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A Day in the Life..., "Normal" is just a setting on a washing machine
Umbrae Calamitas
post Apr 30 2010, 02:12 AM
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Tuesday's Pack



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Sagira stepped out of the bathroom, toweling off her hair. Her pale skin was still damp as she wandered into the living portion of her hotel room. Her eyes flicked to the door, her eyes snagging on the chain lock and the doorknob, both of which were still locked. She turned her attention to the bed, where Umbrae was curled up, seemingly asleep.

She had a rather firm belief that Umbrae wasn’t in the least unconscious. As a houndour, Umbrae was always extremely protective, and Sagira could remember waking up from nightmares about her father to find the canine laying on the bed, staring at the door defensively, as though daring someone to enter.

His eyes were closed now, but Sagira was certain that he was wide awake, watching for danger.

Sagira knew that the compulsion to check the locks on doors every time she stepped into a room was a form of hyperawareness that she should really been somewhat concerned about, but she had never found enough determination within herself to bring up this fact to a doctor (not that she would have gone to any doctor but Dr. Robinson, of course, and Danny already knew about it).

It didn’t really matter, though. It had evolved from being attacked as a child and having grown up with it without too many horrifying effects, Sagira didn’t bother herself with it this time any more than she had previously.

Pulling on a thin long-sleeved black shirt over her bra and buckling a leather belt over loose black khakis. She slipped on a pair of heeled boots and a long black glove over each hand. Stepping in front of the mirror, she ran her hands over her hair. It was still incredibly short and bleached, and while Sagira missed her long black locks, she had no intention of wearing a wig.

Jay, Ivy, and Sagira had been given two weeks of leave after their last mission. Sagira’s concussion hadn’t been overly bad, but the ringing in her ears had been a constant annoyance. Jay’s arm had been causing him a lot of pain, his old wound aggravated by the collapse of the building around them. Ivy was also still recovering. It was good to see her back to her old self, but it was clear that some things had changed. Spending the last week around her, however, Sagira had high hopes.

With half of their leave gone, the three had decided to go out to eat together. They were still arguing over what kind of restaurant (Ivy was adamant in the fact that she wanted biscuits), but it was the company that mattered, in the end.

Sliding a pair of stylish sunglasses on and pulling on a leather jacket, Sagira unlocked the door, whistled for Umbrae, and stepped out into the hall.

It was going to be a good day.


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Master Houndoom
post Apr 30 2010, 01:45 PM
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"It's not a date."

You keep telling yourself that, Jay, and you might believe it one day.

Jay glanced back at Hinata. He still hadn't gotten to the bottom of her melancholy from the previous weeks, and not for lack of trying. Any attempt to find out the truth, no matter how subtle or abrupt, was met with "I will handle it," spoken in either a calm, gentle tone, or an exasperated one. He had finally decided that, whatever it was, he would have to trust her.

It didn't mean he had to sit back and take her teasing.

"Ivy's coming with us. That's not a date."

Hinata lay on the bed on her stomach, disinterestedly flipping through a magazine, turning the pages with her telekinetic powers. Yes, you're right. You're merely going to dinner with two very attractive women. You poor little celebrity, you.

Jay snorted through his nose, not voicing the opinion that if he had the inclination to view it as a date, Sagira would likely punch his head into his tummy. Instead, he sat down on the bed next to Hinata, putting a hand on the back of her crest, which was a glossy black with latex body paint. "Hinata, I wish you'd talk to me--"

Then I'd have to know the human language, came the sullen reply. Jay sighed, looking at the back of Hinata's head with his lips pressed together, then stood up and walked toward the door. He hadn't made it halfway across the room when he was stopped by a wall of telekinetic force made to feel like cold goose down. Looking up, he saw Siryn floating nearby, her face set in a grim look not unlike the one he had graced Hinata with. Her eyes, however, were not on Jay, but on Hinata.

Bitter Hinata will apologize to Jaytrainyman.

Jay sighed. "It's OK, Siryn, she--"

Siryn turned her look to Jay, then to Hinata, then back to Jay, her eyes filling with something close to warmth, for a ghost pokémon. Bitter Hinata will apologize to Jaytrainyman, not because Siryn says so, but because Bitter Hinata knows Siryn is right and Jaytrainyman is not who Bitter Hinata is angry with. And if Bitter Hinata doesn't get Bitter Hinata's act together, Siryn will tell the whole story not just to Jaytrainyman, but to Sagiracatgirlhotbody and Ivydoggygirlprettyface!

Jay blinked and looked back at Hinata, who was facing Siryn's direction with a similar grim expression, and whose face was just beginning to grow red. She huffed a sigh, then "looked" at Jay. She's meddling where she shouldn't, but she's right. I'm not angry with you. I'm sorry I'm being a jerk.

Jay was stunned. Hinata apologizing, calmly, was another troubling aspect of her recent mood. Despite the fact that it seemed like a good thing, Hinata had always been proud, and fierce, and playful, and this calmness was less like refinement of character and more like the draining of spirit. Jay stepped toward Hinata and put his hand on her crest again.

"I'm here if you need to talk."

I know. But right now you have two beautiful girls waiting for you, and I may sound bitter, but I actually like them too much to make them wait over my petty problems. Go, she insisted when it seemed Jay would protest. Please. I can wait, I promise.

Jay looked at her, then patted his leg. Instantly Videl stood up from her place in the corner, stretched, and trotted to Jay's heal, followed closely by Raven. Jay nodded.

"Raven, I'd like you with me, but I think one of you will need to go to the pokéball." As the two argued, in Videl's case, playfully, over who would be in the pokéball, Jay held a hand up to Cammy and Lady Jaye, who had been perched on the windowsill looking outside, Lady Jaye's facial expression changing with Jay's, almost unconsciously. "I'll call you if I need you, I promise."

Cammy's eyes narrowed, but then, with a start, she looked at Hinata, and nodded nervously.

Jay stepped out the door with Videl following, Raven trotting along behind her with her eyes half hooded, the pokéball debate decided: Neither would, if they could help it, be in their pokéball until they got to the restaurant.

None of them heard as they left, but Siryn turned again to Hinata. Hinata should not try to do what Hinata is going to try to do alone! Hinata needs backup to go in there!

Hinata did not move, but her focus was on Cammy, who swallowed nervously from her place on the window sill next to Lady Jaye. I know how you feel about it, Siryn, but it's something that needs to be done. I'm going in.

Jay was already gone, as was the rest of the new team he was a part of, and so none of them heard Hinata give a sharp, short pained scream.


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Living Arrow
post May 3 2010, 04:47 PM
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Ivy took missions very seriously. If you didn’t take missions seriously then your probability of failing was greater than it should be. Then again, finding the appropriate balance of serious mission behaviour and chilled gardening-leave behaviour was completely lost on the girl. She was built for recon and like any serious member of Aqua’s Reconnaissance division, Ivy had arrived at the restaurant early. Two hours early.

“Oh, friggy.” Ivy sighed, pouting her lip at the waitress designated to greet patrons for the evening. “So I’s got to wait?”

“I’m afraid so, miss.” The young woman bowed her head formally. “We shall patiently await your return.”

Ivy hung her head sadly and moped out of the restaurant door, her lofty heeled shoes clip-clopping on the sidewalk. She thrust her hands into her deep, woollen pockets and caught a glimpse of herself in the reflection of a shop window. Deep grey knee-length woollen coat with a high collar, black halter-neck underneath with an above-the-knee black skirt and silver strappy shoes. Curled golden hairs loose in waves about her shoulders under a plain black beret - she had become rather fond of berets since Sagira and Jay had done their French married couple disguise.

“All I wants is a bizkit…” Ivy muttered to herself, stalking along the street with an unimpressed frown over her face. She drew her long coat closer around herself and moseyed on, not really paying attention to where she was going – time wasting was harder to do if you planned a route – and soon found herself in a small park lined with fragrant cherry blossom trees. The slight breeze of the evening cast a handful of petals into the open air and fluttering by their visitor as she wandered towards a bench in the middle of the park. She sat down and looked about glumly, wishing the time away so that she could feed her grumbling tummy and thank Sagira for her latest present.

“Big bone is on the top… little bone is on the…” She said quietly to herself, trying to tell the time on the watch that Sagira had given her when she had moved into their quarters outside of the Maw. The small black wriststrip had an equally plain white face with clear number marked in black, two silver bones pointing outwards to tell the wearer what time it was. Ivy loved the watch – not only was it thoughtful, but it was educational, too!

“Good evening.”

“KIBBLES!” Ivy cursed, jumping up and holding her fists up, ready for a fight. What she found standing next to her was a smiling face, rough shaven, with dazzling green eyes that sparkled with mirth. Ivy lowered her fists slowly and rolled her eyes. “Oh. It’s you.”

“Hello Ivy.” Gray sat down on the bench and signalled for her to join him. She checked her watch again – still unsure of how long she had left – and sat quickly, keeping a good distance between them both. They sat in silence for a long moment.

“You look nice tonight. Are you going somewhere special?” Gray asked, huddling inside he fur-lined coat and luxurious red scarf. Ivy had, on the few occasions that she had run into this boy, noticed that he was a man of wealth. How he got it she didn’t know, or care, but it was clear from the way he spoke, carried himself and dressed.

“Dindins.” Ivy replied after a moment of thought. “Just dindins with my friends.”

“Ah, dindins.” Gray nodded sagely. He smiled warmly. “What sort of place are you going to? Somewhere that does savoury biscuit appetisers?”

“I WISH!” Ivy giggled, coughing quickly to hide her delight. Instead, she quickly rose and began to walk away. “Must get back – they’ll be wondering where I am.”

“Oh? What time should you be there?” Gray asked politely.

“Eight o’clock.” Ivy replied with a sniff. This boy made her uneasy. Why did he always look so calm and pleased with himself? Why did he look at her with a permanent smile under those emerald eyes?

“It’s ten past already.” Gray said, his eyebrows raising but the smile never faded. “I could give you a ride there if-”

“Late! Dammit!” Ivy stomped her foot. “Your fault, Gray-man! Now I gotta runs!”

As her heels struck the pavement at a hurried trot, Ivy could help but feel that boy’s eyes watching her hurry away and even without turning back she knew, she knew he would be smiling without fail. Why oh why did he make her act so... so... unserious? That was just silly.


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Umbrae Calamitas
post May 10 2010, 02:23 AM
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"Ivy's late," Sagira remarked softly, her midnight irises taking a wayward glance to the clock on the wall. She and Jay were sitting in the waiting area, even though it was a quarter of an hour past their reserved time. The cute waitress standing behind the podium eyed them nervously, tugging on the bottom of her blouse and continually trying to straighten her nametag (the name Erin typed in thick black letters over a white, pasty background), which insisted vehemently upon remaining slightly lopsided. Sagira had seen the badly-tied tassles of an apron and the not-quite-right setting of a hat over thick hair before. It was dismally clear that the girl was new at her job, and by the eyes that kept darting around, offering a pleading look to anyone else in a uniform, she was incredibly nervous.

She had tried twice already to seat Jay and Sagira, but she had refused before Jay had been given a chance to speak, saying that they would wait on their friend. It was clear that the girl wanted to seat them badly, but was afraid to ask a third time. She kept glancing over her shoulder and getting wide-eyed in terror every time she spotted what was apparently her manager standing in the kitchen doorway, regarding her with raised eyebrows and a sharp motion toward the two of them. Sagira rather thought that the girl might start hyperventilating soon.

Sagira felt a little bad for snapping at the girl the second time that she had asked. She remembered a job that she'd had a few years ago. It was nothing quite so large as this restaurant - just a small walk-in bakery. Sagira's job had been, of course, customer service, and she had been set in front of a cash register and told to check people out. Her devil-may-care grin and snarky joke had earned her pursed lips and a narrowed glance from her manager, and then the customers had filtered in.

She had to admit, Sagira was rather proud of herself. She had lasted a whole two weeks on the job, performing admirably. She hadn't even made a single child cry. But when a man with a large girth and an even greater ego can waddling high and mightily through the door, demanding in both speech and presence, and rude beyond disbelief, Sagira very short-threaded temper burned to a cinder.

She thought that was probably the first time she had seen a grown man cry.

Of course, she'd been fired five minutes later, but it hadn't been worth to stay, and her elder co-worked had borne an equally disgusted look on her face when the man asked Sagira if she offered any other services that came with cream filling.

So when the petite waitress, looking every bit like a mouse waltzing up to a hungry cat, finally made her way over to the two of them, clutching two menus in her hands to the point where she was fraying them, Sagira couldn't even bring herself to scowl to keep up pretenses. Her smile was gentle and genuine, and she saw the young girl relax slightly. "I suppose we can wait for Ivy at the table," she said softly and, with a not-quite-clandestine sigh of relief, Erin-the-cute-new waitress led them to a booth in a corner of the restaurant.

Sagira threw her off a little when she stepped behind her and slid into the seat that allowed her to see the door, but the girl made no remark and simply swallowed and stumbled over her words as she searched her apron pockets clumsily for a pen. "Um... c-can I get you anything to eat- I mean drink?" Jay had just opened his mouth to speak when the girl let out a soft gasp of surprise. "Oh, wait! That's not my job! Um - your server will be with you in... in a minute, I guess. Um... bye!"

