Pygmalion, or My Fair Trainer (eventual Eldershipping, PG-13 for language) - Page 2

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Thread: Pygmalion, or My Fair Trainer (eventual Eldershipping, PG-13 for language)

  1. #16
    Goronda Type Vice-Webmaster Evil Figment's Avatar Vice-Webmaster
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    Amusing to see someone writing pokemon stories while absolutely sticking away from pokemon.

    Oh, well. Take everything to make a world. BTW, did you really mean "Deer Drinker" in the second part when Delia's thinking about her father? Just noticed that and found it funny ^^;;.

    Still going strong. I really like this :)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka and Hurristat
    He's an evil director / He'll give out infractions / Do something wrong / And he takes direct actions
    Then what'll he do?/ He'll permaban you / You find your name slashed / With a message, 'Adieu'
    Sooooo...watch out!
    "It is said that the federal government, if it was in charge of the Sahara, would run out of sand in five years. Private enterprise, being more efficient, would do it in half the time - and they'd make money off the bridges." - me.
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton's last letter. Rest in peace, Jack.

  2. #17
    Manga Sam Fangirl Revolutionary Girl's Avatar
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    Well, blast. I'm just getting everything messed up in trying to get this thing in, aren't I? :D Seems like a sign, methinks... *tries to remember where that typo is so she can fix it*

    And about the avoiding the critters entirely--hey, I'm a) a shipper, which means I'm just trying to sit around and write romance things, and b) almost retired from writing anyway, so it doesn't matter! Yay! :D

    Still, good to see the actual good writers around here having fun reading this! It's fun to write, anyway...

    "Ol' Flying Fingers Sammy jumped the gun."

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  3. #18
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    'Tonya, you always say you're nearly retired, but writing is your passion...you'll never go far from it, I know it.

  4. #19
    The Ash Defender Togepretty's Avatar
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    My Fair Lady!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sorry, but I love the movie, and I own the book(although, I admit that I'm lazy, and have yet to read it ^^;;;).

    It's so cool to see a Pokemon version of it.
    I'm really liking this story so far. You did an excellent job in incorporating the characters from the show into the story.
    I can't wait to see how you make the rest of the plot work. Especially when he is supposed to show her off near the end, and see if everyone else would buy that she is a great trainer.
    I also envy your detail. I can picture everything.

    Ack! Now I'm rambling. I'll stop.

    Continue please! :D

    "Kiss My Ash!" - me
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  5. #20
    Manga Sam Fangirl Revolutionary Girl's Avatar
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    Yay! Another My Fair Lady fan! My mother's probably getting sick of hearing about it--I've got the video, the soundtrack, both books, tons of pics, a couple of *.ram files on here...

    Obsessed? Me? No. Perish the thought! ^^;;;

    How he's going to make her into a worthy trainer is, well, anything but easy. We'll get to see hte beginning of that process in a couple of scenes. (I've actually not finished it yet *dies*) Of course, once she learns it all, he's got to trot her out to the Trainers' Invitational...and even if she does win there, he's got to convince everyone that her victory/ not terribly bad defeat is more than just a lucky break! But stay tuned.

    (And seeing how the heck I'm going to write Pokemon battles is going to be nothing short of watching a literary train wreck. ^^;; Just sit down and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite until it "looks right...")

    People are reading me! *throws flowers to everyone* Thank you all!

    "Ol' Flying Fingers Sammy jumped the gun."

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  6. #21
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    And you must have that part where Jiri one-ups Oak in the battle of wits...*g*

  7. #22
    Jellybaby for your brain! Mew2Too's Avatar
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    I don't quite know how to say this, RG, but... I'm not much of an MFL fan! The story seems terrific, the syntax outstanding, and the grammar incredible!

    I'd really like to see you write a straight-up shippy fic someday. If you already have written some straight up shippys, please point me in their direction! I'd be thrilled to read them!

    Oh, and I'm sorry to hear you'll be pretty much retiring from writing fics shortly. It would be a shame to see such great talent end so soon. I do hope you'll reconsider!

    I feel that I do offer you much support, though, RG. I felt that I owed your story a read, and believe me- it was not unentertaining! In fact, if I were a huge fan of My Fair Lady this would be one that I'd read over and over again! :) Great work!
    What kind of Pokemon am I?


  8. #23
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    She's not retiring, she says that every now and then.

    Anyway, she has done full-out shippyness. Check her site (in her sig) for her stuff!

  9. #24
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    Wow, very nicely written! I thoroughly enjoyed what you have written thus far. Stylistically, it's great as well. The plot flows well, the characters are developed nicely...just great! ^^

    The only comment I have is to be careful of sentence fragments. I think most of them were in the beginning of the story, but I saw them dotting your later chapters as well. Fragments are great for effect, but be careful to do them purposely and few and far between. Otherwise, wonderful! I can't wait for more.
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    ~Thou shalt be loud and thou shalt be PROUD! ~

  10. #25
    Manga Sam Fangirl Revolutionary Girl's Avatar
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    Default eep!

    Eep! Can't believe I missed this. My own fic, and I don't even pay attention to it. -_-;;; <------RG = Sieve.

    Hm. The fragments are attempting to be sort of how the character's thinking. But blah. I'll watch out for it; thanks for the heads up.

    *throws flowers at the Cowgirl* Thankies thankies!

    Hm. I guess I may as well inflict the last chapter I have currently on everyone too. Abolutely nothing happens in it, except the offending of everyone's sensibilities, so you can skip it if you want. Just know that Drake will be sent forth on his destiny, and that Delia's becoming highly irritated at her task.

