Lucas awoke early the next morning. Too early, he supposed. Barry’s head lay stiffly on his stomach while his arms and legs were wrapped around Lucas’s lower half. Their drug induced la-de-da was long over, though the effects still showed on their bodies. Lucas’s eyes were bloodshot and Barry’s hand kept an ever-changing twitch. He had managed to creak the window open half way last night in order to thin out most of the evidence, and for the most part, it worked. A slight chill sifted its way through the window, merely the effects of another summer in a winter town.
“Unfff…um…” Barry spit out as he seemed to be speaking in a dream. Lucas, unamused, slowly peeled Barry’s warm body off of his waist and legs.
Oh what a lovely headache, Lucas thought as he arose from the bed. I feel younger than springtime, or some other metaphor or simile or whatever.
Summertime had taken its needed toll on the little town of Twinleaf. The maple leaves turned from brown to emerald after a long winter. Still, a chilled atmosphere pervaded the region. Luckily, the house managed to provide a level of warmth.
Lucas started down at the sleeping infant before him. Barry’s blond hair always maintained an ever-present glow, no matter the circumstances. It was practically golden. Normally Lucas would flow a hand through the hair, but he needed Aspirin, stat.
He trudged down the stairs after managing to trip a total of 3 times, and went to the kitchen and poured himself a large glass of water and received some tablets from the medicine cabinet.
Lucas turned around. Oh, darling mother. “Uh…hey Mom.”
“Tell me Lucas, and I want a straight response. What the actual shit?”
Lucas choked on his water. “Ugh, um. Er, what?”
“I’m not stupid. Nor am I transparent. Look at me in the eyes, please.”
His mother seemed to retire her old worn bathrobe and was now fresh and clean after a four day torment she had put on her son. Any trace of her previous episodes of panic and depression had seemingly washed away. Lucas knew this wasn’t the case, but she was having one of her good days.
“Mom, I don’t know what you’re…are those new earrings?”
“Lucas, I might be willing to look over your general shitheadedness if you were just completely honest with me. Did you do what we both know you did last night?” Joanna tapped her foot with pressure that could break stones. Or stoners. (badump)
“Mom, look I just…I guess I can’t lie. Look, I’m really sorry. I won’t do it again, I swear. If it’s any consolation it was the smallest-“
“Lucas. You’re a grown boy who is capable of making his own decisions and all that jazziness. I just want you to be careful. I mean I heard it all. You seemed to knock over a lot of things.” Joanna asserted that she wasn’t upset. Lucas was relieved.
“Uh, yeah we tried being really quiet with it.” Lucas added.
“Well as long as you were safe about it. Hopefully it didn’t hurt too much.” Joanna finished, as she started pouring herself a cup of coffee from the pot sitting on the stove.
Safe…hurt…wait…, Lucas thought.
“Barry’s always been like a brother to you but I always knew you boys were a little too close.” Joanna chuckled. Lucas couldn’t help but wonder if she was holding back a tear.
“Wait…Mom, did you think that Barry and I? Are you suggesting that…”
“I’m not suggesting anything, Lucas. What are you suggesting? Everything’s on the table now and it’s fine. Okay. Arceus, you have such an attitude.” Joanna flitted from the kitchen to the living room. Lucas wasn’t sure what he was going to say that would upset her anymore. It helped best to remain powerless.
“Mom, did you sleep well? You seem to be having a nice morning.” Lucas offered up, sitting down in an armchair.
“It was absolutely wonderful. There’s a dead Bidoof in the front yard. I’m going to go take pictures of it later.” Joanna said, staring at the wall with a blank expression.
“Well that’s…something. I’m going to go wake Barry up.” Lucas rose, realizing that a conversation with his mom was not something he wants in his morning.
“Where’d you hide the cigarettes.”
“The cigarettes, Lucas. You weren’t born deaf. I would know if you were. They would’ve told me.”
“Mom, I threw them away. They’re not good for you.”
“I never liked you.”
“I’m going to go wake Barry up. You should go put on a coat. You have a doctors appointment in an hour.”
“I bet Barry’s going to be walking funny this morning. I mean AM I RIGHT?!” his mom laughed, changing from serious to upset to happy in the mere matter of ten seconds.
“Mom we didn’t fucking have sex. And that wasn’t funny. Go put on a coat.” Lucas groaned and trudged back upstairs.
Barry was already awake when Lucas returned, for he was lying on the bed and staring at the motionless ceiling fan, his eyes even more bloodshot than Lucas’s.
“Mom’s under the impression we had sex. “ Lucas said, taking off his navy blue t-shirt.