It did not escape Sagira's attention that the girl's mouth was moving as she walked away. Sagira could see her reflection in the window she walked by, her eyes shut and her fists clenched in a manner that screamed how she was berating herself. Sagira couldn't keep a small, humored smile off of her face as she watched the girl, eyes still shut, trip on the rug and nearly knock a server - balancing a tray of steaming seafood - over. There was a hiss of sharp words, a mumbled apology, and then the young waitress dashed, with less grace than a gazelle, out of eyesight.

Sagira snickered slightly under her breath.

"You're a complete sadist," Jay chided, not without a fond smile in her direction.

Sagira flipped through the desert pamphlet on the table, smirking. "You just be glad she wasn't any cuter, Jaybird, or you might have competition."

~*~


The window of the mock-hotel didn't give a great view of anything. A street, often deserted, lay below them, and a thick building made of bare stone took up most of the space. It was not the view that Calypso sought, sitting at the window, but the feeling of vastness that stretched before her. Somewhere within that vast, open space, Wajibu ran free.

She had not known him. She knew this, of course - he was all but a stranger to her. In those moments when he had spoken into her mind, however, and they bore a link cast by his strength, she felt connected to him. A bond had formed between them - something palpable and unmistakable. She wished she'd had more time to appreciate it, and could remember it better.

Now, it was lost to her forever.

The soft, tell-tale sound of claws on carpet revealed a presence behind her, but she did not turn around or seek a reflection in the window. It didn't matter.

"I am sorry," Malchior spoke softly, his voice gentle in the stillness of the room. He seemed to hold a sadness within him - one that she could not understand, perhaps because she did not, at the moment, care. "Wajibu was a member of my pack, but he did not take heart with the idea of my becoming bond to a human. I fear my willingness to make myself a tool... a weapon has driven him away from me."

He hesitated, but the ninetails offered no response. "He did not wish to leave you, fire-eyes, and I apologize that my actions might have been the one to end his... bond." When there was still no response from the nine-tailed fox, Malchior bowed his head as he rose to his feet. "I hope you will not think too badly of him... or of me."

The sounds of paws on carpet eventually faded as the absol wandered off. Distantly, Calypso's mind considered the words, but she found she could not really concentrate on them too deeply.

And anyway, it didn't really matter.

~*~


The sound of a crash somewhere beyond their sight called both Sagira and Jay's attention and the two of them were on their feet in an instant, hands at their belts. A moment later, Ivy came dashing around the corner, eyes seeking, nose sniffing.

"I's late for dindins!" she wailed and, without so much as an "excuse me," dashed around a bus-boy and under the arms of a waiter balancing three plates piled with food on his arms. She leapt over a waiter who was bent down, retrieving something from beneath a table, and then dashed to a pause next to a stiff-looking waiter who held a tray of four plates, each steaming fresh. Ivy blinked at the savory meals.

"Is any of those a biskit?" she asked sharply, turning almost-fevered eyes to the waiter, who looked quite ready to scream for either security or the dogcatcher.

"Ivy!" Sagira called. The young girl looked up sharply and, spotting Sagira, her white shock of hair unmistakable, bounded over, leaving a rather unimpressed waiter in her wake.

"I's late for dindins!" Ivy declared, fairly leaping into her seat. "But it's not my fault. Some boy kept pestering me."

"A boy, you say?" Sagira asked, grinning mischievously.

"Now's not the time for plotting!" Ivy scolded loudly, shaking her finger in Sagira's face. "Ivy demands a biskit!"

"T-Three for the buffet, then?"

The trio glanced over at their server, who just so happened to be the nervous-looking Erin, who offered them a smile that held less pleasure and more worry over the sanity of her first table. Sagira glanced surreptitiously at the stiff waiter whom Ivy had asked about biskits. He was peering at them and their waitress with a smug expression on his mustached face.

"Yes," Sagira said, turning her eyes back to Erin with a smile that both seemed to ease and frighten the young girl. "Three for the buffet."

"Do they have biskits?

Erin seemed to think it safer to ignore Ivy, as she asked, "And what would you like to drink with that?"

Sagira's eyes maneuvered back to the smug waiter while Jay was ordering. He wasn't staring at their table anymore, but he seemed to be getting a good chuckle out of whatever was on his mind. Sagira snapped her teeth together sharply. She had an idea of what he was up to, and it wasn't likely to happen while she was here.

"Um... miss?"

"Water with lime," Sagira said, narrowing her eyes at the waiter when he glanced their way. He caught her gaze and tried to look busy, but Sagira was hardly fooled. She hoped she had enough cash on her to give Erin a good tip. By the end of the night, the girl would surely deserve one. "And a cup of hot tea with honey," Sagira added, returning her gaze to the nervous young waitress as the girl tried to hold up a small tablet and write on it at the same time. It wasn't going well.

"And... for you?" Erin asked, looking at Ivy.

"I wants the brown stuff!" Ivy declared matter-of-factly, with a sharp nod. "An' a biskit!"

"Brown... stuff..."

"Where's the dindins?" Ivy demanded.

Blinking in fright as Ivy shoved her nose right in the girl's face, Erin pointed in the direction of the buffet. Ivy was out of her seat and scattering people in the aisles before either Jay or Sagira had taken into account which direction Erin had referred.

As the two climbed out of their seats, the waitress looking more than a little harassed, Jay whispered softly to her, "Water will be fine," in regards to Ivy, before following Sagira through the aisle, quite a bit more placidly than their companion.

As though picking up a prior conversation, Sagira gave a steady, agreeable nod, as she muttered, "Definitely a leash."


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Master Houndoom
post May 12 2010, 03:32 PM
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That anyone could experience this much pain and still function was amazing to Hinata, and the amazement, even admiration, was the only thing keeping her coherent. It acted like a very thin shield, like rubber gloves held up to hot water; the hands didn't get wet, but the heat was still there, and it was barely less painful. Hinata struggled forward.

It was oppressive, and the weight on Hinata's chest felt very real, even though it was a phantom pain. She felt her shield melting, and she retreated, pulling out of the riolu's mind with a shuddering gasp.

OK... OK, give me... give me five minutes, and I'll try again. Cammy, the riolu, blinked with wide eyes and shook her head, the bulbous sensors hanging like pigtails flopping from side to side with her vehemence.

You must not. You must not do this, she projected, doing her best to allow Hinata to "hear" her thoughts without having to touch her mind. She seemed to struggle with words, then burst out, You are inside... you are not inside... you... She cringed, whimpering and holding her head.

Hinata's heart went out to the newest member of Jay's team, and she put a hand on her shoulder, facing her as best she could. <<It's all right,>> she said audibly. <<I know it seems like forever that I'm in there, but if I can find out the source, I can make the pain stop-->>

It is forever! You are in there, you are always in there, the pain is always! Cammy gasped, sobbing, and dropped the top of her head to her paws. You are in there now, and you are in there before now, and you are in there after now, you are always there!

Hinata's eyes crinkled around the edges. <<Cammy, what are you talking about? I was only in there for thirty minutes-->>

Seconds Came a voice behind her. Hinata gave a start, blinking rapidly.

What are you talking about, she snapped, turning to try to face Siryn. The mental voice, however, came from her side now.

Disoriented, isn't the Hinata, the voice cooed acidly. First, the Hinata is touching the Cammy's wrong shoulder and is turned away from the Cammy. Second, The Hinata was only touching the Cammy's mind for thirty seconds.

Hinata's brow furrowed. But... no, you must be mistaken--

'No, you must be mistaken'! Siryn said in a whiny mockery of Hinata's mental voice. Siryn is not mistaken! Siryn has been watching the Hinata in order to make sure the Hinata is not hurt, and this is the thanks Siryn gets?! As she spoke, she puffed up to three times her size, looming over Hinata and Cammy. Cammy cowered. Hinata wasn't affected in the slightest.

I'm sorry, Siryn, Hinata said, truly contrite. Then her head snapped up. You said 'you' in a sentence!

Siryn rolled her eyes, still gigantic. No, Siryn did not. The Hinata said 'you' in a sentence. Siryn merely mocked the Hinata, using the Hinata's words. And why is Hinata not frightened of how Siryn is so big?!

Hinata blinked, then her eyes hooded. Slowly, she lifted her hand and waved it in front of her pale, milky eyes.

Siryn deflated. Oh, right! The Hinata is blind!

Hinata huffed breath through her mouth and turned to regard Cammy again. OK, here we g-

-----

Jay smirked, bringing his plate to the table. Ivy's had been stacked high, mostly with meats and starches. Sagira's, on the other hand, had a moderate portion of vegetables, rice, and fish. Jay looked down at his own plate, lined with poultry and a moderate amount of potatoes, higher than Sagira's but dwarfed by Ivy's, who, now that he looked, had not only balanced meat and starches, but at least two bowls of brown liquid, for dipping.

He hoped it was for dipping.

Down her arm she had a smaller plate, balanced rather well, piled with plenty of biscuits, both the western, large muffinesque bread type, and the European small shortbread cookie type. Jay rolled his eyes. So much for that quandary.

As he sat, Jay found his eyes drawn to their waitress. Sagira was right. The girl was cute, in a bumbling, klutzy kind of way. Kind of like the way Ivy was cute, only less feral.

He knew one thing, and if he had observed Sagira correctly, she agreed with him. There was a male waiter who was being all too smug watching her.

Jay had grown up in Jubilife, but once he'd gotten tired of the glitz and glamor and falseness of the city, he'd insisted to his parents that he get a job, a real job, and make his own money for a while. His mother, of course, while not trying to talk him out of it, had warned him that he'd basically had it easy before then, and that having a job was no walk in the park. His father had simply looked at him, chuckled and shook his head, and handed him an address. A new restaurant wanted waiters. "Everyone," he said, "treats waiters the same, no matter who they are."

Jay had worked that job for a year, and it was grueling, yet exactly what he had felt he needed; No one fawned all over him because of his parents fame. People did fawn over him because of his looks, but there had been nothing he was willing to do over it now.

In the course of the job, there was a waiter who was a smug, devious bastard, and Jay had run afoul of him for some reason or another (to be fair, Jay, at the time, could be a bastard himself). Every time that guy had gotten one over on Jay, mostly in the beginning, he had a look of smugness, similar to the ass-waiter that Jay was now convinced was supposed to be waiting their table.

Erin was going to get the biggest tip he could give.

The waitress had a small tray in her hand, holding the five drinks they had ordered (Jay had asked for a lemonade, and had also thought the tea with honey was a good idea). There was a flash in his peripheral vision, and he felt the strong urge to move as Erin stepped on a spoon awkwardly, overbalanced, and pitched forward, the tray of drinks just beginning to rock forward dangerously.

Jay's hands moved as if on their own, catching the edge of the tray with his right as he managed to right Erin with his left, bumping her with his hip as she stumbled, in a way that somehow managed to help her balance rather than hinder it.

"Oh, dam- I mean... I'm so sor-"

"You should watch where you're going," sniffed the waiter, in a tone so familiar Jay found his eyes rolling of their own free will.

He smiled at Erin and handed her the tray, carefully, then turned to face the ass-waiter. "You should know, a spoon dropped off of your tray. I think that's what she tripped on. Darnedest thing, too, it happened just when she couldn't possibly see it."

The waiter's eyes narrowed, but, of course, he couldn't say anything in rebuttal. "It was, then, a good thing you were there, sir," he said silkily, feigning boredom.

Jay looked at the man, smirking as he bent to pick up the spoon, then did a double take. "Hey, weren't you a waiter at Chez Chimecho?" The man's face snapped up, his brow furrowed. "Did they ever solve their salty fish problem?"

The man's eyes widened, and he stood so quickly that he nearly backed into the table. Jay grinned. "Man. This must suck for you, a waiter at a buffet..."

The ass-waiter turned, quickly heading to the other side of the restaurant. Jay shook his head, chuckling, and walked back to the table, where Sagira, Ivy, and Erin were waiting. Erin was wringing her apron in her hands.

"I... I just wanted to say again that I'm sorry that I almost dropped the drinks on y-" Jay noticed Sagira's eyes widening, but shook his head minutely, "you, and I'll be happy," she said, sounding as if she were miserably embarrassed," to find you a new waiter or waitress."

"Nonsense, you're doing just fine. Great save on the tray. I've seen pros drop those for less."

"We wouldn't dream of a new waitress," Sagira said, smoothly.

"Jus' keep th' biskits comin' an' I'm happy," Ivy said, grinning widely.

Erin blushed and nodded, stammering a thank you before moving toward the drink stand. She looked back once or twice, flushing pink, before she was out of sight.

"Ah, what a night," Jay sighed, sitting down to his plate. "Nice to get the team together-"

"Hey, she didn't bring me th' brown stuff," Ivy cried, causing Jay to blink at her. Then she lifted one of her bowls of gravy. "Good thing they haddit over by the foods!" With a smile she slurped gravy straight from the bowl. Sagira sighed, putting her hand to her forehead, and Jay chuckled.

"Annnnd a muzzle, maybe," he joked, just loud enough for Sagira to hear.