    "Ol' Flying Fingers Sammy jumped the gun."

    Pokemaniacs Anonymous: Growing old =/= growing up.

  11. #26
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Postie! Unless you wanna strech this out for a while...

  12. #27
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    Pygmalion, or My Fair Trainer
    Being a Romance by Latonya Wright
    Act 1, Scene 4: The Going Price for a Daughter

    Viridian City, May 1987

    Drake Ketchum gazed at the underside of the park bench and wondered how the hell he had gotten here.

    Perhaps piecing together the events of the last forty-eight hours would be easier if he didn't have a splitting headache. How had that happened? Oh, yeah. Somewhere between Donnegan's and the Cock and Thistle he'd forgotten to drink some water, and had a few too many Flamethrowers after that. The way these bartenders mixed Flamethrowers around here, man... after one you'd forget your name, after two you'd forget your planet... he'd had like ten or something...

    Nah. Wait a minute, wait a minute. He could do this. He could put together the previous thirty-six hours. He closed his eyes to shut out the rising sun's light and began.

    Okay. He and Delia had parted ways at the Hawkins Road metro stop yesterday morning. He was going off to the Gym, and she was going off to see Professor Oak.

    The Viridian Gym had been wicked annoying. He'd be walking somewhere one minute, step on the wrong square, and end up in a whole weird area. Still, he'd managed to take down about three of the Junior Trainers before getting to Lydia. He'd managed to heal the proper Pokemon accordingly. 'Course, by the time he got to Lydia, she hadn't seemed like much of a fight at all. She'd kinda squinted at his monsters, muttered something about "nothing rare and valuable," and taken a pretty easy and quick ass-whooping. She'd kinda sneered at him as she dropped the last Badge and his winnings check in his hand, but he didn't care.

    All right. After that, to the bank for a minute, and then off to St. George's for a beer and a round or two on him for everybody, 'cause he had to celebrate his victory and completion of the Indigo League Gyms.

    Went home for a minute to get the kid and take her out for some cheap eats. She wasn't home yet, so he went up the street to Archie's Place for another beer and another round. Got into a conversation about how he was gonna take on the Elite Four next.

    Went home again. Kid still wasn't there, so he just went out to roam the streets 'cause he knew she was fine.

    At some point the Flamethrowers happened. Met a girl. Done with her half an hour later.

    Got into another weird conversation about how he should go to the Orange Islands. Enough Flamethrowers consumed to make him think this was a good idea. Staggered home to tell kid, but she wasn't there. Staggered out to amuse himself until she came home.

    More drinking and round-buying happened. Other weird conversations with chicks who thought his accent was wicked cute. Then something else happened, and here he was in the park.

    ...wait a minute. Where the hell was his kid?

    Aw, forget it. She was probably out in the Theatre District selling her flowers. Frickin' good life that kid has.

    ...but she hadn't been home, and that wasn't like her. She wasn't in any trouble, was she? Had the Professor told her no or something and she'd done something crazy?

    Aw, forget it. He'd find her after he had a little nap--

    "Come along, Drake, my friend." An Officer Jenny was poking at his stomach with her club. "Go on home now. This is no place for a guy in your state."

    "My state is the Minuteman state, and my kid ain't home," he mumbled. "Ran off with a Professor. It's her lucky break." Something like that.

    "She's probably not enjoying running off with him, then, because she's probably out looking for you." Somehow this chick was pulling him to his feet. "Off you go. Go home and sleep it off."

    "Sure thing, Jen. Say, you wouldn't--"

    "Not a pound, Drake."

    "Oh. Send the bill to the Viridian Gym, then." And he had staggered off, only to fall into the nearby fountain moments later. Thus, for the second time in as many days, he was soaking wet.

    While he hated being wet, the cold water did bring him back to his senses. Clearly he had to find his kid. So, after a couple of seconds to wriggle the excess water off and to shake his thickened wallet dry, Drake started on his daughter-finding quest. Going to the most likely place made the most sense, so he headed towards the Theatre District.

    No good. The peanut guy working next to her cart's usual location had shrugged his shoulders. "We haven't seen Delia in a day and a half. Not since the other afternoon. It's not like her not to be here--she never misses a day. She even came in when she had the flu."

    Drake scratched his head. She was just supposed to go to Pallet Town and come right back. Where else could she have gone?

    He checked the flower shops, the mall, the shops on Grafton Street where he knew she used to window shop. Nothing. It was like she had disappeared! By the time he'd not seen her at the grocery store off Silas Lane, he was praying that she was at home. (He was so worried that he resolved to give her the rest of his winnings no matter what--as long as she was safe and sound.)

    As he wandered up to the shack on Silas Lane, he noticed that the front door was wide open. What the hell?

    Two seconds later, a guy who looked like a moving man came out with a box full of stuff. Drake could see Delia's favorite quilt peeping over the top of the box.

    Oh, shit! Either this guy had just killed his kid and was now stealing her stuff... or even worse, the house and everything in it was getting repossessed!

    Drake raced to the guy, waving his wallet around. "Hey, hold on a minute, buddy, wait! Don't take the stuff, don't take the stuff! How much ya need to have us keep it? I got it, I got enough... or are you the rent guy?"

    The man blinked. "Sorry?"

    "The house, fella, the house! That's my house! I mean, it's my kid's house. And I know she doesn't have a lot of money, and I know she might be a little behind on the rent, but I got enough to cover it! How much ya need?" Because if she came home to find out that her stuff was gone and he hadn't done anything about it, his kid would kick his ass.

