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  1. #31
    Registered User Noteleks's Avatar
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    Default Re: GSTA: Johto

    Quote Originally Posted by Soulmaster View Post
    Your right Tao is one of the best characters in this. I have to say you are doing really well with the typos part I haven't seen any in the past couple of chapters.
    Hee hee... I know right?
    Too bad about those typos. I'm sure that the next chapter is going to be really bad... I've had one hell of a day. (Also why I'm getting on so late.)

  2. #32
    Registered User Noteleks's Avatar
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    Default Re: GSTA: Johto

    No copyright infringement intended.
    _________________________________________________________
    Lyra skipped around Goldenrod happily. With the burden of homesickness off her shoulders, she felt like celebrating. As she turned around to do another lap around the street, she stopped abruptly. "Marill, do you see that guy? He looks familiar... Doesn't he?"

    Marill clapped her little blue hands excitedly.

    Lyra looked back at him and stood on her tip-toes as she leaned forward and brought her hand up to her forehead to block the sunlight. After scrutinizing his face carefully, she finally decided. "Yep! That's got to be him... But I don't know the guy next to him... I'll bet he's nice though."

    Without a second thought, Lyra skipped over to him. They were walking across the street. Lyra ran up to Sam and hugged him.

    Caught off guard, he looked surprised to see her again. "Lyra? Geez, slow down a little before you go tackling people like that."

    Matt was completely shocked. "You know her?"

    Sam gave Lyra a half hug and answered Matt, "Yeah, it's a bit of a long story so I'll spare you the details. We met outside New Bark."

    Matt stared at the girl curiously. "Okay... I guess."

    Sam pulled away from Lyra. She held her hand out to Matt. "My name is Lyra."

    Matt smiled warmly despite his confusion. "My name is Matt. Nice to meet you, sweetheart!"

    Lyra blushed. "So you're a friend of Mr. Violet's?"

    Matt looked at Sam, who explained, "She calls me that because I saved her from drowning in Violet City and I didn't tell her my name."

    "Huh... Does she know purple is your favorite color?" Matt whispered teasingly as he leaned closer to Sam.

    Sam shook his head. "No." He turned to Lyra and had to stoop to get closer to eye-level with her. "My real name is Sam. So you can call me that from now on."

    Lyra's hazel eyes widened. "Are you sure? You said before-"

    Sam waved the question away. "Don't worry about that. But you can't start spreading my name around town, okay? No body else needs to know." Perhaps a useless precaution, but I can't have Lyra telling everyone and risk it getting to Team Rocket.

    Lyra took on a serious look and leaned closer as she whispered, "Is it a secret?"

    Sam laughed. "Yes, it's a secret."

    Lyra seemed to swell with pride. "You can count on me... Sam!" She giggled at being able to say his name now.

    Matt had a hand over his mouth and was shaking with laughter. Sam gave him a funny look. "What?"

    "She is sooo cute! She is just plain adorable!"

    Lyra blushed and hid her face behind her small hands. "No, no! Stop it! I am not that cute!"

    Sam crossed his arms across his chest and gave Matt a warning look.

    Matt brushed the glare off. "C'mon, man! Just look at her! Slightly knock-kneed and pigeon-toed. Pigtails... Ribbons and bows! She is the splitting image of sweetness and innocence incarnate."

    "She asked you to stop, and now I'm demanding that you stop."

    Lyra folded her hands behind her back and rocked on her heels. She liked Matt too, he was nice. She stared at the cement as she spoke to Sam. "Well, I just thought I'd thank you again for letting me borrow your bird Pokemon and all that. But... If you're busy, I'll just go." She turned to walk away but Sam caught her arm.

    "Lyra, you don't have to go if you don't want to. If you want him to shut up, I'll deck him in the face for you."

    "Hey now! And I don't want you to go either, Lyra, so I'll just shut up on my own." He gave Sam a look full of attitude. Sam glared back at him.

    Lyra giggled. "You guys are so funny!"

    Matt smiled. "Aren't I? Now, c'mon. Nobody knows the hot spots of Goldenrod like me!" Matt took her arm and started to rush off with her.

    Sam followed the happy-go-lucky pair grudgingly. "She said 'we'," he grumbled.
    _________________________________________________________
    Matt insisted that they go everywhere. The Goldenrod Department Store took forever. Matt decided that Lyra definitely needed a cute dress and the now inseparable pair combed through the clothes discussing size, color, and style. Sam stood back and watched. Despite the fact that Matt wouldn't do anything to Lyra, he refused to leave her alone with him. Matt had an incredible knack for getting into trouble and pissing off guys twice his size and Sam had had to save him from more than a few fights in the last year alone. After two hours, Sam got fed up with them and escorted them outside the store.

    "You are no fun," Matt pouted.

    "Shut up."

    "Ooh... Someone's getting a little testy," Matt commented teasingly.

    Lyra quickly broke in quickly. "Well, it was still fun. I had a great time!" She smiled and held the shopping bag up.

    Sam smiled pleasantly. "I'm glad you had fun."

    "Oh, is that so?" Matt interjected, "Well, you just ruined it by kicking us out. You cut off her fun. Ruined her day."

    "You've ruined more of my days than I can count, never heard you apologize for that."

    "Yeah, well you ruin my life! That's right, I totally just went teenager on you. Now what, huh? Huh?" Sam just stared at him stoically.

    Lyra came in between them again. "If I didn't know better, I'd say you guys did not get along very well."

    "We don't get along," Sam responded.

    "We really don't," Matt agreed, nodding.

    "Okay... Well, where should we go now?" Lyra asked as she took both of their hands.

    Matt mulled it over while he hummed snatches of some song. Sam became immediately suspicious the second a devious smile reached Matt's face. "This had better not be stupid," Sam warned.

    Matt sneered at him. "Then it's a good thing today isn't about you."

    "You make it sound like any day is about me."

    Matt waved him off. "Whatever. Anyway, we need to go to the Underground next!"

    "No. Absolutely not," Sam interjected bluntly.

    "Why not?"

    "It's dangerous down there for someone like her... And, frankly, someone like you."

    "Lyra, you want to go. Don't you?" Matt asked her, dodging Sam's comment.

    Lyra shrank back and scuffed her shoe in the ground. "Well... I heard there's a Pokemon groomer down there... And a dress-up booth. I kinda thought it would be fun to go."

    Matt gave Sam a triumphant grin. "Win."

    "No, no win. It's dangerous down there," Sam repeated.

    Matt brushed him off again. "That's what we have you for."

    Lyra smiled hopefully at Sam. Whether she did it on purpose or not, Sam couldn't tell, but she was giving him puppy-dog eyes and a bit of a pout. Sam tried to ignore it for a moment. Lyra's pout became even more pronounced and she let some crocodile tears come to her eyes. She is definitely doing this on purpose... Finally, he gave in. "Arceus... Fine. Whatever."

    Lyra leaned against Sam happily. "Thank you! I'm so excited to go!"

    Matt responded cheerfully, "I am too! This will be so much fun!" Matt looked at Sam expectantly.

    Sam rolled his eyes and added a sarcastic, "I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am." Sarcasm went right over Lyra's head, so she didn't notice. Though, Matt gave him a glare.

    Ever happy, Lyra skipped down into the Underground. Matt was right beside her, but the somewhat menacing atmosphere sobered him up a little. He looked over at Sam, who kept a hold of Lyra with one hand and let his other hand stray to the dagger hidden in his belt. Matt could tell he'd tensed up like a steel coiled spring ready to bound into action at any given time.

    Matt stepped closer to him as Lyra continued gawking, oblivious to it all. "So maybe this wasn't such a hot idea," Matt whispered nervously. The faces here weren't friendly and they were oddly unfamiliar. Matt didn't know anyone here.

    "Well, hey. That's what I'm for right?" Sam smirked. "Don't worry, Matt. I've survived worse situations."

    "Yeah?"

    "Yeah." A devious grin spread across his face slowly. "Despite numbers, they pale in comparison to ol' Koga."

    "Fair enough. I'll make this really quick then." Matt caught Lyra's arm and shooed her off to the hairdresser. The elder brother was there and Lyra watched with interest as he groomed her Marril.

    Sam remained behind them, calculating distances to exits, hiding spots, and finding corners that he could use to protect his back if worst came to worst. Normally, the Underground was a haven for nerds and a few questionable characters; the thugs here didn't fit that bill. They were all tall, tough looking men that had probably beaten their fair share of innocent people. They're not from around here... And they all have the same symbol on their clothes somewhere. Which means that they're all part of some gang. Sam pretended to ignore them by leaving his back to them and keeping his face turned in the direction of Lyra and Matt. His gaze, however, absorbed everything around him. Few have any Poke balls... Most of their weapons are crude; iron bars, dull switchblades, and two guys who look like they don't need weapons. This should be good. He let his hand slide off the handle of his dagger. No point in letting them know I'm armed.

    In his mind, Sam tried to make ends meet. Now I just need to know, 'Who are they? and Why are they here?' His quick eyes caught sight of a slip of paper and fat load of cash in who he guessed to be the leader's pocket. His following thoughts were interrupted by Matt.

    "Hey, we can go now since you didn't want to come in the first place." Matt was clearly unnerved by the cold faces that surrounded them. Lyra wasn't oblivious anymore, now she just seemed confused.

    "You had more planned than just a trip to the salon, right? Go ahead, you wanted to dress up Lyra's Pokemon didn't you?" Sam spoke calmly and evenly.

    Matt watched Sam's face carefully, it was clear that Sam wanted them to get out of the upcoming fray. "Right... C'mon Lyra."

    Lyra hesitated as Matt tried to usher her over to the kind-looking hiker behind a counter. She glanced around her with even more confusion, a trace of fear coming to her eyes. "But-" She looked to Sam.

    "You'll be fine, Lyra. Nothing is going to happen." There were a couple of sniggers and leers from the thugs. Some started to inch a little closer. Lyra watched them nervously. She looked back to Sam and saw that he seemed calm and confident. "Lyra... Go with Matt."

    She nodded slowly and the hiker/dress up guy shooed Matt and Lyra in the dress-up room as he followed. The hairdresser fled in behind them.

    As the men around him came closer, Sam let his left hand close around the handle of his dagger.

    "That little girl was aweful cute... Wots her name? Lyra?" their leader drawled as he sneered.

    They're from Cianwood. Sam turned his face halfway to acknowledge the comment in silence.

    "Hey, ya speak? Doncha? I heard ya. Whatcha got to say now?" He reached for Sam's shoulder. Before the man could even react, Sam spun around and caught his hand and twisted it harshly.

    "If it's a fight you want, then let's just skip the word parley."

    The shock and pain registered on the man's face quickly. A look into the dangerous stranger's eyes and the hand that was grasping the handle of some unknown weapon, led him to try and play it all off. "Fight? Brother, I didn't want a fight with you-"

    Sam twisted his arm to the near-breaking point as he leaned close enough to the man's face that their noses almost touched. He let his voice drop to a cutting growl. "Don't lie to me, scum."

    The leader whimpered as he signaled a nearby henchman to move for a strike. Just as the large henchman was about to bring an iron bar down on Sam's head, he found the point of a razor-sharp dagger tickling his throat. Everyone froze.

    "The way I see it, you have two choices. One; you stay and fight, in which case you and lackeys will all die. Or two; you tell me everything I want to know and I let you return to Cianwood with your lives. What's it going to be, brother?"

    All the men in the room put their weapons away and edged toward the door. The leader nodded in forced obedience. "What do you want from me?"

    "Who hired you?"

    "I don't know what you're-"

    The man screamed in pain as Sam twisted his arm maliciously, dislocating it in the process. "Do NOT lie to me."

    "Okay, okay! I'll talk!"

    Sam relaxed the twisted arm. "Who hired you to come here?"

    "Those crazy Team Rocket-types. Said they were looking for some mercenaries to carry out some of their dirty work. We were supposed to meet some operative here, he hasn't shown yet! I don't know anything else!"

    Sam let the man's arm go with a smile. "That wasn't so hard was it." Sam then pulled him close for a moment and slammed the man's shoulder back into place. The man yelped. "You'll be fine. Now get out of here."

    With a vicious snarl, the gang leader stormed out with his men. Sam straightened his jacket and sheathed his dagger carefully. He saw Matt peering around the corner of the doorway. "You never were one to miss a show."

    Matt grinned. "That was awesome! You took on a dozen guys without even getting blood on your dagger. And then you relocated the guy's shoulder... That's a gentleman's fighting style."

    "Gentleman, huh? That's a new one," Sam chuckled. "Lyra, c'mon! Let's get out of here."

    Lyra flew out of the curtains and hugged Sam. "You're okay! And they... Left?"

    "Yeah, they're gone. No let's get out of here." Sam smiled at her charmingly. She smiled back and latched herself to his arm.

    "Next time you say it's too dangerous, I think I might listen to you," Matt said ruefully.

    "Gee, thanks for that."

    Lyra reached out and took Matt's hand so she could hold both their hands again. As they walked, Lyra finally remembered to ask a question that had been nagging at her for awhile. "Hey, do you guys know who invented the box system? The PC in the Pokemon Center just says 'someone'."

    Matt smiled widely. "Of course I do! We know each other really well, in fact!"

    Sam bit down a sarcastic response, instead he just said, "Would you like to go meet him, Lyra?"

    "I would!" She smiled happily.

    Matt skipped with her to Bill's house. Sam declined to accompany them and remained outside the building. When they came back out, Lyra was sporting a new Poke Ball. Sam looked at Matt for answers, but Matt only smiled.

    Sam frowned at him and directed his attention to Lyra. "Did Bill give you a Pokemon?"

    Lyra was almost bouncing with joy. "Yes! It's so cute! Wanna see it?"

    "Yes... Let's go out to Route 34 first. So you can try battling with it," Sam suggested with a gentle smile.

    "Okay!"

    Soon enough, they were standing amongst the grass of Route 34. Lyra released the Pokemon happily. Matt looked to Sam for his reaction. Matt had been fairly proud of the present- the sweet and cute little Eevee was perfect for Lyra. As he watched Sam's face, he didn't see a smile or recognition that the Eevee was a great Pokemon. Matt didn't see any emotion on Sam's face.

    Lyra had also turned around so she could see Sam's face with a happy grin and a squeal of delight as she cuddled with the soft little Pokemon. Sam instantly faked a smile for her sake. "An Eevee... What will you evolve it into?"

    Lyra didn't notice anything off, she just squeaked with joy. "I don't want it to evolve! It's perfect the way it is! I'm going to name her... Annie!"

    A purple Nidoran leapt through the grass disrupting any further conversation. Lyra put Annie on the ground. "Alright, let's see what you've got, Annie!"

    Matt took a few steps closer to Sam. Just as Lyra was about to command Annie to do something, the Nidoran transformed into a pinkish/purple blob of goo. Matt and Lyra were completely confused. For what should have been an inanimate object, it was very dynamic. Matt hardly knew anything about Pokemon. He once had a Politoed, but it had been a gift and he was five. Lyra didn't have a clue what was she was looking at. They both turned to Sam, who had more than enough experience with Pokemon to cover for both of them. He wasn't looking at them though and didn't even seem aware that they were there anymore. His attention was completely trained on the blob.
    _________________________________________________________
    AN: Hmm... You know I really wasn't sure what to call the dress-up guy... If I remember right, he didn't have a name so... I just went with it.

    Shout out to my beta, DarkAngelTorchic. And Soulmaster (who looks for typos for me- even though I can get most of them myself now... He still serves as my motivation to really check since he actually points out my typos. T_T)

    Good news, my readers! I know how the story ends :D And I know this because I already wrote the ending!

    - I am so sorry this is late. It was... A really weird very stressful day.
    Last edited by Noteleks; 15th March 2012 at 06:35 PM.

  3. #33
    Registered User Noteleks's Avatar
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    Default Re: GSTA: Johto

    No copyright infringement intended.
    _______________________________________________________
    Sam stared at the Ditto silently. He hadn't even seen a Ditto since his was taken away. Even though every fiber of his being wanted to believe that the creature in front of him was his, he instinctively knew it wasn't. Ditto was... Special. Sam could pick his Ditto out of a horde and the little fellow in front of him... It just wasn't the right one. The wild Ditto made a curious face at him and transformed into the Eevee in front of it happily. It all reminded him of his own Ditto. An Eevee was his favorite thing to transform into...

    "Sam...?" Matt's voice broke him out of his trance-like state. Sam only turned to look at him in response. "Are you okay...?" Obvious concern was plastered on Matt's face.

    "I'm fine," Sam replied without conviction.

    "Okay... What is that thing?"

    "It's a Ditto."

    "Oh," Matt said. Then realization hit, "...Oh!" Sam kept quiet and sent him a glare that obviously meant he wanted Matt to shut up.

    Lyra, of course, had no idea what was going on. "What's a Ditto?"

    "A Ditto is a very odd little Pokemon that can transform into anything it sees by rearranging its own DNA," Sam answered her automatically.

    Lyra looked back to the Ditto rolling in the grass as an Eevee. She was fascinated by the Pokemon. "I've never seen anything like a Ditto before... Is it a good Pokemon to have?" Lyra asked Sam curiously.

    Sam smiled sadly and nodded. "They can be a little difficult to handle and even harder to raise, but they can also be the best partner you've ever had."

