossed that line many times.’
‘I knew you were injured in that rockslide, and it would probably bring back bad memories,’ Brawly said. ‘Chuck noticed that I instructed Makuhita to attack the mountain, and not use the rocks that were already lying around. I’m sorry, Maylene, it was a cheap move.’
‘Oh,’ Maylene couldn’t find another way to express her reaction; she felt betrayed by Brawly. He tried to use her fear against her, and he had managed to paralyse her long enough for him to win had Chuck not intervened. ‘Oh.’
Riolu’s gaze darted from Brawly to Makuhita, who didn’t seem to care about his trainer’s actions as much as he cared about pleasing Brawly. Even though the two Pokémon weren’t close friends, Riolu was still disturbed by the realisation.
‘The important issue is that he apologised,’ Chuck said. ‘I hope you can forgive him, Maylene.’
Chuck dismissed the trainers with a wave from his hand, and Maylene was the first out of the Gym. She didn’t care about Brawly using her fear against her anymore, but the fact that she was now weak. It wasn’t the rockslide as much as the outcome of it that scared her; being defeated by a man, and facing the threat of losing her dream of ever becoming a Gym Leader when her mother wanted to take her back to Sinnoh. She didn’t use to be afraid of anything, but Riolu realised that his trainer was officially facing a threat that shook her to the core, and that concerned both of them; anyone can use that fear to defeat her.
His hand reached Maylene’s, and he pulled it down to drag her attention, before nodding slowly, as if to tell her that it didn’t matter. She smiled at him, and he smiled back before dragging her to the rocks; this time, it was him who would be training her.
‘You’re the best, Riolu,’ Maylene said. ‘Together, we’ll be stronger.’
It's been a long time, Kyuu! =D
Anyway, I liked the last two chapters I missed out on. The chapter twelve gave us some focus on Candice's character and personality though I don't think it was good enough of a backstory to explain Candice's change. It was good, I mean, you can't stay nice towards everyone the entire time but still - I personally feel like she should have gotten some sort of deeper storyline. Nevertheless, you did a great job coping with her emotions - I guess the things I said are just the matter of personal preference.
The chapter thirteen was shocking for me in a way when I found out that Brawly cheated. It was quite realistic indeed, it shows that everyone have their flaws and are imperfect. I'm glad that you established Brawly's past a little better.
I really liked the last two chapters. Keep it up, man! :)
Last edited by Tsutarja; 31st July 2011 at 02:45 AM.