Well, I started writing shorts based on Lighting Topaz's awesome prompts in the Weekly Prompt Thread, and this one developed into a bigger piece than I anticipated. So, I'm posting it as a one-shot, short story, what have you. If you happened to read my prior (and sadly doomed) fanfic, this is the same team. I've been writing the shorts revolving around a team that's already gone on their big adventure. Well, lemme know what you think! This is kind of a working piece of practice, so if you want to add constructive criticism, go for it.
“Alright, guys, have at!” The whole team stood at the gates to the amusement park, The PokéCircus. “See the big clock tower? Be back here at six o’clock, when the hands are straight up and down. Now, shoo!” Oz's companions sped off in all directions, each heading for some special attraction or another, except for one Pokémon, who stood still at the gate with a perplexed expression upon his face.
“What’s wrong, Nyx?” the trainer asked, placing a hand on his Weavile’s shoulder. Nyx’s arms were perched upon his hips, his head tilted and eyes wandering over the park. “Would you like to just come with me?” Oz offered, sensing his Pokémon’s hesitance. Nyx looked up with a forced smile and a shake of his head, then suddenly taking off down the main thoroughfare with astonishing speed. Oz watched as he turned a sharp corner and disappeared, a knowing smile on his lips.
Nyx was not comfortable in this place. It was crowded with people and Pokémon running around on the loose, flashing lights and loud noises everywhere; it was, in a word, chaos. Nyx was a serious, orderly Weavile who liked the quiet, the times when the world just slowed to a crawl. His idea of fun was playing a game with his family of companions, sitting and listening to his master’s voice reading to them, and just walking the road in silent bliss. Even when he battled, Nyx could center himself and find a quiet zone, but places like this amusement park were too disorderly for a Pokémon like Nyx. However, he was willing to suffer for a few hours if it meant that his friends would enjoy themselves.
He caught himself still running at top speed and skidded to a halt, resigned to at least take in the sights while willing the clock hands to move faster for once. As it happened, he’d stopped himself by an attraction called “The Strong ‘Mon!” and found a familiar face. The surrounding signs depicted a Machamp flexing his four arms, but the stage currently held a straining Machoke facing off against the main muscles of Oz’s team, Rigg the Feraligatr. Off to the side, a Machop sat dejectedly, holding an icepack against one swollen eye, and the Machamp from the signs stood with both pairs of arms crossed tightly over his bulging chest.
Nyx managed to weed his way through the crowd to the foot of the stage just as Rigg used his tail to sweep the Machoke’s feet out from under him, landing the Fighting-type Pokémon outside the blue circle they stood in. A Chimecho and Chingling dinged noisily together, and the Machoke crawled off to the side, sitting next to the Machop and pushing icepacks against the backs of his legs. As Rigg roared to the crowd in victory, the Machamp moved into the ring without a sound. The big croc caught eye of him and stuck out a claw to shake before the match, but his opponent aggressively smacked it away. Nyx immediately knew that was a mistake he would pay for. Rigg emitted a low grumble, planting his feet and flexing his jaw dangerously.
“Go, Rigg!” called out an unmistakable voice from somewhere in the mob of spectators. That was the last bit of encouragement he needed, and the Feraligatr lunged with his huge maw agape. The Machamp barely reacted in time, two hands thrust out to brace against his attacker’s shoulders and two to hold open the giant trap poised on either side of his head. Rigg’s eyes gleamed evilly as he then began to ratchet his jaw closed. The Machamp looked suddenly panicked, his two companions on the side wide-eyed in disbelief. The crowd was getting louder and louder, whooping and whistling as the trap closed little by little. The four-armed Pokémon now had two hands on each jaw, the sheer weight of Rigg’s strength forcing him down to one knee and then both knees.
Nyx smirked and turned his back, making his way to the main path. He walked no more than a few feet from the attraction before he heard a satisfying snap, an intense howl of pain, and the crowd roaring. The Weavile chuckled to himself before speeding off again to find some other amusement.