    "Oh, I see. No, I'm not repossessing anything. I'm moving it. Apparently the owner's moved away, and I'm moving her things out to her new residence." He carried the box to his truck, then bounded back into the house.

    Drake sighed in relief. She was apparently alive and well and doing all right. Really all right, if she could afford to move. He hated parting with his money, but he had promised to give it to her, so as soon as he found her--

    --wait a minute. Moving? To where? Why? How?

    Drake stopped the guy again on his second trip out. "Well, where's she moving to?"

    "I'm afraid that's classified information, sir."

    "Come on, buddy, I'm the kid's dad, ya gotta tell me where she is."

    "I'd love to tell you, really, but we're honestly not supposed to say."

    Drake took the box out of the guy's hands and carefully placed it on the ground, then grabbed him by the collar and hoisted him into the air with one hand. "Sorry," he said, grinning, "I didn't quite catch that address." Being a bully wasn't really one of his favorite things, but it usually worked.

    "Pallet Town, Pallet Town! I'm taking the stuff out to Pallet Town, to Professor Oak's laboratory! Don't hurt me!"

    What a chowdahead. Still, he'd gotten the information he wanted, so he carefully placed the guy back on the ground and straightened out his collar. "'Preciate it, pal, thanks a lot." The fella hadn't stood around long enough to hear his gratitude, though--he'd grabbed the box and headed for his truck as soon as Drake's hands left his shirt. Dumbass. Like he could honestly hurt anybody.

    --wait a minute. Moving out to Pallet Town, to the Professor's laboratory? He'd thought Delia was just going to go there for a visit and come back. Unless... unless the price of training lessons had "gone up" upon seeing just how good-looking his kid was...

    Drake threw back his head and roared with laughter. "Oh, man, the kid's priceless! I knew she had a good career in front of her!" Because, honestly, that was an excellent deal: a nice place out in the country, a fella who was admittedly older but probably loaded, and a neat place where she could learn about all the Pokemon--all for the price of a half hour of nuisance! Free money and good living for little work! Talk about a lucky break! And he could go off to the Orange Islands without worrying about her well-being! All right!

    'Course, wonder if he could get anything out of the deal... he'd just have to go out to Pallet Town and check it out, then come up with the proper plan.

    (And another attack of parental feeling made him wonder if his kid was really in an okay place.)

    That settled it. Drake headed for the Hawkins Road metro stop. By the time the train came, he'd come up with the perfect plan to get some extra cash.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pallet Town, May 1987

    In the Professor's library, Spencer was engrossed in the completely enthralling (read: deadly dull) second volume of Beech's Compendium. "Only eight more to go, but we can finish that in a week, hey?" the Professor had said cheerfully that morning. It had taken every ounce of willpower he had not to carry all ten volumes over to the fireplace and set them on fire.

    Poor Delia was doing about as well. She had been stationed in the lab since six a.m., "to absorb more of the culture," as the Professor had put it. He wasn't quite sure what the Professor had her doing, but every so often, when the Professor went down to check on her, her voice would float upstairs.

    "Number seventy-five... Grav--Graveler. Evolves naturally from number seventy-four, Geodude, at level twenty-five. A rock/ ground type..."

    "Hold on, hold on, you brainless gibbon. Back here. You have misspelled Amnesia, Agility, and Charmeleon. Start over."

    "What? But that's three words! You don't expect me to start over at number one for three words! Can't I just erase 'em?"

    "Indeed I do mean for you to start over, and no, you cannot erase them. Start over. And for God's sake stop dotting your is with those insipid hearts."

    Then, after the brief exchange, the door would slam, and the Professor would appear in the library with another large volume in his hand. "Tell me Crepe Myrtle's significance."

    "Introduced Grass types to the areas around Celadon in the ninth century," Spencer muttered, not looking up from the volume.

    "And?"

    Spencer blinked. "I..." He briefly considered making up an answer, just to save himself the embarrassment of (and possible fallout from) saying "I don't know." The Professor was smirking at him, however, so he knew he'd lost. "I'll keep reading, sir."

    "That's a good git. Concede defeat early and do as I say, and we'll get along fine."

    Spencer merely sighed and read on. It's all worth it to help Delia, it's all worth it to help Delia...

    Moments later, Mrs. Pearce bustled into the room with the morning post in hand, a pillar of righteousness. "Professor Oak, we really must have a serious discussion. You know that I have never spoken a word against your methods of teaching."

    "Then why should you start now?" the Professor asked as he climbed the stairs to the second level of the library.

    His flippancy was lost on her. "Well, sir, I highly disapprove of the way you are handling Miss Delia. You simply cannot treat her as you treat the other trainers that pass through."

    Uh-oh. Spencer had tried this conversation two hours ago. He had received a "shut up, you insufferable bastard" for his troubles. This ought to be interesting. Maybe he'll listen to Mrs. Pearce, since he knows her. He settled back and pretended to read.

    "Why not?"

    "Because she is a young woman. Certainly you may drill and order and curse and beat the young men who are here. They're used to being shoved around and barked at. However, you must not treat a girl that way. We are easily damaged--"

    "Have I laid one hand upon the chit?"

    "No, sir, but you have injured her in other ways. Take your language, for instance. I really must ask you to hold back your cursing. I am used to it, and Mr. Hale can probably tolerate it, but you absolutely should not curse in front of Miss Delia."

    "I, curse? Nonsense. I am the sweetest-tongued man who ever lived."