    Lyra turned back to the Ditto, pondering what he'd said. "I think I'll stick with Annie and Marril."

    Sam shrugged. "Whatever you're comfortable with... Well, I'll leave you to your training, Lyra. Stay out of the forest, kay?"

    Lyra winced at that comment. "You don't have to tell me- I learned my lesson. I'll see you guys around!" Lyra waved a cheerful goodbye.

    Sam walked back into Goldenrod without another word. Matt followed closely behind him. Once they were out of earshot of Lyra, Matt spoke up. "Ditto... Isn't that-"

    "Yes."

    Matt put his hands in pockets and meekly stared at the ground as he scrambled for something to say. They had almost gotten all the way back to Sam's apartment before Sam said anything. "Are you going to follow me back to my apartment or what?"

    "Yeah... I guess. It's too dangerous for me to go home. What with Tao and her lackeys brooding and forming a hate-club of woman's scorn. Life is becoming dangerous for me."

    "Whatever." Sam opened his door and had barely walked through the door when his phone rang. Sam didn't make a move to answer it, but he had stopped walking.

    "Are you... Going to answer that?"

    In response, Sam took his phone out of his pocket, looked at it for a minute then threw the phone across the room.

    "I'm... Going to take that as a 'no'."

    Sam shrugged off his jacket and walked over to the windows watching as the sun started to set behind the trees.

    Sensing that Sam clearly wasn't in a very talkative mood, Matt decided to just talk to fill the silence. "You know, throwing your phone isn't going to help anything." He walked over to it and checked the caller ID. "Whitney... She really doesn't give up, huh? You know, maybe I misjudged you.. I would get annoyed after awhile too... You have a lot of missed calls." Matt read through all the names."Whitney, Whitney, Hayle, Falkner, Whitney... Oh, you got one from Steven."

    "I'll call him back later."

    "Okay... Well, as long as you know. I would think he would worry if you didn't respond right away though."

    Sam didn't say anything back. Matt fumbled with the phone in the awkward silence as he searched desperately for a topic to talk about. He surveyed Sam's apartment for anything, and finally noticed something that he'd never realized: Sam hadn't put in anything personal. "You... haven't made yourself home here at all," Matt commented, shocked and somewhat saddened by it.

    "I don't want a home here." was Sam's only cold reply.

    "Okay... Well," Matt stumbled over his words. He wanted to help but just couldn't find anything to say that would make anything better. Thankfully, Sam's phone rang again and Matt checked the caller ID. Ryan? I don't remember any one named Ryan here... Who is he?

    "Who is it now," Sam growled from the shadows, he was glaring at his phone, clearly irked by the disruption.

    "Ryan... Do you care?" Matt asked.

    Sam seemed to consider it for a moment, before turning back to the windows with a, 'no'. Matt shrugged. The phone stopped ringing and Ryan apparently decided to leave a message in text form. "Well, now you have a message that reads... What the hell?"

    Sam ignored Matt's question, he had more important things to do; like rebuilding his composure that some fluke Ditto had broken in an instant. Matt's second outburst was harder to ignore as his voice was higher pitched.

    "Are you even listening to me?"

    With an irritated sigh, Sam turned back towards him. "What do you want?"

    "Who the hell is this Ryan guy?"

    Sam stared at him blankly.

    "I can't believe you! I have been your friend for three years. Three years! And you're hanging around with some 'Ryan'! Who is this guy!"

    Sam was completely taken aback by Matt's furious questioning. Eventually, Sam answered him, confused. "I don't know a guy named Ryan."

    "Well, you clearly do! He called and left quite the message when you didn't answer!"

    Finally, Sam put two-and-two together. "Matt... Ryan isn't a man."

    "And what is that supposed to mean?"

    "I mean, she is a woman."

    Matt looked suspicious. "A likely story. If he is really a chick, then why is her name Ryan?"

    "I don't know. I didn't ask. I don't care," Sam responded slightly irritated.

    "Well, why not?"

    "Why don't you try asking Bill why his name is Bill on your next date."

    Matt made a face. "No, dude. That's a total mood killer." The sarcastic look on Sam's face brought attention to the hypocrisy in what Matt had just said. Matt recovered quickly. "Well, there's no point in me asking him anyway. His name is normal. 'Ryan' is a ridiculous name for a girl."

    "Well, you are more than welcome to tell that to her."

    "We've never met. But I'd be happy to meet this guy."

    "Fine, give me my phone. I'll call her myself." Sam held his hand out.

    Matt was about to toss the battered phone across the room to him, then held on to it. "And how am I supposed to know that you'll actually call this guy/alleged woman?"

    "Fine." Sam walked over to him, made a show of pressing the redial button and the phone immediately started calling Ryan.

    Roughly two miles away, Ryan's phone rang. That was fast, she thought as she answered her phone, unaware of the conflict surrounding her name. "Hey! So-"

    "Save it, Ryan. Meet me..." Sam paused and Ryan heard some other guy's voice break in. Some little argument ensued. "Okay, why don't you just meet me at my apartment."

    Totally confused and feeling out of some unknown loop, Ryan simply responded, "Okay... Be there in ten."

    Sam hung up promptly and looked at Matt. "Ten minutes."

    "Oh, so he knows where you live?" Matt commented with an accusing glare.

    Sam glared right back, and silently walked back to his windows. He saw Ryan walk to entrance of the thief, safe house complex. Within a minute, a sharp knock on his front door announced her arrival. Sam gestured for Matt to go answer the door, to which he obliged happily.

    The door in front of Ryan opened suddenly. Both people weren't looking at who they expected. Ryan didn't recognize the blonde man at all, and he certainly wasn't Sam. Matt was staring at a woman dressed very professionally in a white shirt, black vest, black pencil skirt, and red pumps. Her red hair was pulled back in a very chic bun, and her electric blue eyes stared at him in surprise behind square-lensed glasses. Her sharp red lips pulled into a white smile. "Hi... I'm here to talk to Sam.. So if you would just excuse me." She edged past him and walked over to Sam. He had turned to face her as she approached.

    Matt couldn't do anything more than gape and point at the undoubtably female who'd just walked in.

    Ryan noticed all of his, or more importantly noticed that Sam wasn't looking at her, and asked Sam for answers. "What is going on here?"

    Sam looked back to her. "Nothing, really."

    "Who's your friend... He's kinda cute," she crooned as she looked over Matt.

    "That would be Matt. Matt, this is Ryan."

    Matt numbly stuck his hand out to shake hers, he was still in shock. Ryan was ever polite. "Nice to meet you, Matt. I'm Ryan, as he said."

    Matt stared at Sam, still gaping. Ryan waited for an answer from him for a moment before walking back to Sam and leaning against him. "Your friend is weird," she commented.

    "You have no idea," Sam replied dryly. Ryan gave him a look of confusion.

    Matt finally recovered. "You're Ryan?"

    The attractive woman shrugged. "One and the same."

    "I just... Your name is Ryan so I thought-"

    "Oh! You thought I was man? Ha! Is that what this all about?" She looked up at Sam, he simply shrugged. "That's kinda cute of you two." she smiled.

    "Yes, well, anyway- what did you want, Ryan?"

    She sighed, "I have a 'whoopie!' and I have a 'but'. Which do you want to hear first?"

    Sam grimaced slightly. "I don't care."

    "Okay. Whoopie! All of your Pokemon have been ranked at level 50. No one is below that and they're all grouped together pretty closely now."

    "Kay..."

    "But, I'm really worried about your Scyther. He's practically stopped eating and just lays in the shade and sleeps most of the time."

    Sam's face betrayed nothing as he responded. "Don't worry about him."

    Ryan didn't look convinced and Matt quickly picked up on the fact that she had a fiery attitude. "Nice poker-face, but I'm not going to just let that sweet old guy go without a fight."

    Sam smiled slightly at that statement "Kind of you, but don't push him too far." Sam pulled away from her. He took his phone out of his pocket and walked to the door as he said, "I'm going to call Steven back before he has a heart attack with worry. You're welcome to stay if you want, Ryan." With that he left. Matt and Ryan stared at each other.

    Matt was the first to break the silence. "So..."

    Ryan smiled. "Well, he's all kinds of cheerful. What happened?"

    Matt recounted the tale and Ryan listened intently. They both sat on the couch. With the ice broken, the two started talking quite a bit.

    "So, where are you from?" Matt asked her.

    "I'm actually from Hoenn. I lived in Petalburg next to the gym for most of my childhood. Me and Sam were like neighbors and best friends."

    "No way! So you knew him when he was young?"

    "I did! Yeah, he lived just outside town with his foster-father, Mr. Briney," Ryan answered with a fond smile.

    "Whoa... I honestly didn't know that. He doesn't talk much about Hoenn or the life he's left there for the last three years."

    "It's been longer than three years. It's probably been around six. I moved out of Hoenn when I was nine. Not long after, Steven pulled him into the Guild. He eventually made his way to Johto and we met up again. After that he came back for months at a time. He was actually with me just before he left for Kanto."

    "Oh, is that so?" Matt gave her a knowing look.

    "Not that kind of 'with me.' He was in town waiting for Steven to come and collect him so he could go back to Hoenn. We were catching up on times. We were probably talking for hours... He just couldn't get himself off the topic of home. He's pretty tough and he's always had a good pokerface, but I could tell he was starting to get a little homesick and the only thing he wanted was to go home. Then Steven showed up and an hour later. They talked and Sam came back and informed me that he'd be in Kanto for awhile." Ryan smiled sadly. "Didn't hear another word from him for a few months."

    "Did you hear what happened?"

    "I got the gist of it. I knew he'd been hurt in more ways than one. But other than that, I was in the dark. As soon as he was recovered enough to stand and walk, he came to Johto. Steven contacted me. Said he really needed someone to make sure Sam would be okay. Did you see him when he first got here?"

    Matt shook his head. "I didn't meet him for almost a year after that. Why?"

    "The poor guy... His whole arm was in a cast and in a sling, his whole chest was bound with bandages, he was feverishly pale, too weak to stand on his own for extended periods of time... He looked like hell. In fact, he still kinda does," Ryan commented with a sigh.

    "Geez... He still had a brace thing on his hand when we met, and he looked pretty rough but I never thought about what it would have been like at the start."

    "It was bad." Ryan mused over it. "How did you meet him?"

    "I was just sitting in the Pokemon Center in Olivine playing with my computer and putting together a new cell phone, and he just kinda noticed me. He hovered over my shoulder and finally asked what I was doing. He seemed really curious about it, so I explained. Eventually, he asked me if I'd like to help him take down Team Rocket, said he wasn't much good with technology and stuff. He could break such things- but he couldn't fix them... And here we are."

    "He never much was one for tech stuff," Ryan smiled.

    "I noticed." A silence ensued briefly. Matt snapped his fingers as he resumed conversation. "Anyway, so what was he like then? I heard that he wasn't always like so dark, cold, serious."

    Ryan waved her hand. "Oh no! He was very sweet and charming... A true rogue to the core. He didn't take anything seriously; everything was a joke."

    "Doesn't sound anything like him." Matt shook his head.

    "You really shouldn't talk about people behind their back."

    Matt and Ryan almost jumped out of their chairs at Sam's voice. Ryan recovered quickly. "You really shouldn't just appear out of nowhere."

    Sam shrugged in response.

    "So, what did Steven want?"

    "He was... Worried about me," Sam answered.

    Matt knew what that meant, Ryan wasn't aware of why that was such a problem. "Does he know-" Matt started.

    "No... I doubt it. But he might have some time of parental instinct gnawing at him." Sam pushed his hair out of his face and sighed.

    Ryan thought considered asking, but Matt was much easier to get information out of than Sam so she decided to wait to ask Matt later. Instead she just changed the subject. "And how's sweet little Cat?"

    Sam smiled slightly at that. "She can stand up and walk on her own now... She's a little wobbly, but it's still an improvement. Steven thinks it's just because her muscles deteriorated from not being able to move for so long."

    "Aw, well that's good. She sounds like a little fighter."

    "You don't know the half of it," Sam chuckled. Ryan smiled.

    Matt interrupted them. "So you two are dating?" There was a knowing smile on his face.

    Sam and Ryan looked at each other for an answer. Ryan was the first to respond, "Well... No?"

    "Not... Really."

    "We're more like... really good friends?" She looked back at Sam for a way to finish her sentence.

    "Sorta... Well... Yeah. Really good friends," Sam agreed, though still looking for a better word.

    Ryan slapped her hand down the table as she stated, "That's what we are. Really good friends... With a very off-and-on relationship."

    Matt nodded without understanding.

    "It's complicated," Sam said with a shrug.

    "Apparently. Why not a real full-time relationship?"

    The two looked at each other again and answered simultaneously. "We have our reasons."

    "Okay..." Matt responded suspiciously.

    Ryan changed the subject. "Well, now that it's dark, let's go out for walk around Goldenrod. I've always liked this city at night. It's nice and quiet."

    Not waiting for anyone to answer, she grabbed Sam's arm and pulled him towards the door. She took two of his jackets off the back of a nearby chair, handed one to him, and put the other one on herself. "Now let's go."

    Sam started to say something in return, but Ryan interjected quickly, "Or will you be leaving me alone on such dangerous streets... Who knows what could happen to little ol' me." With that she walked out.

    Matt elbowed Sam. "One of the reasons you're not actually dating?"

    Sam pulled the jacket on and walked out the door with Matt as he answered, "There's a lot more to it than just that."

    "Are you going to tell me?"

    "You'll figure it out soon enough," Sam grumbled.
    _______________________________________________________
    After ten minutes of meandering, they ended up near the Global Terminal; a giant building that enabled people from out of the region to call in. Long distance communication wouldn't be possible without it. The Guild had invested a small sum of money in beautifying the building and the placid area outside it with mosaic tiles and two water fountains.

    Ryan had climbed over the fence in the northwest corner and took of her heels to soak her feet in the clear blue waters. Sam was standing beside her leaning on the fence and Matt was on the other side. Ryan was humming softly, she looked up at Sam to see what he was doing. He had an odd look on his face. She immediately sensed that something was amiss.

    "Sam... What's wrong?"

    He didn't answer at first. When he did, he spoke slowly and softly, "What's wrong with this picture?"

    Ryan and Matt looked around and then at each other. Matt answered him. "I don't see anything in particular..."

    Sam kept scanning the ocean waters. Something was nagging at him. Something wasn't quite right. Instinctively, he let his gaze travel northwest following the horizon until he was looking at Olivine City. The waters of the sea were dark, choppy, and flat-out dangerous to sailors since it was a new moon. Then it hit him. "The Lighthouse..."

    Ryan immediately jumped up and stared. "Acreus... You're right! You can usually see the lighthouse from here!"

    "What do we do? Does Jasmine know?" Matt asked, freaking out slightly.

    Sam jumped back over the fence and pulled out his phone as called out orders. "Ryan, go and get me either a Gyarados or an Xatu." She nodded and ran off. "Matt, I need people on call in case Team Rocket is involved."

    Matt froze. "Team Rocket?"

    "Yes... Damn him..." Sam cursed under his breath.

    "Why would they-"

    "The harbor! They must need a ship in case they need to run, so Arthur's forcing all the ships already in the harbor to stay and keeping any ship that's not out on the open sea so he can take any one he wants."

    "Oh, sh- Okay, I'm going," Matt ran off.

    Sam pulled up Jasmine's number and tried to call her. The phone rang, but she didn't answer. He tried to call her again, she still didn't answer. Sam swore under his breath again and stared in the direction of the lighthouse, hoping that things were not as bad as they seemed.
    _______________________________________________________
    AN: :D Now, before you think you know what's going on- reconsider. ^^

    Thank you to my beta, DarkAngelTorchic! And to Soulmaster.
    Last edited by Noteleks; 15th March 2012 at 06:36 PM.

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    Default Re: GSTA: Johto

    Wow I missed the chapter you put up yesterday. derp on my part. The chapter yesterday was a great Lyra chapter and today's chapter was a funny one because you learnt of Sam's back story and the whole Ryan part was just hilarious.
    And now for that part. Yes you know the one I'm talking about. The Typos...


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    Default Re: GSTA: Johto

    Well, I didn't post that chapter until 8-9 o'clock. :\ It was a lot later than normal. Lyra is just hilarious. I love her. It just wouldn't have been the same if she'd been collecting badges like a tough trainer... And I could not resist the part with Ryan. Matt had to meet her eventually... But he definitely had to freak out about it. ^^ He's pretty entertaining too. I think I'll be bringing him back much for Sinnoh.

    And yes... The typos. Saw those coming.

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    Default Re: GSTA: Johto

    No copyright infringement intended.
    ____________________________________________________
    Jasmine had heard her phone phone ring. It had been ringing for a long time, but she didn't care. She cradled Amphy's head in her lap. He was so sick... He'd been so healthy just yesterday. "What happened to you?" she whispered to it softly. Tears began to spill down her cheeks again as Amphy barely managed a weak growl between its painful gasps for air.
    ____________________________________________________
    Outside the Lighthouse, Sam slipped in right behind Ethan. As he ghosted through the lobby without a sound, he noticed a woman there. She was always in the lobby and she told visitors a little fun fact about Olivine and the Lighthouse. But her eyes weren't purple, they were hazel. As he scrutinized her face closely, something about it was off. A Team Rocket member in disguise?