He slowed to a trot when he reached an area much less crowded, spotting another of his companions at the end of the street. It was the food district, and Gaia the Torterra was stamping happily at a Cottonee Candy vendor. The vendor was a particularly vivacious Whimsicott, the mass of cotton sprouting from her head and back caked with blue and pink sugar clumps as she hovered on a step ladder over a motorized vat of candy. The colors swirled round and round, and the little Pokémon bounced to the whirring rhythm as she gathered a generous amount of candy on a stick several times her size. Once the stick had a giant ball of fluffy sweetness on its end, the Whimsicott stuck it in the ground and hummed as she bustled around it, sculpting it into shape. When she’d finished, the dual colored mass had been transformed into the perfect countenance of a Cottonee.
Gaia bellowed gleefully and nuzzled the little vendor in gratitude, her happy stomps shaking the entire area as she turned to nibble at her treat. The Whimsicott leaned against her stand, seemingly exhausted, until she caught sight of Nyx watching amusedly. She spun once, a small breeze lifting her onto the ladder. Before he could stop her, the vendor grabbed a stick and was already spearing it into the vat to make another goody. It was just as much of a masterpiece as the first, though smaller so Nyx could carry it around with him. He inclined his head by way of thanks, and the Windveiled Pokémon blushed bashfully, touching at her cotton hair and accidentally spreading more candy through it.
After patting Gaia on her carapace as she hummed and cooed over her yummy prize, Nyx walked away leisurely, enjoying his own immensely sweet Cottonee Candy and curious as to where his other companions were. He started to step out onto another street when a parade blasted around the corner without warning. Glaring at the festive caravan for almost making him drop his candy, he took note of the participants. There were several Mr. Mimes juggling bright orbs of psychic energy, Sudowoodos dancing jerkily to the beat pounded by a drum line of Aipoms and Mankeys, and a bearded Jynx riding a float and lewdly blowing kisses at passersby. An elegant Gardevoir walked by at a slow gait, bedecked in jewelry marking her as a fortune teller, and she was flanked by two Banettes floating along like living puppets.
In the musical section of the parade, a Loudred struggled with his instrument, a tuba that wrapped around his frame with the bell aiming upward. He fiddled with the keys, shook it violently, and then finally resolved to blow into the mouthpiece as hard as he could. With a blast of music, a furry and winged creature burst from the horn with a huge grin on her face. The Swoobat called Flutter darted in and out of the line, causing as much mischief as possible. Several Pokémon performers stumbled as she buzzed by, the drummers’ sticks were brushed out of their hands, and the amorous Jynx began pulling at her long beard in distress.
Nyx shook his head as he looked on at the pandemonium Flutter was causing, sure that Oz would be very unhappy should he see this. Though he dearly loved his companion, it grated on Nyx how the mischievous Swoobat never considered the consequences. She never meant any harm, but her pranks often caused plenty of trouble, trouble that Nyx took upon himself to make Flutter clean up. This time, he was tempted to sit out, that is until she accidentally tripped the Gardevoir fortune teller.
With a fury belied by her appearance, the Psychic Pokémon’s eyes blazed as her Banette companions helped her to her feet. A hush fell over the crowd of performers as the parade ended abruptly in the middle of the street. Flutter, however, was oblivious, still flipping and flitting about, when a pink blast of energy whizzed by her. She stopped dead in the air, facing the firer of the Psychic bolt; the Gardevoir stood with her outstretched palm sizzling and a glare on her face. Flutter flashed a toothy grin and chuckled playfully, which only served to further infuriate the circus Pokémon and her puppet guards. Nyx determined it was finally time to intervene, tossing away the stick from his candy and stepping in between his companion and her opponents. The fortune teller clenched her fists in further indignation, her Psychic energy whirling around her menacingly. She signaled curtly to the Banettes, and the two floated toward Flutter, pulsing with Ghostly energy.
In the end, the impromptu battle was quick and easy. The onlookers cheered as Flutter dodged nimbly around her attackers, downing one with a sharp and unhindered Acrobatic flip in a matter of seconds. The other Banette threw blue Will-o-Wisp flames at her, but she was far too fast for them to come anywhere close to landing. Finally, she flipped around and finished off her attacker with a Psychic blast shaped like a heart. Nyx’s battle with the Gardevoir went just as smoothly. All of her attacks glanced off of the Dark-type Weavile, who zipped back forth in her path and struck at her with Night Slashes. It didn’t take long at all before the hot-tempered Psychic was finally cooled down with a knock-out Ice Punch.