“Did we?” asked Barry in a tired and curious voice. Barry looked more mousy than ever, his pupils much larger than Lucas’s and his hands curling up and down as they rested on the bed.
“You’re a funny boy.” Lucas deadpanned.
Barry admired Lucas’s shirtless body. Lucas didn’t have a very toned body and was overall very skinny, but even Barry managed to look like more of a twig. Barry couldn’t help but let a little smile protrude as he watched Lucas find a shirt.
“Take a picture, it’ll last longer.” Lucas smirked, not even having to look at Barry directly to know that he was staring at his body.
“Oh but I have. You’ve seen my phone.” Barry perked, feeling a small sense of pride over the accomplishment.
“You’re such a panic.” Lucas said as he put on his maroon button up shirt over a fresh white t-shirt.
Barry had feelings for Lucas from the day he met him in Kindergarten. Granted, Barry wasn’t able to figure out that they were in fact, “feelings” until after Lucas and him had both left on their separate trips. Barry confessed his love for him a few summer’s ago and Lucas had sort of shrugged it off. He didn’t feel the same way, but he didn’t really care that Barry had the world’s largest crush on him, either. Still, Lucas let him watch while he undressed so that had to count for something, at least in Barry’s eyes.
Lucas’s phone blinked. A text message from Dawn: “Something very bad is happening. Come to my place in Sandgem. NOW.”
Smoke poured out of the Oreburgh Mine. Emergency vehicles and officers, along with dozens of miners surveying the congested area, surrounded the entrance. Rescue workers flittered from one place to another, helping wounded miners and technicians. Trucks from local news stations such as Sinnoh Now had reporters set up in front of the entrance doing reports, seemingly unaware of the dangers they could be in. It was pure chaos.
“ Three confirmed dead, 19 wounded in a series of explosions at the Oreburgh Mines today. Eyewitnesses are calling it a man made explosion by a number of unknown perpetrators, who, after taking an unknown number of items and materials from the mine by force, set off a series of bombs planted in four sectors of the area, the workers of the mine…”
Three confirmed dead.
“We know that the explosion could have lead to a region wide disaster, for the lowest level of the mine being below sea level. Luckily, the explosion only caused damage in the upper levels of the mine…”
Roark watched as the rescue workers doing what they could for the injured miners. After a few hours of examination and airing out the mine, it was to be taped off until deemed safe. Of course this would mean hell for the town. Where were they going to get their power? Without the mine, they could only go so long before they ran out. But the mine was just too unsafe for anyone…
Sigh. Time to call Dad.
Roark’s phone rang.
“Roark, gym leader of the Oreburgh Gym, located in Oreburgh. Which is located in Sinnoh. Our office hours are-“
“Never mind that.” A deep, quick voice interrupted Roark. “We know who you are. We’re watching you.”
“Oh, oh really? Well my interview about the mine explosion isn’t supposed to air until later this morning but I mean I guess they started it earli-“
“NO. THAT’S NOT WHAT I MEANT.” The voice rumbled, clearly agitated. “Seems like your precious Oreburgh is losing steam, is it not? Or should I say- coal? Bahahaha.” The voice grumbled on.
“Look, if you’re trying to be funny it’s not really working. I mean, people died and all.” Roark seemed quite puzzled by the mans horrible sense of humor, but was still easily annoyed, even through dire times.
“You listen here, Gym Leader. Sinnoh is going to the dogs. Oreburgh was step number one. We called you to give you a head start. Mustn’t get too nervous now.”
“Trust me I’m not nervous. Nor am I scared. I’m going to trace this number and when the police find out who you-“
“WHEN HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A POLICE OFFICER IN SINNOH?!” the voice boomed.
Roark thought for a moment. “Okay, that’s fair. But why are you doing this. Who are you? Why did you feel the need to call me?”
“My, how many questions do we have here? Gym Leader, pack up your things and leave Sinnoh. We live in perilous times. There will be bloodshed, and the last thing you want is to have to clean it up.”
“Listen, I don’t know who you are or what you’re trying to do here. But I’m pretty sure you’re talking to the wrong guy. I’m a nobody.” Roark protested. Now he was starting to get scared.
“This is Roark, right? The Gym Leader?” the deep voice suddenly reverted to a higher pitched, yet equally gruff tone.
“Um…yeah. This is him.”
“Yeah, no, we have the right guy. And you’re starting to annoy us, Gym Leader. Better watch your back. First Oreburgh, then Sinnoh. It’ll perish. So, where will you stand when the flood comes?”
“Is that a biblical quote?”
“…………………” the line was dead.
Roark knew shit was going down in Sinnoh. Daddy wasn’t going to like this.