    Sam hesitated for only a moment before deciding to deal with the impostor later. He slipped away and climbed the stairs before Ethan. He then immediately slipped out the nearest window and grabbed the first rung of the emergency ladder just above. Since Ethan was right behind him, he couldn't just take the elevator or just walk up the stairs. With little effort, he pulled himself one rung at a time till his feet could reach one of the rungs. After that it was just a matter of moments for Sam to scale the ladder to the top floor of the Lighthouse. Without the light of the lighthouse and moon, the night was pitch black. He stepped into the top floor and the room was just as dark. He slipped his black thief card into the slot. The doors slip open noiselessly. Jasmine didn't look up, she had no idea he was even there.

    In his head, Sam berated himself. He'd forgotten to at least make some noise so he wouldn't scare her. She was crying and the Ampharos laying in her lap was in terrible condition. He absolutely couldn't stand it when girls cried and Jasmine reminded him a whole lot of Lyra right now. Amphy was startled by his presence and growled gamely.

    She looked up, slightly startled. In the darkness she could barely see the person who'd walked in. The stranger pulled out a lighter and a small flame danced, dimly lighting the room. "Who-"

    "It's been awhile... I'm Sam." He smiled at her gently.

    His name sounded familiar and he looked familiar. Despite the light, he was almost blending in with the shadows. She sniffed and tried to wipe away her tears quickly. "What do you want?"

    "I noticed the Lighthouse was out and I was worried," he answered honestly.

    "About me?" she returned, disgusted. Every man was doing that now. Normally she was too shy to talk to people much, but her concern for Amphy made her a little testy and remarkably bolder.

    "No."

    She stared at him in surprise. "No?"

    He shrugged. "You're fifteen, you can handle yourself. I've got bigger fish to fry, in a manner of speaking."

    "You... What do you want?"

    "You have my sympathy, I know what it's like to have Pokemon injured this badly... But I need to ask you few questions and it's important that you answer me truthfully."

    Jasmine met his eyes and nodded. "I'll... answer any of your questions."

    He smiled disarmingly, he took another step closer. Amphy growled, but Jasmine soothed him. Sam knelt beside the shivering Pokemon. This is more than just sickness.

    He turned his attention back to Jasmine. "When did Ampharos become sick?"

    She brushed her hair out of her face. "I don't know... He- the Lighthouse went out around midnight last night."

    "Was he okay before that?" Sam touched the Pokemon gently, feeling the high temperature of the sick pokemon and the weakened heartbeat.

    "Yes! Amphy was in perfect health! ...I don't know why this is happening!" A few more tears slid down her cheeks. She saw that Sam's face was very grim.

    "Amphy isn't sick... necessarily."

    "What? Of course he is!" The grim look on his face was rapidly turning to one of anger and wrath. She let out a calming breath. "Okay, if he's not sick then-"

    "He's been poisoned... Badly."

    There was more hatred in his eyes then she'd ever seen. "You've seen this before?"

    Sam met her curious gaze. "Yes. He did the same thing to one of my Pokemon."

    Jasmine was taken aback. "He? Who is he? And why- Why would he do such a thing?"

    Sam's voice had dropped to a dangerous growl. "Team Rocket. They're trying to close the harbor." Jasmine started to speak again, but Sam interrupted her with a much softer voice tone. "Jasmine, listen to me. I wish I could help you, but I can't. Amphy is in more danger than you can imagine. This poison is strong. He needs medicine and he needs it now."

    "So... I just need an antidote?"

    "No, you need a miracle. I had to take Cat to the Pokemon Center repeatedly just to get her back in action and I'd found her within an hour of the poisoning." He looked up at Jasmine's face and quickly realized his mistake. "Wait, wait. That was harsh... There's a pharmacy in Cianwood. I've heard that they carry some really special medicines there that might be able to save Amphy."

    "Can you-"

    "No, I have to find the man who did this first."

    "Then-"

    Tears were spilling down her cheeks again and Sam inwardly flinched, knowing full well he was the one causing them now. "There's a trainer named Ethan who is coming up the Lighthouse as we speak. He can and will help you. I'm sure of it."

    Jasmine sniffed and the tears stopped running down her face for the moment.

    Sam breathed an inward sigh of relief. "He's a good kid, and he can get to Cianwood in a flash. I doubt he'll stop for anything knowing that Amphy is so sick."

    "What am I... supposed to do until then?"

    Sam stood up to leave. "Just stay with him." As he turned to go, he slipped his card into the key to turn on the dim, cheap florescent lights and unlock the door. He left her and quickly slipped into the elevator to go to the lobby.

    He grabbed the 'woman' by the shoulder and turned 'her' around to face him. Startled purple eyes met fierce brown ones. The sailor by the elevator made to intervene. "What do you think you're doing to Mrs. Reiner!"

    Then, the real Mrs. Reiner walked through the door. She saw the other woman who looked just like her and the tall, younger man in all black whose hand had a hold of the collar of the impostor's dress.

    Sam leaned close to 'her' face and growled, "I've waited a long time for this, Patrick."
    ____________________________________________________
    The strange and extremely angry man took Patrick into the dark woods. The areas were supposed to be forbidden, but thieves didn't care. This action made it obvious to Patrick that the man was with the Guild. He would have asked questions and begged to be let go, but he'd been efficiently gagged and then tied with a thick rope to a tree. The man who'd essentially kidnapped him, was silent after ripping off Patricks' facial disguises that made him look like a woman.

    Patrick analyzed his situation; He had no weapons, no way to escape, and a quick glance at the dark stranger buried any hopes of fighting back. Patrick guessed the man to be somewhere in his young twenties. After slowly encircling the tree Patrick was tied to like a hunter examining his prey, the man pulled out one of his daggers, a giant blade shaped like a scyther's, and cut the gag off just a hair's breadth away from his skin.

    He laughed at Patrick's stricken face. Patrick was terrified; the laughter was cold, bitter- the laugh of a maniacal killer who enjoyed making his victims suffer. Patrick swallowed roughly. "What do you want? Money? I can get it for you! Just-"

    The sharp dagger was slammed into the tree right beside his face and the man was suddenly directly in front of him. "I don't want your blood money."

    Suddenly, Patrick realized that he hadn't really gotten a good look at his attacker's face before this point. The dark skin, brown eyes, and hair color... Even his face reminded him of someone, but placing him was difficult. The voice didn't sound quite familiar. Then a brief picture of Sam grinning at him back in Celadon flashed in his mind. It can't be...

    "Sam?"

    The brown eyes narrowed to slits and an expression of raw fury took over his features. "Patrick... or perhaps you prefer Petrel now."

    "No... You- You died... The Pokemon Mansion collapsed on you and you'd already lost so much blood! There's no way... I saw you," Patrick mumbled in shock.

    "I'm not dead yet. But you and you're traitorous pals are going to be soon enough." Sam moved the blade so it just nicked the skin of Patrick's neck just deep enough for blood well up and start to drip.

    "Wait! Wait! Please, just- just let me explain!"

    Sam paused. The look of vengeance didn't soften at all, if anything, it became even darker. "Explain what? Explain to me why you stole my Ditto? Why you poisoned Cat and left her in the streets to die? Or maybe you'd like to explain to me why you poisoned Ampharos! What is it, Patrick? Just what are you going to say?"

    Patrick flattened himself against the tree as much as he could. He wanted to shrink and disappear. "I- Look, I never wanted to join the Thieves in the first place. I was born into it, my mom practically sold me into the Guild. I hated her and hated the Guild. So, when Giovanni asked me to join him in a more profitable anti-thief organization; I said yes." Sam's expression still didn't change, but he hadn't moved the dagger any further into Patrick's neck so that's all that counted. Patrick continued on with his story. "I'm not as powerful as all the other executives and not as cold-hearted... Sam, they wanted to kill you and take Ditto from your dead body. I don't know what would have happened to Cat."

    For a moment, the furious expression softened just a little, but it came back just as fast. "So what, you decided to be the hero and take him yourself?"

    "Yes. Lance was the one who was supposed to get Ditto. He would have done more that just killed you, he would have brutally murdered you in a heartbeat. I... I'm sorry about Cat, I really am. I didn't want to leave her there, but I had to go." Patrick searched Sam's face for any type of emotion. He was trying desperately to read into Sam's thoughts, but saw nothing but fury.

    Internally, Sam was struggling to decide what to do. He wanted to rip Patrick's throat out and make him pay in the worst way for what he'd done to Cat, Ditto, Amphy, and every ounce of pain he'd caused him. But, his voice of reason also knew that killing Patrick could destroy any chance at him getting Ditto back, which is what he wanted most. Before he could change his mind, Sam yanked the dagger out of the tree and sheathed it.

    Patrick almost started sobbing with relief. "Thank Arceus! Sam-"

    "Don't thank anyone yet. I haven't decided how I'm going to keep your mouth shut."

    "That won't be necessary! I'll help you! I just... A deal. I want a deal."

    Sam narrowed his eyes and frowned. "What kind of deal?"

    "I swear on pain of death, that I won't tell anyone about you... I'll even help you out! I'll be your mole! Just please don't kill me."

    Sam considered the option. "My plan requires all of Team Rocket going back to your secret base. Can you get them there and tell me where it is?"

    "I only know that the island is somewhere in southern part of the sea where it starts to flow into the ocean between Cianwood and Azalea. I don't think I can point it out on a map accurately."

    "That will suffice."

    "As far as getting them there, I guess some kid is going around beating us. Adriana and Lance are in Mahogany right now. I'm supposed to go and take Lance's place. I can help make sure that kid has everything he needs to take us down. I've got keys... I could do it easily," Patrick promised excitedly.

    Sam looked doubtful. "You can do all this and not get caught?"

    "I'll figure something out, man. I promise... On my black heart," he tried to joke.

    "Fine." Sam cut the rope bounding Patrick to the tree with a quick flash of steel. The dagger was pressed against Patrick's throat in the next instant. "But if you betray me... I will hunt you down like the dog you are and kill you in the most painful way I know. Are we clear?"

    "Yes... Of course!" Patrick swallowed. Sam took the blade away from his throat and disappeared into the shadows. Patrick touched his neck to make sure it was truly still in tact. He sighed in relief and ran to the Mahogany hideout.
    ____________________________________________________
    Sam climbed the Lighthouse again before he left Olivine City. The Ampharos was clearly feeling much better. Sam smiled. He descended the stairs and went to the Gym to check on Jasmine.

    He'd forgotten how doll-like and feminine Jasmine's gym was. She gave Whitney a run for her money in the business of cute. He approached her platform and she waved to him.

    "You- ... Sam? Right?"

    He mock bowed to her with a charming grin. "At your service, ma'am."

    "Did you-"

    "I've handled the situation. He'll get justice one way or the other, whether he knows it or not."

    Jasmine smiled, comforted by that the thought. "I'm just glad... that no one else will... have to watch their Pokemon suffer... such terrible poison."

    "Since you are the Captain of Olivine, and thus above a simple thief such as myself; I am obligated to inform you that I'm leaving for Goldenrod now. I'll see you around. Take care of Amphy."

    "... Goodbye," Jasmine mumbled as she stared at the ground. When she looked up, he was gone.
    ____________________________________________________
    Sam returned to Goldenrod without any problems. The Lighthouse situation had been absolved quicker than Sam expected- a nice change from the usual. He returned to his apartment. He thought about Jasmine and how much like Lyra she was... And what he'd do to anyone who ever made Lyra cry like that. He unlocked the door and shrugged off his jacket. He heard soft snoring. Ryan was curled up on one of his couch: Matt asleep on the other. Sam smiled and shook his head. He pulled two blankets from the ottoman nearby and covered both of his friends with one. The clock read midnight. Sam silently moved a chair towards the windows and sat there for the rest of the night thinking of various different ways to kill Patrick if he betrayed him.
    ____________________________________________________
    The wild winds ripped around Mt. Silver, carrying snow and ice and slamming the elements the battered mountain. Red still stood outside despite the harsh weather. He'd heard about Team Rocket and their return. After beating the Johto leaders, Red had come here to escape the world... And everyone who insisted on congratulating him for something he didn't do.

    'You stopped Team Rocket!'

    'You saved my pokemon!'

    'You're a hero!'


    His mom's face flashed to his mind and her voice saying, 'Your father would be so proud.'

    At first he'd welcomed the treatment. All the fame and love that came with his triumph. It didn't take long for a keen sense of guilt to set in. After that, he'd wanted nothing more than to be alone, somewhere quiet. It had been nearly impossible. Everywhere he went, people knew his face. So he ran somewhere most people wouldn't follow- Mt. Silver, where it was cold, dangerous, and silent. The first few months had been tough, but once he'd gotten used to it, Red found the bitter cold to be oddly comforting.

    It was here that Red finally found the answer to his guilt that for a long time didn't have a face- the glory wasn't truly his. He beat Giovanni, true enough, but he didn't stop him. Giovanni couldn't be stopped by simple means. He remembered the thief, Sam, and how soon after he entered the Gym, it was left in shambles and Giovanni had disappeared. Sam had stopped Team Rocket the first time, and he had no doubt Sam was going to be the true hero the second time.

    Now, knowing for sure that Team Rocket was back... After years of being praised for something he didn't do... Red wanted to be a part of the true, final destruction. He wanted to earn the title given to him. For that, he needed to contact the thief... But lacked the means to do so- unless he spoke to Blue. The thought of talking to Blue left a bitter taste in Red's mouth, but he couldn't think of any other option.

    With a flash of light, Red released Charizard and lifted into blizzard conditions. Once they'd successfully cleared the worst of the storm, Charizard hurdled towards Kanto.
    ____________________________________________________
    Blue was pacing his Gym. The thieves watched him nervously. He had been a welcome change in the world of younger captains. He didn't like it when people called him 'sir', hated it when they showed him too much respect, and all around made friends with the men and women who worked under him. Unfortunately, no one was challenging him. The lack of a real battle was driving him crazy. Suddenly a thief ran up to him, sweating and out of breath.

    "What? Is something wrong?"

    The thief stumbled over his words. "Red... Is here! He's coming to the gym!"

    Blue couldn't think of a way to respond to that. He didn't get a chance to think about it. Red walked into the gym.

    Blue dismissed the thief and all of the trainers in the Gym. Red... This will be the fight I've been missing. Blue pulled out a Poke Ball and spun it on the tip of his finger with a smirk at Red. "Come for battle? I won't lose this time."

    "No." Red's voice was soft, almost a whisper and raspy from the lack of use. Red wasn't in the habit of talking to himself and no one else even came on the mountain, so he hadn't said a word to anyone in years.

    "Alright! I- Wait... Did you say 'no'?" Blue was shocked.

    "I didn't come here to fight you."

    Blue was so stunned that he let his hand holding the Poke Ball fall to his side and forgot that he was talking to his greatest rival. Their conversation was decent for once. "Well... What do you want then?"

    "I'm looking for Sam."

    Now that's an idea... I wonder if Sam would agree to a battle with me... Wait... "What do you want with Sam?"

    "... It's a somewhat... personal matter," Red mumbled.

    "Uh... Right. You're going to have to be more specific for me to tell you something like that."

    Red searched for a way to tell the truth without telling the whole truth. Finally, he just said, "Team Rocket has resurfaced in Johto. I believe Sam is going to stop them... Again. And I want to... help."

    Blue leaned against the wall behind him and slowly slid down til he was sitting on the floor. Red stared at him. Blue gave him a blank look. "Team Rocket is back?"

    Red nodded.

    "I thought- I thought that nightmare was over," Blue mumbled. Being a captain, he'd heard a lot of the story about what happened to Sam, but since Sam had left for Johto he hadn't heard a thing. Being a Kanto captain, Johto wasn't his concern.

    Red waited silently while Blue dealt with the information. Once upon a time, Red would have taken a great deal of amusement from the expression currently on Blue's face, but it wasn't funny at all. It just made him realize how hard Team Rocket had been on them both and everyone else. Everyone suffered under Team Rocket's reign of terror... And he knew the people of Johto were taking it just as hard.

    Blue finally responded, "You want to help Sam?"

    Red nodded again.

    "Why?"

    Red didn't answer. Blue absently played with the sting of his sweatshirt. With a sigh, Blue broke the silence. "Alright... Fine. I have to go to Johto soon anyway. I'll come with you. Sound fair?"

    Red nodded slowly. "Why do need to go to Johto?"

    "My sister wants to go there to see Goldenrod and I'm tired of hearing about it." Then Blue grinned broadly. "And I want to help Sam too; I've been bored without a good rival around to battle."

    The first time in very long time, a small smile played across Red's lips.
    ____________________________________________________
    AN- Happy Friday! Oh yes, the reappearance of Red and Blue- together they are... Purple! (which is funny because that's Sam's favorite color! Get it? I'm so easily amused sometimes...)

    Big thank you to my beta, DarkAngelTorchic! And also Soulmaster! ^^

    *sorry I'm such a pile. I need to post before 9- I know.
    Last edited by Noteleks; 19th March 2012 at 09:47 PM.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: GSTA: Johto

    *Sigh* It was a good chapter all in all. There were plenty of good parts and I can't wait for more Red-Blue stuff. But I have to say the joke in the authors note was a bit much...


