16th July 2005, 09:25 AM #1
Avenging Remora of Doom
memory/accolade [linked oneshots, G]
Notes on these: These are standalone oneshots that may be linked as sequels; hence, I chose to post them in the same thread, but using separate posts.
Author's Note: A one-shot as usual. For me, this is a rare full first-person story; most of mine that include first-person perspectives are mixed first- and third-person POVs, so enjoy. In time-honoured tradition (ie. like two of my previous fanfics), Jordan and Jake are named after pop-punk band members - New Found Glory's lead singer Jordan Pundik and Something With Numbers' vocalist Jake Griggs. Katy is named after Katy Steele, lead singer of the Western Australian alt-pop band Little Birdy. Music I was listening to while writing this: Brock Downey - "Where U Go" CDS; New Found Glory - "Catalyst". Anything else? Nah.
Disclaimers: Same as usual. I don't own Pokémon etc., I do own my OCs (NOT the TV show)... yeah, I'll admit I thought OCs were something to do with "The OC" the first time I saw the initialism... well, I don't own "The OC" either, now that I've mentioned it.
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"It sucks to be you," I told Katy gleefully. She didn't say anything, just gazed at me balefully from those big round eyes. As usual, the friendly joke had gone right over her head. I patted her absentmindedly on the trunk; she let out a gentle noise, almost like a Persian's purr, except friendlier. Although, I had to admit, I hadn't seen that many Persian - it was pretty much the boss's, and that one I had run into out on the street with its trainer one time when I had been doing the grocery shopping. That particular experience hadn't done much to foster my (basically non-existent) love of Persian; big Whitey (that's what I'd named it in my head) had chased me down the street, claws out, making me drop all my bags. Talk about trainers not being able to control their Pokémon! I got in trouble for coming home without the shopping, too. Well, it wasn't my fault that the trainer had been some spoilt rich kid who refused to pay up. You would think that, with all that money, he could afford to spare some. Mom managed to scrape together a few meals, but we had gone a bit hungry that week - as we had several times since then. It had been like that ever since Dad walked out.
Dad - I didn't really remember him that much. After all, the guy had just gone out and not come back when I was six. All I could really recall of him was a big shape giving me rides on his Donphan and taking me out for a burger once in a while. And come to think of it, I didn't even know if that had been him or one of Mom's boyfriends. She had gone through a lot of them around that time - trying to replace Dad, or drown out the memories of him. I don't know if it worked, but after a couple of years she'd stopped going out. She threw herself into her work and didn't pay much attention to me and Jordan, except when she needed us for something.
I missed Jordan sometimes. Three years younger than me, he was living my dream - out on the road with his team, travelling and battling. While we were really close, I had to admit that I did resent him sometimes, just for being able to go out and do that. I really did wonder if he appreciated what he had and what he was allowed to do, being the younger kid. Pokémon training - it had been my dream since before I had been old enough to understand what it really meant. Later, after my dad left, I found out that he had been an excellent trainer in his youth, although he'd been perpetually unsure of himself and his abilities. Perhaps those insecurities had carried through to his adulthood, been the reason he had left us. In any case, I'd wanted to become a trainer when I turned ten, but Mom had other plans for me. "I need you to help with the business," she'd said, and being the oldest I'd had to acquiesce. I didn't really mind the work (although cleaning was always exhausting), but sometimes I wished that we could work somewhere else - not in this cold, hard, factory-like building, hidden as it was behind a mask of emptiness. A hideaway, really - or hideout. Perhaps it was a facade for something not so nice, but I didn't know - all I knew was that we were never allowed to call the boss by his real name, though everyone knew it was Giovanni.
I'd never been allowed to have a Pokémon; Mom said it was too much work and too expensive to keep one, even if I was going to look after it all by myself. I knew I could take care of one, though. It could eat my food - I didn't need to eat so much. I was big for my age anyway. Mom had other ideas - not even a Mr. Mime who could help in the business was the right Pokémon for her family. That's where Katy came in.
Katy was, technically, an "illegal immigrant". I'd smuggled her into the house, in a way. That is, she was always right under Mom's nose (or maybe not quite, but definitely very visible) but Mom never saw her - or never saw what she really was. I didn't understand how Mom could be so sharp-eyed about a speck of dust left after my vacuuming and so blind when it came to Katy - who was, after all, bigger than a fully-grown Ivysaur, and bright blue to boot - but it was definitely a bonus for me. I made a special pet of Katy - working in HQ, as everyone called it, wasn't a great job for a 15-year-old, since there was never anyone else of the same age to talk to. Katy filled that gap in my life, became the friend I needed.
Bending down from my perch on the edge of the desk, I rubbed Katy's head, muttering softly to her.
"Now, if you're good, you might even grow up to be a big strong Donphan... now, wouldn't that be nice?"
Katy didn't respond - but then again, she very rarely did. It didn't matter - I talked enough, and thought enough, for both of us. I grinned - it was nice to have some time to myself, just to spend with Katy. Time was a commodity that I never had enough of - there was too much work to be done.
"Jake! Are you talking to that vacuum cleaner again?"
I sighed, stood up and went to see what my mom wanted this time.
16th July 2005, 09:25 AM #2
Avenging Remora of Doom
Author's Note: Think of this as a kind of sequel to "memory" - it works as standalone too, and hence it's still a oneshot, but if you're going to read both read the other one first. This one's a bit darker than the last one, though. The story is set about a year after "memory". Wow, another first-person fic. I must be going crazy. Hmm... naming. As I stated in the AN to "memory", Jordan is named after New Found Glory frontman Jordan Pundik. Jordan and Jake's last name is Wilson, after Good Charlotte's current drummer Chris Wilson. (Hey, I was gonna make it Escolopio after original GC drummer Aaron, but it was a touch too obvious.) Josh Madden is, of course, older brother of twins Joel and Benji from Good Charlotte, and co-founder of MADE Clothing. Harley is named after the guitarist from the band who were my first real clients, 52 Reason. They rock, go check 'em out - after you've read this fic.