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Living Arrow
post May 18 2010, 01:09 PM
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"Did they ever solve their salty fish problem?"

*Problem?! T’was an improvement! IMPROVEMENT!*

Ivy grumbled around a gravy-soaked biscuit and continued her unstoppable munching. If there were four words that Ivy loved above all others they were ‘all-you-can-eat’. When she had been very little and her Pokémommy was away on a kitchen raid, her tummy would complain terribly and when the spoils were returned it could only get loader – it turned out Mightyena can’t carry all that much when being chased by two cooks and a maître d’.

Jay made an effort with the clutz of a waitress to make her feel better – he must have been doing that or he was blind – so Ivy puffed out her chest and tried to help out, too.

"We wouldn't dream of a new waitress," Sagira said, smoothly.

"Jus' keep th' biskits comin' an' I'm happy," Ivy said, grinning widely.

*But drop them and I cut you!*

Ivy watched on in quiet, noticing much to her displeasure how the girl was still clumsy and yet was wearing flats. FLATS! Victor had taught Ivy how to walk in heels in an hour and she was more stable on them than this girl was in FLATS! Not only that, but…

"Hey, she didn't bring me th' brown stuff," Ivy cried, causing Jay to blink at her. Then she lifted one of her bowls of gravy. "Good thing they haddit over by the foods!"

Lifting a bowl of gravy to her lips, Ivy tooks several deep gulps. Sagira raised a hand to her forehead, producing a raised eyebrow from Ivy.

“Summink matter?”

“Is that… that…” Sagira started.

“Gravy… yes…” Ivy cocked her head to the side. “Wassa matter? Gravy’s my favourite soft drink…”

~

When it came to all you can eat buffet, Ivy was never sure exactly how far the invitation extended. Sure, you could eat until you were full but that meant stopping before you had absolutely tried everything you wanted. However, purging yourself and eating more was frowned upon – she had learned that the hard way the year before – so it wasn’t much of an option either. All she knew was that her stomach was bulging and there was still chocolate cheesecake on the stand.

“Urrrgh.” She moaned, struggling to stand and get back to the buffet. “Must… cake…”

“Mistake?” Jay broke in. “To have eaten so much? Why, Ivy, I do believe you’re right!” He mocked her as she steadied herself with support from the table. Ivy moaned and rolled her hooded eyes, trying to focus through the meat sweats.

“Mist cake?” She got out. “Sounds ‘licious…”

“Oh. Dear. God.” Sagira muttered. “Ivy, I think you need to take a break and stop now. You can go back for more once the first set had gone down.”

“Never!” Ivy tossed down her napkin. “Cakes… Ivy… Food…”

“That wasn’t even a sentence.” Jay sniggered over his lemonade. “Having a rest may be a good idea.”

“Eat… the… rest?” Ivy blinked, her smile rapidly consolidating into a crazed grin. “Sounds fabby.” And with that, she tottered back to the buffet cart.


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Umbrae Calamitas
post May 22 2010, 10:52 PM
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"Can I get you anything else, Mister Monroe?"

"No, no, that will be quite everything I need, my dear, thank you." He offered the waitress a suave grin which had her blushing, and she dashed off. No doubt to the kitchens, to gossip and giggle with the other waitresses about having this stranger as a customer.

"Mroww."

"Oh, do hush," he scolded the persian lightly. The feline lay across his lap, her claws extending and retracting as she lightly sank them into the flesh of his leg. He let her continue, knowing that trying to make her stop was more likely to result in a ruined pair of pants.

Rather, he let her continue, as he sipped at a cup of hot tea with honey, gazing across the restaurant at a far table, where his quarry lay. The trio had no idea that they were being followed; nor that he had been following them for months now. If he had his way, they wouldn't know for months to come - not until he was ready to reveal himself. Depending on what Iris knew, perhaps he never would.

For the moment, however, he sat quietly, the cup of tea warming his hands through a pair of leather gloves. His thick black hair, slicked straight back, looked glossy under the lights of the restaurant, and his light brown eyes gleamed behind a stylish and expensive pair of glasses. Dressed suavely in an Italian suit, he was anything but inconspicuous. Smiling to himself, he had to wonder if, perhaps, he wanted them to notice him.

Yes, perhaps he did.

~*~


Sagira bit the end off of a sliver of asparagus and chewed thoughtfully as she watched Ivy shove more food down her throat. She had briefly considered that lovely slice of strawberry cheesecake, but she was almost certain that she had gained ten pounds just watching Ivy eat.

Ivy's diet, from what Sagira had been able to stomach, had consisted of no vegetables or fruits. Rather, it contained starches and sugars and sweets. Sagira had never liked thinking far enough into the future that things began changing for the worse, but she worried about the ramifications of Ivy's diet. Yes, the girl's metabolism was grand in epic proportions, but that could mean little in the face of how much fat was clogged up in her arteries.

She's undergone some changes already, Sagira admitted to herself, glancing Ivy up and down. Her wardrobe and mannerisms were very different from how they were when Sagira had first met the girl. Although some of the changes had come at too high a cost, they were forced. Sagira wondered if she could, possibly, help Ivy to make some changes for the better.

Oh, relax, Ira.

She really couldn't cope with a peaceful day, could she? Sagira smiled lightly to herself. Today was a day of friends, a day of spending her time with two people who meant the most to her. She would worry about changes and the future later. Nothing would take away the happiness of this moment, or her good day.

Sagira's eyes followed the clumsy stumble of Erin, as the girl went to check on another table, blushing and stuttering and smiling in embarrassment as that familiar jerk of a waiter watched her, grinning maliciously.

Sagira smiled.

Nothing.

~*~


It was a cold chill that touched him first, before he became aware of anything else. Like an ice cube, melting against his consciousness and burning him softly with cold, he felt Hinata's presence, close but separated from him. Sitting at the head of Sagira's bed, his arms wrapped around his legs, he cursed himself for not blocking off the feel of her presence immediately, even as he clung to the feel of her in utter desperation.

She was beautiful. She had a gorgeous heart. One might think he would be turned off by the scars she bore across her emotions, but he found her perseverance added to her beauty. She had a brilliant mind, with a sassyness that couldn't be ignored. It could be infuriating - probably should have been infuriating - but he found it to be just another thing he loved about it.

And that was infuriating.

He loved her, knew he loved her, and loved that he loved her. But he also hated it, because he couldn't love her. It wasn't fair to her. He was Sagira's protector, her paladin, and he had to be there for her. He couldn't divide his attention between the two of them. He dared not love both of them, because inevitably, one of them would be hurt. That meant that he had to choose and, though it hurt him to turn her away, it was for the best that he remain with Sagira. It was his duty to protect her.

Hinata... Hinata could take care of herself.


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Master Houndoom
post May 26 2010, 12:55 AM
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She panted where she lay, thrown, not by any outside force, but by the sudden release of her own tensed muscles, muscles that now quivered from the strain of holding herself in place when her every instinct was to escape. She panted and rolled over, barely able to rock enough to complete the roll. Her head dropped, her forehead resting on the ground. Viscous tears flowed down her cheeks, but she held the sobs in.

No more. You must not hurt yourself.

The words, and not just the emotion behind them, caused the kirlia to raise her head. Her eyes, like blank slates, grayed over with scar tissue over the corneas, still managed to penetrate the riolu who had spoken. The riolu did not react except to avert her eyes. Though the kirlia could not see the action, she could feel the emotions behind it.

<<Cammy. Look at me.>>

The riolu's head snapped back to look at her. Cammy's eyes were wide, confused. She knew the kirlia was blind. It was the first thing that the one named Videl had said when the team had learned of each other.

<<Right now you're wondering why I knew your head was turned. You want to know why I care so much. It's because of Jay. He's... my trainer. He's my best friend. He's my father...>> Hinata swallowed thickly. <<And he chose you, to be a part of this team. He needs you at your best. Which means you need me.>>

It hurts you. Therefore, you stop. The riolu crossed her arms, this time ignoring the instinct to look away. Hinata merely chuckled.

<<I'm no stranger to pain. Or discomfort.>>

A small form bobbed between them, startling Cammy. Siryn believes that the Hinata needs to stop hiding behind the Hinata's bravado and tell what the Hinata really wants to say. Hinata's head turned, slowly, toward the misdreavus, who stared back with hooded eyes.

Hinata thinks that Siryn needs to butt out!

Siryn knows that the Hinata is trying to prove that the Hinata doesn't need help. The Hinata's words were true, but the Hinata refuses to ask for the help that the Hinata surely needs. The misdreavus looked down at something, her eyes hooded, then sighed with an exasperated huff. Siryn needs nails to buff!

Hinata turned her back on the riolu and the misdreavus, closing her eyes. Fine. FINE! She turned around, glaring in the general direction of the two pokemon. Siryn, I need help.

Siryn is a bad choice. Siryn looked down, ashamed.

Why? Though she was annoyed, Hinata regarded the misdreavus with nothing but curiosity.

Because Siryn feeds on fear, and The Cammy and the Hinata are full of fear when mind-riding. Siryn would... encourage that. Siryn looked up, meeting Hinata's mind, and, even more, opening hers to the kirlia, an act which made Hinata jump mentally. The Hinata knows who she needs.

No.

But-

He won't agree to it, and I refuse to force the issue. So no. I'll just have to do this myself.

Hinata tried to float up, but found she was more mentally fatigued than she even had been physically. With a sigh, she turned and trod toward the bathroom on dainty feet. After a hot bath...

-----

Jay looked across the table at how Sagira and Ivy spoke to each other. It wasn't their words, however; to the outside listener, Sagira was haranguing the overstuffed, lethargic animal. However, to Jay's eyes, and ears, there was more. An undercurrent of caring, a touch of humor. Even the eye rolls, devastating to anyone else, held the slightest hint of a smile. Sagira was happy, and Ivy...

Ivy was warm.

It was a flash, really, just the barest sense, but Jay could suddenly feel that Ivy was warm and safe and well fed, and all of those spelled happy to a person who, much of her life, had only cold and hunger and loss to look forward to.

Jay's brow furrowed. The impression was gone as the ass-waiter walked over, offering Ivy, with a slight sneer, and a cheesy french accent, a mint, which she waved off.

"Oh, come now. Eet's wafer theen!"

"Bugger off, 'm stuff'd!"

Sagira looked at Jay, rolling her eyes, then tilted her head. Jay blinked at her, and raised his eyebrow at the same time, and in the same way, as she did. She grinned at him, then turned back to Ivy to chide her some more.

Jay chuckled, watching them, when a coolness crept up the back of his neck. He sat up a little straighter, and turned. He'd felt this feeling before, usually in furtive spurts, and, it turned out when he'd gotten used to the feeling enough to investigate it, due to being watched. Usually by star struck girls.

This time, however, it was constant, but also indirect, as if he were not the target but close enough that the watcher couldn't help but to watch him as well. He turned, brow furrowing curiously, and saw a man blowing on a cup of warm tea. He looked like stereotypical wealthy gentleman: Slicked back hair, expensive gloves, expensive suit. He was looking down at the cup with a frown, but Jay knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that this person had been watching one of the three of them.

He turned to tell Sagira about it when a crash sounded behind him, and a short, sharp scream, high pitched, like a girl's. Jay stood and turned at the same time Sagira did, and a little bit ahead of the bloated, but more awake, Ivy.

Three men stood before them, each of them wearing white coats that dropped to mid thigh, each of them with a covering over their face. One stood back by the door, massive enough to keep anyone from passing him, and the other two were circulating menacing the patrons. Erin stood trembling, and the waiter who'd antagonized her all night was kneeling in front of her. One of the men stepped toward him quickly, and he screamed again, with the same high report of the one that had alerted Jay. For a brief second, Jay had to shake his head.

"No worries," called one in a deep, loud voice, which would have been soothing in another situation. "We are not here to hurt you!" He turned to a woman who was crying next to him, addressing her directly. "Honestly, ma'am. We're not here to hurt you. I promise," he said, soothingly, as if comforting a small child in a thunderstorm. "We just want to take your pokemon."

"In the bag! Now!" The man who shook his cloth bag was the exact opposite of the man who'd spoken before. "DO IT! DO IT!"

When the man turned toward them he felt both Ivy and Sagira tense. A quick glance confirmed his suspicion. A black patch on the lab coats all three wore looked suspiciously like an M shaped like a mountain range. However, Jay noticed something else: The middle of the M was white, and had a circle a lot like the cross bar of the Alpha A. It was a vague connection, but it was still there, and Jay's eyes narrowed.

"You," the screamer shouted, pointing at Jay's face. "Put your pokemon in this bag, right now!"

"You want my pokemon?" Jay said, raising his eyebrow in an eerie imitation of Sagira at her most playfully cunning. His hands whipped to his belt, releasing Videl and Raven, both of whom growled menacingly. "Take 'em if you can!"

-----

He was looking out of a window when the ghost type let herself in. She had spent time watching Hinata, who was currently asleep on the bed, where Siryn had telekinetically deposited her when she had fallen asleep in the tub. She had watched as the kirlia, who she thought she must still hate, but couldn't remember why, twitched in phantom pain, sleeping poorly. And that was how she got fed up and came here, to Sagira's room, looking now at Paladin, who she felt she must still love, but couldn't remember why.