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    Default Re: GSTA: Johto

    *Let me start off with saying that I am SO sorry. It was a... It was hectic week with one hell of a weekend. T~T My goal is to not ever have that happen again. I will post chapter 12 tomorrow morning, tomorrow evening, and then the next day's morning and evening just to make it up to you guys.

    No copyright infringement intended.
    ___________________________________________________________
    Anabelle sat in her cozy home on the ridge overlooking Sam's battlefield. She'd been hired to take care of his Pokemon and he paid well. Sitting primly in her overstuffed armchair, she knit a pair of stockings. A small radio on the table beside her was playing Pokemon Lullaby. Outside her house, the Pokemon all rose from their slumber and many started to growl as an unfamiliar and sinister radio pitch reached their sharp ears.
    ___________________________________________________________
    Martin woke up to his phone ringing. He read the caller ID and answered the phone quickly. "Anabelle?"

    "Martin... The Pokemon are behaving strangely! They seem agitated. I don't know what's happening!"

    "Alright, Anabelle... Calm down. I'll try to figure what's happening." He hung up and warily ventured out his front door. Outside, all of the Pokemon were standing and facing northeast. Many of them were growling and all of them had their hackles standing on end. Martin quickly called Sam.
    ___________________________________________________________
    Matt and Ryan woke up with a start when Sam's phone rang. They stared at each other and simultaneously realized that they'd fallen asleep in Sam's apartment. Ryan turned to watch Sam as he talked to the person on the phone. Eventually, he rose from the table he'd been sitting at and walked to the window with an expression of pure bafflement.

    Matt sleepily rubbed at his eyes. "What time is it?"

    Ryan looked at her phone. "6 o'clock in the morning." She turned back to watching Sam.

    "I... Have no idea... I'll be right there." Sam hung up.

    "Who is calling at the crack of stupid?" Matt grumbled.

    "Martin..." Sam answered automatically.

    Matt gave Sam a sharp look. Ryan seemed to understand what that meant. "What did he want?"

    "My Pokemon are... Behaving strangely. I'm going to go check it out. You guys can go back to sleep if you want."

    Matt flopped back down on the couch and yawned. Six hours of sleep did not work for him.

    Ryan, however, got up. She saw the chair that had been moved near the window and the stack of various papers and maps next to it. She felt the seat cushions; they were still warm. Sam had also showered and there was some evidence that he'd already had breakfast. "Was he up all night?"

    "He doesn't sleep much if at all anymore... Which is for the best," Matt mumbled sleepily without thinking.

    Ryan stared at him incredulously. "How is that a good thing? Good grief... Poor guy. No wonder he's looked so exhausted lately."

    "Mmm... ... Can I go back to sleep now? Or are you going to keep talking?"

    "Whatever. Do what you want... I'm making coffee."

    Matt was going to stay quiet and ignore her, but then he realized something. "Wait. Sam doesn't drink coffee... How are you going to make coffee without a coffeemaker?"

    "Actually, he does have one. When he first asked me to help him out taking care of his multitude of Pokemon, I had to stay with him while my new home was built. I can't go without my morning coffee so I bought a coffeemaker. I left it here when I moved since it's cheap and I have a much better one for my real house." She pulled the machine out from the cabinets underneath the sink.

    Matt grunted in response. She set up the machine and waited patiently for her cup of coffee.
    ___________________________________________________________
    Sam had a feeling of dread in his gut and rushed to the battlefield. Just like Martin had said, they were all growling in the direction of northeast. Martin came up to him and leaned on his shovel. "What do you make of this?"

    "I don't know..." Sam admitted, perplexed by the situation.

    "What do you think they're growling at?"

    "Northeast... The direction of Mahogany Town?" Sam swept his hair back out of his face with his hand.

    Martin grunted a response. Sam left him and searched through the Pokemon looking for Scyther. The old Pokemon was sitting hunched over next to a rock. It's fierce red eyes were angry and pained.

    "Scyther... What's the matter?"

    The old Pokemon extended it's blade and carved an unmistakable R in the dirt. Martin stared at it with wide eyes. Sam's breath caught in his throat... Team Rocket... That unknown machine! Sam stood up and reached for his phone, but soon realized that he didn't know who to call to help. He let his hand slip from the phone.

    "Martin... Let me know when they return to normal... Scyther, come with me. Let's just get you out of here." Sam knelt down and slid an arm underneath Scyther's and helped the old Pokemon up. Scyther didn't object to the aid, but as soon as he was on his feet, Scyther pushed Sam away.

    Martin raised his eye brows, impressed. "That old thing's still got some dynamite in him." Scyther rose his chin proudly. Sam waved goodbye and walked away with Scyther following closely at his side.

    Sam walked a little slower than normal to accomodate Scyther without offending the prideful Pokemon. He still made it back to his apartment in good time. As he opened the door, he could smell the coffee that Ryan had undoubtably made for herself.

    "6:30 is a bit early for you, isn't it?" he commented as he walked in. Scyther passed him and sat on the floor near the door.

    Ryan was leaning on against the kitchen cabinets with her coffee cup wrapped in her hands. Her hair was out of her customary tight bun and her face void of make up for once. She scowled at him. "Too soon... Too soon."

    "Not in the mood for jokes?"

    "Not in the mood for your smart-ass comments," Ryan clarified.

    "Fair enough."

    "What time did you get back from the Lighthouse last night?"

    "Around midnight," Sam said with a careless shrug.

    "And what were you doing that kept you up all night?" Ryan demanded.

    "Anything to keep me awake," he answered bluntly.

    Ryan stared at him. Not angry anymore, just confused. "Why?" Sam didn't answer her and it was fairly clear he wasn't going to. Ryan sighed. "Sam... I'm really starting to worry about you. Do you think you could just take a little better care of yourself? For me?"

    Sam went back to his chair by the window and sifted through all his papers looking for a something. He didn't answer her until he turned around again with a several pages and and a pencil. "I'm fine. I'll be fine. You don't have to worry about me."

    "Hmph... What are you doing now?"

    Sam pulled out his map and few sheet of paper that had sketches of the map and markings all over. A few diagrams depicted various chessboard type strategies. Sam copied down the area around Mahogany Town and what she recognized to be his clearing. The sketch was almost dead on. She sifted through the other papers. They were also near perfect to exact.

    "I didn't know you could draw so well..." Ryan commented, impressed.

    "Necessity is a great teacher."

    "Will you two shut up? Is catching some extra Z's really too much to ask for?" Matt called out grumpily.

    "Oh... Poor Matt," Sam replied sarcastically.

    Matt sighed, got up, and plopped down at the table opposite of Sam and watched silently as Sam worked. Whatever it was, it seemed important. He would refer to his map and at one point he focused on an area of the sea that was void of islands as far anyone knew. Ryan watched as she sipped her coffee. She eventually meandered away to look at the other pages he'd left on the other side of the room.

    Sam was dimly aware that they were watching what he was doing. He was more concerned with trying to predict his opponent's next move before it was made. He'd found that comparing the battle field to a chess board and card games made planning his attacks and counter attacks much easier. Right now, the Guild's side of the chess board hadn't moved. Ethan was a foreign force unwittingly on Sam's side. The Rockets had been allowed to make whatever move they wanted. Now, it was Sam's turn to make all the moves. Comparing the same war to cards, Sam had all the cards he needed... All he needed to do was figure out when and where he would place them. His thoughts were slowly broken by the feeling that someone was actually watching him now as opposed to what he was doing.

    Sam looked up and found that Matt was staring right at him with a wistful smile. "What?"

    "Nothing... But you kinda quirk your eyebrow when you concentrate on something... It's really cute."

    Across the room, Ryan sputtered into her coffee and almost swallowed wrong as she started laughing.

    Sam scowled. "I'm just going to pretend I didn't hear that." With one last glare at Matt, he went back to his sketches.

    Ryan was still giggling helplessly. When she finally stopped, she said, "Oh man... That was funny. You're a kill, Matt!"

    "I was totally serious," Matt clarified.

    Ryan stared at him. "No... Matt... You're so cute and I really kind of like you."

    "Sorry. You're pretty, but you're not in the same area code as my type," Matt stated. Sam flinched, but kept his comments to himself.

    Ryan sighed. "It's always the cute ones... Damn. Oh well, at least I have Sam."

    "And all your other lovers," Sam cut in dryly. Matt glanced at him with a confused look. Sam explained, "One of the reasons why we don't actually date."

    Ryan waved off the comment. "Anyway, you really should have woken me up last night... Now my blouse is wrinkled and it's bothering me."

    "That's really not my problem."

    "I could make it your problem."

    A knock on the door disrupted further conversation. Sam checked his phone and got up to answer it quickly. A delivery man with a Machoke came in carrying a rather large box.

    "You are... Sam? Yeah?" the man said with a quick look at his clipboard. "Sign here, if you would... Thank you, have a nice day." The man and his Machoke left. Ryan and Matt were staring at the box, their curiosity aroused.

    Sam tore off the note attached the box almost excitedly. He read through the contents quickly and grinned like a child with a new toy at the box. There was certain amount of deviousness in that smile that made Ryan want to open the box herself.

    "What... Is that?" Ryan asked.

    "A box," Sam returned with a smirk.

    "I meant what's in the box?"

    He knocked on the top of the box as he said, "You'll see later."

    "You're enjoying this aren't you..."

    "Oh, you have no idea."

    Matt smiled. "Happy enough that even a Thief Meeting wouldn't frustrate you?"

    Sam's smile immediately disappeared and he glanced at his phone. "It didn't ring..."

    "I know, but your little friends probably heard about the Lighthouse thing last night and will want to know what happened. Since you did all the work... Again."

    Sam started to speak but was cut off as his phone started to ring. He glared at Matt. "You just had to say something, didn't you."

    "Sorry... I didn't think that would actually happen."

    Sam picked up his phone. "Hello? ... Yeah, yeah... Okay, look, in an hour... Bye." He tossed his phone back on the table and organized his papers a little.

    "Thief Meeting in an hour?"

    "Yeah... Maybe even the last one."

    Matt raised his eyebrows in surprise. "Really?"

    "Well, hopefully. I think... I know what I'm going to do... It's really just a matter of solidifying the details."

    "Wow... Those sketches and whatnots help that much?" Ryan asked with a pointed stare at the papers on the table.

    "Oddly enough... They do."

    "So when are you going to open that box?"

    "After my little business meeting. Just be patient."

    "Uh-huh. You know full well that patience is not my thing."

    Sam ignored her comment. He grabbed his daggers and, after a brief inspection to see how sharp they were, buckled them to his belt. Sam picked up all of his papers and sorted through them all to decide what he would need and what he wouldn't.
    ___________________________________________________________
    Twenty minutes from when the meeting was scheduled to start, Sam went to the casino safe-house anyway. He started setting up the old bulletin board.

    Danatallion walked in ten minutes later while Sam was still setting up the huge board. "You're early for once."

    "A necessary sacrifice," Sam returned. He was having a small bit of difficulty with the big bulletin board.

    Danatallion took a hold of it and held it so Sam could attach it to the wall. "What are you doing with this?"

    "Outlining our battle strategy."

    "Oh, so you're finally letting us in on your plan?"

    "Don't be so bitter. You guys didn't want to think, you just wanted to kill somebody- it didn't even matter who. Without me, you guys would have screwed everything up beyond repair."

    Dantatallion gave an irritated sigh. "You couldn't have just a little more faith in us?"

    "The world has seen fit to teach me to not rely on others to save me. You're all useless to me until proven otherwise. Want me to trust you? Give me a good reason to," Sam responded flatly.

    "Hmph... Well, at least you'll be using us finally to take them down. It's about time."

    "If you can handle it."

    "What makes you think I can't?" Danatallion hissed, offended.

    "This battle isn't all about Pokemon battles and stealth. Pokemon will be fighting Pokemon... It'll be every man for himself. While your Pokemon are fighting it out, you'll be pitted against the opposing Rocket. They have some skill with various different weapons. It's also likely they'll be sending Pokemon to attack you directly. If you can't defend yourself then you're as good as dead."

    "Damn... I don't want to sit this out."

    "You won't have to. I can go in by myself, or Tao would probably be fine. But I also need people outside to make sure no Rocket member leaves that island alive."

    "Easy enough."

    "Not when they realize that there's a very vengeful spirit back from the dead who wants nothing more than to cut them all down himself. I'd imagine they'll be fleeing pretty fast. I'll probably need more than just you and Hayle. Might have to go recruit."

    "Hmm... Well, I'll take that. Sounds like being inside the building is going to be hell."

    Sam laughed. "Oh, I wouldn't doubt that." With the bulletin board up, Sam started tacking the papers to it.

    Hayle walked in then and stared at Sam in surprise. "You're here?"

    "Shocker, right? I know."

    Hayle shrugged. "You're usually last and late. But I guess that's okay."

    Barrakus followed shortly and Tao filed in behind him.

    "What are you doing here so early?" Tao snarled.

    Clearly she's given up on me... About damn time. That gets rid of the two pests. "I'm here to outline our plan of action, which I know you've all been dying to hear." Sam smirked.

    Tao sat down and stared at the wall with open curiosity. Barrakus sat down quickly and the floor was promptly handed over to Sam who explained. It took a long time to cover every part of the plan, but the reaction was more than accepting.

    "That... is..."

    "Fool-proof? Pretty much," Sam grinned. His more childish side brought out with the glee that came with being right and winning.

    "We need to start putting everything in place as soon as possible, right?"

    "Yes. Everything needs to be set up before hand. Today is-" Sam stopped talking suddenly to cough. Weird... I was fine this morning. "Today is the best time to do it. Any questions?"

    "When and where?" Tao smirked at him. She was reasonably cheered by the prospect of battle.

    "I'll have everything ready by tonight. Just meet me in front of the Global Terminal."

    "Done," Tao stated with her smirk still present. The other three nodded in satisfied agreement. Sam looked at the bulletin board set up and considered taking it all down, but he could just leave it up. With the meeting adjourned, the ring leaders left. Sam followed once they had left after coughing in his sleeve again. Shrugging if off as a sign from the universe to not talk so much, he walked out and returned to his apartment.
    ___________________________________________________________
    He found Ryan sitting on the floor holding one of his daggers and staring at the box. She responded to his questioning stare. "You had better open this box right now. I am going to die of curiosity."

    "She seriously is, dude. And I really want to know too," Matt added in.

    "Alright, alright." He held out his hand and Ryan handed him the dagger. "I'll tell you up front; I asked Mr. Briney to manufacture some... gear for me." He sliced through the tape as he talked. He pulled open the box and a cruel smile spread across his face. Ryan approached and looked inside. On top were two new blades- longer than the ones he had and the blade itself was also black. She could see the long strains of diamond running through the blades to ensure they wouldn't break. Sam took them out. Underneath that was a glove similar to the one he always wore on his left hand. The bottom of the box had several other items.

    "What is all of this? And why do you need it?" Ryan asked.

    "It would probably be easier to demonstrate than explain... Matt, catch." Sam flung a black leather vest at him.

    Matt caught it and instantly knew that the vest wasn't normal.

    "Just hold it against the wall." Matt did as he was asked. Sam hefted his old, but still sharp dagger. Then threw it at the vest with speed, accuracy, and powerful force. The dagger hit the vest with a thump- but fell harmlessly to the floor. The vest itself was almost unscathed.

    "Damn!" Ryan breathed.

    "Team Rocket can certainly try to kill me, but it's not likely." Sam walked over to Matt and took the vest from him. "See? There are metal plates slid in between layers of leather to form a flexible, but efficient armor. It's designed much like my glove. The leather has been toughened so it won't rip easily. We tried to work out something like the bullet proof vests... But I couldn't get my hands on the right materials, so I fell back on more traditional means. Either way, it makes for a light-weight and efficient armor for me."

    "I can only imagine the looks on their faces when they realize that you're almost invincible."
    ___________________________________________________________
    AN: Invincible? Or not? Only time will tell...

    Big thank you to my awesome beta- DarkAngelTorchic and Soulmaster. ^^

    *Again- I am SO SO sorry. I'll make it up you guys, I promise.

  9. #39
    Registered User Noteleks's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: GSTA: Johto

    No copyright infringement intended.
    ________________________________________________________
    While Sam put his new gear to the test and lined up everything they would need for taking out Team Rocket, Red, Blue, and Daisy passed through the Pokemon League and into Johto.

    The two boys weren't speaking at all and Daisy was starting to get a little antsy. The silence seemed very heavy. She broke it by turning to Blue and flashing him a cheerful smile. "I know it's not fun taking your big sister places, but I really appreciate you letting me tag along! I've always wanted to see the city of Goldenrod."

    Blue shrugged. "No biggie." Blue fell silent again. Daisy sighed.

    Red pulled out his Charizard and Blue released Pidgeot. "Let's fly there."

    Blue climbed on his Pidgeot and Red on his Charizard. Daisy looked at them both. "Which one of you should I go with? The Charizard looks bigger..."

    Red held out his hand with a glance at Blue for approval. Blue nodded. Red helped her up and then the Pokemon took to the sky. They arrived in Goldenrod quickly, which was good for Daisy as her flight with Red was a bit awkward. She had to cling to him for one, and second he said absolutely nothing the whole time. She found the department store quickly.

