Hey, lookie here, it's a Fan-fic! Hey, it's also the first one I've actually posted on a public forum! Huh.
Yeah, this is the first story I've ever actually posted. As such, I expect fair judgement. By fair, I don't mean "sugercoat it and say only nice things." If it sucks, tell me! I'd like to know. Just make sure you tell me what does or doesn't work, what you did or didn't like, or even if you'd like to see more. If you just say "This is stupid" well, I can't fix that. If you tell me "I didn't like XYZ" then I can take a look an try to fix XYZ. And hey, I might just keep writing more if people like it.
I'm rating it TEEN. There's no real language or any lewd acts, but there might be some violence in later chapters, so I'm just going to rate it TEEN.
So, without further ado, here you go.
Chapter One: Into the Great Wide Open.
Laughter, conversation, footsteps, the clacking of silverware, the scooting of chairs across the hardwood floor; all manner of sounds flooded the mess hall that afternoon, coming together in a single cacophony of noise that signaled a place of livelihood and social interaction. Most students on the college campus found the mess hall, despite the noise, a great spot to relax and enjoy each others company. However, on this particular day, Matthew was not most students.
"You can't do this to us, man!"
"I'm sorry! Do you think I wanted to let you guys down?"
"No, but I thought you'd at least stick it out for our first gig!
Matthew eyed his friend angrily, blue eyes staring daggers at him from across the wooden table. He and his three friends had started their own local band and had been practicing for weeks. Two more weeks from now they were scheduled for their very first gig, and even though it was just a small time performance, it was an important show for them. They had a solid grasp of their parts and were fully prepared for a live show.
Except now their lead guitarist, Derrick, was quitting on them.
"I'm sorry man, but with school and work I just don't have time to keep up with the band. We've got mid-terms coming up and I haven't studied nearly as much as I should have." Derrick replied. He really didn't want to let his friend down, but he just couldn't keep the balance between his studies and the band's practice sessions.
"You should have thought of that before you decided to form a band with us!" Matthew snapped back at Derrick, slamming his fist down on the table; Matthew was visibly upset, and even though Derrick was a good friend, he couldn't help but feel anger towards him.
"Guys, come on. I know tensions are high right now, but you two need to chill, alright?" Paul spoke up, trying to put out the flames of anger that has sparked between his two band mates. Paul, the band's bassist, was normally silent, but he couldn't stand to see two of his close friends treat each other with such animosity. He laid his hand on Matthew's shoulder, trying to calm him down.
"I know..." Matthew sighed. His clenched fists gradually loosened, his hands dropping to his sides. "Look man, I'm sorry for raising my voice; it's just that we have our first gig in only two weeks and you pick now to quit on us."
"I understand that you're angry man; I would be too." Derrick replied, looking genuinely sorry, "Life is just so busy right now, you know? I'm sure you can find a replacement; the material isn't that difficult."
"Yeah man, just let Derrick do his own thing. We can find someone to replace him and have fun rockin' without him!" Samuel, the band's drummer who went by his childhood nickname 'Sammy,' piped in. Lightening up the tension a bit, Sammy leaned over towards Derrick, jabbing his upper arm in jest. He meant it as a joke, and Derrick couldn't help but chuckle at Sammy's attitude.
Derrick looked at his phone, checking the time, then looked back up to Matthew. "My next class starts soon. Again, I'm really sorry, Matthew. I hope you can find a replacement." With that, Derrick left the mess hall and headed off to his next class.
Matthew let out a long sigh. The material wasn't terribly difficult, but how was he going to find a new guitarist and teach them the song in only two weeks? Sure, he could play lead, but then there would be nobody to play rhythm, and the music just wouldn't sound right.
"C'mon man, don't worry about it. I'll help scout out the campus for a good guitarist. I'm sure we'll find somebody!" Sammy chimed in, breaking Matthew's train of thought. Sammy was always so upbeat about things, despite how bad they were.