Disclaimers: I don't own anything except the things I do own. Blah.
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"Jordan! You did it!" Harley raced to my side and hugged me.
"Harls, quit that, you're strangling me," I sputtered, grinning at my best friend. We stood and listened to the announcer. The words bounced off the stadium walls, filling every corner with sound.
"Please congratulate our new Indigo League Champion - Jordan Wilson!"
The friends I'd made through the rounds gathered round to congratulate me. Smiling, my opponent shook hands with me.
"Good going Jordan, that was the best match I've ever had!"
"I can't wait to battle you again, Josh," I said. Suddenly, over Josh's shoulder, I saw a man coming towards me. A man whom I didn't remember meeting before, but who looked strangely familiar, all the same...
He reached me, and I saw his eyes, a reflection of my own. Harley looked at the two of us.
"Jords, he looks like you!" whispered Harley, shocked. I nodded.
The man smiled. "It's good to see you again, Jordan."
Clutching sodas and burgers, we wandered to the nearby park and sat by the fountain. Dad smiled at me.
"Now, Jordan, I'm sure there's a lot you want to know."
"Yeah - why did you leave us?"
"I can't tell you that yet - "
"Dad! I'm thirteen! It's been ten years; I have the right to know."
He considered for a moment, then nodded - slowly, as if weighed down by some great burden.
"Yes, I'll tell you."
"Jordan, Harley... I've never told anyone about this - not even your mother, Jordan." He stopped. "You have... no idea what it means to me to be finally letting this out."
He paused again; this one stretched into a silence. My father took a deep breath, and started talking.
"When I was younger, I was a very good Pokémon trainer - although I never reached your heights, Jordan. I gave that up the day I turned twenty-one. When I was about Jake's age, I joined a group - not a resistance group, exactly, but an activist group, aimed at stopping the everyday terrorism threatened by Pokémon thieves. People like Team Rocket." He licked his lips to wet them. "There was a major offensive planned on my twenty-first birthday. It was dangerous, but we believed we had allowed for every eventuality. Every one of us was going into Rocket HQ - that was 37 expert trainers, armed with full parties of Pokémon. We were risking everything on this one plan.
"We entered the building without any difficulties. We were all congratulating ourselves on an entry that had gone off without a hitch, when we heard a noise. All the doors around us had locked. We knew, then, that we'd walked into a trap. 37 of us, all expert trainers and with years of experience fighting organised crime, and no one had suspected anything. The last thoughts, then, of some of us, were of how we could be so - stupid.
"There was an explosion. My best friend died as I held him... I promised him that I would pay the Rockets back for what they did to us. I told him that I'd avenge him. But without the group, I couldn't... so I put away my Pokéballs forever. I was the only person to leave that building alive, but for a long time after it I didn't feel alive - I ate, and slept, because something was telling me I had to, but I felt no pleasure, no joy.
"I met your mother when I was 24, and for the first time in a very long while I was happy. We married, had you and Jake - and then we had to move. We'd been renting a house we couldn't afford, and then your mom's grandfather died and left her his house.
"The house was only a few blocks from where my friends had died."
My father shook his head. "I don't know if I can say any more."
"I think I can guess, Dad."
"No, you'd better hear it from me. The real story. What really happened.
"I thought that I could stay away from there, if I was careful. I was trying to forget - I hadn't ever wanted to remember. After two years, I thought I was doing well - but then I came home that day, and your mother told me she had a new employer.
"Team Rocket. The very people on whom I had vowed to have vengeance, and whom I knew that I could never now defeat. I couldn't take it. I walked out of the house that day, and I didn't look back."
The story hung in the air, as if he was daring me to believe it. I wanted to believe it, felt that it was true, but after all those years of my mom and my big brother telling me what a loser my dad was for walking out on us, it was just so hard - even though I'd been away from home for over three years.
"Dad... why didn't you ever write?"
"I couldn't bring myself to. I knew your mom would just throw the letters away," he said, but there was something he wasn't telling me.
"What is it? I know there's something you're not saying," I said, slightly aggravated.
"Jordan, this is a lot to ask, but - you're a better trainer than I ever was. You're my son. We could do great things - even, maybe, defeat Team Rocket. My experience, your power. We'd be known as the greatest crime-fighting team in the country, perhaps, with you, the League Champion."
Harley jumped up accusingly. The words were for me, but he was staring at my father.
"Jordan! Don't you see? He doesn't care about you at all - he's only come back for you because you've won League! Did you ever hear from him in the ten years since he left you? He's just looking for... for the reflected glory... you can't leave me..." His voice trailed off, and he glanced at me, defiant but almost pleading. Dad was looking at me too, and I was startled to see the hurt that showed in his eyes.
"Jordan, surely you couldn't believe that?"
I stood there, torn between my friend and my father, and wondering which of them was acting, and which was right...
16th July 2005, 07:54 PM #3
The first fic with Katy was cute; the second fic, although labeled a standalone, has potential to go further if you choose to write more. I'd be interested to know what Jordan decided to do.
17th July 2005, 06:56 AM #4
Avenging Remora of Doom
To tell the truth, I'm not exactly sure what Jordan decided to do :P That's probably why I ended it there, to let the reader think about it for him- or herself. My characters tend to take on minds of their own, and I'm reluctant to allow my own opinions to take over their thoughts, but I'll give this some thought and see if I can find out what happens next XD