    "Alright, Blue. You don't have to look out for me anymore. Go do whatever... And be safe!" Daisy told him as she waved goodbye and left.

    Blue waved back. Red waited till she was out of earshot. "Why didn't you tell her why we're here?" he asked softly.

    "Because... I'm not sure how she'd react if I told her we're here for Sam... And I'm honestly not sure what he'd do. It's complicated... Or at least, I think it is."

    Red nodded in acceptance. Then he said, "How are we going to find him?"

    Blue scratched his head. "I'm not really sure. I don't have his number..."

    Red frowned. He didn't plan this out... Sam could be anywhere.

    Blue continued on. "I know from talking to people that he's been hanging out in Goldenrod and that this is where his 'base' is. Our best plan is to just talk to people. Somebody will know something." Red's scowl deepened.
    Blue sighed. "Never mind. I'll talk to people."

    Red nodded his consent to that plan. They both started wondering around town. Eventually, they talked to almost every thief in Goldenrod, but no one was saying anything. None of the thieves wanted the Captains involved because Sam made it clear that he didn't trust them and they refused to talk around Red especially.

    Eventually, they almost gave up. "We must have talked to everyone by now!"

    Red sighed. Then he saw a man they hadn't talked to. He had blonde hair and green eyes. Red pointed him out to Blue, who immediately approached the man.

    "Hey! Can I talk to you for a second?"

    Matt turned around and spotted the kid running at him. Behind him, Red was walking slowly. "Uh... Sure? I guess. What's up?"
    "I need to talk to Sam... Do you know where he is or how I can contact him?"

    Matt stared at Blue quietly. I don't know that Sam would appreciate me giving out his cell number willy-nilly... "Maybe... You are...?"
    "Blue, the Captain of Viridian. I know Sam and we're friends... I need to talk to him."

    Recognition hit. "Oh! Of course you're Blue! I knew that. Geez, sorry. I can never remember Kanto people. Well- if you want to talk to Sam... He'll be outside the Global Terminal later tonight."

    Blue's face brightened. "Great! Thanks!"

    "Don't mention it... See you around." Matt left them to return to his apartment. He passed Daisy on his way, but he didn't realize it was her.

    Daisy approached Blue. "Who was that?"

    "Oh... I don't know his name... I forgot to ask."

    "What did he want?" Daisy asked.

    "I just... Wanted to ask him a few questions..." Blue said hesitantly.

    Daisy gave him a suspicious look. "About what? Does this have something to do with why you two wanted to come to Johto?"

    Both boys looked at each other. They answered simultaneously, "Yes..."

    Daisy dropped her shopping bags on the street and folded her arms across her chest. "That's it. I draw the line here. You two have been acting weird and you are totally hiding something from me. Just what are two planning on doing? It had better not be anything dangerous." The boys looked at the ground and then at each other sheepishly. "Oh, this had better not be about Team Rocket..." The boys seemed to shrink. Red wasn't used to being scolded and Blue was genuinely nervous about what his sister would do. Daisy shook her head at them. "I can't believe you guys... You're both grounded!"

    Blue opened his mouth to argue, but Daisy wouldn't hear it. "C'mon. Both of you. I'm going to get us an apartment." She picked up her bags and stormed away. Red and Blue followed silently and obediently.
    ________________________________________________________
    At that particular moment, Sam was not in Goldenrod. He'd taken an Xatu and was searching the sea for the Rocket hideout. The sparkling blue water, lush green islands all over, and peaceful weather of the area made it sickening to think that Team Rocket had laid their corrupt roots there. Eventually, Sam saw an island where the trees were thinner. He guided Xatu closer to it. The bird Pokemon rode the gentle breeze as Sam looked through the foliage. As the wind swept through the island, a gray building was revealed. It was a standard rectangular building.

    "Found you..." Sam directed Xatu to fly higher into the sky. Sam marked the spot on his map as accurately as he could. On another sheet of paper he drew a quick sketch of the island's shape. He put the papers away and Xatu wheeled and flew back to Goldenrod and the battlefield.

    Sam slid off its back and let the Pokemon rest before putting it in Poke Ball for the transport to 'Rocket Island'. Ryan was waiting for him with her clipboard.

    "Did you finish? I got enough Poke Balls didn't I?" Sam asked in response to the odd look on her face.

    "Yeah, all of your Pokemon are in Poke Balls... You got the exact number of Poke Balls for the number you had," Ryan answered.

    "Then-"

    "I did a head count. We have a problem."

    "Are we missing something?"

    "No... We have an extra... A very nasty extra."

    "Extra?"

    Ryan gestured towards the main part of the field. A lone Rapidash was tearing through the field. The silver fire blazing from it as it razed the grass and trees around it.

    "Yeah... I don't know where it came from- but it's wreaking hell down there. Anabelle and Martin fled for safer, higher ground. None of us have any Poke Balls so we just left it alone."

    "I've never seen a silver Rapidash before..." Sam said as he watched the Rapidash run. It wasn't like any Rapidash he'd ever seen. Most Rapidash were built small with delicate legs. This Rapidash was big, with defined muscles rippling through it and powerful legs carrying it across the ground effortlessly.

    "I don't know why it's freaking silver or if it even matters, but you'd better stop it before it burns everything to the ground," Ryan responded, less than impressed by the destructive Pokemon.

    Sam slid down the short cliff and landed in the singed grass. The Rapidash turned to him. Sam walked towards it. The Rapidash reared on her hind legs and neighed loudly to the sky. Sam hesitated for a second, then continued walking forward. The fiery horse stamped the ground and tossed her silver mane. Then, she suddenly charged him. Sam didn't move. He instinctively knew that she was testing him.

    Ryan gaped from the ridge. As the Rapidash got closer to him with its horn lowered and ready to stab right through him, Ryan cried out. "Sam! Move!" He didn't react at all. Ryan moved her clipboard up to cover her eyes so she couldn't see him. The thunder of hooves ceased suddenly. The Rapidash had stopped just short of him, horn hovering in front of his face.

    Sam smiled and reached out to pet the Rapidash's nose. "Brave enough for you, my silver friend?"
    The Rapidash shoved her nose into his hand to encourage more petting and snorted.
    Sam laughed. "I'll take that as a yes."
    ________________________________________________________
    The grass around Sam was not the only thing burning. Team Rocket had moved into Goldenrod to take the Radio Tower. They had finally realized Giovanni's dream- and they wanted to share it with him. News had reached them all quickly since Archer himself came to tell them. A couple of grunts were especially celebratory and destructive. They started a fire in a thief apartment complex.
    ________________________________________________________
    Daisy could smell smoke, but couldn't find the source. Blue and Red were also curious.

    "Guys... I think we should leave..." The room had gotten hotter. Then she heard a distinct crack. She looked up. The ceiling had a black spot that was rapidly growing. The drywall hit the floor, bringing the fire with it.

    Daisy jumped back with a shriek. Red grabbed her arm and pulled her towards the door. Blue grabbed all their bags quickly and followed. The fire had already spread to several floors of the apartment.
    ________________________________________________________
    Sam saw the smoke rising. Goldenrod...? His gut was telling him it had to do with Team Rocket. He scaled the cliff to get to Ryan. "I need my Gyarados! All of them."

    "Got it! She rushed to the bags that she'd carefully sorted and handed him the whole bag containing nothing but Gyarados.. "Here! I'll call Pryce, he's got water Pokemon, he can help."

    "Alright, do it."
    ________________________________________________________
    Soon, all the thieves were pulling out Pokemon to stop the blaze. Daisy stood back, away from the burning building. Red and Blue had their water Pokemon out and were trying to tame the flames- but it was too late. The fire was spreading quickly and it was only a matter of time before it reached the whole town. Psychic Pokemon gathered and put a barrier around the building to try and contain the flames. Despite their efforts, the roaring inferno spread its flames to the nearby building. Red and Blue were the only people with water Pokemon and they weren't enough.

    "How long can you guys hold out?" a cute girl with pink hair who Blue recognized as Whitney yelled at him to be heard above the roar of the flames.

    "I don't know! But I don't think we can stop this!" Blue yelled back. Ashes were falling heavily on the town. Blue put his sleeve over his nose so he could breathe a little easier.

    "We've called Pryce, but he must be in battle with a challenger. I don't know when he can get here!"

    Blue was going to say something in response when a Poke Ball landed on the pavement. The ball landed on the center button and released a Gyarados. A multitude of other Poke Balls fell and released more Gyarados. The Gyarados immediately started to add their powerful jets of water. Blue and Red stared in shock. Someone dressed in black slid down the side of the nearby building and landed on the ground in a landing roll. Whitney stared at him wide-eyed.

    She ran over to him and after a few words, pointed at Red and Blue. Blue couldn't see very well through the ashes so he couldn't see who this person was. They came back and pulled Red and Blue down a narrow alleyway to get away from the ashes.

    The man wearing black with a purple-ish gray scarf clapped Blue on the shoulder in a friendly manner. "Blue, you've gotten taller!"

    "Sam! I didn't... Holy crap!" Now that he could see his face, of course it was Sam.

    Red stood quietly in the shadows, really just hoping Sam wouldn't see him.

    "Ha! Johto is notorious for warm welcomes but people here generally don't light buildings on fire. Anyone know what happened?"

    "No! Everyone got out on time. The fire started in a vacant room," Whitney responded.

    "Damn..." Sam looked back at the fire.

    "What do you think about this?" Whitney asked.

    "My guess is that some Team Rocket grunts are out here somewhere laughing." After a brief pause, he turned to Blue. "Look after the Pokemon, I'm going to make sure everyone gets out of the other buildings. We'll talk later!" Sam pulled his scarf up and tied it around his face so it covered his nose and ran back out into the ashes.

    The fire turned the previously blue afternoon sky dark gray and red. Sam disappeared into the burning hotel. He wasted no time hurrying upstairs. Anyone left didn't have a lot of time. Most had fled when the other building caught fire, but some people might not have noticed or noticed too late. Sam took a Machamp with him. The muscular Pokemon busted the apartment doors down quickly. Anyone inside could get out easy enough, but Sam was more concerned for people on the top floor. The fire alarm was ringing off the hooks and the sprinkler system was going for all the good it did.

    He heard someone banging on the doors of the elevator. Sam slid his dagger through the slots and cut the locks holding them together. The doors opened and several people stumbled out.

    "Don't you know better than to take an elevator during a fire?" Sam scolded them.

    "I didn't have a choice! The stairs at the top are blocked- part of the ceiling fell in front of the doors and the only good fire exit is on the side of the building facing the one on fire. The other is too rusty!"

    "How many people are still here?"

    "Ten maybe... Maybe more."

    "Alright, go. Now." The people didn't need to be told twice, they ran out as fast as they could. Sam opened the doors to the stairs. The stairs were blocked at the fifth floor; the door was bent in. Machamp made short work of it. A group of people ran through immediately. Sam tried to get a quick head count. About seven. With much cursing under his breath, Sam searched through the rooms as far as he could before it was getting way too dangerous to stay any longer. He returned to the stairs but about halfway down, he had to stop for a brief but somewhat painful coughing fit. Despite the heat, Sam was starting to feel cold.

    "Not the time to be sick, Sam," he told himself, irritated by this second handicap. His Machamp grabbed his arm and started pulling him down the stairs. The force and suddenness of it almost made him trip. He got his feet underneath him quickly. Though it was a close call- the ceiling above them was starting to crumble. Sam was uncomfortably reminded of the Pokemon Mansion.

    Outside, Whitney and Blue were watching the building helplessly. People kept coming out, but so far Sam hadn't. Then a piece of the roof fell and fire blocked the door. Blue was about to get his Gyarados to put out the fire, when a dark shape walked through the flames. Red stared wide-eyed. Sam walked calmly up to them as he brushed the fire off his shoulders coolly. "We aren't getting anywhere like this," he commented with a gesture at the water Pokemon fighting a losing battle with the flames.

    Blue forgot his shock for the moment. "What do you suggest?"

    "Your Pokemon know Surf, right?" Sam looked at Blue, who nodded, and Red, who also nodded. "Alright, here's what we do- one Pokemon can't raise a wave big enough to crown a building that tall, but fifteen could. Get your Pokemon in the water, we'll have to time this right. Whitney, get everyone back." Red and Blue followed Sam and led the Pokemon to the sea. All the thieves and by-standers stepped way back on Whitney's instructions.

    Sam had his lead Gyarados watch him for instructions. The other Pokemon would follow its lead. In perfect time, all the water Pokemon dove into the water, and rose to the surface as they summoned a wave. The sea level shrank down and then rose as a giant wall of water that engulfed the flaming buildings in a watery embrace. There was long and loud hiss as the flames went out. The water pulled back to the sea, carrying various different items with it. A ragged cheer went up from the inhabitants of Goldenrod.

    Matt and Ryan had found each other through the crowd and were now looking for Sam. He was at the Global Terminal with Red and Blue.

    Sam clapped both boys on the back heartily. "Well, done, kiddos." Red was completely taken off guard and stumbled forward. Sam started to laugh, but was stopped short as he had a bit of a coughing fit instead.

    Ryan stormed up to them. Red and Blue gaped at her. "Sam! I can't believe you!" she scolded.

    "What? What did I do?" He managed between coughs.

    "You went into a burning building is what! You want to take Pokemon and shoot water at fire, fine. But that's dangerous!" Sam started to say something, but Ryan cut him off with a hug. "Stop being so reckless, gosh. Now, your Machamp has some burns... You need to take him to the Pokemon Center." Ryan released him and slid her glasses a little further up on the bridge of her nose in a dignified manner.

    "And I'm not how I feel about this new cough of yours," Matt commented.

    Sam waved him off. "Ah, I'm fine. I've survived worse."

    Matt grunted in response. Sam saw Red and Blue staring at Ryan and Matt. "Red, Blue- Meet Matt and Ryan." The pairs waved at each other, then Matt and Ryan left. Sam started to walk towards the Pokemon Center. Red and Blue didn't follow right away so Sam turned back gestured for them to come. "Hey, c'mon! It's been awhile, walk with me."

    Blue ran to catch up to him. Red followed slowly.

    "Now, what brings you two to me... And together, no less."

    "We... Well- Team Rocket is back and all and since I'm a captain now... and Red wanted to... I-" Blue sighed, frustrated by his own inability to make sense in front of Sam. "We want to help you take out Team Rocket!"

    Sam stared at him with surprise. "Seriously? Wait, Red- you want to help me? I'm flattered..."

    It was a jest, but carried a tone that stung at him a little bit. "I've been celebrated all over for taking out Team Rocket..."

    "I know," Sam responded dryly.

    "I don't deserve all of it... You were the one who got rid of Giovanni and subdued Team Rocket."

    "I'm impressed you noticed that, Red... But, hey- If I wanted the credit, I would have gotten it. You did foil their plans on more than one occasion."

    Red didn't say anything. Blue spoke instead. "So, will you take us with you?"

    Sam took off his hat and ran his hand through his hair and sighed. "I don't know, Blue... It's going to be dangerous as hell." Blue gave him a begging look. Sam put his hat back on and sighed again. "Look, does your sister know you're doing this?"

    "No... Why should I ask for her permission? I'm a Cap- I mean, Gym Leader now!"

    "Ooh, that's great kid. You're also only fifteen and your sister is still your guardian," Sam countered.

    Red spoke up. "Well, my mom wouldn't care so I can come with you, right?"

    "Wrong. I won't be taking you anywhere without Blue."

    "Why?"

    "Because that would be like favoritism, which is wrong by the way. So, Blue, go ask your sister and let me know what she says," Sam ordered in a no-nonsense tone.

    Blue scowled. "She'd say no! She worries constantly... But you could talk to her for me! I wouldn't have even gotten to be a trainer if you wouldn't have been there-!"

    "Whoa, whoa, buddy. I can NOT talk to your sister... That would not... Er, that's just not a... good... plan." Sam looked away awkwardly. Daisy... Shit, I don't even know what I would say to her.

    "But- Please! We can help! Me and Red are more than capable of taking out Rocket grunts! Please!"

    Sam shook his head wearily. "Alright, look: You will ask your sister if you can go, and if she says 'yes', then I won't say no."

    "That might as well be a 'no' then." Blue frowned.

    "Arceus, Blue, don't pout. Why do you think Team Rocket is back? I screwed up and I was almost killed. We're going into one, single, massive battle. They won't think twice about setting their Pokemon on you. You have to be able to protect yourself or you're dead. You guys might be kids, but you both ought to know that Rockets don't give a shit who you are."

    Blue sighed. "Fine, I'll go ask her. Give me your number so I can call you later." Sam took Blue's phone and registered his number in it. Blue turned and started walking away with Red following as Sam opened the door to the Pokemon Center.

    Sam stared after them, confused. "Where are you going? You don't need to leave to call Daisy."

    Blue called back to him. "I don't need to call her; she's here in Goldenrod. She came with us."
    ________________________________________________________
    AN: Hee hee... And now Sam has a completely different problem. :D

    BIG thank you to my awesome Beta: DarkAngelTorchic! And Soulmaster!
    Well, this is chapter 12... Obviously. Up next is chapter 13, then 14, and then... 15... And THEN there will be a double chapter. And by double, I mean- I wrote it out as two separate chapters of over 3,000 words each, but my beta and I decided... Since they are essentially the climax of this story arc and they should be combined. So-fair warning; Chapter 16(/17) will be almost 7,000 words :D It'll be a doozy.