    Spencer raised his head to give him a "you have got to be kidding" look. Mrs. Pearce was doing the same. "The sweetest-tongued man?" she repeated. "Quite a feat for a man who denounced 'the bloody coffee' at breakfast, 'the damned dirty carpet,' and... well, I can't bring myself to repeat your words for the Arbok in your shower this morning." At that, Spencer had to stifle the chuckle threatening to escape. Yes, he had heard those yells this morning too. He hadn't known words like that existed.

    Doctor Oak regarded them for a moment, then turned away. Spencer had almost thought the older man was blushing. "Yes, well... the girl has her own unique brand of language. I heard it yesterday."

    "I am well acquainted with that fact, sir. However, she's young and doesn't know any better. I must ask you to provide her with a better example."

    "You're right, Mrs. Pearce. I shall watch what I say. She can't just use the most shocking word first--she must build up to it. Have you anything else to say?"

    Spencer rolled his eyes and returned to his book.

    "Yes, sir, I do. You are also drilling the girl much too hard. She has been here only twenty-four hours, but she has spent sixteen of them saying Pokemon names over and over. Over dinner, as her prayers, in the bath, over breakfast... it really is too much! When will it stop?"

    "When she learns the names properly and in the correct order, of course. And then we'll do it all again with the attacks for each one. Now is that all?"

    The poor woman glanced towards heaven and sighed. Oh, well. At least she tried and escaped without much injury, Spencer thought. "No, sir. The morning post has arrived."

    "Good. Pay the bills and say no to the invitations."

    "Well, there's also another letter here from President Wallingford of the Orange League. Now that the Orange League Master is thinking of retirement, he wants your recommendations for a suitable replacement."

    "Again? That stupid idiot. Throw it away."

    "I'll do nothing of the sort, Professor. This is the third one he's written you. You should at least answer him."

    "All right, Mrs. Pearce, all right," Doctor Oak answered wearily. "Just leave it on the desk. I'll get to it when I have time."

    "Yes, sir." She practically hurled the letter on his desk. Before she left, she turned to Spencer and muttered, "I don't know how on earth you can abide him."

    "Rubbish, Mrs. Pearce," the older man yelled back. "You love it here. Keeps you on your toes."

    Spencer grinned. She had asked the million-dollar question, and he had to make up a suitably polite answer. Fortunately, that was his forte--giving gracefully accurate and polite responses. "At least it's never dull." She merely shook her head and left.

    "Nagging old hag," the Professor muttered, but not without affection. "Watch, Spencer, she'll be back with some new complaint in five minutes."

    Sure enough, she had returned five minutes later; but this time she was a bundle of nervous energy. "Oh, Professor, I told you we would have some trouble from taking the girl in! There's a trainer here by the name of Drake Ketchum, and he says you have his daughter!"

    Spencer slammed the book shut and looked at her worriedly. "Oh, dear!" This man would probably end up killing them for having his daughter here!

    Yet the Professor seemed very calm. "Well, send the blackguard in, Mrs. Pearce."

    "All right, sir, but remember--I told you so!"

    As she scurried off, Spencer called up to the Professor, "This Drake Ketchum may not be a blackguard at all, Professor."

    "Nonsense, Spencer. Of course the man's a blackguard."

    He had to hand it to the Professor--at least he was consistent in his attitudes toward everyone. "Well, whether he is or not, I know we're going to have some trouble out of him." He tossed his hair over his shoulder and nodded.

    "Oh, no. If someone's going to have any trouble today, he'll have it with me, not I with him."

    Moments later, Mrs. Pearce appeared, followed by a large, incredibly muscular, scruffy, dirty man. His Pokemon League hat didn't keep his hair from falling into his eyes; his black shirt and blue jacket, slightly torn, barely covered his chest; his jeans were dirty and frayed around the ankles.

    What? This was Delia's father? A big, filthy, scary guy like this made a sweet and cute little thing like her?

    "Mr. Drake Ketchum, sir," she announced before fleeing in terror.

    Mr. Ketchum stood in the doorway for a moment. Then he... well, growled. Right at him. "Hey, Professah Oak?"

    Spencer began to calculate the best means of escape. He still had the height advantage, but this guy had brawn.

    "Here!"

    Spencer and the man jumped. Mr. Ketchum glanced up to see Doctor Oak, gazing down at them from the balcony, the haughty aristocrat sneering at his lessers. But he wasn't intimidated. Instead, he grinned. "Oh, theah yare. Mornin', Doc. I'm heah to talk to ya about somethin' kinda important."

    A smirk from the Professor. "Recently made trainer. Another American. Bostonian. Started out in Viridian, but doesn't stick to Ground types. Doesn't stick to any type. Very interesting. We don't see many jack-of-all-trades nowadays. Too bad I can't understand a word he's saying. What do you want, Ketchum?"

    "Oh, yeah, sorry. Forgot I gotta enunciate around you fellas. Anyhow, I wanna talk to ya about my kid--"

    "Of course you do. You're her father, aren't you? And you've come to collect her. Wonderful. I'm pleased to see that you are dedicated to your parental responsibilities. She's downstairs in the lab. Take her away." The older man immediately returned to his book.

    "Huh?"

    My thoughts exactly! He actually wants Delia to go away with this beast after going through all those hysterics to make her stay? What's this all about?

    "Take her away. You don't expect me to take care of your daughter for you, do you?"

    "Hey, hold on, Doc! Are ya bein' reasonable? Are ya bein' fair? I'm just askin' a simple question--she's my kid, and you got her, so where do I come in?"

    Wham! The Professor had snapped a huge book shut and fixed a glare of demonic proportions upon the trainer. "How dare you come into my home and threaten to blackmail me!" He stormed down the staircase. "You sent her here on purpose, didn't you, you dissolute mongrel?"