"Yeah, I guess you're right." Matthew replied, trying to share his friend's enthusiasm. He got up from his table and looked towards Paul and Sammy. "I've got classes soon as well, but tomorrow we need to start searching for a replacement ASAP."
Matthew gathered his things and threw on his backpack, with Paul and Sammy following suit. "I'll see you guys first thing in the morning, in front of the dorms." Paul and Sammy both nodded, and they each left for their respective classes.
Matthew threw his backpack on his bed and fell face first onto the covers, an audible sigh escaping him. He had been thinking of people to replace Derrick all throughout his classes, but nobody he knew had the talent that Derrick possessed. He had entertained the idea of playing lead guitar himself, but then there'd be no rhythm guitar, and he had trouble playing lead and doing vocals at the same time. Rhythm was just simpler for him.
He briefly mused with the thought of just canceling the gig altogether. Of course, he desperately hoped he wouldn't have to resort to that, but if he didn't find someone soon...
Matthew pulled his face off of his bed and looked down towards the direction of the sound. He saw his Pokemon, Scrafty, poking her head over the bottom of the bed and looking quizzically at her trainer.
"Hey Jackie." Matthew sat up on his bed, patting the covers beside himself, motioning for his Pokemon to sit beside him. The Scrafty jumped over the bottom of the bed and climbed over to where Matthew sat, sitting beside him. Matthew brought his hand to her head, lightly brushing her head crest, which he knew she liked. Although the university he attended was a bit antsy about having Pokemon out of their pokeballs on campus, they had no qualms about them in the student's dorms, something Matthew greatly appreciated. He had caught Scrafty, which he had nicknamed Jackie, back during high school, and he often participated in battles with her against other trainers. Though he enjoyed the occasional battle, he never wanted to take the Elite Four challenge. He preferred a more laid-back lifestyle, and so he enrolled in a university to get a degree in art and focus on his music, which he enjoyed the most.
The Scrafty closed her eyes and purred her name to herself while Matthew kept rubbing her head, which greatly pleased her. Matthew kept petting her like that for a few minutes before sighing to himself again.
"I just don't know what I'm going to do." Matthew said out loud, partly talking to his Pokemon but mainly vocalizing his own thoughts to himself. "How am I going to find a replacement on such short notice?"
Matthew stood up off the bed and grabbed his guitar, a simple acoustic guitar that he had owned for quite some time. He always played his guitar to cheer himself up, and this time he could really use some happy feelings. He gripped the smooth wooden neck with one hand, his other hand hovering just over the metal strings at the body. He plucked a few strings, making sure the guitar was still in tune, then began strum a few tunes to himself, just focusing on the music. Meanwhile, his Scrafty just sat on the bed with her legs crossed, just listening to the sounds her trainer made with his instrument. Scrafty always loved listening to him play; it relaxed her and made her feel calm.
He played some simple chords, humming a harmony to himself as he continued to strum away. His mood began to shift with the tone of the music; soft, quiet, calming notes that elevated, yet placated him at the same time. He relished these moments, where he could just play to himself and be freed from the stresses of everyday life. He kept playing for what seemed like hours to him, but in actuality was only a few minutes time.
"I supposed the parts aren't too difficult to learn..." he thought to himself. "Still, I got to find someone who can actually play them."
After a few more strums, he felt exceedingly calmer than before. Matthew stretched his arms upward, yawning loudly, before returning his guitar to it's stand. Grabbing some clothes from his dresser, he headed out the door to his room and towards the bathroom.
"I'm going to shower real quick, Jackie. Don't get into any mischief while I'm gone." He always told her that, though he knew she was generally well-behaved. He closed the door to his dorm room, leaving his Pokemon to her own devices as he made his way towards the bathroom.
Matthew turned the handle to the shower and let the water warm up before stripping down and heading in. A nice hot shower was just what he needed after the stressful day he had. The water ran down over his dark-brown hair, down his bare body, completely washing away any remaining tension he had. His wet hair fell just over his eyes as he cleaned himself, lathering his light toned skin with soap before rinsing himself off and shutting off the flow of water. He stepped out, grabbing a towel and rubbing it vigorously over his hair to dry it off.