The Gardevoir slumped to the ground, the two Banettes having fallen near her. A man dressed in a black tailcoat and top hat emerged from the crowd and smiled mysteriously. He withdrew three Pokéballs and contained the downed performers, waving at Nyx and Flutter and disappearing off into the crowd a moment later. The parade started back up as if nothing had happened while the two victors looked at each other in bewilderment. Flutter quickly shrugged it off, though, and went to take flight again, but Nyx grabbed her by the tail and pulled her down to his level. He gave her a stern look and pointed an icy claw at her, but she squeaked playfully and bumped his cheek with her heart-shaped nose, winking as she flitted away to probably get into more trouble.
Nyx moved on at a stride, his blood pumping from the battle. He turned a few corners and found himself in the arcade alley, spotting a large yellow and violet spider he recognized at a game booth. The attraction was entitled “Sitting Duckletts,” and Ohm the Galvantula chittered at its owner impatiently. An officious Swanna ran the game with her brood of Duckletts paddling about a large tub of water within the booth. The White Bird Pokémon was squawking at Ohm and pointing toward a sign with “2 Players” scrawled upon it. Ohm squinted all 6 of her eyes and hissed unhappily, but she caught sight of Nyx standing by curiously. She hooked him with one of her mandibles and pulled him unceremoniously to her side, presenting him as her second player for the game. The Swanna rolled her eyes and honked derisively, shooing her young up onto platforms with targets hung beneath them. She pointed with her wing at the bull’s eye below one particularly pudgy Ducklett and nodded vigorously, then pointing at the fat Water Bird himself and shaking her head slowly.
As Nyx understood it, the object of the game was to shoot the target beneath the little platforms while trying not to hit the Duckletts. This sounded easy enough, but Ohm’s hastiness would prove problematic if she went about the task guns blazing like she often did. As soon as the Swanna quacked to signal the game’s commencement, the Galvantula was true to form and raised her rump over her head in a flash, releasing an Electroweb at one of the higher targets. The web expanded from a single string to a full net in midair, but Nyx swiftly flung an Ice Shard to intercept the web’s path, saving a very nervous Ducklett from a sticky electrocution.
Ohm made a sighing hiss of disappointment, but Nyx ignored her and threw another Ice Shard at the same target, striking the bull’s eye dead center. The platform dropped suddenly and dumped its Ducklett into the tub below. The Pokémon quacked and flounced happily in the water, and his siblings began squeaking in anticipation. Ohm fidgeted eagerly, now understanding the rules and ready to go. She looked pleadingly at Nyx, as though asking for permission. The Weavile raised an eyebrow at her and prepared a frosted claw; Ohm immediately recognized his challenge and clicked excitedly, poising her posterior once again.
Nyx began flinging Ice Shards with amazing precision, Ohm rapidly firing electric webbing at the targets. The Duckletts plunked into the water in quick succession, and the game ended as the two hit the last target simultaneously. Though her young splashed around cheerily, the Swanna’s wings were folded back and placed on her hips, an extremely grumpy look on her billed face. Begrudgingly, she honked at one of her Duckletts who flapped over to a rack of stuffed prizes, grabbing the largest one between his webbed feet and tossing it to the winners. Nyx caught it in his claws carefully, smirking and offering the giant plushy Pokéball to Ohm. She snatched Nyx himself up in her mandibles, hugged him tightly, and jumped up and down with glee. Blushing awkwardly, Nyx pushed himself out of the fuzzy spider’s grasp and firmly handed her the prize, which she squeezed happily. Ohm chittered a final note of gratitude and skittered off further into the arcade, searching for another game to best.
As he began to wander again, Nyx wondered where he might encounter the last member of the team. Unintentionally, he began to search the park, retracing his steps and catching glimpses of the companions he had already encountered. Finally, he moved back into the park far enough to reach the base of the clock tower. Nyx noticed that the hands read 5 o’clock before he entered the large doors and began ascending the wide steps that spiraled against the outer wall of the building. The climb was long, and the Pokémon was slightly winded by the time he reached the top. He stopped to breathe for a moment, taking note of the Klinks, Klangs, and one central Klingklang working busily as gears to keep the giant timepiece in motion. They worked with an amazing efficiency and precision, one that actually reminded Nyx of his team and how well they all were in synch with one another. It was then that he was sure he’d come to the right place in search of his friend.