    Mr. Ketchum held his hands up in surrender. "Wait a minute, pal, don't trump up any charges on a guy--"

    Doctor Oak was charging towards the videophone. "The police shall take care of any charges I place on you. This is clearly a plot--an extortion plot. I shall ring up the police straightaway, and they can deal with you and your bribery." He reached for the receiver.

    "Now have I asked ya for a red cent?" The trainer turned to Spencer. "Come on, buddy, help me out here. Have I said one word about money to this guy?"

    Before Spencer could formulate a proper answer, the Professor had come to face Mr. Ketchum, much as he had openly confronted Delia yesterday. "Then what else have you come for, Drake? Give us the truth: you sent Delia here on purpose."

    "I swear on a stack of Bibles, Doc, I didn't do any such thing."

    The Professor suddenly coughed, drew his handkerchief from his pocket, held it carefully over his nose, and headed away from the man. "Yes, well. How did you know she was here?"

    "Well, if you'd quit goin' on about how I'm tryin' to steal money from ya, I'd tell ya!" The man's smile became cunning. "Come on, don'tcha wanna hear how I found out about it? It's a wicked awesome story..."

    Spencer chuckled. Yes, this was Delia's father, all right. His words and tones reminded him of Delia's yesterday.

    The Professor smirked at him. "By George, Spencer, this man has quite a skill. Observe the way he attempts to draw us into wanting to hear this: the established easygoing and pleasant nature, the change in pitch, the smile, the manipulative words... I imagine he draws many wild Pokemon into his reach using the same techniques. Extraordinary. All right, Drake, let's hear it. How did you find out?"

    "Okay. Picture it--a fella out on the road for seven months comes back home to get the last badge from the Viridian Gym. He's tired, he's hungry, he's dirty, he wants nothin' more than to come back home and get food, shelter, the works, right? But he checks on his kid first, and she's doin' well and all that, so the next day he goes out to get the next badge, confident that he'll have a nice home, a good meal, and that his kid'll be safe. Well, imagine his surprise when he comes back from the Gym to the shack to see his kid's stuff bein' taken away. At first he's all, 'Oh, shit, the house is gettin' repoed or somethin'.' And then he's all messed up, you know, 'cause his way of life's bein' ruined and his kid'll be out on the street. But he asks one of the guys takin' the stuff, 'What the hell are ya doin'?' And the movin' guy's like, 'Hey, the girl who lived here's movin' out to Pallet Town, and some dude's got her movin' all her clothes and shit into his lab.' And I'm goin', 'What the hell? She's bad off, sure, but she don't need ta do anything like that to take care of herself.' You got a daughter, Doc?" At the Professor's nod, he continued, "Now, speakin' parent to parent, what would you think if your kid suddenly moved out to shack up with some famous old guy?"

    Wow. Spencer scratched his head as he tried to make sense of the tale and its implications.

    Doctor Oak's smirk became more withering. "I think I understand, Drake. In keeping with your quest to put Delia's life and concerns above your own, you came to save her from a fate worse than death."

    Mr. Ketchum nodded eagerly. "Yeah, yeah, now you're gettin' it, Doc."

    "Indeed. Then we shall return her to you. Mrs. Pearce!"

    The housekeeper bustled back into the room, keeping a safe distance from the trainer. "Yes, Professor?"

    The younger man sighed and ran his hands through his hair. Perhaps Mr. Ketchum wasn't so terribly bad. If his words were believable, he did seem concerned about Delia. Still, how could the Professor give up so easily? Had the intimidating researcher finally met his match?

    No, he was still smirking. Whatever he was up to now, this little scene wasn't over.

    Spencer settled into the chair again and waited to see the next move.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Samuel had no intention of losing his project to this asinine goof, no matter how interesting he seemed. It was just the matter of finding a suitably clever way to win. Reverse psychology had worked well enough on the child yesterday; it would probably work just as well on the father.

    "Mrs. Pearce, Delia's father has come to take her away. Please go down to the lab, collect her, and give her to him."

    Ha! It was that simple. Instantly the fool waved his arm about and made a fuss. "Wait a minute, Doc, just wait a minute! Why don'tcha just hear me out? Look, we're both men of the world, right?"

    At this pronouncement, Mrs. Pearce appeared ready to faint. The last thing this situation needed was an attack of the vapors. "Men of the world, are we? If this conversation is restricted to 'men of the world,' you had better go, Mrs. Pearce."

    "I quite agree, Professor!" The silly woman left before their conversation could taint her.

    "All right, then," Samuel said when he was sure she was safely removed from the area, "go on. We men of the world are eager to hear the message."

    "Thanks a lot, amigo." Drake ambled over to a chair and carefully dusted it with his cap before seating himself. "Okay, look, Doc. I'm startin' to like ya, so I'm gonna give ya a little heads-up, ya know? Now I really don't give a damn what you do with Delia. She's an adult now, and she can make her own decisions, and if she wants to live out here with you guys and do whatever you're hell-bent on her doin', that's her choice. But the rest of the world's not as free-thinkin' as I am. They see a girl out here with two guys, and they start to think that somethin' sketchy's goin' on. I don't want any scandal hangin' over my kid's head, and I'm sure you wouldn't like to have any hangin' over your head either. So I'm gonna speak plainly with ya, Doc--fifty pounds buys my silence and my rights to my kid."

    Samuel began circling the chair, filled with grudging respect for the bastard. What? This manipulative heathen was going to blackmail him! And he had the gall to make sense and speak plainly while doing it! Damnably hard to hate a man for being honest...