She did not have to see his face to know that he was forlorn, in despair. There was no fear in him, but there was pain, and sadness, crushing his spirit, and Siryn felt a wave of simultaneous pity and anger.

Siryn would talk to the Paladin.

Paladin's shoulders tensed, but he did not turn. He didn't even look. He didn't speak.

Siryn said, Siryn would speak to the Paladin.

Still nothing. He didn't even acknowledge her presence.

For the longest time, as Siryn grew, she was trapped in a place where people, when they saw her, had grown used to her. They ignored her, instead of fearing her. It had given her a deep seated hatred for the act, and she opened her mouth wide, to screech and make him turn.

An image of Hinata crossed her mind, and she stopped.

Fine. The Paladin will hear, and the Siryn will talk. And the Paladin will have to talk to Siryn to make Siryn stop.

Paladin did not turn, but Siryn approached him anyway. The Hinata needs the Paladin. And the Paladin needs the Hinata, but the Hinata, right now, needs the Paladin more. He twitched, but did not turn, and Siryn sighed. The Hinata is hurting the Hinata's self. And Siryn cannot watch it anymore. But if the Paladin does not feel like helping the Hinata, then Siryn cannot make this happen.

She floated to the doorway. The Paladin should think, very hard, if what the Paladin is doing is worth what the Paladin is doing it for.

She left him, then, and did not see him lean forward until his head hit the window.


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Living Arrow
post Jun 1 2010, 02:17 PM
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“Oop… I nearly done a sick…” Ivy confided in Sagira as the mint was retracted. In fact, she lied. Her mouth was actually lined with sick which she had hastily swallowed because, apparently, being sick in front of other people was ‘rude’.

“I think you ‘nearly done’ a hernia.” Sagira scoffed. She opened her mouth to continue when a crash and a scream stole the ambience of the restaurant and put all three members of the team on edge. All three were rapidly on their feet and, even to Ivy’s own surprise, she was trying to kick off her heeled shoes as discretely as possible. When the lab coat-wearing men began ranting about taking people’s Pokemon, Ivy got mad. When one of them yelled in Jay’s face to hand his over, she got furious. When Videl and Raven growled, Ivy growled. When the guy looked at her, she pounced.

“No takin’ the Pokemon!” Ivy roared, clearing Videl in one bound and hitting the man square in the chest with her whole body. Together they tipped and fell, Ivy landing face-down on top of the grunt who gasped for air as the wind was knocked from him. Ivy pulled back a fist but-

“Huuuuurgh!” She vomited violently into the facemask of her target, splattering him with chunked meat and thick brown gravy along with odd piece of orange solid. She was about to remark that she hadn’t had carrots when all hell broke loose. Jay’s strong arms lifted her from her middle, pulling her away from the man as Videl took over. The movement, however, caused Ivy to continue spewing.

“Nargh! Ivy!”

“So… much… gravy…” Ivy moaned, regaining her footing and steadying herself on a chair.

“Don’t just stand and spew!” Sagira yelled from nearby, her own Pokemon crashing across the tables in the restaurant. “We’ve got a battle here!”

“Oh, er, right!” Ivy wiped excess spewtum from the corner of her mouth, hawked and spat before snarling at another man who was fast approaching. Leaving Jay to deal with vomit-face, Ivy leapt atop the nearest table and glared viciously at the third white-garbed thief. He back off a little, seemingly unsure of how to proceed.

“You’re not…” He wisely kept outside of Ivy’s pouncing range. “You’re not going to hurl on me, too… are you?”

“I hurl on who I damn well please!” Ivy petulantly stomped a foot. “DON’T STEAL POKEMON!... It’s not nice and more than a little bit silly.”

“Why you!”

“Pokeball, go!” Ivy pitched the red-and-white globe right into the dude’s face, connecting squarely with his eye. He swore and staggered backwards, clutching where the ball hit. “Looks like I caught me a Sillybilly!” She declared, launching herself into the battle, finally free to move with the contents of her stomach on the establishment’s floor.


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jun 6 2010, 02:59 AM
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The appearance of the six masked thieves was unexpected, but expected. It was unexpected because this was supposed to be their week off, and their dinner, but it was expected because… it was them. They never could get a break.

The three of them leapt into action like they had known this was coming, but of course they hadn’t. It was a testament to how well they worked together that they moved simultaneously forward, none of them getting in the others’ way. Of course, then Ivy had to loose the entire buffet in a chunky, fluid mass over the face of one of the thieves.

Karma, Sagira thought idly, as Topaz dashed between the legs of her opponent, followed swiftly by the jolteon he was trying to command, whose spiky fur slammed into the man’s legs and groin as the electric dog tried, and failed, to slip between his trainer’s legs.

The man let out a wail and fell back, both he and his jolteon yelping as he sat down on the beast. He lay on the ground, panting in pain and moaning, and Sagira turned to watch Umbrae take down a second opponent.

~*~


“Why don’t you be a nice waitress and serve me your pokemon?”

This had to be the worst first week in the history of beginning a new job. Erin had wanted to be a waitress since she was little. The talent required to balance two plates of food and a tray of drinks in ones hands was something she had always wanted to learn to do. However, things, she was learning, seldom seemed to go as planned.

“I’m a hostess!” she snapped, and kicked the masked thief between the legs.

There was a grunt of startled pain, and then the thief reached out and grabbed her wrist. Erin stared at her. “Why aren’t you crying?” she wailed.

“Can’t kick a girl in the groin, you moron!” the thief snarled.

Erin flushed brilliantly red. “Wow, you… you sound like a guy.” The thief’s grip tightened minimally. “A really old guy!” Erin yelled. With her other, free hand, she reached into her apron pocket and pulled out a pokeball, which she promptly threw at the face of her captor.

The pokeball burst open and a predominately blue pokemon came flying out, slamming into the thief’s face in a failed attempt to land gracefully. The thief let out a shriek, releasing Erin as she reached up to try and claw the pokemon off of her. Two round pouches at the pokemon’s cheeks puffed out and there was a deep croaking sound, before the pokemon’s long tongue flashed out and snapped at the mask. It pulled back just as quickly, tearing the mask from the thief’s fast and ricocheting backward. The croagunk let out a muffled grunt as he was knocked to the floor when the mask came flying back with his tongue and smacked him in the face.

The thief turned narrowed eyes onto Erin and snapped her hand to her belt. “That’s it!” she said. “Keep your stupid pokemon. I’ll finish him off for you!” She tossed a pokeball in the air, releasing a bayleef that pawed angrily at the ground. “I’m looking forward to this.”

~*~


She looked so peaceful when she slept.

Paladin hung in the air above Hinata, staring down at her sleeping form. It was hard to believe that she, so beautiful and kind as she was, could be causing him such pain.

But at the moment, she was causing more to herself.

Paladin had listened when Siryn spoke to him, but he had not offered a reply. He did not love Hinata anymore. He needed them to know that. He needed them to believe that, because if everyone else believed it, then his small modicum of doubt would be all right.

Hovering above her now, a mirror image in his position but for his open eyes, he gazed at her with a face of longing that would have shamed and disgusted him for how much it revealed. He did not love her anymore. He did not want her anymore. There was no longing, and he did not need her.

She was hurting, however – Siryn had been right about that. In her state of complete exhaustion, he could slip into the crevices of her mind without being detected, and the agony that poured from the walls of her mental sanctuary were needles of torment. It stole his breath to feel them brush him lightly as he passed and he could not imagine how she felt. Surely, she would not survive much more of this. One could not handle this level of pain for long, and it would destroy her.

He certainly couldn’t have that.

He knew what she was doing. He could see it in her mind as he walked the corridors. Her bravery was drawing, but he did not along himself to long for it. She was foolish and a danger to herself in such a state. He wasn’t doing this because he loved her; he was doing it because if he didn’t, she could hurt someone. That was the only reason.

The lines of his own power, the strings of consciousness that he cut from his own soul, he bound together until, to the mind of a psychic who could see them, it appeared that he held a fishnet. The net was made entirely of psychic energy and, while strong and powerful, it was also thin and loose, and therefore, effective, but hard to detect. Even if Hinata found it, somehow, she would not be able to tell that it came from him.

And so, with a touch more gentle than a caretaker would give, he placed the net within her mind, wrapping it tightly around her own soul like a blanket to protect her. Even as he did so, he could see some of the tension wearing off of her, as the pain that she had been feeling was drawn into the net.

She could continue with her attempts to heal the damaged riolu. The agony that she suffered at the hands of her own foolish bravery would not reach her. They would be caught in the net and Paladin would take them.

She would be a danger to the others if she became to wrapped in agony. That was the only reason he did it.

That is the only reason, he lied.


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Master Houndoom
post Jun 15 2010, 01:05 AM
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When Hinata awoke, the first thing she felt was an intense relief, so intense that she giggled. There was no pain, not active nor residual, in her frame. She could think clearly for the first time.

She looked over at Cammy, who was asleep on the other end of the bed. Her face, too, was peaceful, and with one paw near her mouth, she looked younger than she was. Hinata floated to her, but hesitated. Yes, there was no pain now. She attributed that to the mental training and trauma she had gone through as a hatchling. But to delve into the pain again while she could think clearly without analyzing was suicide. At the least, it was masochism.

The information she had gathered had been masked by pain, like a radio signal would be masked by static. Images had popped and wavered in her mind’s eye, too distorted to make any sense of, especially when she had so little reference to go by, all of which had been vicariously received. Now that the pain was gone, she saw it all, but she saw it in flashes, and, unless the riolu had miraculous healing powers, they were not in order, even in the riolu’s mind; In some images, she had the scars she has now, and in others, flashing after and remembered more clearly, she had none.

Hinata began to sort through the images, not feeling the twinges of pain that the residual link had left in her, not feeling them sucked away by a psychic net, and not knowing that the one person she would have ripped every bit of grief and pain from was suffering from hers now.

* * * * *

In Jay’s eyes, every possible action was a light, and every light was a move, and all he had to do was follow it. In his eyes, each right action made the course of that action, either a pokémon or a path for his feet to take, come up in sharp relief, and bad actions by contrast darken as if a shadow passed over them.

“Videl, Ember!” He called, because in his eye, a small flame detached itself from her mouth and arced toward his opponent’s pokémon, sending it scurrying in a bright trail around the restaurant. Videl was Jay’s second oldest battling pokémon, and had long learned the benefits of following his commands to the letter, when he gave specific commands.

To Videl, the fun was in trying to figure out if he’d let her run free, with a snarled “sic ‘em!” or call out the attacks he wanted her to use. It made no difference either way to her. A battle was a battle was fun all the time, especially when Hinatadancer was there with her. When they were together, the only thing they had to fear was not getting a treat at the end!

Raven, on the other hand, had been left to her own devices, which seemed to please the eevee. Did she need a human giving her commands? Less than she needed to hear Topaz’ advice on anything. But this human, at least, knew when to give commands and when to just let her battle. She smirked, using tail whip to intimidate her foe into letting down his guard, before leaping in to bite at the nape of his neck and send him crashing away as she shook him, even though he was half again her size.

The lab coated enemy was perplexed. How was this guy countering all of his wicked moves?! Why hadn’t he been intimidated when the “crook” had screamed in his face? All the books had said that when one wanted ultimate control, one acted extremely aggressive and shouted and used coarse language. But it hadn’t worked with this fellow, and now, the crook though, he was forced to maintain a role that he didn’t even like.

What one did for research.

Jay’s neck tingled. Literally, like a spider’s web touching the back of his neck. Great, he thought, I have ariados sense…

He spun, seeing their waitress struggling with another of the lab coated thieves. A croagunk, which seemed to be Erin's, had a Masquerade style mask stuck in his mouth, caught on the bulbous end of his long tongue. It was beginning to panic, and it didn't take a special vision to see that it was about to become dangerous for friend and foe alike.

A nearby table brightened as the croagunk left Erin's arms, and Jay kicked it to its edge and rolled it in front of Erin. Just as it rocked into place, a series of purple darts shot out of his mouth like a shotgun blast. Many struck the mask, piercing it, but not tearing it away. Many more got around the mask, deflected by it or simply passing it to rocket in every direction at once. Many of the people in the buffet had already moved out of harm's way when the fighting started, so that only the lab coats, Sagira, Ivy, Jay, and Erin were in harm's way. Fortunately for the lab coats, the croagunk wasn't facing them. Unfortunately for the Aqua members and their waitress, he was facing them.

But somehow, Jay's trick with the table kept them safe. The darts struck the table, which, still rolling, kept the waitress and Ivy safe.

"Are you OK," he shot to Erin. Erin blinked, owlish and stunned, more than likely at her near miss.

"Y-you're not supposed to move the tables!"

Jay, Sagira, and their pokémon were already out of harm's way, except for a lone eevee. Next to him, Raven gave a strangled "vee!", coiling to launch herself at her litter mate.

She was beaten to the action by a snarling houndour, with nicks on her skull plate that neither Videl nor Umbrae could have ever matched. Indeed, Raven glared at where Videl was and seemed surprised to find she was there instead of attacking her sister, and that she was a houndoom and not a houndour at all. Raven shook her head at the situation, then bristled, coiling to attack.