    After that- the epilogue. Of course, after that the story moves right into Hoenn... Where Sam as reverted back to his old ways amongst his old friends and some new ones. T_T' He really is such a smart-ass... Poor Steven. The story arc is a lot lighter and I plan on ending it on a much lighter note. (I'm a rather sadistic author but I'm going to make an effort to be much nicer. Sam needs a break, poor guy.)
    Last edited by Noteleks; 20th March 2012 at 04:41 PM.

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    Default Re: GSTA: Johto

    *Sigh* Poor Sam hiving to deal with Daisy and Red and Blue. I don't envy him...


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    Default Re: GSTA: Johto

    No copyright intended.
    ____________________________________________________
    Daisy had been taken to the Goldenrod Gym by Whitney. The girl was very cute, but she just kept talking... and talking... and talking. Daisy stopped listening to her a long time ago. Red and Blue ran off to fight the blaze and left her alone in the crowd. Left behind... It wasn't a new feeling to her. Ever since Blue became a Gym Leader or, rather, captain, she felt... Abandoned. She'd sent a letter to Sam a long time ago, but she'd never heard from him. She thought she could trust him of all people, but she was clearly wrong about him.

    Suddenly, the doors to the gym opened. It was Red and Blue, though the looks on their faces made it clear they were unhappy about something. A wave of relief washed over her anyway. "Oh, thank goodness! You're okay! When you didn't-"

    "Hang on, sis. Team Rocket is back. Me and Red came out here to stop them- can we?" Blue asked bluntly.

    Daisy stared at him, shocked by the admission and the nature of it. "What?"

    "Please?"

    "That's dangerous! You two are not going to take on those horrible people ever again!"

    "We wouldn't be alone! Sam would be with us! We want to go with him and help him out, please! He said he wouldn't let us come unless you said it was alright!"

    "Sam? When did you talk to..."

    "Just now. He's in Goldenrod too. Please Daisy!"

    Sam... Is here...? Daisy didn't even know how to react to that. A million different thoughts popped in her head.

    "Sis? Hey, I need an answer!"

    "I... Want to talk to him myself," Daisy answered quietly. She wasn't sure what she'd say, but she'd worry about that later. He would tell her the truth about Team Rocket... He owed her that much.
    ____________________________________________________
    Meanwhile, Sam was slowly starting to feel very sick. He was freezing cold, despite the lasting heat from the fire and fair weather. His cough that had started out harmless enough, but now left a metallic taste in his mouth that he could easily recognize as blood. He cursed at his weakness several times. He was shipping everything out tonight. He could not get sick now. He leaned against the cliff side of his now empty battlefield and slowly sat down in the grass.

    "I wonder whose toes I stepped on to deserve all this," he mused to himself dryly. Then his thoughts drifted back to Daisy. Truth be told, he wanted to see her, but he hadn't exactly left things with her the right way. In fact, he screwed up big time. He watched the sun set as he debated this new issue.
    ____________________________________________________
    Just hours ago back in Hoenn, Steven had had a dilema of his own.

    Sam had asked him to take care of Cat while he was gone and Steven had tried everything to do just that. But the little girl's health started to sink a long time ago and now she wouldn't even eat.

    He'd called everyone in the Pokemon research field he knew for advice, but they didn't know how to help either. Finally, after debating for a few hours, Steven called Riley and was now waiting in his office in Sinnoh. Cat was sitting on the chair next to him looking at the floor. Steven sighed and gave Riley another pleading look as they waited for him to finish his phone call. Riley held up a finger to ask for just a moment longer, then finally hung up.

    "I'm really sorry, Steven, but General Lance has just completely defied orders and I had to put out some fires. Now, what's wrong?" Riley asked with a pointed stare at Cat.

    "I don't know what's wrong with her! She's been sleeping a lot, been absolutely silent, and now she's not eating. I don't know what to do!"

    Riley gave a very sympathetic look to Cat. "Poor thing... Did you talk to Sam about it?"

    "No... He's got enough to worry about. Ditto's in the clutches of Team Rocket... Scyther's about to kick the bucket... The last thing he needs is to find out that Cat is sick and not eating."

    "A valid point. You know... If it makes you feel better, I actually don't think she's sick," Riley offered.

    "Then what's wrong with her?"

    "I think she's depressed," Riley stated as he watched Cat, who was still staring at the floor.

    "About what?" Steven exclaimed exasperated. "What did I do to depress her this much?"

    "Well, she's very much like a little human so if you look at it like that; she feels guilty about Ditto being taken, she's lost mobility which tends to depress people because they can't do what they want to do, and she probably misses Sam a lot," Riley explained.

    Steven sighed. "You make way too much sense sometimes. Okay, fine. Then what do I do? Sam is way out in Johto and he won't be back soon enough."

    Riley shrugged. "Then take her to him. He's in Goldenrod. You're dismissed from your duty as General Champion for the next forty-eight hours. Go."

    Steven stared at him blankly. "Seriously?"

    "Yes, seriously. Now go. Shoo. I have an organization of thieves to run." Riley dismissed him. Steven picked up Cat and walked out of the room with the shocked look still on his face. Go to Johto...? ... Okay!

    "What do you think, Cat? Wanna go see Sam?" Cat looked up at his face silently, not that she'd ever really talked to him. "I'm just going to take that as a yes."
    ____________________________________________________
    Sam was still sitting at the base of the cliff. He'd let his eyes close as he tried to sort out some way to talk to Daisy. He was pretty much spacing off when a small hand tugged on his shirt sleeve and a sweet little voice cut all of his thoughts in half. "Maester!"

    Sam bolted up and opened his eyes. "Cat?"

    She clambered onto his chest. "Maester! I az been allz alon an a'missing you!"

    "I'm sorry...? Wait, how did you get here?"

    "I brought her here." Sam turned and found himself staring at Steven. Oh shit... "She seemed to really miss you lately, so thought I'd brought her to you. I wasn't sure about it at first, I'm really glad I did now... You look like hell."

    Sam sighed. Cat wrapped her arms around his neck for a hug. "Could you just... Not? I'm fine."

    "Uh-huh. You look sick, tired, and otherwise run to the ground," Steven commented, his voice carrying that father-tone that made it very clear to Sam that Steven strongly disapproved.

    "I've been... Busy," Sam responded, trying hopelessly to find a decent lie to tell Steven.

    "..."

    "Very busy...? ... You know what... Never mind. You win." Sam sighed again.

    "Good. Now since you are obviously really sick, get up, and go home so we can talk," Steven commanded.

    Sam looked at Cat with sympathy. "He's so bossy, isn't he? No wonder you missed me so much- Steven is very mean."

    Cat tugged on her snout as a gesture of amusement. "He no iz Maester... Cat ohnlee haz oone Maester."

    "Aww... You're so sweet. Alright, you're going to have to get off me so I can get up..." Sam picked her up, expecting an almost fifty-pound pokemon, but she was definitely less than that. Sam knew what fifty pounds felt like... Cat felt like she weighed more like thirty. Sam looked at Steven with a very suspicious look. "Steven... Cat has lost quite a bit of weight..."

    Steven rubbed his chin, a habit when he was nervous. "She might have... *Ahem* Let's just talk about this later."

    "You better start talking soon," Sam threatened with a fierce glare.

    Steven returned the glare. "You'll be talking too. I let you come here because you said you could handle it- If you lied to me, you're going to be in big trouble."

    They both held their glare on each other for a few minutes. Sam broke the contest by coughing when he couldn't hold it in anymore. Steven jumped at the sound. Sam's cough had become steadily worse, it was a harsh and was clearly painful. Sam could taste the blood again, but Steven didn't need to know that.

    Once his coughing fit was over, Sam slid Cat up to his shoulders and got up slowly. Steven came over to help him. Sam took a moment to adjust Cat so she was sitting a little more comfortably. Then Steven followed closely as they walked the short distance to his apartment. Neither one spoke to each other, but Cat had quite a bit to say.

    "Venoasawr an Chaensee ahr awahys oot en teh foest playhin' wit teh flouwers. Alla udders ahr bieg an tuogh... Gahbril allus stahs aroun an maeks soore tah tey doon nay faight. Saes thah Maester no lieks faightin' en teh areea acuz et coold damaeg teh veela."

    "So Gabriel has been keeping things under control for me? That's nice of him... And Venosaur and Chansey are still friends, that's good. I'm sure Bulbasaur appreciates all the flowers and plants around," Sam responded with a smile. Gabriel would make sure everyone behaved... I really need to reward his somehow.

    "Aye... An Cat wahz allus waeting fah Maester ta coome bahk... Ten Stahven tuke mae ta see teh bloo guy," Cat prattled on excitedly.

    "I'm sorry about the long wait... Wait... What? Blue guy?"

    Steven knew Sam was talking to Cat so he quickly translated. "Riley."

    Sam gave him a very wary look. "Why did you take her to Riley? What does he have to do with any of this?"

    "I just... I'll explain soon enough," Steven said, though clearly dreading it. They walked up the stairs into Sam's meagerly decorated apartment. Sam walked over to the table and set Cat on top of it. Scyther glanced up at Sam walking in from his spot in the sunlight by the windows where he was lying down. Then Scyther did a double-take at Cat. The old Pokemon was off the floor in a flash and immensely cheered by the sight of Cat. Sam pulled out several berries and put them by Cat.

    Once she started biting into her second berry, Sam turned his attention to Steven. "So who's going first? You or me?"

    "Let's start with you since Cat's situation has been resolved for the most part."

    Sam flinched. "Fine."

    "Oh, and Sam? I want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."

    "What is this, a trial? Am I being arrested?"

    "You might be, depending on what you say."

    Sam sighed. "By all means, grab the handcuffs and prepare my cell for me... Alright- here's the truth for you." Sam explained mostly everything. He kept the extent of his current sickness to himself, but told Steven everything else.

    "Three years... ... Are you CRAZY? Do you have any idea how bad this is? For crying out loud, why didn't you say something?"

    "Because you would have freaked out, just like you're doing now and you wouldn't have let me come here!" Sam defended.

    "You couldn't just wait like a year or something till you'd healed just a little bit more?"

    "Umm, no. Newsflash for you- Tao was on a rampage with her little army, and if someone didn't get in there and stop them, she'd have chased them off forever. It took me about a year to get everyone calmed down and just wait to move until I say so. And it still took two more years to get Arthur to crawl out of his hole!"

    "Arceus, Sam... You want to know what's wrong with you? You've been cursed by that Gengar. You cheated it of its prey and then had your pokemon kill it so it cursed you."

    "Curse...? Wait, isn't that really bad for Pokemon?"

    "Yes. It can kill pokemon. And it can kill people too! Three damn years... I can't believe you aren't dead yet... That'll probably be the next thing."

    Sam stared at him blankly. Then shrugged. "Well, that explains a lot."

    Steven smacked himself in the forehead. "For crying out loud! That's all you've got to say?"

    Sam shrugged again. "More importantly, what is wrong with Cat? And now it's your turn to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."

    "Okay... Okay, so Cat fell into a huge depression not long after you left her in my care. She started eating less and for the last week, she hasn't been eating at all..."

    "And you thought now was a good time to tell me?" Sam asked with disbelief.

    "I figured you had enough to worry about with Scyther and Ditto- why make you worry about Cat too?"

    "Why didn't you just bring her to me from the start? Yeah, I wanted her to stay in Hoenn because I didn't want anything to happen to her, but if it wasn't going to work out then I had another plan."

    "Well, why didn't you say there was another way?"

    "I thought you'd tell me if there was a problem!" Sam exclaimed, exasperated. Steven sighed. Cat had watched silently. Both seemed frustrated with each other. Finally, Sam sighed again. "So now what?"

    "You need to go back Hoenn and forget this whole debacle. It wasn't your problem from the first place and you've taken the whole brunt of it... I never should have sent you on the that damn Team Rocket mission. I'm sorry. Now, you're done with it."

    "I'm not leaving without Ditto. There is no way."

    "Sam... Be reasonable."

    "Nope. Can't. Being reasonable about this ended in Saffron three years ago."

    Steven held his head in his hands and sighed with irritation. "Must you insist on being difficult?"

    "I don't see it as being difficult," Sam stated.

    "Of... Course... not."

    "So I can stay?"

    Steven glared at him, considering the options. Sam might be sick and worn down, but if he didn't want to go, no force on the face of the earth could move him. Unless... "I'm calling Riley."

    Sam reached across the table and almost got the phone out of Steven's hands. "Don't! That's not fair! You can't just call in the big guns! If we stick to the trial facade, then I get a chance to defend myself!"

    Steven was stunned by the reaction. He didn't think for a second that calling Riley would actually work. "Big guns? I'm just calling Riley."

    Sam was watching the phone like it could dial the number all by itself. "Did you forget that Riley is the Thief Lord? That he has control over everything? That he can freeze all my accounts, rip the rug of power out from under me like it's nothing, and otherwise stonewall me into having no choice but go home? Plus, he's got frickin' Sabrina and Koga at his beck-and-call if that doesn't work."

    "Oh... Kay? Well, if you'd like to defend yourself- shoot."

    "Okay first of all... I am so close to taking out Team Rocket! We're moving everything we'll need out to their hideout tonight. I just need two more days! Yeah, so I've been sick and even 'suffering' for three years. I leave now then it's all for nothing. I've been doing well enough so far. I'm stronger now than I was the first time I faced them. Nothing bad will happen... I can handle this!"

    Steven sighed. A valid point, unfortunately. He is definitely not the kinda scrawny, weak kid he used to be. But is it enough to make up for years of lost sleep and illness? It's a gamble he's willing to take, but I don't want to risk his life a second time over Team Rocket. "Sam... I'm sorry. But I'm going to call Riley." He started to pulling up the number, looking away from Sam as he saw the defeat in his eyes.

    As he was just about to press the button to call Riley's number, Sam spoke again, softly. "Steven... Please?" Steven looked up sharply. Sam doesn't say 'please'. Sam was staring at him, silently pleading.

    Steven suddenly felt like calling Riley would cause far more pain than it would ever save. He caved instantly. He snapped his phone shut. "Fine. Fine... But if I die of a heart attack while you're facing those bastards, you aren't allowed to come to my funeral."

    Sam smiled wide. "Of course."
    ____________________________________________________
    14 Preview: [In the style of a movie trailer narration- because I'm bored and have nothing better to do with my time-]

    Welcome to the beginning of the moment you've been waiting for: "It's over... Finally." When he's needed most, "He showed up around midnight. I guess he's been in and out of the Radio Tower and the Underground." There's No turning back...

    "Team Rocket will be nothing but a bad story to tell naughty children in about forty hours."
    ____________________________________________________
    AN: Isn't that fun! Ha ha... Oh, I amuse myself sometimes... All the above is real text from the chapter 14! Which is actually already written! It just needs it's beta-treatment and we are all system's go! Woot! Though, I might actually stick with the silly chapter 'trailer' thing... That seriously entertains me... Not that entertaining me is all that hard... ... (stupid joke about Red, Blue, and Purple being a prime example.)

    BIG thank you to my beta, DarkAngelTorchic! and Soulmaster! :)
    Last edited by Noteleks; 23rd March 2012 at 10:09 AM.

  12. #42
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    Default Re: GSTA: Johto

    Wow nice chapter. I liked seeing Sam be the "little" kid with Steven around. The one thing that got me was. Bulbasaur evolved didn't he? He should be a Venosaur.

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    Default Re: GSTA: Johto

    Fixed. ^^ It totally slipped my mind at the time that he'd evolved. :P I remember every where else in the story.

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    Default Re: GSTA: Johto

    No copyright infringement intended.
    _______________________________________________
    Matt and Ryan, after looking all over for Sam, finally decided to just check his apartment. Meanwhile, after talking to Blue about a way to find Sam, Daisy was looking for the blonde-haired man with the green eyes she'd seen Red and Blue talking with before.

    Ryan saw Daisy first. She elbowed Matt. "Who is that chick? I've never seen her before in my life."

    Matt looked at her for a moment, then shrugged. "Wouldn't know. I think I saw her earlier... Not sure who she is."

    "Well, why don't you go flirt with her and find out?" Ryan asked seriously.

    "Like hell I am," Matt responded indignantly. "I get Sam does that sort of thing all the time, but I don't. First of all- she's not even in the same gender area code as my type. Secondly, you should know how cruel it is to mess with a girl's feelings!"

    "Arceus, Matt. Then stop worrying about her feelings like a woman, and go break her heart like a man!" Ryan commanded as she gave him a forceful push. Their fighting drew the attention of the woman in question. Ryan could see her simple, but very attractive face and long, silky-looking, light brown hair pulled back with a headband that matched her striking hazel-green eyes. Upon seeing Matt, she rushed over.

    She brushed her long hair out of her face with a slight flush coming to her cheeks. "Hi! We haven't met, but Blue told me that you would be the one I should ask... I want to... Er, need to talk to Sam. Could you tell me how to find him?" Daisy asked with a nervous smile.