    "I think you ought to know, sir," Spencer had answered, "that the Professor's intentions are entirely honorable!"

    "Sure they are, buddy, I know that! If I thought they weren't, I'd jack up my price to two hundred!"

    Unbelievable! This was too much, even for him. He wandered over to Spencer's upholstered chair, perched on the chair's arm. "Do you mean to tell me that, in essence, you would sell your daughter for two hundred pounds?"

    Drake leaned back in the chair until it balanced precariously on two legs. "If I can see that the person buying's an all right fella, sure."

    "Sir!" Samuel nearly staggered back under the force of Spencer's shout--the boy had potential, after all! "You are deeply offending my sensibilities! Have you no respect for your daughter? Have you no morals at all?"

    "Yeah, I got morals! But I'm not doin' anythin' immoral! Look, fellas, I'm not doing anything that trainers haven't done! If you think about it, this whole situation's kinda like trading Pokemon..."

    Spencer opened his mouth, but Samuel clapped a hand over it. "No, no, I want to hear this. Go on, Drake."

    "Okay. Let's say another trainer comes up to ya and says, 'Hey, I wanna trade my... my Fearow for your Charmander, 'cause I train Fire-types.' You go through a certain thought process when that happens, right? On the one hand, you're all, 'Are you kiddin'? This Charmander's my friend, I can't just get rid of 'em!' But on the other hand, you're like, 'I wanna do what's best for Charmander. Maybe this guy can take better care of 'em than I can, and he seems like an all right guy who won't mistreat Charmander.' So you trade 'em, because you think Charmander'll get a better deal. In return, you get somethin' too. Makin' sense so far?"

    Strange. He had never heard this thought process verbalized so effectively by a relatively new trainer before. "Yes, perfect sense. Continue."

    "All right! So Delia told me she was comin' out here to ask ya about trainin' lessons. After I heard about her movin' here, I decided to investigate. Now it's not like I want my kid to go live with some wicked quayre guys, right? But then I got here and decided to check out the scene. Bottom line is, you got a good thing goin' here, Doc. You got all the Pokemon you can catch, and it's laid out real nice, and your house looks good. Better to have Delia learning about the monsters in a place like this than out on the road. I'm a big guy and I can handle it out there, but I don't think my kid can or should. She deserves this chance, and so I'm gonna see that she gets it with no problem."

    Fascinating. This man had the right idea, as odd as his reasoning sounded. What must he do with his Pokemon?

    "'Course, Doc, I said this was like a trade, right? That means I should get somethin' out of the deal. I don't think fifty pounds is a lot to ask for a kid like Delia. I'm givin' you a great kid here. She's a good girl, wicked smart, wicked cute, and a hell of a lot of fun. You're gettin' a bargain. But I'll leave it up to you fellas to decide." He folded his arms, stretched his legs, and... smirked.

    By God! This was Samuel's kind of chap! He poked Spencer's arm excitedly. "You know, Spencer, this man has a remarkable view... handling affairs between humans as if they were Pokemon battles... why, if we were to take this man in for three months, we could turn him into a Gym Leader quite easily!"

    Now what was the boy giving him a withering look for? It wasn't such a preposterous idea...

    Then again, the dirty rascal had found his box of chocolates! Oh, no, the man would certainly get on his nerves as the other bastard trainers did. He had to go.

    Samuel rose from the arm of the chair and headed toward his desk. "You're right. We'd better give him his fifty pounds. Just a moment, Drake, let me write you a check."

    "I'm afraid it's money badly spent, Professor," Spencer called after him.

    "Nuh-uh, buddy! It's money well spent! It's goin' towards my own trainin' career! I'm gettin' ready to go out to the Orange Islands there, and I figure this'll be good travel money 'til I win up some more. I don't need so much--enough for some chow for me and the monsters, and a little bit left over for a drinkin' spree if the mood hits me."

    He snorted before opening his checkbook. "Oh, goodness, this is money well spent. I should hate to know that you'll not have enough for your spirits. Here, let me give you a hundred pounds--"

    "No, no, no way, Doc. I can't ask ya for a hundred pounds. That ain't right. I said the goin' price for a daughter was fifty pounds, and I'm a man of my word."

    "Don't you think she's worth more than that, sir?" He glanced up long enough to see Spencer clenching his fists. Why, the boy wanted to brain him! Smashing!

    "Sure she is! But fifty's all I need right now. 'Sides, why should he pay so much for somethin' most men can get for free?"

    Samuel shrugged and grabbed a pen from his desk. One couldn't blame the man for his honesty... but one could get rather sick of it.

    "Don't you dare make one blot on that check, Professor! I'll not allow it! Sir, I simply cannot allow you to make a mockery of our morality! We refuse to let you offend our sensibilities in such a way! We are fine, upstanding men, and we should never do anything as lurid as you are imagining or as you are doing!"

    "You haven't heard a word I said, have ya, kid? I know you guys aren't gonna do anythin' too immoral. Plus, I told ya... either one of you fellas knocks my kid up, I'm gettin' a thousand pounds."

    Samuel blinked. Knock the girl up? What the devil did he mean by that? Did he expect the girl to wake up in the morning on her own? Why shouldn't he knock her up? ...unless he meant making something out of odds and ends... but why should he have to pay this ignoramus for putting the girl together?

    He glanced at Spencer, who now had his face in his hands. Now what?

    Spencer glanced up... by God, his face was a most unbecoming shade of green... took one look at his confusion, and sighed. He carefully waved a hand over the general direction of his abdomen. Now what the hell...