"Raven, no! We have more important fish to fry!" Jay pointed at the bayleef that Erin had been fighting. "Videl, Fire Fang! Keep that thing back! Raven, Quick attack on the aipom Videl was attacking earlier!" Jay gave his instructions, but was drowned out by a cry as a pokémon was called out to battle, filling a massive space that had been empty before.

"HARI!"

"Dammit!" A hariyama thrust her palms forward in rapid succession, barely missing Videl and Raven, who snarled at the fighting type. Even her aggression was tempered by the knowledge that this massive beast was not only large enough to squeeze her into eevee jelly between its hands, but had a type advantage as well.

Jay's teeth clenched until he heard it.

"TAAAAAIIIIIIII!"

A blue streak struck the huge arm thrust pokémon in the chest, sending her rocking backwards. Behind her, the trainer held his hands up, eyes wide, shouting, "No no no no no!"

Despite his protests, the hariyama toppled backwards, rolling on top of her trainer.

Lady Jaye's grin matched Jay's as she flitted to his shoulder.


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Living Arrow
post Jun 15 2010, 04:48 PM
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"I'm gonna make you squeal, little girl!"

"I'm gonna make you bleed,... big... man? Whatever. HIYA!" Ivy leapt toward the man clad in white, kicking high towards his face, right where the glaring red mark from the Pokeball had struck him. He dodged backwards, jumping out of Ivy's reach and summoning a Pokeball into his palm.

"This is no place for kids, you little brat!" He snarled, spinning the ball once before releasing it to announce his Hitmontop who clenched its fists angrily, awaiting his own opponent to make an appearance.

"Oh, yeah? I think you'll find this is no place for unwanted customers!"

"What? That's not even an insult!"

"Your FACE isn't even an insult!"

"Wait... Neither was that!"

"Nargh! Eppy front and centre!" Ivy tossed the epsilon-marked Pokeball in between them and watched with dismay as her cute Eevee regarded her opponent with some disdain before sitting back and calmly washing her paws. "Come on, Eppy! Let's learn this Silly a lesson!"

Epsilon didn't even bother to look at her trainer, merely licking a paw and inspecting it briefly before stroking it back through the fur on her ears. The foe's Hitmontop stomped a foot and yelled at his four-legged foe and, not getting a response, quickly launched himself into action, leaping atop the spike on his head and whirling into a Triple Kick frenzy.

"Eppy! Dodge it!"

Epsilon finally looked back at Ivy with an expression of "Well, duh!" and instead rose to meet the attack, a red aura surrounding her body. Ivy gasped as she realised her Pokemon was willing to take the hit rather than obey her and winced as the first fott came crashing down... and stopped. Mere inches from Epsilon's face, the heel of the Hitmontop was instantly frozen in place as Detect claimed it from doing the Eevee any harm. Completely taken off balance, the Hitmontop crashed to the ground, bowling several chairs out of his way as he went.

"Dammit! Hitmontop, get up and try it again!" The thief ordered. The fighting type, enraged by the uninterested face of Epsilon, threw itself right back into action, another foot whirling toward the Eevee.

"OK, dodge it this time!" Ivy urged. Epsilon stuck a tongue in her fluffy cheek and ignored her. A red aura surrounded her once more and...

"Switch to Feint!"

The Hitmontop, speedy on its feet head, lashed out with an equally glowing fist, breaking through Detect much to the recipient's surprise, and punched the canid square in the jaw. With a squeal, Epsilon catapulted into the air and fell harshly into a well-laid table, scattering cutlery and glasses like bowling pins.

"Awww, uber crap!" Ivy complained loudly. "We're gonna lose if you don't listen to me, Eppy! Just stay back and watch how Kappa deals with it - let's go, Kappy!"

A second Pokeball flashed open, the laid-back Floatzel materialising with a 'And why wasn't I invited to dinner' jaw drop. Ivy facepalmed but shook it off rapidly. This idiots were trying to steal Pokemon. Not just jewelery or cars - Pokemon! They had to be stopped at any cost!

"Do an Aqua Jet!"

"Rolling Kick!"

*****


Epsilon watched on with disgust as the Floatzel named Kappa was used to replace her on the rediculous battlefield. Why the orange idiot chose to obey such a weak and pathetic female like that she would never know. Maybe the imbecile's brain was so addled that he couldn't even contemplate anything else? Who knew? All that was certain for the moment was that the girl had been stupid enough to put her on the sidelines.

*You watch yourself, missy.* She growled aloud as plans began to form in her mind. *One day I'll show you how to be a real leader... One day...*


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jun 17 2010, 12:32 AM
Post #13


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Tuesday's Pack



”He should not be doing this. It’s too dangerous.”

“The choice is his to make and no one else’s.”

”We could tell the singer.”

“And then we would be breaking a promise.”

Malchior and Adimu sat together in the empty room, side-by-side, not looking at the other but for the occasional side-long glance. How Adimu managed to get into the apartment without being seen, nevermind the closed doors and windows, Malchior neither knew or asked. It didn’t matter, anyway. He couldn’t teleport, but for all he knew, the other could.

”He’s being ridiculous.”

“To be honest, I think he’s rather noble in his efforts. True, his actions could do with some correcting, but his intentions are good.”

”The road to hell is not paved in gold, Adi.”

“No, quite, it is not.” Adimu lowered his head and glanced at his counterpart with violet eyes. “He means well, however, Malchior, and you must not ignore this fact. He wishes to take her pain from her.”

”His reasoning is flawed.”

“As reasoning generally is where love is concerned.” He continued before Malchior could interrupt. “Yes, I know quite well that he broadcasts how much he does not love her, but do not be so foolish as to take that at face-value.” He gave a wry chuckle. “I am finding it a rather obscurely-common fact that, in the case of this particular group, what you see is far, far from what you will be getting.”

”I do not find that particularly reassuring.”

“Good. It was not meant to be.”

”Maybe Wajibu had the right idea.”

“Wajibu left because his path led to a place far beyond yours.”

”Mine.” Malchior hesitated a time and then, softly, uncertainly, asked, ”Just mine?”

Adimu regarded him with an appraising look. “Does it bother you to think that we would not remain with you forever?”

”I just… we’re a pack. – Aren’t we?”

“Ah.” Adimu gave a slow, understanding nod. “You look at us as though we were wolves, and as though we would bear a pack oath as such.” It came off as something as a question, though it was offered as a statement. Rhetorical or not, Malchior swallowed, unable to answer even if it had been required of him.

“We do not see it this way,” Adimu said, and though his violet gaze sought out Malchior’s golden eyes with firmness, his tone was gentle. “Imagine us, rather, as birds – fearow, we shall say, for we are still predatory creatures and we would not lose this even if we did, someday, sprout feathers.”

His smile was whimsical as he continued. “Living in flocks, fearow – and their younger forms, spearow, of course – thrive together. However, when the spearow first hatch, they are young and weak, unable to protect or care for themselves. They rely entirely upon their parent. As they grow, however, so do their strengths, and eventually they are pushed from the nest, and there they learn to fly.” He gave Malchior a fond look. “It is on these newly-found wings that they must discover their own place, be it in the flock that they were born, or in one that they will find or create for themselves.

“Consider this, young Malchior, your chance to fly. You have been pushed from the nest and found your wings – now you must find your home. It is you who chose to allow yourself to be captured by the child with the feline grace, and I do not doubt your decision. Nor should you, for you very well may have found your pack here, rather than a mere flock from which children are eventually pushed.”


Malchior was silent for a long time, digesting this new information. ”How long… do you intend to stay?”

Adimu closed his eyes and tilted his head back slightly in thought. His answer was offered in a slightly detached voice. “I will remain as long as I am needed. Beyond that has yet to be seen, and I imagine we will only discover it in time.

“Rather than contemplating on things that can neither be predicted nor changed, perhaps you should focus your efforts upon the question that plagues both our nights, sleepless as they are. That is, how could Wajibu so willingly leave, and Nipashe, so quietly depart, when the other remains, steadfast and verily a plague upon us.”


Malchior made a face at this. ”I’m not sure I want to know the answer to that.”

“Perhaps not,” Adimu agreed, “but I think it is one that you need to hear. And perhaps he does, as well.” The violet-eyed absol rose gracefully to his feet. “For the moment, my young friend, our attentions must turn to separate ideals. I feel I best offer my apologizes to our singing comrade for keeping her from entering the room, and further placate her ire. Regardless of his foolish, if well-meant actions, the young knight did ask that she know nothing of his predicament, and I feel I must continue to oblige his wishes, for now.

“You, however, would do well to turn your attentions to the felinian, for I feel she may require, or would at the very least, appreciate your aid.”
With a gentle bow of his head, Adimu vanished from the room, and Malchior found himself alone, yet again.

But not really.

~*~


Umbrae was Sagira’s second pokemon, but he was, truthfully, her first fighter. Serenity was always too placid to enjoy the sensation that she gained from battling, and for this reason, Umbrae and Sagira were actually closer than Sagira was with the ekans. Serenity was a pokemon whose presence had been pleasurable as a child – a pokemon who had shown her kindness and thus garnered Sagira’s kindness toward pokemon in return. Because of her proximity and continued presence around Sagira when she was little, however, the ekans still retained, despite the incidents of her own past, an innocence of youth.

It was not something to be loathed, but something to be cherished and, Sagira knew, preserved. This wasn’t something that she entertained on a whim. Sagira had been thinking, off and on, about Serenity’s position in her little group of warriors.

The ekans didn’t really have much of a position as a fighter.

That’s not to say that Serenity wasn’t brave. The fact that the tiny serpent, small for her breed, frequently battled against enemies while simultaneously fighting against her fears – powerful antagonists in their own right. Regardless of threats on her safety, imagined or not, the ekans was always there and willing to battle for Sagira. Even now, the serpent’s form was wrapped tightly around Sagira’s wrist, awaiting the gentle relaxing of the muscles that would suggest the inevitable re-enactment of their signature move – the flinging, snap of a wrist, which would send the ekans, coils loosened, whipping through the air and into the face of some ridiculously over-confident opponent.

There was always the chance that a stray bird pokemon might snatch the ekans from the air, or that she wouldn’t be fast enough the next time to escape the grasp of a flailing opponent, or she might get stepped on. Sagira could go on, but it didn’t matter. The fact was that Serenity was not a pokemon built for battling – not because of her size or her breeding, but because of her temperament and her past, encouraging the love of a child. Serenity was, as her name suggested, serene, and she did not deserve a life that left her, at every moment, terrified.

Despite her ire at having her night interrupted, Sagira thrived on the spontaneity of moments like these, but such shocks would be the end of Serenity.

Even if the ekans held an immense strength that would forbid her from injury, Sagira could not ruin her like that – not the pokemon who was her first charge, her best friend. Being separated from her would hurt, of course, but not as much as breaking her would, if – when – it came to that.

For that reason, the muscles in Sagira’s hand never loosened during the entire battle, and Serenity remained a tightly-coiled presence around her wrist during the entire fight. Sagira would not send her flying like the pokemon she feared through the air, but would enjoy the touch of the scales on her skin for as long as she could, before she freed the ekans from a lifestyle she wouldn’t allow to be the end of her.

~*~


He shivered convulsively despite her attempts to ease his burden.

Calypso was curled tightly around the form of the young male kirlia, his head pillowed on the soft fur of her stomach. Her nine tails were draped gently over him in an attempt to keep him warm. She tried to soothe him as she vaguely remembered once being soothed by her mother, a gentle nuzzle, a soft lick on her forehead, whether to smooth out an errant lock of fur or offer affection, she did not know even as she did it now. Perhaps she wanted to feel useful.

”I find myself in the odd position of no longer being needed, and I’ve wanted to move on for a while. I have no doubt that you can handle things from here.”

Calypso could not find it within herself to be angry with Nipashe, though she had not known the absol long enough to truly miss her. Though she had been vaguely aware of her presence, as she had vaguely been aware of Wajibu’s – though his moreso – she had not been exposed to the absol with the light-blue eyes as much as any of the others. She thought, at least. She wondered how many there were, following Malchior even though he had been caught and tamed. She wondered more how many would leave.

She rested her muzzle against Paladin’s neck and tried to soothe his shivering. Her thoughts drifted again to Wajibu and she felt that the anger and hatred that she begged to burn was a grain of sand in an ocean full of loss that she did not understand. She had not even known him, and this feeling was so strange.

Was this feeling, or its positive counterpart, at the least, the reason why Paladin suffered now?

Every now and then, he would release an involuntary cry, his back arching as his mouth opened. He kept his eyes closed and, beyond those moments, his jaws locked. His voice never rose to a full scream, but it was not hard to tell that he was fighting everything to keep the pain from fully being realized by anyone else. She wondered if he feared that they would go to someone for help if they knew how much pain he was in. She found herself disturbed by this, frightened by the answer should she wonder how bad the pain was.

Would she go to someone else? She didn’t know, though she wondered if she should. Paladin had begged them, eyes filled with agony, to swear they would not tell anyone, and to keep the misdreavus away. Calypso found herself hoping that the ghost pokemon would break the door down and see for herself what was happening. Even if she wished to tell someone else, Calypso was not sure she could bring herself to leave the kirlia’s side and take away whatever small modicum of comfort her presence offered.