    Matt stared at her blankly, completely shell-shocked. Ryan resisted the urge to deny her request. She'd never been jealous of another woman before, but this chick was something else. Matt finally found a few words to stammer back at her. "I... I'm sorry? I, err, I know Sam yeah... B-but I can't just... Uh... Tell anyone where to find... him..."

    The woman laughed cheerfully- a sweet, charming sound. "Oh my goodness, where are my manners? Of course not. I'm Daisy... I've met Sam before, he knows me."

    Ryan bristled at the sound and barely held back a scathing glance. Then the weight of the name sunk in her head and Matt's at the same time. They'd both heard the rumors about Sam and Daisy, but had blown it off as silly gossip. They gaped at her and then Matt asked in disbelief, "Daisy? As in the Daisy? Blue's older sister... Lives in Pallet Town, Kanto? Daisy Oak?"

    Daisy stared at them suspiciously, not sure what to think of their reaction. Am I famous? What on earth is with these two? "Yeah... I didn't realize I was so popular. Look, I just... Really need to talk to Sam."

    Matt was still gaping at her. "I think my jaw just hit the ground..."

    "This is really urgent... You can freak out about this later," Daisy said, trying to reason with him.

    Matt snapped out of it. "Right! I am so sorry... We've never met, I'm Matt, Sam's best friend and this is Ryan... Another friend... I think he's at home right now, I'll just take you to him. Follow me... Yeah." Matt walked off in a slight daze. Daisy followed hesitantly. Ryan stormed behind her, clicking in her stylish high-heels. Jealously was a bitch, but Ryan couldn't help it. True enough, Sam wasn't really her boyfriend, never was, and the biggest reason they weren't in a real relationship was her own lack of self-control when it came to other attractive guys. For some reason, Daisy was bringing out the worst in her.

    Daisy followed Matt up the stairs of an apartment building and down a hallway. Inside the room, she heard two men talking to each other. One of them was totally unfamiliar. The other she recognized instantly- his voice was deeper, but she knew that voice and slight foreign accent anywhere- it was Sam. She took a deep breath. No turning back... And don't let him get to you. She let her breath out slowly. Ryan brushed past her contemptuously once the door opened. Daisy walked in the sparse room.

    Sam was laying on the couch. He had his eyes closed and a man with gray hair was talking to him. After a brief argument, Steven and Sam settled on a truce that appeased and annoyed them both. One of the terms for Sam included at least trying bring his 103-degree fever down to something a bit more reasonable.

    "Stop complaining and just remember that this is all your fault." The man turned around and saw them standing there. "Oh, and you've got company. Ryan and..."

    "Matt is the blonde guy," Sam responded without looking.

    "You're missing one."

    She saw a look of confusion flicker over Sam's face. Daisy decided to speak for herself. "It's been awhile..."

    Realization took Sam's features. He bolted up instantly, getting rid of the cold, wet wash cloth that Steven had insisted on in the process. "Daisy?"

    The other man jumped back at his sudden reaction. "Daisy... Oak?" He turned to look at her with open curiosity.

    "Sam..." Daisy adjusted her thoughts back to business. "Blue wants to go with you to defeat Team Rocket..."

    "Right..." Sam's face seemed to fall a bit. "Right. Steven, Matt, Ryan- Get out."

    Steven stared at him. "Excuse me?"

    Sam glared at him. "Out. We'll talk later."

    Steven looked back at Daisy then at Sam suspiciously. Then a small, devious smile came to his face. "Oh... Alright, fine. Just don't do anything stupid." Steven left, forcing Matt and Ryan out with him. Daisy wasn't sure how if she was relieved or even more nervous about being alone with him now.

    Daisy walked over to a chair near him, but not too close. She played with the hem of her dress nervously. Then she noticed something odd. Cat was in the corner with Scyther, but that funny blob wasn't with him. She scanned the room quickly before settling her glance back on Sam. "Where's Ditto?"

    He looked away from her. A brief moment passed before he spoke. "I guess that's a good place to start my apology..." He turned his gaze back to her. "He was taken from me in Saffron City three years ago by Team Rocket. And I... I've been looking for him ever since."

    Daisy covered her mouth with her hand. Blue had never said a word to her about Sam and what had happened. She was fairly adamant when she walked in the room not to let him talk her into forgiving him with some lame excuse, but she felt like he was telling her the truth. Am I naive? We hardly know each other and I'm just now seeing him again after years... But looking at his face she could just tell that he wasn't lying. "I'm so sorry... Why did they-"

    "I asked myself the same question for awhile. Truth is; it doesn't matter. Knowing why won't change anything. I'm sure you know about the destruction of Cinnabar Island... That's where they had a base and Ditto was there. I tried to find him, but I was too late. I ended up in a near-death situation that put me out of things for awhile."

    "So the reason Cinnabar-"

    "I had Mewtwo help me try to destroy Team Rocket, when it was over with, he wanted to wipe that god-forsaken island off the map... I just wish he'd been a little more successful," Sam said bitterly. His expression became a little softer. "I got your letter... Not long after that. Maybe I'm wasting my breath, but here's the thing. It was... a really bad time for something like that. I was totally consumed by my own need for revenge at that point that nothing else mattered to me. I stepped on a lot of people... It's not something I'm proud of."

    Sam took a deep breath. "After I got my head back on straight, I did think of your letter and tried to find a way to reply to it- but... I honestly didn't know what to say. Matter of fact- I still don't. And even worse, nothing sounded even half-way decent in a letter. I considered going to talk to you personally, but I couldn't leave Johto. I'm tied down here until I get Ditto back. So... There it is. I'm a horrible person who totally ignored your feelings out of pure selfishness. I am really sorry." He'd started to play with the glove on his left hand as he talked. He didn't look up at her until the very end.

    She'd already forgiven him, though she really didn't want to. It was hard not to, not when he was being so genuine. I can forgive him... I moved on a long time ago... As long as I don't let him get to me, I'm fine. C'mon Daisy, you're smart and you know he'll walk away in the end. Despite that she'd forgiven him, she decided to pretend briefly that she didn't. "What did you do with that letter?" she asked as coldly as possible.

    "I had the decency to burn it so no one else could snoop into it," Sam responded as he went back to messing with the glove. When he looked back up again, Daisy was smiling.

    "Thank you... I guess I'll forgive you since you told me the truth... Speaking of which, did telling the truth hurt you at all?" Daisy teased.

    Sam smiled back at her in that charming way that he had. "It did kind of burn... Leaves a nasty after-taste."

    Daisy laughed. Sam's smile widened a touch. Her laugh was so pleasant and sweet, and she scrunched up her nose a bit. Sam wondered if he'd just forgotten how much he'd always loved her laugh or if he'd just chosen not to think about it.

    Daisy stopped laughing and smiled at him happily. "So, who is that Steven-guy?"

    "He's pretty much my father. My really bossy, over-protective father who worries far too much," Sam said with a wry face.

    "Is that so? What's with the wash-"

    "I have a bit of a fever... Nothing big-" Sam waved it off. He'd almost forgotten about it. He started to cough again.

    Daisy flinched at the sound and saw the very subtle but pained expression on his face. "Maybe you should lie back down."

    "Ahh, it's fine," Sam dismissed her advice.

    Daisy walked over to the wash-cloth lying on the floor and picked it up as she walked to the sink. "Should I let your friends back in?"

    "Go ahead- but open the door really fast. I'm sure they've got their ears pressed to it."

    Daisy smiled. She did as he said and pulled the door open suddenly. Matt fell flat on his face, but Steven managed to catch himself. Both men looked at each other in surprise. Sam was smirked at them from the couch. "You shouldn't eavesdrop."

    Steven scowled at him. "You do it all the time."

    Daisy rinsed the wash-cloth in cold water. After wringing it out, she walked back over to Sam. He was still sitting up and was now arguing with Steven. Since he made it somewhat clear he wouldn't do it on his own, Daisy took matters into her own hands. He turned to look at her as she came back. She pushed him back down on the couch forcefully and put the wet cloth back on his forehead. He stared at her in shock, and so did everyone else. Daisy sat primly on the edge of the table right next to the couch. "And don't even think about getting up again."

    "Yes, ma'am..." Sam said with fake exasperation.

    Steven had been waiting for Sam to just get back up again, but he did the exact opposite. He adjusted the pillows behind him so he'd be more comfortable and then moved the cloth so it wouldn't fall off. Steven sat next to Daisy and held out his hand. "Hi, we haven't formally met- I'm Steven. And you are my hero... Er, heroine. Can you stay here, all night? Seriously... He doesn't listen to me."

    "Why doesn't he listen to you?" Daisy asked while looking at Sam

    "I imagine it has to do with the fact that you're cute," Steven said teasingly. Daisy blushed a little bit.

    Matt pat Steven on the back sympathetically. "It's okay Steven. I think you're cute. Just not 'cute enough to get Sam to do what ever you say' cute"

    Steven gave Matt a weird look before playing off what he said. "Would you listen to Riley?" he asked as he turned back to Sam

    "He's not that cute either." Sam replied with a smirk. Steven noticed the change Daisy had brought about. It was like talking to the old Sam- though that was probably more of a bad thing than a good one.

    Daisy tapped Sam on the nose, "Well, you're going to start listening to poor Steven now and continue to behave yourself until you're better."

    Sam frowned. "Well, I will for the time being. We have a deal in play here. Team Rocket will be nothing but a bad story to tell naughty children in about forty hours so I won't be sticking around long. Speaking of which- Ryan, I need your help. I called the Thief Lord and he agreed to offer some assistance; some the Captains will be out to help soon. They'll be positioned outside the buildings to make sure that none of the Rockets leave alive. Just make sure everything and everyone gets there. I'm here till the Rocket's leave Radio Tower. That will probably be around 5 tomorrow morning. Ethan hasn't made it back here from Mahogany Town just yet. I know it'll be late, but could you just stand in for me?"

    Ryan sent a scathing glance at Daisy, but nodded at Sam. "No problem," she said curtly. With that, she turned on her heel and left.

    Matt raised his hand, drawing Sam's attention and an amused smile. "Yes?"

    "What am I supposed to do?"

    "Track Ariana. We'll need to know when they're heading that way, just in case."

    Matt nodded an affirmative. "Gotcha. No problem-o, brother. I'll go do that now and call the instant anything changes." Matt left with that.

    Steven looked at Sam and Daisy in turn. "So what's the plan with Red and Blue?"

    Sam reached out and took Daisy's hand. "It's totally your call. If you think it's too dangerous and you don't want Blue to go, then just say no."

    Daisy was startled by the gesture. It was his left hand. She could feel the metal plates inside the glove, seen how slow his fingers were to bend, and felt how awkward his grip was. His hand must have been broken too... Regardless, she found herself comforted by his kind, sympathetic gesture. She snapped her thoughts back to worrying about the issue at hand. "I don't know how I feel about this. I know Blue could handle it and Red definitely could... But, I still worry. I guess I'm just over-protective like that." Daisy tried to smile at him, but Sam wasn't fooled. He saw right through her; he knew what her real smile looked like.

    He gave Steven a signal to leave again. Steven sighed. "Fine. Fine! I'll go help Ryan. Daisy- I know I don't have to tell you, but make sure he-"

    "I know. I'm sorry," Daisy said.

    "Ah, no reason to be sorry... I know how annoying it must be to have an old man like me hovering around. I'll go... Good night, Daisy." Steven left.

    Sam didn't say anything till the door closed behind him. "Alright, talk Daisy. Do you want Blue to go?"

    Daisy bit her bottom lip, "Yes? ... No? I just... He really wants to go and I would feel bad if I said no. I mean, if you hadn't been there when Blue wanted to go on his Pokemon journey, I wouldn't have let him and he never would have reached his dream... I guess... Just how dangerous is it going to be?"

    "Well, it's going to be extremely dangerous. But truth be told, I could use two tough trainers like Red and Blue out there."

    "Will you promise me that they'll come back safe?" Daisy asked quietly.

    "I might be able to do that." Sam seemed slightly unsure about it. Could I really protect them? I can hardly protect myself sometimes. Daisy's eyes seemed to pleading with him. She wants him to go, but she's scared... I'll definitely need more than just me and Tao then... Koga will be there and, Arceus help me, Sabrina too... Between all of us, Red and Blue should be fine... "Alright, I promise that Red and Blue will come back safe, on my honor as a thief."

    Daisy smiled slightly. "I'm not sure if your 'thief honor' makes me feel better or not."

    "You should be comforted. I don't have that noble sense of honor like other people do. So according to the Guild's code of honor, a thief can be expected to break any promise unless followed by 'honor as a thief'. It was invented so thieves can at least have some semblance of trust with each other."

    "Well... Okay, I guess I'll tell Blue and Red that they can go with you..."

    "You don't sound happy about it," Sam noted.

    "I guess... Blue was too young to remember, but I do. I was so young when I watched our parents walk out the front door to go fight in the war. It was noble and I've always been so proud of them, but they never came back. We were just... Abandoned. And then Blue left to be a trainer... He just left. I was just left behind... Again. And then he became a gym leader and he rarely comes to visit me. I usually have to go find him... And then you left and I didn't hear from you again till now... And now Red and Blue... And you- you're all leaving again to go fight in some battle and I have no way of knowing if you'll come back... I'm so tired of just being left behind." Tears started spilling down her cheeks. She wiped them away quickly. "But I guess I can't stop it. You just... You had better come back."

    Sam started to get up. Daisy tried to push him back, but he caught her arm and pulled her to him and then wrapped his arms around her for a hug that she clearly needed. "Daisy, I promise that nothing will happen to any of us."

    Daisy allowed him to pull her even closer to him. She rested her cheek against his chest. "Thief's honor?"

    "Thief's honor."
    _______________________________________________
    Steven came back to make sure Sam was okay around midnight. The room was quiet. He turned on a dim lamp to see better. Daisy was laying right next to Sam on the couch. Her head resting on his chest. Sam had one arm around her. Both were sleeping. Steven considered waking Sam up, considering the nightmare he always had and all, but he seemed to be sleeping peacefully.

    I'll wake him up later. Ethan had finally shown up in town. He'd entered the Radio Tower and was taking out Team Rocket members. With nothing left to do but wait, Steven sat in the chair nearby the couch. I never realized how annoying and nerve-wreaking waiting can be... He looked at Sam sadly. I can't imagine what it's been like for him...
    _______________________________________________
    Blue was pacing their new apartment nervously. Red was sitting on the ratty sofa and flipping through tv channels with obvious disinterest. Daisy had been gone for hours and it was past midnight. "Where do you think she went? What if somebody got her... Or she's lost... Or-"

    "Or maybe she did find Sam," Red interrupted, tired.

    "What could they possibly be doing?" Blue asked nervously. He paused, thinking of all the possible scenarios and responses. "Don't say anything to that... I just hope we can go..."

    "Why don't you just call her?" Red said, irritated and tired. He wanted to sleep, and he had tried, but Blue's constant pacing and mumbling was driving him crazy.

    Blue stared at him, startled by the obvious suggestion. "Right!" He pulled out his phone and to call Daisy. Then realized that she didn't have her cell phone with her because it was in her purse which she'd left with them. "Crap..."

    "Call Sam then."

    "Duh! Of course. Okay..." He pulled up the number and pressed the dial button.

    Sam's phone rang, cutting through the silence and waking up Sam, Daisy, and Steven. Sam lazily picked his phone up off the coffee table and answered it sleepily. "Hello?"

    "Sam! Hey so-"

    "Blue... It is one o'clock in the morning... What do you want?"

    "Did my sister find you?"

    Sam pulled the phone away from his ear gave it to Daisy. "It's apparently for you."

    "Blue?"

    Blue was totally weirded out by how quickly the phone had been passed to her. The hell? "Uh... Hey, sis... You didn't come back so me and Red were really worried..." Red grumbled something from the couch.

    Daisy sat up immediately. "Oh my goodness! I am so sorry, Blue! I'm fine... I really am. Did you guys find a place to stay?"

    "Yeah, we're fine. We tried to call you but your phone is still in your purse and it's with us."

    "Gosh, I'm sorry... I'm such an idiot."

    "It's okay, I guess. Hey, so can we go with Sam?"

    Daisy sighed. "Yes... Just be careful."

    "Alright!" Blue gave Red a thumbs up. Red always took his wins smugly and quietly, so he just smiled, but Blue wanted to cheer.

    "Hey, Blue! Before you start celebrating- Do you want me to come home or are you guys okay?"

    "Well, we're staying at the Pokemon Center under the name Oak, so if you want to, you can come here. We're alright though."

    "Alright... I'll see you in the morning. Sam wants to talk to you." Daisy passed the phone back to Sam.

    "Blue, you will meet me outside the Global Terminal at 4:30. I suggest you go to sleep. Now." Sam snapped his phone shut and was already starting to drift back to sleep again.

    "So the boys are going?" Steven murmured sleepily from the chair.

    "Yes... When did you get here, Steven?" Sam answered him. Daisy jumped at the sound of Steven's voice and she was blushing as she realized that Steven had to have seen them. Sam wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her back to him.

    "I came in around midnight... You guys were already out... ..." Steven was drifting back off to sleep as he spoke.

    "Hmm. Ethan here?"