    Oh. Oh.

    This man actually believed he was going to...

    "Oh, Lord. Spencer," he said, putting pen to paper, "if we don't hurry up and give this man his money, we shall have no sensibilities left to offend. Fifty pounds, I think you said?"


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Okay. Someone refresh my memory. What the hell does writing all this stuff down have to do with Pokemon training?

    Delia thought she'd been quite clear about what she wanted from this arrangement. She would read everything, then see how it worked in the critters, then hear the best ways to apply it to her flower business. She was certainly cool with his taking six months to do it, as he'd said yesterday: who was she to say how long it would take to read and see all the stuff? She hadn't expected to get (or even like) Rhoda, but that part was cool too: Rhoda could help her grow the flowers later on.

    But today's "training lesson" had been just plain stupid, and it had gone against everything that was decent and respectable.

    After he'd yelled at something else this morning, he had come into her room and started screaming "Get up, get up, you intolerable hoyden" at her. She'd taken a couple of seconds to get dressed (and she thought he would stay and watch her get dressed!) before he'd hustled her down to the lab. Then, just when she'd gotten accustomed to his shouting, he'd flung a thick book at her. "Volume 1 of [i]Orchid's Encyclopedia of Pokemon Biology. The complete listing of the monsters, their evolutions, their types, and their attacks is located at the very front of the book. Copy that three times in your most excellent handwriting, and say each thing aloud as you write it. Well, go on, get to work!"

    That was at six in the morning. That meant that she had been sitting down in the lab, smack in the middle of all the test tubes and beeping machines, for four hours. She had been writing the names of these damn critters for four hours. She had not gotten enough sleep. She had not been fed. She had not been spoken to with any sort of respect at all. She had not been praised for what she had copied. And, she had not been told that her handwriting was pretty.

    And finally, when her hand began to stiffen from the constant writing, and her throat began to grow raw from the constant talking, Delia decided that she would be damned if she was going to put up with another minute of this.

    She threw the pen across the room, slammed the heavy book shut, used the remaining strength in her hand to pick up the book, and marched up the stairs.

    "Thanks a lot, Doc, 'preciate it," a voice growled from the library.

    Then that old fool's voice, crisp and biting. "Are you sure you won't have a hundred pounds?"

    So that's where he was, huh? Just wait 'til she got her hands on him! Delia marched toward the library doors.

    With all the strength she had in the other hand, she flung the doors open. Hurling the book down onto the floor, she screamed, "I won't, I won't, I won't!"

    A millisecond later, someone bumped into her shoulder. "Oh, 'scuse me, lady, didn't mean ta--"

    She was so wrapped up in her fury that she didn't even notice the man. "I won't write down another stupid word, you frickin'--"

    "Holy frickin' cow! It's Delia, all right! Hey, kid, how's it goin'? Boy, she's a good-lookin' kid, huh, Doc?"

    Oh, no. Oh, no. Not him, too! She glanced up and saw the eternally dirty and scruffy face of her father beside her. This was just the icing on the cake! "Pop! What the hell are you doin' here, ya chowdahead?!"

    "Passin' through on my way to the Orange Islands." And then he had the gall to give her a stern glare. "Look, kid, you gotta act like you got some manners around here. Don't you give these fellas any of your lip, ya hear?"

    "You've got some kinda nerve, tryin' to tell me about manners--"

    He'd ignored her, he'd ignored her! "Hey, Doc, if she gives ya any trouble, just give her a good smack with a belt or somethin'. That'll keep her in line."

    Just to make the whole thing worse, the Professor had started laughing! Oh, she'd love to knock both of them into the stratosphere!

    Pop lifted his hat respectfully. "All right, I'm outta here. Pip pip cheerio and all that shit, fellas." He plunked the hat down on her head before delivering a swift smack to her bottom. "Good luck, kid, you'll need it!" Then he wandered down the hallway, pausing only to drop an envelope on a nearby table.

    Oh! Ignoring the stinging of her backside, she ripped the hat off her head and blew a huge raspberry at his back. Any comfort that gesture gave was immediately eliminated by the Professor's amused voice just behind her. "By God! Now there's a trainer for you! An absolute genius! Mrs. Pearce!"

    The housekeeper appeared moments later. She picked up the envelope, perused it, and dropped it into Delia's hands before answering. "Yes, sir?"

    "Write to President Wallingford of the Orange League. Tell him that if he wants a suitable person to replace the Orange League Master, he can do no better than Mr. Drake Ketchum. A common man, but undoubtedly one of the most original and extraordinary trainers in the whole of Kanto!"

    "Straightaway, sir."

    "What'd he want?" Delia snapped as she opened the envelope. "He came to get some money from you, didn't he? You're the fool for giving it to him... oh, Gawd!" Because there were nearly five hundred pounds' worth of bills inside the envelope! Where the hell had Pop gotten so much cash?

    The Professor practically shoved her against the doorframe as he exited the library. "Get back to your training, insolent wench."

    "I'm not training anything! I'm sitting there copying stuff! You call that training? I could sit at home and do that!"

    "Oh, so you know everything about Pokemon, then?" He glared at her from the staircase. "Wonderful. Then tell me Charmander's evolutions."

    "Okay." She could do this. "Charmander, ah... Charmie... then--"

    "No. At what level does a Jigglypuff learn Body Slam?"

    "Uh... level twenty-four?"

    "No! What is Diglett's type?"

    "Rock?"

    "No!"

    "Oh, who cares?" she cried, stamping her foot. "This is no way to learn about Pokemon! I'm supposed to get one and tell it what to do! What's the point of knowing what they all do?"