Paladin stiffened in a way that was becoming sickeningly familiar. A choking sound cut through his clenched jaws and he arched his back with a soft wail, all the more plaintive for its silence. He collapsed back onto the bed, his chest heaving up and down as he tried to breathe in enough air to steam the pain, and Calypso gently licked away the tears rolling down his cheeks. A whimper escaped his lips as she pulled her head back, and she gently lay it down next to him, her muzzle pressed against him gently, nuzzling him. She heard a gentle murmur of a song, too soft to be fully understood, and only realized, after a moment, that it was coming from her. A song from so long ago that she couldn’t remember how it went – only that it soothed her and came, always, with such gently whispered words in the middle of a terrifying night.

“Hush,” she whispered softly, rubbing her muzzle softly against his face and finding her heart in her throat when he reached for her, seeking comfort. “Hush now.”


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Master Houndoom
post Jun 18 2010, 04:41 PM
Post #14


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"This isn't how it was supposed to go, Steve!" the woman who had been fighting the waitress snarled in her low, husky, Demi Moore tones.

"Don’t call me 'Steve'! Call me by my code name!"

"I am not calling you Dark Wonder! That's a stupid code name! You don't even have a dark pokémon, and the only thing anyone wonders about you is if you've ever gotten laid!" The woman reached down, trying to get her mask back, but was denied when the croagunk tripped over his own feet and toppled backwards. The woman swore.

"Look, Bastia," Steve persevered, only to earn a slow, icy glare from the woman.

"I told you, I don't want that code name! Just because I'm big boned doesn't mean I'm like a bastiodon!"

"It's a symbol of strength!"

"It's a symbol of fat, Steve, so stop calling me that! Jerk-ass!" She took another swipe, finally catching the mask. The croagunk resisted, pulling backwards, and the woman tightened her hold. "Gimme that, you little mmph!"

The croagunk's feet gave way, and the pressure on his tongue pulled him toward the woman, slamming into her face. Little did the poor croagunk know that this was "Bastia's" first kiss.

Erin stepped forward, horror etched on her face. "I... am so sorry! I would hate that my first kiss would be with such a wretched creature!" She stepped forward and took the croagunk up in her arms. "Don't worry. I'll take you to the store, and get you the best mouthwash for pokémon that money can buy!"

Steve's protests were lost as he succumbed to braying, gut holding laughter.

* * * * *

Jay stepped back and looked at the situation. The hariyama was still struggling to get to her feet, causing her trainer to flail underneath in agony. The chikorita that he had put Videl against, which Erin had been battling previously, staggered but righted himself, snarling. The rattata Raven had been engaging was similarly weakened, but Raven had taken as much damage as the rattata, having not been under Jay's direct command.

That would have to change in the future.

But for now, Jay had to worry about two, possibly three pokémon that were ready to tear his team a new collective opening. Multiple actions lighted and dimmed in his mind’s eye as possibilities made themselves clearer or passed without action taken. Blinking rapidly, wondering what it was he was supposed to be seeing, he faltered, nearly allowing the hariyama to knock raven through a wall. He saw her brighten, and a spot to her left brighten, with more intensity than he had seen before, and called the command to dodge to her left. She landed in the spot, and the brightness faded to normal levels.

Jay’s eyes narrowed, but there wasn’t time for speculation. “Videl, give that huge beast a hot foot! Lady Jaye, use Arial Ace on the walking bean sprout! Raven, show that rattata that you’re not afraid of any fangs!”

Videl shot a small ball of flame where the hariyama was about to stomp, causing her to rear back, tottering dangerously once again. Panicked, her trainer dove, hitting his head against the table and knocking himself out. The hariyama and the rattata were not without anyone to give commands, which could work in Jay’s favor. Raven had charged the purple mouse pokémon and hit it with two quick attacks, using her speed to dart out of range of the rattata’s fangs. Lady Jaye gave a joyful cry and swooped down, raking her talons across the bayleef’s back.

“Chicory!” the larger trainer cried, narrowing her eyes. “You’ll pay for that!”

“I’ll pay for that if you pay for the meal you interrupted,” Jay quipped, smirking. The woman’s nostrils flared.

“And the damages on the tables,” Erin shouted, stomping her foot. Unfortunately, it landed on a lemon that had rolled off of one of the table’s centerpieces, causing her to trip. Jay twisted, catching her before she landed in the pool of Ivy’s lunch, then spun to avoid razor leaves that had missed Videl. He deposited Erin, blushing madly, on her feet, and pointed without even looking toward the battle. “Videl, Fire Fang the chikorita! Raven, Sand Attack our large friend! Lady Jaye, Double Team and confuse the rat!”

As his pokémon moved to obey (Raven with much eye rolling and sighing), Jay pushed Erin toward a booth. “You should probably stay out of the way, sugar,” he said, as kindly as he could under the circumstances.

“But,” she stammered, “they’re destroying the restaurant, and trying to steal people’s pokémon! That isn’t right!”

“No, it isn’t, (Videl! Bite the rattata!) but I need you to help get the people who aren’t (Raven! Tail whip in the bayleef, and keep dodging, I don’t care how tough you think you are!) battling to safety. Can you (Lady Jaye, Whirlwind! Let’s clean up this mess!) you do that for me?”

The girl seemed stunned, that he was both asking her instead of ordering her, and ordering his pokémon in a battle that he was not watching. Finally, she straightened her shoulders and nodded, heading off to help those unwilling or unable to battle to the kitchens, where they would be relatively safe.

Jay turned his full attention to the battle, pointing at each of the opponents in question. The Whirlwind attack had little effect on the hariyama, merely pushing her backwards, where she tripped over her landing trainer and sat, heavily. The bayleef teetered over and stumbled, nearly falling, and the rattata shook his head, biting at the two copies of Lady Jaye circling her. Jay grinned.

“Bring it home! Fire Fang! Body Slam! Brave Bird!”

The three pokémon leapt as one, each hitting with their attack, Raven baring her teeth in a grin-like rictus. She and Lady Jaye stumbled and fluttered back after hitting, but their opponents all fell at the same time. The hariyama’s legs rested atop her trainer’s back.

* * * * *

Hinata “looked” into Cammy’s eyes, sinking into her mindscape much easier than she had before. The images played around and through her, some occupying the same mental space at the same mental time. She still couldn’t figure that out. Many of them were horrible; why hadn’t her mind glossed them over?

Exerting her will, she began to place them, gauging mostly by Cammy’s mental vision of herself when they should be. This, too, was difficult, as she had trouble seeing herself in a way that she didn’t look like. If left to her own devices, mental Cammy always appeared scared, with the largest, ugliest scar at her throat, and more on her cheeks, legs, and arms. Again, Hinata paused. Shouldn’t she try to remind herself that she wasn’t always this way? The fact that the images flickered, showing visions of herself as young, whole, and even innocent, meant that the memories were there. For example, here was one of her learning to sign to communicate, soon after her voice was taken from her.

The images, memories represented as panes of thin materials, fluttered back together like cards being shuffled, and throbbed red. Hinata felt nothing, and, with a sigh, reached forward to reorganize them.

That was when she saw it: the gossamer strings of a mental net that were drawing the red of pain from the memories into the net, travelling away from her body. She did not recognize who might have put it there. Siryn, while powerful, did not have the finesse to do this without making her aware, and Paldin, while he had the ability, was not talking to her.

Someone was absorbing the pain, and that wasn’t right.

With deft movements she removed the net, jerking and hissing as the pain made itself painfully obvious. She began to weep; she could feel the sharp stabs of pain increasing as the net dissolved. Finally, it was gone, and the agony returned. Hinata began to sift the pictures again, and as she did, as she put them in order, she realized; each picture that throbbed red was a pain, far less intense than the overwhelming pain that dominated Cammy’s mind. That was significant, but how.

It came to her when the pictures snapped back together, and the pain, which had been less and less as she ordered them, flared to full force. As blackness claimed her, she understood, and cried out, <<You feel it all!>> before passing out.


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Jaima Kuonji and Meiko Omura||Branwys Muphenz
[spoiler=Jaima's Gym Badges][/spoiler]
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Jay Lange||Olivia Prewitt
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As of January 29, 2010, at approximately 7:50am CST, 2gamers helped me complete my pokedex!

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Living Arrow
post Jul 5 2010, 04:28 PM
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Apologies for this but the crashing of the server cleared my post. I will rewrite it again but not right now as I don't have the time or inclination to fix a mess that wasn't caused by me.

This post will come in time but the idea is, Ivy finishes her battle and rejoins Jay. Sagira is still battling.


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jul 11 2010, 12:15 AM
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Tuesday's Pack



Paladin was not vain enough to think that Hinata never would have discovered the psychic net. He knew that she was smart, although there was no way that he intended to tell her that anytime soon, especially since she was acting so stupid, but he had no delusions that she would have gone on without ever finding the net within her mind which kept the pain from her.

What surprised him was how soon she had discovered it, as he had not anticipated her finding it for at least a week. Here, within the matter of a few hours, she had not only discovered the net, but destroyed it.

And therein was another surprise on his end. Why hadn’t she followed the net to its source?

It wasn’t that he wanted her to know that he was actively working to keep her from suffering, and thereby keeping her from becoming a dangerous liability. Exactly the opposite, in fact, but it surprised him how she would not follow the net to its anchorage – to Paladin – and find that he was the one interfering.

Though, he supposed, he should be grateful to Arceus for these few small favors, for there were what allowed him to sleep at night, knowing the world wasn’t an entirely horrid place.

And they would allow him to recreate the net – sew it back together from the few tatters that remained, dangling from him like a ragged cloak on the psychic plane. He would place it again on her, deeper this time, entering her mind through the doorways of the psychic plane and slipping in through crevices as mold creeps. There, in the recesses and cracks that even she was unaware of, he would place the net where it could not be found. He would keep her pain from her, keep her from becoming a danger to them all, keep her strong and, silently, distantly, hold on to her through the traces of this net and love just that small part.

And no one need know.

Lying on the bed, no longer shaking but still with Calypso curling around him, acting as both pillow and blanket, as both friend and mother, Paladin settled himself on the Psychic Plane and, with careful, deft movements, began to sew the net back together.

~*~


The lines are singing.

It was the only way that Sagira could think to put it, but it sounded right. The colored lines that she could see – constantly now – overlapping the real world were thrumming. They danced in her mind, not stagnate as they connected one creature to the next, but twitching and throbbing and singing.

There were no actual words that she could hear, and the tune was too distant to be identified, but it was there. Sagira could see the colored lines that connected her to Umbrae and Topaz – the one from her heart to that of the houndoom was as strong as ever, throbbing in time with her heart. The one that connected her to Topaz was thinner, the color bleached, but the line was there. It connected the two of them, a bridge between their hearts. It was the sign that they were bonded, and loyal to each other.

“Quick attack, Topaz, and watch both ends!”

Dashing forward, the eevee abruptly vanished, she was moving so fast, and then slammed feet-first into the slowbro’s large girth. Using her momentum to kick off a retreat, she dashed to the right, left, and rolled under a water gun attack, before sliding to a stop and turning to face the slowbro again. She growled low at the creature, but it came out more cute than fearsome.

“Smog, Umbrae, but stay away from him!”

The differences in each of her pokemon under the vision that also retained the colored lines was fascinating in a way that could be distracting. In Topaz, she remained the same but for the line connecting her and Sagira. Those she had been with longer, however, had a different appearance about them.

Umbrae had a glow. It was as though the force of life within him was too strong to remain inside of him and spilled outward. He did not glitter like a star, but verily burned like a sun.

The colors that burned from him changed in what an ignorant person would say was random. Sagira knew, however, that the colors were different depending on his emotions, which changed according to the situation. In the heat of battle, light blazed off of him in crimson rays, ripping and rippling through the air. Anger, rage, and a want for war – she saw it all in him now, cast off of him, despite his weakness to the pokemon he and Topaz battled, both of them tired but still going strong.

Umbrae ducked down, letting a water gun attack burst over him, showering his back with water that sizzled and evaporated from his burning fur. Shaking himself off, he rose to his full height with a low growl.

“Sand attack and bite!” Sagira snapped, and the two leapt into action. Turning around, Topaz began digging and kicking up anything within her reach, tossing it at the slowbro. A few broken chunks of table, a half-eaten hot dog, a paw-full of oatmeal. The slowbro turned its attention to Topaz, and Umbrae rammed his entire body into the creature side and sank large, angry fangs into pink flesh.

A glowing blue ball of water flew from the slowbro’s hands and into Umbrae’s face, flinging the houndoom backward, through the air, and into a table. Whimpering, the water sizzled on his steaming fur as he pushed himself to his feet, snarling at the slowbro.

A water gun attack made Umbrae slip on the table and hit the floor. Rolling to his feet, shaking his fur off and dancing to the side, he snarled repeatedly, eyes narrowed, crimson shine bursting with energy, hatred, the desire to attack. Claws dug into the floor and he kicked himself off, charging forward, a howl ripping from his throat.

“Beat him up!”