Once suitably dry, he threw on his fresh clothes, sweeping his now-dry hair to the side, giving him a look of youthful rebellion. He began walking to the door of his room, which he had to admit was the best thing about having a quad-room dorm; having an entire room to yourself. As he got closer though, he heard sounds coming from behind the door. It sounded... musical?
"Great, my roommate must be 'borrowing' my guitar again" Matthew said to himself, becoming slightly irritated at the thought. Matthew turned the handle to his door and swung it open.
"Look man, you can't just come in here whenever you want and--" he stopped mid sentence as he saw just where the sound had been coming from. It wasn't his roommate, to his surprise, but Jackie, his Pokemon, playing the guitar!
"What are you doing, Jackie?" Matthew said, rather bewildered at the sight before him. Jackie immediately stopped what she was doing and put the guitar down, throwing her hands up and putting on her best look of innocence. Matthew didn't like people messing with his stuff, and she knew that; she didn't want her trainer to be upset with her.
"Scrafty!" she said, trying her best to communicate her "innocence." She continued to hold her hands up, clearly displaying the distinct lack of musical instruments in them.
"No, wait a minute Jackie..." Matthew said to her. "I'm not mad... just a little confused. How long have you been using my guitar when I wasn't here?" He asked, though he knew she wouldn't be able to answer, at least not in a way he'd understand.
"Scraf... Scrafty" she said as she shrugged to herself. Truthfully, she had done it whenever he was in class or otherwise pre-occupied, though she never let him know for fear that he might take it away from her.
"I didn't even know a Pokemon could play guitar... wait a minute..." Matthew thought to himself, when an idea popped into his head. It was a crazy idea, one that probably wouldn't work, but he had to see for himself. He picked up the guitar and pulled up a chair in front of the bed, motioning for Jackie to sit across from him.
"Now, uhh, let's see..." Matthew said, trying to figure out how to approach the situation. "Here, do what I do," he said to her, as he strummed possibly the most well-known chord progression, "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple. As he finished playing, he handed the guitar back to the Scrafty.
"Now you try." Matthew said to her. He watched intently as she picked up the instrument looking at it quizzically before orienting her hands correctly. Jackie began to mimic his sounds; she played slowly, but managed to repeat the whole chord progression back to Matthew. Matthew was astounded; he never knew she could actually play.
"Let me see that." Jackie returned the guitar back to Matthew, as he began strumming the opening riff to "Shout at the Devil" by Mötley Crüe. Once he finished the intro, he handed the guitar back to Jackie, motioning for her to mimic him again. She thought for a bit before placing her fingers on the strings and copying Matthew chord-for-chord, albeit missing a few notes.
"That's okay, no big deal to miss a few." Matthew said reassuringly. Despite the fact that she was a Pokemon, he had to admit she knew what she was doing. Matthew grabbed the guitar again, this time going for something a little more fast-paced. He strummed the intro for "Yer So Bad" by Tom Petty, trying to gauge her skill. He handed it back to her, and after a slight pause, she managed to repeat the phrase back to Matthew.
Matthew was flabbergasted. Not only did she know how to play, but she could learn quickly too. He thought to himself a bit, before he stood up off of his chair.
"I'm probably crazy for even thinking about this, but it's worth a shot" he said to himself.
"Scrafty?" Jackie said to him, puzzled, though she was greatly relieved with the fact that Matthew was perfectly okay with her playing his guitar.
"Say Jackie, how would you like to practice guitar with me some more? Maybe I can even teach you a whole song!" Matthew said to his Pokemon, smiling the biggest smile he ever had in weeks.
"Scrafty!" she nearly jumped for joy at the thought of learning from her trainer. Matthew picked up the guitar and sat next to her on the bed, practicing many different songs well into the night.
END OF CHAPTER ONE