    A gentle hand on her shoulder, from her protector. "I know it's difficult to learn all those things, Delia. But please, try to understand--"

    "There's no use explaining it to the silly girl, Spencer." The bastard was folding his arms across his chest. "No, drilling's what she needs. Stay out of it, or she'll be turning to you for sympathy. Besides," he added, pointing towards the library, "shouldn't you be in there worrying about your own reading?"

    The poor guy sighed and gave her shoulder one last comforting squeeze. "All right, Professor, if you insist. But I must ask that you have a little patience with her."

    To her surprise, the Professor's face softened. "Of course, Spencer, of course."

    Hey! All right! Spencer must have done something to make him treat her more nicely! Delia knew he'd never allow it to continue. She flashed him her most brilliant and thankful smile before he returned to the library, closing the door behind him.

    "Now then."

    A quick peek at the Professor's face made her realize that the older man had no intention of treating her with patience and kindness at all.

    "Charmander's next evolution is Charmeleon, not Charmie. Say it," he commanded as he ambled up the staircase.

    Ooooh! Pushing her around when people weren't around to protect her--how low was that? She'd show him, though. Just because he ordered her to say and do something didn't mean she had to do it. So Delia gave him a sweet smile and said, "Charmie."

    "Charmeleon!" he snapped over his shoulder.

    "Charmie!" she snapped back, with another stomp of her foot.

    "Charmeleon!" he roared, storming up the stairs.

    She raced to the bottom of the staircase. "Charmie!" she screamed at his back, inwardly delighting at his irritation.

    At the top of the staircase, he turned to glower at her. "Delia." His voice was deadly calm. "Never mind knowing about these things before you lay a finger upon whatever poor creature has the misfortune to meet you. Before this day is out, you will know the basics about numbers one through fifteen, or there'll be no lunch, no dinner--"

    "You haven't even given me a proper breakfast yet!"

    "--and no chocolates." With that announcement, he whirled off to his room, slamming his door behind him.

    Oh! Wouldn't she like to beat him into the wall! Not only did he have the nerve to order her around and scream at her, he was going to take away her chocolates--the only thing that made this hellhole a tolerable place! But there had to be some kind of divine justice in the world. Someday he'd wish he hadn't treated her like dirt!

    "Just you wait, Samuel Oak," she muttered. "One of these days you're gonna need me to help you, but I won't. You're gonna regret bullying me, pal!"

    Yeah, right. Why on earth is he ever going to need your help?

    Hey! He'd need her help in a lot of situations! For instance, what if...

    She, Spencer, and the Professor sat down to a lovely five-course meal. The conversation was lively and intelligent, the food excellent, and the whole experience superb... until the Professor leaped from his chair, gasping and clutching his throat.

    "He's choking!" Spencer cried, while the Professor turned a marvelous shade of blue.

    Delia merely smiled and brought a spoonful of soup to her lips. She savored the thickness and flavor of the soup as the Professor collapsed next to her chair, twitching and writhing.


    Yeah. Yeah. Or what if...

    It was a warm summer day out on the beach. She and Spencer lay in the sand, enjoying the warmth of the sun, the cool breezes of the tropical air, and the cries of the seagulls... until an English voice shattered the peace and quiet.

    "Help! I've got a cramp! I can't make it to shore! Someone save me!"

    "Why, the Professor's drowning!" Spencer said, pointing out to the ocean.

    Delia merely smiled at Spencer. "Spencer, could you please rub some suntan lotion on my back?"

    And because Spencer had quickly agreed, she could roll over and enjoy it all: the strong hands on her back, the warmth of the sun, cool tropical breezes, the aristocratic cries filling the air, the vision of the hand desperately reaching out of the water, and the approaching sea monster that was going to get its midday snack.


    Delia rubbed her hands and chuckled evilly at the image. Yeah, but that death's too easy for him. What if...

    The crowds were hungry for the blood of the tyrant and traitor. After many years, Princess Delia had finally overthrown the evil Prince Samuel and gained control of Pallantia. Now thousands had turned out for the public execution, and from her throne before the guillotine in the square, Princess Delia watched the proceedings.

    Prince Samuel had looked handsome even while he begged so prettily for his life. "Oh, please spare me, dear, sweet, wonderful, brilliant, beautiful Princess Delia, who is not a guttersnipe..."

    But Princess Delia had stood, yawned, and waved her hand dismissively.

    The crowd roared at the thwack of the blade; many of her adoring followers had brought the head to the Princess; and the cheers were deafening as the Princess raised the gray head high and presented it to the people...


    Yeah. Yeah. That was perfect. If she closed her eyes and outstretched her arm, she could feel the weight of the bastard's head, could feel the soft hair between her fingers, could hear the crowd's celebration.

    She opened her eyes and looked at her outstretched arm. No head there. Too bad--

    --and then Delia had the distinct feeling that she was being watched.

    She glanced over her shoulder at the staircase.

    The Professor stood there, very much alive, very irritated and confused.

    She blinked and lowered her arm.

    It was just a dream...

    The Professor snapped, "Name the first monster in the Orchid listings."

    "Ah... Charmander?"

    "No! What attack does a Gloom learn at level thirty-eight?"

    "Er... Stunbeam?

    "No! Get back to work!"

    Princess Delia fled back to the lab with her book, her money, and her hat before the tyrant decided to guillotine her.

  13. #28
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Perfection. That's all I gotta say about that. I hope you hurry in writing more! I'd hate to see a fic this good get shuffled to the bottom of the pile...

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