On the wide balcony that sat just below the clock face, Caesar the Arcanine lay on his stomach in a classic Guardian Shisa pose, eyes scanning the park imperiously. Nyx felt the enormous dog would look much more regal sans the Cottonee Candy stick protruding from his mouth like a large toothpick, the attraction prize medals hanging from his neck, and the clumps of confetti lodged in his fur. However, Caesar looked contented, snorting once and then chewing on the sugar-coated stick some more. If he had sensed Nyx’s presence, he didn’t telegraph it; he just sat and gazed. The Weavile perched on a ledge nearby and tried to follow Caesar’s sightline, homing his sharp eyes in on the target.
Oz was strolling through the park thoroughfare with several items in his arms and a goofy grin on his face. Nyx theorized that he was picking up gifts and memorabilia for them and the others, which the watchful duo considered thoughtful but entirely unnecessary. The two of them continued to watch their trainer move about the park, seated high up on the perfect vantage point. Soon, Nyx's eyelids began to droop, the day's excitement finally catching up to him. He could feel his body wobbling precariously on the ledge, but before he could risk toppling over, Caesar calmly and carefully grabbed him by the scruff. Ordinarily, Nyx would have struggled with being handled so, but his tiredness subdued him as Caesar slung his small frame over his shoulder. Now cushioned by warm fur, Nyx snuggled in and fell asleep, intent on staying that way until time to regroup with the master.
It seemed mere moments later that Nyx was being jarred awake by the tolling of the tower's bells. Sleepily, he gazed up to see two Bronzongs swinging forward and backward, using their Psychic abilities to amplify the ringing across the park. He then focused on the large clock face, and the two hands were completely vertical, like a great dividing line down the timepiece. Slowly, the realization that it was six o'clock came to him, and then a near panic descended. He rolled over and clutched Caesar's fur, peering across the park to see Oz and the other four Pokémon quickly approaching the front gates. The Bronzongs tolled a third time, and Ceasar stood, preparing himself for a lunge. Nyx grabbed desperately at the Legend Pokémon's fur to hang on, and Caesar launched himself and his passenger into the air, stories above the park. Nyx screwed his eyes shut and clenched his teeth in expectation of a disastrous impact, but instead he felt a light collision and the sensation that they were floating. Peeking through his eyelashes, he discovered that Caesar had landed and sprawled upon a grandly decorated Drifblim adorned with tassels and bells hanging from her four appendages. Though she huffed slightly under their weight, the circus Blimp Pokémon didn't seem to mind quickly ferrying her riders to the front gates.
Once she had descended to a safe height, Caesar leapt to the ground and sounded a grateful bark, trotting up to the team just as the sixth bell rang.
“I didn't know you could ride the Drifblim,” Oz said in awe, setting down his gifts and hugging Caesar about his neck. “You doing okay, Nyx?” he asked the Pokémon still clinging to his companion's back. Gently, Oz took him down and stood him on solid concrete, ruffling Nyx's feathered head affectionately. “Did you at least have fun?”
Nyx looked at each of his teammates carefully, studying them and reliving the moments he'd spent with them in the park. Finally, he stared into Oz's expectant face and couldn't help smiling broadly and winking one eye. Though he had not at all expected it, Nyx had indeed enjoyed himself more than ever at The PokéCircus.
As the team walked away from the park with their prizes and goodies, they heard a sharp whistle behind them. Standing in the gateway, the mysterious man in the tailcoat and top hat waved broadly, flanked by two unforgettable faces. A Machamp stood by with his arms crossed, his head wrapped in gauze, and a Gardevoir glared at them balefully. The man nudged her, and she stepped forward and lifted her hand into the air, firing a beam into the sky. In midair, the beam burst into a firework, and the image it outlined was of Oz and the team. The image didn't crackle and fade away immediately, though, and hung above the gates for a time. Oz smiled appreciatively and waved back before turning and leading his companions onward. The firework eventually did fade, but all of them knew that the image it held never really would.