    Steven pulled out his phone and read through the messages Matt had sent him. "He showed up around midnight. I guess he's been in and out of the Radio Tower and the Underground. Matt says he took a quick break in the Pokemon Center. He sent a thief named Zeth to break into Ethan's room and check when his alarm was set. Ethan will be up at five, and then Matt says that he just has to go back in the tower with the Director's key and finish up, and then Team Rocket will probably be on their way."
    _______________________________________________
    AN: Again- I am so sorry for being a terrible author... Good news is, once this site is caught up to Fan Fiction, you'll only have to wait a day for Hoenn 3! (and then you'll have to wait a week for new chapters! ^^)
    *I'm not normally given to romances, but the whole thing between Sam and Daisy is a necessary sacrifice for much later in the story. It's hugely important.

    Oh, I have drawn pictures of my characters and if you go to my profile, my deviantArt account is my 'homepage'! I know some of you are thinking, "Yeah, that's great. I've seen fan art from fan writers and you should really stick to your keyboard." I know, I know... But I am an artist before I am a writer, so there's no reason to be afraid. They are pretty damn decent for a total newb at digital art. (and for using a mouse of all things.)

    Credits:

    BIG thank you to my beta- DarkAngelTorchic, who is an awesome beta and writer. Also Soulmaster. ^^

    Kudos to Fearless Neko for Zeth (though she only got a short mention.)

    And to spell and grammar checkers because my spelling is so NOT perfect.

  15. #45
    Registered User Noteleks's Avatar
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    Default Re: GSTA: Johto

    No copyright infringement intended.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    Red and Blue were waiting outside the Global Terminal, like Sam had asked. They were early, but they'd both been so nervous and excited that they couldn't sleep. Sam finally showed up with Daisy and a man Blue recognized as Steven. Daisy ran up to Blue and gave him a hug, which embarrassed him greatly in front of Sam and Steven. Red was next, which made Blue feel a bit better. Sam was wearing all black clothes that was tailored to be a little tighter so loose clothing getting caught on things wouldn't be an issue. His black cargo pants had several pockets and Blue could tell many of them had different items in them. He also had several blades hanging from his belt. He looked more than ready to take on a crime organization.

    Getting the hugs and worry out of her system a little bit, Daisy stepped back by Steven. "Now, you guys be careful..."

    Sam flashed his most devilish grin at her. "Of course." Daisy gave him that 'grow up' look that entertained him to no end, but she still seemed worried. Sam scowled at her and sighed dramatically. "Is there something else I can do to make you feel better about this?"

    Daisy punched him in the shoulder. "You are such a child. But, yes. You can all come visit me when this is all over and let me know personally that you are alright. I'm going home, so find me there."

    "Anything to keep you from going gray and old early." Sam took off his hat, flipped it around in his hands, and put it on Daisy's head at a jaunty angle. "Now, I will be coming back to visit you for sure to get that hat back- so don't lose it."

    Red and Blue had been watching silently. Sam turned around and gestured for them to come closer. As soon as they did, he took Red's hat and Blue's favorite necklace off.

    "Hey! What are you doing?" Blue said as he tried to take the necklace back from Sam. Red was too shocked to do anything but stare straight ahead of him.

    Sam gave both items to Daisy. "And now you know that Red and Blue will also come to see you- if they want their effects back." Red tried to get to Daisy, but Sam blocked him and pushed him back. Blue gave up instantly, knowing full well he couldn't ever hope to beat Sam in a physical fight. Daisy put their things away in her purse.

    "Fine! Whatever. Can we go now?" Blue fumed

    Sam looked at Daisy as if she got to make all the decisions. She shrank a little bit and gave him a slight puppy-dog look. "One more hug?"

    "No." Blue responded immediately.

    Sam slapped him on the back of the head. "Yes, you will. Go give your poor sister a hug and kiss goodbye. Now. Or you're not coming."

    "But-"

    "No. No but's. Go, march." He pointed at Daisy. Blue did as he was asked and gave her a hug and a very quick kiss on the cheek, though he was clearly not happy about it. Daisy was smiling wide. Red was resisting the urge to laugh until Sam smacked him on the back of the head too. "You too."

    "What? Why?"

    "Partially because Daisy said so, mostly because I said so."

    "She's not even my sister!"

    "So? Do you want to come or not, kid?"

    Red stomped over to Daisy and did much the same thing as Blue. Red stormed over to Blue and they both escaped the area before Sam made them do something else for Daisy. Red looked at Blue. "I say we get to Daisy's house before him and burn his hat."

    "Nah... That's a little cold, don't you think?" Blue said, though the idea was a little tempting.

    Daisy was still laughing. "Sam... You're so mean!" She wiped tears of merriment from her eyes. "But, thank you. I do feel better."

    "That's good. Now, go home before you change your mind." Sam gave her a hug. She relaxed in his arms and allowed herself to think for just a few moments about how much she wanted everyday to be like that... Warm, someone who cared about her doing what they could to make her feel better. To wipe away her tears when she was sad, erase her fears when she was scared, and make her smile no matter the situation. Sam tilted her chin up so she was looking up into his face. He was smiling at her gently. "I'll see you later, Daisy." With that, he leaned over and kissed her softly on the cheek. Then he turned away and left.

    Steven had just watched quietly the whole time. Sam didn't even seem aware that someone was watching him... That or he just didn't care. Now that Sam had left them, he turned to Daisy with the cheerful smile. "So... You and Sam..."

    She jumped. She had forgotten he was there. She saw the mischievous smile on Steven's face and scowled. "You must be where he gets it."

    Steven was taken aback. "Where who gets what?"

    Daisy picked her purse and her bags. "He told me that you were practically his father. I'm just saying, you are where he gets that devilish grin of his... And that childish behavior."

    "Hmm... I'm not his real father though. I wish I knew his parents though... It's a real shame that they just abandoned him, he's a good kid."

    "With one giant criminal record. The fact that he's a good man doesn't mean the police would think twice before putting him away for life." It was a thought that used to nag at her often. After she thought she'd gotten over him, she stopped worrying about that. But now that he was back and she was closer to him than she'd ever been, the nagging thought was back. Eventually, the law would catch up to him. It had once already, but he'd gotten lucky and he did weasel his way out of that one with Professor Oak's help.

    Steven laughed at the thought. "You know, somehow I don't see him staying in a prison cell for that long. He'd find a way out somehow... He can weasel and charm his way out of most things."
    ____________________________________________________________________
    Down by the sea, Sam joined his two younger companions, Red and Blue. He clapped both of the miserable-looking boys on the back. "Now don't you feel better?"

    Blue glared at him and then looked at Red. "I'll bring the matches."

    Sam gave him a confused look but didn't ask.

    Red went straight to business. "Where is the island? And how are we getting there?"

    "I'll show you soon enough. Just hold on. We'll have to wait for the guest of honor," Sam said as he stretched. Then his phone rang. Sam picked up after a quick look at the caller ID. "What's up?"

    "Are you still in Goldenrod?"

    "... Yeah. Did something-"

    "No, no! Don't worry, I just wanted to say goodbye before you left since I probably won't see you after this."

    "Well, we're still infront of the terminal. Hurry up though."

    "Right! I'm coming." Matt hung up. Sam put his hands in his pockets and waited patiently. He hadn't thought about saying goodbye to anyone, that was something he did need to consider. I'll have to say goodbye to Ryan too... That'll be interesting.

    Matt didn't keep him waiting long. He ran up to them, out of breath from the actually fairly short run. "Okay... Okay. I'm cool."

    "I wasn't aware you had such a great distance to travel," Sam teased with a smirk.

    "Shut up. We can't all be ninja fighters or whatever it is you want to call yourself." Sam shrugged at the accusation/compliment. Matt finally caught a second wind. "Okay. So, I'm really not good with goodbyes... So- Actually, I have a question that's been nagging at me ever since we met but I was too scared to ask, so here it goes..." Matt paused for dramatic effect. "Why do you always wear that glove?"

    Sam pulled his left hand out his pocket and looked at it. He had replaced the old glove with the new one Mr. Briney had fashioned for him. Matt stared at him with worry, wondering if he just shouldn't have asked. Sam finally answered him. "I guess it would be easier to show than to tell." Very carefully, he started sliding the glove off. Red and Blue also moved where they could see better. The single glove had perplexed them as well. With the glove off, they could tell immediately that Sam's hand had not healed right after being broken.

    Matt felt sick just looking at the disfigured hand. "So you wear it because... And I'm sorry- but that's kinda gross."

    "Yes and no. Mostly so I can actually use my hand." He held his hand flat out, it didn't have any support or anything to keep it flat since the bones were so broken. Matt heard his hand start making some cracking noises and a few pops. Then, right down the center of the palm, his hand started to bend towards the ground as if there was a joint there. "I wear the glove to make up for the fact that I've pretty much got gravel for bones in my hand."

    Matt went positively green. Sam knelt down on the ground and flattened his hand against the sidewalk and then put the glove back on.

    "How... did that happen?" Blue asked, horrified.

    "Like I said, I barely got out of Pokemon Mansion alive. It's going to be dangerous, but your sister made me promise to make sure you boys came back safe. I won't let something like this happen to you guys." He stood up and shoved both hands back in his pockets. He flashed a smile at Matt. "Now, you said you were here to say goodbye..."

    Matt gave him a tearful look and sniffled. "Sam... I'm going to miss you!" Matt went for a hug, but Sam stopped him quickly.

    "That's quite alright. Besides, you make it sound like it's goodbye forever."

    "Isn't it? You and I both know you won't come back to Johto or Kanto ever again!"

    "If I can help it, anyway, I won't come back- but that doesn't mean you won't ever see me again. You have my number, for starters, and if you're ever in Hoenn, just ask around for me in the Slateport market. Trust me, I'll hear about it and I'll be able to find you easily," Sam stated, a slight grin still on his face.

    Matt brightened up almost immediately. "Really? Like, I can just show up there and ask around and you'll come? Seriously?"

    "Yes, Matt. Seriously. Now, it appears that my guest of honor has arrived and it's time for you to go. I'll see you around."

    Matt saw who this 'guest' was and quickly waved and ran till he was clear of the vicious Mewtwo. The powerful Pokemon nodded a curt greeting to Sam. "It has been a long time."

    "You're a bit late," Sam teased with a smirk.

    Red and Blue were completely terrified. The Mewtwo smiled at Sam. "You will have to forgive my tardiness. But now it is you who is delaying this venture further."

    "Fair enough. Do you know where to go?" Sam asked, switching to his more business-like manner. Mewtwo reached out his hand. Sam stared at it for a moment before reaching out and taking it. To any standard bypasser, the gesture appeared to be a simple handshake. In truth, Mewtwo used the contact to see the location through telepathy. Red and Blue watched in shock as the orb of psychic power reached out and enveloped them. In panic, the boys clutched at each other. When they opened their eyes, they were on the beach of a forested island somewhere out in the sea.

    Mewtwo answered Sam's earlier question with a toothy smirk. "I think I do." He let go of Sam's hand.

    Sam smiled and looked around. "Yeah, this is the right place alright. Rocket Island, home of the cowardly bastards." Red and Blue were still holding each other. Niether one had ever been teleported before and they did not like the feeling. Red in particular had a slight green parlor. Sam walked over and pried them apart. "No more cuddling, boys. Time to grow up for the day."

    Blue snapped out of his shocked state. "Right... Right. I'm good. Fine. No problem." Red was still freaked out.

    Sam gave him a look of mock sympathy. "You need to get out out more. Spending too much time on Mt. Superior Complex isn't healthy." Red recovered enough at that comment to glare at him. Sam ignored him and pointed down the beach. "The whole crew should be down there- go. I'll be there soon enough. Tell them I said to start clearing the area." The boys did as they were told, Sam's no-nonsense attitude made it clear that now, he was the one in charge.

    "They are good kids, yes?"

    "They are... I'm tempted to send you with them, but I'm not sure how everyone is going to accept you without me there to put out the fires."

    "I am sure that they would not be pleased to see me," Mewtwo commented dryly. He watched as Sam walked into the shade of a nearby tree on the fringes of the forest and sit down with his back resting against the tree. He was watching the sky like a hawk. "What are we doing?"

    "Waiting and watching for the flock of birds to come."

    "Shouldn't you be preparing for Team Rocket to come?"

    "I am. We can't risk setting much up yet because we can't let them see us. So I'm watching for them." Mewtwo settled down next to him with a grunt of acknowledgement. Sam sat and watched the skies for that tell-tale black speck as his thoughts went back to the dream he'd had last night. It wasn't the nightmare for once, a fact that could probably be contributed to Daisy then because he'd recovered at all. The dream last night was a collage of small bits of his memories. Or, mostly his memories. In several of them, a man would be talking to him, but Sam couldn't make out his face or where he was. He could, however, hear his voice loud and clear throughout the whole dream, giving him... Advice. The voice was familiar, but he was sure he'd never seen or spoken to the man in his life.

    It had started off in that unclear area where everything was blurry. He didn't know where he was and the man was talking to him. In this memory, Sam had apparently broken his left forearm as a child. The man told him, "It's alright. You'll be okay, Sam. Unfortunately, someday you will know what real pain is." Then it skipped to when Sam had discovered to book that told the story of Silent Bridge. In the book it talked about the lives of the monks and some secret being or artifact that they protected. It also had several pages on how the monks would resist interrogation practices by envisioning the pain they were feeling and visually shrinking it down to nothing. And they felt nothing. People who wanted to know their secret were always foiled by this trick. Sam had found the trick nifty at the time, but he didn't have a use for it then. After that, the dream quickly moved on to Steven telling him about the wonders of the human mind. Steven was fascinated by such small things (like rocks) and even though Sam didn't actually care, he did listen intently. Steven told him about how the brain can be tricked into believing something... Or even trick itself into believing something. At that point, everything had gone dark and he was left alone in a room with nothing but the voice telling him, "You're smart, I know you are. I've told you all I can- It's up to you make sense out of it."

    Sam had woken up right after that. Clearly the dream had a message, and after some thought, he did figure out what it was. "It's a curse. After the nightmare, you aren't really hurt anymore. The scars are old wounds- they don't bleed anymore. It's not real. Tell yourself that and trick yourself into believing that if you must. Take all the pain and shrink it, get rid of it." Since it couldn't possibly do any harm, he did take the advice to heart and found that it did help. He no longer felt sick, the cough was gone, and all other symptoms of the curse he'd been living with.

    The other two memories were real... Does that mean that the first one really happened?... In the dream I had a crescent-shaped cut where the bone had broken the skin. Sam frowned as he tried to remember if he truly had a scar there. He pulled up his left sleeve. He'd picked up plenty of scars from over the years, but near the center of his forearm, slightly closer to his elbow, was the same crescent-shaped scar. Sam quickly pulled his sleeve back down and went back to staring at the horizon. Does that mean... It was a memory from my subconscious? ... That would make the man my... Real father...? Why the hell was he talking to me in my dream? The more sense he tried to make sense of it, the more confusing it became. Finally, that black speck appeared on the horizon from Goldenrod. Sam nudged Mewtwo, who appeared to be sleeping. "C'mon. They'll be here in a few minutes."

    Sam and Mewtwo slunk back further into the shadows and headed to the camp as fast as they could. Sam found Tao there. "Did you get everything hidden?"

    She nodded, as she gestured at the empty beach, their rough history forgotten in the light of the upcoming battle. "We've pulled everything back and my girls are sweeping the sand so it looks like no one was even there... Or at least from the sky. Are they here yet?"

    "Not quite. But soon. Did you find a ship anchored to the island anywhere?"

    "Yeah, it's docked on the other side. Looked like they were planning on running back to Kanto. We almost got discovered by a watchman, but I caught him. With a little forceful incentive, I got him to sing like a bird. He said that they were going to run not only back to Kanto, but back into the arms of their old boss if worst came to worst."

    "Who's their old boss?"

    "No idea. A woman. She made them all call her 'Madame'. Unfortunately, she's a ghost. Before Giovanni, Team Rocket was way under our radar- so she must really be something."

    "Yeah... And if we screw up again, they'll be under our radar again." Sam flinched at the thought.

    "You always told everyone that they'd be gone if we screwed up anyway. So what's your problem?"

    "That was just me being intensely negative so I wouldn't get my hopes up again... I didn't ask anyone to confirm my worst fear."

    Tao shrugged and clapped him on the shoulder with a smirk. "Just take that usual annoying pride in being right like you always do."
    ____________________________________________________________________
    {chapter 16 preview}

    Imagine- You're back home. Safe in the same building you've been hiding in for years. But now, you're no longer safe. You can smell smoke, but can't pinpoint the source. By chance, you look out the window and see the fire blazing through the forest surrounding you. Before a Machamp blocks the window with a growing pile of rubble and wood, you catch a glimpse of your worst enemy- Guild Captain Lt. Surge. You run. What else can you do? At this point, you know that SHE must be here. And she'll be coming for you. You don't want to die, but if it's going to happen- you don't want her to be your killer because you know.

    Hell hath no fury like a woman's scorn.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    AN: Love that last line... :P The last of the preparatory chapters. Next Friday is... Chapter 16! The last chapter before the Epilogue!

    Credits:

    My beta- DarkAngelTorchic. As always, go read her stories. :) And also to Soulmaster!

    Gold Peak because sweet tea has a dangerous amount of sugar in it. o.O

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