A howl, snapping a snarl, Umbrae and Topaz leapt forward together, pacing each other as they raced toward the slowbro. As the neared him, they were suddenly joined by a third pokemon – a white and black blur of fur that tore across the floor next to them. Barking his own rage at the slowbro, a wind kicked up behind them as the absol whipped his head around, slicing through the air with his horn. As the whirlwind whipped around them, Umbrae, Topaz, and Malchior each slammed into the slowbro, kicking, biting, scratching, and clawing – driving him backward, right into the force of the razor wind attack. Slicing from behind, the whirlwind of pain cut the slowbro down, and the large bipedal pokemon collapsed to the ground, and was swiftly recalled.

“If I were you,” Sagira said, stepping up beside her growling and snarling pokemon, “I’d run really fast.” She pointed to the exit. “That way.”

Giving her a wary but potent glare, the young boy she had been facing chose to take her advice and bolted for the exit. Sagira watched him run, moving over to stand next to Ivy and Jay, her pokemon crowding around them in a protective formation. She raised a slender eyebrow and looked at her two friends. “I wonder what’s for dessert.”

~*~


Sitting cross-legged on what appeared as the ground in his choice of landscape, Paladin held the streaming net of psychic energy in his hands, as he linked his mind with Hinata’s. He slipped through the cracks in her defenses, trickling in like water into a basement, and fled deep into the recesses of her mind.

He wanted to find a place so deep within her that she would not be able to sense his net. Somewhere so remote, she would never look and never be able to find it. Where she couldn’t remove it from and so would have it there for as long as he chose to leave it, catching every ounce of pain, not letting any harm come to her… anything that could ultimately lead to others getting hurt.

He had made his way deeply through the labyrinth that made up everyone’s mind and was digging, with firm but gentle strokes, into the base portion of her mind. But something gave him pause. It was a sensation of someone else being there, of being watched, and of someone else knowing that he was somewhere he was not supposed to be.

Swallowing thickly, he pulled himself out of Hinata’s mind and sat up, frozen in place. Behind him, he could sense her, and he didn’t need to turn around to know her stance, her expression.

Standing as tall as she could make herself without using illusions, she had her arms crossed, her mouth set in a firm line, and her eyes bulging in power and rage. “What,” she growled low, “do you think you are doing?”

~*~


“Miss Smythe?” Sagira turned at the sound of her name, finding Erin there with a phone in her hand. “There’s a call for you.”

Frowning, glancing at her companions, Sagira took the phone and put it to her ear. “Smythe.”

“I hear you blew up a restaurant.”

Sighing, Sagira looked at Jay and rolled her eyes, nodding into the phone. He raised both eyebrows and tilted his head to the left.

“I hear you sat on your ass all day.”

“I was tallying up how much I had to take out of your paychecks to pay for repairs.” He couldn’t have not heard her growl low, but chose to ignore it. “I hope the three of you don’t intend to have this much fun every time you go on vacation.”

“That brings up a question,” Sagira said, cocking her hips to one side. “How exactly did you know where to call us?”

“I have my ways.”

“Right. I’m getting a cell phone, and you’re paying for it.” Sagira banged the phone on a tabletop a few times to give Bryce a headache, and then hung up on him. Tossing the phone to some random waiter, she crossed her arms and looked at her friends. “So… who else wants coffee?”


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Master Houndoom
post Jul 20 2010, 01:42 AM
Post #17


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As Sagira answered the phone (he would need to talk to her about that: You never answered the phone in a restaurant… Whoever called you in a restaurant and wasn't your parent was trying to get you to do something you didn't want to do!), Jay remained wary, focused. The men and women in lab coats had fled, leaving one of the coats behind, and Jay walked to it. They had taken the time to drag the one who had fallen at Ivy's pokémon and feet, and another who'd been felled by his own pokémon falling on him, but hadn't thought, or had been too scared, to make sure they left no evidence.

Likely they had hit this place thinking that the clientele wouldn't fight back. Disorganized, then. It wasn't an Aqua attack, nor, Jaima thought, a Magma one. They'd be more disciplined, and less likely to wear masks.

Sagira hung up the phone. "Jaybird," she drawled, seeing that his mind was elsewhere. "We're going. We have phones to pick up. Bryce is buying." She had approached him, her hips swaying as she did; nothing got her juices flowing like a good fight. She stopped, feet away from him, when she realized he still wasn't paying attention. She pouted, then, seeing his face, the look of worry etched on it, crossed the remaining distance and put a hand on his arm.

"What is it," she said, urgently. Jay looked at her, narrowing his eyes.

"I don't know. I just… something's missing." He shook his head, looking down at the patch on the lab coat. It looked like a pair of mountains close together, with a river running past them. The mountains were a deep reddish brown, and the river a light blue…

Then it struck him.

"No one attacked us."

Sagira pulled her hand away, her face creasing in a puzzled frown. "What? Jay, the entire restaurant was attacked!" Her eyes crinkled in concern. "Did you get hit in the head again..?"

"No," Jay said, irritably. "I mean, after the pokémon got knocked out, none of the trainers tried to fight us hand to hand!" He looked at Sagira, whose face was sinking into incredulity. "Seriously, that's how it happens! We get attacked, our pokémon beat their pokémon, they get all but hurt and charge us!"

"And we win."

"Well, yeah," Jay said with a chuckle. "I just miss it."

Sagira rolled her eyes. "Is that all? There's nothing else?"

Jay shook his head, ripping the patch off of the lab coat. "Nah. Gut feeling, but it's really mild. Probably the fried dodrio. Hard to find a place that doesn't make it all greasy."

Sagira's eyebrow rose. "So you ignored me swaying my hips over not getting attacked and fried dodrio?"

"You… you swayed your hips?" Jay's face fell.

"Yes, and it was very sexy, if I say so myself."

"And I missed it?"

"Yes, and I'm not feeling very much like swaying them now…"

Jay turned toward the door where the lab coated attackers had fled, raised a fist and cried out, "Curse you, Perry the Psyduck!"

Sagira smirked and grabbed Jay's arm. "Come on, Bluejay. We're going to buy phones."

"And have more eats!"

Oh, no," Jay said, turning to Ivy. "You've had enough!"

"But it all spilled out!" Ivy pouted. "Now I'm hungry again!"

Jay looked at her, then at Sagira, then sighed. "Fine. We'll stop somewhere for a snack."

-----

Around the corner, a small, beige shape wearing a fedora rounded the corner. He had no idea how the Boy had seen him, but if he was caught, neither the Boy nor Perry's handler would be pleased.

-----

Hinata shook. While he didn't act it, the feelings of guilt rolled out of his mind, visible only to someone who knew the ins and outs of his mind, intimately.

Guilt poured from him. Guilt and anger and shame. And that combination made her angry. If he was ashamed of her, he would have to tell her to her face. Look her in the eye and say it.

Not that she'd know if he looked her in the eye. But he'd have to do that!

As she was probing his feelings, he crossed his arms. His guilt and shame wavered and disappeared, leaving only anger and a distinct aftertaste she always associated with hatred.

Her lower lip quivered as his voice, usually low and soothing, ground out from his throat. <<What am I doing?>> The hatred became nearly palpable, and she shuddered. <<I'm keeping you from making a mess of things.>>

<<And how,>> she asked, swallowing against her suddenly dry throat, <<do you think I'm doing that?>>

Paladin rose up, arms crossed, a distortion in his psychic presence the only thing showing his intentions, but it was enough. <<You are making yourself weak! Endangering your trainer for the sake of someone else!>>

Cold fury ran through Hinata's veins. It was one thing for him to hate her. Maybe she had done something to deserve it. At one point, she had been ready to attack him with sharp emotions. But to accuse her of endangering her trainer...


<<You've gone too far,>> she snarled. Raising to his level, the veins around her eyes bulged as her fury became power, the lance she had honed and shattered and took into herself reforming. <<Hate me, that's fine, but never imply that I'd endanger Jay!>>

Cammy moved behind her, but Hinata, focusing on her target (because if he wasn't going to love her, and if he was going to attack her, he might as well earn the right), didn't worry. Nor did she have to.

Siryn thinks poorhurtriolu needs to stay out of this, Siryn whispered to the riolu sadly. The Hinata needs this to happen, one way or another.

With a sound like a bang, the two kirlia, without having moved, filled the air between them with psychic power.

Siryn watched, then huffed a breath. Come, she said with false cheer. Siryn will take poorhurtriolu to the commissary! They have cookies! She turned in the air, just as a large crack appeared in the wall. Also, the further Siryn and poorhurtriolu is from this, the less Siryn and poorhurtriolu can be blamed!

Siryn turned again. Does flameybuttwhitefur also want cookies? Siryn does not want flameybuttwhitefur to get blamed either.

Calypso's ears twitched, and looking at Paladin with a scowl of distaste across her muzzle, stood and walked out the door. However, she did not follow, but lay in front of the closed door. <<I will keep them from... spreading the damage.>>

Siryn looked at her, then nodded. Come, poorhurtriolu! Cookies abound!

-----

" Silph Co.!"

"You're high! Devon Corp!"

"Silph has the best reception!"

Jay shook his head, rolling his eyes. "The receptions the same everywhere. Devon has a better variety of phones."

Sagira snorted through her nose, more amused than she let on. "You just want the Leppa iGear."

"Yessss," Jay hissed, then caught himself. "Because it's a good quality, reliable phone-"

"And has a touch screen and a lot of apps." Sagira's brow raised, and Jay sighed.

"Yeah."

Sagira's hips swayed once, and this caught Jay's attention. "Well, dear, you are in luck. Devon recently lost the exclusivity on the iGear. Silph now has the V4."

Jay grinned, and before she could do more than give a token squawk and half heartedly swipe at him, kissed her on the nose. "To the phone depository!"

Arriving at the Silph store, the two separated, Jay going toward the iGear display, and Sagira marching straight for the new display for a new touch phone on the market. The Devon Inator boasted more apps and better sound than the iGear.

Jay, having picked his phone easily, snuck up behind Sagira. "Ooo, the Inator. Nice. More apps. Lots of space, if you get the right package."

"In every way superior to the iGear." She turned to him, smugly.

"You want it for the ringtone selection."

She opened her mouth to protest, then hung her head. "Yeah."

Jay smiled at her. "So, what about Ivy? I really doubt she's going to care."

Sagira sighed, and looked at Ivy, chatting up the counter man. "Well... the Inator is superior in every way..."

"Are you kidding? The iGear is a growing product. The Inator is so new-"

"Guys! Lookie!" Ivy came up, grinning. She held up a device in her hand, the name clear on the box it was in.

Blukberry Storm.

Jay's eyebrows raised. Sagira looked at him, blinking. Then both turned to the counter man.

"Shockproofing. We need shockproofing."

"And full insurance!"


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As of January 29, 2010, at approximately 7:50am CST, 2gamers helped me complete my pokedex!

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Living Arrow
post Jul 21 2010, 04:58 PM
Post #18


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“So, wassis?” Ivy demanded, snagging up a slidey-flippy phone. “Can it do the lazers?!”

The clerk, seemingly frozen in time, stood and stared with a gawping jaw at the short girl who had entered his shop. An incredulous look of ‘what-the-hell-are-you?!’ was painted over his young features but he eventually managed to drag himself free of the time loop and back to the present.

“Er, that’s a Tamato-Lite. It’s got a-”

“’Matoes? YUCK!” Ivy thrust the phone back at the clerk and began to examine the rest of the store’s wares, ignorant of the employee’s cries for her to be careful with the merchandise. He only had to stop her chewing on handsets twice and she managed to catch on that she should bounce the devices on the floor to check durability before she threw the first one (he had given her a mean look!).

“How about this?” The clerk intercepted Ivy’s grabbing paws and thrust a sleek black handset into her palms. “It’s a Blukberry Storm.”

“Storm, eh?” Ivy sniffed the case. “Dunna smell of blukkies but it looks all swishy! Show me the tricks!”


Some time later…

“So if I do this, it writes me a… wassit?”

“A text message.” The clerk sighed again.

“Right… sex message…” Ivy moved slowly away from the counter, thumbing the keys and experimenting with her new toy. She waved the clerk away and retired to a quiet corner of the shop to inspect the finer functions of her new phone. It didn’t take too long for her to set the ringtone – “Hungry Like The Wolf” and before she knew it, she was fishing in her pockets to find the scrap of paper which had been squirreled away days before with the number of someone she barely knew.

[hi gray. went for dindins and had bizkits and grayvee. it was v nice. i hope you had a good dindins 2. if you want, we can go out together and-]

Ivy realised she had broken out in a massive grin and could feel the heat stinging her cheeks several seconds before she hit the delete key. Grumbling to herself, she erased the unsent message completely and chewed her lip. Damn that Gray-man! He just turned her into a silly goose and he wasn’t even there!

Stomping down her racing heart, Ivy went in search of her friend with her new phone.

“Guys! Lookie!”


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jul 22 2010, 12:08 AM
Post #19


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Tuesday's Pack



Sagira was leaning against the wall of the building, her fingers flying over the keys of her phone. She cocked an eyebrow when Jay finally walked out of the door. “Get what you needed?” she asked without looking up.

Jay sauntered over to her, pocketing his own cell phone. “How did you manage to get your Bluetooth so fast?”

Sagira smirked. “I have the hips.”

She glanced up from her phone to see him eyeing her up and down. “You certainly do.” He leaned up against the wall next to her after checking to see that Ivy was sitting on the ground a few feet away, playing with her own phone. “What are you doing?”

“Programming ringtones,” Sagira said. She had just finished downloading a series of ringtones and a few games from the Internet. She hoped Bryce got the bill in public.

“What’d you put for me?”

Sagira frowned. “I haven’t decided, yet.” Jay, she found, was a hard person to nail down on one feeling. There was, of course, the bubbly feeling she got when he gave her that smirk that so mimicked her own. And the tingling that raced through her whenever he caught her with those electric green eyes that seemed to shock her whenever they glanced her way. He annoyed her sometimes, but in a way that no one else seemed to be able to. There were other ways that he made her feel, but she couldn’t name the emotion precisely, or it wasn’t one to think about in public.

“Oh, come on, I’m not that hard!”

Sagira glanced up, but chose not to say what was on her mind. “I want to make sure my ringtone is fitting.”

“So what are you looking at? Rock, pop, rap, metal? Personally, I prefer Disturbed’s style, but even theme songs have a good ring.” He tried to peer down at her screen. “Pick something, yet?”

Sagira’s eyes were narrowed in a slightly annoyed glare, but Jay didn’t seem to notice. She clicked a few buttons on her phone, then flipped it shut and pocketed it.

“You pick something?” Jay asked, giving her an eager look.

“Mm-hmm,” Sagira hummed, cocking an eyebrow at him. She watched as Jay eagerly pulled out his cell phone and hit the speed dial. Her phone vibrated in her pocket first, eliciting a momentary pout from Jay, and then an incredulous expression, as the ringtone began.

I – like – big butts and I cannot lie
You other brothers can’t deny
That when a girl walks in an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get- ”


Sagira didn’t take her eyes off of Jay’s as she pulled the phone out of her pocket and, in a slow, casual motion, opened it and hit the ignore button. Smiling slyly at him, she flipped the phone shut and stuck in back in her pocket.

“Baby Got Back?” Jay asked, in a detached, stunned voice.

“Yes,” Sagira said, still smiling. “You know the song, I take it.”

“You have that as my ringtone.”

“Yes.” Sagira’s lips pulled back and she bared her teeth in a grin.

“That… I don’t think… I do not have a big ass!”

Sagira cocked an eyebrow at him, but didn’t say anything. The message, however, was quite clear. Oh, really?

“Why did you put that as my ringtone?” he demanded, sounding offended.

“You were rushing me to get it done. Under such stressful circumstances, it seemed the most fitting.” She tilted her head innocently to the side. “Unless you think I should change it…”

“Yes! Yes, I think you should change it!”

Sagira smiled and pulled her phone out of her pocket, flipping it open. “Then… don’t rush me.”

~*~


I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care about her. At all. I never did. I was lying. I don’t care. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t.

Paladin’s arms were crossed over his chest as he continued to tell himself that he didn’t care about Hinata. He wasn’t going to admit to her or anyone else that he had ever cared. That meant convincing himself, and not letting her feel any emotion but his anger, his hatred, his disgust, his shame. She wouldn’t feel any love, because there wasn’t any love there. There never was.

But she was so angry, and her angry always made her both dangerous and beautiful- NO!

No, she wasn’t beautiful. She was hideous. She was disgusting. She was a horribly stupid kirlia who risked the lives of those she was supposed to be protecting by weakening herself foolishly, making herself a danger. He hated her. He hated her, hated her, hated her.

The psychic tension rose in the room, crackling to their ears, hissing across their skin, and giving everything a static charge. Paladin felt his own skin tense, growing taut as though stretched across his bones, as he and Hinata faced himself across a room.

Though, really, I’m facing her and she’s looking at the wall. She’s ridiculous and I don’t love her. I never did!

“Asshole,” Hinata whispered quietly. There was a moment of placidity, where she seemed to pull all of her power back into herself, and then the psychic energy in the room peaked abruptly. ”YOU ASSHOLE!!” The large oak wardrobe that sat next to Sagira’s bed was suddenly hurled across the room, trailing psychic energy.

Paladin’s form shimmered and disappeared as he teleported out of the way. He reappeared behind Hinata, somersaulting backward in the air from the force of the psychic energies surrounding the wardrobe that he hadn’t fully been able to avoid. He righted himself quickly, to find Hinata, tense and angry, with the shattered remains of the wardrobe, chunks of plaster from the wall, and the shreddings of what was once a set of bed sheets circling her like vultures waiting for a command.

She was absolutely, completely, undeniably the most beautiful thing that he had ever seen.

Paladin swallowed thickly. “At least you aren’t as filthy as you were last time we did this.”

~*~


“What do you mean you don’t have regular coffee?”

The clerk standing at the counter glanced around as though looking for some form of backup, or maybe a scapegoat. “We only serve… flavored… coffees here.”

Sagira’s scowl deepened. “What about the people that don’t like flavored coffee?”

“They, um… they usually don’t come here.”

“I can’t imagine why,” Sagira said, spinning around and storming for the door in a smooth motion.

“You know it’s not the clerk’s fault what coffee they serve, right?” Jay asked smoothly, moving to stand next to her.

“Do you know what flavor coffee is supposed to be, Jacob?” Sagira asked, eyeing him critically.

He glanced at her as though expecting it was a trick question. “What flavor?”

She leaned in close to his face and whispered, “Coffee flavored.”

Standing in the middle of the restaurant avenue, Sagira sighed heavily. “I can’t believe how many coffee shops there are around here.”

“Foods…” Ivy moaned in the background of their conversation, peering into a bakery window at a large, expensive wedding cake. “Ivy wants…”

“Isn’t that a good thing?”

“One coffee shop suffices,” Sagira growled, “provided they have coffee.”

“We can split up.” Sagira glanced over at him in curiosity. “If we can’t find a place that sells what you want down Silver Strip,” he suggested, motioning toward the small cul-de-sac of cafés behind them, which they had yet to check out, “I’ll go to the east end of town and you can check out the west. Every coffee shop I’ve gone to has what I want, but whoever finds your coffee can give the other a call and we’ll meet up. Sound good?”

Sagira nodded, smiling softly at him in gratitude. “Sounds wonderful.” She glanced over at Ivy, remembering the trouble that the girl had had with their phone numbers (she’d yelled at the Delibird Pizza worker when he picked up the phone she called and didn’t know who Sagira was) and gave Jay a critical look. “You have the right cell phone number, don’t you?”

He rolled his eyes and hit the speed dial on his phone. Her pocket started singing.

Riding up and down Broadway
On my old stud Leroy
And the girls say
Save a horse, ride a cowboy.
Everybody says
Save a horse, Ride a cowboy-””


“I still don’t get why you chose that song.” Jay glanced up at her, smirking. “I’m a cowboy?”

Sagira tilted her head to the side and shrugged, smirking. “I don’t know, I always thought of you more as a stallion.”

Jay cocked an eyebrow. “A stallion, eh? Hm…” He tapped his chin in an exaggerated motion. “Jay Stallion Lange.” He smirked. “I’m a catch, then?”

Sagira chuckled – a low sound in her throat that came out in the same manner as the smiles you give to small, stupid children. “I meant that you were untamable. A catch… eh.” She waved her hand in a so-so motion and he pouted at her. She grinned. “Try… Wild Horse.”

“Hm… Jay Wild Horse Lange.” He grinned. “I like it.”


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Master Houndoom
post Jul 24 2010, 11:33 PM
Post #20


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Jay could not shake the feeling that something was wrong. A feeling, deep in his gut, told him that something, somewhere, was wrong. He leaned backwards against the counter as Sagira... interviewed the barista.

"Coffee... flavored... coffee!" Sagira snarled leaning over the counter as far as she could. She ended up off of her feet, menacing the barista of the Moonstantler's they had stopped in. Jay glanced over, looking more at Sagira's posterior than the counterwoman.

"I'd tell her, if you know anything. She really, really likes her coffee." Jay did not need to look at the barista to know she was terrified. And so he availed himself of the preferred view.

"W-w-w-we only SELL flavored coffees!" The girl's voice was edging on hysteria. "We... we have m-m-mocha berry s-ssupreme—"

The girl screamed as Sagira's hand slammed against the counter.

"COFFEE..."

The girl let out a sob, and Jay sighed, pushing off the counter. "Catseye," he said softly, putting a hand on her shoulder.

She twitched and spun, landing on her feet, facing him with a glare. Jay raised a brow.

"She's not to blame for what Moonstantler's serves, sweety."

Sagira narrowed her eyes, then stalked out of the restaurant, leaving Jay to sigh behind her. He turned to the barista and smiled apologetically. "She's cranky when she doesn't get her coffee," he said, sliding a bill into the tip jar.

The girl watched him go, trying to quell her shaking hands. Anger began to well up, and she looked down at her tip jar, contemplating taking the bill out and burning it, imagining the snarling woman's face as the face on the bill.

Except, she found, with a start, the bill was a twenty. A good forty times more than her usual tip. She snatched it out of the jar, gawking at it, and then pocketing it.

Maybe a little snarling isn't bad.

-----

Hinata felt the objects rotating around her. She didn't know what they were, only that they were large and heavy, but at this moment, that was all she wanted.

The thoughts coursing through Paladin's mind were all the same, all filled with hate and venom, all released with timely precision, all designed to distract and anger her.

He should know better than to anger her.

At least you aren’t as filthy as you were last time we did this.

With the words, which stung enogh, came images, flashes that he saw. Her eyes streaming thick, viscous tears, her head black from dust and dirt, and power radiating from her as she tried to kill men, kill them for taking the one being she'd loved from her... the one, at least, before she'd met Paladin.

You dare... She was trembling, then heavy objects falling to the sides, and behind her. She trembled, her eyes already releasing the viscous fluid that passed for her tears. Her shoulder slumped. How could you use that against me..?

Paladin simply stood. His feelings faltered, then hardened, but the entry point was already made, and through the falter in his emotions, Hinata flooded Paladin's thoughts and emotions with the anger, the pain, the sheer despair of the moment she'd thought Jay had been killed.

The force of it knocked him backwards, and the telekinetic push she added to it sent him right through the wall, into Jay's room.

Hinata floated, deceptively calmly through the hole. Her eyes glowed, accentuating the veins with ethereal shadows. The light did not help her at all, in fact, Hinata had no idea it was happening. It was all tied to the anger, pain, and need for revenge she felt.

Unfortunately for her, while she could not find Paladin, who could keep hidden from her psychic probes, all he needed was his eyes to see her.

A sudden whirlwind of debris from the wall, unfinished paperwork, and dirty laundry erupted from the room, enveloping Hinata before she could erect a defense. Before she could do more than cry out, she was thrust through the hole in the wall and slammed into the wall on the other side in Sagira's room, leaving a kirlia shaped dent as he came spinning through the maelstrom, sending a psychic bolt into her.

He released her to fall, nearly falling himself, his mind still buzzing from her psychic attack. You are... weak... for letting the past affect you... he panted, struggling to hold in his emotions lest they betray him.

She rose, slowly, her eyes narrowed. The tears had not dried, would not for a little longer, but they had stopped flowing. Her lip curled, from pain and an attempt at disdain.

I bet that would have looked badass if it wasn't for the fact that you look like you're wearing a mini skirt.

How would you know? Paladin sneered.

Hinata's eyes narrowed so much they were almost closed. She floated to him, dampening her psychic power until she was right next to him.

Then she punched him in the stomach.

-----

Jay belched, his eyes widening. Sagira shot him a nasty look, but instead of giving him a lecture, she continued her rant.

"Did I miss a memo or something? I mean, did I miss a meeting with the coffee? You can get every other flavor except coffee flavored coffee!"

Jay smirked, biting his lip to keep from grinning. He'd been there when she'd been looking up videos on the computer, and had watched, and laughed, as the comedian ranted and raved. It seemed to be his entire repertoire, but it was hilarious.

"They've got mochaccino, chococcino, frapaccino, capaccino, rapaccino, Al Pacino, what the hell?!"

He didn't think she'd taken the time to memorize it.

They walked to the next shop, and Sagira stopped, narrowing her eyes. They were resting on a placard, which listed no less than six flavors of coffee. Her shoulders dropped.

"Hey, Sagira," Jay mumbled. "I have a gut feeling."

She turned, coffee briefly forgotten, and looked at him, mixed concern and alertness. She didn't ask, but she didn't have to.

"Something's happening, somewhere."

Sagira looked around, narrow eyed, then grit her teeth, looking at her partner with a mixture of fear and suspicion.

"Where's Ivy?"


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[align=center]Uprising Mod

||
Jaima Kuonji and Meiko Omura||Branwys Muphenz
[spoiler=Jaima's Gym Badges][/spoiler]
PANE


||
Jay Lange||Olivia Prewitt
Uprising


As of January 29, 2010, at approximately 7:50am CST, 2gamers helped me complete my pokedex!

:houndoom: I claim Houndoom! :houndoom: [/align]
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